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date: 13 December 2019


  • K.A. Gourlay
  • , revised by Amanda Villepastour


Set of thick, squat cylindrical or slightly barrel-shaped drums of the Yorùbá people of Nigeria. Each has three feet and a single head affixed by a securing ring and large wooden pegs. Names of individual drums vary according to locality, for example in Ọ̀yọ́, in descending order of size, ìyá igbin, jagba, and apele (or ìyá ńlá); in Ẹdẹ the terms are ìyá gan, keke, and afere. The accompanying drums may more generally be called omele akọ and omele abo (male and female). The largest drum is played with a stick held by the right hand and muted by the the palm, fist, or fingers of the left; the other drums are played with two straight sticks. The drums are sacred to the deity of creativity, Ọbàtálá (or Òrìṣàńlá). Linked with ìgbìn is ìpẹ̀sẹ̀ music, the two names being alternatives for the same kind of drum according to context and instrumental group. The ...

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