The exchange of culture between West Africa and the United States and Europe is mutual. One of the greatest impact of western culture upon West Africa is the shift towards women playing traditional Drums of Power such as the djembe. The following clip shows a group of young women performing with their teacher on the djembe, a feat that would have resulted in severe repercussion for the women and the teacher as recent as 15 years ago. No doubt, the fact that women are the greatest seekers of African drum teachers in the United States and Europe is a prominent factor. There is significant income to made from women students. Significant income has also been made by students, many of whom are women, traveling to Africa to participate in drumming intensives. Many benefit from these intensives including those who provide housing, cook meals, escort and teach.
Women playing the djembe was once an anomaly, but now this influence is creating social change and healing in the Motherland. Teaching indigenous women to drum in Guinea, a country that practices female circumcision and strict gender roles is huge and signifies a a growing shift in the social perceptions in the country as a whole. Enjoy this video in light of this cultural revolution!
Return for, Ritual, Magic & Abuse: Desecrating the Wombs of Africa, the second article in the “Drum is a Woman, series.
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