Anlo Ewe Ensemble Ghana

Left to right: Kidi (Medium sized drum played with two sticks); Lead drum: Atsimevu (It is around 4½ feet tall, combines sticks and hands); Sogo (Larger drum played with two sticks); Kagan (Small drum played with two sticks);

"In Anlo-Ewe cultural understanding, a drum is a super projection of the human voice. In this view, the role and power of the drum in play embodies the Sub-Saharan concept of combining natural forces of the universe in forming the supernaturals. In the composition of this conscious experience, human force is combined with other natural forces - skin of animal, hollowed solid tree-trunk, etc. - as a medium for arousing the attention and reaction of mankind. In a variety of tonal properties - pitch, timbre, intensity, and intricate rhythms - the drum and the drummer, in mutual cooperation, create patterns of consciousness that give a moment of inspiration to those they touch. Among the Anlo-Ewe, a legendary metaphor, ela kuku dea 'gbe wu la gbagbe means, "a dead animal cries louder than a live one," to explain the human experience that inspired the origins of the drum. A human being tendens to attract more attention when dead than when alive. So when the need came to communicate louder, a super voice surrogate was built out of a skin of a dead animal that could deliver the message louder and clearer."
excerpt from:
Ladzekpo, C.K - Drums and Drumming : https://web.archive.org/web/20090415164952/http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/people/ladzekpo/Foundation.html