mayombe slit drum congo

Mayombe / Vili slit drum Congo

"The three most common slit drum types are the cylindrical, the trapezoid and the zoomorphic. Besides these we also find them in the form of a tulip, half-moon and boat. The basic structure of the drum is virtually the same for each type and is best illustrated by the cylindrical slit drum. A block of wood, usually part of a tree trunk, is cut into the desired shape and then hollowed out through the slit in the upper side. The drum-maker/woodcutter ensures that the two sides of the drum are unequal in thickness so that different pitches are produced when played with two rubber-headed drum sticks. The two-tone structure will later form the basis for the transmission of a message, the purpose for which these instruments are best known. The creativity of the drum-maker and woodcutter is clearly visible in the way the upper side around the slit is decorated. This can be done by making the simple cut for the slit and by adding two "sound holes" at each end, or by decorating the area around the slit with geometric patterns."
Copyright © Royal Museum for Central Africa ('RMCA'), 2018. All rights reserved.
excerpt from the website:http://music.africamuseum.be/instruments/english/congo%20drc/bakpekpe.html

Die Schlitztrommel ist das wichtigste Signalinstrument in Zentralafrika und kann zur Nachrichtenübermittlung (Sprechtrommeln) verwendet werden.
Die beiden Wandungen der Trommel sind unterschiedlich dick und erzeugen beim Anschlagen zwei unterschiedliche Töne. Sprachmelodie und Sprachrhythmus können so von Spezialisten auf das Instrument übertragen werden.

Wassing, R., Muziek en dans in Afrika, Museum voor Land- en Volkenkunde Rotterdam, 1960.
Bittremieux, Leo. - De geheime Sekte der Bakhimba's. Leuven, J.Reekmans-Vanderwaeren, 1911
Léo Bittremieux, La société secrète des Bakhimba au Mayombe, G. van Campenhout, Bruxelles, 1936, 327 p.