Massamba Diop Drumming Session/ Discussion

From the minute I entered the recital hall I felt alive!  I could feel the vibrations of the instruments the melody that was being portrayed.  The attitude of the room was changed within minutes and everyone gazed at the three people playing instruments and dancing.  The leader of the group was Massamba Diop and he was joined by two other people who played the drum primarily and they other one would dance.  They were all brought together and they really emphasize their playing on how they feel.  Massamba Diop played an instrument called the talking drum.  I have never heard of the talking drum before and I was absolutely amazed by how much it means to the african culture. The talking drum is used to tell stories in Africa and is a used as a much easier form of education.  Instead of using a phone and calling a people within the town one by one, a person who plays the talking drum would go to the center of the town or village and relay the message.

Everyone single one of the members were not a fan of the word indigenous and what it stood for.  They believed that you are from a place where you started but you shouldn’t and don’t have to automatically be forced into a lifestyle or career based on where you were born.  One of the members of the group example was that he was from a town where all of their people were fisherman and farmers where he went on to be a dancer.  One of the members thought everyone belonged together and belonged to the earth and just because you are from a different place doesn’t mean you can’t share resources with another.  Another example was that one of the member identified himself as Muslim and prayed five times a day but he wanted to learn about everything.  Because of this he would learn from Jewish and Christian people about their heritage and wouldn’t neglect them just because he believed in a different religion.

Another important topic that they discussed was the role media played within their society and culture.  A lot of culture and story telling is being lost very fast in Africa due to the media and the internet.  There is also about 60% less people playing the talking drum then there was fifty years ago.  Television is also the uninvited guest within the house and brings in bad media that is not needed.


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