Drums are generally played by men, and never women, of the smith-potter caste. However the tim kettle drum is played on both formal and informal occasions by men of the farmer caste, including the junior tlufu, the Hidi's steward (see below). On other informal and private formal occasions, for example to accompany a funderal dirge, farmers may beat drums, sometimes borrowed from smith drummers.

 

 

1. Ma ka Dang  Double-headed cylindrical snare (Ganga-type) drum covered with goatskin and beaten at one end with a bent drum stick and at the other with the hand. The cords attached down the side of the drum to the two drumheads are used to adjust the tension. The most common drum at Sukur, it is beaten by Zligum at community ceremonies, and is frequently played at funerals, during communal farming work parties (zozowa), threshing, and on other occasions.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Ruwidang    An hourglass drum (corresponding to the Hausa kalangu) played with a bent wooden drumstick or with the hands. The tension of the skins is varied by squeezing the longitudinal thongs that connect the skins with the forearm. It is by this means that in other societies, for example among the Hausa, these drums are made to 'talk.' At Sukur a drum of this type is played by Tlagama in various ceremonies. Other musicians play it at dances held for general amusement during the dry season and probably on other occasions.

The ma ka dang and ruwidang played by Tlëgëm and Tlagama at the Yawal ceremony are heard on this clip.                   

 

In a Yawal procession the drummer on the left plays a ruwidang. The drums being carried on the musicians' heads are a ma ka dang and (I think) a tim kettle drum -- note the bent drumstick. In front of the tim, Tlëgëm beats a ma ka dang which is mostly obscured by the man on the right of the picture.

 

 

 

 

A ma ka dang drum is played during a dance that forms part of Kurang's La festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Tim  This is a wooden kettle (Tambari-type) drum with a single drumhead beaten with a bent drumstick. The type is often associated with royalty. In certain ceremonies Sukur it is played by the junior Tlufu. During the driving out of bad spirits in the Zoku festival he beats it while carrying it on his head.

Kurang musicians adjust the tension on a tim drumhead by means of its leather thongs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Nggwu   A tall ground-standing drum made of a hollowed tree trunk and beaten with two hands. While particularly associated with Damay, it is played on at least one occasion during the initiation ceremony when a smith-potter leads the initiates away to a shrine in Dunggom ward.

 

 

 

 

Two nggwu drums at the home of the senior member of the Mariyam clan, often known in Sukur as Damay. His son is refurbishing the drum on the right for the initiation ceremony.

 

 

 

A ma ka dang drummer