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 tləfu, 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 Daŋ 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 Tləgəm at community ceremonies, and is frequently played at funerals, during communal farming work parties (zwazwa), threshing, and on other occasions.
2. Rwa daŋ An hourglass dru (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 daŋ and rwa daŋ played by Tləgəm and Tlagama at the Yawal ceremony are heard on this clip.
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.
4. Ŋgwu 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.