X86.1911 Drum

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Drum (a-ndef)
Baga peoples
Wood, hide, pigment
H: 94.6 cm (H: 37.2 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Helen and Dr. Robert Kuhn. X86.1911


Caryatid drums called “a-ndef” are owned and used by Baga women’s important ritual, political, and social societies. Motherhood is a principal criterion for entry. Women play this type of drum at their ceremonies, and its music lets residents of both the supernatural and mundane worlds know about the ceremony. The songs and iconography of individual drums tell of women’s power, parenting, and problems in the community. This sculpture depicts a woman carrying a drum on her head. Women “carry” Baga society. The figure holds a hoe and a cooking spoon in her hands. referring to the constant work that women must do to maintain homes and provide food for their families.

Source: DjeDje, J. C. (1999). “Turn Up the Volume! A Celebration of African Music”, Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 320