Traditional music of African continent is passed down orally and is not written. Sub-Saharan African music tradition is based on many percussion instruments including xylophones, drums, and tone-producing instruments such as mbira or “thumb piano.” The music and dance of African diaspora is from these various regions of diaspora origins. The degree of influence of African musical tradition includes American music or Caribbean genres like soca, calypso and zouk. And Latin American music genres: rumba, conga, bomba, cumbia or samba music of the music of enslaved Africans. These in turn influence African global music.Replica of a Akan West African chief’s drum used for dance music events. The artist is high ranking West African well slave community. Drum denotes a wood carving specialist but drums prohibited because white colonists feared its used to communicate for revolt. So Virginia preserved African Cultures from 1700 – 1800, drums made of animal material and Wood. Drums are oldest African-American objects collected early 1700s in Colony of Virginia in America. Drum was made in the Akan region in Ghana West Africa is played during ceremonies or social occasions. The music is fusion of sounds from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Gambia, Uganda, Morocco, Belgium, Scotland, England, Denmark, and France. instruments include Kora, Ngoni, Gimbre, Krakab, Axatse, sticks, Gakogui, Seprewa, Sogo, Apentema, Kpanlogo, Atumpani, Fontonfrom, Dondo, Endingidi, Goje, Bolong, Atenteben Flute, the orchestral Flute and Egoe Calabash Gourd.
The drum travelled across Atlantic on a slave ship used to exercise slaves to keep healthy. Music legacy of drumming on plantations by over 12 million Africans transported to America between 1501-1800s. Provided labour for mines, plantations of sugar, rice, tobacco and cotton. Drumming, African musical tradition in colonies of different music, shouts, hollars, work songs, fife, drum and spirituals. Ghana drum opens news broadcast with ‘Ghana muntie’ ie Ghana listen.
Music of 12 million Africans into Brazil, Caribbean, America by Europeans from West Africa. Europe used war captive as slaves to farm plantations and domestic slaves. Chained below deck, did not see outside travelling on deck to breathe air or dance. Shackled, densely packed like sardines got sick some died, killed from their societies at sea. Sloane’s collected the material culture of Drum objects in African-American slave trade era. These middle passage forced Africans to dance to exercise for slave labour. Akan drum reached Virginia as musical instrument coerced circulate as cultural resources is used in African international music.
Sloane recorded slave music in Jamaica of African drum, guitar. African-Americans play guitar or drums identity of community. Planters didn’t tolerate performances of slave societies. Sloane notes instrument bans didn’t make drums ddisappear. Sloane collected slave artefacts in C18th tools, clothing, whips, nooses, weapons or anatomical remains. Objects, were gifts from correspondents or collectors, judged Sloane on Caribbean’s natural history slavery. The Akan drum donor Reverend Clerk to Sloane identified it “as Indian drum,” but its African. True identity of African objects survived and circulated by slave traders, recreated by slaves for music to dance to. According to Roots, Kunta Kinte was born circa 1750 in Mandinka village of Juffure, in Gambia. He was raised in a Muslim family. In 1767, Kunta while he searched for wood to make a drum for his younger brother, four men chased him and took him captive. Haley traced record of ship The Lord Ligonier to Maryland where Kunta arrived in chain in America. Kunta Kinte kept name of his village and native name of Gambia River origin from Portuguese cambio for exchange or trade. Kunta Kinte’s life in village is similar to Masaka Africana.
Cambio is Kamby Bolongo native trade route like Naplis is Minneapolis. By 1600s large agricultural or commercial estates in Brazil needed more slaves. Portuguese slave traders of Gambia kidnapped Kunte. He traced his roots back to the Gambia. Kunte Family was: Omoro (father) and Binta (mother); Belle (wife); Kizzy (daughter); Chicken George (grandson). Kunte was born in c. 1750 in Juffure, The Gambia and died: c. 1822 (aged c.71–77); in the Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Despite attempt by the slave master to erode his name, Kunta Kinte held onto his memories passed on to his descendants written about in his life history book, Roots made into films.
Courtesy & Credit Images
Professor Kwesi Ampene, CU West African High Life & World Music International Team
Adam Holden, Obroni Dance Music
Anthony Appiah, Princeton University,
Alex Haley, Roots, Kunta Kinte, Virginia
James Delbourgo, Associate Professor of History, Rutgers University, USA
Patton, S.F. (1998) African-American art. Oxford, N.Y.: Oxford University Press.Hans Sloane’s collection?