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Photographer's Note

These old drums were just sitting in a corner of Ketou's community centre & caught my interest. Drums are generally known as tam-tams in Benin, although sometimes people would borrow the Bamanakan word (Bamanakan being a language found in Mali) 'djembe.'

Wikipedia has some interesting info on djembes:

"As a result of the goblet shape, the density of the wood, the internal carvings, and the skin, there is a wide range of tones that can be produced by the djembe. The rounded shape with the extended tube of the djembe body forms a device known in physics as a Helmholtz resonator, giving it the deep bass note. The primary notes are generally referred to as "bass," "tone" and "slap", though a variety of other tones can be produced by advanced players. The slap has a high, sharp sound and the tone is more "round" and full. The bass is the lowest."

At any rate, whatever you call them, tam-tams are an important part of Benin's fascinating culture.

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Additional Photos by Caleb Ficner (kwekwekan) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 120 W: 10 N: 152] (963)
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