The Tama or “Talking Drum” is a traditional percussion instrument very popular all over West Africa. It is traditionally a Griot instrument and it is considered one of the oldest percussion instruments in West Africa. The particularity of this instrument is that its tone can be pitched by pressing or releasing the strings that hold the skin. It was traditionally used to announce meetings in the villages and gather the villagers. Our tama teacher in Mali, Mountaga is a master tama player and handcrafter, and he is able to carve a tama in a few minutes!
This instrument is taught at:
École De Musique de Kirina – Mali
In northern Ghana, the “Luan” or “Lunga” is a very similar instrument (bigger and producing a lower sound) that is being taught at the Bizung School of Music and Dance in Tamale, Ghana