Historically, drumming served as a means of communication for tribes in Africa. Because of the distance involved between these communities, the ability to verbally communicate was limited and drums were used to convey location, welcome traveling tribes and even warn when warring tribes were approaching. Drums were also used during celebrations and festivals to mark the passing of seasons or other special events within the tribes.
In West Africa, the Yoruba population developed “talking drums” for festivals, celebrations, and as a way to carry “verbal” messages between tribes. Since African dialects rely on intonation to distinguish the meaning behind words, Talking Drums were able to mimic a conversation between people, quickly relaying messages and information between tribes. These drums were also used to enhance the legends told by tribal storytellers, and within these tribes, those that mastered the Talking Drums were held in high esteem.