Throughout history, there are legends attached to objects that share the “goblet” form, whether as a holy article for worship or a simple container for carrying water. Variations of these chalices, cups and other vessels can be found in all continents around the globe, and are often noted for the connection to emotion, life and spirituality. As an evolution of the chalice, in a sense, many of the hand drums we see today have the same goblet shape. Djembe drums, for example, are shaped much like the “holy grail” and other symbols of faith, which could by why these drums are so connected to spiritual, rhythmic practices.
As the djembe originated from the Mali Empire in Africa, this ceremonial drum was also used to communicate over distances, giving it an important presence in the lives of the tribe members. The various legends of the creation of the djembe further prove to attest to its spiritual nature, as well as the reverence for those who are trusted to make these drums. Furthermore, the djembe was used as a tool for healing and wellness, which is reflected in today’s “modern” drum circles. It is this spirit that may be the driving force in today’s fondness for drumming and drum events, many of which feature multiple djembes as well as other hand drums and percussion instruments. In this sense, the spirit of the djembe is a passion for connection, to the earth and to each other.
Whether you are a seasoned djembe drummer or just now finding an interest in drumming, the rhythmic connections that can be found between cultures around the world, both historical and modern, are endless. The same inspiration we get from a drum circle is the same vibe that drew tribes together to celebrate the magic of rhythm. Finding spirit in a djembe is as easy as playing a simple beat with a few friends, or joining in with a crowd of drummers and dancers as they play the day away on a beach or hilltop. It is this sense of community that binds us all together and connects the world through the spirit of the djembe.