Conga & Djembe

The Djembe originated in West Africa, and is an integral part of the region's musical tradition and culture. The Djembe is now popular all over the world. There is a Mandé drum, found in all of West Africa, where it is one of the most common instruments. There is general agreement that the origin of the djembe is associated with a class of Mandinka/Susu blacksmiths known as Numu. The wide dispersion of the djembe drums throughout West Africa may be due to Numu migrations dating from the first millennium A.D. Some modern players trace the Djembe back 3,000 years to the Bamana ethnic group from the Wosolo region of what is now Mali. The Bamana people have a word "jebebara" or "unity drum." Despite the associations of the djembe with the Numu, there do not appear to be hereditary restrictions upon who can play the djembe as occurs with some other African instruments.