A tamboo bamboo band at Canboulay Riots Re-enactment

As with many African traditions, drumming was outlawed in the colonies of the West Indies*. However, Africans found ways to adapt, including inventing the steelpan and the tamboo bamboo – a percussive instrument fashioned by hollowing out different lengths of bamboo, which were then hit on the ground or with sticks. These were used for traditional and non-traditional beats, and are considered one of the precursors to steelpan. Makes me think of the bucket bands often seen in DC. Lesson for today folks: you know what they say about necessity right. 2. We are more similar than we sometimes like to think.




*I use West Indies to refer to the islands colonized by the British (and sometimes French, Spanish and Dutch) in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries to identify a group of countries that share language and many administrative and historical traditions. However, I prefer the term Caribbean myself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.