Djun-djun

From Academic Kids

The Djun-Djun or Djum-Djum (pronounced dununs or dundun) is a cylindrical, double-headed bass drum carved from solid Dembu log and using cow skin membranes. The Djun-djun is found throughout South America and West Africa. Djun-djun can be worn over the shoulder and played with two sticks: one for the bass tones and the other for a bell tied to the side of the drum, or rested on a stand and played on its side. Bells are matched to each of the three drums. In a traditional ensemble using all three drums, it is most common for a different individual to play each drum and its accopmpanying bell. Also seen are sets of two or three different sized djun djun drums, played while sitting with drums resting upright on the floor, played by one musician.

Often the player also has a whistle with which to blow calls and breaks to dancers.

The Djun-djun has roots going back to the Mali Empire. This region of West Africa includes all or portions the present day countries of Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire.

The three djun-djuns, from smallest to largest are named: Kenkeni, Sangban, and Dunumba. The entire set of 3 together is called "dunun."

The spelling "djun-djun" is a Francophone version of "jun-jun." (See Eric Charry, "A Guide to the Jembe," (http://echarry.web.wesleyan.edu/jembearticle/article.html) originally published in Percussive Notes 34, no. 2 (April 1996).

In the region of Guinea and Mali where the drum originated, the word is "Dundun."

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