Monday, September 18, 2017

Kayamba :: Around The World From 80 Countries

The Around the World exhibition at the Benton County Historical Museum contains two musical instruments from Africa:  a talking drum from Nigeria, and an adeudeu string instrument from Uganda. The museum's Horner Collection also contains another instrument found in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and other places in East Africa-- the kayamba. Two rafts of reeds or grass stems lashed together with cord are separated by slats of wood.  The space between is filled with seeds or pebbles.  The musician holds kayamba with the rafts parallel to the ground and slides it back and forth, causing the seeds to rattle.  Many also beat their thumbs on the flat side to create an additional rhythm. Depending on the area, the kayamba was used to accompany a dance to drive out a witch, cure illness, as part of a girl's initiation ceremony. In Mozambique, where this one is from, women use kayambas to amuse babies. 

By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

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