Traditional Drums in Uganda ~ Gorilla Tour Booking Safaris
In Uganda traditional drums differ from tribe to tribe in the information below we are going to explain different drums depending on each tribe in Uganda.

The importance of the drum in Buganda

There are two drums that are of eminent importance in the Baganda society: the embuutu (big drum) and the engalabi (long drum).

- Embuutu - big drum

The embuutu is considered a so-called engoma enkazi (female drum). The holy, double-headed drum that is provided with double membranes is made of pinewood and decorated using cowries and pearls. The secular embuutu is decorated lacing up the skindhide, the non-resounding skin. Two clinging pearls as abalongo (twins) are arranged before the head is sealed using the skinhide.

The embuutu determines the main melody for dancing and for everyday life, wherein women are mainly responsible to guarantee the survival of the community. It is their task to give birth to children and to raise the children as well as to gather food for the family (farming).

Engalabi (Long Drum)
Engalabi - long drum-gorilla -trekking-Rwanda-Uganda

The traditional Fumbo has a reptile skin nailed to the wood. The engalabi from Buganda region, which is played in music theatres, plays an important part in the ceremony called "Okwabya olumbe". This is the installation of a successor to the deceased, thus the saying in Luganda "Tugenda mungalabi", meaning we are going to the engalabi, that is, long drum. The rule in playing the drum is the use of bare hands.

Enanga/Adungu(Arched Harp) Busoga, Buganda
Enanga/Adungu(Arched Harp) Busoga, Buganda

The movable rings achieve the ideal sound on the ennanga, placed just below the tuning pegs. The strings vibrate against these rings and produce a buzzing sound. This sound is also heard on some of the lyres and sansa.
The strings on this instrument are arranged in progressive order from high to low note. The first, second and third strings from octaves with the sixth, seventh and eighth strings respectively. The 'Ganda harpist occupied a high social position, performing solely for the Kabaka and a few important chiefs. He was the only musician allowed to amuse the royal ladies in their private rooms.
Nowadays it is popular as the adungu and widely used in Catholic and Protestant rural churches.


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