Talking Drums: Delineating between the Boundary of Uses and the Border of Abuses in South-Western Nigeria

James Adebayo John


Talking drums have been a unique means of information dissemination in the rural areas of Africa. The Talking drums have two varieties: Bata and Dundun. They are employed for different purposes. Bata is used by the Sango worshippers during their festival. Dundun is used for a variety of purposes, ranging from commercial, extra-mundane, cultural, proverbial and information purposes. However, dundun talking drums are employed to pitch two communities against each other. They may also be used to disguise the ‘praisee’ physical defects. If one is bald, the talking drummer has a means of saying one is not. If the praise poem of a short man is being chanted, the talking drummer has a means of saying he is tall. Therefore, talking drums, as useful as they are, have their own abuses to which they are put. The study is driven by democratic-participant media theory which posits that the grass roots should have access to the media of communication, and that the media should give priority attention to the disadvantaged in the society.

Keywords: Talking Drums, Delineation, Boundary, Border

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