Yesterday was a very exciting day for Year Five. We spent half the morning dancing and the other half drumming. We had two wonderful teachers: Paul and Thuba. Paul is Mrs Senior’s brother and he taught us the drumming rhythms and patterns on the African drums. Thuba taught us an African warrior dance.
We learnt so much about Africa and drumming. Drums are the most popular instruments in Africa, closely followed by the xylophone. There are many different type of drums – we had 4 of them in school! The most common one is the djembe (jem-bay). The top of the drum is made of goat skin – the other drums we saw had cow skin tops. Cow skin is harder and needs to be heated to be stretched across the drum. For the djembe, the sound comes from the hollow bottom of the drum, so we tilted them when we play.
When we went into our dance session with Thuba, as well as learning our amazing dance we also learnt a lot more about Africa. The type of dance we did would have been done by warriors, warriors are the ones who protected their tribe. Drumming, dancing and singing all go hand-in-hand. Drumming is learnt from a young age and used for different ceremonies such as weddings.
Across the continent of Africa many different languages/ dialects are spoken. Zimbabwe has 2 main languages, but there are many more. Thuba speaks 7 languages. The other facts we learnt were that from late November to February is the rainy season and it is dry the rest of the year round.
We had a fantastic time and then opened the carnival – it was boiling and a proper performance!