4 traditional reasons African women are not allowed to drum

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson November 16, 2018

Weak and feminine

Still in line with the issue of masculinity, it was preferable that men and boys played the drums because they were believed to be physically, mentally and spiritually stronger than women. Women have been accepted as the weaker sex in African societies and such a notion comes to full display during social activities. Men were chosen to drum because they were accepted as stronger to keep up with the intensity that came with drumming. Women were also not allowed to drum especially during royal and spiritual ceremonies because they were not spiritually strong to communicate with the spirits that rose during drumming. Sometimes, drummers got possessed when drumming and needed to be very strong to withstand the spiritual activities in them and also continue playing. Whenever a woman was possessed, she would suddenly collapse on the floor or become very weak and drumming was not an activity that could contain such ‘weakness’.


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