Burundi President Shows off his Drumming Skills

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Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiye has demonstrated his skills as a drummer by playing the country’s famous royal drums during a visit to a drum sanctuary on the outskirts of the capital Gitega.

Burundi’s State House tweeted that the president had been an avid drummer from a young age, and he could not resist putting on the traditional drummers’ outfit, and joining in the singing, dancing and playing of drums at the Gishora sanctuary, which is located on a hilltop.

State House added that President Ndayishimiye was officially ending the government’s holiday period and took an opportunity to visit the sanctuary in Gishora.

In Burundi, a drum is called an ingoma, which also means kingdom.

Traditionally, drums were the symbol of power and were only played for the king. They therefore became known as royal drums. There were other small drums, but royal drums were regarded as sacred and played in a particular way on special occasions only.

UN cultural agency Unesco has listed the “ritual dance of the royal drum” as an “intangible cultural heritage of humanity.”

“The entire population of Burundi recognizes it as a fundamental part of its heritage and identity,” Unesco said.

The ritual drumming is performed during national or local feasts and to welcome important visitors, and it is said to awaken the spirits of the ancestors and drive out evil spirits,” it adds.

 

 

 

 

BBC /Shakirat Sadiq

 

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