Djembes are an African drum traditionally used by the Maninka (pronounced Mande-nka). On the banks of the Niger at the border between Guinea and Mali you will find Mande, the homeland of the Maninka people. This is the birthplace of djembes. Reportedly the word 'djem' (or more accurately 'jem') refers to the tree used to make djembes, while "be" refers to goat, the hides of which were used for the drumhead. Also see our Remo Djembes, Djembe Heads, and Djembe Accessories
How to Play and Care for Djembes
To play the djembe, sit on the edge of a chair. Cross your ankles and tuck them slightly under you. Hold the djembe between your knees or thighs so that the bottom of the drum rests behind your heels. Djembe players will find a wide range of sounds can be produced from this instrument.
There are commercial head conditioners on the market. However the best treatment for a skin head is use. The more a drum is played the better for the head. The natural oils from your skin will help to keep the head in condition. If you find the sound going a little dull you can re-tune the head using the cords.
Never use harsh chemicals to clean you drum or the head. When not playing your drum do not leave it in a car or vehicle. Keep your drum, like all instruments, away from sources of cold or hot air. Since the head and the body of this drum are natural materials, they will be affected by changes in heat and humidity; therefore try to avoid rapid changes in environmental conditions.