Symbols and Ritual: The Socio-Religious Role Of The Ìgbìn Drum Family.
De Silva, Tamara
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ABSTRACT Title of Thesis: SYMBOLS AND RITUAL: THE SOCIO-RELIGIOUS ROLE OF THE ÌGBÌN DRUM FAMILY. Tamara De Silva, Master of Arts, 2006 Thesis Directed by: Professor Renée Ater Department of Art History and Archaeology The Ìgbìn drum was used throughout Yorubaland and the socio-religious role of the drum is infused in many segments of Yoruba ritual, civic, and spiritual practice. Without the music of the Ìgbìn drums most funerals, festivals, and incantations at ceremonies would have been incomplete or impossible. My work discusses the meaning of the carved symbols on the drums surface, which connects us to the culture and religion. I also explain particular ceremonies or festivals where the drums have been used, as well as the more general habitual use of the drum by royalty and those in government. I consider the drum in context as a three-dimensional carved artwork, which is also a percussion instrument. I note its place in terms of maintaining heritage and creating a liminal space taking into account Yoruba philosophy. The Ìgbìn is an instrument for retelling history, for exploring phenomena, and understanding the Yoruba religious canon.