If you are a careful observer of our blog, you'll notice that for several years now, in the upper left hand corner of our blog header picture, is an image of an African man in a toga. It's actually one of the famous Burundian drummers. Seriously, this is one of the main things Burundi is known for. I've been able to watch snatches of a few performances and it is quite impressive. Over a dozen men with large drums, singing, dancing, jumping, drumming. A group of female dancers usually joins them at some point in the performance for cultural dancing as well.
Well, we have our own little group of lesser known but still impressive drummers here at Kibuye, the "Kibuye Primary School" drumming troupe. Every weekday afternoon in December we heard them practicing for an upcoming competition. Far from being wearing, it was actually quite fun to hear the drumbeat wafting across the hills. I missed it when January started, and was excited when they started up again this month. The practice sessions are usually composed of 10-15 kids between the ages (I would guess) of 8 and 13 drumming big kettle drums stretched with animal hides, clicking sticks, beating drums, shouting songs. The kids like to go out to the field by the hospital and watch them practice. Here's just a taste that I captured on my camera phone this week:
For the "official" Burundian drummers, you can watch someone else's You Tube video below.