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The Music of the Mande, Ewe, and Yoruba Tribes

            Musical cultures in the Sub Saharan African region consists of so much more than just music. Music encompasses life itself to members of these tribes. Dealing with entertainment, religion, birth, manhood, etc, music serves as a central piece to learning how each tribe can be so similar but so different. The tribes of the Mande, Ewe, and Yoruba share many similarities that involve the traditional, historical aspects of African music, but they have each specialized to become unique in there own ways.
             Starting off lets discuss the instruments played in each of the tribes. The Ewe and the Yoruba tribes are primarily drum-based cultures, relying on that style of music to perform the unique tasks of each tribe. The Mande on the other hand, focuses more on stringed instruments to express emotions. The most important of the string instruments in the Mande tribe include the Kora, which is like the harp, the Kontingo, a plucked lute, and the Balo, which is in the xylophone family. .
             The Yoruba and the Ewe, being both drum centralized have taken the drum and used it in different ways. The Yoruba use main drums and back up drums to express there music. The main drum is the dundun, or better known as the talking drum, which is the prominent drum heard. With the Yaruba incorporating multiple drums in their performance, the Ewe encompasses other aspects to coincide with the drums. The Ewe use what is called "dance drumming", which means they rely on the use of drums, singing, and dancing to compliment each other in order to produce their unique sound. .
             The way each culture of the Mande, Ewe, and Yoruba are structured varies dramatically as well. The Mande, being one of the most important ethno-linguistic groups in sub Saharan Africa, use a social hierarchy status with occupational specialization. The Ewe tribe focuses on political districts run by "chiefs". And the Yoruba tribes are separated into separate towns and villages, which are all under one head ruler called the "Oba".

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