Mbunda Drum

Some Mbunda people today still retain beliefs and practices from African traditional religions, believing in Njambi as a supreme creator of the world who created everything of existence on earth.

Chokwe Drum

Tribe: Mbunda

Origin: Zambia / Angola

Approx Age: early-mid 20th century

Materials: wood, animal skin

Dimensions cm: 103 tall x 34 widest point

Ref. Number: 1610



A lovely Mbunda drum in great condition for its age, usual light scuffs as played lying down. There are incised circles decorating the top and bottom of the drum also on the protruding lugs to which a string to attach to, possibly to carry? The skin at the head of the drum is well used but again in good order and showing a great patina.

Provenance: Ex-German private collection

Additional images


The Mbunda have maintained most of their old traditions such as respect for their ancestors, “coming of age” rituals for both boys known as Mukanda

At the beginning of the planting season or when a hunter failed to kill animals, the people of a village gathered at fetish poles (vimbundi) marked or coloured with red and white clay placed in the appropriate place, often outside the house just near the door directly against the bed where the heads point when people are asleep, to worship and pray to their ancestors before the field activities start. This is also done when making offerings to their ancestors, during illnesses or deaths where evil spirits were suspected, when bad dreams have been experienced and when summoning rains during a drought. Offerings are made in the form of sacrifices such as killing an animal, a chicken, goat, cow, pig or sheep or any living thing with the exception of a human being. The blood of the animal was rubbed against the fetish poles (vimbundi) as respect, praise and honour to God and the spirits.

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