Widekum Slit Drum

traditional musical instrument used during ceremonies at the Widekum chiefdom,
Tribe: Widekum / Vidikoum

Origin: Cameroon

Approx Age: 1960

Materials: Wood

Dimensions cm: 59 x 19 x 26

Ref. Number: knpc aag


A lovely and well used Widekum slit drum, the slit drum is a traditional musical instrument used during ceremonies at the Widekum chiefdom,  there are heads at either end of the drum and the rotund drum body sat on four legs. Very good condition for its age.

Provenance: Acquired from Widekum Chiefdom in the 1980s

Additional images


The Widekum primarily inhabit the North-West Province of Cameroon. Others live in eastern Nigeria. They speak a Niger-Congo language and are closely related to the Bamiléké people. Over 200,000 people consider themselves Widekum.

The Widekum are well known for dancing with skin covered masks known as “Agwe Chaka” and is associated with”Nchibe”. The masquerader is dressed in secret by a few select persons and before it appears in public a libation of palm wine is poured and blown over him by the mouth of the officiating priest. The masquerader wears a large, loose embroidered gown and carries a special machete in his hand. A raffia bag stuffed with cloth under the gown gives a hunch back appearance.

Reference: Dr Keith Nicklin, from the article, “skin-covered masks of Cameroon”

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