Drum

Description
This large drum was brought into battle when Dahomey (now Republic of Benin) tried for a second time to overpower Abeokuta in 1864. They were defeated. British soldiers were involved in the battle and one of them took this drum and wrote across it, ‘DAHOMEAN WAR DRUM. Taken in the fight before ABBEOKUTA, W AFRICA when the town was besieged by the Amazonian Army of the King of Dahome. 1864.’

The siege was over in a day, on 15th March 1864. This drum was acquired by the Reverend Henry Townsend at the time of the siege.

Townsend worked for the Church Missionary Society and travelled with Africans who had escaped from slavery to provide protection. Read more about Townsend: https://rammuseum.org.uk/collections/collectors/henry-townsend/
Accession Loan No.
E1391
Collection Class
Musical instruments
Common Name
drum
Simple Name
drum
Full Name
war drum
Dimensions
whole length 1027 mm; whole width 295 mm
Cultural Group
Fon
Production Year High
1864
Production Country
Benin
Production Area Region
West Africa
Production Continent
Africa
Family Group

Material
wood; hide
Function Name
musical instrument
Collection Area Region
W
Collection Continent
Africa
Inscription / Transcription
DAHOMEAN WAR DRUM. Taken in the Fight before Abbeokuta, W. Africa When the town was besieged by the Amazonian Army of the King of Dahome.

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