An Antelope Slit Drum Finds Shelter in Our Museum



The antelope is a musical instrument
An Antelope Slit Drum Finds Shelter in Our Museum
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Stagiaire Communication

This slit drum is part of the exhibition at the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA), in Tervuren. As the latter is currently closed for renovation, this precious object has found a temporary home in our Museum. It is on display in the room between “250 Years of Natural Sciences” and “BiodiverCITY”.

The musical instrument is shaped like a stylized antelope. It serves as a means of communication, transmitting messages between the villages of a community. The drum was carved out from a tree trunk as a single piece. Its two walls differ in thickness, producing two different sounds that the drummer uses to translate words or entire sentences into drumbeats.

The slit drum arrived in Tervuren for the 1897 International Exhibition. More than a hundred years later, its powerful and well-balanced timbre continues to prove the drum maker’s skill.



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