Ringed Calabash Player
14 x 18”, Digital Print on archival paper
Signed & Numbered Limited Edition of 40
©2015 Djibril N’Doye
For so many years, the calabash is used as a dish for serving food, to store food, and to winnow grain, but they are also used as a musical instrument. Calabash music is very well known in West Africa, particularly in traditional music. The calabash plant grows like a pumpkin but calabash is harvested dry on the vine. Cutting it in half makes for two small dishes. When the ‘dish’ is turned upside down and played rhythmically, it has a very distinct echo. The metal rings worn on the player’s fingers give a rattling acoustic sound. In a band, the calabash is used as a drum set. Sometimes it is played while floating inside a bucket half full of water, and the water amplifies the bass tone. Most musical instruments are made just for music but the calabash is used as a dish in every house so, because of its availability, the players may borrow it from the family housewares as a drum set.