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Jul 28, 2009

The art of making the primero and segundo drums

Story PictureDrumming is a major part of the Garifuna culture. But it is not limited to that culture alone, since we all indulge in Garifuna music ever so often. While it’s all just a good time for those on the dance floor, the actual making of the drum is a complex process as we found out from drum maker, Austin Rodriguez, in Dangriga.

Austin Rodriguez, Drum Maker
“Once I get the logs, I do it just like it is there; I used the chainsaw to get it to the measurement that they want it. First the chainsaw, then we use machete to somewhat smooth it then we use the planer. Then we use sand paper. After sanding, we use the sealer to seal the grain of the wood. That’s what my daughter was doing, then varnish, then to plug out the center with chainsaw. Then after that I get the vine to put around the drum both in and out. The inner rim is for the skin to cover and then the top rim is to press it down whenever it’s on. when you go to cover it, you put the top frame over the skin and string it. After stringing it then you pull it in. That’s the most serious thing, when you have to pull it in to get the sound that you want out of it.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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