AfroTon Ashiko - AA 201
The ashiko is a drum, shaped like a tapered cylinder (or truncated cone) with the head on the wide end, and the narrow end open. It is made of hardwood and generally has a goatskin hide. It is played with the hands, and tuned by ropes. Ashiko drums – or variants thereof – are traditionally found in West Africa, as well as part of the Americas.
The origins of the ashiko drum are traced to the Yoruba culture in (mainly) present-day Nigeria and Benin, West Africa. The word “ashiko” is also traced to a word in the Yoruba language meaning either “drum”, "time-frame" or “freedom”. The drum has a long tradition in Yoruba culture, where the drum functioned in community celebrations, as well as a “talking drum”. Traditional ashikos are hand carved from a single lug of wood and were not straight cones.