African drums. Moms, dad, kids, teens stood or sat in a huge circle. Drums were passed out and we were asked to “follow-the-leader” with a very tall African man dressed in his traditional clothes and cap. He would “beat” his drum and we would follow. Once we caught on, the rhythm became more difficult.
The drums have a wonderful vibration inside…you put the palm of your hand down flat on the drum to make the correct sound, it tickles your fingers! As we got better with our drum rhythms the men would beat and sing while we accompanied them. This was so much fun, but we had to leave as there was another project we were excited to do and that was
Making our own drum!! Over a hundred kids and adults were spread out on tables, spilling into the art exhibit area; cups of white glue, feathers, wire, ribbons, glitter, paper, fabric—an artist’s squirrel’s nest of wonderful things to create with. It was bonanza time! Emma and Grammy had to look hard for a place to stand to create a drum. Finally a helper at the museum squeezed us into a tiny spot at a table, handed us some cardboard “bowls” to tape together to form the drum and a cup of glue…then said, help yourselves to whatever you would like. And we did…
We spent a lot of time working on Emma’s drum…if we blinked, someone would help themselves to our little cache of products!! Finally we ended up with a very beautiful drum…..
Well that wasn’t the end. Taking our rather wet drum with us, we went to the auditorium upstairs to see…..
African DANCERS doing traditional dance with a modern twist…like metal barrels for seats and drums and yellow plastic helmets. We met Ashley and Daniel and Grandpa, so happy they had seats for us.
Energetic, hip-hopping, fast, thigh slapping, totally full of fun, these dancers just made us smile! In fact they danced so fast we got tired!
It ended with anyone in the audience who wanted to dance was invited up on the stage. It was so funny watching the ‘novices’ try to keep up with the ‘professionals.’ If we didn’t live on the east coast we perhaps would never have learned about the importance of Kawanza Celebrations. Maybe next time we will play the drums, make a drum and DANCE on stage! Want to join us
Outside were junky-funky sculptures built from discarded machinery, mannequins, chairs, etc. Inside was exactly the same, wild, vivid colors…like an explosion of catsup and mustard all at once! The walls and ceilings were a collage of glued on game pieces, plastic animals , mannequins, toys, ivy vines….a little of this and a little of that.