Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Bàtá drum set

Catalog Number: D017


Large drum: 72.39 cm tall, 17.78 cm diameter (small side), 30.48 cm diameter (large side) 
Medium: 55.88 cm tall, 13.97 cm diameter (small side), 24.13 cm diameter (large side) 
Small: 24.13 cm tall, 7.62 cm diameter (small side), 13.97 diameter diameter (large side) 
Small: 22.86 cm tall, 7.62 cm diameter (small side), 11.43 cm diameter (large side)


Large drum: 28.5" tall, 7" diameter (small side), 12" diameter (large side) 
Medium: 22" tall, 5.5" diameter (small side), 9.5" diameter (large side) 
Small: 9.5" tall, 3" diameter (small side), 5.5" diameter (large side) 
Small: 9" tall, 3" diameter (small side), 4.5" diameter (large side)


Religion and Denomination: Yoruba indigenous religion (Yoruba)
Country of Origin: Nigeria
Ethnographic Origin: Yoruba
Materials: Wood
Date of Manufacture: 06/1998
Usage: N/A
Detailed Description of Significance:

The users of the drums would attempt to beat upon them as loudly as possible in order to please Ṣàngó, who loves loud noises. Ṣàngó is the god of thunder and lightning, and the sound of the drums may mimic the booming sound of thunder during a lightning storm. The largest drum is known as ìyá ìlù, the “mother of the drums,” and its sound is the speech leading the rest of the drums. The straps are brightly colored but the decoration is merely finfin, which is always pleasing to the òrìşà regardless of its pattern or coloration; thus the pattern depends upon the owner’s personal preference rather than the òrìşà being honored. The black mark at the center is known as ida, which means “cutlass” in Yoruba; the cutlass is an important sign of Ṣàngó.