Makonde Ebony Wood Drummer


Makonde Ebony Wood Drummer –

This vintage ebony carving depicts Morris Nyunyusa (d.1999), a blind Tanzanian master drummer renowned for playing twelve drums simultaneously.

Dimensions (H) 30cm (W) 77cm (D) 15cm

Dimensions (H) cm (W) cm (D) cm


Only 1 left in stock


Makonde Ebony Wood Drummer

For many years those tuning in to listen to the news on Tanzania Broadcast Corporation heard music coming from the drums of Morris Nyunyusa or Mzee Morris as he was known by many. Shortly before the news was broadcasted, sounds of drums would be followed by a beeping sound exactly six seconds before the hour, six beeps each second leading up to the hour when news of the day was broadcasted. The drum beats and the beeps became a daily ritual for the hundreds of thousands of people who would tune in each day to listen to the news. The legendary drummer behind the music was none other than Morris Nyunyusa, one of the most celebrated drummers ever to come out of East Africa.

Playing seven drums could be challenging for many people with good vision. Mzee Morris was blind and he could play up to seventeen drums by the time of his death. Like many artists in Tanzania, Mzee Morris remains a distant memory for the many women and men who came of age in the 1980s. For the new generations, the name Mzee Morris is unrecognizable, lost to the winds of time. The memory of this legendary musician, a national hero, appears to be fading away each passing day. Yet to sum up the life of this accomplished musician to the fading winds of time, abject poverty he experienced at the end of his life, or his blindness, would be to miss an important point: he was able to rise above challenges thrown his way, make significant contributions to the nation, and ultimately, guarantee his place in history.

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brown mixed