Okurase, village of drums
Okurase, village of drums

People and Places: Okurase, village of drums

Okurase, a village in the Suhum Municipal District of the Eastern Region, is known for its rich traditional craftsmanship in the making of drums.


Drum making at Okurase dates back centuries and is a long-standing tradition.

Though the exact age of drum making at Okurase is unclear, it is believed to have originated over 400 years ago, during the time of the Ashanti Empire.

The town, though a farming community, has been renowned for its skilled drum makers, who have passed on their expertise from generation to generation. 

A walk through the town reveals several craft shops and many of the young men skillfully carving the drums out of pieces of logs or finishing the final product for the market.

They produce a variety of traditional drums such as the djembe, a rope-tuned goblet drum; fontomfrom, a set of four drums played in unison, originating from the Asante people, atumpan, a type of Asante talking drums played in pairs; Kpanlogo and gumbe drums, types of drums played in the Ga communities and the dondo, characterised by its hourglass shape.

These drums are made from wood, animal skin and other natural materials, and are crafted with great skill and attention to detail.

Drums produced at Okurase are highly valued for their quality and unique sound.

They are used in various cultural events and ceremonies.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has recognised the drummaking tradition at Okurase as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

Steps are, therefore, being made to preserve and promote this important cultural heritage in the town.

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