Drum Café has created a unique museum of traditional African instruments that is based at our main office in Johannesburg, South Africa. This historical display boasts a wide range of traditional African instrument; including an assortment of extremely rare and large African drums, Kudu horns, ancient marimbas, traditional flutes, shakers, bows, Zulu shields and spears. You can also see a huge array of kalimbas, as well as masks and many small percussion instruments.
There is also a detail description and photographic exhibition of the different traditional tribes of Southern Africa including; Bapedi, Vha Venda, AmaNdebeli, BaTsonga, AmaSwazi, Khoi-Khoi or San, AmaXhosa, AmaZulu and the BaSotho.
Furthermore the museum also features a comprehensive African music library including the book, “Drum Cafe Traditional Music of South Africa” by Laurie Levine. These quotes from her book embody the spirit of the museum and its collection.
“In South Africa there is an idea shared by many cultures; a way of thinking that approaches the essence of the African character. In isiXhosa, people express the idea with the saying “ Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.” In Sesotho, the same idea is evoked when someone says “ Motho ke motho ka batho ka bang. “ Such proverbs embody the belief that the individual identity is a function of collective relationship. It is only through sharing a common humanity that a person becomes fully human.”
“Music, by its very nature, nurtures the idea of ngumuntu. The young are taught music so that they can become valued members of their communities. Children are exposed to musical activities from the moment they enter the world. As they learn language they learn to walk they learn to dance. Singing, playing instruments and feeling rhythm come as natural as the ability to speak or walk. From everyday activities to sacred ceremonies, from morning to night, through winter and summer, music forms the pivotal core around a community is structured.”