The udu is a vessel drum originally from the Igbo people of Nigeria. Traditionally it was a water jug with another hole in the side, played by women for ceremonial music. The udu has become a very popular instrument in the West, and can be heard at least once a week on a television or movie soundtrack, if you know what to listen for. Traditional udus are very hard to come by, but there are scores of contemporary makers in North America alone. Pictured is a traditional udu made from a porous clay. Although many udus are made from stoneware, more porous clay seems to give a better sound, but is unfortunately quite fragile. Modern innovations of the udu are common and contemporary instruments have a much wider range of tones to traditional instruments.
|© R. Raine-Reusch, May 2002|