Friday, August 14, 2015

Hennaed Drums, Part Two: North Africa

In our last blogpost, we explored the possible evidence for hennaed drumheads in medieval Spain. In the end, while there are many images of decorated drums, the lack of any textual or material evidence makes it difficult to say whether these decorations were in fact done with henna or not.

As we move towards the modern period, however, we come across another chapter in the history of hennaed drums which is much clearer: North Africa.

Musician with hennaed drum (tbal), Algeria,
1880s. Photograph by William Tupper.