If you have a passion for music and culture, try making your own Garifuna drum on this 2-day workshop in Belize. You’ll be led through the entire process from choosing and chiseling your log, to collecting vines, and then selecting and curing the skin.
What to Expect
The Garifuna people have been making traditional solid wood drums for hundreds of years, and now are sharing their skills with visitors. Learn this art form and create your own drum during this 2-day workshop.
Start out by choosing a log that will become either a primero drum or a larger segunda drum. You’ll be shown how to mark out the size of your drum and chisel out the inside using hand-made metal chisels, and then plane and sand the drum shell until it’s smooth.
Once you have finished sanding and shaping the shell, you’ll apply 2-3 coats of varnish.
Then it’s time to prepare the materials for the skin. You’ll select a cured deerskin that is large enough for your drum, and soak the skin in a bucket for several hours, or overnight. While the skin is soaking, you’ll head into the jungle to collect the traditional vines and branches used to make the pins that tighten the ropes on the drum, and the rings to attach the skin.
On the next day, you’ll prepare the vine rings, and cut and wrap the prepared deerskin around them, ready to place over the drum. The skin will be left to dry in the hot sun for a whole day, and the ropes adjusted.
The workshop will take 2 full days of your time, and an additional 3-5 days afterwards are required for the skin to dry. Enjoy a traditional Garifuna lunch during both days of the program.
- Lunch on both days
- Gloves and safety helmet
What's Not Included
- Suitable workshop clothing
Know Before You Go
This is a hands-on workshop. Although you can get some help at certain stages, you should be prepared to work hard and be hands-on!