The Challenge of Gender: Emergence of Female Drummers Among the Yoruba of Southwestern Nigeria


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships




Existing ethnomusicological studies have shown drumming among the Yorùbá of Southwestern Nigeria as a stereotypically male dominated profession. The changing nuances of gender in Yorùbá dùndún drumming is yet to be fully understood. This study examines women’s involvement in contemporary dùndún drumming. It documents the training, works and contributions of the female dùndún practitioners to the development of music in Nigeria. The study relies on primary data gathered through oral interviews conducted with both female and male dundun practitioners from major Yoruba towns Southwestern Nigeria as well as music recordings and their transcriptions collected through participant observation method. Using the lenses of progressive liberalism and theory of continuity and change, the study queries the continued justification of gender stereotype against the womenfolk.