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The African drum of Tunde Komolafe: The drum as a textual object - Essay Example

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As Tunde Komolafe brought his drum into his new home in Hungary, combining his former heritage into his new heritage, he began a discourse that would lead to a global fusion of his culture and that of the Western world…
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The African drum of Tunde Komolafe: The drum as a textual object
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Download file to see previous pages The drum took on different meanings as it travelled from place to place, his experiences on the streets of Hungary, at a wedding of London and in a park space all creating different responses that, although similar, created new a meaningful experiences. As Tunde Komolafe used his drum to express his culture, the object became a text from which fusion of cultures could be accomplished, a globalised discussion about how human beings can be very different, but still all the same in the way in which they experience celebration and joy.
The Object in its Space
The nature of an object is given meaning by the way in which it is used to communicate meanings that are relative to the culture in which they are used. Spatiality is the occupancy of a property to a space. This property will in turn have influential impacts on the beings and characters of the given space; be it living or non-living. From this we can ascertain that an item such as the African drum can have an impact on the way in which cultural observations and meanings are developed. Drums do not have the same meanings across cultures, but have universality in the way in which they are used to communicate within entertainment functions and in social functions such as worship or war. This aspect of the drum means that someone like Tunde Komolafe can use the drum to build bridges between cultures by using the Nigerian drum to entertain and to inform others about his culture. The African drum has become embedded in various cultural institutions as it has a connection that relates to the social practices that have developed in relationship to the meanings of the object. In Gibson’s (1977, p. 57) “Theory of Affordances”, he contends that the existence of an object is dependent upon the ability of the culture to be environmentally independent of their objects. In Africa the affordances are relational to the impact of the drums because of their dependence on the meanings that have been cultivated in form and in function. Drums are made of materials that are available and meaning is ascribed through traditions that are wrought from experience that has been converted into traditional meaning. Although Gibson has tried to emphasize perceptual capabilities of objects and in this case the drums, criticism has arisen with consideration to the affordances as are they are perceived properties which exist or do not exist. In observing social relations of African drums, they are often embedded to adapt to social practices of community members and in turn produce positions, relations and relevant effects. Positions from African special drums like the djemba are used on the basis of culture through hierarchical meaning. Some of the positions produced in Africa are sorcerers, prophets and rainmakers. These are the people positioned to conduct relevant practices in respect to special drums. Others include the sacrifice presenters and elders. Meaning, purpose and position then ascribed to the members of the community who pay tribute to the drum culture. Another person undertaking any positional roles apart from the mentioned faculty is severely punished according to the custom laws guarding the special drums. African special drums are interconnected to each other since they all represent similar roles them being ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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