Adenkum

An Adenkum group of Anomabu perform vocally and with drums
Adenkum group of Anomabu

Adenkum is a type of recreational band and associated dance style found among several Akan peoples, not just the Fante. Singers are predominantly if not entirely females–the only males in such a group typically are a pair of dondo (hourglass pressure drum) players. Adenkum music uses the same timeline rhythm that we heard in the

Two Dondo Players of the Anomabu Adenkum Group perform while seated with drums
The two dondo players of the Anomabu adenkum group

odenkese group’s performance, played on afirikyiwa, abaa and, in a slightly varied form, several adenkum (rattles). The dondo players interlock their parts to produce a steady and rapid stream of articulations that are subtly inflected by their squeezing of the lacing on the drums. Unlike so many

Performers show the long-neck external seed gourd rattles called the Adenkum while seated
The long-neck external seed gourd rattles called adenkum

other forms of Fante and Akan music, there are no further drums used in adenkum to contribute to a more complex polyrhythmic texture. Songs are delivered in this style in the call-response format with a few women serving as cantors and the rest as the chorus, who generally sing in unison but occasionally in two-part harmony. Song texts can deal with moral issues or historical or current events, or can be boastful in nature.

The one adenkum band of Anomabu performs at funerals and for large community celebrations. It had been active for about thirty years at the time of the arranged recordings heard here (November 1992).

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