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Wulas To Create Drum Circle at Art on the Lawn

Nancy Trottier

By Nancy Trottier

The regional drumming group "Wulas" will be performing and creating an interactive Drum Circle this coming Saturday, September 8, at Art on the Lawn in Deep River. The name “Wula” comes from the djembe drums the group plays. “Wula” is derived from a Susu word and translates as “the bush”, or a place far away from civilization. The name was adopted by the drum company as it signifies where they are carved.

Drumming in African tribal culture had intention and objective other than music. Large Dunun drums carried messages from village to village while djembe drumming signified a rite of passage or a marriage or honoured a dignitary. Drumming also provided encouragement and a beat for people working in the fields. Typically, the entire village participated in drumming ceremonies interactively in a circle through dance, clapping, or playing bells. Jean Brereton has been bringing West African drumming to the Ottawa Valley for over a decade and is the teacher and leader of the Wulas. Her energy and enthusiasm for drumming is an inspiration to anyone given the chance to see her drum.

For Art on the Lawn, the Wulas will be performing several traditional West African rhythms and songs. This performance will be followed by an informal interactive drum circle. Participants are encouraged to bring a drum and/or favourite percussion instrument although some will be provided. The Wulas will be on hand Saturday after 1:00 p.m. outside on the grounds of Art on the Lawn, at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, 80 Glendale Avenue, Deep River, ON.

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