Ogun State Unveils Isokan Drums, The World's Tallest Traditional Drum

The Ogun State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, on Tuesday, 19th April, 2016, made history as the Executive Governor of the State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, formally unveiled the Isokan Drums (Unity Drums), the world's tallest traditional drums.

The unveiling of the drums at the Cultural Centre Complex, Kuto-Abeokuta was part of activities marking the opening ceremony of the 1st Nigerian Drums Festival (NDF), where the governor played host to a crowd of culture enthusiasts, including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), and an array of traditional rulers in Ogun State, who were treated to different scintillating drum performances from around Nigeria.

The family is the most important unit of the community and the society as a whole. The peace and unity of the family enhances the growth, progress and development of the society.

Historically and traditionally, man was created to be the provider and head of the family, the woman's role was to be his help-meet and manager of the home, while the children are the fruits and reward of their union.

According to the designers, the Isokan Drum is very symbolic of this aspect of our history and its unveiling at the Nigerian Drum Festival is a tribute to this heritage. It is a representation of the nuclear family that expands to become the extended family. The concord, affection, peace and love that exist in the family is shared and extended to members of the community. The tallest drum stands at 16ft tall.

The number, ‘16’, is a significant number to the Yoruba race. 'Ifa', a popular traditional religion in the Yoruba land typifies 16 'Odu' (corpus). Also, in the Ijebu part of Ogun State, the notable deity, Agemo is typified by the number '16' (Alagemo Merindinlogun); hence, the World's tallest traditional drum is significantly measured at 16ft.


The Isokan Drum is made of hardwood and sealed at the top end with deer's skin. Constructed around its long and solid body/frame are carved relics of various cultural and historical representations and interpretations.

The performance on Isokan Drum represents three slit-dancers in a ceremonial and celebratory dance and the folklorist who chants the cognomen of the monumental drums.

Conceptualized by Femi Art Warehouse, Isokan Drum is a tribute to the true history of the African continent, the irrepressible spirit of Africa and to the immense contributions of the people of African ancestry to global trends, innovations and civilization.

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