African Musical Instruments

African musical instruments are a great idea for gift-giving especially since there are more options to choose from when looking for cool wedding gifts. If you’re stuck for unique African wedding gift ideas, and you like the idea of giving unusual wedding gifts to the special couple, find out more about your “musical” options.

With their vibrant sounds and charming appearance, African musical instruments make unique wedding gifts that joyfully contribute to the festivities of the occasion. Instruments hand-crafted in Africa are usually beaded, painted, decorated with carvings or wrapped in animal hides. Different African cultures each contribute their own individual symbols on each instrument, often applying religious or spiritual significance to them.

Some Types of African Musical Instruments

Djembe Drum

A djembe is a wood shell drum that is usually covered with an animal skin and played with either sticks or by hand. Shaped like a goblet and possessing a very diverse tonal range, the djembe was originally created out of materials from the Lenge tree, a wood utilized for hundreds of years by people of the Malinke tribe. Currently, the person creating the djembes uses whatever wood is most available to construct the drums.

Some African cultures assemble their drums sets into families of drums, with a mother, father, daughter and son representing differently-sized drums. Other cultures “talk” with drums by employing a variety of tension and pressure on the skins to create sounds similar to speech tones. In fact, most African languages are tonal languages because the pitch of tones indicates meanings and connotations of verbal concepts.

Interesting Side Note: in some African languages, exactly identical words can have drastically different meanings based on tones and inflections… A well-meaning greeting or salutation could very easily become an insult or an inappropriate statement if said the wrong way!

Remo Festival Djembe Drum

‘Ceremonial Celebrations’ Djembe Drum

‘Ceremonial Celebrations’ Djembe Drum


The kalimba, or thumb piano, is most commonly seen in Sub-Saharan Africa and is made of a piece of wood which has metal tines of different lengths attached to it. Shorter tines create high-pitched tones and longer tines create lower-pitched sounds. Kalimbas are played by plucking tines with the thumbs and sometimes the fingers as well.

These are particularly nice because if they can’t be played they actually make nice display pieces on a mantle or a bookshelf.

Tsekere & Agbe

Pronounced “shekere, this is primarily a West African instrument. They are crafted from dried vine gourds and covered with bead-studded nets. Other African countries make related instruments as well. They tend to be used to create fast and upbeat sounds and are usually an accompaniment instrument.

Another of the African musical instruments similar to the tsekere is the agbe. It is also suitable as a wedding gifts. It is a drum made from gourds and cowrie shells.

One last instrument also in the gourd family is the axatse. It is strung around the neck and played by holding it between the leg and hand. It is just as impressive as the tsekere but it might not make quite as nice of a mantle display piece.


Koras are stringed instruments made from the calabash gourd and resemble a rudimentary guitar. After the gourd is cut in half, it is wrapped in animal skin, fitted with a neck and strung with a fishing line. Koras sound like a cross between an acoustic guitar and a harp.

Musical Instruments From Africa On eBay

The instruments below are on sale on eBay. In case you aren’t familiar with how eBay works, if an item is on auction it will only be on sale for only 7 days sometimes 3 or 10 days as well, so you might have to act quickly if you’d like to buy it. If however, it has a Buy It Now a.k.a BIN price, then it could be on sale for up to 30 days… so you’ll have a bit more time to mull it over.

[eBay code was here]

More African Musical Instruments

By clicking on a picture or link below, you will be re-directed to the site of one of my affiliate partners where you can to learn more about (and/or purchase) one of these instruments as a cool wedding gift.

Because most of these instruments are handmade and therefore one-of-a-kind, not only are you almost guaranteed that yours will be a truly unique gift, but the downside is that supplies don’t last too long either.

As cool wedding presents, African musical instruments provide a different way to congratulate the happy couple, which gives them a special way with which to remember their wedding.

Return from African musical instruments to Best African wedding gifts

Return from to African Wedding Home Page

Leave a comment