The photograph depicts two girls dancing accompanied by drummer playing "Iya Ilu, the 'mother' drum. The drummer's left hand tightens the strings thus giving the tones and glides of Yoruba speech. Hence, 'the talking drum'." [H. H. Layoe I, 1954: Yoruba Drums, Nigeria Magazine, D. W. MacRow]. John Adetoyese Laoye I, Timi of Ede, comes from a family of drummers and was taught the art by his maternal uncle. He has made every effort to keep the tradition alive. During his trip to Nigeria, Elisofon visited Ede, one of oldest towns of Yoruba people; founded by Timi Agbale to establish a settlement to protect the Oyo caravan route to Benin. This photograph was taken when Eliot Elisofon was on assignment for Westinghouse Film and traveled to Africa from October 26, 1970 to end of March 1971.
Title source: Index card based on photographer's notes.
Typed index card reads, "F 2 Yrb. Yoruba. Nigeria, Ede. Drummer and young girls performing for the Timi of Ede. 1/31/1971. EE. neg.no. VII-34, 20A." The card was written in 1977-79 by Archives staff using source provided by photographer.
Use of original records requires an appointment. Contact Archives staff for more details.
Permission to reproduce images from the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives must be obtained in advance. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.