Imazighen (= Berber), [Former French Morocco], Morocco, North Africa
Materials: clay, glaze, adhesive, animal skin
Small, goblet shaped drums of this basic type are found around the Mediterranean eastward through Islamic and Islamic-influenced lands as far as South Asia. The general type is known widely under the name doumbek but this small, Moroccan version of the goblet drum is a tarija. It is central to the traditional music of the indigenous peoples of North Africa, the Berbers. Berber peoples increasingly refer to themselves as Imazighen, meaning ‘free people’ in their own languages.
Hear a tarija played by itself here. Read a BBC story here about Berber music today that includes discussion of the tarija. Find a scholarly account of Moroccan women’s musical performance, including use of the tarija, here.
Collection records indicate that the head of this SNOMNH example is of goatskin, but this has not been studied or confirmed independently.
Do you make or play such drums? Do you know of good sources of information on such drums? Let us know what you know. Provide a comment to this weblog or via email to dcswan (at) ou (dot) edu. [Jason Baird Jackson]