KuKu Djembe Rhythm

Djembe drums are some of the most culturally significant and versatile hand drums available today. Whether as a hobby, or for professional playing, the Djembe creates a sound that reflects the artist’s individual style as well as the entire culture of modern and original Djembe players. Considered a feminine essence, the Djembe has a special place in the ceremonies and celebrations of West African cultures that blends beautifully within modern, world music, as well as a basis for drum circle events and even “call and response” performances.

In the spirit of the female within tribes in Guinea and the Ivory Coast, the KuKu rhythm was performed to celebrate the return of the women from fishing expeditions. From this joyful dance, the KuKu became a part of many different celebrations within the tribes, including full moon celebrations, retaining its roots in feminine reverence, abundance and joy. The rhythm itself was played on three different Djembes, each with its own unique beat that blended with the overall sound. No other drums were originally used to play the KuKu rhythm within tribal ceremonies and celebrations, letting the female aspect of Djembes and drumming take the lead in this ultimate celebration of women, rhythm and dance.

Today, the KuKu rhythm has evolved into a multi-faceted song that incorporates Djembes, Shekere, Ashinko drums and even bells. The accompanying dance is driven by the drummers who encourage the dancers through tempo variances, much like a “call and response” song. In turn, the dancers challenge the drummers to provide a beat that compliments the complex movements used to express the KuKu through dance. In a never-ending cycle of drums, percussion and dance, the KuKu rhythm embodies the joy and celebration of life through African tribal customs.



The KuKu rhythm is a unique rhythm that continues to enchant its listeners and players today. From tribal celebrations in Africa, Latin America and the U.S. to its appearance in the National Ballet Company, the KuKu rhythm brings a strong reminder of its cultural beginnings, as well as an upbeat, driving rhythm that fits beautifully within modern compositions and drumming events, alike.