This is a short summary of one of the articles from Webzine SILKROADIA VOL.3 NO.2. For more specialized information, please download our Webzine, and read "Adufe, the Portuguese Frame Drum" written by Rui Silva, a musician and a Collaborating Researcher at the Mundos e Fundos project CECH, University of Coimbra, Portugal.
The adufe (from the Arab al-duff ) is a traditional Portuguese percussion instrument. It has abi-membrano phone frame drum (sheep or goat skins are used), is most often square shaped 2 (or, more rarely, triangular), and is ornamented with colored ribbons in the corners and with free jin-gles inside.
The adufe is played by hand by groups of women (Adufeiras) that dance, sing, and drum in unison; it is mainly associated with several Catholic festivities in Portugal (Marian feasts, Holy Cross, St. John’s, St. Peter’s, etc.). In such places as Idanhaa-Nova or Paúl (Covilhã), the instrument is played daily, which has preserved a living and vibrant tradition. There, we can see older women sharing songs and drumming with younger ones along with a few men who are “allowed” to take part in this feminine tradition. Also, several local artisans like José Relvas, Armando Vinagre, Fátima Silva, Francisco Camelo, Maria José Caroço, and Maria do Almortão are keeping alive the traditional instrument-making craftwork.
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