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Weird Percussion

posted May 11, 2014, 8:11 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated May 28, 2014, 9:34 AM ]
If this year's Vacation Bible School is called Weird Animals, what goes better with that than “weird percussion”? And remember, by “weird” we mean “unique”, “wonderful”, and “one-of-a-kind”! The infinite variety of percussion is overwhelming, and it’s used throughout the world to accompany prayer…

A mbira is an African thumb piano. In Zimbabwe, if someone is emotionally sick, or their soul is tormented, a mbira song can summon the aid of ancestral spirits. In the West African country of Mali, the balafon, a gourd xylophone, is used in all religious ceremonies. The cajón, evolved from discarded shipping crates by Afro-Peruvian slaves, is a wooden box played by slapping it with your hands and fingers while sitting on it. A caxixi is a Brazilian rattle consisting of a closed basket with a flat bottom cut from a dried gourd, filled with seeds. Coolness and purity describe the transcendent sound of a “singing bowl” or Temple Bowl, used in Asia to accompany hymns and chants. The Australian Bullroarer is a flat piece of wood or bone swung overheard, causing a deep whir. Considered a sacred object, it’s used as a kind of “spirit broom” to ritually cleanse a village, or played over the deceased at a funeral ceremony.

All of these and more can be found on my Amazon Wish List called Weird Percussion. On Mother’s Day we pause and give thanks for all those who have nurtured us. Please consider nurturing the children who will attend Vacation Bible School this summer by purchasing one of these for us, so they can experience a new and unique quality to their songs and prayers. Or if you can, volunteer to help us by coming and participating. Or even better, nurture us with your prayers!