African Tree Species - Information to Identify Wood Types in Djembe Drum Building.

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African Tree Species


Information to Identify Wood Types in Djembe Drum Building.


African djembes are carved of many types of woods. Some types are better than others, and species have many different names depending on the country the djembe is from. Some species are very similar in appearance, and are often confused by both buyers and sellers of drums. This information won't make you an expert, but should help identify the wood the djembe you are looking at is made of. The woods in BOLD type are considered having some of the best sound qualities in the world, and are generally preferred!

Thanks to Rick Johnson!

Latin Name Common names include:  Distribution includes: 
Afzelia africana * Lengue', Lenke', Lingue', Linke' (Maninkakan), and Lingue (French) Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
Azadirachta indica Neem Planted and naturalized throughout west Africa.
Bombax costatum Very soft, but used for Dununs, Bumu (Bamanankan), Boumou (Dioula), Bounboun (Mandenkan), matchwood, whitewood, bois blanc Burkina Faso, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, and Senegal.
Cassia Siamea Casha, Rare wood used in urban plantings. Very dark, almost black color. Dense heavy wood. Bamako City , Mali.
Cordia millenii Tweneboa, commonly used in Ghana drums Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, and Liberia.
Cordia platythyrsa Tweneboa Sierra Leone to Cameroun
Cordyla pinnata Dim (French), Dimb (Wolof), * Dougoura (Bamanankan and Maninkakan), Dugura (Bamanankan), and bush mango. Dougi,* Doukie,and duki Burkina Faso Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Gambia, and Senegal.
Gmelina arborea Melina (used in dununs and djembes) Native to southern Asia. Planted from Senegal to Cameroun.
Khaya anthotheca. Acajou blanc, soft wood Sierra Leone to Ghana.
Khaya grandifoliola * Acajou (French), and Broad-leaved mahogany Cote d'Ivoire, and Guinea.
Khaya ivorensis Acajou d' Afrique (French) African Mahogany Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Khaya senegalens * Acajou du Se'ne'gal(French), Diala and * Djala (Maninkakan), and Jala (Bamanankan) Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
Mansonia altissima Mansonia Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Milicia excelsa Iroko, classic in Cote d'Ivoire drums Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Sierra Leone.
Milicia regia Iroko, Sine'(Bamanankan) Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
Prosopis africana Gele (Bamanankan), Bele, Celen Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
Pterocarpus erinaceus Goni and * Gue'ni / Guenou (Bamanankan), Keno and M'gouin (Maninkakan), Kare, Kari, and * Khari(Susu), Khadi, Hare, goueni, gonee, aka guin, and * Balafon wood Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone.
Pterocarpus soyauxii Padauk and Padouk Nigeria and countries to the south.



Relative Hardness Chart for African Drum woods
LIGHT  LIGHT or MEDIUM (depends on specific tree)  MEDIUM  MEDIUM or HEAVY (depends on specific tree)  HEAVY 
Bombax costatum (Bumu, Bounboun)
Cordia millenii (Tweneboa)
Cordia platythyrsa
Gmelina arborea (Melina) 
Khaya ivorensis (Acajou)  Khaya anthotheca (Acajou)
Mansonia altissima (Mansonia)
Milicia excelsa (Iroko)
Milicia regia (Iroko, Sine') 
Azadirachta indica (Neem)
Khaya grandifoliola (Acajou) 
Afzelia africana (Lengue')
Cordyla pinnata (Dimb, Dougoura, Dugura, Doukie)
Khaya senegalensis (Acajou, Diala and Jala)
Prosopis africana (Gele)
Pterocarpus erinaceus (Gue'ni, Keno, Kari, Khadi and balafon wood)
Pterocarpus soyauxii (Padauk) 
Casha (Cassia Siamea)


African Tree Species - Information to Identify Melina wood
Melina
African Tree Species - Information to Identify Iroko wood
Iroko
African Tree Species - Information to Identify Guenou wood
Guenou - Mali
African Tree Species - Information to Identify lenke wood
Lenke
African Tree Species - Information to Identify Djala wood
Djala (Akajou)
African Tree Species - Information to Identify Khare wood
Khari
African Tree Species - Information to Identify Doukie wood
Dougoura (Doukie)
African Tree Species - Information to Identify Casha wood 
Casha
 


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This page was last modified on 02/17/15 11:38:37 AM