Burundi: Gishora Drumming Ritual Performance

Nothing prepares you for how spectacular and awesome the Gishora Drumming Ritual is! Nearly a hundred drummers come out with a massive drumming and dancing show that lasts for over an hour. Drumming in Burundi is a national pride and symbol of the country, an ancient practice that mixes combat dance, religious rituals, and singing all into one spectacular show. Historically, drumming rituals were part of the enthronement of kings, agricultural festivals, and royal funerals. The drums themselves have long been associated with royalty and specifically the monarchy. The drums are made from sacred, rare trees, like umuvugangoma (Cordia africana), umurama (Bridelia atroviridis), and umusave (Markhamia lutea). It’s believed that when the drums are played, they invite the ancestors into the ritual and banish evil spirits. The drums come on various sizes and provide the core for the music and rhythm, while the dancers perform incredible jumps and flips right in front of the audience. And at the end – you can join the dance and party and pose with the drummers and their massive drums!