• Yoshika Lowe

Make a Garifuna Drum

Drums are an important part of the Garifuna culture, not only for Christmas, but for any celebration in Belize. There are two main types of drums: the Primero and the Segundo. Primero drums produce a higher pitched sound due to their smaller diameter. The Segundo drums have a wider diameter and produce a deeper, bass sound. Segundo drummers provide the underlying constant bass rhythm, while Primero drummers are responsible for a faster beat.

Drums Belize Hub [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Drums of Our Fathers Monument in Dangriga, Belize: Honors the past, present, and future of the Garifuna People

Garifuna drums are made from solid hardwoods such as Cedar, Mahogany and Mayflower. The trunks of these trees are hollowed out, chiseled into a cylindrical shape, then sanded smooth. A deer, sheep, or goat skin is stretched across the opening. Cow skin is used to cover the larger Segundo drums. It is a time honored craft to make these drums by hand. The following video shows an expert at work.

Traditional Garifuna Rasta Drum making in Punta Gorda Belize

Why not make a drum to celebrate the holidays like the Garifuna?

Make Your Own Drum

Materials Needed:

Paper Cups

Poster Paints

String or twine



Craft Glue


Or try one of these sites for more drum making ideas:



#Garifuna #ChristmasBram #Drums #Dangriga