Steeldrum or Steelpan?
by BY: Onjo
(IN UK London)
First and foremost i must point out that this is not the only site that people come to search for the sound of steel.
The next point is this as African people who have spent hundreds of years on the Caribbean (plantation) islands we know who we are and what our culture is, we also know what our cultural instrument is,
ALL YUH' STOP DE' CONFUSION!
We are the only (race) or people among mankind defined by a or our colour (Black people) Asians from Asia,Europeans from Europe, Chinese, Japanese, etc,from the far east, Turkish, Arabs, etc from the middle east, these people are not defined by there colour they are defined by there geographic location try calling them by there colour they will not be having it!
African people and Caribbean people:
We are divided and by some we are not seen as the same people, Hence: We are called Black people
because we made that choice and that's what we call ourselves the rest of the world simply call us by what they hear us call ourselves.
So likewise Our Cultural Instruments is our Cultural Heritage:
As already pointed out the steel pan was originally made out of the oil drum,
Drums, music and dance
The drum (Engoma) like in many African tribes forms a major part of the sacred traditions. The sounds of drum, music and dance is rivaled by almost nothing in popularity, it never stops being in vogue, it is the greatest crowd puller!
During the time of Njwanga when kings ruled Buhaya in their highly respected Kingdoms, the King was referred to as the Drum (Habuka Engoma) (Obuso bwe Ngoma) were the highest greeting to the King. The throne is also referred to as Engoma - the Drum. When the King wanted to call audience of his people a large drum well known to every body was sounded. The sound went across the hills and valleys, The rivers and streams,
The people in their villages immediately knew the sounding of the Kings drum,
Human essence has so much appreciation of music and dance so much that it soothed people even through challenges and struggles of life,
The sound of the drum was long pounded into our hearts and minds by our ancestors, but as a people separated from them and enslaved on the plantations we needed a sound to make that connection,that sound gave birth to us in the form of iron, metal and steel,
THE SWEET SOUND OF STEEL PAN:
I am from the island of Grenada and my father left there and spent many years working and living in Trinidad. I am currently now in the UK, London were our national cultural instrument is known in all of Europe as the steel pan and is now played all over Europe in local schools and government funded arts groups, Teachers, Mentors, Directors, Administrators, from all the Caribbean islands have been working here in the UK and Europe for many years teaching students how to both play the steel pan as well as how to teach others, by training them up as mentors.
The Notting Hill Carnival kicks off with the National Steel Panorama! Not Drumorama!
It is also well excepted here in the uk as a Steel Pan competition and not a Steel Drum competition,
THE STEEL DRUM:
American Twang! for Americans by Americans should stay with Americans,
TOMATOES OR TOMATO, WHICH?
Ah Fe' We Ting!
When i came to the home page of this site i just wanted to hear some sweet pan so i was looking for the heading STEEL PAN:
Instead i saw STEEL DRUM:
It took the wings out of my sails as i wonder what De' hell is steel drums,
i have participated in Carnivals playing Ma's and steel pan in most parts of the caribbean, U,S,A and in Europe, and have never come accross this definition of our National cultural instrument,
What's your name? you say! my name is Peter
I say! OK i will call you John?
No you say! my name is Peter
OK! i am sorry Peter
Our National Cultural Instrument will only be called whatever we allow others to call it,
On the other hand just like our Identity as a people, the world will only call us and our instruments by what they hear us call it ourselves
the world will only repeat after you!
ALL TOGETHER NOW! 123 SAY IT' STEEL PAN!..
I am Onjo the Organizer of THE CALABASH HUB
This meetup group is for African/Caribbean ascendants to meet and unify with like-minded inspirational brothers and sisters with a common purpose based on the principals of Afri-centered lifelong learning and also to widen your social network.
The organizers are a family group of friends who have come together to promote educational, cultural and come-unity events that will empower your mind, body and soul.
Thank you for allowing me to share this space.