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  • Writer's pictureMissy Hangartner

Did You Know?

Haitian music is vibrant, easy to dance to, and influenced by French, Spanish and African music. Music is a large part of celebrations like the Haitian Carnival and Rara, which is a week-long festival beginning Ash Wednesday and ending on Easter. Haitians are also known to sing spiritual hymns and songs, performed by themselves and in groups, throughout daily life.



Haitian drums (called tanbou) are important in preserving Haitian culture, and those that are barrel-shaped are recognized as the national musical instrument. The body of the drum is constructed from wood. The head of the drum is made from animal skin, usually skin of a cow or goat.


Each drum is crafted by hand and according to tradition, baptized for use in dance, healing, and merry making.


The tanbou drum is used in many music genres of Haiti and has been influential in the rest of the Caribbean and Latin American world.


The rich musical history of Haiti continues to bring people together!




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