SabarSabar are a family of drums from Senegal, West Africa. Sabar drums are instruments of the géwël (more commonly known as “griot”) caste of the Serer and Wolof ethnic groups, but as the “national drum” of Senegal the sabar is also use by the Toucouleur, the Peul and other ethnic groups there.

Carved from dimb wood, with a goat skin head attached by seven pegs and a lacing system that allows for tuning, the sabar drum is played with a stick and one hand. There are several different types of sabar that make up the ensemble, each with a particular sound and role.

The sabar drum is the primary percussion instrument used in the Wolof ethnic group of Senegal’s pulsating, humorous and highly passionate sabar music. Found commonly in neighborhoods surrounding the Senegalese capital of Dakar, sabar drumming and dance is ubiquitous at celebrations like weddings and naming ceremonies, hinting at the layers of complicated emotions, from the frivolous to the less fleeting, that arise during even the most joyful life-cycle events.