GENDERED SPACE TRANSGRESSORS: STUDY OF TWO YORÃ™BÃ FEMALE DÃ™NDÃšN DRUMMERS
Keywords:DÃ¹ndÃºn, drumming, YorÃ¹bÃ¡ music, female drummers, gender issues, male dominance, gendered space
The contemporary Nigerian musical landscape occasionally becomes a site for contesting and negotiating the established ideology of YorÃ¹bÃ¡ patriarchy. These movements are evident in many womenâ€™s decisions to venture into drumming, an age-old male dominated musical profession. Informed by the theory of spatial trialectics, this article investigates gendered space in relation to dÃ¹ndÃºn drumming with a view to understanding the changing nuances of gender relations among the YorÃ¹bÃ¡ of southwestern Nigeria. Ethnographic techniques were used to generate data on Ã€rÃ and Ã€yÃ¡nbÃ¬nrin, two well-known urban popular female dÃ¹ndÃºn performers whose aspirations and career trajectories reside outside the Ã€yÃ n lineage and spiritual tradition. Biographical accounts and lived experiences of both artists suggest that womenâ€™s agency in YorÃ¹bÃ¡ drumming is hedged by different, prevailing socioeconomic contexts, including a determination to challenge limitations to a career path and economic progress. By describing how female dÃ¹ndÃºn drumming may be regarded as a response to social and musical change, and discussing how issues of masculinity and femininity are constructed, negotiated and contested, I argue that the belief forbidding women from playing YorÃ¹bÃ¡ drums is not strictly applicable to the dÃ¹ndÃºn because the dÃ¹ndÃºn ensemble is more connected to social than religious performances.
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