The bara (Bambara: ߓߊ߬ߙߊ;[1] also called bendré)[2] is a spherical hand drum with a body made from a dried gourd or calabash, used in West Africa (primarily Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire,[2] and Mali).[2] Its single head is made of goatskin.[3] To make the drum, a dried gourd is cut on one end and a single head made of goatskin is stretched across the opening.[3] Bara drums come in various sizes, some quite large. The instrument is often used to accompany the balafon.[4][5]

COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Keteltrom van kalebas TMnr 3903-103.jpg
A bara drum from Burkina Faso (there called bendré)
Percussion instrument
Classification Membranophone
Hornbostel–Sachs classification211.11
(Kettle drum)
DevelopedWest Africa

The bara has been used in the music of the Malian musicians Yaya Diallo and Habib Koité.[6]


  1. ^ Faya Ismael Tolno (September 2011). "Les Recherches linguistiques de l'école N'ko" (PDF). Dalou Kende (in French). No. 19. Kanjamadi. p. 7. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "THE BENDRÉ". Retrieved 2009-04-29.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Bara". BéréSanké Percussion. Archived from the original on 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
  4. ^ "Bendre Baradunun 1 - Small bendré baradunun drum". Retrieved 2022-11-09.
  5. ^ Pandey, Ashish. Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Music. pp. 61, 162. ISBN 81-8205-291-2.
  6. ^ "Habib Koite interview". Afropop. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28.