This is a small hour-shaped two-headed drum covered with stretched goat skin. The twin heads are laced together by leather thongs regulating the tightness of the skin, thus producing glisando tones. The drum is suspended on the shoulder and held under one arm. To play this drum, the player strikes it with the fingers of one hand, and hits it with a curved stick made of wood and held in the other hand. It is stretched out over the entire West Africa, with specific local features in the manner of its usage.
It thanks one of its names, the talking drum, to the fact that, when played, it can imitate the language of the Yoruba people. Therefore it is used for recitals, announcements and compliments to important individuals. Its local names are also donno, dondo (Ghana), hausa (Nigeria) and tama (Senegal).
Prior to the development of the telephone and other communication media, the news was spread by this drum.