Born in Mali, West Africa, and a member of the Minianka (Bamana) tribe, Yaya Diallo was raised in a culture that works, worships, lives, and breathes to the beat of the drum. An instrument for transmitting traditional knowledge among the Minianka, the drum is the focal point of Yaya’s life story and his link – through the universe medium of music – with the Western World.
Gracefully translated, transcribed, and introduced by coauthor Mitchell Hall, The Healing Drum traces Yaya’s extraordinary cultural legacy, exploring the Minianka view of the human being and the cosmos relative to daily work, celebration, herbal medicine, dance, trance, initiation, and death. In the tradition of the Minianka, music is a remedy for both physical and psychological imbalances, harmonizing the forces of the visible and invisible worlds.
With wit, intelligence, and the sure gift of a born storyteller, Yaya Diallo brings the tradition of his people to life. His story is at once uplifting and sobering, poignant and ecstatic, carrying to us a message of untapped wisdom and power – the message of the healing drum.