Objects from our Past
Jamaica has a rich history and, as we celebrate 50 years of independence, we take a look back at how we got here. With the kind assistance of the Institute of Jamaica, 'Objects from our Past' will highlight a total of 50 objects which are part of the Institute of Jamaica's collection. Today we feature two of these 'Objects from our Past'. Check this space next Sunday for two more.
The name Tassa is of Persian origin and means 'kettle' drum. It is made from a clay base to which goat skin is attached and then beaten with a stick traditionally made from wild cane. It can be found in India and other Indo-Caribbean regions such as Trinidad and Guyana.
This musical instrument is made from hollowed tree trunk and carefully prepared goat skin secured by cocoon vines. It is used on both religious and secular occasions such as communicating with the ancestral spirits and for healing. Its integral role in the liberation struggles against the British has made it a revered item among the Moore Town Maroons.