Village Drum & Masquerade

Liberian Arts in Motion
Traditional Liberian Music and Mask Dances

Village Drum & Masquerade (VDM) is a professional group that specializes in the performance of traditional Liberian Music, dance and storytelling. These art forms and traditions weave together the diverse threads of the community. VDM aspires to promote, protect, and preserve the authentic culture of the Liberian people.
Village Drum and Masquerade shows are the true expression of this community dynamic. The audiences are treated to electrifying performances. The skill and authenticity of the performers are uncontested by those who have visited remote villages in Liberia. Their energy and flair, swift jumps and graceful movements, coolness and control all inspire applause and standing ovations.

"It is our hope that through these unique and exciting performances, our audiences will satisfy the universal need for laughter and spirituality." Won-Ldy Paye
Tall Mask & Zee
MasqueradeMasqueradeVillage Drum and M asquerade performs with masks that are appropriate for all audiences and in the context of entertainment and education. The masks and masquerades are physical representations of the ancestral spirits. They link the people to the wisdom of the past. Masks and masquerades promote law and order and provide balance and direction to the Liberian people.

"In our villages, music, dance, and storytelling are all integral parts of our daily lives."
Won-Ldy Paye

In the spirit of representing both the beauty and the purpose of the masks as authentically as possibly, these performances utilize the traditionally appropriate costumes, movements and rhythms for each masquerade.
Drum PlayersDrum Players
School Assemblies / Festivals (45 minutes to 1 hour)
Village Drum & Masquerade performs for schools and festivals. During these entertaining and educational performances, the audiences are encouraged to participate. Students and teachers are given Anticipatory Guides which enhance their participation during the show. The shows are suitable for all ages.
Contact us:
Tel.: 206-525-4229 West Coast, 860-882-2046 East Coast

Village Drum and Masquerade music emanates from the traditional instruments of Liberia. These instruments include:

  • Sankpah or Djembe - a traditional drum made from a hollowed tree trunk with animal hide attached to the top of the drum, and usually played with the hand;

  • Dun dun or Djun Djun - a bass drum made from hollowed tree trunk with hide on both ends of the drum and played with sticks;

  • Kono - a slit drum made from wood with a two-inch slit cut lengthwise. This drum has no hide on it and is played with two sticks;
  • DrumersDancer
  • Damma or Talking Drum - a small hourglass shaped drum with hide on both ends. The player hits the head of the drum with a curve stick while applying varying amounts of pressure to the hide laces;

  • Balafon - a West African xylophone made from hard wood utilizing hollow gourds for resonance. This instrument is played with mallets;

  • Zaza - shakers made from gourds with beads tied in a decorative fashion in a net around the gourd;

  • Other instruments - bells and human Voices.

  • DancerDancerDancerDancer
    For exhibitions, gallery showings, photos, movies, documentaries, lectures, workshops, demonstrations, consultations, performances, and questions please feel free to contact us. Tel.: 206-525-4229 West Coast, 860-882-2046 East Coast

    Village Drum and Masquerade has performed at
    numerous festivals and shows in North America:
    Dance Workshop Dance Workshop Dance Workshop
  • Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle, WA

  • Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA

  • Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA

  • Sundiata Festival, Seattle, WA

  • Nubian Fest, Everett, WA

  • The First Night Fest, Tacoma, WA

  • Outdoor Music and Art Festival, Bainbridge Island, WA

  • Art in the Park, City of Redmond, WA

  • The Sun Dome Pow Wow Festival, Yakima, WA (the only non-Native American Indian dance troupe)

  • The Deschutes Forest Festival in Bend, OR

  • The Art on the Green, Coeur D'Alene, ID

  • The PANA Fest, Oakland, CA .

  • The Sunfest Festival, B.C., Canada

  • Harrison Spring Festival, B.C., Canada

  • Village


    Village Drum and Masquerade performs regularly for grade schools, colleges, universities, and special occasions. To book performances for your school or venue in the New England or the West Coast of United States and Canada,

    Contact us ASAP:
    Tel.: 206-525-4229 West Coast, 860-882-2046 East Coast