User talk:MichiHenning

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Hello MichiHenning, Thanks for explaining your edit of the edit on Djembe that User:Stephaniehodgepodge did. She is one of my students in a class that is associated with Wikipedia's Canada Education Program. They were asked to do practice edits on an article of their choice, and she chose Djembe. It is meant to be a learning experience, and I was hoping that some Wikipedians would intervene to help - and you did. Thank you! --Greentina (talk) 17:08, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Tina,
No problem. I worked out that this was a school project after looking around a bit. It was a fine edit, well-worded, and with correct citation style. It's just that the facts weren't right :-) One thing you could impress on your students is the importance of correctness of Wikipedia. Any mistake or inaccuracy is likely to be picked up by countless thousands of people and to quickly become folklore, no matter how incorrect it might be. So, apart from the necessary technical skills, editing also requires a lot of responsibility on part of the editor regarding facts checking and verifying the accuracy of sources. Cheers! --MichiHenning (talk) 22:21, 18 February 2012 (UTC)


Welcome to Wikipedia! I normally use template:welcome to provide some helpful links and pointers but you seem to have picked it up very well already. See User:Andrewa/sandbox if you're interested in how it would have looked, it does contain some helpful stuff.

Thanks for your attention to the drum, drum kit and djembe articles. You might consider joining WikiProject Percussion, and/or watchlisting Wikipedia:WikiProject Percussion/Article alerts. I'm trying to restart this dormant WikiProject. See the page for the list of members and you're welcome to join. Or just to continue the good work on "our" articles, which is far more important than joining. Andrewa (talk) 03:30, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Andrewa, thanks for the invite. I just added my name. I'm not a generalist, but in a tiny niche of Malinke percussion, so my contributions will probably be limited to West African percussion. I'll do what I can for that and any pages around the periphery that are on my watch list. --MichiHenning (talk) 10:42, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Awesome. You'd be interested in a story from my past... some time ago I was trying to organise a two-year posting to Central African Republic (which didn't happen, but that's another story). One of my colleagues in the organisation seriously asked me "How will you get your drums over there?" knowing I have a large and much-loved drum kit. Taking drums to Africa... Andrewa (talk) 19:44, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
Pidgeons to Athens? Coals to Newcastle? Drums to Africa. Why not? :-) MichiHenning (talk) 12:19, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Djun djun[edit]

Hi, I notice that you expanded the page Djun djun. However, as the content mostly if not all on the page dunun, I propose that it should be redirected to that article again. Would you have any objection? – Fayenatic L (talk) 14:27, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

To be honest, I would prefer to leave the page as a separate page rather than as a redirect. Wikipedia did quite some damage here. The incorrect term was on the dunun page for nearly seven years. A search on Google for djun djun currently returns nearly 70,000 hits. Many of these sites have copied the incorrect information from Wikipedia. I really do not want to do anything that would implicitly legitimize the incorrect term. If the page is just a redirect, people will be prone to assume that "djun djun" is a legitimate synonym, unless they happen to read far enough through the dunun page and find the explanation about the misnomer. Seeing that Wikipedia did the damage, I think it should do its bit to undo it :) MichiHenning (talk) 21:12, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't know the subject first-hand, but am reluctant to leave the page as it is for a few reasons:
  1. Wikipedia doesn't hold pages that are just denials.
  2. Category:misnomers is currently the only category that holds this page, and is likely to be deleted, so there is nowhere else that the page belongs (unless it goes back into the categories for drums that you removed).
  3. More importantly, the cited source only emphasises that it is not a Malinké word according to Mamady Keïta from Guinea. With respect to his expertise, that doesn't fully rule out djun djun being a word from other West African countries or languages. The quotation from him doesn't even refer to other African languages, only to Malinke and European languages, which strikes me as bizarre. The fact that the dunun family of drums originated among the Mandinka people doesn't give them exclusive rights to decide what other people are allowed to call it. I don't think Wikipedia or other Western errors can be responsible for the use of "djun-djun" by e.g. West Africa Djembe Factory in Tema, Ghana. I see that Kawambe-Omowale in the US refers to text from Wikipedia but also to their own (apparently Nigerian) sources, and add other spellings such as djoundjoun. Irie Tones are likewise in the US but sound as if they have learned their stuff first-hand in West Africa, and they have a page About the djun djun. And those are just a few off the first page of Google results.
So, having looked into it further, I'm not convinced that you are right to rely on Keïta. May I suggest you contact one or more of these other people and ask them if djun djun comes from another West African language? – Fayenatic L (talk) 16:38, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi Fayenatic london,
I take your point about not publishing denials :)
I wasn't aware that the misnomer category is likely to disappear. (As a side issue, is it required for a page to have at least one category? I have been editing for only a few months, and I'm still learning.)
Regarding other drums from different countries/languages, it doesn't make sense to rule in the name of a drum from a different language because dunun are Malinke drums. There is a Nigerian drum called ju ju but that drum is completely different (frame drum).
I have also found references to a drum called "dun dun" or "djun djun" from Nigeria, but as an hourglass-shaped drum, similar to the Malinke tama. (Again, that's a completely different instrument.) The notability of these sources is doubtful in any case; they are about as credible as shops that sell djembe and dunun…
As an analogy (somewhat strained), the didgeridoo is often referred to by Australians as a "didge". Despite this, that doesn't make "didge" a legitimate name for the instrument. It does not have this name in any aboriginal language. Similarly, you will find many places on the web saying that "djembe" is pronounced "DJEM-bay". It is not pronounced that way by the Malinke (who named the drum and pronounce it "DJEM-be"). It is only in western English-speaking countries that the incorrect pronunciation is occasionally used.
I had a look at the links you found. There are hundreds more like them, and these are not notable sources. For one, the dunun (and djembe) did not originate in Ghana. (The history of the dunun and djembe in Ghana is no longer than the history in the West because it was not until after colonialism ended that these drums found their way to Ghana. Up to that point, djembe and dunun were confined to the traditional Malinke area (Mali, Guinea, and parts of Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Ivory Coast).) Yes, I know that there are many sources claiming that the djembe and dunun came from Ghana (or Benin), but those claims are simply incorrect, and there is plenty of literature from reputable source to show this.
As to Mamady Keita being a reputable source, that is something beyond dispute: he is one of the most respected and famous masters world-wide, Malinke, and grew up in a traditional village.
What has happened here is that a lot of people who don't have the cultural background have copied from each other. This is unfortunate, but continued mis-use of a term doesn't make it correct, unless the use has entered the vernacular to such a point that it becomes valid. (Djun djun is nowhere near that common use.)
When I first learned about the "djun djun" issue, I made it a point to pay attention to this. I have spent extensive time (many months) in West Africa studying with a number of masters there, including in Ghana and Mali. Not once have I heard native speakers there (either Ghana or Mali) refer to the drum as "djun djun". I also have already asked old and young master drummers specifically about this. Famoudou Konate, Mohamed Bangoura, Epizo Bangoura, Lansana Camara, Isaac "Tuza" Afutu, and Aliou Sylla (all teachers of mine) have all told me that no such word exists.
I cannot find a single mention of the term "djun djun" in the respectable literature either. (See the Djembe page for a quite extensive list of references.)
I believe it is beyond any doubt that "djun djun" is a misnomer. The only question is what do with the djun djun page. A redirect to dunun is incorrect IMO because it would implicitly legitimize the incorrect term as a synonym. So, I would still like to retain the page but I don't know what I would have to do to bring the page up to acceptable standard. Can you help me here? A big problem when writing about Malinke instruments and drumming culture is that there is little material in writing. Most of the information is passed verbally from master to student. And, as far as I know, I cannot simply create a citation saying something like "Famoudou Konate, June 2011, personal communication"? --MichiHenning (talk) 23:17, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for such a full reply. I take your point about shops; I guess they will always sell what customers ask for.
WP:Categorization is principally an aid to navigation. If a page belongs in Wikipedia at all, then there are probably similar pages which people might want to look at next. We can easily create new categories. However, these should relate to defining characteristics of the subject, not shared naming features, hence the category of "misnomers" should be deleted.
Nevertheless, there are some categories along those lines for redirects. If djun djun was a redirect again, it could certainly be placed in Category:Redirects from incorrect names.
If there is no suitable category for a page, maybe it's an indicator that the page doesn't belong here. You've taken my point about "denial" pages.
I thought about whether it would meet your objective to delete the page altogether. If that was done, readers could still search Wikipedia and locate your note about the misnomer in the page dunun. However, it is quite likely that the page would be re-created. Redirects from common misspellings or misnomers are generally considered useful, and kept rather than deleted. Because of the widespread (mis-)use of the term, it is likely that people would search for it. In fact, from the page history there is a link to see how many people view a page, and this is getting half a dozen hits a day: Djun-djun gets a smaller number:
Therefore I'd be inclined to redirect the page to dunun again. We could insert an anchor (see WP:ANCHOR) to take people directly to the paragraph about the misnomer.
Alternatively, how about making it a disambiguation page:
Djun djun may refer to:
  • A common Western misnomer for dunun, a cylindrical drum originating from the Malinke people
  • Dundun, an hourglass-shaped talking drum from Nigera...
I've just found that there is already a disambiguation page at Dundun. How about redirecting djun djun to that page instead? Would that help to resolve your objection about legitimising the misnomer? ...probably not, better to have a separare disambig page, or redirect it to an anchor at the specific note in Dunun. – Fayenatic L (talk) 17:10, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I considered deleting the page altogether as well. That would be better than a silent redirect but, as you say, it's likely to get re-created again in short order.
On balance, the separate disambiguation page seems best to me, rather than redirecting to the relevant paragraph on the Dunun page. That way, people become aware of the fact that there are potentially two things that might be what they are looking for, the misnomer for the Malinke dunun, and another, different instrument, namely the Yoruba drum. If you concur, I'll make the appropriate edits. --MichiHenning (talk) 06:58, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I changed the djun djun page to a disambiguation page, redirecting to anchors for the relevant section for each disambiguation. --MichiHenning (talk) 05:55, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Good work. I have tidied it up slightly. – Fayenatic L (talk) 12:28, 23 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the clean-up, I appreciate your help! --MichiHenning (talk) 12:33, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Gerald Achee[edit]

Just to let you know that I declined your CSD. I think a claim to importance is established; moreover, it's a pretty decent looking article with references and all. Thank you, Drmies (talk) 00:52, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know. No problem. I'm having problems with the very sketchy references though. A Google search turns up virtually nothing. Anyway, I accept your decision. --MichiHenning (talk) 00:55, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
The threshold for CSD is low: "claim to importance". If you think it doesn't belong, the next step is WP:AFD. Happy days, Drmies (talk) 01:47, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Hello MichiHenning, I'm new to wikipedia and try to do everything correct, I've recreated the article about Gerald Achee and thought that now it has good references. At least it is not worse then other trinidadian calypso musicians and jembefolas. And not worse references then Count Ossie's article for example. Also I did links not only for Gerald Achee, but for Count Ossie and Babatunde Olatunji. Hope you will change your position.

My apologies, I only just saw your note, otherwise I would have replied sooner.
OK, I'm happy now that the Gerald Achee page has sufficient content to leave it standing. I am concerned about the lack of citations from secondary sources (and my Google searches have not managed to dig up anything). So, I would suggest to continue strengthening the article with citations to establish notability.
As to Count Ossie and Babtunde Olatunji, I agree that both of them were excellent percussionists and musicians, and that they are notable. I do not agree that they are notable djembefolas because, for neither musician, the djembe was the primary instrument, and neither musician has made a substantial contribution to the body of work around the djembe. There are currently quite a few names on the Djembe talk page that have made far greater contributions than Ossie and Olatunji. The reason that these names are not listed is that they lack Wikipedia articles of their own, and red links don't help the reader. Please also look through the Djembe talk page, where this was discussed in the past. --MichiHenning (talk) 06:34, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Goblet drum[edit]

Hi there. It looks like you may have overlooked the edit summary on my edit at Goblet drum. The material is uncited and has been tagged for improvement for more than two years. Since no one could verify the content, I removed it. I'll go ahead and revert your change and we can start restoring the content as reliable sources are found. — Bdb484 (talk) 02:06, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

My apologies. I assumed that this was an editing mistake, where you had accidentally removed most of the page. --MichiHenning (talk) 02:09, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

December 2013[edit]

Hello, I'm BracketBot. I have automatically detected that your edit to List of female drummers may have broken the syntax by modifying 2 "()"s. If you have, don't worry: just edit the page again to fix it. If I misunderstood what happened, or if you have any questions, you can leave a message on my operator's talk page.

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Female Drummers List[edit]


I have noticed that for every prominent female drummer I have added to the Female Drummers list, you have removed it. Please explain. I am relatively new to Wiki so if I am formatting them incorrectly please let me know.

Thank you.

Tomtommag Tomtommag (talk) 21:27, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Please read the comment at the beginning of each section of the page:
"Only add names here if the musician has her own article on Wikipedia, please. Anything else will be removed."
That pretty much says it all. A drummer has to be notable before she can be added to the list. By definition, a drummer is notable if she has her own page on Wikipedida. MichiHenning (talk) 21:31, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi, Most of the drummers I added (that were removed) do indeed have their own pages. For example: who was removed. Can you please advise? Best, Tomtommag Tomtommag (talk) 21:34, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

My apologies if I removed some links to drummers with their own page. I saw a sea of red links this morning (more than 50 of them, by a rough count), so I reverted the edits wholesale. By all means, if a drummer has her own page on Wikipedia, feel free to add her. But no red links please, and no links to disambiguation pages. MichiHenning (talk) 21:37, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Djembe Spelling[edit]

I know it's looks like it's the wrong spelling, but on Antonio Breschi's album "When Jazz Was an Irish Baby", it says that Antonio plays the "piano, voice, trumpet, dulcimer, spoons, synthesizer, jambé". And since the rest of the words are in English, I assumed "jambé" was in English, too. I also checked Google Images for "jambé", and it showed a drum. However, Antonio does speak in English, Spanish and Italian, so I can't be completely sure "jambé" is correct. Check it out.

JaguarXJ8 (talk) 22:51, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

I did some searches too, trying to figure out what's going on here. (I assumed that this was Spanish from the link you originally added.) Anyway, searching for "Jambé" produces very, very few hits. It certainly isn't a common spelling. I've been playing and studying djembe for over ten years and have never come across this spelling. The few hits for "Jambé" may simply be due to spelling errors (and websites have a habit of copying from each other).
Given how uncommon this spelling is, I'm strongly inclined to not have it on the page. The page should list common spellings, but this one definitely isn't common, and I cannot find any reliable reference (such as a book or expert article on djembe) that uses this spelling. MichiHenning (talk) 01:50, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

As for the pronunciation, /ɛ/ does not occur at the ends of words in English, except in a few interjections such as "meh". — kwami (talk) 16:55, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

It's the French é, which is pronounced short, as in "meh". I've spent a lot of time in West Africa studying with masters of the instrument, and the pronunciation is definitely not jem-BAY. This pronunciation is used only by some English speakers who don't know otherwise. Have a look for interviews with masters (there are plenty on YouTube), it's easy to confirm. MichiHenning (talk) 23:37, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
First of all, French é is not "short". It's /e/, not /ɛ/. Second of all, the French pronunciation is irrelevant. As to whether English speakers don't know otherwise, that is also irrelevant. And the fact that the pronunciation you give is essentially impossible is another strike against it. If you're going to make a claim that goes against common sense, you should at least present some evidence. — kwami (talk) 23:44, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Can you please put further comments on Talk:Djembe? MichiHenning (talk) 05:48, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

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Djambe / Djembe[edit]

(Talkpage where it started) ... [1] ... ? Hello MichiHenning, the spelling of the words is very similar ("not to be confused with..."). Cheers, Tortillovsky (talk) 03:15, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

(there was this redirect[2] to Witchcraft from 2010)
Sure, I understand that. But it seems meaningless to have a redirect at all, seeing that the term "Djambe" doesn't appear in any article at all. It's only use appears to be in redirects. If there are to be redirects, at least Witchcraft should say something like "also referred to as "Djambe" (see reference)". Either that, or remove all redirects for Djambe because the term doesn't appear otherwise. MichiHenning (talk) 09:31, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
ok. Let me see if I can find a reference. Tortillovsky (talk) 15:24, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
The source where I found the use of the term djambe is Ethnographic Sorcery by Harry West. I'm not sure how widespread it is. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 20:58, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
User:Tortillovsky OK, I believe you when you say that the term is legitimate :-) It's just that, to me, it still doesn't make sense to have a redirect for a term that appears nowhere in the body of the encyclopaedia. Why would we redirect for something that isn't even mentioned? I suggest to either add "Djambe" to the body of Witchcraft or, otherwise, remove all the redirects completely. MichiHenning (talk) 10:33, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes, :-) I think that adding the information to the article (Witchcraft) would be the best option (including references of course); I'm looking for the reference. Tortillovsky (talk) 04:59, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
Hello User:MichiHenning, what I’ve found so far regarding an African term for witchcraft (different than that for sorcery), in the book "Ethnographic Sorcery" was the term used in Sierra Leone suwa'ye which is in Kuranko language (West, 2007 p.24); this I've noted [3] in the article. The original redirect indicates that the term djambe is used in Cameroon though. Tortillovsky (talk) 17:00, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
User:Tortillovsky OK, thanks for letting me know! Still no reference for "Djambe" then. This seems to suggest that "Djambe" isn't very common? In the absence of evidence, I would still suggest to remove the redirect for Djambe. MichiHenning (talk) 22:54, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
Hi. I've asked[4] Ƶ§œš¹ to take a look at my comment; maybe the original source was a different book (The author does reference another author). Thanks. Tortillovsky (talk) 23:19, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
My apologies, everyone. The book was actually Modernity of Witchcraft: Politics and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa (1997) by Peter Geschiere. I didn't take a close look at my notes from graduate school before, but now I am much more certain that this is the correct book. — Ƶ§œš¹ [lɛts b̥iː pʰəˈlaɪˀt] 14:50, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you very much. Tortillovsky (talk) 16:43, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Hello User:MichiHenning, I think that the term djambe[5] is solid, and that the redirect is valid. Thank you for your attention. Cheers, Tortillovsky (talk) 01:05, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

User:Tortillovsky Look, I don't want to be recalcitrant here. I never doubted that the term is valid. I'm questioning why we are having a redirect for a term that doesn't exist in the entire encyclopaedia. What's the point redirecting for a term when it is mentioned nowhere? As I said before, I don't have a problem with the redirect, I have a problem with a redirect for something that isn't mentioned in any article. I still think the right thing to do would be to introduce the term on the Witchcraft page with the appropriate reference, so it at least makes sense to redirect to there. MichiHenning (talk) 14:02, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
MichiHenning, I don’t think you looked at the diff. [6] I included with my last message. The relevant information existent in the encyclopedia reads:
“In eastern Cameroon, the term used for witchcraft among the Maka is djambe and refers to a force inside a person; its powers may make the proprietor more vulnerable. It encompasses the occult, the transformative, killing and healing.”
What do you think? Tortillovsky (talk) 23:30, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Bloody awesome! :) Thank you! MichiHenning (talk) 23:46, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Cheers Mate! Tortillovsky (talk) 23:54, 7 July 2016 (UTC)


Hi and thanks for your message. Absolutely add the link back, as my message to Rainer on his talk page said, the issue is one of WP:COI, so he should suggest the link on the talk page and let other editors decide if it should be included. So as an editor who does not have a conflict, if you think it is a valuable link, then by all means add it. I would suggest, however, that the name of the link should not be his name but rather the description of what the site is. Cheers, Melcous (talk) 12:26, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

Melcous, thanks for your reply! I've added the link back and changed the link title to "Djembe Music", with a wikilink to Rainer's page. Please let me know if you don't think that's appropriate. MichiHenning (talk) 14:30, 15 September 2016 (UTC)

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