Drums are used in many cultures throughout the world in cultural, spiritual, or religious ceremonies. Du Vernet first mentions drums – tom-tom – on July 17th.
That night he held an evening church service for the community, but few people attended. Later, he heard the the sound of the tom-tom in the night, which kept him from sleeping as the drumming went on past three in the morning. He was told afterwards that a great dance had attracted many people, one of the reasons why attendance was so poor at his church service.
The next day, he wrote about the tom-tom again. On Monday evening, after hearing “incantations” from one of the houses, Du Vernet entered the home and described a scene of ceremony taking place, which included drumming. Du Vernet described the tom-tom as a “wooden cask with a tight leather head.”
Drumming was not used in Anglican liturgy – organs were the preferred instrument in their churches. High Church Anglicans, however, did have a practice of rhythmic chanting, drawn from earlier Christian traditions. As an Evangelical Anglican, it is highly unlikely that Du Vernet regularly heard or participated in this kind of chanting – he would have been much more comfortable singing hymns with more melodic tunes.