Djembe | Inspiring Inclusive Connections

Mission | To inspire inclusive connections through the magic of sharing space in a circle, drawing cards not to speak … but to listen.

Cards have long been a way to bring people together.  With Djembe (pronounced jem-bei), we’ve created a card game-like experience with the expressed intention of cultivating closer and more inclusive connections: across cultures, genders, races, time and space.  At a time in our history when we’re farther apart than ever–finding common ground in an uncommon way is more vital than ever. 

  • Most “icebreaker” type card games are either corporate-washed, spiritual-washed, white-washed, or just plain irreverent. Djembe is none of those things.
  • Djembe’s ethos draws roots that are proudly and powerfully African but can be enjoyed and appreciated by anyone … not only the diaspora. (Who knows. Those other folx might just come away slightly better people. [One would hope!])
  • The opening, middle, and endgame are unique–leaving endless space for connection and understanding within its strict progression. Every experience follows the same course, yet no two Djembes are even close to the same.
A space to feel safe and centered.A space to feel seen and heard.A space to feel loved and appreciated.

The Legend of Djembe

The Djembe (pronounced jem-bei) is a drum believed to be invented, or at least popularized, by a Mandinka caste of West African blacksmiths known as Numu, over 2,000 years ago. 

According to the Bambara people in Mali, the name of the Djembe comes from the saying “Anke djé, anke bé” which roughly translates in English to “everyone gathers together in peace.”

Djembe occupies a special place in West African history. Unlike other instruments which required certain caste or hereditary requirements to even play in public, the Djembe was a true instrument of the people. Anyone could play, no matter who you were, where you came from, or what your skill level. And everyone would gather and listen.

In crafting Djembe, we wanted to harken back to that same traditional experience: all are welcome, all may gather, and all will listen. 

Djembe is a box of cards, to be sure, yet it is importantly not a game. It is an instrument, through which you will hear and truly experience other people in the circle with you as never before. Each card is specially placed and written to draw you all closer together, cultivate meaningful connections, bridge cultural divides and create an open, peaceful space for belonging to take hold.

Once you leave the Djembe, you may find you see yourself and the community you created in whole new ways. One thing’s for certain: after you Djembe, your soul will be forever altered ever so slightly, and you won’t be able to wait to call the Djembe together again and again.