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Ashiko Drum Care & Maintenance


An Ashiko with a natural hide head and rope tensioning requires the same basic care as a Djembe. A little extra care is needed for the Ashiko head as they are usually a bit thinner. Just exercise a little extra care not to puncture the head.

Regarding the shells, there are two basic types of construction: those from a single piece of wood and others from staves (strips) of wood. If you have an Ashiko made with staves, no extra care is needed other than an occasional wipe down with a clean damp cloth.

Ashikos made from a single piece of carved wood may tend to crack if you don't keep the wood hydrated.  For these drums you will want to replenish the oils in the wood to help prevent the drum from cracking. Shea Butter or teak oil works well but you can also use linseed oil. Apply a light coat of oil to the interior of the drum by placing a few tablespoons of oil on a fist sized ball of cloth. Rub the cloth on the interior of the drum being careful not to get oil on the drum head. A light rub down every 4-6 months is sufficient.

Here are the general points found on the Djembe Care page that apply to the Ashiko:

Play often and play from the heart!

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