The petia is a single-headed semi-cylindrical open barrel drum. It is a fairly tall and narrow drum that produces a beautiful rounded sound. It is approximately 60 to 70 cm high and has a diameter of 20 to 22 cm at the top. It widens in the middle to around 30cm cm and it tapers towards the bottom to 15 to 18 cm. The membrane is stretched across the head of the drum inside a metal ring, which is anchored with braided ropes to five conical wooden pegs.
The petia drum, like the atumpan, is always part of the ensemble that accompanies the adowa dance. Ostinato figures are often played to accompany dances, maintaining a constant rhythmical pattern and driving the complex set of rhythms.
The petia drum is played with a wooden stick alternating with the palm of the hand and the fingertips. It is adorned with decorative elements derived from adinkra symbolism as well as with figures from everyday life in the village such as trees, animals, drummers and so on.
© RMCA/Dominik PHYFFEROEN