How This Instrument, Called a Kakaki, Is Used to Greet and Acknowledge Royalty in Africa

The kakaki, a metal trumpet about 10 feet long, is traditionally played in African countries.

This is the kakaki. It's a traditional African musical instrument played at official ceremonies for the emirs, sultans, and kings.

The kakaki, a metal trumpet about 10 feet long, is traditionally played in countries like Chad, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and Cameroon.

It makes a booming sound that can be heard quite a distance away.

Only men are allowed to play the instrument, which is associated with royalty, power, and authority. 

Often, players greet the sultan with the kakaki before asking about his health, family, and sleep.

"It is not only music," kakaki player Bawoulo Boussa Abbaye said, "but also a language that we speak to the Sultan with the kakaki,"

In other African countries, including Sudan and Ethiopia, kakakis are also used, but they are referred to by different names.

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