The drum plays an integral role in Ijebu ceremonies. Often times, the drum, along with dancers, singing, and other art forms, is used to honor leadership figures in Ijebu communities. The gbedu drums have a somewhat different role in that they are used by the leaders of the community: usually kings, but sometimes diviners (Drewal, Pemberton & Abiodun, p.136).

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King of Ijebu-Ife wielding his staff in blessing during annual kingshiip rites, Ijebu, Nigeria.  Photographed by M.T. Drewal in 1982.  Source: Drewal, Pemberton & Abiodun, fig. 132, page 127.