Drum Making

When Maui Taiko was first formed, they needed drums for performances. Purchasing genuine taiko from Japan at a cost of $3,000 to $5,000 each was not feasible, so Maui Taiko needed to look for other sources. By chance, Maui Taiko found instructions on how to build taiko from wine barrels in notes from a San Jose Taiko workshop. At the same time, Maui Taiko saw a video on how to reskin taiko from Reverend Tamiya of Kona Daifukuji Taiko. With this information, group members decided to make wine barrel taiko. Over the years, other individuals provided taiko-making advice, and Maui Taiko also made their own improvements. Maui Taiko has made 18 wine barrel taiko that are used in its performances, along with stands, practice drums, and sticks. The group has also reskinned and refinished authentic, decades-old taiko for many of the Buddhist temples on Maui. The group members’ involvement in the construction of these drums further their appreciation for the instruments.