Ornaments on a Mallorcan bagpipes or 'xeremias'
Alan Lomax recordings of Mallorcan music in the nineteen-fifties
ximbomba with a basket of flabiols or reed pipes
the ximbomba, often played to accompany gloses or satirical verses
The ximbomba
Ximbomba or rumblepot

Drums are the world’s most ubiquitous instrument and their basic design has remained unchanged for thousands of years. The ximbomba is a friction drum comprising a body, cane and skin.

The body can be any wide-mouthed container, very frequently an earthenware pot, but invariably a recycled article of common use in the region, open at both ends. One is covered with a cured kid or a lamb skin (the skin of a cat is preferred). The dry cane must be long with no knots. It is generally yanked firmly from the ground and the thickened end is set in the middle of the skin and a cord is wrapped around it underneath so that the stick does not penetrate the membrane. It is common to rub the skin with garlic. Whether this is to produce an even deeper note or a protective rite, in view of the garlic plant's attributes as a talisman, is unknown.

As Alan Lomax the American musicologist pointed out, its phallic symbolism is apparent; the cane is massaged with a wet hand so that its vibrations produce a deep erotic roar from the drum. Further symbolism is present in songs that praise the ximbomba as the appropriate tool for attracting a woman and keeping her happy. Traditionally associated with sexual rites of passage to manhood in more primitive societies in Africa, in preChristian Europe it was associated with fecundity and the winter solstice. In Mallorca it is played during carnival and the St Anthony festivities in January.