Members of the Bora tribe of the Amazon have come up with a rather unconventional form of communication. They've learned to communicate with one another through the music of their drums. Their musical instruments can send any message at a distance 100 times farther than that of human voice.
The tribe inhabits the areas along the Amazon river basin, between Colombia and Peru. 21st century means of communication have not reached that area but that hasn't in any way prevented the tribe from communicating, even when they're separated.
The remarkable form of communication has been confirmed by German and French linguists. They've found that the Bora people use their large drums not only for musical rituals but for sending messages up to 12.5 mi (20 km) away as well.
These messages are usually short and preceded by the sender's identification. Hitting the drum in a specific way indicates who the author is, then comes the actual message, which usually has something to do with day-to-day survival, such as "bring fish on your way back."
Messages sent never consist of more than 15 words, which are transmitted by 60 strikes of the drum, while ever member of the Bora tribe knows how to interpret them. According to linguists, they use about 160 words that they transmit using their drums.
The drums are carved out of wooden logs, each of which is 19.5 ft (6 m) long. Today the tribe has a population of about 1500, while just a century ago they numbered 15 000.