According to Tchaman's (Ebriés) oral tradition accounts, a colonial administrator named Simon received an order in 1916 to "pacify" the region of Abidjan, which had repeatedly taken up arms against French occupation. The Lagoon distric commander Simon, dispatched several punitive expeditions to squash the rebellion. During each ofensive, the colonial repression troops found themselves facing the Bidjan people with advanced intelligence on the operations and were thus able to defend their positions.
Later, French colonial troops were made aware of the role and importance of the Djidji Ayokwe talking drum in the Tchaman resistance.
Djidji Ayokwe, the talking drum
Djidji Ayokwe, the mythical drum was a transmission tool used to coordinate important messages through various sounds. During the Tchaman resistance, the drum was used as signalling device intended to transmit combatant's positions, political, economic messages or decrees to fighters on the front line.
To alter the course of the fighting, Simon sent combattants in to punish resistants and capture Djidji Ayokwe, the talking drum, in the village of Adjame. They had clear objectives; remove or destroy the drum to continue their progress in the "pacification" campaign.
With an advanced warning of the white men's strategies, the Tchamans defended their positions. However, with sophisticated weapons and regular reinforcements from conteingents stationed in Abidjan, cololinal soldiers succeeded despite many casualties in removing Ayokwe.
From then on, the Tchamans ceased all armed resistance. First, the villages, then the clans/Mando surrendered to the occupying authority.
With the Ayokwe drum silenced, the Tchamans lost their independence. Like most other Ivorian ethnic groups, they were subjected to the inhuman regime of forced labour to build the Abidjan-Abobote road.