Originally published as a bilingual text in the German and Ewe languages
, Spieth's work is notable for its ambitious scope, which addressed the history, geography, socio-political organization, religion, cultural life, language, and oral traditions of the Ewe people, as well as (according to a pair of contemporary Ghanaian academics introducing the text) for its unusual respect for the essential humanity of the Ewe people, which stands in stark contrast to Spieth's contemporaries, who were prone to characterize the Ewe as possessing "the ordinary characteristics of the uncivilized negro." Given the importance of the Ewe language
to Spieth's treatment, the bilingual nature of the text has been retained, with English replacing the German and the Ewe text included alongside.
Rather, "Drum," as Locke translates vu from Evegbe, the Ewe language
, refers to "items of repertory".