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Images from The Graese Gallery

Ceremony Drum, Plains Indians, Northern Plains Region, 19th century

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Ceremony drum, Plains Indians, Northern Plains Region, 19th century Side view Back of drum

NMM 870.  Ceremony drum, Plains Indians, Northern Plains Region, 19th century. Split-wood, bent frame drum with centrally located four-point star and border of bear paws and triangles, entirety of head dyed yellow. Head attached to frame using individual rawhide ties around circumference of drum, ties passed through holes cut into wooden frame and drumhead. Typically, this type of drum was made for personal use in prayer and meditation. Arne B. Larson Collection, 1979.


Bear Claw, Star, and Triangle Painted on Drumhead

Bear claw
Star on front of drum
Triangle on front of drum


Drum Frame Structure

Drum hoop splice

The drum's frame is made of a split length of wood, bent to form an irregular circle. The ends were originally secured only with rawhide lashing through holes carved into the wood. This was later reinforced with brass wire passing through holes carved into the frame.

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