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Drum, Samoa, 19th Century

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Side view #1 Three-quarter view Front view of NMM 1536.  Drum, Samoa, 19th century Side view #2 Back of drum

NMM 1536. Drum, Samoa, 19th century. Wooden hourglass-shaped drum with handle and snakeskin head, attached with hoop wrapped in cloth. Carved triangular patterns at the foot and waist. Membranophones in Samoa are rare. Dances are usually accompanied by slit drums, rolled mats called falas, and body percussion. This drum, nearly identical to NMM 1535, may have been introduced to Samoa from New Guinea. Arne B. Larson Collection, 1979.


Details of Ornamentation at Handle and Foot of Drum

Handle Ornamentation, view 1 Ornamentation, view 2


Drum Head and Interior (View from Lower End)

Drum head Interior

Cracks were stabilized and staples inserted inside the drum in 1978 to prevent further cracking. A replacement head, made of a sloughed off boa skin, backed with black linen, was added to the drum at the same time.

Go to Annotated Checklist of Musical Instruments From Oceania on Display at the NMM

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