Drum Papuan Gulf Area South Coast Papua New Guinea The Todd Barlin Collection
This beautiful old Drum is from Papuan Gulf Area on the South Coast of Papua New Guinea. This hourglass shaped drum is often referred to as a Kundu which is the Papua New Guinea pidgin English term for this type of drum. Old drums like this fine example were family heirlooms often used over several generations of a family. This Shark Mouth form drum is finely incised with ancestors faces in high relief along with clan designs. The lug handle and whole drum have a deep old shiny black patina from use and storage over decades. The use of drums are very important to all traditional ceremonies where drumming and singing relate stories of ancient ancestral beings who are invoked for protection & fertility.
During my many visits to Papua New Guinea & West Papua in the 1980’s I was fortunate to be in villages when an important ceremony was to take place, it usually always proceeded with drumming and singing coming from the men’s ceremonial house. Drums were kept in good sound by putting some small balls of wax on the drum skin and then leaving the head of the drum close to a fire, this tightened the drum head & made the voice of the drums deeper. Drumming would often go on all night until day break, the people never got tired playing their drums and signing nor did I ever get tired of listing the the drumming & singing, it was beautiful. Above are a few photos of men playing their drums an singing in different villages ( not this drum in this listing )
This drum would date from the late 19th to early 20th Century. Its in very good condition
The Todd Barlin Private Collection of New Guinea Art and Oceanic Art and Asian Art
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