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Shuar Drum

Pulse para ampliar

Dated: pre-1866

Cultural Context: Shuar (Jíbaro) style.

Origin: Ecuador (South America)

Medium: Wood

Technique: Carved, Hollowed

Dimensions: Length = 120 cm; Diameter = 41 cm

Inventory no.: 13338

Cylindrical wooden drum with two lateral appendages. The upper part has a cut-out comprising several circular holes connected to one another.

These jíbaro drums are made by hollowing out the trunk of a tree and can be found among other Amazonian groups as well. In 1858, Villavicencio in his book "Geografía de la República del Ecuador” (Geography of the Republic of Ecuador) explains that "the Jíbaros have a large drum called tunduli placed outside the house in a high place. When they need to ask for help or to announce some news so that the tribesmen will take up arms, or send a summons for a feast, they strike the drum a certain number of times, according to the subject proposed: this drum acts as a telegraph to communicate news, because from a distance, the drums repeat the same sound, and in a few moments the tribe is ready to defend itself".

The drum is beaten softly and with short beats during the consumption of narcotic substances and with firmer, more rhythmic and uninterrupted beats during the cassava drink or chontaruru palm feast. The beating of the drum attracts spirits (iguánchi) and non-human beings who enter the soul of the drum. This drum is one of the pieces collected by the Pacific Scientific Expedition between 1862 and 1865.