Wooden drum used on the Sea Islands, South Carolina

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A wooden drum covered with stretched leather hide that has been attached to drum body with nine wooden pegs. Two carved, anthropomorphized face motifs are on opposite sides of the upper half of the drum body. The edges of face motifs have been sealed with a darker adhesive material. There are three bands running the circumference of the drum. The top band closest to the drum head, is stained darker than the rest of the drum body. There is a carved piece that extends from the darker band. It has a round drill hole that had been threaded through with a leather thong. This piece has been stained the same color as the bank. The middle band is directly below the top band and above the face motifs. It is the same color as the rest of the body. The bottom band is a carved triangular pattern between two parallel lines. The bottom band is located near the base of the drum, above a piece of hide wrapped and tied around the very bottom of the drum body. There is a nail visible in drum body interior.
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Restrictions & Rights
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Slavery and Freedom Objects
Musical Instruments
Slavery and Freedom
On View
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Concourse 3, C3 053
19th century
Object number
Created by
African American
African diaspora
American South
Place collected
Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States, North and Central America
wood, leather, hide and metal
H x W x D: 38 3/4 × 15 × 15 in., 28 lb. (98.4 × 38.1 × 38.1 cm, 12.7 kg)
Diameter: 14 15/16 in. (38 cm)
National Museum of African American History and Culture
drums (membranophones)