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Double-headed Drum

Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Hide, wood, pigment
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 19 7/8 x 2 1/2 x 16 1/8 in. (50.5 x 6.4 x 41 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS "Indian tomtom or Drum, Sioux" on face of the drum
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund
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CAPTION Great Lakes (Native American). Double-headed Drum, early 19th century. Hide, wood, pigment, 19 7/8 x 2 1/2 x 16 1/8 in. (50.5 x 6.4 x 41 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.81. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 50.67.81_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION This double headed, shallow drum is made of skin stretched over a frame. The hide surface is laced close. A projection of stiff rawhide from the top of the drum is now mostly missing. However, the Fort Snelling military officer and artist, Seth Eastman, drew this particular example, showing that this projection originally represented a bird, possibly a thunderbird. The handle is on the right side if the drum is held upright, as shown in the Eastman sketch. There are native repairs on the reverse. The painted design on one side is now brown with darker outlining. Original notes made by Larson on the Eastman sketch list concentric circles from the outside in: "red, deep yellow and yellowish." In addition, the central and largest ovoid field, formerly yellowish and now simply lighter in color, is painted with a smaller brownish (formerly red?) ovoid at the center. This form in turn is surrounded by even smaller circles or dots on the palest ovoid filed, which may have once been yellow and red.
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Double-headed Drum