Smithsonian Collections

Drum

Image for Drum
Data Source
National Museum of African Art
Label Text
A drum of this type was used in various aspects of Lele village life. A mask like face is often carved in relief on the surface of the drum along with incised geometric patterns and other figurative elements. Below the face are six carved antelope horns, symbols of power and containers for medicines. Additionally, a snake is carved on the opposite side from the face. This sturdy well-worn drum with its fine figurative elements shows the hand of a master carver.
Description
Cylindrical wood drum with relief face and snake on either side below the drum head.
Provenance
Allen C. Davis, Alexandria, Virginia, acquired in Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1977-1980 to 2002
Maker
Lele artist
Date
Mid-20th century
Credit Line
Gift of Allen Clayton Davis
Medium
Wood
Dimensions
H x W x D: 118 x 31.3 x 29.5 cm (46 7/16 x 12 5/16 x 11 5/8 in.)
Type
Musical Instrument
See more items in
National Museum of African Art Collection
Object number
2002-22-2
Topic
Human
snake
geometric motif
Geography
Democratic Republic of the Congo