Smithsonian Collections

Drum

Image for Drum
Data Source
National Museum of African Art
Label Text
Among the Asante and neighboring peoples, voluntary music associations, such as the Ntan society, provide entertainment for a variety of occasions, including weddings, funerals and festivals. Many of the motifs on the drums relate to Asante proverbs and refer to the qualities the society seeks in its members or to the society's relationship to the town. The heart under the breasts has been interpreted as "Be patient," all association members should have a motherly heart. The crossed crocodiles with a shared stomach point to the futility of arguments within a group with the same goals and needs.
The holes around the middle of the drum originally held wood pegs for adjusting the tension on the drumhead, also missing now.
Description
Drum with breasts and relief carvings of animals, people on triangular chip carved background. Images include heart, three women, crossed crocodiles, bird trap, snake, stars, etc.
Provenance
Emil J. Arnold, New York, -- to 1968
Exhibition History
Celebration: A World of Art and Ritual, Renwick Gallery, Washington D.C., March 17, 1982-July 10, 1983
Published References
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Folklife Programs and Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art. 1982. Celebration: A World of Art and Ritual. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, p. 77, no. 56a (not illustrated).
Maker
Asante artist
Date
Mid-20th century
Credit Line
Gift of Emil Arnold
Medium
Wood, paint
Dimensions
H x W x D: 83.2 x 47.9 x 47.9 cm (32 3/4 x 18 7/8 x 18 7/8 in.)
Type
Musical Instrument
See more items in
National Museum of African Art Collection
Object number
68-36-398
Topic
crocodile
snake
tree
Male use
star
heart
ladder
female
Geography
Ghana