Smithsonian Collections

Drum with beaters

Image for Drum with beaters
Data Source
National Museum of African Art
Label Text
This instrument is considered the most important drum by the Yoruba, who call it iya, literally, "the mother." It is played in almost any situation that requires music, mimicking spoken Yoruba speech tones. The varying sounds are obtained by holding the drum under the arm and squeezing the tension strings while striking the membrane with a curved stick. The bells also add sound.
Description
Wood hourglass shaped double headed drum with hide tension strings running from head to head and completely surrounding the entire body of the drum. The shoulder strap and two support straps are made of cloth. Locally cast and imported brass bells hang from the support straps.
Provenance
Mr. and Mrs. Sean Kelly, Virginia, -- to 1974
Maker
Yoruba artist
Date
Mid-20th century
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sean Kelly
Medium
Wood, hide, cotton, copper alloyl, plant fiber
Dimensions
H x W x D: 54 × 27.9 × 26 cm (21 1/4 × 11 × 10 1/4 in.)
Type
Musical Instrument
See more items in
National Museum of African Art Collection
Object number
74-26-3
Topic
Male use
Geography
Nigeria