Burmese Karen Frog Drum, a fine large bronze tribute drum (Heger Type III), Pazi (Burmese), pam klo’ (Karen) also known as “The Magical Bronze Pond”(Cooler - Developmental Stage VII, Aerial Sequence, Category C three frogs, p.276)*, the Karen subsiding on slash and burn agriculture were rain dependent, and “rain drums” were beaten to bring on the rains for frogs croak prior to rain and the low frequency drum sounds excite the frogs to croak as well, and thus it was believed that the beating of the drum was a call for rain. This lost wax casting of a drum is ornamented with 12 frogs stacked in threes located at four equidistant points on the outer edge of the tympanum wherein the bottom frogs straddle the two outer bands. The center of the tympanum is decorated with a crisp 12 pointed relief “star-of-foam”, the star points touch the first set of triple ridges resembling ripples that delineate concentrically the 16 die cast decorated bands in a variety of motifs, starting from the center the designs can be identified as tiny raindrops (bands 1,2,7,9,13,14) radial rays (bands 3,6), chain of grain (bands 4, 10), flying birds in flocks of three alternating with sets of three rhomboid lozenges (bands 5,11,12), skyward looking ducks (band 8), trellis (band 15) and the outer band undecorated (band 16) ending with one raised ridge and a braided edge. The sides of the drum are similarly decorated with sets of triple ridges in 3 zones with 17 die cast bands in between of radial rays, raindrops, chain of grain and vegetal stalks, side double strap handles on opposing sides, used to suspend the drum when struck, four relief “seams” equidistant from the placement of the frogs. Under one handle along the seam is three dimensional procession lead down the side of the drum by a large elephant followed by two smaller elephants, followed by three snails.
Variegated verdigris greenish bronze patina. Fine casting overall with light die cast detail, evidence of interior “tuning”, the body is thin and there is evidence of later fine restorations to possible tears or holes, most of which are under the opposing handle from the handle with the procession underneath, otherwise the overall surface patina is consistent with age and use, fine condition.
Measuring: 19-1/2 inches high x 25 inches in diameter. Weight: 38.5 lbs.
Late 19th. Century.