Bronze Drums - An Animist Art Form
The top of the drum cast with detailed concentric rings with stylized seed motifs. At the is a 10 point sun burst motif. Around the edges of the flattened top are mounted four cast effigies of crouching frogs placed at equidistant points. At the sides are two pairs of finished loop hands. One side with carved elephants centered in floral elements.
The Karen regarded such drums as their most precious possessions.
They are traditionally hung under waterfall, under a water drip or just set out in the rain.
Water falls on the tray of the drum making a harmonious sound believed to serve as a prayer to summon rain for the rice planting season. Also beaten during rice planting festivals to encourage the rains
Made by Shan craftsmen who cast the drums using the lost-wax process.
The use and manufacture of bronze drums is the oldest continuous art tradition in Southeast Asia.
Dimensions: Height--- 15 ½ inches, Diameter at Top---18 ½ inches
Fraser-Lu, S., Burmese Crafts: Past and Present, Oxford University Press, 1994.
Lewis, P. & E., Peoples of the Golden Triangle: Six Tribes in Thailand, Thames & Hudson, 1984.
McQuail, L., Treasures of Two Nations: Thai Royal Gifts to the United States of America, Smithsonian Institution, 1997.
Pal, P., Art from Sri Lanka & Southeast Asia: Asian Art at the Norton Simon Museum, Yale University Press, 2004.
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