Tradescant Collection

 

  Go to Start of List Go to Previous Object   Go to Next Object Go to End of List    
  The Catalogue: Double-Membrane Drum  
Introduction
The Cabinet of
Curiosities
The John Tradescants
The Tradescant
Collection
Musaeum
Tradescantianum
The Tradescant
Room
Further Reading
Back to Catalogue
About this Resource
Click for larger version of this image
DIMENSIONS:
Height 0.59 m; Diameter (max) 205 mm
DESCRIPTION:
Worked from a single piece of wood, which shows a multitude of adze marks. The membranes are of elephant-skin lashed longitudinally with pairs of elephant-hide strips; a few hairs remain on some strips. The lashings pass through holes in the skins, which have stretched under tension. A continuous band of interlooped hide strip is worked around the lashings above the smaller membrane, with the remains of a carrying-strap attached at one point. A more complex band of X- or V-shaped patterns is made by the thongs below the larger membrane; a narrow over-wrapped hide encircles the drum below the patterned lashing. The vestiges of a carrying-strap are attached to this band also. When the drum is moved an object can be heard moving freely inside: this could be a charm.
COMMENTARY:
This drum was attributed by Tradescant to "Ginny" (Guinea), which at most times during the last three and a half centuries was probably understood to define the whole coastal area of west Africa from Senegal to at least the mouth of the Congo. The drum can be certainly associated with two other drums which clearly came from the same village area, or at least from the same tribe, which were reproduced in a woodcut by Praetorius; unfortunately, no further attribution comes from this association, since Praetorius allots his pair to Muscovy.
Museum Id. No:
1656 p. 45: Drums of two sorts; I. from Ginny of a whole piece of wood, or, Ginny Drum made of one piece or Spurres from Turkey
1685 B no. 169: Drums of two sorts; I. from Ginny of a whole piece of wood, or, Ginny Drum made of one piece
To Faculty of Modern History: Court Culture page

  © 2011 University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum