About this object

A small skull drum, made from two crania. The top and bottom part of the drum have become detached. The drum has a collar of red felt, and a stretched, green pigmented leather skin over both crania to create the drum skins.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains; Music/sound; Religion
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Lhasa
  • Date made
    1904 before
  • Materials
    Bone Human; Skin Leather; Textile Wool Felt; Pigment; Yarn Plant
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Purchased from the collections of Norwich Castle Museum, 1956
  • Collector
    John Claude White
  • Place collected
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]: Ü-Tsang: Lhasa
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    79 mm x 124 mm x 110 mm; 3 1/8 in x 4 7/8 in x 4 5/16 in
  • Note
    This piece has a specific provenance to Drepung Monastery in Tibet. This item would have been acquired by John Claude White, while he was part of the Younghusband punitive expedition (1903-04), while looting had stopped by the time the expeditition reached Lhasa we do not know how White acquired this damaru.
  • Related people
    John Claude White ( Collector)

Explore related


  • Mission to Lhasa 1903-1904

    Start date: 1903
    End date: 1903
    Description: The British Mission to Tibet during 1903 and 1904 was an invasion of southern Tibet by British Indian forces on the pretence of negotiating trade relations between Tibet and British India. However, this was instigated primarily in the hope of preventing the Russian Empire from interfering in Tibetan affairs and thus gaining a base in one of the buffer states surrounding British India. The expedition was led by Colonel (later Sir) Francis Younghusband. It had a damaging effect on the British reputation, many Tibetans were killed and monasteries and houses were looted and/or destroyed along the way. The 13th Dalai Lama feld Lhasa before the arrival of the expedition and Younghusband negotiated, a soon to be repelled, convention with the Tibetan government or Kashag in Lhasa that was signed in the Potala on 7 Septmber 1904.

Object view = Humanities
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