About this object

A large skull drum made from two crania that are punctured and tied together at the crowns. The 'waist' of the drum is strengthened with a strip of faded yellow cotton that is wound around the joint. Over both cranium is stretched a skin to create a drum surface. Both skins are intact, with one showing the faint ink letters 'No 5'. Possibly traces of a label in same area.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Animal Remains; Music/sound; Religion
  • Culture
    Tibetan
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Central Asia: Tibet [China]
  • Date made
    19th Century
  • Materials
    Body-Part Human; Skin; Fibre Textile Cotton; Fibre Yarn Cotton
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Trustees of the Wellcome Collection
  • Collector
    Henry S Wellcome
  • Place collected
    Not recorded
  • Date collected
    1936 before
  • Measurements
    180 mm x 145 mm x 125 mm; 7 1/16 in x 5 11/16 in x 4 15/16 in
  • Note
    Curator's notes: This skull drum was noted in store as DP Temp 3022. The item has been measured and it compares well to the measurements for 51.68, which are recorded on an inventory card that was made out at the time of entry into the collection. Written by Emma Martin

    51.68 - is recorded as measuring 180 x 145 x 255
    DP Temp 3022 measures 180 x 145 x 125

    If a cranium measured 255 it would be greatly distorted, it is therefore thought that the 255 measurement has been doubled some how when recorded. The inventory note reads 'leather head split', the cranium is split, but the leather isn't, the note may just use an unclear turn of phrase.

    There are only six recorded skull drums in the collection, five are accounted for just leaving record 51.68 and object DP Temp 3022.
  • Related people

Where is this object from?

Object view = Humanities
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