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Damaru

Date:
19th century
Geography:
Tibet
Medium:
Skull, cloth, wax
Dimensions:
H. 18.6 cm (7 1/4 in.); Diam. 16.6 cm (6 9/16 in.)
Classification:
Membranophone-double-headed / waisted drum
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.213
  • Description

    This thod-rnga, or damaru is made from two human skulls. The drum is played by twisting it back and forth with one hand so that the small pellets at the ends of the strings strike the two drumheads. Drums made of human skulls or painted with skulls and severed heads are considered by Tibetan Buddhists to be powerful tools for protection against evil.

  • Provenance

    Mrs. Charlotte E. Hume, Bombay, 1896

  • References

    "Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1978), Vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 4, ill.

    Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Asia, Gallery 27. 2. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1903, vol. II, pg. 59.

    Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Gallery 27. 1. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1901, vol. I, pg. 59.



  • See also
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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