Skip Navigation

Drum (Garamut)

Arts of the Pacific Islands

MEDIUM Wood, coir, pigment
DATES 19th century
DIMENSIONS 17 x 55 x 8 3/4 in. (43.2 x 139.7 x 22.2 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Carll H. de Silver Fund
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION A light brown wooden drum of the horizontal slit gong type resting on two carved separate rests. The drum is decorated with relief carvings on both sides and two separate handles. White lime is rubbed into the background of the reliefs, making the raised brown wood portions stand out in contract. One side of the drum has the rectangular area banded by a meandering line ending in a scroll at the top and the bottom with rows of circles along the sides. Within this large area are two smaller rectangular areas. Horizontal concentric ovals center these smaller panels with a dotted triangle above and below them. At the sides of the triangles are tows of a rake-like design: left side: 6 each above and 8 & 7 below, right side: 4 & 5 above and 7 each below. The main panel is divided by a vertical pattern of concentric ovals with two large wing-like scrolls radiating from it. A row of smaller opposing scrolls and rows of larger and more varied scrolls above completes the design. One side also has the large rectangular panel bounded by a meandering line above and below and a row of circles at each side. Within each smaller rectangular area are two L-shaped opposing curving patterns: one side with a row of dots in the top left and zigzagging line in the lower left. The other side has a row of dots in the top left and a solid form in the lower left. The main panel is divided by a vertical pattern of concentric ovals. At either side are two large opposing wing-like scrolls. A row of opposing scrolls below and two large opposing scrolls with a long triangular pattern in back of each containing 8 rake-like designs on the right side, and 6 on the left side completes the patterns. One handle is carved as a full male figure in the round. A snake form is attached to his back and comes over the top of his head. There is a triangular forehead and brown ridge with eyes of concentric circles having traces of red paint, and a hooked nose, which is attached to the stomach. His hands rest on his knees which are flexed. The ears have pierced earlobes. Some cord wrappings remain around the figure. One handle is carved as the head and torso of a woman. She has an attached- outside spine for cord wrappings like the other handle. A headdress is shown above the triangular forehead and brown ridge, and hooked nose. The septum on both the male and female figures is pierced. The eyes and mouth are made up of concentric ovals. The resting hands are on the drum as no legs are clearly indicated. Braided cord wrappings remain. 52.126A: A drum rest carved as two opposing wooden masks separated by a gouged wedge for the drum's support. The triangular forehead and browridge patches are shown. Two tilted concentric ovals form the eyes beneath over-hanging brows. The nose is continuous with the forehead and is hooked with a pierced septum. A notched ridge surrounds the entire mask. Both masks are the same type only one is darker in color. 52.126B: A second drum rest carved as two opposing wooden masks separated by a gouged wedge for the drum's support. It is slightly narrower than the rest. It also has the same type of masks. The triangular foreheads and browridges are shown with continuous noses which are hooked with pierced septums. The oval tilted eyes and mouth are formed by concentric ovals. A notched ridge surrounds the faces. The shape of the masks is more triangular. Traces of red paint and lime remain around the eyes.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Drum (Garamut), 19th century. Wood, coir, pigment, 17 x 55 x 8 3/4 in. (43.2 x 139.7 x 22.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Carll H. de Silver Fund, 52.126a-c. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 52.126a-c_acetate_bw.jpg)
IMAGE threequarter, 52.126a-c_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.