Gama or Kundu (drum)

About This Item

The kundu drum is played for a variety of ceremonial and civil occasions by communities throughout Papua New Guinea. The maker creates two hollowed ends by carving or burning out excess wood, and covers one end in reptile skin to create a tapping surface for the drummer. This type of drum has become a symbol of the country and can be found on Papua New Guinea’s official coat of arms.

Date
20th Century
Geography
Papua New Guinea
Medium
reptile skin
pigment
wood
Context
The Oceania collection at the Global Museum—the largest collection in the museum’s holdings—primarily consists of objects from the late 1970s and 1980s in the newly formed Independent State of Papua New Guinea. Among Papua New Guinean communities, objects serve to educate young people about their families and heritage, to celebrate cycles of life and death, to protect those who travel the waterways and forests, and to create a sense of identity and purpose within the community.
Height
37 in
Width
5.5 in
Depth
5.5 in
Copyright
Copyright status unknown. Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing, and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
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