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Ceremony Drum, Plains Indians, Mitchell, South Dakota, ca. 1929

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Ceremony drum, Plains Indians, Mitchell, SD, ca. 1929 Side of drum Back of drum

NMM 4052.  Ceremony drum, Plains Indians, Mitchell, South Dakota, ca. 1929. Split-wood, bent frame drum with thunderbird in brown, white, and yellow watercolors. Bordered by bear paw and bison hoof prints. Drumhead secured with nine, hand-carved, wooden pegs, and, later, metal tacks. Rawhide strips attached to back and lashed together in center act as handle. Arne B. Larson Collection, 1979.


Drum with Beater and Detail of Stylized Thunderbird

Drum with beater
Thunderbird detail

Drum beater constructed from hand-carved shaft with leather head sewn together using black and white thread, as well as sinew stitching; leather strap; red and yellow quillwork adornment; carved hooves and feathers attached to end of quillwork.


Interior Structure of Drum Frame

Thunderbird detail

Drum frame made from a split length of wood bent to form an irregular circle; secured with hand-carved wooden pegs, and later, two steel staples.

Miss Gladys E. Leonard, a professor at the University of South Dakota (1920-1968), obtained this drum in Mitchell, South Dakota, in 1929.

Go to Checklist of Musical Instruments of the Indigenous Peoples of North America

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