Drum with classical Abelam designs.
Drums were carved with an adze and hollowed out by a slow burning process.
The making of a drum takes a long time; it may take weeks,or even months, for the wood must dry slowly to avoid cracking.
Hourglass shaped Kundu drums are typically played during ritual ceremonies such as sing sings, funerals and other major events.
Held in one hand while the other is used to strike the lizard-skin drum head.
Small black pellets of beeswax, used for fine tuning the sound quality of the drum, are attached in a circular pattern around the center of the head.
Tuning is accomplished by heating the head over fire.
The use of drums are very important to all traditional ceremonies where drumming and singing relate stories of ancient ancestral beings who are invoked for protection and fertility.
Hauser-Schäublin, Brigitta (1989): Leben in Linie, Muster und Farbe: Einführung in die Betrachtung aussereuropäischer Kunst am Beispiel der Abelam, Papua-Neuguinea. Basel: Birkhäuser
Kelm, Heinz (1966-1968): Kunst vom Sepik I-III. Berlin: Museum für Völkerkunde
Koch, Gerd: Kultur der Abelam, Die Berliner Maprik Sammlung
Maaz, Klaus: Abelam: Die magische Welt der Abelam. Kunst und Kult in Papua-Neuguinea.
Hamson Michael(editor): Siobhan Campbell, Laurent Granier, Virginia-Lee Webb, and Diane Sheehan.- Art of the Abelam
Art of New Guinea: Sepik, Maprik, and Highlands: An Exhibition Arr. by the Museum and Laboratories of Ethnic Arts and Technology, UCLA, and the Ethnic Arts Council.