Abelam Tumbuna drum New Guinea

Abelam Tumbuna drum New Guinea / Trommel Neuguinea

Drum with classical Abelam designs and figures in low relief.
Tumbuna drums are used in initiation ceremonies and yam festivals.
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.
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.


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