Vokeo Island drum New Guinea

Vokeo Island drum New Guinea

„The pulsating of Wogeo percussion instruments, hand drum and slit gong, is to European ears less appealing than the plaintive call of a bamboo flute; but, coming over the foothills and along the beaches, it is to the people wildly exciting. The inhabitants of the other villages in the district find the steady thumping almost irresistible, and they would join in at once did not etiquette forbid their attendance on the first day.“....
„An anomalous form of beauty magic may be mentioned here. The members of the dancing or trading party assemble in the clubhouse to sing songs that have miraculous overtones. Each man brings brightly coloured flowers or sweet-smelling herbs and fastens them to the rafters over his head. The performances may last all night, with the usual hand-drum and slit-gong accompaniment. The songs refer to the culture heroes. As a rule there are only about half a dozen words, but these are repeated in endless permutations and combinations.“....
„The men’s task considered specially appropriate is carving new hand drums and slit gongs.“....

excerpt from: Ian Hogbin: The Island of Menstruating Men. Religion In Wogeo, New Guinea.

Drums were carved with an adze and hollowed out by a slow burning process.
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.

Ian Hogbin: The Island of Menstruating Men; Religion In Wogeo, New Guinea. Chandler Publishing (1970)
Ian Hogbin: Native Culture of Wogeo—Report of Field Work in New Guinea