Wantoat Morobe Province drum New Guinea / Trommel Neuguinea
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.
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 drum skin.
Tuning is accomplished by heating the drum skin 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.
"The dancers form a circle with the men, who alone beat the drums, in the center and the women all around. To the rhythm of the drums they dip and bob, flexing both knees, and advance the feet in small, dragging steps.(...)
Every now and again the drumming of the dancers is drowned by the irregular beating of one of the drums still being tuned by some men at the side. (…)
For hours the men sit at the fire trying to modify the sound of their drums.
Old men say that formerly people tried to make the drum sound in such a way that it resembled
the name of a girl whose attention and favour they hoped to gain by particular excellence in the dance."
excerpt from: Schmitz, Carl A. : Wantoat - Art and Religion of the Northeast New Guinea Papuans.
Bodrogi, T. 1961, Art in North-East New Guinea. Budapest: Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Massola Aldo, Drum Types of Eastern New Guinea 1957
Schmitz, Carl A. (1963) : Wantoat - Art and Religion of the Northeast New Guinea Papuans.