Rare Wood Polychrome Kundu Tribal Hourglass Drum, One of a Kind Hand Carved & Hand Painted Percussion Instrument, collected in the 1990’s in the Sepik River region, Papua New Guinea. 42A4
Rare One of a Kind Vintage Wooden Tribal Polychrome Hand Held Drum, Large Kundu Hourglass Percussion Instrument, Once Hand Carved & Hand Painted by Musician Owner, collected on the premises in the Coastal Sepik region, Papua New Guinea, in the late 1990’s, and storaged ever since.
SINCE WE COLLECTED IT WITHOUT A DRUM HEAD OR TYMPAN, WE HAD LEATHER STRETCHED & MOUNTED ON IT LATER, UPON OUR RETURN, WHERE IT WAS NEEDED (AS SEEN ON THE PHOTOS). IT CAN BE REPLACED, ACCORDING TO TASTE. THIS INSTRUMENT IS NOW COMPLETE WITH A NEW RED, REAL LEATHER DRUM HEAD. ALSO WAS DECORATED BY TRIBAL OWNER WITH BUSH TWINE, FEATHERS & LOCAL SEED BEADS, SEEN ON THE PHOTOS AS WELL.
(Hourglass Drum was created out of a solid piece of wood and hand carved by the tribesman that owned it with nice carving, etching and colors). Some normal age cracks but solid.
Item 42A4 in our inventory
Size: 20" tall by 11"
PLEASE INSPECT PICTURES CAREFULLY TO BE SATISFIED, THEY SHOW EVERYTHING BETTER THAN WORDS.
(seen on most of the photos except for the ones taken in the field)
The kundu is a single-head hourglass drum of Papua New Guinea. “Kundu” is a generic name for such drums, but each of the hundreds of tribal groups on the island of New Guinea and many of its surrounding islands has a local name for this drum type (for example, see the entry for the tifa of the Asmat people). Based on morphological and decorative clues, the kundu very likely originated amongst the Iatmul people of the Middle Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea. A number of similar Iatmul drums can be found in museum collections around the world and some of these are named kwangu (or kangu or kwang-gu), which would appear to be the term for such kundu drums in the language of the Iatmul.
The shell of this kundu is carved from a solid block of hardwood using tools and fire to produce its tubular hourglass form and thin walls.
If seated, the kundu player places the drum across his lap and strikes the drumhead with the open palm of the hand nearest the drumhead. If standing, the drum can either be held with one hand by its handle or cradled horizontally with one arm across the player’s chest, leaving the free hand to strike the head. In general, as well as amongst the Iatmul, a beater or beaters are not used to sound the drum. Tuning is accomplished by heating the head over fire and by applying small black pellets of beeswax, used for fine tuning the sound quality of the drum, attached in a circular pattern usually around the center of the head.
The origin of hourglass drums in Oceania is lost to history. It can at best be pointed out that this form of drum is distributed primarily in Melanesia (Papua New Guinea and the islands to its north) and Micronesia (primarily the eastern island groups, including the Marshalls). King, & McLean, imply that, in Oceania, this form of drum spread from Melanesian cultures to Micronesian ones. It does not appear possible at this time to link the evolution and spread of these Oceanic hourglass drums to those of other regions of the world—primarily Africa.
All our collector and rare items come with pages and pages of research about provenance, and with history of the tribes and photos as well, depending on item and whenever possible. When shipping internationally, we group ship multiple purchases to save you money, and find the best rates available. If you have any questions or want to see research conducted on this piece and photos of tribes, let us know.