Damaru, Skull, cloth, wax, Tibetan

Damaru

Date:
19th century
Geography:
Tibet
Culture:
Tibetan
Medium:
Skull, cloth, wax
Dimensions:
5 3/8 × 7 × 6 7/16 in. (13.7 × 17.8 × 16.4 cm)
Classification:
Membranophone-double-headed / waisted drum
Credit Line:
The Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments, 1889
Accession Number:
89.4.213
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 684
This thod-rnga, or damaru is made from two human skulls. The drum is played by twisting it back and forth with one hand so that the small pellets at the ends of the strings strike the two drumheads. Drums made of human skulls or painted with skulls and severed heads are considered by Tibetan Buddhists to be powerful tools for protection against evil.
Mary Elizabeth Adams Brown ; [ Charlotte E. Hume , Bombay, (until 1896)]
"Musical Instruments in The Metropolitan Museum." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1978), Vol. XXXV, No. 3, pg. 4, ill.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Asia, Gallery 27. 2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1903, vol. II, pg. 59.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments: Gallery 27. 1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1901, vol. I, pg. 59.

Catalogue of the Crosby Brown Collection of Musical Instruments of All Nations: I. Europe, Galleries 25 and 26, Central Cases of Galleries 27 and 28. Catalogue., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, vol. 13, pg. 209.