Miniature Drum with Four Frogs

Period: Bronze and Iron Age period, Dongson culture

Date: ca. 500 B.C.–A.D. 300

Culture: Vietnam

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 4 in. (10.2 cm)

Classification: Metalwork

Credit Line: Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Bequest of Samuel Eilenberg, 1998

Accession Number: 2000.284.57


Ranging in height from a few inches to over six feet, up to four feet in diameter, and often of considerable weight, drums are the most widely dispersed products of the Dongson culture of northern Vietnam. Examples produced in Vietnam, in addition to works made locally, have been found in south China and throughout mainland and island Southeast Asia. The function of these drums, often found in burials, remains unclear. They may have been used in warfare, as political regalia, or as part of funerary and other ceremonial rites.