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Drum with beaters
Date: Mid-20th century
Medium: Wood, hide, cotton, copper alloyl, plant fiber
Dimensions: H x W x D: 54 × 27.9 × 26 cm (21 1/4 × 11 × 10 1/4 in.)
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sean Kelly
Geography: Nigeria
Object Number: 74-26-3
Search Terms:
Male use
Object is not currently on exhibit

This instrument is considered the most important drum by the Yoruba, who call it iya, literally, "the mother." It is played in almost any situation that requires music, mimicking spoken Yoruba speech tones. The varying sounds are obtained by holding the drum under the arm and squeezing the tension strings while striking the membrane with a curved stick. The bells also add sound.

Wood hourglass shaped double headed drum with hide tension strings running from head to head and completely surrounding the entire body of the drum. The shoulder strap and two support straps are made of cloth. Locally cast and imported brass bells hang from the support straps.

Mr. and Mrs. Sean Kelly, Virginia, -- to 1974


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