211.212.11

Chonchaygah powwow drum, double membrane drum. The body is carved from the trunk of a cotton wood (Populus deltoides) tree. It is almost exactly cylindrical, but is made to be deliberately asymmetrical. The two heads are of untanned wapiti or male elk skin (Cervus canadensis), pierced with 22 holes and directly braced with twisted thongs of the same material in an x-pattern. The interior cavity of the drum contains offerings of tobacco and sage brush. The beater is object number M65-1993.

This drum was made by Wahnahpin Kahgàh Hokshenah as one of four, which he presented to the peoples in four directions - north, south, east and west – of his home in Vermillion, South Dakota, USA. The cottonwood tree used to make the shell was honoured with a prayer ceremony before being felled. Gifts of tobacco were placed in the drum during the construction process to symbolise the four directions or points of the compass. The powow drum is played by several drummers simultaneously. It is placed horizontally on a stand, or held by the drummers by the handles in the lacing.

Collection Information

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