- Museum number
Drum, military, made of wood, skin, cord, with painted designs of Thunderers in the top half, a sun (?) in the middle, and then cattle at the bottom, magical creatures perhaps associated with the underworld..
- Production date
Diameter: 45.50 centimetres
Height: 21.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- see JCH King `First peoples, First Contacts' British Museum Press 1999; see JCH King `Thunderbird and Lightning' BMP Ltd 1982. see Richard Green "Eastern Great Lakes Dewclaw Rattles with Thunderbird and Lightning Imagery" in Whispering Wind vol.30 No.4 1999; see Paul Kane drawing Royal Ontario Museum: 946.15.31.
Catalogue slip – dating to before 1868: ‘Indians, Hudson’s Bay Territory, N. America. Drum 18 in diam, 8 ½ in high. Wood with white parchment? top and bottom. On one end is a representation of two black (?) above which is a bar of black and red lines and spots with a large circle in the middle. Above the band are five figures – 4 with beaked heads, the other with two horns, in one corner is a crescent in the other a circular spot – these are all painted red. On the other end is a red and black cross with a circular spot at the intersection of the lines. The ends are covered with wood hoops drawn tight with cord’. See Anahuac p. 232.’
Dennis Reid & Joan Vastokas: From the Four Quarters Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, p. 38: ‘Ojibwa, northern Ontario. Shaman’s Drum c. 1850. European military drum, painted 21.6x45.7 cm. #215, illustrated p. 24.
J.Russell Harper: Paul Kane’s Frontier. Austin & London: University of Texas Press for the Amon Carter Museum and National Gallery of Canada, 1971.
274. Manitoulin Island…
275. Artefacts. The following sketches have been assigned provisionally to Manitowaning but with little supporting evidence.
III-61. Sketches of drums. Left: drums with insignia of pair of facing animals and figure above. Right: unfinished sketch of drum. w.c. and pencil. 5 ¾” x 8 ¾” Fig. 32. (ROM946.15.31).
(Sir) Edward Burnett Tylor, (Oxford anthropologist, 1831-1917)
Anahuac. Mexico and the Mexicans, Ancient and Modern. London: Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts, 1861.
Travels in 1856, Tylor met Henry Christy (1810-1865) in a bus in Havana, and they subsequently travelled through Mexico together, Christy make a significant collection for his museum in Victoria Street, London, which following his death came eventually to the British Museum. Christy was a textile manufacturer who introduced the Turkish towel (with loop piles, the type everyone uses to-day) to the wider world; and developed a technique for making silk material to replace the felted beaver traditionally used for top hats).
p. 232: [After a description of Mexican drum usage] ‘Drums of this kind do not belong exclusively to Mexico. Among all the tribes of North America they were one of the principal “properties” used by the Medicine-men in their ceremonies; and among the tribes which have not been Christianized they are still to be found in use. After we left Mexico, Mr. Christy visited some tribes in Hudson’s Bay Territory; and on one occasion, happening to assist at a festival in which just such a wooden drum was used, he bought it of the Medicine-man of the tribe, and packed it off triumphantly to his museum.’
p. 325 [after going their separate ways]: ‘My late companion [Christy] travelled up into the Northern States, went to the Indian assembly at Manitoulin Island, paid a visit various tribes of Red Men in the Hudson’s Bay Territory – as yet unmissionized, carried away in triumph the big medicine-drum I have already spoken of, and saw and did many other things not to be related here’.
- On display (G26/dc1)
- Exhibition history
1982-1987 Jun-Jan, Museum of Mankind, Thunderbird and Lightning: Indian Life in North America, 1600-1900
1984 30 Mar-20 May, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; From the Four Quarters
1985-1987 7 Jan-Jan, Museum of Mankind, Thunderbird and Lightning: Indian Life in North America, 1600-1900
1999 25 Jun-Present, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "The Northeastern Woodlands"
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- See E B Tylor, 'Anahuac', 1856 (?)for acquisition by Henry Christy: they had been touring Cuba and Mexico. P.232
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Am186?C1.2144 (old CDMS no.)