- Museum number
Drum (Apentemma) goblet shaped open drum with a hollow pedestal, the main body made of wood (Cordia africana), with six wood pegs (Baphia nitida), a skin head (deer or antelope?) and cord made of two main vegetable fibres (Clappertonia ficfolia and Raphia) - among others - which is around the head of the drum and attached to the pegs; there is a coating on the wood of proteinacious glue and ochre-containing iron oxide pigment. The top half of the drum has the pegs and no decoration, there is a raised ring with vertical lines carved around the middle of the circumference of the drum, and decoration below this raised ring consisting of carved notches, which divides the drum into three vertical sections and within those sections designs with rectangels or squares that are alternately blank or with carved vertical lines. The foot of the drum has no design.
- Production date
Diameter: 24 centimetres
Height: 41 centimetres
Width: 28 centimetres (at widest)
- Curator's comments
Sir Hans Sloane’s ‘Miscellanea’ catalogue is a bound volume in Central Archives containing seven separate catalogues: ‘Miscellanies’, ‘Antiquities’, ‘Seals’, ‘Pictures’, ‘Mathematical Instruments’, ‘Agate Handles’ and ‘Agate Cups, Bottles, Spoons’. Each contains numbered entries that list and describe objects collected by Sloane between the 1680s and 1750s. Each catalogue begins with object number one.
Text from Sloane Miscellanea catalogue: Miscellanea Miscellanies 1368 "1368. An Indian drum made of a hollowed tree carv'd the top being brac'd wt. peggs & thongs wt. the bottom hollow from Virginia by Mr. Clerk."
The apentema (aka Apentemma) was made in the early 18th century and would have been part of one of any number of drum groups or ensembles from West Africa - fontomfrom , Adowa, Kete or Abofoe. the drum is played with an open hand, not sticks.
- On display (G26/dc3)
- Exhibition history
1976, National Museum of History and Technology, Smithsonian Institution; A Nation of Nations
1994-1999 Oct-May, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool; Transatlantic Slavery Gallery
1999-2010 25 Jun-9 Aug, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "The Southeastern Woodlands"
2010 10 Aug-12 Oct, BM Room 3; Akan Drum: The Drummer Is Calling Me
2010-2011 12 Oct-1 Oct, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "The Southeastern Woodlands"
2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2011-2012 25 Oct - 5 Feb, Perth, Western Australian Museum, Extraordinary Stories from the British Museum
2012 2 Apr- Present, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "The Southeastern Woodlands"
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- The Sloane register records that this drum was acquired from a Mr. Clerk of Virginia, then a British colony, by Hans Sloane in the early eighteenth century. The records suggest that Clerk may have collected it from an "Indian" group, although its association with the slave trade is clear based on the African materials and origin.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
CDMS number: Am1753D10.1368 (old CDMS no.)
Sloane Miscellanea Catalogue number: 1368 (Miscellanies)