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Slit Drum
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Slit Drum

Description Provenance Credit
Description Drums were among the most important of instruments played during ritual performances, warfare, and state pageants such as formal visits and rites of enthronement. Drums directed warriors on the battlefield, announced the beginning of ceremonial events, and provided rhythm for processions and dances. Drums of many varieties are pictured in Mesoamerican art, and a few have survived such as this large, wooden slit-drum (or tunkul, in Yucatec Mayan). Other artworks and ethnohistoric information indicate that the larger drums often were played by more than one musician.
Provenance Stendahl Galleries, Los Angeles; purchased by John G. Bourne, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1944; given to Walters Art Museum, 2013.
Credit Gift of John G. Bourne, 2013

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AD 1350-1521 (Late Postclassic)
wood (possibly sapote)
Accession Number
H of drum: 10 7/16 x L: 3 7/16 x W: 11 15/16 in. (26.5 x 8.8 x 30.4 cm); L of drumstick A: 21 7/16 x Diam: 1 3/4 in. (54.4 x 4.5 cm); L of drumstick B: 21 3/16 x Diam: 1 15/16 in. (53.8 x 5 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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