Date Early- to mid-20th century
Artist:Cameroon grassfields peoples, Cameroonian
Dimensions Overall: 41 in. (104.1 cm)
Medium Wood | Hide
Credit Line Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
Description African drum, made of wood and hide, in the Cameroon Grasslands.
Object Label Drum Early- to mid-20th century Cameroon grassfields Cameroon Wood and hide Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. 71.2400 Numerous independent kingdoms comprise the Cameroon grassfields, and language and customs vary from one village to the next. However, the architecture and symbols depicted on this royal drum appear commonly throughout the region. All of the scenes that appear on the drum in some way convey the king's power and wealth. The king's compound, a collection of buildings with steeply pitched roofs, appears prominently in the lower register of images. The band of animals encircling the bottom represents crocodiles and the presence of water near the king's home. Such sites have clear benefits for agriculture and would have been preferred for the elite. The pattern encircling the top of the drum represents spiders. Used for divination, spiders are also symbols of wisdom.
Object Number 71.2400