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date: 23 August 2019


  • Victoria Lindsay Levine


Water drum of the Cherokee people of the southern USA. The body is normally made of wood (preferably red cedar) about 28 cm tall and 20 cm in diameter, with walls 3 or 4 cm thick, but an earthenware crock can also be used. It is filled with about 5 cm of water before the head is stretched across the opening. The head is made of woodchuck skin, tanned deerskin, or a rubber tire inner-tube, and is attached by a wooden or metal hoop. The drum is played with a single stick made of hickory wood about 30 cm long with a carved knob on the end. The drummer alters the sound by shaking the drum or turning it upside down, thereby moistening the head. Male song leaders play water drums to accompany certain communal dances performed at ceremonial grounds. Water drums also accompany ceremonial dances of the Delaware, Muscogee (Creek), Shawnee, and Yuchi (Euchee), and were used in the past by the Chickasaw and Choctaw. Each tribe has its own name for the water drum, for example Creek, ...

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