- Mireille Helffer
Paired copper kettledrums of the be-da musicians of Ladakh. They are joined together with a leather strap to facilitate carrying and are struck simultaneously with wooden sticks (dam-shing) held by a single player. Some sources report that both drums are carried by one person, one slung before, the other behind the bearer, who beats the front drum while a following person beats the other. The heads are laced on to the bowls, and their tension is adjusted by a metal ring at the base. They are tuned in 5ths and accompany an oboe (sur-na or ha-rib) on festive occasions such as weddings and at polo games, horse races, and archery contests; they also accompany dances and songs. The da-man is said to have been introduced to Ladakh from Baltistan in the 16th century and was initially associated with the royal palace in Leh.
See also Damāhā ...