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date: 08 July 2020

Tambe [taàbè, tembe, tombe]locked

  • Mary Riemer-Weller
  • , revised by J. Richard Haefer


[taàbè, tembe, tombe]

Double-headed drum of the Tewa Indians of New Mexico. It is made from a hollowed cottonwood or aspen tree log and is roughly cylindrical. A drum of average size is 30 to 40 cm in diameter and 55 to 73 cm deep. The heads, usually made of calfskin for smaller drums and cowhide for larger ones, are stretched tightly over the ends of the log while wet. The heads extend about 12 cm over the sides and are laced together in a W pattern. Two hide handles are fastened to the lacing, near the top and bottom, one directly below the other. During a ceremony, the drum is carried or, if very large, suspended on a wooden stake by the handles. It is played with a padded beater (tambefe) held in the right hand. The instrument is used to accompany songs associated with numerous ceremonies. The heads are painted with contrasting natural colours and the sides of the log may also be painted....

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