Tibetan Double Skull Hand Drum 'Damaru'

Tibetan Double Skull Hand Drum 'Damaru'

1800 to 1900 Tibet

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Tibetan Double Skull Hand Drum ‘Damaru’ made of two human skulls covered with leopard skin with cloth streamers , cowrie shells and a piece of skin .
An old brown paper label attached reading ‘D?mmar? drum formed of two skulls used by Lamas in exorcisms – the “Parchment” is human skin and the “Trimmings” includes human hair , leopard skin , cowries and bells’
Then in another hand is written : ‘The skulls were brought from a battlefield in eastern Assam or Manipur by a Bhootya Coolie and made into a Dummaru by the Lama of Lopchu . The tuft of human hair attached to this , but now eaten by moths was plaited in three strands , was about fourteen inches long , and black . The leopard’s skin had hair on it before my illness but the hair is also now destroyed .’
Mid – Late 19 th Century
Provenance : Collected by A Irvine Fortescue

Emblems of cosmic vibration , these Buddhist's double skull drums are played by a rotary flipping movement that makes the tethered bead alternately strike each of the skins . It's two sides symbolise the dual nature of reality ; the conventionality and that of the ultimate .
Height 84.00 cm (33.07 inches)
Skull and cowrie shells and a piece of skin
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