Idiophone # Melanesia Total: 20


  • Type Slit drum
  • Origin Vanuatu
  • Materials Paint, Wood
  • Measures 189×32 cm
  • Dating 1960

Vertical slit drums are the main monuments of the square where ceremonies are celebrated. The place is carefully smoothed and preserved, and access to it is carefully codified. There dances, ceremonies of change and enthronement rites of the hierarchy of grades are held.
Most villages have several slit drums, and may even function as an orchestra at dances and festivals. They are played with wooden sticks and a skilful player can elaborate complex rhythm sessions. They are also used for communication between villages, sending detailed messages from one place to another.
The size of the slit drum hols relation with the position of the hierarchy of grades of whoever who plays it. The tallest are reserved for the masters of ceremony.

We use cookies to improve our services. More information