Water Drums consist of a hollow chamber that users fill with water to create a unique sound. Native Americans from North and South America use Water Drums in their ceremonies and social gatherings. Sometimes musicians make them from clay or old crockery in addition to hollowed out wood. The maker of this drum re-purposed a wooden bucket and painted it red, then added a deerskin leather cover. They wound plaid fabric around a hoop.
Due to age and exposure to moisture the wooden sides of the bucket have shrunken creating space for leaks to occur. Soaking the drum in water will cause the pieces to expand and make the drum watertight once again. Water drums typically have a hole in their side for adding or letting out water once the cover is on, which is then plugged with a stopper. The original wooden stopper is missing from this water drum. Additionally, the deerskin cover shows signs of dry rot and should be replaced before use.
This Drum stands 7 3/4″ tall with a 7 1/2″ diameter cover.
You can also watch Chris Bullock show you how to make a Rawhide Hand Drum on our YouTube Video How to Make a Hand Drum!
Read the Denver Art Museum leaflet on Indian Musical and Noise-Making Instruments!