CATALOG NO: 72505
OBJECT TYPE: drum
Drums, whistles, and rattles were the musical instruments of northern peoples.
Drums were played by men to accompany song and dance.
The drummer would strike the rim or center of the drumhead to produce
various tones, using a special rod.
Drumheads could be made from different types of skin, most commonly of seal hide or halibut stomach
in Prince William Sound, or the bladder of a seal or walrus in western and northern Alaska.
The drum could be tuned to a higher or lower pitch by tightening or loosening the cords wrapped around the rim of the instrument.
Some Alutiiq drums were painted with figures representing shamans' spirit helpers, while others had carved and painted handles.