Cylindrical drum

 

 

In Angkorian iconography, cylindrical drums are distinguished both by their size (long or short) and by their technique of play: those struck with bare hands, those struck with chopsticks, and those using both techniques.



Cylindrical drum hit with bare hands

The bas-reliefs of the Bayon represent in large numbers both Khmer and Cham. The latter strike with their bare hands long cylindrical drums whose device of alternating tension of the membranes in the image to that of the barrel drums. Some make clear a carrying strap passing around the neck, others nothing. Long cylindrical (more or less conical) drums, with some variations, is always used by the Khmer and Cham from Vietnam and Cambodia. The Cham of contemporary Cambodia play with both a bare hand and a stick.

 

Pair of kanang conical drums from the Cambodian animists used in the rituals of communicating with the spiritual entities in order to obtain a healing. Photo © Yim Sokly
Pair of kanang conical drums from the Cambodian animists used in the rituals of communicating with the spiritual entities in order to obtain a healing. Photo © Yim Sokly
Cham cylindrical drum played with bare hands. A carrying strap passes around the neck. Bayon, north exterior gallery.
Cham cylindrical drum played with bare hands. A carrying strap passes around the neck. Bayon, north exterior gallery.
Pair of cylindrical drums struck with bare hands. Angkor Wat, North Gallery. Combat of Asura and Deva. 16th century.
Pair of cylindrical drums struck with bare hands. Angkor Wat, North Gallery. Combat of Asura and Deva. 16th c.

Cylindrical drum beaten with sticks

Drums struck with two sticks appear for the first time in the iconography of the 11th century in the Baphuon. They are carried across one's shoulder, around the neck or at the waist. They comprise two membranes laced by a link passing alternately by each of them. Two different forms appear: some are long, rectangular representation, others shorter, profile almost square.

 

Cylindrical drum carried on the shoulder and struck with two sticks. Baphuon. 11th c.
Cylindrical drum carried on the shoulder and struck with two sticks. Baphuon. 11th c.
Cylindrical drum carried around the neck and struck with two sticks. Angkor Wat, Historical Parade. 12th c.
Cylindrical drum carried around the neck and struck with two sticks. Angkor Wat, Historical Parade. 12th c.
Cylindrical drum carried across one's shoulder and played with two chopsticks. Angkor Wat, Battle of Kurukshetra. 12th c.
Cylindrical drum carried across one's shoulder and played with two chopsticks. Angkor Wat, Battle of Kurukshetra. 12th c.