Drums through iconography & objects

The iconography is rich in representations of membranophones with a martial vocation. We know that drums were used in the Hindu cult ceremonies but we don't know their nature:

  • Large drum with two studded membranes with variable profile: barrel, cylinder, truncated cone, frame. They served to communicate remotely on the battlefields and within the village communities, to galvanize the warriors, to frighten the enemy. Because it is always carried on the bas-reliefs and its shaped is unknown, we have decided to call it "Large shoulder carried drum" in our study.
  • Barrel drum with two interlaced membranes. Also same one on a support (north gallery of Angkor Wat only, 16th c.).
  • Cylindrical drum with two interlaced membranes, struck with bare hands, with two sticks or a stick and a bare hand.
  • Hourglass drum with two variable voltage membranes also called "hourglass-shaped variable tension drum".
  • Goblet drum with one membrane.
  • Frame drums for signage and synchronous use.

Some drums are never represented in iconography but some bronze objects have been discovered in the ground.

  • Bronze rattle drum with two membranes, for worship. Also called whipping balls drum.