This drum, which is made of perishable materials, is remarkably well preserved. The hide of a camelid (the family of animals that includes llamas and alpacas) has been stretched taut over a wooden-slat cylinder and secured with hide lacings. Yellow stripes ornament the sides of the drum, while complex imagery painted in polychrome adorns the gessoed top and bottom skins. One side of the drum, seen here, presents a warrior holding two staffs, each of which ends in a trophy head; the other side is ringed with trophy heads. The warrior consists of a combination of sharp, angular forms and curving limbs, which seem to reverberate synesthetically with the drum’s thump. He wears a tunic with a decorated neck ornament, a kilt, striped leg wrappings, a crown or hat, and feathered arm decorations.
Princeton University Art Museum: Handbook of the Collections, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Art Museum, 2013).
Objects of Andean Royalty (Feburary 9 - April 9, 1995)