Monday, January 20, 2014

Planning Dorset Drums

The Dorset Drums from Button Point
I'm starting work on a couple Dorset Palaeoeskimo drums based on artifacts found on Bylot Island off the north end of Baffin Island, Nunavut.  The original artifacts were found by Father Guy Mary-Rousselière at the Button Point site and are stored now in the Canadian Museum of Civilization History in Gatineau.  The drums are small, with a diameter between 17 and 20 cm and with 10 cm long handles that are the size of a pencil.  They're each about the size of a ping-pong paddle.  I don't know what wood the drums are made from, but unless they were made from driftwood, then willow is the only option in that part of the arctic.  I intend to use willow for the reproductions.  In a general sense they are similar to Inuit drums, but they differ in scale and several details, which I'll discuss in future posts.  I intend to use reindeer/caribou rawhide for the drum skin and sinew for the lashing.  I'm curious to see what the finished drums will sound like.  The Dorset are well known for their artistic carvings, so it'll be interesting to learn a little more about the sound of their music.

The printed photos show two drums.  In the lower image the two drums are laying on top of each other, while in the top image one drum is shown on its own (you can recognize it by it's short handle).  For a sense of scale, these images are printed at 1:1 scale and the sheets of paper are letter sized 8 1/2 x 11" pages.  The sheets are sitting on a roll of reindeer skin that will be the drum skin.
Photo Credit: Tim Rast

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails