Drum, Sacred

Drum, Sacred an instrument of magical incantation formerly in use among the native Laplanders. It was made of the body or trunk of a pine or hollow birch, which could be found only in particular spots, and every part of which, both trunk and branches, had the remarkable peculiarity of being inflected from the right to the left. The drum was constructed of one entire piece of wood, hollowed out in the middle. The upper part, which was flat, was covered with skin, and the lower part, which was convex was so constructed that after they made two long openings in it the wood between served as a handle. The rims, which kept the skin tight in a kind of circular form, were not exactly round, but rather oval. Upon the skin thus stretched on the head of the drum, the Laplanders painted various figures in red, which seemed to be of somewhat hieroglyphical character. There were added to this copper rings of various patterns, to be used in incantations. The hammer with which the drum was beaten was made from the horn of a reindeer.

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