Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

  • unknown Plains maker
  • drum, late 1800s–1915
  • Where object was made: United States
  • wood, rawhide, paint, metal
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 25 x 45 x 42 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 9 13/16 x 17 11/16 x 16 1/2 in
  • William Bridges Thayer Memorial
  • Not on display
  • 2007.6289

The short cylindrical drum has a wooden frame with rawhide stretched over the top held in place with nails.

The top is painted with a natural colored center, a band of dark blue and a border of green. It has the image of a man from the waist up wearing a red headdress with dark blue tips, with a taller white and black feather. His long hair is down, and he is wearing a dark blue shirt with a tall choker style necklace and a strap over his chest. He holds a knife or feather in his raised right hand. There are four blue bowtie shapes with red outlines in the field.

The sides are painted with a band of red and another band of yellow on rawhide. The wood is painted with a thin band of red, green, red, dark blue and red, and a band of dark blue triangles alternating with green triangles.

The interior is painted with the heads of eight people above a solid green band. The people have either two or many feathers that are white with black tips. They have red paint on their faces in different patterns. Their attire also varies, though only their shoulders are visible.