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Tibetan Drum: Traditional Tibetan art

Tibetan drums run through the history of Tibetan culture, and Tibetan drums made by Tibetan families are inseparable from major ceremonial occasions. This is a cultural artifact that can transmit sound to history, and the sound of drums and thunder stirs the thousand-year-old culture of the Tibetan people.

Tibetan drums are known as the "first of the group tones" in Tibetan instrumental music. The sound of the drums is magnificent, combined with Tibetan opera, Reba drumming, Zhuo dance, and other artistic expressions, which is a restoration of the original Tibetan society.


Tibetan drum making

The first step in making a drum is to split the log into several curved pieces of wood, and all the wood needed for a drum is sorted out and carved into various parts, which is completely done by hand. The curvature of each piece of wood has a uniform standard, which must be polished repeatedly according to the mold. The number and size of wood chips is determined by the size of the drum. Then use the baked cowhide glue to glue the wood chips together, the process is as follows: lightly apply a layer of kraft glue on the edge of the drum blade, and then tightly seal and glue the bonded drum body, and then use a long rope to tie the bonded drum body, bake the glue on the drum with a brazier, and after drying, add two tough wooden strips to the inner ring to fix it. In this way, the first step of drum making is completed.   


Once these drums are fully set, the shell needs to be sanded and finally colored. The pattern and base color of the drum are chosen by the guests themselves, including traditional motifs such as the auspicious eight treasures, the three joy spins, and the two dragons roaring in the sky. After the final design and drawing of the pattern, it should be brushed with transparent paint, which can protect the pattern and will appear more beautiful. In this way, the drum production is all done.


The process of making Tibetan drums

1. Make wooden blocks and wooden frames for the drum body;   

2. The carpenters glued the wooden blocks into rings with cowhide glue, and tied them with thick hemp rope to set them;   

3. Engrave drum handle;   

4. Paste scriptures on the inner wall of the drum body;   

5. The freshly skinned drum is dried in the sun, waiting for further decoration;   

6. Pigments extracted from ores and plants are used for coloring, but advertising colors are commonly used nowadays;   

7. Carefully depict the drum head and drum rack.