EH60012 Burmese Karen Frog Drum, a fine smaller bronze tribute drum (Heger Type III), Pazi (Burmese), pam klo’ (Karen) also known as “The Magical Bronze Pond”, the Karen subsiding on slash and burn agriculture were rain dependent, and “rain drums” were beaten to bring on the rains for frogs croak prior to rain and the low frequency drum sounds excite the frogs to croak as well, and thus it was believed that the beating of the drum was a call for rain. This lost wax casting of a drum is ornamented with 8 frogs with bulging eyes placed in stacks of two at four equidistant points near the edge of the tympanum, the center of which is decorated with a 16 pointed relief “star-of-foam”, having 16 butterfly impressions in the crooks of the star, encircled by 16 die cast decorated bands in a variety of motifs, which are bordered by raised ripple ridges alternating between triple and double ridges all concentric to the center, these bands starting from the center can be identified as a chain of grain (bands 1, 5,8,11,14) double chains of grain (bands 2,6,9,12,15), ducks (bands 3,9,13), owls (band 4), a complex band of “fish filled birds” in sets of four alternating with 4 quarter sectioned lozenges all interspersed by twos with large rosettes (band 10), the final band without decoration having a braided ridge edge. The sides of the drum are similarly decorated with a mix of triple and double ridges in 3 zones with die cast bands of radial rays, chains of grain, double chains of grain and vegetation, side double strap handles on opposing sides, used to suspend the drum when struck, two unadorned relief “seams” equidistant from the handles. Under one handle a procession near the base of two elephants the first larger then the second. Dark Variegated verdigris greenish bronze patina, pin holes on the body two repaired areas on the body where the casting was thin, minor surface scratches and discoloration to the sides consistent with age and use, overall fine condition.
Measuring: 15-1/4 inches high x 21-7/8 inches in diameter. Weight: 29.5 lbs.
Mid 19th. Century.
Ex Collection:
Michel Renard, Malta (purchased in Vientiane, Laos 1961).

Karen Poem:
Rains come when frogs croak
Birds come when rains come
Fish rise when birds come
Floods come when fish rise
Elephants draw when floods come
Timber comes when elephants draw
The land prospers when timber comes.

To purchase or for more information, please call 619/977-6717 or e-mail
[email protected]

For Burmese Bronze Rain Drums, please go to our on-line article:
Frog Drums and their importance in Karen Culture, by Sylvia Fraser-Lu


For pricing information, please call 619/977-6717 or e-mail
[email protected]