UH80057 Burmese Karen Frog Drum, a small and early 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 4 frogs placed at four equidistant points on the tympanum, the center of which is decorated with an 8 pointed relief “star-of-foam”, having 8 butterfly impressions in the crooks of the star and and 25 double circles around the star, surrounded by 14 die cast decorated bands in a variety of motifs, which are bordered by raised ridges alternating in patterns of single ridges and double ridges all concentric to the center, these pond ripples starting from the center can be identified as radial rays (bands 1, 6, 8 and 13), chains of grain (band 2), 35 ducks (band 3), 25 owls (band 4), double chains of grain (bands 5, 9 and 12), mixed bird, fish and rosettes (bands 7, 10 and 11), the final band without decoration having a braided ridge edge. The sides of the drum are similarly decorated with alternating single and double ridges in 3 zones with die cast bands of radial rays, double chains of grain and waves, side double strap handles on opposing sides, used to suspend the drum when struck, two unadorned relief “seams” equidistant from the handles. Variegated verdigris greenish patina. Coarse casting of the tympanum resembling grit, of which there are some small pin holes on one small section of the outer edge, three repaired areas on the body midsection where the casting was thin, minor surface scratches and discoloration to the sides consistent with age and use, otherwise fine condition.
Measuring: 12-3/4 inches high x 17-1/4 inches in diameter.
Weight: 16.5 lbs.
Early 19th. Century.
Ex Collection:
A Massachusetts Private Collection

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]