UH80058 Burmese Karen Frog Drum, a fine 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 stacked in twos and placed at four equidistant points on the tympanum, the center of which is decorated with a 12 pointed relief “star-of-foam”, the points of which extend beyond the first set of triple ridges that delineate concentrically the 16 die cast decorated bands in a variety of motifs, these triple raised pond ripples starting from the center can be identified as tiny raindrops (bands 1,2,7,8,13,14) ducks (bands 3,12), continuous lozenge (bands 4, 15), a complex pattern of three “fish filled birds”, alternating with three almond shaped eyes, all interspersed with rosettes (bands 5,10,11), radial rays (band 6), double chain of grain (band 9) and 20 rosettes on the outer band (band 16) having a braided edge. The sides of the drum are similarly decorated with sets of triple ridges in 3 zones with die cast bands in between of radial rays, chain of grain, raindrops, rosettes, vegetation and waves, 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 three dimensional procession of two elephants, the second elephant has a snail on his back followed by two more snails along the trunk of an ornamental tree Variegated verdigris greenish patina. Fine casting of the tympanum with good detail having one 2 inch area of repair with later etching replicating the various patterns, all surface patina is consistent with age and use, otherwise fine condition.
Measuring: 17-3/8 inches high x 23-1/4 inches in diameter.
Weight: 31.5 lbs.
Late 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]