UH80062 Burmese Karen Frog Drum, a fine and large 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 a 12 pointed relief “star-of-foam”, having 12 butterfly impressions in the crooks of the star with concentric circle raindrop impressions on the outer edge of the star center, encircled by raised triple and double ripples that delineate concentrically the 23 die cast decorated bands in a variety of motifs, these bands starting from the center can be identified as radial rays (bands 1,4,17,20), tiny circles within circles resembling raindrops (bands 2,3,10,12, 18,19,21), continuous lozenge (bands 5,9,16), a complex pattern of three birds in flight alternating with three lozenge within lozenge form flanked by two concentric circles on either side.(bands 6,7,13,14), tightly packed ducks, looking up and back (bands 8,15), square tiles containing 8 dots (band 11), trellis pattern (band 22) and 12 rosettes on the otherwise plain outer band having a double braided edge. The sides of the drum are similarly decorated with sets of triple and double ridges in 4 zones with die cast bands in between of lozenges, radial rays, raindrops, trellis and feather, all in a sequence that are reflective of one another. side double strap ridged handles with a braided plait at the points of attachment to the cylinder on opposing sides, used to suspend the drum when struck, two vertical mock relief seams equidistant from the handles. Variegated verdigris greenish patina. Fine casting with good detail, evidence of tuning from the interior, small areas of fortification around the tympanum, all surface patina is consistent with age and use, excellent condition.
Measuring: 18-3/4 inches high x 25-3/4 inches in diameter. Weight: 51.5 lbs.
Mid 19th. Century.
Ex Collection:
Private Collection, San Diego.

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]