Hand Drum

Papua New Guinea, Huon Gulf
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist unknown, Pacific Islander, Artist Unidentified, Pacific Islander

Object Place: Papua New Guinea


Overall: 75 x 18 x 21 cm (29 1/2 x 7 1/16 x 8 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, reptile skin, pigment, rope

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Musical Instruments



This hourglass shaped Kundu hand drum is typically played during ritual ceremonies. Held in one hand while the other is used to strike the reptile-skin drum head, playing the drum is usually reserved for men. This drum is adorned with two reptilian creatures, possibly crocodiles, which face back-to-back on the opposite side of the drum handle.


red pencil inside: "GM"


1974, sold by Island Carvings, Lae, Papua New Guinea, to Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart