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Drum

třamaaq “drum”
Language: Koniag Sugpiaq (Alaska Peninsula dialect)

The old men beat the drums and start to sing songs in honor of their ancestors and forefathers.

—Gideon, from “The Round the World Voyage of Hieromonk Gideon 1803-1809”

During winter festivals, drummers and singers accompanied dancers whose movements portrayed hunting expeditions and the visits of masked spirits. Songs honored ancestors in the sky world, and during the Feast of the Dead gifts were burned and sent upward to them on the smoke. Shamans used drums during rituals and healing ceremonies.

Culture: Sugpiaq (Alutiiq)
Region: Alaska Peninsula
Village: Ugashik
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Diameter 49cm
Accession Date: 1882
Source: William J. Fisher (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E072505