Tribal Drums From The Bora People

When I travel the Rio Momon, I hear the thum-dum-thum-dum of great drums (manguare) using the river and the overhanging canopy of a kind of a sound board that carries the sound for miles.

Some unknown tribe giving me a warning? Far from it; It's my old friend Raphael from  the Bora village who has spotted me and thinks I'm good for some easy barter. Minutes later we do barter for jewelry, but I have my eye on the village drums.

Almost every Bora community house has a pair of these drums to call villagers to community meetings. Each drum is tuned slightly different from its partner while the location on the drum where it is struck will also alter the pitch. The result is a series of tones that people in the rainforest can read as a kind of language telling of  tribal news.

tmdrum1.JPG (13575 bytes)

Raphael caught me admiring the drums and suggested that I could purchase a few manguare if I cared to. I told him I preferred drums with some age not only because of their character, but also because the old ones were as dried out as possible and less likely to crack when shipped to the dry US.

I feel that I could import good quality Bora drums, similar to those in the photographs. These particular drums are about 6 ft long and usually come as a pair. Included is a frame arrangement and a rope harness. The drums are struck with a pair of latex tipped mallets. The pair, along with the frame, weigh several hundred pounds, and as one might guess, offer a serious logistics problem transporting them to the states.

Since they are too large for air freight, the only way to transport them is by dugout canoe to the main channel of the Amazon River then by freighter down the river then up to a southern US port. Motor freight would transport them to their final destination.drum2.JPG (21491 bytes)

As I gather more information on these manguare and their construction, I will post it on this site.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in purchasing a pair of manguare similar to those in the photograph, send me a note and I'll talk with Raphael send you a quote.

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