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Dong Son Drum
MVK 83624
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This drum is the most spectacularly preserved of our time worldwide.

History of the Object
The drum was part of the Gillet collection in Hanoi before it was bought by L. Basset in Paris. In 1907 it was given as a gift to the museum by Anton Dreher.

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Type
Other 
Materials
Bronze 
Measurements
Width dia 70 cm Length 53 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Vietnam 
Geography
Vietnam 
Time period
BCE 2nd century ~ BCE 2nd century 
Creation date
BC; 2nd century BC 
Function
The kings and priests of the Dong Son culture in Northern Vietnam at the turn of time not only regulated the rain as the basis of wet-rice cultivation by beating such drums but also guided the souls of the deceased to the other world. Boats depicted on the body of the drum might have been the vehicles for the last journey of the dead. Shamans with head dresses made of long feathers stand next to the dead in these boats. Unlike the dead only the shamans could return to our side of the world. The birds shown on the drum might relate to the mystical flights of the shamans are as such the totemistic animals of the clans of the first kings of the Dong Son culture. 
Acquisition
Gift to the museum by Anton Dreher in 1907. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
 
Museum
Weltmuseum Wien 
Credit line
 

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