This drum is one of the earliest known African-American objects in the world. It was obtained in Virginia around AD 1730 for the collector Hans Sloane and formed part of the original collection of the British Museum. The drum originated from West Africa and is presumed to have been taken to America on a slave ship in the early AD 1700s. Through the journey of the drum - from West Africa to America and then to England - we can trace the upheavals and horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. At the same time, the drum is a potent symbol of the vibrancy and resilience of African culture in America. It therefore provides an excellent focus for the study of Atlantic slavery.
Originally from West Africa (present-day Ghana); collected in Virginia, North America
collected about AD 1730
wood (cordia africana), plant fibre and deer skin
height: 41 cm
width: 28 cm
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