Shaman drum ~ used by shamans of several peoples in Siberia, the Inuit & many other cultures all over the world. The beating of the drum allows the shaman to achieve an altered state of consciousness or to travel on a journey between the physical & spiritual worlds. Much fascination surrounds the role that the acoustics of the drum play to the shaman. Shaman drums are generally constructed of an animal-skin stretched over a bent wooden hoop, with a handle across the hoop.
eurasian-shamanism: Evenk shamaness heating her drum over fire. Photo by A. Slapins, 1975 Heating the drum before use was necessary because the heat tightened the drum skin and changed its pitch. Basically, the shaman used the fire for tuning his/her drum.
The photo is part of a reportage about Nganasan shamans from the 1970’s to the 1990’s. The notes around the photo say: “This is the son of Tubyaku - Leonid, in Nganasan language Labtymyaku. Of his own accord, he dressed in his father’s shaman clothes in order to rise up to the higher gods, and thus invoked his [father’s] anger, because he had no connections to the shaman spirits.