A friction drum is a musical instrument found in various forms throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and South America. In Europe it emerged in the 16th century and was associated with specific religious and ceremonial occasions.
In France [Tambour à friction and local names including brau, bramadèra, brama-topin, petador, pinhaton in the south]: In Hungary the rommelpot is called a köcsögduda [jughorn or jugpipe]. In Portugal: Sarronca.
In Russia [Гусачок or гусёк gusachyok or gusyok]: The rommelpot is a constant staple of homemade musical instruments that are played by children on New Year’s Eve.
In Slovenia [Lončeni bas lit. pottery bass] it is also called gudalo or vugaš. The instrument is a clay pot, generally between 20 cm and 40 cm tall, covered with skin or parchment and with a resin-coated hardwood stick of similar length tied in the center.
In Spain: [in Spanish: zambomba]: This friction drum can be made from a variety of materials and rubbed either with a rod or with rope. It is particularly associated with Christmas, when it used to accompany the singing of carols.
In Malta [ir-rabbaba or iz-zafzafa]: The instrument consists of a tin, wood or clay body with a stretched membrane of cat, goat or rabbit skin which has a stick tied in the centre. The stick is rubbed with a wet sponge.