Wankara

Name: Wankara.
Type: Double Sided Drum > Membranophones.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#:
Country: Bolivia & Peru.
Region: South America.

Description: The wankara or wankar is a large double-headed cylindrical membranophone of the Quechua- and Aymara-speaking peoples of the Bolivian Andes.

Construction: The body of the wankara is made from two very thin pieces of wood. It can also be carved from the hollowing out of a tree trunk. One piece, when bent, nearly completes an enclosed cylinder while the while the second piece, only about [15.24 cm] centimetres or six inches wide, the second piece finishes off the cylinder wall when it is nailed to the ends of the larger piece. The two open ends are stretched over with a mammal skin membrane [of llama, alpaca, sheep, goat, or calf hide] that is on a rigid flesh hoop slightly greater in diameter than that of the openings in the shell they cover. A wooden counter-hoop with the same diameter as the flesh hoop is lapped over each end of the membrane enclosed shell and lacing, made from a long strip of mammal pelt, is looped over the counter-hoop and through and around the flesh-hoop.

Running back and forth along the length of the shell from one counter-hoop to the other in a V-pattern. By pulling on this lacing while the heads are being attached to the shell, downward pressure is placed on the two heads to increase their tension. Small sliding leather rings encircling two consecutive segments of the lacing can be used to make adjustments to the drumhead tension at the time of performance. A small metal-rimmed pressure hole is situated in the middle of the shell. Two beaters [wajtana or waqtana], the bulbous end maybe made plain

Citation: Stanley Sadie New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments ; Grinnell College Musical Instrument Collection [Wankara Article] website.