Name: Kultrún.
Type: Membranophones > Drums > Bowl >
Hornbostel-Sachs No#:
Country: Chile.
Region: South America.

Description: The kultrún is a ceremonial drum, and is one of the most important musical instruments in Mapuche culture. It is used by the machi [machi: in Mapuche: sorcerer or healer] for religious and cultural rituals. It is used during the annual fertility right of Ngillatun.

Playing Techniques: In Argentina the kultrún is played by a female shaman who stands holding the drum on her left arm and strikes it with a drumstick, or sits with the drum on the ground before her, in which case she uses two drumsticks. Less commonly the instrument is shaken as an idiophone. In Chile the distribution of the kultrún encompasses four southern provinces: Bío-Bío, Malleco, Valdivia and especially Cautín.

Construction: The kultrún is approximately 35 cm to 40 cm in diameter and has a height of 12 cm to 15 cm. The wooden body is made from laurel, beach or lingual, cut in winter to avoid splitting.

Citations: Bibliography: Websites: oxfordmuseumonline.org / Kultrún article by John M. Schechter ;

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