Name: Damaha.
Type: Membranophones > Drums > Kettle.
Hornbostel-Sachs No#: 211.1
Country: India.
Region: South Asia.

Description: Damaha [in Nepali: दमाहा] is a drum made from leather, brass or wood. It is played by striking with a stick. It is one of the instruments included in the Panche Baaja. The traditional players of this instrument are called Damai, a Khas occupational caste.

Construction: The Damaha is bowl-shaped and covered with animal hide. A neck strap is used to hold the damaha for the player while he plays. It is played with one or two either straight or angled sticks and provides bass percussion for a group of musicians.

The thick hide is kept wet on both the inside and outside to maintain its sound. As the instrument maker’s feet touch the drum when made, an apology pūjā of invocations and offerings must be done to appease the deity.


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