Reflections of Dong Son Drums in Náprstek Museum

Pages 71–78
Keywords Dong Son Drums, Dong Son culture, rubbing, Opočno Castle, Franz Heger, bronze culture, Vietnam
Type of Article Peer-reviewed
Citation MÜLLEROVÁ, Petra. Reflections of Dong Son Drums in Náprstek Museum. Annals of the Náprstek Museum. Prague: National Museum, 2009, 30(1), 71–78. ISSN 0231-844X (print), 2533-5685 (online). Also available from:
Annals of the Náprstek Museum | 2009/30/1

The Dong Son culture developed at the Red River Valley of northern Vietnam (approx. 6 BC to 2 AD). This highly mature civilization influenced the whole Southeast Asia region. The majority of bronze items were decorated with refined motives, realistic and stylized. The most famous artefacts produced during the existence of Dong Son culture were bronze drums of various sizes, weight, and quality. The role of the drums is still unclear: used for religious ceremonies, e.g. to hail the rain, used as part of funerary, or other ceremonial rites, or to rally men for war, etc. The drums demonstrate the advanced techniques and the great skill in the lost-wax casting. In Czech Republic could be found two Dong Son drums, which apparently were imported into Bohemia at the end of 19th century. The first drum has four frogs on its face. This item (inventory No 06132, old No 1377) is located at Opočno castle in Eastern Bohemia in the original Colloredo-Mansfeld House Collection. The second drum unfortunately has several flaws. This drum (inventory No Vu 517) is in the possession of the National Gallery in Prague.

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