Slit drum (Vanuatu)
In most islands of Vanuatu, the drum has little to no decoration, and is played horizontally on the ground. On the island of Ambrym though, such drums stand vertically on the ground; they are decorated with one or several faces with disk eyes, representing ancestral figures, such a figure is called a tamtam.  The distinctive shape of these Ambrym drums has made them iconic of Vanuatu as a whole; they are frequently found in museums around the world, represented on Vanuatu banknotes, and featured in the tourism industry.
Slit drums, whether decorated or not, have a significance to Vanuatu's traditional economy and society: they can be a sign of a man's wealth and social status within the political system of graded societies. The drums are sometimes found at ceremonial dance grounds and other gathering places. They have been used for dance rhythms, but also for signalling purposes. A tamtam is said to hold spirits, some good, some bad, and are often posted upright at the perimeter of a property or outside a house as protection.
- Tamtam (slit drum) Retrieved November 2013
- See p.77-78 of François & Stern (2013).
- Slit Drum, Ambrym Island, Vanuatu, Early 20th Century Retrieved November 2013
- See p.86 of François & Stern (2013).
- François, Alexandre; Stern, Monika (Nov 2013), Musiques du Vanuatu: Fêtes et Mystères – Music of Vanuatu: Celebrations and Mysteries (CD album, released with liner notes and ebook), label Inédit, W260147, Paris: Maison des Cultures du Monde.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Atingting kon.|
|This Vanuatu-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|