The sound picture of the Saami shamanic drum

  • Rolf Kristoffersson
Keywords: Shamanism, Shamans, Sami (European people), Drum, Sound, Senses and sensation, Musical instruments


Research on the Saami shamanic drum has mainly concerned the pictorial world of the drumhead. Therefore, studying the sound picture may give new insights into the Saami Shamanic drum. In my study of the Saami drum I have tried to find the answer to two questions: 1) Is it possible to detect the sound pictogram from some of the drums preserved? 2) Are there marks of usage which might indicate what kind of sounds the users preferred? A comparison of the different drums shows that the signs of usage are surprisingly consistent. The drum sounds reach the receptive organs in the human ear in a range of low but strong tones, with low frequencies but high amplitude. This means that more energy is transferred into the nervous system than with various other types of instrumental sounds.
Jan 1, 1991
How to Cite
Kristoffersson, R. (1991). The sound picture of the Saami shamanic drum. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 14, 169-182.