ORIGINS OF THE RAIN DRUM

ORIGINS OF THE RAIN DRUM

Over the years, competing assertions have been made that the rain drum originated in China, India, Thailand, or Vietnam. It would appear that interpretations of the significance of archeological discoveries have often been influenced by national pride. The rain drum is now believed by most independent scholars to have originated in northern Vietnam in the fifth century BC. Some have asserted an origin dating back to 2500 B.C., although scientific evidence to support this claim is preliminary. The best conclusion is that bronze casting began in Southeast Asia (most likely in Vietnam and Thailand) and was later borrowed by the Chinese and other cultures. In truth, the entire region can be proud of the accomplishments of the Dongson culture for these people occupied an area that encompasses parts of present-day Vietnam, Thailand, and South China. (Click for details.) During the Dongson era in which Vietnam came to develop a strong national identity, the tribes of north Vietnam constructed drums (now often referred to as "Dongson drums") out of bronze using lost-wax casting methods. Over the years many drums dating back to antiquity have been found in this region. New drums are being discovered to this very day.

The original drums were used by the Dongson culture in ritual ceremonies. Many have been uncovered from ancient burial grounds,suggesting an important role in funeral rituals. Indeed, some of the drums uncovered were used as urns to hold the cremated remains of presumably important members of the Dongson culture. The drums were also used to call soldiers to war.
ORIGINS OF THE RAIN DRUM