The Ngọc Lũ drum (LSb.5722)
Diameter of the surface: 79,3cm
Diameter of the base: 80cm
Đông Sơn culture. Circa 2500 – 2000 BCEN
Recognizing Decision 01426/QĐ-TTg on the 1st October 2012 by the Prime Minister of Vietnam
The Ngọc Lũ drum was accidentally discovered during the Trần Thủy embankment construction in Như Trác commune, Nam Xang district (now Lý Nhân district, Hà Nam province) in 1893, and afterwards, it was brought into the Ngọc Lũ Communal House for worship. In April 1903, the French School of the Far East (École Française d’Extrême Orient) collected and transferred the drum to the former Louis Finot Museum (now the Vietnam National Museum of History).
Ngọc Lũ drum
The Ngọc Lũ drum is one of the most typical and finest bronze drums of the Đông Sơn culture. The drum is grayish-green and consists of four parts, including the tympanum/ face, the upper barrel, the cylindrical body, and the foot. The tympanum centre is designed with a relief 14-ray sun, surrounded by 16 circular pattern bands. The patterns are geometric shapes, tangent circles with dots at their hearts. It also prominently features scenes of daily life, festivals such as people playing drums, pounding rice, crowds praying for abundant harvests, and images of deers, birds... moving counter clockwise. The upper bulbous barrel is decorated with the motifs of 6 warboats and warriors, birds and animals... The cylindrical body is adorned with the motif of disguised people dancing. The drum foot is truncated cone-shaped and flared.
All of the decorations on the Ngọc Lũ drum show the material and spiritual life, traditions and culture of the ancient Vietnamese people. With its perfect beauty and skilled decorations, the Ngọc Lũ bronze drum is a rare and precious artifact that conveys the history and culture of the Vietnamese people. It manifests the peak development of bronze casting technique of the Đông Sơn period. The thorough understanding and view on life, talent, art and philosophy of the ancient Vietnamese people have been clearly shown in this unique drum.