Gilcrease Museum is temporarily closed for construction.

Get the Full Story

Native American Church kettle drum and bag / Unknown


(a) Black iron kettle with three tripod legs. The "ears" have been removed. (b) Red naugahide bowling ball with two machine stitched and a zipper opening at the top.

Curatorial Remarks

The head of the drum would have been required to be kept tight, so the marbles allow for the head of the drum to be adjusted during the ceremony. The leather drum head would have been heated over the fire to allow for stretching. The church house would have owned the drum kettle and the drum parts. The drum itself was a standard cast iron kettle of a particular size, and then they would have modified the kettle to suit their needs. Water drums and kettle production became an expensive trade over time. Glass marbles were the common item for use with stretching the leather deer skin hide across the top. Drum marbles and drums were only used during a peyote meeting.

Tags: Native American Church, kettle drum, bag, deer hide
People: Kiowa
Places: Southern Plains, Oklahoma
Purpose: peyote meeting

From interviews with Dr. Garrick Bailey, 2018-2020 University of Tulsa, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

You may be interested in...

Native American Church kettle drum and bag
Harding Big Bow (Artist)
Native American; Kiowa
late 20th century
iron, hide (naugahide)
Object Type: 
Credit Line: 
Gift of Pearl Big Bow
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
Not On View

Our Online Collections site is a work in progress. If you have information about this item that may be of assistance, please contact us.