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Steel water drum wrapped in leather from cowboy boot with rubber top / Newman Littlebear


A Woodland type water drum made from a stainless steel food service basin and a rubber automobile inner tube. The outside of the drum is decorated with a piece of leather taken from a commercial man's cowboy boot top. This leather wrapping hides the steel basin and shows attractive decorative stitching. The wrap is made of two rectangular pieces sewn neatly with a brown and yellow commercial boot lace that passes through a series of matched holes. The head is a roughly cut circle of rubber held in place with a series of rubber bands cut from the inner tube. A black shoe string is tied around the top of the drum to aid in holding it during playing. A couple of stones are inside the drum. These are said to improve the sound. This is common in Oklahoma water drums, including those of the Native American Church. A set of four extra rubber bands and an extra head are included with the drum.

Curatorial Remarks

This material culture may be from Sand Creek stomp grounds.

Tags: drum, cowboy boot, steel
People: Euchee, Newman Littlebear
Places: Southeast, Eastern Oklahoma
Purpose: ceremonial events, stomp dances

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

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Steel water drum wrapped in leather from cowboy boot with rubber top
Newman Littlebear (Artist)
Native American; Euchee
metal, hide, rubber
Credit Line: 
Purchased with funds provided by The Fund for Folk Culture/Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Community Folklore Program
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
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