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Damaru is a percussion instrument made of human skull, parchment, cloth, silk, metal, brass, cotton, wood, parchment and bamboo. It is a local instrument, found in Ladakh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Bihar and other parts of North India. It is used by the Lamas in ritualistic dance in Ladakh. Moreover, it is used by ‘Kudukuduppai Andi’ of Tamil Nadu and by mendicants, snake charmers, gypsies and jugglers in North India.

DAMARU in Ladakh

Material: Human skull, Parchment, Cloth, Silk, Metal

An hourglass-shaped drum made of a human skull with skin covered faces. A colored cloth, silk strips tied around the drum waist. Also attached are two knotted cords to strike the heads. Used by the Lamas in a ritualistic dance.

DAMARU in Tamil Nadu

Material: Brass, Cotton

An hourglass shaped body made of brass. Faces covered with hide fastened by cotton cords. A knotted cotton cord attached on opposite ends on the bracing cord. Held by one hand, the player makes the knots to strike drum heads. Used by ‘Kudukuduppai Andi’ of Tamil Nadu.

DAMARU in Bihar

Material: Wood, Parchment, Cotton

An hourglass shaped shell of wood with hooped skin cover and knotted cotton cord. Held by the middle and shaken vigorously. Used by mendicants, snake charmers, gypsies and jugglers.