Dong Son Drums

Dong Son Drums The Dong Son Drum (or Dongson Drum) is ​the most famous artifact of the Southeast Asian Dongson culture, a complex society of farmers and sailors who lived in what is today northern Vietnam, and made bronze and iron objects between about 600 BC and AD 200. The drums, which are found throughout southeast Asia, can be enormous--a typical drum is 70 centimeters (27 inches) in diameter--with a flat top, bulbous rim, straight sides, and a splayed foot.

The Dong Son drum is the earliest form of bronze drum found in southern China and southeast Asia, and they have been used by many different ethnic groups from prehistoric times to the present. Most of the early examples are found in northern Vietnam and southwestern China, specifically, Yunnan Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The Dong Son drums were produced in the Tonkin area of northern Vietnam and southern China beginning about 500 BC and then traded or otherwise distributed throughout island Southeast Asia as far as the western New Guinea mainland and the island of Manus.