Weart: Buy & Sell Art Online

Slit drum, Ambrym Island, Vanuatu

Item number : 2205182

Price :

11 000.00 € VAT excl.
( Price vat incl.11 385.00 € )

Shipping costs are not included Calculate shipping costs here
Pick up available at our showroom


Large slit drum from the Ambrym Island ( Vanuatu archipelago) carved in a single trunk tree, mounted with a single head carved into a crescent, adorned with three serrated row ending by two spirals on the chest. Two large disc-shaped eyes as well as a large nose decorated the face. 

"In Vanuatu, a slit drum is a musical instrument that is traditionally played by men of high rank.
In most islands of Vanuatu, the drum has little to no decoration, and is played horizontally on the ground. On the island of Ambrym though, such drums stand vertically on the ground; they are decorated with one or several faces with disk eyes, representing ancestral figures, such a figure is called a tamtam.The distinctive shape of these Ambrym drums has made them iconic of Vanuatu as a whole; they are frequently found in museums around the world, and represented on Vanuatu banknotes.

Slit drums, whether decorated or not, have a significance to Vanuatu's traditional economy and society: they can be a sign of a man's wealth and social status within the political system of graded societies.The drums are sometimes found at ceremonial dance grounds and other gathering places.

They have been used for dance rhythms, but also for signalling purposes. A tamtam is said to hold spirits, some good, some bad, and are often posted upright at the perimeter of a property or outside a house as protection.”

Source : wiki

Similar example
National Gallery of Victoria, Art Journal Edition 43, Judith Ryan, Senior Curator Indigenous Art, Tam Tam Slit-drum

Custom wooden box
Dimensions : length 305 cm x height  57,5 cm x width 61,5 cm
Weight : +- 300 kg 
The custom metal base comes with an another wooden box. 
Special transportation is required for this item, please contact us at info@weart.com for more details. 

  • Origin
    New Hebrides
  • Region, Province, City
    Ambrym Island
  • Date
      • Early
      • 20th
      • Century
  • Material
  • Publications and exhibitions of the object
    Exhibited at the Cinquantenaire Museum (M.R.A.H.) during the exhibition titled "Oceania Travels through the immensity" from 26-10-2017 to 29-04-2018
  • Height (cm)
  • Stand
    Custom metal base
  • Bibliographic references

    • Ethnology of Vanuatu, An early twentieth century study, Felix Speiser, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1996 ( English translation of the original 1923 version), pp. 348, 376 - pl.105, 109

    • Jean Guiart, Océanie, Collection L'univers des formes, Editions Gallimard, 1963, pp. 229, 230 - pl. 213, 214

  • Provenance
    Ex. collection of the artist Jef Van Turenhout (1926 - 2006), acquired in Bruxelles in the 1970s.

You may also like

Guarantee of authenticity


WeArt relies on a network of art dealers & independent experts who guarantee you authentic art of high quality. 


The WeArt platform proposes a large choice of items within a wide gamma of categories that are sourced from, mainly, well-known art dealers from Belgium and France, and, to a lesser extent, from private collectors.


Our in-house committee selects with great care its affiliated art dealers and applies rigid, internal criteria so that our clients, when acquiring an item, are guaranteed of its authenticity and quality. 


Each article on sale on WeArt is first checked, valued and appraised by the art dealers themselves. WeArt, as a rule, double checks the integrity of proposed articles with our team of independent experts who verify whether proposed articles conform to the origin, date, conservation status and estimated value as proposed by the art dealers.


As such WeArt can reassure you, our esteemed client, the acquisition of authentic art, at the right price and correctly described.


Private patrons, collectors and art lovers alike, can also enjoy our services and sell their works of art on our platform. A physical examination of the object will be needed, after which our network of experts will properly describe and estimate your work of art.


 Start a free valuation now   




How to pay for items purchased on WeArt ? 


WeArt provides buyers a secure and confidential payment service. 

Several payment options are available:



Bancontact/mistercash allows you to pay instantly with your debit card. Our payment provider Ingenico secures your transactions and allows you to have encrypted and secured transactions with an advanced fraud prevention module.



PayPal offers you an instant secure payment method. You will be redirected to the PayPal website.  If you already have a account, log in immediately, if you do not, pay as a guest or create a free account. 



Wiretransfer is a safe way to buy online. You need to wire your payment directly to our bank account. The Wiretransfer option requires payment of the due amount within 3 days, after which your good can no longer be kept reserved for you. Once we have received the amount, your item will be shipped. 


For more details regarding your personnal information please read our Private Policy. 









WeArt is committed to offer its buyers a safe and flexible shipment.


We have partnered with UPS for a smooth and easy delivery worldwide.


Our aim is to have delivery accomplished for parcels sent within the European Union in a period of 14 business days upon reception of the payment and 21 working days for delivery outside the European Union. The delivery may be delayed due to independent or external factors (export or import license / administrative authorization / complicated or delicate packing etc).  


Items that are stored at our premises in Brussels, can be directly collected for free. Storage costs will be applied after one month’s time starting on the day of the payment. At step 2 of your purchase process it is shown whether the purchased item is stored at our Brussels location. You will then be able to opt for personal pick up or transport via UPS.


For pick up, ask for an appointment at info@weart.com

Or call us +32 (0) 2 514 03 37 


Door to door service


How much will shipment costs me? 

Shipping costs are not included in the price displayed on the website.  

To overwiew shipping costs before purchasing an item, click on the link “Click here for shipping cost” below the price.  Select your country and indicate your postal code. 

Shipping fees depend on the size and weight of the chosen article (packaging), shipping address and chosen UPS service. 


UPS Standard 
UPS Saver
UPS Express
UPS Worldwide Express Plus SM 


Does WeArt provide transport insurance?

Insurance is optional and will be offered during your purchase process. 



Return & Cancellation


Satisfaction is important to us. 


We want you to be totally satisfied with your purchase. If unhappy, you have 14 days, starting from the day of delivery, to return an item. No penalty will be asked, neither the reason why you wish to return an item.


How to proceed?


Email us a filled-in revocation form - click here.

And return the item to us, intact and in its initial packaging. 


Please note that the return transport fees will not be refunded. You may ship with your own carrier or use UPS services (a return label can be directly downloaded from your account).


You received a damaged package ? 


Keep your package on hold, take pictures of the damage and contact us immediately at info@weart.com

We will take care of your case very quickly.


Click here for more information on our return policy. 




Our team is happy to help you for any questions.



By email :   info@ weart.com


By phone : +32 (0) 2 514 03 37



We are open from  Monday to Friday  - 10 am to 6 pm CET



WeArt offices


17 rue des Minimes (Sablon) - B1000 Brussels - Belgium