The pair of Drumsticks are carved with images that address the differences between male and female. Many Native American cultures recognize the complementary and yet different social roles of men and women in community life. This mutual dependency extends to religious ritual, as acknowledged by the male and female faces carved in the drumsticks used for the most sacred episodes of the Delaware Big House ceremony.
Artist Delaware, Native American
  • Male Drumstick
Date between 1875 and 1900
Medium carved wood with pigment
Dimensions Overall: 19 5/8 × 2 15/16 × 1 inches (49.8 × 7.5 × 2.5 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Dabco Frank American Indian Art Fund and Henry Ford II Fund
Accession Number 1983.28.1
Department Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas
On View Native American S130, Level 1 (see map)
Frank Gouldsmith Speck (1881-1950), anthropologist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania;
by descent through Speck family;
1981, purchased by (Jonathan Holstein, New York, New York, USA);
1983-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Bulletin of the DIA: Annual Report (1984): p. 13 (fig. 11).