CEREMONIAL DRUMS

handcrafted drums and flutes.

Kay Chakana

Ceremonial Drum

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A tradition spanning thousands of years, this drum pays homage to the Andean Chakana. Of cultural and probably celestial importance, the first known representation of the full Chakana is from the Tello Obelisk, of the middle Chavin Culture around 2,800 years ago. Like the Thirteen Moon, the Chakana is deep and resonant.
The drum frame is made in Peruvian Tornillo. The drum head and lacing are in goat skin rawhide.
The drum frame is made in Peruvian Tornillo. The drum head and lacing are in goat skin rawhide.
38cm Diameter

$520 us

Available / Made to Order
With Drumstick & Bag

How to Get Started

Our drums are individually handcrafted. They are unique in many respects, and we want to make sure they’re right for you before they leave KunKuMan. Just let us know what you’re interested in. We’ll be more than happy to point you in the right direction, and help you get started.

What's on the Website

The drums you find here may be new and still available, or may have sold and remain on the website as part of our portfolio. All of our drums can be “Made to Order”. Just let us know what you’re interested in and we’ll be right with you.

If a drum is listed as “Available”, let us know you’re interested. Include any specific questions you might have, and we’ll be in touch with more information on that particular drum. Please make sure to include any shipping and handling information. We do accept Visa, MasterCharge, American Express and Bank Transfers.

If a drum is listed as “Made to Order”, you can first get more information on the materials we work with below. Please include any specific questions or requests in the form. We’ll be in touch with more information on the process, and to get more information from you. Orders generally take four to six weeks and are subject to the availability of the materials. See “Made to Order” below.

Custom and Made to Order instruments are designed with you in mind. All orders include an exchange on design, detailing, ageing and photos of work in progress.

No deposit or pre-payment is required. However, it generally takes four to six weeks, and is subject to availability of materials. Exact delivery times can not be guaranteed.

Materials We Work With

Most of the materials we use are sourced locally. We try to work as much as possible within the community, and with care and stewardship towards the environment, land, and animals we all depend on.

We want every instrument to be unique yet genuine, and the materials we choose help make this possible. Our drum frames are made with Agave and TornilloTornillo (Cedrelinga cateniformis) is an even-textured light golden brown to redish-brown hardwood with large open pores, and a straight, pronounced grain. These large pores give it a unique open texture, that lends itself to any facegrain surface, and a beautiful, heavily textured finish. It is not well know outside of the tropics, but is comparable in density and hardness to American elm.​.

The agaves are harvested naturally. We let them flower and go through their full cycle, leaving them for the following year to be sure they have dropped their seed. Finally, they are harvested and brought down the mountain before the next rainy season starts.

Tornillo ages well so we try to recycle wood or buy scrap stock from different cabinet and furniture makers. Because our drum frames are made with solid, mitred pieces of wood, for instance the Thirteen Moon has thirteen sides to the frame, we are able to recycle wood, as well as buy scrap stock from different cabinet and furniture makers.

Our rawhide comes from our neighbours, rural families in here in the Quebrada Paron and surrounding mountains. We collect them, bring them into the shop and clean them in a natural solution of water, lime and ash. When finished, each is tinted with various native plants. Our rawhide lacing goes through the same process, and finally “entorchado”, which is to cut the rawhide into long thin strips and then twist these into round cordage, giving it the strength and flexibility we need to lace the drum. Because each piece is treated and tinted separately, there are no two drum heads the same.

The seeds used in the Yaku drums are “mung beans”, and are mixed with another plant called “muña”. Muña is a native herb that is used to protect the beans, and other types of seed from bugs.

Our drumsticks are made of “Lloque” an extremely hard sapling that we are able to collect near Chavin de Huantar. This plant has been used for millennia by elders in Andean communities to make power sticks or prayer sticks. The Lloque sticks are scorched to harden the wood and give it strength, and then shaped.

Our bags are made of “Balleta”, a natural, hand spun and hand woven wool fabric. Our Balleta comes from the local community. Families that raise sheep, and still work with Balleta, washing and dying the carded wool with various native plants to produce several earth tone colors. The wool is then spun and woven by hand. All of our bags are then carefully sewn together with a padded interior for extra protection, finally adding any leather accessories and reinforcements.

Resins & Coatings

We use primarily Teak Oils for exterior finishes, and the drum interiors are coated with a natural incense, a special a mix of wood and plant fibres.

Tuning Your Drum

It is really important to us that you get the best performance and sound from your drum. This is why we need to know a little about the area you live in. Weather, temperature and humidity all play a part in tuning, and keeping your drum in tune.

All of our drums are tuned before they are shipped based on where they are going to live. For example, if you live in a humid climate the lacing might need to be tighter than it would be at our relative humidity. When you receive the drum, the raw hide will take in humidity from the environment and the head will loosen slightly. If you are in a dryer climate, we would do more or less the opposite.

This is true for our Thirteen Moon drums, the Yaku drums and the Chakana. These drums use a type of lacing that can not be tuned by hand. They are instead tuned, carefully using a source of dry heat, like a campfire, or the sun. You control the exposure time, until you get the voice or pitch that suits you best. Changing to a dryer climate your drum may well tighten, raising the pitch. In this case you would dampen your hands a bit, and massage the drum head until it starts to loosen and you get the pitch that suits you best.

With the Ashiko, you are going to be able to tune the drum by adjusting the extra lacing around the drum.

Made to Order

We always have drums in stock and in progress, that are not listed here on the website. If you don’t see what you’re looking for please contact us for a full list. Join KunKuMan to be notified when new drums of interest to you go online.

While those drums listed here on the website are often still available, others may have sold and remain on the website as part of our portfolio. Anything you find here on the site can be “Made to Order”. It takes a bit of time and patience, but it’s a great way to purchase a drum. In the end, the instrument is truly yours.

Custom and Made to Order instruments are designed to fit you. Orders include an exchange on design, detailing, and photos of work in progress. No deposit or pre-payment is required. However, it generally takes four to six weeks, and is subject to availability of materials. Exact delivery times cannot be guaranteed.

About this Drum

If you have any questions about this drum, available materials, or finishes, please get in touch.

Kay Chakana / Shamanic Drum

Ask About this Drum / The Chakana

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KM 1.5 - Camino a Paron
Cordillera Blanca, Peru

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Privacy Policy / Cookie Policy /

Copyright © 2023 KunKuMan / Cordillera Blanca, Peru

Copyright © 2023 KunKuMan / Cordillera Blanca, Peru