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Pendulum Drums

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Pendulum Drums
Item Information
Na'vi Name

T'riti sp jahmka, also ganti'a hiru'taya


2.5 meters in height



Used by



Used to ornament songs and dances


Up to 100 kilograms

Behind the Scenes
First Appearance

James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide

Pendulum Drums (Na'vi name: T'riti so jahmka or Ganti'a hiru'taya meaning "tree that flies") are a type of instrument used by the Na'vi.


These drums are exceptionally loud, due to the placement of the drums over holes in the trees. When the drum is struck, the volume is amplified by the hollow structure of the tree to which it is attached.

The performer stands on a trapeze-like swing; the padded end of the sturdy branch on which he stands acts as the drumstick. He propels himself back and forth between the two drums, hitting each as he swings from side to side. Just before the beater hits the drum head, the performer jumps up off the swinging beater, allowing it to rebound naturally. Numerous drums may be played simultaneously by drummers on trapezes of different lengths, creating a chaotic poly-rhythm.

Because of the inaccuracy of the swinging/playing technique, a steady rhythm is almost impossible to attain, except by very few skilled players. Therefore these drums are typically not used as accompaniment for dances. They are, however, used to ornament songs and especially to add excitement to Dream Hunt dancing.

Injuries are sometimes suffered by clan members who attempt to use the drums during dances at which kava, a mild intoxicant, is consumed.


Social, to accompany celebratory dances.

Materials and ConstructionEdit

Large gourd with both ends cut off. Drumheads (one side only) made from sturmbeest bladders. Drums attached by vines at right angles to the sides of hollow unidelta trees.


James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide - pg 114

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