Tree Drum
Item Information
Na'vi Name

Ey’tey jahmka hiru’taya


Three to five meters long



Used by



Social music, ritual use


Limb of Hometree, still attached



Behind the Scenes
First Appearance


The tree drum (Na'vi name: ey’tey jahmka hiru’taya) is used for accompaniment for social and ritual songs. Na'vi drummers will strike the holes of a selected Hometree limb with wide soft fibrous paddles called nik’hih lo’simanu. The tree drum may be played by one drummer or many simultaneously. Some drummers will stand on the ground and strike openings within their reach. Others will climb the tree to strike the highest holes, supported by a sling, similar to Earth's lumberjacks or utility pole workers.


While the individual holes create distinctly different resonant pitches, this instrument is not perceived as a melodic instrument by the Na’vi. It is used as a strictly rhythmic accompaniment for social dances and, with multiple drummers, can create a mesmerizing polyrhythm. During Uniltaron, or “Dream Hunt,” women take over the drumming activities. It is felt that the ecstatic behavior of the men during Uniltaron is so wild and erratic, they may unintentionally harm themselves by trying to climb and play this tree.


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