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War Drum

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War Drum
Item Information
Na'vi Name



3 meters in height, 4 meters in diameter

Used by



Accompaniment to pre-battle ritual dance, warning signals


Roughly 75 kilograms

Behind the Scenes
First Appearance

James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide

The war drum (Na'vi name: tsamau) is a musical instrument used in ritual dances and for making warning signals by the Na'vi.


The different warning rhythms played on it are associated with specific dangers to the Na'vi and are used to signal for help. Because of its association with danger, the drum is also used to accompany ritual prebattle dances.

Some of the warning rhythms played on the drum represent different dangers; other rhythms indicate the direction from which the danger approaches. One rhythm is played when a Na'vi is in mortal danger and in need for help. Na'vi children learn the different signals from an early age.

The more recent incursions by humans necessitated the addition of another warning rhythm. It is theorized that the warning rhythm for humans is based on the Na'vi word skx'awng, highly derogatory term that is more or less analogous to "moron", or "one who does not see."

Materials and ConstructionEdit

The structure is made of branches, covered on both sides with tanned hexapede hides, filled with water, and the beating stick is made from a smoothed branch the size of a Terran baseball bat.


James Cameron's Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide pg. 46-47

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