What Is It? The Rain Drum

Since we're all moving outside these days it's time to get some furniture to enjoy the outdoors (porch or not). One new item that I hadn't seen before was the rain drum.
Pottery Barn's Rain Drum $499 

It's a nice indoor and outdoor option but what is a rain drum? 

They date back to 2500 B.C. in northern Vietnam and Thailand, though examples have been found in China and India as well. The drums were made out of bronze using the lost-wax casting method. They are more properly known as Dongson drums but got the name rain drum because they were used by some tribes to beckon the rain, since the sound the drums made pleased the spirits in the nature surrounding them. 

As different Asian populations took these drums into their cultures various motifs were created. Some images found on the drums include stars, frogs or other animals, geometric designs, and even ships. The ships were part of images that represented the passing the dead to the next world.

This star with twelve rays represents the lunar calendar with it's twelve months

A frog motif is popular, so much so that the drums are sometimes called frog drums
There's a famous rain drum in Bali with a pretty crazy story:

"Pak Ketut Manta, a local guide, tells the legend of the Pejeng Drum: “In the old times, there were seven moons in the firmament. One fell down and landed on a coconut tree in Pejeng. The celes tial object illuminated the village nights, leaving bur glars jobless - until one of them climbed the tree, urinating on the moon to extinguish its light. The brave man did not survive the resulting explosion, but his mission was successful. The moon fell to ground, the light was extinct and night life could resume. Still today, you can see the breaks on the gong and the greenish patina from the burglar's urine.”*
The bronze drum on its side 
It's a sacred drum so no one is to touch it. Supposedly a man once struck the drum and fell ill the next day. We'll stick to the Pottery Barn version. 

*www.ubud-hotel-foryou.com Bali Online Information