A handful of good friends and I were on a trip to serve and speak at an International Women's Conference. We had taken a break from the Air Conditioned, Luxury Hotel to battle the car horns, beggars, rickshaws, bicycles, and occasional cow pulling a cart through the packed and bustling down town.
Arriving at the 3 story department store, we were amazed and enamored by the scope of wares and bobbles available at it.
Linens and silks, Persian rugs, Sari's and shoes, bedding, Nick-knacks and Tibetan Singing Bowls were on every shelf, nook, and cranny.
It was like entering the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as we explored the cultural phenomena.
Incense burned, candles flickered. New and polished vases sat juxtaposed to 1000 year old antiques. Fascinating.
I had come along for the ride. I hadn't intended to purchase anything and laughed as my sweet beautiful girl friends twirled and spun in traditional Indian gowns and worked with designers to create their very own tailored outfits.
While the men in our group indulged in the limitless drinks that the sales people refreshed at no charge; I was content to play the sound bowls and peruse Taj Mahal magnets and leather bound journals.
Then..... I saw it.
A four foot in diameter Steel Base Drum.
I remember sticking my head out around a corner of the stairway and crying out to my friend upstairs as I snatched a drum stick and pounded the leather rawhide drum head.
A resounding echo filled ALL three floors.
BOOM BOOM BOOM!
He heard the echo... and came running.
I asked the sales person what animal hide it was created from.... Camel.
A CENTURY old Camel Hide Drum.
Hand tied, Hand hammered base.
$1000 was reasonable when the dealer asked for it.
Drums this size in America are usually $2500-$4000
Another $800 shipped it via Freight to Salt Lake City, where- after 3 months of waiting; I hired a friend to get the crate back to my home in his truck.
We stood at Customs for a half hour while the Customs Agent tried to discern whether or not we were legally allowed to have a Camel Hide Drum in Utah.
(It turns out you can as long as it's antique. Phew)
On my way out the Agent asked "Waiting a long time?"
"Yes!" I sighed exasperated. "Trust me, I'll never buy anything again I can't smuggle in under my shirt."
The words at which, my buddy with the truck grabbed my arm and hauled me out of the office before they could do a "cavity search."
After all this, I FINALLY have the drum. AND... I was SOOOOO happy . AND I still AMMMM SOOO Happy.
My kids say it SHAKES the WHOLE HOUSE!!!
But- It's time for it to find another home.
I've enjoyed it for months and love it- but it's time that it lives somewhere else.
I'm posting it here for $950
(you saw my prices earlier- you know this is a crazy bargain)
I actually bought another "Grandmother Drum" the same size here in the States and feel like having TWO large drums is too much.
My loss is your gain.
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