Friction drum with tied stick (231.2-91). Probably, this kind of membranophone was mentioned for the first time in Italy in the Gabinetto Armonico (1716-23), by the Jesuit Filippo Bonanni who called it strumento nelle Vendemmie.
Even though more than a hundred and fifty years have passed, the information given by Bonanni is still of use. In some areas of the south of the peninsula where the instrument is encountered at present, the friction drum remains associated with agricultural ceremonies. The resonator consists of a pot made of wood or terracotta; nowadays, however, it is usually replaced by a tin. The leather or bladder membrane may be occasionally substituted by a piece of cloth. A stick pierces the centre of the membrane and is fixed at the back with an X shaped piece. The last step in the construction is the fastening and streching of the membrane to the opening of the pot by means of a string, which is sometimes covered with a wooden band.
The pu-ti-pù or caccavella, as it is called in the region of Campania, performs the rhythmical bass in the popular band with the same name. The player holds the instrument at his chest level with one hand and, with the other, which has been previously wetted, rubs the stick blackwards and forwards. A boy carrying a piece of cloth and a bottle with water stands next to the performer to provide him with the necessary dampness.
H. 84.5 (20.5 + 64) x 0 23 cm.
Gift, Società Cooperativa «Lavori in Corso», 1989. IM 715.