The waist drum has a shell that is hourglass in shape with drumheads that are played on both ends. It is roughly 15 inches long and produces a medium pitch. It is played in front of the abdomen and strapped to the waist by colorful silk ribbons, allowing the drummers great mobility as they dance.
Waist drums first became popular in the dusty yellow Loess Plateau of north-central China, in Shaanxi province. They were later introduced into folk harvest dances, where performers would dance, kick, and jump, beating their drums all the while. These Chinese drums mostly play upbeat rhythms, in the sincere and animated style of the people of central China.
June 16, 2011