Haitian Drum Art – Turning Trash Into Opportunities Where Majority Lives on Less Than $2 a Day

Haitian drum art is an innovative art form created by transforming recycled steel oil drums into unique metal sculptures. Artists use hammers and chisels to transform 55-gallon steel oil drums into works of art, most commonly metal wall sculptures. The art form allows skilled craftspeople to earn fair wages in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, as three-fourths of the population lives on less than two dollars per day.

Designs and Themes

Haitian drum artists transform recycled 55-gallon steel oil drums into metal sculptures, using a hammer and chisel. Oil drum art is reflective of a culture deeply rooted in oral traditions and story-telling. Haitian drum artists create intricate designs portraying a variety of themes. Scenes depicting music and dance are common to Haitian steel drum art, as are illustrative scenes of nature, sea-life, and celestial designs.  Although a relatively new art form, the Haitian history of Voodoo is also commonly reflected in Haitian drum sculptures and the themes depicted.  

Economic Opportunities – 6,000,000+ Live on Less than $ 2 a Day

Croix des Bouquets, Haiti is recognized as the center of craftsmanship for drum art, and the craft is a vital source of sustainable income for the artisans and their community. Recycled metal art that is produced according to fair trade standards is sustainable as well as eco-friendly. Fair trade practices and payment allow Haitian metal artists to maintain to create economic opportunities for themselves and their families, in a country where three-fourths of the population lives on less than two dollars per day.  

Decorative Uses

Haitian oil drum art has become an eco-friendly art form sought by many for decorative use. Most commonly, reclaimed metal sculptures are used as wall hangings. Haitian oil drum sculptures may be hand painted, or may reflect a natural patina. Recycled metal sculptures with a natural patina often have a varnish coating and are suitable for indoor or outdoor use. You can easily maintain and protect your Haitian drum art for outdoor or garden use by refreshing the piece with an extra layer of varnish each year.