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Where is a Gato Drum from?

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While wood "slit" drums probably originated independently in various cultures, the branded "GATO" drum was first made in the mid 1970's.  I purchased one at Elderly Instruments in East Lansing Michigan in 1976 or 77.  I do remember "patent pending" burned in the wood underneath the name - and found this in the US Patent database: 


Patent number: 4137815
Filing date: Mar 14, 1977
Issue date: Feb 6, 1979

This google link contains the patent summary, as well as drawings:


This is definitely the Gato drum. It doesn't appear to be currently manufactured in the hardwood form that I remember.

You can find cheap versions sold as children's percussion instruments - see for example


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