Native American Drums

Native American drums have a deep-rooted and inseparable connection with the Native American Indians, who are manufacturing the drums for over a few millenniums now. Not only is the drum an age-old tradition with the American Indian people, but also it happens to be the oldest living instrument on earth.

The history of the drums goes back as early as the time when society was very much in its infant stage. The vibrations of the drums are in tune with the earth’s natural frequency and its round form represents the circle of life as well as the universe. Hence in all aspects, the drum connects us to life.

Drums belong to the family of percussion instruments and can technically be classified as the membraneophone. Drums consist of a minimum of one membrane, which is manufactured from animals’ hide. Woods from sturdy trees are used to make the frame over which the drumhead or drum skin is stretched. The drum is struck either by the player or by the drum sticks (made of hardwood and wool) and the sound is produced by the vibration of the membrane. It is noteworthy, that for hundreds of years, the basic design of the drum has remained unchanged.

Like all other tribal societies, Native American people also consider music to be an integral part of life because it serves as a medium to maintain their spiritual relationship with the creator. Through drumbeats, several Native American Indian traditions were passed down from one generation to another. The drum is not only a deep, sacred part of the American-Indian culture, but it happens to be the heartbeat that sets the rhythm of their dance and the tempo of their song.

All the first nation’s songs like the Powwow, ceremonial songs, social dances and free styles are greatly accompanied by a Native American drum – be it the Big East native drums or hand drums. Apart from songs and dance, drums are used for healing and chanting too.

In the American Indian society, the drum is considered to have an entity of its own. It is believed that the drum is a living thing and inside it are the spirits of the animals and trees of which it is made. When the drum is struck, its sound calls for the attention of the creator as well as the spirit of their forefathers.

When a drum finds a partner, the beginning of a lifelong relationship is marked. At various yearly intervals, the care and maintenance of the drum is entrusted on responsible families, which are selected through a delicate process. The first son of the selected family then becomes a "drum keeper".

Normally, a Native American drum is large and is two to three feet in diameter. It is played together by a group of people who stand around it. However, in some tribes, each drummer has a personal instrument that is smaller in size and is often referred to as the "Tomtom" (by non-natives).

If you are interested to purchase a Native American drum then you can search the web for the names of the Native American artists, whose drum you can buy online. There are also several sellers from whom you can buy the varied types of native American Indian drums like hand-help Hoop, ceremonial and Ashiko drums or can go for customized drums and drumsticks handcrafted according to your choice of hide, size and embellishments.

So, buy your choice of Native American drums now and let yourself be connected with the earliest rhythm of life.

Joseph Paige 2006

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