Give a heart, to find a home. It's where my starting living roam, does seek inside a heart of gold. My smoke does rise to find a home (eternal circle). Gift me a paradise for all the streets (golden paved hearts). Gift thee a heart that always bleeds (law of love, we endure for others). Keep deep inside, the river's stride. come behold the longing pride (clan). I bless the wheels that seem undone (for you to know freedom again). I bless the heart strings, that are not sung (perfection of your soul). I bless the world, to live in grace. I bless the whole entire space.

I Bless You

Holiness David Running Eagle Shooting Star, your Father Red Hand

Prayer today...

I bless the world. I send out my love to the world. And I pray that people will learn love in all aspects. I love the world.

Sending you Love!

Drums Entwine Heaven and Earth

What Does Father Red Hand Mean?

Relatives, This is White Buffalo Calf Woman and I am interpreting to you the meaning of these three (joyous) words, Father Red Hand. Father: Father to the House of David, elder lavender person, with crown belonging to the people, a King of Earth, Holiness David, the beloved children are protected, wings enclosed. Red: Red Road, the law of love. Hand: One hand bow. Usually we pray and bow with two hands together in unity, we even clap them together to rejoice. But in a one hand bow, there is silence, here we greet the spirit, the blue road, in which the bow, is for all the heavens, where the red road lives. Red Hand: In the vastness of heaven - blue/black space, lies the red road. I present to you, Holiness David. Running Eagle Shooting Star, your Father Red Hand

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Native American Hoop Drum and How to Make Your Own Hand Drum!

Native American Hoop Drums
Native American Hoop Drums
Native American hoop drums or frame drums of the famous Tarahumara Indians are Native made Indian hoop drums. The Tarahumara Indians are said to be North Americas most primitive people, inhabiting caves and cliff dwellings. Rawhide drums are used during their festivals as a call to gather the people and as an integral part of their ceremony.

When it comes to Native American hand drums, there are many different types and styles available. Different Native Americans made different types of drums and for different purposes. Most often the drums were used in ceremonies and rituals or celebrations of some type. Rawhide drums were very common in most Native American cultures and used in many different types of hand drums. Each of these types of Native American drums is beautiful in its own way and serves an important purpose within the families and tribes, but in general it is the hoop drum that is common to all. The wonder and beauty of Native American hoop drums is not only reserved for Native Americans today, as they are sharing their work with other people of the world. Some of the most famous hoop drums are Tarahumara Indian drums. Their drum festivals draw people from around the world.

What are Hand Drums? Native American hand drums are sometimes called frame drums and throughout Native American history have been a traditional style hoop drum. They are often used in ceremonies and celebrations as well as for meditation or medicine with most Native Americans. In modern society, they are used to teach people about the American Indian culture and often even used as decoration. In some cases, the drums are even used for art projects because the rawhide makes a great canvas for painting and decoration. In the history of Native Americans, drums just like the hoop drum were used for many different things. They were an essential part of the Native American culture and way of life and still remain so today. There are many spiritual, emotional and health-related benefits to drumming and hoop drums are a great way to achieve this.

How are Hand Drums Made? Native American drums are all exquisitely hand made by the tribes that create them, each drum is unique. Tarahumara hoop drums are made by bending a piece of yellow pine into a hoop and rawhide is stretched and laced for heads. A handle is made 
from rawhide lacing and the drum is played by holding it vertically and tapping or "drumming" the sides. Hoop drums come in many different sizes but the standards are usually from 7” to 28” with 16” to 24” being the most popular among Native American hand drums. Thank you

White Buffalo Calf Woman Sings!

Beat my drum and hum along, I feel my heart does pound. It's heaven's sound, my heart goes dong, the beat of a river that flows, the magical place that grows.  

I beat my drum to hear the world, the place, I love to bee/dream. My soul does long to feel the song, where drums are here to keep, our feet on the easy street.  Red road come home to me.  I want to feel the breeze, as long as I beat, the heart of what it means, my song will billow in the wind!

Native American Shahman Style Hand Drum (Build Along) ... With Video Clip Playing Drum

PaleoPlanet & Musical Instruments & Native American Shahman Style Hand Drum (Build Along) ... With Video Clip Playing Drum

imageWell, after playing many drums and checking out many drums in the stores (for several hundreds of dollars) I decided I had to have my own drum. There are alot of beliefs about drums, there use, and what they mean. I will let ya all come to your own conclusions on that matter. 

First thing I needed to decide was what size drum I wanted. I want a nice deep booming sound, so I went with the 20 inch drum. I don't have enough of a woodshop to make my own hoop and I don't have the steaming equipment needed to make my own. So, I found this local place (with the help of hootie) and picked up a really nice hoop for a decent price. 

Here is the hoop I decided on. It's 20 inches by three inches deep. I used this to determine what size drum head I would need. Since the drum was 20 inches and the sides are 3 inches, and I wanted at least a 1 inch overhang in the back. I needed a 28 inch drum head. 

I had to soak all my lacing and drum head prior to putting the whole thing together. It only took me about three hour in some warm water to get the rawhide into a proper workability. Prior to soaking the drum head I evenly spaces holes and punched them into the rawhide with a leather punch. I places them about 1 inch back from the edge so they would be less likely to rip out after lacing and drying. 


Because of the style of lacing I decided on, I needed to run a piece of rawhide lace all the way around the outside, weaving it in and out of the holes I punched until I went all the way around. 



Once I finished lacing the outer ring, I placed the drum hoop in the center (as close as I could get) and pulled the lacing tighter and tied it off. The edge of the drum head then began to fold over the outter edge of the hoop. The head looks like it is off center but I had to cut the drumhead a little off round because of a flaw in the hide. 


Once I got the drum head centered on the hoop and the outer ring (which was made of thicker rawhide lacing because I figured it would be less likely to cut through the rawhide when it dries) I began to work out the wrinkles a little and then I started lacing around the inside of the drum. I ran the thinner inner lacing through the thicker lacing and then across the drum to the other side and worked my way around the whole thing. 


Once I got it laced all the way around, I tied the two ends of the outter lacing together to complete the inner lacing. 


Once the inner lacing was done, I used some of the left over thicker lacing to center and seperate the inner lacing into groups of five laces. I wove the piece of thick lacing in and out of the groups of laces until they formed a nice crisscross in the middle. The held the inner lacing centered and allowed it to dry this way. 


Eventually, after the whole thing dries, I will see how it is tuned and how it sounds. If I need to tighted up the drumhead, I can then take these groups of five laces and wrap them together to form an X on the back of the drum. This will pull the laces together tighter and tighten the drum head if needed. 

Here is a shot of the face of the completed drum. I through my two drum sticks on there for a better pic. The whole thing is still wet. I will need to set it on our freezer in the laundry room to dry for the next day before I can tell if it turned out ok. 


Here is a closer look at the two drum sticks. While I was waiting for the drum hoop to arrive in the mail, I went out in the yard and cut a couple of maple branches to use for sticks. One is peeled and the other I left the bark on. I rolled some buckskin around the end and then wrapped a piece over it and tied it off with some fake sinue. I did the same thing for the fringe. One is heavy the other is light. I figure it will give a little choice on how to play it. 


Comments and impressions are welcome. When the whole thing dries, I will try to put a little .wav file on here to let ya all hear what it sounds like. I chose this style of lacing because I felt it would help reduce the pressure on the holes in the drum head and would help reduce the risk of a lace tearing out a hole when drying. 

One last note. I tied everything so it was snug. But, I did not pull everything so tight that it would be the tightness of a finished drum. Fight the urge to pull everything so tight that when it shrinks, you may have stuff tear out on ya. This is my first drum. So, it may or may not work out. 

Mutt's avatarThanks for lookin. Hope this helps someone else. Mutt.vets  
avatar Wow, that looks nice. I've tanned lots of hides, but never thought to turn one of the rawhides into a drum. You've inspired me! 

-Eric "Sitting Coyote" Eric Garza

Mutt's avatarIt took me longer to make this tutorial than it did to put the drum together. Once you got your stuff ready and all soaked and ready to go. It only takes like 20 minutes to get er done. I gave it a test tap this morning. Everything is nice and tight and it sounds nice. The rawhide isn't 100 percent dry yet so I won't mess with it too much till tomorrow. It'll take a full 24 hours for it to cure completely. 

P.S. You should stick to the name "sitting coyote", that was a pretty cool name. It fit this forum well. Mutt.vets  

avatarthe only drawback i see is the possibility of the main line breaking and it all coming lose. but if it was thick and wide enough it shouldn't be a problem. nice job! panbreaux

Mutt's avatarpanbreaux ..... the main string is as thick as it is wide. When I got ahold of it, I realized it was way too thick to use as a crisscross lace. It's a little bit smaller around than a normal pencil. But, if it were to break, I could probably resoak everything (which would be a huge pain in the @ss) and retry it. The inner laces are the same thickness as the drum face. If one of them were to break, I think I could add in a piece to patch the broken lace. 

I went out for the day. When I got home, the whole drum was completely dry. I checked every lace to make sure there weren't any rips broken laces. Everything is tight and dry. I finally got the chance to give it a good smack with a drum stick. I was suprised with the deep booming sound that came out of this drum. You feel the vibrations go all the way up your arm. I have the ability to tune it by wrapping the laces in the back tighter, but I don't think that will be necessary. Now I just need to decide whether or not I am going to paint the drum face or just leave it plain.  Mutt.vets 

avatarvery kool. nice workmanship  rwaterman00

Mutt's avatar I took some video with my digital camera. The mic in the camera isn't that good. The drum actually sounds better in real life than in the video. 

Here's the video if you want to hear it ................ I play from the center (deep booming bass) to the edge (nice higher pitch) and back to the center. You hear the tone go from bass to a higher pitch and then back to bass. The bass isn't picked up as well by the camera, but the higher pitches turned out really good. It's kinda frustrating cause I want to show how good this thing sounds and can't get my (cheap) equipment to do what I want. Well enjoy ............. 

avatarGreat tutorial and thanks for all the work you put into that. That's a nice looking drum! eskimoboy

as thick as it is it won't give out anytime soon. sounds great! you may want to find all your sweet spots and then paint it. you can either use the paint to mark the spots or be able to avoid the spots to save the paint. dyes hold up a bit better than paint, but sometimes they bleed into areas you don't want when you're trying to stay in a line. markers bleed leaving a fuzzy line too. most inks leave nice clean lines. 

Mutt's avatarWhat about using a sharpie?? I was playing around with a little left over piece of hide and noticed that sharpies seem to mark really well on the hide. But, I am just wondering what it will do over time or if it get wet or something.  

Thanks for all the compliments and the help earlier on. Mutt.vets 

avatarsharpie may bleed, but a laundry marker probably won't. try different things on scrap and see how it goes. you may want to wet the scarp after it dries to see if it will bleed. if you play it outside and it gets dew or a rain sprinkle it may run. it won't hurt the drum if it gets wet, but could make for some ugly rain kissed art, lol. panbreaux

avatarthinned acrylics work well. think wash rather than paint. too thick and it's too prone to flaking. if you find your drum too lose when you wish to play it, gently warm it over a heat source. it doesn't take much. if the drum is too tight then wrap it in plastic for a while with a damp cloth. If it proves to be too loose on the time there is a simple way of tightening the drum. gather groups of the laces and tighten them together by wraping them as a group with artifical sinew. finally always remember is something happens to the drum, you can always re-use the hoop. also the existing drumhead can become the lacing for a future drum 

Mutt, commendable job and I like the design. You did yourself well.

Incidently, when I make drums I don't put the holes for the laces any set distance apart. Rather I punch one, then directly opposite that one I punch another. 90 degrees from those I punch two more. Now we have 4 equally spaced holes. I divide the distance between those and end up with 8, the once more for a total of 16 equally spaced holes. This number works for drums up to about 20" across. Some years back I made a couple of 24 " diameter drums and didn't think there were enough holes so I doubled it one final time for 32 holes. It was a pain stringing it but when finished I was very pleased with the result. I also sometimes make small 8" drums and will only put 8 holes into the drum head. 

I prefer to use multiples of 4 for a number of reason. Sharpies work okay. Bleeding is minimal. Mister Owl

avatar awesome thanks alot......the drum u made me i can feel the vibrations in the air all the way through my bones....i love it and more importantly my son loves it (it was a Bday present for him) Mitakuye oyasin dliwehtfollac

Mutt's avatar Thanks for the info guys. I couldn't have done it right the first time without all the recommendations and directions that were provided by everyone that helped me. I have a small patch of hide I'm gonna test out some drawing items on. Wet it, rub it, twist it ... you know .... torture test and see what works well, what hold up, what bleeds and what stays. 

Lesson's learned. 

1. Using different types of hide for the different part of the drums make the different pieces react differently. The drum head is deer. The thick lace is elk. The thin laces are horse. They all wetted different, elk took forever to soak till soft. The elk didn't stretch much or shrink much but the horse did. Next time I will use the same hide for all the pieces. I didn't have any problems, but I can deffinitely see the potential and as it was drying, I was hoping nothingh would go sideways. 

2. Just doing math and measuring what you think is an equal distance for all the holes does not in fact ensure you will get that in the end. If I could do it all over again, I would do it the way hootie describes. In the end, the lacing ends up much more evenly spaced than it did on mine. I like the way mine turned out. But, the laces aren't exactly even and I miscounted and had one too thick lace loops. I needed one more loop (on the drum head for the thick lace) to keep it even and I had to tie the last two ends of the thin laces together near the edge to finish the lacing. I looks OK but I wanted them to end up meeting in the middle ..... so if you actually count my laces, there is an odd number. That, and the drum head being slightly out of round really gave me headaches while assembling everything. 

3. Don't put the thing by the wood stove or radiator or it could rip. Letting it dry in the laundry room and then later in our bedroom (where we keep it much cooler) allowed it to dry slowly over about 36 hours. You could hear it complain, bong, ping and pop (every now and then) as it slowly dried and things were shrinking and shifting into place. 

4. Don't wait so damn long to do it. Get yourself some hide and a hoop and make one. If I'd have known it was this easy, I'd have 100 drums by now. I love the sound and the way it runs up your arm. I can't wait till the next Veterans Pow Wow, I am gonna see if they will let me join in with thier drummers. I can't wait to bust this thing out around the camp fire at the next knap in. I am probably gonna make a couple other smaller ones (for the wife and others to borrow at festivities). 

I think my next drum will be using a large bottle guord. Flip it upside down, fat end up. Cut the bottom off the fat end and the top off the skinny end. Put a hide over the fat end and a loop around the middle. Then string the drum head by zig zaggin up and down the side. I saw in another post where a person put some beads on the laces that way they could loosen or tighten as needed. It was a really nice design. Problem is, I don't have any gourds and can't really get them around here. So, if anyone has any and want to trade or sell a couple let me know. I also want to try and make a canteen from one Mutt.vets 

avatarGreat drum and build along! Legba 

And thank you

Native American Drum Blessing Ceremony -Article

Native American Drum Blessing Ceremony -Article

Native American Drums are a very important part of Native life and culture. They are respected for their beauty and spiritual connection to nature and the drummer. Recently, we had the pleasure of helping a very special family with a 42" drum who wrote to share how much the drum meant to them and how their family had a drum blessing ceremony according to Native Tradition.

We opened it up carefully and assembled the drum on the stand. Beautiful drum! Our children could not wait to try it out so we went ahead and gave the drum a blessing ceremony the way it's done with Native American Indians. And then, we played the drum. It is loud! We would know because four out of five members of our family are deaf. We are going to really enjoy this instrument for many years to come.

I am thankful for the privilege of purchasing such a wonderful drum. Not only is it crafted with beautiful cedar but it has a powerful voice. We're very pleased with it. You are more than welcome to share our comments with others so that they will know about these wonderful drums.

As for the blessing ceremony we gave the drum it was done to purify the drum so that the voice that comes out of the drum will represent the good things that the Great Spirit has to share with us. To do so, we set the drum on native rugs surrounded by individual native mats for each drummer. When everything was set and ready, everyone left the room and then we re-entered the room with everyone walking in a straight line as we circled around the drum (clockwise pattern) until everybody had completely circled the drum in a complete way.

With each one of us standing before the drum I stood toward the east and lit up the tobacco / sage and used a dedicated feather to fan generated smoke toward the drum and then I would fan the smoke toward the east to thank the east for new life and hope. Then, we all would move to our left where I was facing the south as I fanned smoke toward the south to thank it for the warmth, which represents growth and comfort. Then we would move to our left again where I would face the west as I fanned smoke toward the west to thank it for the next life that the west represents. And finally we moved to our left to where I was facing the north, fanned the smoke toward the direction to thank it for the cold which it produces and represents water and moisture that we receive.

As we all circled once more to our left I found myself facing the east again and I started to say a prayer. In this prayer we asked our grandmother (a native of Cherokee & Commache) to represent the voice of our drum. From there we felt the presence of strong spirit knowing that the invitation had been accepted. We were so humbled by this experience. Needless to say that we found ourselves with tears of joy. From there I fanned the smoke toward the drum once more before I started to sprinkled dried tobacco and sage on the drum from all four directions as we circled the drum once again. And then, afterwards, we sat on our individual drumming mats, wanting to be as close to the earth rather than to be seated on a chair.

Each one of us picked our drum sticks as we did this clockwise (left direction around the drum) I started with the first beat to be followed by the second beat by my wife, followed by our eldest daughter with the third beat, and then the fourth beat and fifth beat were done by my two boys. Then immediately afterwards we beat in unity, producing one of the most beautiful sounds we've heard in our house. This drumming lasted until around midnight as we found ourselves overjoyed with wonderful music that was so glorious in our deaf ears. The drum you picked out for us has made us whole and complete. We thank you for that.

I'll be sure to let others know about this wonderful drum of the Tarahumara Indians. All the best to you and yours, B. -Arizona. Thank you

The drum, the beating sound of the heart and the soul. The instrument for connecting the rhythm of life. For centuries the drum has been used to amplify the voice and synchronize the heart beat of man to the natural rhythms of the earth. The drum is a part of native heritage from tribal cultures all over the world. This single sided shaman drum is a traditional native drum using a wooden hoop or frame and a stretched rawhide head and lacing. Covered on only one side, the back is laced to form the symbol of a medicine wheel with the four cardinal directions that also serve as a hand hold. Here are a few backings of your hoop drum design.

Some Drum Designs 

Indian Native American Tom Tom Hoop Drum 7"  Native American Hand Drum 10" Shaman Drum 12" -One Sided Native American Style Drums Indian Hoop Native American drum 16"    Native Painted Drum -Elk Painted Indian Drum -Buffalo Skull Painted Tarahumara Drum 16" -Bird Painted Indian Hand Drum 16"- Four Bears Painted Native Drum -Warrior Painted Drum -Kokopelli  Hand Painted Indian Drum -Spider Painted Hand Drum -Raven 16" Native American Painted Drum 16" -Four Directions Bear Tarahumara Indian Drum 16" -Fan & Gourd Rattle Native Painted Drum 16" -Spirit Deer  Native American Cottonwood Elk Hand Drum 12" -Taos (9) Native American Indian Drum Table 24x22 Southwestern Cedar Indian Drum Table 24x22  Decorative Tarahumara Indian Log Drum 4x5 -CLEARANCE Tarahumara Indian Ceremonial Drum 26" Old Tarahumara Indian Ceremonial Drum  22x3.5" Painted Indian Hoop Drum -Bear Tarahumara Hoop Drum - 20" Native American drum Native American Style Drums -Hoop Drum 7"
Rainbow Warriors of Prophecy

Father Red Hand, walking in the trees (among the trees of life), kissing (unification), here is my heart, going two (united) by three (dream is born), walking along, giving love to thee. Father Red Hand purifying love, flowing and glowing (red fire) and driving all that's bad (purification bring all home), home to the heart beat (pounding heart flows life), where all belongs and keeps, inside the blood (red road, the law of love). There I stand up (rising sun) to the hands of God, where my embrace holds all that I see below. Running Eagle, my Shooting Star does sea, the many children, God gave to liberty.