August 1, 2013

Making Your Own Drum

Posted in Crafts, Tools, Witchy Things tagged , at 11:12 pm by Babs

Before you can march to the beat of your own drum… you first must have a drum!  Recently I attended a weekend retreat (Feminine Energy Experience) where a bunch of like-minded women gather to discuss life, love, and our addiction to coffee.  We end up with lots of laughs, great discussion and many ideas to ponder.  One of the activities was drum making and I was all over this opportunity and I learned a lot.

Starting with the basics; a drum frame, a hide and sinew – I was ready.  We learned a lot about cleansing the hide and sinew from the fear and pain the animal felt when it was killed as well as thanking the animal for its sacrifice so that we can make this sacred object.  We then used oil to anoint the frame of the drum doing the same for the tree (Maple) that was harvested so that we could make this drum.  Once our materials were “cleaned” we were ready.

I have to say, my OCD was a bit on hyper-drive but with a patient teacher I was able to realize that there is no “wrong” way.  What was meant to be would materialize in the form of a completed drum.  Once I “let go” I realized I was having more fun because we were telling stories, laughing and working with our hands all at the same time.  It was divine!

Punching the hide with anchor holes is a bit of an art form that requires some open thinking and some brawn.  Then making the holes large enough for the sinew to be strung through is the next step.  All during this process you have to keep the hide wet so that it remains supple for the stretching over the drum frame.  The stringing is where the OCD went out of control but it was quickly accomplished.  Lacing the longer of the two ends to make a cross of sorts on the underside taking in the four directions; north, south, east and west and tying it all off.

What was important to do is let the ends of the sinew (however long) dry along with your drum and NOT cut them off.  When the drum is fully dried and ready to play… you symbolically cut the ends like an umbilical cord.  This sets the drum free to be its own entity.

What is invaluable to note: while I started this blog stating the intent to “march to the beat of my own drum” which on many levels instills a concept of individuality… drum making made me aware of the importance of the drum and the symbolism of the elements, the directions, the interconnectedness of all life and the (heart) beat that holds us all together moving forward and evolving.

1 Comment »

  1. Babs said,

    Unfortunately the drum kit I was sold was crappy and the drum broke in less than a year with little use. I still loved the process but just wish it was of better quality.

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