This weekend, I joined a group of people in making our own drum. It was a really cool workshop, and I just absolutely love my drum. Each time I walk by it, I give it a little tap, or I use my drumstick to produce sound from it. I spend minutes at a time looking at the patterns and shapes made from the walnut stain we used on the deer pelt.
Prior to this time, I had always admired others’ drums, but when they would ask me if I wanted to play them, I always hesitated and typically said no. I am not sure why, but I think it had to do with how personal a drum is. After all, when you beat a drum, you can actually alter your own heartbeat. A slow drum beat slows the heart rate down. A faster drum beat speeds the heart rate up. At least this has always been my experience, as the drum has such a strong vibration, it’s hard to not get caught up in its beat.
I think a drum becomes a personal extension of the person who owns it. There have been times that I have walked into a store that sells deerskin drums and thought, “I should buy a drum.” But after looking at them and touching them, I have always decided not to buy one. I was never sure why I would change my mind each time.
Until this weekend. As I arrived at the workshop, I realized that I had been waiting to make my own drum for many years. It needed to be put together by me, from selecting the deer skin, to cutting it out, from shaping the pelt before dying it, to washing and rinsing it after the dye, from each cut of the knife, to each weaving of the deer skin lace, from the selection of the hematite stone placed in the back side, to the process of drying the drum near my bed. I needed to assemble the drum with my own personal energy infused in the drum, so that when I played it, it had not only the energy of the deer spirit, but also the energy of me, infused in it. Only then could I make beautiful music come from my heart and onto the drum.
I love my drum!