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Choosing Shaman Drums For Ceremonial Drumming Groups

in Arts and Design by

Want to give your home true Native American style decor? Try using Shaman drums along with your rustic home furnishings like I did. My love for these unique, American Indian drums started right after my husband and I bought our new home last year. We knew that because of our love for the old west, we wanted true southwestern and Native American style decor with unique rustic home furnishings. Once that was decided I started filling my new home with awe-inspiring southwestern and Native American pieces that would match my southwest decor and entertain my guests by telling a story at the same time. That is when I came across how easy it was to give my home that beautiful western style that you see in designer home magazines, by decorating with shaman drums.

Maybe you are like me when I first started digging into the symbolic meaning of Native American drums, and have only a vague idea of what the Shamans drum is. Or, maybe you are wondering how to purchase the right drum to play in your Shaman drum circle. Whatever the case, it is necessary to understand the significance this raw hide drum plays in Native American culture so you can develop a true appreciation for its art and let its power guide you in the right direction.

If you are fortunate enough to be present at a Shamanic ceremony you will notice that the Shaman, or spiritual leader, will beat a unique looking raw hide hand drum with a soft drum stick to create the soothing monotonous beat needed to take him to an altered mental state. During this altered state of mind, called the Shamanic journey, the spiritual leader receives healing and spiritual powers he uses to guide his people. If you take a close look at the Shaman’s drum you will see that unlike many other leather Native American drums used during tribal ceremonies, these rustic drums have natural raw hide, stretched over a wood frame on one side and are laced with raw hide string on the other side. They don’t have the loop hold like many other Indian drums do. A drum made in this way allows for a natural hand holding position so you can fully control the drum and easily manipulate the sound that is very important in bringing out the right tones necessary to lead you on your Shamanic journey.

You will also see that many Shamanic drums have symbolic paintings on the rawhide playing surface. These unique southwestern paintings often depict a map of the universe or symbols of spiritual powers you can use to help you in your meditating and journeying experience. If you are using the drum for Shamanic work, take time to look into the symbolic meaning of the painting. Since the southwestern paintings have a special power that influences the journey, you want to make sure it is in line with your own practices and guides you in that direction.

Also, I like to check the quality of the drum before purchasing. It’s critical to check that there are no thin places at the points where the cords of the drumhead are attached. This is important for the quality and life of your Shaman drum and will save you money in the long run by not having to have it repaired or buy a new one.

A lot of focus is placed on the drum alone but it’s also important to choose the right striking mallet so you can enjoy the resonating sound of these native drums to its fullest. You will see that there are many different types of mallets that evoke different tones from the drum and although I personally like using a mallet with a fur covered head, it is a matter of personal experience. Whether you are looking for Native American musical instruments such as drums to add to your home decor or are using it to guide you in your spiritual journey, I guarantee that you will love the true rustic style and southwest charm brought to your life and home by Shaman drums.

Lisa Kaendo, MA, MBA. A graduate from the world-renowned Parsons School of Design in New York as well as the prestigious Richard Ivey School of Business in London. Lisa has worked on the design team of several reputable brands including Zara and Ralph Lauren.

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