Native American Drums

Native American Drums

Native American drums formed an integral part of Native American music and continue to be a very popular instrument today. The drum formed the backbone of Native American music but was also used as a tool in sending messages and calling meetings.

Native American drums are often heirloom pieces and are difficult to come by if you are not familiar with Native American music. While many places advertise the sale of Native American drums, the best way to buy one is from a Native American or from a trusted merchant who deals in Native American products. Understanding the basics of the drum and its different aspects are helpful in choosing the right one.

Beads and Beats

Authentic Native American drums are viewed as sought-after heirloom articles. In those days, these drums were all made by hand and it often took months to create a single drum. As a result, each drum was special and a lot of effort was made to ensure the drum was of the very best quality. The drum base was made of hollowed-out wood and choosing the right base was key to getting the right drum tone. This hollowed-out base was then covered with a hide, usually made of elk skin or deer. The texture of the hide also played a role in how the drum would sound. The hide was tied down using sinew thongs and the base was carved with elaborate designs of animals and people. Colored gems and beads were also used to decorate the drum.

These drums were usually played on special occasions, such as powwows. They were mostly played by men who stood in a circle and played the drums simultaneously. However, each tribe had its unique drum making and playing traditions. These drums were passed down from generation to generation and today are a treasured part of a family’s Native American heritage. They are a means of preserving the traditional songs and music of the Native American people.