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DCP 12-23-2001 12:39 AM

Acquiring drums
Here's a topic that I don't think has been covered.

Where did many of you singers acquire your drums? Sometimes drums are gifted, sometimes purchased, sometimes a drumgroup will tie their own drums, and sometimes drums are passed from generation to generation.

(I hope this discussion doesn't tick anyone off because some people have the belief that drums are only to be made by people who have "earned the right" to do so. . . Different people have different beliefs, so don't go whizzin' up each others' legs.)

Anyway, the drumgroup I belong to started out with a "loaner" drum. We later tied our own drum with a moosehide that was given to us (on a purchased core). Later, because of age, we recoverd it with an elkhide - it now has a nice "oldschool Lakota" ping to it. We recently tied a new drum with buffalohide on a core I made a few years back. It has a real nice deep sound and the buffalo hide has a nice mottled look to it.

Anyhoo, how 'bout ya'alls? How did you folks acquire your drums? If the maker of the drum did a nice job, by all means, give him some credit, too!

CEM 12-24-2001 10:04 AM

Our headsinger has two drums that he purchased and we consider to be his.

This summer at a dance in Missouri, Kickapoo Rice sang with us. He said that he had a good time and that he was impressed with the way we conducted ourselves and wanted to make us a drum. Kickapoo came up and sung with us in Illinois abour six weeks later and gave us a drum. That's the one that we consider the group drum. Kickapoo also made one of our headsingers drums.

When I lived in Milwaukee my group at the time purchased a drum off of Ben Bearskin. One of the guys from The Milwaukee Bucks introduced us to Ben. He made the core out of cedar, with a cow hide and a horse hide cover. Ben said he likes a different thickness of skin so you can choose which side sounds better based on weather conditions.


Pheji Wanbli 12-27-2001 05:14 PM

we have a family drum, made of elk, strung ourselfs.the drum we sit with is a generation drum, made of buffalo and very old seven side.thank grandfather for are drums and singers young and old.

Smokin' Ace 12-28-2001 12:53 AM

Several people have made drums for many of the groups I am familiar with, but one of the best drum makers I have met is Michael Rose, head singer for Cedar Tree Singers. His drums have their own spirit, their own feeling - they are different. When you ask him to make a drum for you, he takes his time and makes that drum very, very personable - the drum in return sounds good for you - and you want to sing more. :)

Other people that have made drums are Jay Revels, my husband John O, and I know that Ray Silva also makes drums, but I am not familiar with his as much as the others.

midgaardserpent 12-28-2001 03:02 AM

I'm new to drumming and currently only have Synthetic Drums(Remo "Buffalo" Drums) I have a 10" and a 22" Hand Drum, the 10" is a toy but the 22" doesn't sound too bad. I use them at a local Drum Circle in Brooklyn NY at Devi(know no local Drummers of NDN descent) and of course at home practicing the Iroquois Social Dance songs folks have been TRYING to teach me of late ;-) My Daughters get a big blast out of them , not sure how much my neighbors like it tho as I blast away and sing!

I'm a LOUSY singer ;-)
one of these days I'll get around to making an 8 sided Hand drum from pine and hide. I finally got around to making a beater. Found a nice 1" diameter or so piece of deadfall in the local Park, cleaned it up and wrapped the head with some nice Tobacco colored Deerhide. Mellowed the "Buffalo" drums sound nicely. Should make a Hide covered drum sound good methinks.

Nia:wen thanx for listening to my ramblings ;-)
onen ki wahi bye for now
My Home page

the keenest 01-01-2002 04:13 PM

some of the better drum makers in my opinion are wyly littlecreek,he makes a really good drums yellowhammer,youngbird,the boyz use drums made by him to name a few,kickapo rice makes good drums ,ted bravescout is another one and jim fritz is another

The Rock 01-03-2002 05:19 PM

oh yeah....you hit the nail right on the head keenest....out of those i'd say wylie and kickapoo probably are my favs....wylie's drums especially though....you can go to any big pow-wow in the US and count several big name groups using a drum he made....Cozads, the Boyz, Mystic River, Omaha whitetail, Zotigh, Yellowhammer, Mandaree....the list goes on and on......

¤HOKSILA LUTA¤ 01-06-2002 12:44 AM

The best thing is to Make Your Own....you will know what has gone into and will have more pride in it.....go out and get ya self a good wood frame......a nice hide.....preferably Moose or Buffalo....but uf to be used at sundance it has to be buffalo.....but any way...do it your self....you will be more fulfilled that way :)

Kiwehnzii 01-06-2002 02:00 PM

Garage or yard sale:D

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