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jidso 02-28-2001 07:39 PM

beaded drumstick
I recently started doing peyote stitch beadwork, and was wondering if anyone can help me out. I beaded a drumstick for my brother using size 13 czech cut beads with nymo thread. I beaded directly around the stick using peyote stitch. Well, the first time he sang with the beaded stick, the beadwork started coming apart near the head of the stick. Is this because the nymo thread is not strong enough to withstand the repeated vibrations from striking the drum? Should I try using a more flexible thread that will give a little, or a stronger type thread? Or is something else the problem? I appreciate any suggestions.

T Dave 02-28-2001 11:32 PM

Not having seen the drum, I can only guess, but is it possible that the stick was striking an edge of the drum when he was singing?


powwowbum49 03-01-2001 12:40 AM

T Dave hit the nail on the head. I know lots of singers that have fully beaded drumsticks but they are usually used as leaning sticks and not for actual drumming. The problem it that the beads get broke by the stick making contact with the edge or head of the drum. Those broken beads cut the string thus causing your 'unwrapping' problem. Also if you didn't use a leather backing under the beads then this will cause them to break even quicker, but either way they will break. I would suggest that in the future if you make more of these and expect the singer to be able to actually drum with it then only run the beadwork several inches up from the handle and not all the way to the top. It was a nice thought, but sorry this one won't pan out.

Blackbear 03-01-2001 03:10 AM

Or you could just bead part of the stick and wrap the rest with colorful tape..like the closer to the head area.

Louis Garcia 03-01-2001 09:20 AM

A beaded drum stick must be earned.
It is not a decoration.
Mostly head singers use them.

just hangin' 03-01-2001 09:26 AM

Yah that sounds like a good idea, I also think nymo thread is prone to having the knots unravel (slippery). When I really want something to last forever I cover it with a thin layer of crazy glue (it makes it nice and stiff and you can't see it)

jidso 03-01-2001 10:34 AM

Thanks to everyone for your helpful replies. Guess I'll stick to beading barrettes and keychains :-)

thestogs 03-01-2001 03:08 PM

Jidso: Some good advice was offered. Don't limit your beadwork skills -- stretch them out. Your beading a drum stick was a noble gesture and a great gift. Keep it up. We learn from our mistakes and learn very little from our successes. Believe me, after doing this stuff for 40 years, I'm one of the most learned guys on the planet. Keep up the good work.

Singing Otter 03-02-2001 07:13 PM

Why didn't anyone reply to Lewis Garcias' post?


wardancer 03-03-2001 12:39 AM

I would venture to guess that this would be his belief , from how he was taught. Each is entitled to their beliefs , but not all will believe the same. I am not a singer , so I cannot extend any knowledge as to the origin of his beliefs , right or wrong. Just remember that while this may be true for him , and the way he was taught , it may not apply to everyone. These are my thoughts and opinions .....right or wrong Later

Singing Otter 03-03-2001 01:54 AM

I meant no disrespect. I just noticed that no one asked him... Just because I am of another nation and our beliefs may differ doesn't mean I am not interested in what he has to say.

Be Well,

raptor 03-03-2001 04:42 PM

Louis Garcia is refering to a traditional custom up north where a man gains a reputation as a singer and repository of tradition and songs. His expertise in these areas is ackowledged by the community. The singer is presented with a specially beaded stick at a public ceremony and after that 'has a right' to sit at any drum. There is usually a special song and a giveaway to mark the occasion. The man is called a 'Head Singer' and the beaded drumstick is carried as a 'badge of office' much the same way a tail dancer carries his tail stick or a whipman his whip. These sticks are beaded in a certain way and may or not have any relationship with the beaded sicks carried as 'leaning sticks' by myriads of southern singers. Does anyone know if these leaning sticks ever had any significance or if there is such a thing as a head singers stick down south.

I suspect the tradition started with the special drumsticks used for the 'Drum Dance', as a version of the hethuska is called in some areas.

Louie wrote an article on the head singer stick for Whispering Winds or Moccasin Tracks some years ago.

Blackbear 03-04-2001 04:01 AM

I use clear nail polish to seal my knots, simply because super glue is brittle and you want that flexibility so that it does'nt cut the thread after it dries (yes I have had this happent to me..the glue cuts the thread). Also up here in the land of the ice and snow, cold temps can cause super glue to break down. All the famous artists recommend nail polish too. You just want to apply a tiny drop to the knots with a toothpic or fine paint brush.

yishdioh 03-13-2001 12:53 AM

I was just cautioned by a singer the other day not to bead any drumsticks. He is Sioux and said that he had been told a beaded stick meant that you knew all the songs out there. It kind of goes along with what was explained here. It's probably not a good idea to just dismiss it as opinion. How many beaded drumsticks has anyone seen out there? Better to check it out first.

WaxeNuZhinga 03-16-2001 01:40 AM

If the original topic of this post still holds, let me offer a few suggestions.

First, if the beadwork is coming unraveled, it is probably happening because of how you finished it off. What I often do is after completing the last row, I weave the thread through the bottom row at least two more times all the way around. Then tie it off. After tying it off but before clipping the thread, thread the needle and thread up one of the spiraling rows of bead through the holes. This way, after feeding it through for an inch or so, you can pull it out, clip it off close and you don't have to worry about the knot working loose because you have a short tail on the knot.

As for thread, a friend of mine taught me a nice trick. You can use invisible thread (monofilament), available in fabric stores. It is very small (I use it exclusively for work in 16/0 beads), it is very strong, can still be waxed and does not fray. Hope this helps a little bit.


[This message has been edited by WaxeNuZhinga (edited March 18, 2001).]

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