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  • History of the Drum

    I can never find anything when I try a search so this may already be on here somewhere.

    When did the DRUM itself come to being? When was it first used?

    When did hide drums take over for bass drums? Did bass take over hide first?

    Are hide drums REALLY more sacred than bass drums or is it because the hide is more TRAD than a bass drum?

    (I have been listening to some old 70s tapes from SD and they are ALL bass drums)

    I once heard a story of the hunter whose hide dried on an old tree stump..hence the birth of the drum. (paraphrased of course)

    anyone?
    There are 2 types of people in the world...
    Really stupid people who think they are smart
    and
    Really smart people who think they are smart.

  • #2
    Originally posted by billyjoejimbob View Post
    I can never find anything when I try a search so this may already be on here somewhere.

    When did the DRUM itself come to being? When was it first used?

    When did hide drums take over for bass drums? Did bass take over hide first?

    Are hide drums REALLY more sacred than bass drums or is it because the hide is more TRAD than a bass drum?

    (I have been listening to some old 70s tapes from SD and they are ALL bass drums)

    I once heard a story of the hunter whose hide dried on an old tree stump..hence the birth of the drum. (paraphrased of course)

    anyone?
    bj,

    In the southern plains the bass drum was introduced in 1906 to the Ponca by J. P. Sosa.

    Before that, singers sang on hand drums, on a stretched hide or two sided drums smaller than bass drums. (To date, I can't find any historic photographs of moving camps with a big bass sized drum on the back of a horse or travois).

    Some people and tribes believe the modern powwow drum is sacred. Some don't.

    The hide on a tree stump is an urban legend. . .But a good urban legend *L

    __


    Since this is the northern singing thread .....

    Anybody remember the short fluffy drumsticks that were used by the northern drums? What happened to them? Seems like everybody is using the southern style sticks nowadays?
    Last edited by WhoMe; 02-07-2007, 11:30 AM.
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

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    • #3
      heeheh...I always tell the story of the hide drying over the stump as a children's story to kids at schools.I know it's just a story,but I love telling it,and the kids like it too.My Dad would tell me that parade (bass) drums were used first,and that most tribes began to make their own because the big drums were sometimes hard to get,even in trade,so they modeled their drums after the parade drum used by the military bands....keep smilin'1

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      • #4
        I remember those sticks. I know a couple guys who used them a few years ago but haven't seen them sing lately, so I don't know if they still use them.
        I'm not mean....You're just a sissy


        http://www.mytribalspace.com/tribal/...ame_ndngirl70/
        http://www.myspace.com/ndngirl70

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        • #5
          The fluffy sticks were used so the bass drum head wouldnt break so quickly.

          Nowadays the hides are much thicker.

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          • #6
            The drum has been a part of most tribes. The language is a clue as to whether a "big" or double sided drum was historically or the smaller single sided or "hand drum". As far as the hide over the stump story, some tribes maintain this oral history as a part of their respective culture. Other stories are similar while other are much different. In this respect, the drum has been an integral part of many tribal people since time immemorial.

            The "fuzzy" stick produce a different sound on some drums. I remember as a kid some old timers using these stick when a drum was particulary loud. In recent times, a "fuzzy stick" may be for a similar purpose or as a specific style preference. I also know that these stick are sometimes given to the "rookies" who can't keep a beat! Hence, they are call by some people a "rookie stick".

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 1800s_indian View Post
              .....The drum has been a part of most tribes. .... the drum has been an integral part of many tribal people since time immemorial...

              1800,

              Do you have any estimation when the Indians of the northern plains began using drums as large as the bass drum?


              Can you attribute what northern tribe was the 1st to do this?
              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
                1800,

                Do you have any estimation when the Indians of the northern plains began using drums as large as the bass drum?


                Can you attribute what northern tribe was the 1st to do this?
                Considering the transient nature of tribal language and word formation throughout time, I am sure it is difficult to assign a date or a time frame of when certain tribal people begin using larger drums. The root of many words in tribal languages is in reference to either the body or the earth. Written history usually gives us clues to the answers to some questions while caution must me given as these interpretations are from the perspective of European anthropologist and the like. Traditional oral histories embedded within most tribal communities are the proof but only to the beholder, as many younger native people have become increasingly assimilated to Western attitudes towards as they call then "Legends and Myths". I personally cannot attest to "when" the larger drum began to be used, although I do know that the language in some tribe contains words for "DRUM". I do understand that most nomadic or semi-nomadic tribal people relied on the efficiency of quick and light travel, so I would assume that a larger drum would be an inconvenience to travel with where as a smaller hand drum would be transported with greater ease. Based on these assumptions one could guess that a larger drum may have come into use when the nomadic and semi-nomadic lifestyles begin to come to an end, which varied from region to region. Also the consideration of when certain tribal people became more mobile due to the introduction of the horse must be taken into account. This may be contrary to other sedentary tribes, which I am not to familiar with.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 1800s_indian View Post
                  Considering the transient nature of tribal language and word formation throughout time, I am sure it is difficult to assign a date or a time frame of when certain tribal people begin using larger drums. The root of many words in tribal languages is in reference to either the body or the earth. Written history usually gives us clues to the answers to some questions while caution must me given as these interpretations are from the perspective of European anthropologist and the like. Traditional oral histories embedded within most tribal communities are the proof but only to the beholder, as many younger native people have become increasingly assimilated to Western attitudes towards as they call then "Legends and Myths". I personally cannot attest to "when" the larger drum began to be used, although I do know that the language in some tribe contains words for "DRUM". I do understand that most nomadic or semi-nomadic tribal people relied on the efficiency of quick and light travel, so I would assume that a larger drum would be an inconvenience to travel with where as a smaller hand drum would be transported with greater ease. Based on these assumptions one could guess that a larger drum may have come into use when the nomadic and semi-nomadic lifestyles begin to come to an end, which varied from region to region. Also the consideration of when certain tribal people became more mobile due to the introduction of the horse must be taken into account. This may be contrary to other sedentary tribes, which I am not to familiar with.


                  Uh, You coulda' just said, "I have no idea?"
                  Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
                    Uh, You coulda' just said, "I have no idea?"
                    Yes, I could have said "i have no idea" but I do have an idea and I believe I offered it to you.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 1800s_indian View Post
                      Yes, I could have said "i have no idea" but I do have an idea and I believe I offered it to you.

                      1800,

                      No. You didn't offend me.

                      It's just that I hear alot of antropologists and ethnologists answer questions. Afterwards I ask them the question,

                      "So after all you've said. Is that a yes or no?"

                      I just couldn't decipher whether or not you had a good idea, an answer to my questions?

                      Since you now indicated that you DO have a good idea, would you mind sharing it with the powwows.com readership?
                      Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
                        1800,

                        No. You didn't offend me.

                        It's just that I hear alot of antropologists and ethnologists answer questions. Afterwards I ask them the question,

                        "So after all you've said. Is that a yes or no?"

                        I just couldn't decipher whether or not you had a good idea, an answer to my questions?

                        Since you now indicated that you DO have a good idea, would you mind sharing it with the powwows.com readership?
                        I didn't ask if I offended you, read the last post. I simply stated that I had a good idea, or rather an educated guess to your question. TO answer YES or NO or provide a specific date to answer you question is difficult and I believe I provided you with my "good idea" already in the previous post. To refine my opinion, I would have to say larger drums probably came into use among nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes when transportation became more convenient (E.G. the horse). This is simple my opinion. I do, however know that some northern tribes didn't travel with all their items and often times stored tools and other items at regular camp sites. Whether or not a "big drum" was a part of this cache is unknown to me. As for my people, before the horse (>~1710), the hand drum was used, mostly because it was easier to carry. The adoption of the "big drum" may have occurred through contact with other plains tribal people. Its use became more prominent during the pre and post reservation era (1880's - present).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 1800s_indian View Post
                          I simply stated that I had a good idea, or rather an educated guess to your question. TO answer YES or NO or provide a specific date to answer you question is difficult and I believe I provided you with my "good idea" already in the previous post. To refine my opinion, I would have to say larger drums probably came into use among nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes when transportation became more convenient (E.G. the horse). This is simple my opinion. I do, however know that some northern tribes didn't travel with all their items and often times stored tools and other items at regular camp sites. Whether or not a "big drum" was a part of this cache is unknown to me. As for my people, before the horse (>~1710), the hand drum was used, mostly because it was easier to carry. The adoption of the "big drum" may have occurred through contact with other plains tribal people. Its use became more prominent during the pre and post reservation era (1880's - present).

                          Thanks 1800.

                          ____



                          Well BJJB.

                          We're no closer to finding out the origins of the big bass drum on the northern plains than when we started.

                          Can anyone else help?
                          Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Whome, in southeast they have traditionally used a very large "Box Drum." I've seen a couple here in Fairbanks at 2 museums. Ever seen or heard of this type?

                            As for the fluffy sticks, thats what our drumkeeper only allows on his drum..... He's such an old grouch, oh well, it's his drum.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WocusWoman View Post
                              Whome, in southeast they have traditionally used a very large "Box Drum." I've seen a couple here in Fairbanks at 2 museums. Ever seen or heard of this type?

                              As for the fluffy sticks, thats what our drumkeeper only allows on his drum..... He's such an old grouch, oh well, it's his drum.

                              Southeast Alaska? or Southeastern United States? Which tribes used these? Just curious as I've never seen or heard of a "box drum". Thanks.
                              I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

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