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  • Type of Drum

    What type of actual drum do you guys prefer? I like a two-hide drum using elk. It gives a nice sound without being too booming. Its hard to sing over a drum that really booms sometimes. Scott

  • #2
    I prefer either elk or buffalo. Just my opinion. I find it hard to dance to a drum where the drum beat totally drowns out the singers.
    Just my thoughts.

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    • #3
      By the way Heydad, I like the name. I prefer buffalo or elk. Our drum is buffalo with a laminated oak shell. It has two tones, a higher tone on one side (It keeps it's tension better in the humid weather around here), and a deeper tone for indoor areas that you don't want too much echo in. It took a while to stretch it well.
      I know a guy in NC that has a cowhide drum that sounds unbelieveable in my opinion. I've had my eye on it for a while now. Good cowhides are hard to find and he picked a good one.
      The expressed opinions above are not particularly the opinions of the author's friends, family, or employer.

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      • #4
        My late father, Pwakisimowin Awasis or known as Andrew Abraham of Frog Lake Cree Nation, Alberta was a famous drum maker.
        He was taught by his father and grand father at a yoong age. He made drums for 45 years for pow-wow, sundances, round dances, tea dances, ghost dances, chicken dances, horse dances, etc.
        He prefered horse hide for the big drum and moose, buffalo, and elk. For handdrums he preferred deer hides. His drums are used by many well known drums today, Red Bull, Sweetgrass, Seekaskootch, etc, all awesome Cree drums.

        He passd this art on to my cousin in Erminskin Cree Nation in Hobbema, Alberta.
        I anm fortunate to have drums made by him before his death.

        Kahkakew

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        • #5
          My grandparents used to own a large ranch where they had many fine horses. We often butchered and sold horse meat, hide and other parts to a meat plant & tannery in Edmonton.

          When a horse died or was killed we kept the best hides to be prepared for drums. It never took long for the word to get out in our tribal area that we had horse hides. People would come to trade for them and present tobacco to my grandfather.

          Many use horse hides for the fact they hardly stretch at all, they are durable and rareley loose their sound even after alot of use. They are good in all weather conditions and for the Northern Cree, the horse is very special to us, We hold many horse dances and horse sweats to honor them. There are alot of People here with Sioux ancestry, back when many came north to escape the persecution, They were adopted into our bands and for many families the story of how the horse saved their lives or they lived off the meat of dying horses is common. Great late chief Poundmaker was half cree and half sioux. There are several reserves in Alberta, Saskatechewan and Manitoba where Sioux is the second language after Cree and is ahead of English. My late grandmother spoke Cree, sioux and saulteaux.

          My drum is made of horse hide and it sounds sweet!

          Kahkakew

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