Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Drum making from Tales from Echo Canyon

Welcome to the Shaman's Blog.

Back in April, we facilitated another drum making playshop. This time Gary's sister, Eileen, was in attendance. Besides being our shamanic teacher, she is also a writer, photographer, homeopath and astorloger. Yes -- she wears many hats :)

So, besides birthing her drum, she took many pictures and added this wonderful blog to her blog at Tales from Echo Canyon. You may want to check out some of her photography - lots of great nature pics!

Today, we're plagerizing her blog to send you all the great photos. I've added a couple comments in purple. Thanks Sis for doing all the work for me today -- although I had to upload all the pics to the blog anyway. Thought I'd just get by with cut and paste. Hah - I didn't get any pictures that way! So, I still had to work for it.

For a detailed description of the drum birthing process, see our blog "Birthing the Sacred Drum" from 4/23/07.

It was a wonderful day for April. The nature gods cooperated fully with us that day. It was below 90 and no gusty winds which we get so much of here in the spring.

So, enjoy the photo essay and until next time.

Mitakuye Oyasin ( A Lakota prayer as a reminder that we are all related),


Hi Everyone,

My brother Gary Gent and his wife Debbie teach people how to make a sacred drum. I got to finally go to his class (he lives down in Phoenix, Arizona, but travels the world teaching this class--and many other classes). I went down with my good friends, Yolande Grille, Debbie Noah and Linda Haggard. Here's a running commentary on drum making, should you be interested. It was a great way to spend a day from 10am to 5pm. The fun we had, the laughter, the work, was all wonderful.
Here are some of the participants in the Drum Making Class that I was in. We are listening to Gary and Debbie give an introduction to drum making--what it is and is not.

Here is Debbie Gent, who is Gary's wife and partner. They make a dynamic team and are great teachers. They also have fantastic sense of humor and so we were laughing often.

Here Gary is explaining the cedar wooden 'round' that is where the rawhide Elk skin is placed over it.

Here, Gary is showing what a finished hand made elk rawhide drum looks like. This is what we call a four direction tie. The lace is gathered in four groups and tied off, representing the four cardinal directions.

Here, Gary is showing us
a drum that has 'died.' You can see the cracks in it. He said every drum eventually will give out. The life span of a sacred drum can be very long or very short. Gary's cat drum you see here has been with him for many years. I recently brithed a bear drum and it split on me last weekend. I have yet to journey and find out what the purpose of such a short life was.

Gary and Debbie gathered us out under a nice, shady tent. Here, we chose the elk skin we wanted to create our drum out of. The "Mother Drum" that Gary is playing is for the purpose of us journeying to see if there was trauma to the elk hide. And if there was, to ask for a healing of it before we cut out our circle to create our drum.

Here, Gary is showing all of us how to use a metal device (leather punch) to hammer holes into the wet hide.

Eileen is holding up the circle of elk skin she just cut with a pair of scissors. It is kept wet with water so that it is pliable and holes can be made into the skin.

And here is Linda Haggard cutting a piece of cow rawhide to make the 'string' for her drum. Fun! Everyone had to do it. This group had the lovely experience of cutting their own lace thanks to a fubar by our lace supplier. No one will fess up to who needed this experience, but they were all good sports and made it fun.

Here is Yolande Grill watching as Gary shows her how to wrap and make a handle out of the rawhide to her drum

Here Debbie Noah is allowing Myron to help her with the twenty foot of rawhide 'string' and getting it laced into the holes.

Debbie Gent is leaning down to help Linda and Eric Haggard with their drums. Thanks Sis - you always get my best side :)

Gary is showing Debbie Noah's sister from Texas how to create a handle for her drum.

Here is Anthony and Eric and Linda Haggard in the process of stuffing their beater head with cotton balls. Eventually,this will become a drum beater.

And here I am with my new beater and drum. What a great day and so much fun!

And here's the happy crew with their newly birthed drums and beaters.

And here's Gary proudly beaming at us and showing us a drum that he had made. His cougar shield is behind him.

For those who are interested in Gary and Debbie coming to create a drum making workshop for you, just contact them at:

And be sure to visit their website at: http://www.shamanicconnection.com/

This is a wonderful family affair, too. Anyone who loves a drum, young or old, male or female, can make one. And Debbie and Gary are wonderful teachers. We sure had a lot of fun on that day :-)

In Spirit, Eileen

--Posted By Eileen Nauman to Tales from Echo Canyon at 5/03/2008 08:08:00 PM