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The Beauty Of Native American Hand Drums

Author : Craig Chambers

Often as descriptive and identifying as headdresses, the Native American hand drum is a vital ingredient to Indian ceremonies. The drum is made by stretching a section of skin over the prepared wooden ring. Sinews secure the skin and keep it taut. These hand drums are used in a variety of ways by Native Americans. They are found at powwows, healing ceremonies, and simply to welcome the dawn. They are often used in conjunction with native flutes and rattles.

The spiritual and ceremonial life is very important to the Native American culture. The hand drum has a long history of augmenting these aspects of Indian life. The hand drum has been selected by Native Americans for use in many ceremonies throughout the centuries. The hand drum helps to put one's mind in the proper mindset that is needed during ceremonies. It is often used, as well, by individuals to aid in meditation.

The history of a tribe is often told orally, accompanied by hand drums, chanting, and dance. The rhythm of the story is kept by the enchanting beat of the hand drum. The drum beat connects both the participants and the audience to the message. Although the women generally have a background role, both men and women use hand drums in ceremonies.

The life of traditional Native Americans depends on their attachment to both the spiritual and material world. The drum head is made of animal skin which is a very important factor. The animal's spirit is thought to help connect the user to the unseen world. Combining with the heartbeat, the steady beat of the drum is thought to bring the Native American in tune with the surrounding earth. The use of hand drums in healing ceremonies is especially important, and is a focus for healing chants.

Drums vary in size from ten inches to thirty six inches. Most hand drums are double sided, giving a greater flexibility when playing, although it is not uncommon to see a one sided drum. Generally suspended from a rawhide handle, the handle itself is important in connecting the player with the drum. Padded handles are considered to restrict this connection, and also interfere with sound.

Native American hand drums are played with a beater, the hand or simply the fingers. A beater or striker is supplied with most hand drums. Almost anyone can appreciate a Native American hand drum. Their music is unique and can add an interesting dimension to the life of the hearer. Many are painted or decorated in some way, and can brighten a room. And, regardless of whether they are actually played, or are used as decoration, they can bring a bit of the culture of the first Americans into your home.

Author's Resource Box

Author Craig Chambers offers more about Native American Hand Drums on his website. You can also get his monthly newsletter, online discounts and download his popular free ebook from

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Tags:   drum, drums, hand drum, hand drums, spiritual, tribe, music, ceremony, Indian, Native American

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Submitted : 2011-03-01    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 449