The story of the drum is very old. It can be found in nearly every culture in the world and has been pre-dated as far back as 6000 B.C. Drums have had ceremonial, sacred, and symbolic associations. It was in the Dark Ages that man first beat out woman’s heartbeat on his own chest because it was the only way he could deal with her death. Native Americans have utilized the drums, sounding out the resonance and tone to heal, initiate, pray, and manifest personal gifts into their world. Bata drums from Nigeria and the Yoruba’s are like people, the mother drum, the middle one, and the baby. These drums are used to imitate the tonal language of Yoruba. A major part of the West Africa culture use the drum to praise the gods or ancestors.
Buddhist monks play frame drums during meditation to gain enlightenment. From clay pots to wooden frame drums with skin stretched tautly over them, drums have been built by many different races and cultures. The drum has played an important part in history all over the world. From ancient Greek to North America, drums have enabled healing through animal medicine, spiritual journeys, rituals and ceremonies. They have sounded the cry for battle, and drummed the heartbeat of Peace. A primitive tribe called the !Kung call forth a healing energy with the drum that heals the sick and cures the dying. The history of the frame drum starts in ancient Middle East and was popular through-out the Mediterranean world including Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece. There are even several Biblical references to the frame drum known as the tof in ancient Hebrew.
“Miriam played the tof when celebrating this parting of the
Red Sea and Jepthah’s daughter played the tof when welcoming her father back from battle.” - Brooks
Throughout history the drum has been a powerful healing tool. My own experiences with the drum began with a beautiful Lakota woman, Suzanne that took me on a series of transformations. With her gentle guidance I birthed my first drum,Thunder Egg and discovered the rich connection between the drum, spirit, body, and Earth. When I pick up my stick and it touches the skin of my drum the vibration, the resonance, picks me up and carries me off to a sacred place. Creating my second drum was my first solo run. I laced it with the intent of healing and when it was done, Denise and I awoke it from its womb-like slumber with the sounds of our voices rising up in unison, giving Thanks. Since then I have guided three drum workshops, made over fifteen drums for others, myself, and am now making them to sell for those that cannot make their own. Each drum I birth into this world is done with the intent of healing, a loving heart and divine connection. Creating and birthing a drum is an experience of healing that continues to beat strong within your own unique rhythm of spirit, soul, Earth and drum.
Today, other women are finding their own healing medicine in the skin of the animal, the heart of the wood, as they are drawn closer to the portal between Earth and Sky. Lifting my drum to my ear with the rhythm of the beat, I can hear the songs of my Ancestors singing back out at me. Jamie Sams explains,“Tribal Peoples all over the planet still rely upon the Drum to connect the energy of each person participating in the ritual of Ceremony. In so doing, there is a collective energy present that can be used for healing, gratitude, requests for information, or Journeying. The Drum can be used as a map or blueprint for those seeking altered states of consciousness or parallel universes. The Drum will connect the heart of the person doing the Journeying to the heartbeat of the Earth Mother and provide a safe way to return to the body. The possibility of reaching other realities and getting lost or losing touch with sanity is highly improbable when the Drum is used as a guide. When we cross the border into parallel universes we find the unified heartbeat is that of Great Mystery. If we have experienced those rhythms we may then share them through the Drum to show others the rhythms of all Creation.
Drum that marks the heartbeat, Of our Mother Earth,
constantly reminded us who gave us birth, the rhythm
of connection, pulse of flame and fire, the perfect reflection of our hearts desire. - Jamie Sams