ETA: This drum was STOLEN on 19 July, 2012, in NE Portland. Info on this and other stolen items here: Here's info on this and other stolen items: [link]
Remember this WIP I posted a few days ago? [link]
Here it is completed!
PLEASE enlarge pictures to see better detail of the painting, especially the second and third--even so the pictures do NOT do it justice!
Layaway is available for this item; please contact me for details! My layaway plans are quite generous, and I'm more than willing to work you to find a payment plan that works for your budget!
Materials: horse hide, cedar frame, Douglas fir wood, acrylic paint, waxed cord, deerskin
Depth: app. 3"
Description: I cut the head and lacing by hand from a whole horse raw hide to create this drum, using a handmade (not by me) yellow cedar hoop. The lacing is much stronger and durable than artificial sinew, and as it is cut from the same hide as the head it creates a more harmonious energy. It's been woven into a strong, four-way handle, much sturdier and easier to hold than thin, radiating straps alone.
It's also been painted in acrylics with some very special imagery. When I first moved to Portland, I was immediately drawn to the Columbia River Gorge, a place of steep cliffs and evergreens flanking the great Columbia River. It's a place that has taught me a lot, not the least of which being sacred poetry. I have painted this 13" horse hide drum with the first poem I wrote in those woods, years ago:
"I am a creature of conifers, ferns, and thick green moss
Where the red bones of trees stain the earth like ochre
Where they stand like sentinels, and the ravens quork
Teasing the sun with beaks and eyes,
Where the river dragons leap down the mountainside,
Laughing and splashing and leaving life in their wake."
A stream, like so many of those splashing down to the river, flows down one side of the drum; a downed tree crosses it, and sword ferns grow near the moss-covered rocks. Moss also carpets the ground at the roots of the Douglas fir tree painted on the right side of the drum. Across the top are two raven feathers painted in black, with a bit of white accenting, and deep purple representing their iridescence, and the sun overhead. The painting has been sealed with several coats of sealant. The pictures do NOT do the painting and the detail justice!
The beater is made from a piece of Douglas fir branch from the Gorge; it has been heat-treated to kill any remaining bugs. To give the most natural appearance I have left the bark on but have not shellacked it; it may shed a tiny bit over time, but the bark is firm overall. The padded head has been wrapped in deerskin and creates an absolutely lovely tone. To help preserve the life of the painting, please only use this beater with this drum.
As with any hide drum, damp weather can cause the hide to go a bit slack, dulling the tone. However, when dry this drum has a resonant, lovely voice, with no off spots in the head. It's a medium tone, neither very deep nor very high, but right in the middle, and because the drum is so responsive it can be quiet enough for apartments but also loud enough to make a good place at a drum circle.
As with all of my creations, this drum has been ritually purified as part of my shamanic practice. It has been specifically created for shamanic and other spiritual work, with the help of the spirits of the animals (horse and deer) whose remains have been incorporated into the drum and beater. This is no wall hanger, but a drum made by a practicing shaman for spiritual work!
I am also available for custom drum bags in leather and/or fur; if you would like a bag to go with this drum at additional cost, please message me.
On Etsy: [link]