“Drumming connects you with your bones, your heartbeat, and your natural rhythms. You connect with the drum by holding it close to your heart and letting your feelings, transfer into the drum. When we breathe, we all beat upon a common drum.”
– Steven Ash-Sacred Drumming.
imaginarygarden Artistic Interpretations with Margaret
Grandfather, you are the universe,
the voice of mystery and power
you are the steady beat of the heart
the pulse that balances the body
steady throb that connects all things.
Great Spirit speak in your rhythmic thump
spiritual made physical communicating
to the rain, to the deer and buffalo,
sing of health, happiness, danger, war,
birth, death, feast, sports, ritual and worship.
Speak… Speak… Speak… Speak…Speak…
voice of Wakan Tanka hold it all together.
Quotes I found on the net to put together my poem. I am not Native American and apologize for my inept attempt to explain anything about the importance of the drum. But, it is fascinating and I hope will give you an excuse to research more.
Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux holy man made famous by John Neihardt’s book Black Elk Speaks, offers this perspective: “Since the drum is often the only instrument used in our sacred rites, I should perhaps tell you here why it is especially sacred and important to us. It is because the round form of the drum represents the whole universe, and its steady strong beat is the pulse, the heart, throbbing at the center of the universe. It is the voice of Wakan Tanka (Great Spirit), and this sound stirs us and helps us to understand the mystery and power of all things.”
The drum is revered by tribal peoples to the point that many view their drum as a relative, signified by terms within tribal languages that refer to drums as “grandfather.” Drums are used in nearly every aspect of Native culture, from births to funerals. Every tribe, and even clans within tribes, have their own sets of rules when it comes to how the materials for drums are gathered, who has the right to prepare a drum, and what types of behavior are allowed and not allowed near a drum. There is also a ceremonial protocol and prayers offered during the drums’ preparation to ensure that drums emit positive energy to all those who are honored to hear its power.