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The Speaking Of The Native American Hand Drums

By Craig Chambers | Submitted On August 09, 2011

With the beat of the Native American hand drum, there is dancing. The steady and calming inviting beat of the drum is one of the main foundations for Native American music. Throughout time, this has not changed. Native American music has a great bond with the hand drum. These drums hold a very important place in the existence and unique nature of native music.

Various tribes perform different variations, but there is a common sound in the music produced. Native American hand drum frames are made of a hollowed out log or wooden slats. Rawhide animal skin such as goat, elk and buffalo are stretched across the surface and secured using sinew thongs.

These drums can be large, even to the size of two to three feet in diameter. This would be the type most commonly used by groups of men during an event such as a powwow. There are also some variations between tribes in which individual drums are used only by men. Some drums are simply made as a means of decoration, while others are made specifically for music. There are other variations to traditional hand drums like the Iroquois water drum. Whenever it is played,this cup shaped drum creates a distinct sound and pitch. The Yaqui drum is another unusual type. It is played with a drum stick and the water acts as the resonator for the sound produced by the drum.

The existence and deep appreciation for Native American hand drums can be attributed to the nature of their music. These drums lead by defining the beat and pace of the performance. The beat begins slowly and then moves to a faster pace rapidly. Significantly unique to traditional Native American music, it is emphatic and adds a very distinct sound.

Gender roles are also a vital part of drum usage and vary among tribes. When the men play, the women usually dance and sing in the back ground. Sometimes due to tradition, men are the only ones playing the drum. There is a popular belief that the Great Spirit gave the drum to a woman and she was to share this unique musical sound with other women.

The rhythmic nature of Native American music is well suited for the beat and dramatic percussion of Native American hand drums. One sided shaman drums are mostly used for ceremonial dances, rituals, as well as storytelling and other traditional activities that define the special culture and the various aspects of the environment.

Powwows and drumming circles are some of the most popular events where hand drums are used. Interest has grown by people in drums used for meditating and for sweat lodges. These special Indian made hand drums are often used as wall hangings is a rustic type decor. To any space and surrounding area where they are played,Native American hand drums bring life and positive energy. There is almost something magical as you sit and listen to the steady rhythmic sound.

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 http://www.missiondelrey.com

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