Last year Keith made a limited edition run of very special 16" hand drums. The drum frames came from a lightening-struck cottonwood tree that had no business being in Alabama. Read more about that story here.
Since we took the whole cottonwood tree, we have decided to use cow hide on the cottonwood frame. Our cow hides provide a reliable sound and the cottonwood hull makes a lightweight native american hand drum, perfect for women.
Once again, this will be a limited run. When the cottonwood is gone, it's gone. Call now to place your order.
14" hand drum: $160.00 16" hand drum: $190.00 18" hand drum: $210.00
All native drums come with a free drum stick.
Cedar Hand Drums
We refuse to build hand drums using the "cheese wheel" or mass-produced plywood "hoop," and kill more trees in the process. This is NOT a traditional Native American Drum. Plywood was not invented in the time of our ancestors. Instead, Keith Little Badger constructs his round hand drum from 16 pieces sanded into a circle. This is sometimes referred to as a "FRAME DRUM." Keith uses river-recovered cedar. NO TREES HAD TO DIE.
We use rawhide laces, not string or imitation sinew, to keep your native drum head tight. These rawhide laces are cut from same hide as the head so they will expand and contract with your hand drum. This is extremely important: drums laced with nylon cord or sinew will eventually result in a loose drum head. We provide a FREE drum stick with every drum. CLICK on the thumbnail photo of drum back at right to see detail of the lacing and back.
12" diameter: $100.00
14" diameter: $130.00
16" diameter: $160.00
18" diameter: $190.00
Front of hand drum
Hand Built Cedar Frames
Why River-Recovered Cedar for Native Drums?
While most other hand drums are made from plywood, our native american drums are constructed from river-recovered cedar logs. Some trees fell in the time of our ancestors, perhaps centuries ago. The age of these logs does not just add to the mystery of the drum, this wood is denser and produces a deeper resonance. Cedar is a sacred wood to Native Americans. Legends tell that Thunderbirds only built their nests in the protected branches of cedar. Cedar is considered the blood of the people.
How sacred is plywood? You choose. We think that healing drums should be crafted with love and sacred materials. We will not compromise. We will not cut down a new tree. We believe that deforestation is a serious problem. We refuse destroy our planet. We are die-hard recyclers and admitted "tree-huggers." That is our commitment to Mother Earth, to ourselves and to you.
Cedar Octagon Hand Drums We also offer octagon or eight-sided native drums. Our one-sided hand drums come in three standard sizes. Each drum is approximately three (3) inches deep. Dimensions vary by drum, since each drum is built and sanded individually. Special sizes can be made to fit any need. Every drum comes with a free stick.For more detail, click on the images below to see the front, side and back of our cedar octagon hand drums.
12” diameter - $95.00
14" diameter - $125.00
16” diameter - $145.00
Sizes: 16", 14", 12"
Slim 3" profile
Rawhide lacing -back
Why no padded handle on our Native Drums?
We do not use a padded handle because Native Americans believe that the heartbeat of Mother Earth echoes through their native drums. There are two important reasons why we don't use "mittins" on our native drums:
First, padding interferes with the contact between you and your drum. Caucasian drum makers often use a sheepskin handle. Of the thousands of Native Americans we have met at powwows, not a single one carried or played a drum with a padded handle. It defeats the purpose of drumming as prayer.
Second, padded handles restrict the sounds of your drum. Our drums are famous as "scratch drums" used by Northern tribes. You can use your thumb to stop the reverberation and create a unique drumbeat. Drumming involves the whole hand, not just the drum beater.
UNBLEACHED COW HIDE
Bleaching weakens rawhide, so we use only unbleached cow hide. Why cow hide? Cheap drums will be covered with elk, goat, pig, or deer. These hides are extermely thing and they will warp in even 5% humidity. They are also rubbery hides, which means they will stretch forever, so that your drum head will never be tight. Cow hide holds up under all weather conditions, and can withstand the humidity of a sweat lodge.
Since we support horse rescue ranchs, we find it very difficult to use a majestic horse to put a head on our drums. Cows are already a major food source. Their rawhide will be wasted, so we choose to use a byproduct of an animal already killed for food.
We do not use Buffalo for spiritual reasons. Buffalo have been on the species extinction list; cows have not. We believe that it is wrong to kill Buffalo to make drums when fast food restaurants slaughter cows by the billions. Haven't humans killed enough Buffalo? For these reasons we believe the finest, most affordable sound comes from unbleached cow hide. All of our hides are commercially tanned to ensure uniformity in thickness and quality.