Octagonal Frame Materials: $105.00

Round Frame Materials: $135.00

     Long associated with Native America is what has come to be known as the pow-wow drum, a drum usually more than 30 inches across, which is played by eight or more people, depending on its size. Another type of drum growing in popularity in mainstream circles is the personal hand drum. These are round or octagonal frame drums, typically from nine to eighteen inches in diameter. They show up in drum circles, at sweat lodges, and can be used for healing. Ceremonialists will generally prefer to make their own sacred, the term sacred meaning anything used in ceremony or for healing, such as a drum, a fan, or a canunpa (cha-nuhn-pah, pipe.)
octagonal drum
octagonal drum
round drum
round drum

14" round (nominal)

15" octagon (nominal)

Click thumbnail to
see lacing pattern.
No variations.

round and octagonal drums
round and octagonal drums

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     I have maintained a lifelong interest in these ways and have been active ceremonially for over 30 years. For the last 17 years I have helped others build their own drums. All of my efforts in learning from elders and other knowledgeable people and from participating in ceremony, have been to prepare me for one thing; to be the clearest Hollow Bone possible. In a workshop, all of that background and my willingness to "get out of the way," to be that Hollow Bone, come together to guide people as they have need. That guidance comes from Spirit.

     Building a sacred tool like a drum is so much more than just wrapping rawhide around a wooden frame. My purpose is to help you connect to your drum, beginning right there in the workshop.

     I custom-build ALL of the frames I use in the workshops, round and octagonal. And I buy whole hides to cut the drum heads and lacing from. I find more and more people are going to the drum kits, but I cannot. Creating a hand-drum takes effort. But, just like your Earth walk, when done well there is no greater reward than the outcome itself.

          Usually, a drum circle will be scheduled about a week or so after a drum building workshop so people can awaken their drums. You will learn about this as well as drum etiquette in circle, catching songs, and creating a good relationship with your drum, in the workshop.

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Standard Round: $135 materials cost
Standard Octagon: $105 materials cost

Materials deposit deadline is
Friday, March 24

When I removed the heads on this double-side 24 to spiff up the wood finish and relace the heads with hide (it came to me with clothesline for lacing,) I discovered the frame was made out of two bicycle rims welded parallel with old flooring slats attached to the rims with drywall screws. This is without doubt the most clever way I've ever seen to build a drum out of available materials.  A friend retreived this from a pawn shop on a South Dakota reservation.

This is what the drum looks like today.

Quality drums begin with the frame. I do not use cheap multi-purpose laminated circles cut from a tube.

This double head buffalo drum was a giveaway for my last hanbleceya (vision quest) in South Dakota.

Tuition for either style: $60.00
can pay here or at the workshop.