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Drum Making

The hand held plains drum is a living thing given life through the animal and wood spirits and the energy the individual puts into it's construction. Making a drum for yourself is adding a friend at your side. For those who sincerely use their drum as spiritual companion, find a way of letting themselves go places mentally they might never go. The drum is a horse that carries it's person on the journeys of life.

The drum making we offer is made from natural horse rawhide and maple wood round. We use only rawhide from horse that have died naturally.

We offer drum making in group and individual sessions at your request. We will also offer drum making workshops intermittently through our email announcement lists.
A group of eight (8) to twelve (12) participants is required for a workshop. Requests for individual drum making sessions are limited to a maximum of four (4) individuals. Chuck Skelton or another BSML drum makers will teach about the traditional beliefs and awaken/bless each drum.

For drum making appointments/workshops contact us at 

North Carolina Drum Making Workshop of August, 2008
In a public wor
kshop in Chapel Hill, NC., Jean  Steele led eight participants in the construction of a traditional P
lains Indian one-sided frame drum with a drum beater. Jean is the the tool-maker of Bear Spirit Medicine Lodge, a position of trust in the traditional ways of making Indian tools. She is a an apprentice of Chuck Skelton, a Pipe Carrier, a Sweat lodge Water Pourer and a Vision Quest leader. Since January of 2007 Jean has held the position of President of the board of directors of Bear Spirit Medicine Lodge. Jean is mother of a eight year old daughter Zoe.
Among indigenous people, it is believed that the drum is a living thing. The spirit of the animal and the tree of which the drum is made both live on in the drum. 
Nine participants joined Jean in Chapel Hill, NC., to make a American Plains Indian, one-sided drum.
During this all day workshop the participants prepared their wooden frame, selected, cut and stretched horse hide tightly over a wooden frame, laced it together, and made a beater.
While making their drum participants heard many of the traditional beliefs  about drums. They learned how to use and care for their drum “in a good way.” All but one of the drums are about four inches deep and  approximately twenty inches in diameter. The drum frame was made of Maple. The rawhide covering was of horse from horses that died natural deaths. There was laughter and camaraderie throughout the day.  When the drum is completed it was smudged with sage and blessed through ritual by  a traditional healer Chuck Skelton.

For Drum Making and other types of workshop contact us at