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Native American Drums A Cultural Icon

When it comes to Native American hoop drums, there are many different types and styles available. Different Native Americans made different types of drums and for different purposes. Most often the drums were used in ceremonies and rituals or celebrations of some type. Rawhide drums were very common in most Native American cultures and used in many different types of hand drums. Each of these types of Native American drums is beautiful in its own way and serves an important purpose within the families and tribes, but in general it is the hoop drum that is common to all. The wonder and beauty of Native American hoop drums is not only reserved for Native Americans today, as they are sharing their work with other people of the world. Some of the most famous hoop drums are Tarahumara Indian drums. Their drum festivals draw people from around the world.

What are Hoop Drums? Native American hoop drums are sometimes called frame drums and throughout Native American history have been a traditional style hand drum. They are often used in ceremonies and celebrations as well as for meditation or medicine with most Native Americans. In modern society, they are used to teach people about the American Indian culture and often even used as decoration. In some cases, the drums are even used for art projects because the rawhide makes a great canvas for painting and decoration. In the history of Native Americans, drums just like the hoop drum were used for many different things. They were an essential part of the Native American culture and way of life and still remain so today. There are many spiritual, emotional and health-related benefits to drumming and hoop drums are a great way to achieve this.

How are Hoop Drums Made? Native American drums are all exquisitely hand made by the tribes that create them, each drum is unique. Tarahumara hoop drums are made by bending a piece of yellow pine into a hoop and rawhide is stretched and laced for heads. A handle is made from rawhide lacing and the drum is played by holding it vertically and tapping or “drumming” the sides. Hoop drums come in many different sizes but the standards are usually from 7” to 28” with 16” to 24” being the most popular among Native American hand drums.

The Heritage of Hoop Drums. Music is a very important part of the Native American culture. Drums were often used as well as flutes. Mothers would use flute music to soothe their babies and drums were used in many different ways for entertainment, spiritual growth and ceremonies as well as to increase and maintain health. Hoop drums are a fantastic piece of Native American history that people of all ages can enjoy.

Craig Chambers is an expert on Native American drums who has written numerous articles and built a website filled with information about various types of Native drums and drum ceremonies, particularly by the Tarahumara Indians.