Throughout the history of mankind, people all over the world have prized drums–the instruments of rhythm. Perhaps no other people have attached a greater significance to the spirit of the drum than the Indian tribes of North America.
The drum has played an inherent role in the lives of Native Americans for centuries. Prior to battle, the beat of the drum aroused a sense of strength and solidarity. In gatherings and celebrations, it created a sense of social and spiritual harmony. In Taos, New Mexico, Pueblo Indians continue to express their deep spiritual awareness through ceremonial dances accompanied by the resonant pulsing of the drum.
At the foot of The Sangre de Cristo Mountains, in venerable, five-story adobe dwellings, is where the Taos Drum originated. And in the workshops of Taos Drums, native craftsmen from Taos Pueblo continue the age-old tradition of drum making. Every drum is crafted from natural materials and renewable resources over a year-long process. Drum frames are created from wood native to Northern New Mexico–cottonwood, aspen or pine.
All trees are harvested in a sustainable way under conscientious environmental standards. Logs are stripped of bark, hollowed out, cut into sections, then stored in a warehouse and slowly dried to prevent cracking. Dried wood is then leveled, rounded and sanded. Drum heads are made from cow, deer, elk or goat hides that have been thoroughly cleaned and scraped to maintain the highest level sound, appearance and durability.
After soaking the rawhide to make it pliable, the hide is hand scalloped, stretched and secured with rawhide lacing to the frame. Each completed drum has its own distinct voice. The type of wood, the depth and diameter of the frame, the thickness and tightness of the hide, the thickness of the walls, temperature and humidity all effect the tone. Each drum is then hand-painted by Native artisans.
Whether you are looking for a drum to use or as a piece of art to display, these drums are beautiful.