Powwow Drum Group

Drum Groups

  • 101 Drums
  • Aim (San Diego, CA)
  • Armour Hill
  • Arrow (Onandaga)
  • Ataensha (Wendake, QC)
  • Bear Boyz (Manawan, QC)
  • Big Star
  • Big Stone
  • Black Bear (Manawan, QC)
  • Black Bear (NY)
  • Black Mountain
  • Black Thunder
  • Cathedral Lake Singers
  • Cedar Rose
  • Cree Society
  • Chippewa Travellers
  • Crowe Singers
  • Dakota Nation
  • Dine Nation Jrz
  • Eagle Paint
  • Eagle Point Singers (AZ)
  • Eagle Whistle Juniors
  • East Boyz
  • Eastern Eagle
  • Eastern Star
  • Eastern Suns (Mashpee Wampanoag)
  • Ghost Horse
  • Greesewood Singers
  • Groupe Pitakan (Opitciwan)
  • Iron Boy
  • Iron Wolves (Kahnehsatake)
  • Jicarilla Na-Hii
  • Kiju Boyz
  • Kitpo
  • Kokum Boyz
  • Lac Simon
  • Little Creek Shawnee
  • Loud Eagle Singers (Peguis, MB)
  • Many Nations
  • Mi'kmag Travellers
  • Naahii (Dulce, NM)
  • Naakii Wiky
  • Na-hoka-dine
  • Nakota Warriors
  • Native Way
  • NodjimiKwesi Kitigan Zibi
  • Nojamagwesi Rapid Lakes (Maniwaki)
  • North Shore Ogitchidaa Sagamok
  • Northern Eagle (MB)
  • Oh Swenen (Six Nations)
  • Pay-Sha
  • Porcupine Singers
  • Prayin' Eagle (Pima, AZ)
  • Recognition Boyz (Mashpee)
  • Red Elk
  • Red Stick
  • Red Tail Singers (Kahnawake)
  • River Tail
  • Sic-Fly
  • Smoke Stack (NM)
  • Smoke Trail
  • Snake Island
  • Southern Company
  • Southern Xtreme
  • Southern Outlawz
  • Southern Tribe
  • Spirit Eagle Wiky
  • Spirit Whale
  • Spotted Eagle Singers
  • Storm Boyz (Narragansett)
  • Straight Southern
  • Sun Eagle
  • Sun Eagle Jrz
  • Taabik Singers (Christian Island)
  • ThunderBird (Opitciwan)
  • Thunderbird Jrz (Opiticiwan)
  • Tiohtiake Singers
  • Tribe Called Mi'kmag
  • Waaseshkuun Singers (Waswanipi)
  • War Eagle
  • We-Ho Boyz
  • Wemotashee Singers
  • White Cloud
  • White-Tail Cree
  • Wild Boyz
  • Wild Wolf Wiky
  • Ya-Ta-Nand
  • Yaughtanand Singers
  • Young Bucks
  • Young Fire Keepers (Carter, WI)
  • Young Guns
  • Young Kingbird
  • Zotigh Singers (OK)

More to come...

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Powwow Drum and young boy
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Professional Powwow Drums

Powwow Drum carried by Warriors

Making Powwow Drums is a great challenge and a serious responsibility. We wish to honor and give thanks to our teachers who have guided us to bring these Drums to the people. The Drum is sacred to our people, and when the voices of our ancestors are brought back to us through the Drum we thank the Singers who are healing our people and Mother Earth.

We know Drum Groups. We work hard to respond to their needs and requirements. We personally build each and every one of our Drums with prayer and love. The vast majority of our Drums can be found somewhere out on the Powwow Trail on Turtle Island working for the people.

Over the past few years we have built many Drums and we are extremely honored to have some of the best groups playing on our Drums, not to mention some of the best groups coming up.

Tribal Spirit Music is our Native American music label. Functioning like a co-op, we record and produce Native Music with the singers! Please visit www.tribalspiritmusic.com, our e-commerce site, to purchase our Drums and the best Native Powwow/Hand Drum Music!  This is us on facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/tribalspiritmusic

Powow Drum Construction Construction

Powwow Drum ConstructionWe build our Drums to travel, which means that we over-build their frames (translation: really strong). Our big Drums (22" to 36") have 1.25" thick frames. All our Drums are jointed with 2" biscuits running the length of each joint. This ensures that they can resist the wear and tear of travel but still give the deep, rich sound that only thick, solid wood can provide.  We do not us plywood/laminated maple frames because 1/4" plywood tends to calapse because of the tension of the hide and lacing.  Also plywood frames tend to produce a tinny sound, while solid wood gives the biggest bass sound possible.32" Double Weave Powwow Drum

We choose to build our Drums in this manner because, not only does it make them resilient to travel, we can guarantee them without concern of "comebacks". Each of our Drums leaves us with a guarantee that, within reason, if anything ever happens to the hide of the Drum we will restring it.  A few years ago we had an Oklahoma Drum Group heading to host a powwow in Los Angeles have the roof rack fly off their car.  Unfortunately the drum was inside of the roof rack....The drum landed on the #10 freeway and rolled for a while until the guys caught up with their drum.... The drum survived the ride..and the Group continued their weekend as host drum.

Drum Sizes

Powwow Drums in all SizesWe build a wide range of Drum sizes. Our 24" and 26" diameter Drums are the smaller of our large sizes, and groups who have "travel challenged" vehicles tend to select these Drums. Our 28", 30" or 32" diameter Drums are preferred by Drum Groups with large numbers. Our 28", 30" & 32" diameter Drums are also available in 18" depth. We do build larger Drums upon request.

28" Walnut Dyed Powwow Drum

We also build smaller Drums (22" diameter, 16" depth) because we have received requests from many youth groups who are just learning and gathering their songs. They aren't ready for a big Drum, but need to work their way into it. Several groups have chosen the smaller Drum because it is easily portable, yet still gives a very strong and powerful sound. If you are flying across the country for a powwow, this Drum moves easily — we actually have one singer who travels to powwows from Ontario to Arizona with his Drum on his back.

Covering/Hides


Powwow Drum CoveringWe are currently covering our Drums with Moose, Buffalo and Steer hides. We work with a very old tannery and order hides processed to our specifications, using limited bleach and chemicals. Each year during hunting season we gather Moose and Deer hides from local hunters for our Drums and leather work. Last year we gathered 750 Moose and 1200 Deer hides.

The choice between the three hides is very personal and we often see groups struggle with this issue for months. Here are a few observations from our experience:

  • Moose tends to hang in there late into the night, no matter how hard it is raining—if it has been raining since Grand Entry on Friday, the only Drum not flat by Saturday night will probably be a Moose hide drum.
  • Generally, Buffalo does not respond as well to humid situations as Moose (there are always exceptions).

Tuning

Powwow Drum on the Powwow TrailThe tension of each Drum determines its pitch and voice. It is impossible to build a Drum which will sound the same every day in every different weather situation. A Drum built on the east coast will behave differently at an eastern powwow than at one in the southwest, and vice versa. A Drum which was pulled in Sells, Arizona and has a nice deep, rich voice throughout the southwest will likely be flat if played at a coastal Powwow.

It is important for the Drum Maker to know where the Drum is going to live, generally, in order to get a sense of the tension required. And it is important for Drum Keepers to understand these issues and learn how to tune their Drums.

Cost

Powwow Drums

From our experience, our Drums are the least expensive of the great Powwow Drums that we have seen on the Trail. We invite you to contact us so we can talk about your needs, designs and sizes.

After having made hundreds of Drums our quality is very high. We cover our cost and time and keep our prices as low as we can. 

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