We make Native American, Siberian Shaman and Sámi Style drums using natural rawhide. Our Native American style drums are steam bent round ranging from 12" to 20" diametre. Our Siberian Style and Sámi Shaman drum are either round or oval and vary in size.
Why we use Cedar for our Drum Hoops
Cedar is a sacred timber with all the parts of the cedar tree used for a variety of purposes. Western Red Cedar is light weight, while maintaining strength and it has superior resonance. We hand pick each piece of timber to be used for our drum hoops to ensure top quality. We use a wide variety of other timbers which include Huon Pine, Black Walnut, Kauri Pine, European Beech, New Zealand Beech.
We don't use laminated plywood for our hoops because in our experience they are at risk of delaminating. Regardless of who has laminated the plywood, you can't guarantee how the plywood has been glued in the factory where it has been made. We do not use commercially manufactured drum hoops.
Why we Process our own Rawhide
Rawhide is used for a variety of purposes. Most tanneries process rawhide as quickly as possible, which requires the use of harsh chemicals for dehairing. These harsh chemicals have an adverse effect on the quality of the rawhide for drum making.
We process our own rawhide as close to the 'old way' as possible without the use of these chemicals. This process takes a little longer but the end result is a better quality hide for our drums. Our experience has been that rawhide done in this way retains the natural oils, which makes for a more stable hide in a variety of climatic conditions ie warm, cool, humid etc. We've also found that drums using rawhide hand processed without chemicals have a more resonant sound and are far more durable.
Variations in Rawhide
Transparency in rawhide is a natural occurrence. It is common in Kangaroo and Fallow deer hide. It also occurs in horse, cow and bison. There is no direct correlation between transparancy and thickness. In some Native tribal beliefs the transparencies in the face of the drum are believed to be windows into the spirit world. As our raw hide is naturally processed, the natural markings of the animals skin are retained in the final product giving them a more natural appearance (not bleached white). Our hides vary in shades from light cream to darker browns with varied markings. Naturally processed rawhide will vary in thickness based on the species and breed of the animal and how the animal was raised e.g farm or wild.
Due to our involvment in the entire process of the creation of our drums they carry a written lifetime guarantee.