Vivienne shares my love of this kind of thing and kindly mentioned my book title. I adore this article!
The picture above is from an exhibition at the British Museum late last year. The drum is that of a sixteenth century Sami shaman, and is made of a birch bowl carved from one piece with a reindeer hide stretched over it. The paintings on it are thought to be a record of some of the journeys into the Otherworld made by the shaman.
The hair on the back of my neck stood on end when I walked into the exhibition. This drum had been sung to life and it was still singing in the glass case.
This picture is of one of my drums; it’s made of Alaskan birch, carved into a bowl out of one piece of wood and the skin is elk hide. Inside there are feathers, seeds, herbs and stones that rattle when you move the drum. It’s a mini replica of the Grandmother Drum, the immense cedar drum…
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