CULTURAL  USE 

OF  DRUMS

Drums are the most widespread, sacred, ritually significant of all musical instruments.   Integral within religious ceremonies, combined

with dancing, singing, marching of celebrating marriage and birth, to sounding the passing on of a soul to exorcising malevolent

spirits, expelling evildoers, divining the future, signalling danger to

becoming an earthly voice for the ancestors, spirits and gods.

The drum, in it's many guises, across all continents, within all nations and peoples, has been part of the story of humanity

from the moment our ancestors fashioned the first drum.

From the sound of our mother's heartbeat in the womb,

to Christian Huygens' (1665)  Theory of Entrainment as an explanatory

idea as to why drums have been and are, so important in world

cultures, the drum is here to stay.

 

Since the re-introduction of Shamanic practices into the West in the 1970s/80s

by Dr Michael Harner and his later created

Foundation of Shamanic Studies in the US,

the anthropologist coined the collective name for community

healers Shaman, a Siberian term, drumming for Healing

and calling of Spirits, celebration and so forth that has since continued to

 grow in the West.

Shaman is a term for healer, but a healer that communes with Spirit

and is able to move between the worlds gaining answers, guidance,

healing as they looked after the holistic healing of those in their community.

Often the position was passed down and the sacred methods handed down.

For Britains our equivalent would have been Druids except

the Romans killed them all they believed,  when they invaded Britain and annexed us 

to the Roman Empire but some would have survived and

continued to pass the craft in secret.

But, the Druids in the UK are very small in number even now.

In Native American culture the equivalent person would be the tribe's

Medicine Man/Woman.

Whatever culture, the drum has and is an integral part of our lives.

Who is your favourite band?  Not many are without a drummer or

percussion of some sort which brings me to mention the rattle.

In Shamanism the Rattle is as important as the Drum.

As Shamanism includes animism, the belief that everything

created has a Spirit, because everything created is energy,

and even if it's a piece of metal, nail, door handle,

that energy is of the creative force that is everything . . . 

Great Spirit, God, Yahweh the creator of a thousand names

yet of no name, the rattle is used for it's delicate voice to varying degrees

depending upon what it is made of.

What is the Theory of Entrainment you may have wondered?!

It is the now proven theory that two rhythms in close proximity to

one another will slowly begin to mirror each other.

They entrain rather than cycle apart from each other which would

take more energy.  So the two rhythms expend less energy by

entraining closer and closer to oneness and eventually

beat together as one, harmonised.

Our drumming ancestors were harmonising through the drumming

entraining to the beat of the universe itself,

just as we do today.

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