Some years ago, I had my folks genetically tested and found out that they weren’t who they said they were all these years. They were not Norwegian or Swedish, but in fact, both came from the indigenous tribe of northern Scandinavia…the Saami people. Was that ever a surprise to them!
In learning about “their” people, we learned that the Saami were nomadic, and moved from summer to winter lands as the reindeer migrated seasonally, or they lived along the coast and made a living by fishing. They were well known for their beautiful and colorful weaving abilities, and their very colorful traditional clothing, woolen hats and reindeer fur shoes with upturned, pointed toes. The traditional spiritual ways were almost exactly the same as the indigenous of the Americas, with a shaman (medicine man or woman) at the center of it, who used frame drums, rattles, song, herbs, prayers, and their connections to the soul of Nature…to heal people.
One of the ancient traditions was playing a frame drum and just about every household had one. The Saami shaman would hand-build their own oval-shaped drum, and use it to connect with their helping spirits and to heal. The oval drums were decidedly Saami, and each shaman would decorate and paint their drum according to their own spiritual contact.
As we learned more about our heritage, my own Ancestors began to contact me, and urged me to build an oval drum. It was fascinating to find out that at the same exact time I was being contacted, so was my eldest daughter — she being urged to tell me that I needed to build drums. So, build I did.
I retreated to the Rainforest and listened for the voices of Nature and my Ancestors…for I knew nothing about drum-building at the time. They shared exactly what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and when I must come back to the Forest to awaken the drum.
The Ancestral GrandMother’s Drum took birth near the sacred Hoh River, and was Awakened deep inside a still-living, ancient, hollowed-out elder Cedar tree. Needless to say, my Ancestral GrandMothers (and the Ancient Trees of the Rainforest) were very pleased and very vocal about exactly how to bring this all into being.
After the creation and birthing of this powerful drum, I awaited the instruction of how It wanted to be adorned. I was told (by my Ancestral GrandMother’s) that this process would take time. They said that my own Mother’s hand print needed to be on the front in the center, and that her mother’s crocheted handiwork must be attached centrally on the back handle. In this way, when any of my family members drummed, we would be holding both my Mother and GrandMother’s hands, and through them, the entire lineage of Ancestral GrandMother’s would be called to be present.
The imprint of my Mother’s hand strikes deep into this woman’s soul, and now remains as an energetic imprint for many generations to come. When my mother passes to the next world, my hand print will be placed on top of hers, adding to the energy of the Drum. When I depart this world, my daughter’s hand prints will go on top of mine. On and on we go…