Thunderbird image
spacing image
Search   CARD   MediaBase
Colours  
Myths
Stories
Drumming
Music
Sound
Video
Interviews
Artists
Press
Scholars Site
Teachers Site
Kids Site
Website français venant bientôt.
Native Drums Homepage
Tell us what you think... Take a site survey
Scholars Site
Teachers Site
Kids Site
Set Large Text
Set Medium Text
Set Small Text
  Visit our
companion
   website

Visit our companion website, Native Dance
Native Dance

 

Site Design
Design and
technology by
Sumner Group


Site Content
Content by
Carleton
University


Acknowledgement
This site was
made possible by
the support of

Heritage Canada Logo
Drum Gallery
Mask Gallery
Chapter Buttons
Paul Kane Watercolour - Ojibwe Cermonial Drum
Painted Cree Frame Drum
Cedar Box Drum
Frame Drum with 2 Snares
Octagonal Painted Frame Drum
Butterfly Painted Frame Drum
Ojibwe Frame Drum
Cedar Log Drum
Raven Wolf Drum
Halibut Drum
Sculpin Drum
Iroquois Water Drum
Ojibwe Bird Drum
Dzunukwa Mask
Kwigwis Mask
Bakwas Mask
Deaf Man Mask
Nulamal Mask
Crooked Beak Mask
Baxbakwalanuksiwe Mask
Owl Mask
Ancestor Mask
Xwi Xwi Mask
Home
Drums
Masks
Myths
Stories
Drumming
Music
Introduction
Structuring
Uniqueness
Singing
Context
Drum Dance
Social Dance
Powwow
Glossary
Bibliography
Links

Sound
Video
Interviews
Showcase
Press
Citations
Teachers
Scholars
Card
About

 

Video bullet
Morningstar
River Singers
Perform Live


Video bullet
Making an
Ojibwe
Hand Drum


Interview bullet
How to
find your
Voice


Interview bullet
The When
and Why
of Drums


 

The Drums
of our Lives

Since ancient times, drums, drumming, singing and dancing have been a part of Aboriginal life. From before we are born, in our mother’s womb, to the day we die, we hear the drumbeat of the heart. Rhythm is all around us and in everything we do.  Over countless millennia, our cultural systems developed based on our ancestors’ accumulated knowledge. The stories handed down to us are one of the greatest gifts we Aboriginal people have.

Of course those stories are influenced by the sounds heard in a particular region. The Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer introduced the term “soundscape” to refer to all of the sounds heard in a particular space, whether produced by nature or the beings including humans in that particular area. Climate definitely has an impact on the nature of those sounds as it impacts on plant growth which in turn determines what animals and birds can survive in a particular area. The biological and physical diversity of Canada has resulted in the identification of  fifteen different terrestrial regions. Usually in dealing with the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada, characteristics of regions are considered, but rather than using fifteen areas seven cultural groupings are normally used. These are the Algonkian-speaking Peoples of the Eastern Woodlands, the Iroquoian-speaking Nations of the Eastern Woodlands, the Plains Nations originally dependent on the buffalo, the Plateau groups of British Columbia’s Cordillera, the Nations of the Mackenzie and Yukon River Basin, and the Inuit/Inuvialuit of the Arctic (Files 1992: 26-27).

In each of these cultural grouping areas, sound moves through air in different ways depending on whether the landscape is relatively flat, or if there are hills and mountains. The presence of bodies of water whether as small or large rivers, ponds or lakes, provides sound in itself as well as impacting on the quality of the sound waves heard. All of these elements in turn along with the resources available out of which to make musical instruments influence the aesthetic ideals of  Aboriginal musicians.

   * * *

 

Valid XHTML!     Level Triple-A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

 

Back to Top


This project was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through Canadian Culture Online

Heritage Canada Logo