March 12, 2007

An educational drum?

Learning to the beat of a different drumAbout eight people, most with Native American heritages of differing tribes and some spouses who are not Indians, are at the center of the group, Pelkey said. Most are from the greater Augusta-Waterville area.

But he calls "Two Feathers Drum" an educational drum, one that looks to share and demonstrate Indian culture in society, so Indians and non-Indians alike are welcome at the group's weekly practice sessions and even to join in at performances if they know the words and music.
Comment:  I was under the impression that women and non-Indians aren't supposed to participate in drums, traditionally speaking.


Rob said...

That explains why I said it was an impression rather than a fact. Still, until someone presents evidence that some tribes allowed women or non-Natives to participate in traditional drums, the question remains unanswered.

Rob said...

Mm-hm. Be sure to let us know when you have any evidence to justify your implicit claims about traditional drums.

Rob said...

You got it. Here's the evidence that women "aren't supposed to" participate in drums:

Powwow dispute highlights male-female divide

Associated Press
Published Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Members of the Sweetgrass Road Drum Group drove down from Canada to the University of St. Thomas last month for a chance to show other American Indian women that powwow drumming is no longer just a men's tradition.

But instead of a repeat of their well-received performance in 2000, the women were asked to leave. And they claim organizers offered them money to exit quietly, according to a civil complaint against St. Thomas.

We were turned away from our own community and that hurt us the most, said Raven Hart-Bellecourt, one of the plaintiffs. They were trying to stomp on our pride, our honor and our dignity.

The controversy highlights a divide in Indian country. Drumming is historically a sacred art performed only by men, though a handful of female groups recently have risked ostracism to challenge convention.