Steven Kauder
Elbing, Kansas
(316) 799-2989

Making a Shaman Drum

I make shaman drums with the gifts of Bear, Buffalo, Elk, Horse, and Moose.

I obtain the best hides I can. I treat them with ceremony, respect, prayer, and gratitude.

Making a shaman drum is an involved process. You have to consider the quality of the hide. How tightly can you lace it? Does it have any weak spots? Are you making the drum for a dry environment or a humid one?






1. Soaking the Drumskin and Lacing

Soak the drumskin and lacing in a tub until they are pliable. Thinner hides, such as bear and horse, may be ready in 4 hours. Most other hides are ready in 8 hours, but the thickest buffalo and moose require up to 16 hours.
2. Preparing to Lace the Drum

Place the drumskin rough side up on some old towels, and center the drum frame on the drumskin. The lacing, a single 30-foot strand, is next to the drumskin and drum frame.
3. Lacing the Drum

Lace the drumskin by following the diagram and instructions I provide. Take care to keep the drum frame centered in the drumskin. Several rounds of tightening give the drum its tone and resonance.
4. Making the Handle, Part 1

Wrap the center of the lacing with one end of the lacing to form the first half of the handle. Take care to make sure the handle is in the center of the drum.
5. Making the Handle, Part 2

Wrap the other end of the lacing around the remaining strands of lacing to form the second half of the handle. The additional tightening created by making the handle further ensures the drum's excellent tone and resonance.
6. The Lacing is Done, Handle Side

Cut off the ends of the lacing. The drum is ready to dry. If you look carefully, you will see that the sides of the hide bulge out from the drum frame.
7. The Lacing is Done, Drumskin Side

This view shows the excellent color and spotting variations in this hide. The side bulges are very apparent in this image. A cloth strip will be wrapped around the drum frame to pull in those bulges as the drum dries.

Completed Shaman Drum

Twenty-four hours later, the drum is ready to use!
...In the left hand image, note the centered handle. That's visually appealing and makes it easy to hold the drum.
...In the central image, note the "scalloping" of the edge of the drumskin. That shows off the natural wood frame.
...In the right hand image, note the texturing and images of this drumskin. There is a lot to see and experience!

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Shamanic Art:
Ceremonial Drums
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Steven Kauder
P.O. Box 11, Elbing, KS 67041
(316) 799-2989
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The small fine print: © 2002 - 2015 by Steven Kauder.