Drum Circle and Pow Wow

The most important Native American instrument was and still is the drum, as you can tell by going to any pow wow or Indian event.

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Different tribes have different traditions about the drum and how to play it, but the basic construction is very similar in most tribes: a wooden frame or a carved and hollowed-out log, with finely tanned buckskin or elkskin stretched taut across the opening by sinew thongs.

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Traditionally American Indian drums are large, two to three feet in diameter, and they are played communally by groups of men who stand around them in a circle.20141121_1727161

Pow wows are the Native American peoples’ way of meeting together – to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and starting new ones.

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Pow wows were needed to help drive away sickness, ensure success in battle, interpret dreams, or to help individuals or tribes in other ways.

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Prayers, singing, dancing and drumming were all used by pow wows in those ceremonies; and wherever Native American people gathered there was feasting, socializing and trading.

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So, the gatherings themselves came to be called pow wows.

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