Real shaman's drum


This article deals with the subject of ethnic psychology and is a continuation and refinement of the article "the Material culture of shamanism". The article describes the manufacture of steppe shaman's tambourine. The article will be interesting for students studying subjects of anthropology, Ethnology and ethnic psychology, as well as all those interested in shamanic practices, shamanic counseling and shamanic methods of self-regulation.

In the last article I said that the views of shaman drum shaman makes himself or it is made the relatives of the shaman. This feature concerns not only the drum but also the entire shamanic utensils. This feature is related to the mental forces of the family (ancestral Spirits), which, being invested in the production of sacred subject matter, manifest itself in action of this subject. Accordingly, if the shaman uses objects made by other people, there may be a discrepancy between the personal forces of the shaman with the forces which invested other people in the manufacture of these items. So the shaman trying all the items used in the rites to make yourself. For this reason, shamanic objects made strange shamans are perceived with great care. To the manufacture of objects of shamanic activities can involve the relatives of the shaman, as they share with shaman ancestral Spirits.

In modern tribal communities, shamans often depart from ancient traditions and shamans with objects produced by other people. This can be seen in contemporary photographs, where ethnic festivals, shamans dressed in the same costumes and shamans with the same tambourines. This sameness is a sign put on stream production of these things. This mass production makes shamanic things in simple gifts:

But the real shamanic things exist in a single copy – there are no two identical real shaman tambourines.

of Course, in the hands of a shaman and a gift of diamonds will work and the real diamonds have "masked" the shaman will not work. But still respecting the shamans try to use real tambourine.

how to make a real shaman drum and will be discussed in this article.


the design and material of the shell of diamonds can be divided into Prairie and forest. In a forest the shaman searches for the tree that to agree to give him chips for sides. Often shamans looking for this tree in my sleep. When finding the desired tree from its growing barrel cut down and separate the chips. The chips are then bent into a ring and it turns out bent the shell. This is the most common design of the shell. In the case of mass production of souvenir tambourines of course the tree no one is looking and stick to the sides or out of the Board, or plywood.

Shell is bent out of the Board

the Shell is bent plywood

Often this bent the sides complement the projections, commonly referred to as "resonators".

And then it turns out the tambourine "oscillators"

However, historically, the projections on the edge of the tambourine it's not the resonators. This design has very ancient origins and is an imitation of the designs of the steppe tambourine.

On a more ancient and rare in the current design of the steppe of the tambourine I want to elaborate in this article.

Steppe diamonds

In contrast to the (relatively) forest steppe of the drum shell of the drum is made from whole wood chips cut from a living tree, and from the twigs of bushes or tree branches. This design is historically more ancient and comes from the method of drying hides on hoops bent from the rod. This method of drying is used now in some of the Indian tribes and the Northern peoples of Siberia.

Anthropologists believe that it was from the drying of skins going on drum – when the skin was dry and stretched – it started to sound. This was the reason for the use of skins stretched on a Hoop as a musical instrument. Because in anthropology it is believed that people began to build housing through the wrapping frame is made of poles about 400-500 thousand years ago (in the late ashely), and then the skins become dry in the same period. So, hypothetically, this period could invent and tambourine. Of course, to test this hypothesis is difficult.

However, back to the production vehicle.

so, for the tambourine, you will need to make two hoops of flexible rods. The bars need to find. It is a question of "hunting for power". You can search everywhere. But to find and cut rods can be quite difficult.

For a successful search shamans appeal to the spirits for help and ask for help to find the rod. When the rod need to talk to the tree, whether the tree to give to this thread. For appeasement of the tree can be watered and/or decompose on its branches birds.

you never find the rod, it is also necessary to bend, and so it is not broken. The rod must be maloberti – not have a large difference of thickness at the butt and top parts.

Well-suited to wrap twigs from the branches of mulberry, cherry and ash.

After bending the hoops you need to leave them in a bent position for a couple of months in a dry place in the shade. When the rod is dry because it makes the Hoop. You need to do and fix the junction of the top and butt of the rod. The joint is done by cutting small steps, as shown in the photo (red arrows).

the Steps needed to get where the cording drum dries out and starts to squeeze the Hoop, then the joint started to move and the diameter of the Hoop is not diminished.

the Joint is usually glued and stitched thick thread.

Two Hoop connected in parallel to each other attaching to the dies. I fasten screws. Thus, it turns out shell:

leather strips at the sides make the ongon of the spirit of the master of the tambourine. Now that the shell is ready, her tight skin.

the Most common way stitched steppe tambourine shown in the figure below:

As you can see from the picture, the leather is sewn to the sides, tucks on the back side of the drum through the rope ring and stitched leather with braid or plain coarse thread. Skin edges around the seam of the firmware is usually glued.

the photo below by the unit of the place of passage of the rope through which the rolled leather. Deuce marked the edge of the leather that are glued. Three marked gluing an extra layer of skin that covers the firmware (so the firmware is not visible).

In General, internal (back) side of the steppe tambourine looks like this:

And the external (front) side of the steppe tambourine - like this:


Independent production of steppe shaman's tambourine is available to almost anyone. Bending Hoop from a tree branch does not require any special technical equipment nor special physical strength or any special skills. The rest of the making drum is also available to all people without any special professional training. Enough to be able to drill a hole, screw in screw, make the firmware normal Shoe seam with the help of sewing and Shoe hook. The main difficulty of manufacture of the tambourine is just the ability to organize this process. And in the process just manifest personal power (ancestral Spirits) of a shaman. Therefore, the manufacture of the drum is its own kind of challenge, commitment and professional growth of the shaman.

In this article included information on the preparation of skins for the manufacture of stitched tambourine. In the Internet there is enough information on tanning. If need be – I will describe this process in a separate article.

the Only thing I want to note – with the skin also need to talk, as with the tree when searching for rods for the sides. Good material on the organization of manufacture of the shaman's drum gives Basilov V. N. in the book "Chosen spirits" (Moscow, "Politizdat", 1984).

And another important point - when the wrapping drum wet skin don't need much to pull it, it needs a little while turning the drum in a horizontal position. When it is dry - stretched. Neoteny better tambourine than constricted. Stretch already dried then the drum is regulated by drum held to the fire or drying in the sun. The apartment can dry hair dryer.

I Wish all the enthusiasts of the reconstruction of the ethnic practices of inspiration and success in the manufacture of the shaman's tambourine!


Basilov V. N. The elect spirits. – M.: Politizdat, 1984.

K. meadows Shamanic experience. Practical guide to contemporary shamanism. M. "fair-PRESS", 1999. – 320 p.

Sarangerel. Call of the shaman. M.: "fair-PRESS", 2003.

Tylor, E. B. Primitive culture. – M.: Publishing house of political literature, 1989. – 573 p.

Sundic N. The white shaman. //Roman-Gazette №22(860), №23(861)/ – M.: Publishing house "Artistic literature", 1978.

Harner M. the way of the shaman. – M., "The Palantir", 1994.

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