How the Sweat Lodge Drum Got Its Name

How the Sweat Lodge Drum Got Its Name

  • June 11,2021
  • Tachini Drums

The sweat lodge drum is a double-sided Native American drum that plays an invaluable role in the purification ceremonies performed by tribes across the country.

The first aspect of the sweat lodge drum that probably strikes you (apart from its striking appearance) is the name. What is a sweat lodge? A lodge is a kind of house, so it must be a place, but then what’s up with the sweat?

If you’ve ever wondered why this beautiful and unique instrument has the name it does, read this blog on how the sweat lodge drum got its name.

What Are Sweat Lodges?

A sweat lodge is a domed or oblong-shaped lodge. It’s constructed from natural materials such as wood and animal skin. There’s normally a fire pit located outside the lodge and a rock pit inside it.

The sweat lodge is used for sweat lodge ceremonies. These ceremonies are chiefly purification ceremonies, but they also contain spiritual and religious elements. They’re designed for prayer and healing. Most sweat lodge ceremonies progress as follows:

  • The fire pit outside the lodge is lit. Here, an experienced fire keeper heats the stones that will be used during the ceremony.
  • The stones are placed in the pit inside the lodge and covered with tobacco, cedar, sweetgrass, or some other offering.
  • Water is poured over the rocks to create steam. This heats up the interior of the lodge.
  • Led by an experienced elder, the participants pray, chant, drum, and meditate. The ceremony itself is long. It consists of four parts, each representing a different spiritual challenge.

So, why is it called a sweat lodge? Because, in many ways, sweat lodges are akin to saunas. They’re a “lodge” where you go to “sweat” (among other things).

What’s the Role of Drums in Sweat Lodge Ceremonies?

As mentioned briefly above, sweat lodge drums are used during sweat lodge ceremonies. They create a steady beat that mimics the beat of Mother Earth’s heart and allows the participants of the sweat lodge to connect with the Earth, gods, and spirits. They also provide a tune to accompany chanting or singing.

The double-sided design of sweat lodge drums helps them withstand hours of use without becoming flat or worn, which makes them the preferred choice of drum for these ceremonies. And that’s how the sweat lodge drum got its name!

Interested in owning your very own sweat lodge drum? Tachini Drums has authentic, masterfully crafted Native American sweat lodge drums for sale along with drum beaters and other accessories. Let us connect you with the heartbeat of Mother Earth today!

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