Purposes and Types of Native American Drums

Native American culture is rich with traditional practices, mesmerizing designs, and beautiful music. The ancestors of Native American tribes developed distinct purposes and types of Native American drums. At Tachini Drums, it’s our pleasure to share these kinds of historical details with our community. Continue reading below to discover what common Native American drums are used for.

Hand Drums

The Native American hand drum is one of the most common types of Native American drums. These percussive instruments were used in singing and dance gatherings, allowing members of a family and tribe to achieve balance and spiritual renewal. They remain popular to this day, being used in both formal and informal gatherings, traditional songs, and for children to play with.

Sweat Lodge Drums

This type of drum is another one that was commonly used by ancestral Native American tribes for spiritual and medicinal purposes. Sweat lodge drums were used as an integral part of elaborate healing practices by many Native American peoples. The name of this drum comes directly from the location in which they were used.

A sweat lodge is an enclosure that houses a small rock pit; Native Americans placed fire-heated stones in the pit and poured water on the stones—all designed to be part of purification rituals. Sweat lodge drums were used to ask for help from the spirits that Native Americans saw as holding the keys to all of life. The drums were beat as familial and tribal leaders engaged in spiritual songs.

Powwow Drums

As one of the most historically and contemporarily popular drums, powwow drums played a crucial part in Native American culture as well. Powwow drums are significantly larger than hand drums and auxiliary drums and were frequently used for meetings, ceremonies, and gatherings. Tribal dances, ritual ceremonies, and formal events are all embedded in Native American history, and powwow drums were a big part of them. These ceremonies were, and still are, carried out with a great deal of respect, and being entrusted to play a drum is treated as a noble responsibility.

Water Drums

The water drum is another Native American drum that is often used in healing rituals and social events. These drums are even more hollow than a normal drum and are filled with water to produce a unique timbre. The drum itself as well as the batter side can be wetted to varying degrees to create different tonalities, making it versatile for traditional songs.

All Native American drums are regarded as essential components of social gatherings, rites of passage, and traditional practices. Discover the types of Native American drums we have for sale here or feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have.

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