In our ritual room we discovered, that Bhola had drums for us to choose from 🙂
Nepali double sided shaman’s drums. There were several, but not for long….. 2 smaller ones were taken immediately. I held out my left all feeling hand and – there was one that had A LOT of Power. No, Bhola said, that is my spare drum….
There was another one, that stood out, because it was all black and had a lower tone than toe 2 or 3 others. Actually that means, that the skin is just a little more loose…. In this weather – it had been raining buckets since the last 2 days; the Monsoon just not letting up this year…
but back to the drum: I will take this drum back to Canada, where we have to heat our homes for more than 7 month out of the year and although the humidity in summer sometimes is quite stifling, let’s face it, there is AC….. A very tight drum might not make it in a very dry environment….This one however felt just right and the wood the frame is constructed of was smooth and flawless. The carvings on each side of its phurba show 3 fierce Spirit faces as well as Spirit eyes and tridents, the symbol for life, death and re-birth and spirals – Spiral of life…
Around the phurba each drum had red and white ribbons – for male and female energy
Each drum came with a beater, bend in a snake-like shape and was adorned with a red cotton thread – for life.
Each drum also came with a modern bright blue goretex carrying case fit for the air plane home 🙂
Nepalese shaman’s drums (dhyangro) are double headed, and covered by animal hide the drums are made of special wood. The animal hide used nowadays is either mountain goat, deer or a domesticated goat or sheep. They also have a handle in the shape of a ritual dagger (often known in the West by it’s Tibetan name phurba) which has three sides to its blade, which in its three dimensional way represents all the cosmos.
On one side of this triangular bladed handle there is the beak of the regal Eagle, or perhaps an Owl or a Horse or a Thunderbolt or an Elephant. This is the male side of the drum, so when we hold the drum in front of our face, this male side should be facing outside.
The spirits hardly make any difference between a male and a female shaman, as the drum is the universal instrument used by both the sexes it makes no difference.
Some shamans respect the male and female sides of the drum, but some shamans don’t, it depends upon the instructions they have received from their teachers and the spirits. If the shaman works with the male and female sides of the drum differently, the male side is used in the beginning of a shaman’s ceremony to call in the spirits. The female side is used towards the end of the ceremony or ritual to send away the helping spirits.
The shaman starts to drum with a 1/4 beat [O O O O O O], during which they will observe their whole body to look for tensions, performing deep breathing in order to relax, They will then invite their spirits and ancestors in to help them, and make their intentions for the ceremony or healing clear. Suddenly the shaman’s drumming will change rhythm to a 4/4 beat [O o o o O o o o O o o o], during which the shaman starts feeling sensations of heat and cold in their body as the spirits come closer and start inspiring them.
When the body of the shaman starts to move and shake, or they start to dance, the rhythm of the drumming becomes very random.
Towards the end of the session the female side of the drum is used, and then the rhythm becomes a 3/4 beat [O o o O o o O o o]. During this time the shaman starts calming and slowing down, and eventually the beat changes to a 2/4 [O o O o O o O o] and eventually a 1/4 [O O O O O O O] before it comes to a stop.
As a welcome gift I presented my drum with a Peacock feather.
This is however only the first part of what happened.
Stay tuned 😉