School of Arts & Sciences University of Pennsylvania

Hallowell: Two Views of an Ojibwe Drum

The Drum Speaks

In the Ojibwe culture, drums have a special significance – ranging from their creation to their use and caretaking. In the first part of this video, Larry Aiken discusses the importance of the drum in Minnesota to his people with Dr Powell and his colleague.  When the drum is hit, it awakens. The drum plays an integral role in the creation tales of the Ojibwe as the first sound was that of the drum. Mother Earth too was awakened by the sound of the drum. Larry Aiken treats us by playing the drum and singing, then describes how the drum can also gather people from the tribe together for festivities and ceremonies.

The second half is of a conversation regarding the creation of the drum itself and how the preservation of knowledge is vital to keeping the Ojibwe culture alive, which is our primary mission through this webpage.

This is but a sample of the overall discussion which took place at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. If you would like the entire footage, please contact Dr Powell.