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PH: 250-842-0216
FAX: 250-842-2219

P.O. Box 418
Hazelton, BC
V0J 1Y0

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Hummingbird design by Marie Smith

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The First Peoples' Heritage Language & Culture Council

Drum-making Workshop

A picture of the Drum-making class in sessionThe drum-making workshop was a pleasure to be part of due in large part to the relaxed atmosphere cultivated by all the participants. Lorna Brown was our elder instructor and her aim was to foster a work-bee type ambience as experienced when getting together with family or friends to do fish or other similar traditional work. The participants easily made friends and before the first day was done, an atmosphere of joking and laughter prevailed. This set the tone for the rest of the week as treats were brought in daily and people rushed to help others in newly learned techniques.

A picture of Arlene Ness's completed drumsticksThe first day consisted of prepping the rawhide and soaking it as soon as possible (for approximately 24 hrs). Once rawhide is soaking, the drum-sticks are worked on. This particular project really brought out the artisans in everyone; as these drumsticks were painted, embellished, woven with colored threads or wrapped with leather. Each drum-stick seemed to have a story behind it and each embellishment had a reason (much like our totem poles).

Michelle is working on her drumOn the second day, the drumstick work was put aside so participants could assemble the drums. Lorna told the participants about the proper care of the drum as well as the significance of the drum in our lives. Once we own a drum, no one else is to touch it as it bonds with the maker. During the design phase, some of our participants gained permission from their chiefs to use house designs while others created designs that reflected personal struggles, position in life or their view of their house clans.

During this course, we had many interested visitors trickle in to visit and we even heard that some of our students continued to work through the night as they did not want to stop until the painting was done.

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If you are interested in learning how to make a drum, sign up for our workshop using the application form. Please ensure that you fill out all required information.

A picture of Totem Carving

Once enough applications are received then we will schedule a "Drum-making" workshop.

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