Mi'kmaq Traditional Hand Drum Making through ArtSmart Grant

Posted: March 9, 2020

 Charles Austin's students at Terry Fox Elementary were creating projects on different cultures. Through an ArtSmart grant, Mr. Austin was able to give students an opportunity to create symbols representing aspects of their chosen culture. Student, Landon Peter Paul, chose to learn and present on the Mi’kmaq culture. The chosen symbol was the drum, utilizing the grant a traditional hand drum kit was purchased and an Elder, Steven Peter Paul of Pabineau First Nation, spent some time with Landon teaching him how to make and care for the drum, the cultural teachings associated with the drum as well as taught Landon a song.

Drums are an important part of the Mi’kmaq culture and there are many teachings regarding the drum. The drum helps us to connect with Mother Earth, it takes us to a special place inside where we can reconnect to mind, body, emotions and spirits.  The drum represents the heartbeat of Mother Earth, the first sound we heard in the world. The drum when combined with the voice creates a hum that rests between the voice and the drum and is thought to be the spirits of the ancestors. The drum is medicine. Respect it well and it will help guide you. (Elder Christine Metallic)