Pueblo dances are prayers. They are sacred occasions where Pueblo people give thanks for a bountiful harvest, good health and prosperity. The singer’s prayer songs are accompanied by the sound of drums. The beat of the drums reminds us of the sound of the heartbeat of mother earth, the source of all life. It could also be the sound of thunder, the signal that life-sustaining rain is on the way. Drums are an integral part of all Pueblo dances, but not all Pueblos make their own drums. The most desired drums are known to come from Cochiti Pueblo where the Herrera family has been making drums for three generations. Santiago “Jim” Herrera (? - 1971) taught his son Arnold to make drums in the 1960s and 70s. After the death of his father in 1971, Arnold continued the drum-making tradition and has now passed this art to his sons. This drum was made by Santiago Herrera. It was carefully carved out of cottonwood and decorated with a royal blue paint that contrasts with the natural color and grain of the cottonwood. The stretched rawhide covers a white band on one side and a red band on the other. The drum head is painted black and there are signs of use in the middle of the head. In addition to the drum, a beater is included. The beater has a top of sewn rawhide with stuffing inside. The drum size is 18" height x 19" diameter. The drum has two heads. Pueblo songs are written to start slowly and then go to a climax. At a certain point of the song, the drum is flipped over to achieve a higher beat. This lifts the dancers and gives them the impetus to continue dancing. Condition: The drum is in excellent condition, the rawhide head and the strings are very tight.
Inventory Number: 45592