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Hand Painted Drums

Why natives used drums and how were they made.

The Drum has been apart of every culture on earth, prominent at one time or another. For our native people the drum represents the heart beat. It is believed that the inside of an actual long house represents the inside of a whale. The large beams and planks of wood representing the spine and ribs of a whale, while the drums are considered its heartbeat and the songs represent the spirit of the whale. 

How a drum is made is quite a process for the drum maker. First, he must find a plank of wood that is long enough and thin enough that when steamed will bend,  forming a circle, to make the rim of a drum. Nowadays the rims can be modular (consisting of many interlocking pieces)  and can have many shapes other than an circle.

Removing the fur a very is lengthy process, as continuous soaking of the hide is needed. It is also at this point that the drum maker can decide to bleach the hide or not. After the skin is cleaned the hide is stretched and laced onto the rim. As the skin dries the skin becomes taught and the drum is made. It is at this time that the drum maker can also tune the drum. Tuning gives a deeper sound to the drum. This can be done by sanding the hide to be thinner, which makes a more booming sound when he drum is struck.


Whale Design Drum

20.5" Diameter


Bear Design Drum

11.5" Diameter



Hummingbird and Dogwood Large Drum

by Danny Dennis

Sa-Cinn (hummingbird) bringer of love luck and joy has been combined with the BC. Flower

Dogwood. The Artist has painted this Drum with indian ink




Diameter 18" across with drum beater


The drum is only 1 of a kind and will not be re-produced


Drums Hand Painted and Designed by:


"Artist unavailable to paint these designs ."

"For viewing only"

To show the unique connection the Aboriginal peoples have between man , animal and myths and legends interwoven throughout North West Coast Art and Culture.


Large 18" Hand Painted Drum by NaNaQuish

Designed By Na Na Quish

Raven with Moon and Stars

This drum depicts the creation story of the sun, moon and stars. The story goes, as Raven was flying away from the home of the Chief, of whom he stole the ball of light, an Eagle began to chase him. The Raven,in his haste, bit down on the ball and created the sun, the moon and the stars.



Diameter is 14" across.

Thunderbird Whale and Human Drum

This drum depicts the thunderbird hunting a whale. It was believed that when our people saw a storm gathering over the ocean, that it was the thunderbird hunting a whale by creating clouds for camouflage. Our people also knew that human eyes were never to see this event to take place, that is why the human face in the drum has his eyes closed.

Diameter is 14" across.

Large 18" Hand Painted Drum by NaNaQuish

Designed By Na Na Quish

Designed By Na Na Quish

The Salmon Catchers

Ealges have always been respected by our native people as great fisherman. This design depicts the realtionship of sharing and respect as humans and eagles fish the same waters together.

Diameter is 14" across

Designed By Na Na Quish


"Wolf and Moon Drum"

This design depict the totemic animals and their realtionship to our native peoples. Crouching under a storm moon is the wolf. To many tribes the wolf is held with great reverence and respected as a spiritual guide. Many tribes had clans that hornored their kinship realtionship with the wolf through songs and dances. In the body of the wolf are the raven head and eagle head.The eagle is considered the protector of the native people in the sky. Whereby, eagle would show a person of on coming danger if he ( eagle) found the traveller worthy . Raven has an unique realtionship to humans in that his actions, as told in many stories and legends, tell us how greed and self motivation leads to unwanted results. In some cultures Raven is the creator of native peoples. In every native culture Raven is respected and revered as a prominent member of the animal kindom.


Designed By Na Na Quish


"Clam Harvest"

In time of harvest, our people had the rule that if there was an abundance of food that we are to share our good fortune with the animals .Raven, the trickster, who is renown for his impatience decides to liberate his share from the clam diggers basket early.

This design depicts the tools of a clam shovel and woven cedar basket.The harvester is wearing a woven cedar hat adorned with a whale fin design.


Designed by NaNaQuish

Small 9" Hand Painted Drum by NaNaQuish

Designed By NaNaQuish


Hummingbird Feeding on Flower

Diameter is 9" across.

Designed By Na Na Quish

Raven Steals the Light

A four color design.
Diameter is 9" across.

Designed By Na Na Quish

Hummingbird Flying Up to Flower

Diameter is 9" across

Designed By Na Na Quish

Swimming Salmon

Diameter is 9" across

Designed By Na Na Quish

Hand Painted Wolf Drum by NaNaQuish
Hand Painted Raven Drum by NaNaQuish


Diameter is 9" across

Designed By Na Na Quish

Two Color Raven

Diameter is 9" across

Designed By Na Na Quish

Hand Painted Drums by VariousArtists

Native Designed Heron Drum by Maynard Johnny

Large Heron Drum by Maynard Johnny 


The heron is considered the communicator to the spirit world by northern tribes.  That is why the human is in the wing. Maynard was trained in both Northern Kwakiutl  and Coast Salish styles.

Diameter is 20" across.


Hand Painted Native Designed Drums

Large West Coast (Nuu Chah Nulth) Eagle Drum

Diameter is 20" across.



Large 18" Hand Painted Eagle and Buffalo Drum

Large Eagle and Buffalo Drum By Lloyd Harrala
This drum depicts the nature of the Ojibwa spiritual guardian ship of the Eagle and the Buffalo and how each relates to the medicine wheel (which is the ring around it).

Diameter is 18" across.


* Prices displayed on this website are subject to change or correction without notice