All of our drum frames for two-sided drums are made from cottonwood. These are chiseled out and aged for the appropriate amount of time: usually 3–4 months.
Cottonwood works the best for drums because it has a very twisted grain that will not crack. These two-sided drums are our main drums and are the very strongest. They come in sizes ranging from 7–60 inches.
We also make one-sided drums made from maple hoops. These are light drums, available in 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, and 20 inches. They usually don't have quite the same, sound as our two-sided drums, but they are lighter and easier to carry. One thing to keep in mind is that the bigger the drum, the better the sound.
Drumsticks are made from chokecerry, a traditionally used wood, deerskin and stuffed with buffalo hair. You can also choose a painted or unpainted drum. Sonja paints with traditional earth paints. These paints are made from various colors of rock ground to a fine powder and mixed with water. After she paints a drum, we put a sealer over the painting that makes it permanent and waterproof.
Hide Paintings & Native American Arts
We also specialize in hiding paintings, including painted buffalo robes. Because we buy so many buffalo hides for our drums, we have access to very nice winter hides, which we have tanned at a commercial tannery. We also offer great prices on unpainted buffalo robes.
Sonja also paints a variety of other hides, including buffalo robes, elk hides, and deer hides. You can also find many traditional arts and crafts, including beadwork, and quillwork. All made by people from the Pine Ridge, Rosebud, and Cheyenne River reservations at our store.