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Unveiling the Hidden Legacy of Female Drumming: Exploring the Power and Resilience of Ancient Women

Updated: May 13, 2023


A woman playing drums in ancient times
Ancient woman playing drums

The art of drumming dates back thousands of years in human history, and during that time it has carried connotations of authority, transcendence, and transformation. However, when we think about drummers, images of men typically come to mind, and the contributions of women to the drumming community are largely disregarded. As a devoted female drummer, I find this topic intriguing, and it is discussed at length in the book "When the Drummers Were Women" by Layne Redmond.


The history of ancient female goddesses who were depicted playing drums has always served as inspiration for me as a drummer who blends dance, martial arts, technology, science, and the visual arts. Redmond claims that female drummers can be traced back to prehistoric societies across Africa, Europe, and Asia. Female drummers served as priestesses or healers in ancient societies, and their music was revered as a means of communing with the divine and effecting positive change.


The drum has enormous significance throughout a wide range of cultures. It represents the womb and the beating heart, two traditionally female symbols. The act of drumming was thought to connect one with the earth's and the universe's healing and manifesting energies. The drum was also utilized to teach martial arts and hone warrior skills in several cultures. Female drummers were held in especially high esteem in this setting, as it was believed that they could channel cosmic and earthly energy to supercharge their abilities.


This old practice has always resonated with me as a modern-day female drummer. It's hard to put into words the feeling of strength and oneness I get from playing my drums. It's as if I'm channeling a power beyond myself and using it to make something wonderful and life-altering.


As we look towards the future, it is essential to recognize and honor the rich history of women drummers who have had a lasting impact on our culture. Their legacy provides a potent link to our own inner fortitude and wisdom, but we must take the time to investigate and value their contributions. The significant role women have played in influencing music and culture can be better comprehended by examining their past. In addition to recognizing their contributions, let's use their wisdom to inspire future generations.


cover of the book "When The Drummers Were Women"
When The Drummers Were Women

Layne Redmond's "When the Drummers Were Women" is an excellent resource for anybody curious about the development of women in the drumming community. The book is extensively distributed and can be purchased from numerous sources. It's a fascinating study that explores the significance of female drumming throughout history and sheds light on the important part women have had in shaping this art form. This book is a must-read for everyone interested in the cultural and musical history of the world or in the history of drumming.






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