We had a wonderful time at the Rockport pow wow. We saw some old friends and made new ones. There were some issues, like a mic not working on Saturday, and being stopped after we started a song, but we persevered.
Our drum strives to do things the best we can. We have permission for every song we sing. We follow drum protocol and teach others as often as possible. We built the drum ourselves and we built it in a strict and sacred way. The entire building was in ceremony.
We welcome people to sit at our drum, but we also do not allow people who are in any way harmful to the drum near it. When people disrespect the drum, they no longer sit on the drum.We ask questions of people that we consider wiser.
We are a group of people who are friends/family, not just drum members.
When Matt and I first were asked about doing a pow wow we had to think. We weren't building the drum to go on the "pow wow circut". I have a business that runs 7 days a week. I volunteer with a raptor program, am an ordained minister, and help with paranormal investigations. I do cleansings and blessings in three different styles. Matt works, builds flutes, and is also in the paranormal group. We didn't want to spend our weekends running all over the midwest drumming. We love drumming, but it is a lifestyle that will take up every weekend you have.
First we asked a lot of questions. We asked established drums that we respected and that we knew followed protocol. We asked elders, we asked everyone we could think of. Their response was all the same.....you will meet a ton of nasty people who all think their opinion is the only one that matters; you will see more jealousy and misinformation than actual help; stand up for yourself and be strong, but don't be nasty or pack up your drum , storm off or run away. Remain strong. Write as many songs or re-arrange as many songs as you can. Lastly...practice. That was it, from everyone we talked to. That is also exactly what we do.
We have met a few nasty people. They are the unhappy of the world, and they think they have special information or entitlement. We deal with them strongly and firmly whenever we "meet" them. We disregard misinformation, and we certainly stand up for ourselves and we are strong. We have yet to walk away, although there have been times when I wanted to tell someone to "F____ off" , "drop dead" or more often..."grow up". The idiots are out there. They forget why they are there. Pow wows aren't about your way, they are about everyone's way. I have had people go out and spread flat out lies, and sadly all were ex members of the drum. They left because we wouldn't do things their way....well they can build a drum and do things their way. The door is open.You would think that the people who become involved with such a spiritual pursuit as drumming can be so ridiculous, but it sure happens. It has happened to other drums, probably just about every drum.
Personal issues, emotional and mental issues, ego and self righteousness are rife in the drum world.
We are always honored when people want to sit at the drum for a song or two. We had two guest drummers this year, and two last year, and it is always an honor. Sometimes the guests become regulars. We strive more than anything to teach, and love to work with children. The energy of our drum pulls people in . Ego drums pull egos in, spiteful drums pull spiteful people in , good vibrations pull good people in . We never accept payment for drumming. We drum for free. A blanket dance is appreciated, but we don't demand a flat fee from anyone. Not from a pow wow, a wedding or a teaching.
This weekend a young man made a grave error that was compounded by more ignornace of the way to do things. Youngsters will make mistakes, but it didn't go unnoticed. We however rolled through it, letting Creator decide what to do about it.
There is always something that happens, and we always roll through it and beyond it. Although we are not always quiet about it. When you are quiet, no one learns and no one grows.It isn't easy, but no one said it would be.
I remain my Grandmother's Peshaui Wequashimese.
Do the right things for the right reasons.
(C)2013 Dr. R M Wolf. May not be used, copied or reproduced without prior written permission.