The Drum

by Deanna Therriault


12” x 18” Original in Watercolour (2021). The hand drum is a conduit for our women. A voice between grandmother moon, the ethereal divide and both our hearts, our soul. I tried to convey the interconnectedness of the object by bleeding the colours into one another. I chose not to colour the drum so that attention would be called to her.

The drum represents so many things, sometimes the back is laced, and it looks like a tree, the tree of life. The tree of life representing the placenta we carry life in. Drum is round, like the moon, like the circle we exist in. The drum is not an inanimate object, she is an extension of self. She is treated with great respect, feasted and carried with pride and care. Each month, women gather for full moon ceremony.

I’ve made two drums in my life; those experiences alone have given me strength. But when I hear her heartbeat and the voices that sing our songs, something stirs deep within me, I feel like it’s the memories of my ancestors calling and reminding me of our teachings, our relationship with moon, drum and woman. I have been called back by the drum, the songs of my grandmothers, aunties and sisters during my darkest moments. We, as women, need to pick up our drums again/more often, we need build the matriarchy our songs and those teachings because I know I need them, which means there are others who do to. Sing loud, sing so our ancestors can hear us!

All prints on 100lb matte paper.