As part of the Grade 7 Primitive Project, where students use hands-on experiences to gain a deeper understanding of what life was like pre-civilization, the Grade 7s had the opportunity to create a ceremonial/communal drum from scratch. Earlier in the year, the girls scraped a whitetail deer hide that had been donated by a father at the school who hunts. The hide was soaked for a few weeks and then, on Wednesday, November 15, the girls took it out of the solution and began to transform it into a drum. Not one of them (nor me) had ever done something like this before so we went onto YouTube and found a video that walked us through the process. A section of the hide was cut out from the centre (the thickest part of the skin). Sixteen sets of two holes were punched through the hide. From there, the chord was created by spiraling out one continuous 7m long by 1cm wide section of hide. Watching the video, the girls then threaded the holes, tightened the drum, and set the handle in place. By the next day, the drum was dry and it has a very good sound (in my humble opinion).
From here, the Grade 7s will look to personalize the drum by writing messages to their future selves on buckskin (yet to be created) and affixing those messages to the drum. As a community, we are now also thinking in to creating an image to set onto the hide of the drum itself. If you are interested, please drop by the Grade 7 classroom to take a look!
Grade 7 Teacher