When The Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm

 
9781635617887: When The Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm
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For millennia, the sacred drummers of pre-Christian Mediterranean and western Asia were women. In this inspiring book, Layne Redmond, herself a renowned drummer, tells their history. 
Artistic representations reveal that female frame drummers carried the spiritual traditions of many of the earliest recorded civilizations. During those ancient times, the drummer-priestesses held the keys to experience of the divine through rhythm. They were at the center of the goddess worship of matriarchal societies until the ascendance of patriarchal cultures and the loss of drumming as a spiritual technology. With wisdom and passion, Redmond chronicles our species’ deep connection to the drum, our rich heritage of inseparable spirituality and music, and the modern-day women reclaiming it. 
This book encourages readers—both women and men—to reestablish rhythmic links with themselves, nature, and other people through the power of drumming. Redmond illustrates her message with an extensive collection of images gathered during ten years of research and travel. Woven throughout the book are strands of ancient ritual and mythology, personal stories, and scientific evidence of the benefits of drumming. It is at once a history, a memoir, and a resounding call for spiritual and social renewal.

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Review:

“In the mother goddess cultures of ancient Europe, the rhythm clans come alive in Layne's fascinating and insightful book.” —Mickey Hart, author of Drumming at the Edge of Magic and Planet Drum

“Reading When the Drummers Were Women gave me goosebumps. This inspiring history of feminine power and spirituality shows that patriarchy is just a blip on the screen and that women in charge of our bodies and spirits is our natural state. Layne Redmond has restored the drum to its rightful place as a sacred technology for repossessing our own consciousness.” —Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom

“I devoured this book with a spiritual hunger that astonished me, hunger for roots that go ail the way back to zero. Hunger for information to back up my instincts, my intuitive responses to a world that has forgotten that god is the dance. Hunger for religious roots buried in the beat, burned at the stake, pulsing in the bloodlines of a billion w ild women. Erased but not eradicated. Layne Redmond offers us proof that rhythm is our mother tongue. She has undertaken a shamanic journey for all of us to recover our spiritual heritage and call the heat hack into our tribal hearts.” —Gabrielle Roth, author of Maps to Ecstasy

"When the Drummers Were Women adds a valuable dimension to our understanding 0/ the ancient Goddess religions. Redmond, herself a brilliant drummer, documents that these instruments have long been played by women in ritual. Her own experience as a musician gives her insight into the ways drumming can be used to affect consciousness and opens our imagination to envision the actual ceremonies of the Goddess. As a drummer and priestess myself, I loved this book!" —Starhawk, author of Dreaming the Darkness

"Wow! Through Layne's fabulous book, my own intuitive experience with drumming has been made more clear and has been grounded in ‘Her-story.’ I'm sure this learning will deepen and enlarge my personal and group work. I highly recommend this well-documented treatise to everyone, and especially those who are drawn to the power and magic of the drum. " —Brooke Medicine Eagle, author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing

". . . Redmond evokes the certainty that there is a parallel shamanic and mystery tradition for women. Since time immemorial, she shows, through carefully presented images, that women were aware of and attuned to the rhythms of being. This book instructs us, through myth and legend, through archaeological images, maps, and tables, and the integrity of Redmond’s own search, that since ancient times, Drummers Were Women." —Stephen Larsen, Center for Symbolic Studies

"It is important that this information is available and being talked about." —Olympia Dukakis

"By searching out the lost, early history of the frame drum, Layne Redmond has uncovered an important missing chapter in the history of humanity—a chapter in which goddesses ruled beside gods and in which women's spirituality, wisdom, and sexuality were affirmed through rituals involving drumming. In an age where people are rediscovering the communal and healing powers of rhythm, When the Drummers Were WOMEN establishes the link between ancient knowledge and the contemporary emphasis on the importance of passion and soulfulness to life." —Rick Mattingly, editor, Percussive Notes magazine

 

About the Author:

Layne Redmond (1952-2013) has recorded five albums, been featured on NPR's All Things Considered, and was profiled in The New York Times and other major magazines and national publications. She performed and taught extensively, both in the United States and internationally. Ms. Redmond was the first female musician to have her own line of drums launched by Remo, Inc.

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