Klemtu artist teaches traditional drum making in Hope

Harvey Robinson has made over 1,000 drums

Harvey Robinson has made more than 1,000 drums with his own two hands and has inspired countless others to make their own.

The carver, teacher and hereditary chief from Klemtu in the Great Bear Rainforest said he leads students, youth and fellow teachers to assemble a drum, but more importantly teaches focus on the here and now.

“It grounds them, because you’ve got to be focused when you’re working with something,” Robinson said.

“He’s making a drum now and if he misses out on one little thing in there, then you’re not focused. You have got to untangle it again and start over. You always have to have an open mind.”

Robinson works with students in Hope during the school year.

In the summers he is back in his Northern community teaching children of the Kitasoo Xai’xais nation. He passes on life skills and sometimes a song to his students.

“I always tell the kids, we’re all in one canoe together. I’m here to help support you. Then I go to sing the paddle song, kids like it,” he laughed.

On Jan. 18 a dozen teachers got to experience firsthand the focus, work and fun that goes into making a drum.


Is there more to this story?


emelie.peacock@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

April Carlson, special education assistant at Coquihalla Elementary School, begins to bring string made from elk hide through the hide which will cover the top of her drum.

Robinson displays the tools needed to make a drum; a round piece of elk hide, hide cut into string and a round base made from yellow cedar. Normally drums are made from red cedar, this time Robinson said he wanted to try something new. Emelie Peacock photo

Hide, in this case elk hide, is placed in water before the construction of the drum begins. Once the drum is finished, the hide dries and becomes taught, giving the drum its unique sound.

“It’s a long process when you do this. You’ve got to stretch the hide, you’ve got to stretch the sinew before you start tying it,” Robinson says. By stretching the thin piece of hide, another 100 centimetres can be gained and weak spot can be found before the work of threading begins. Emelie Peacock photo

Once the elk hide string is threaded through holes in the hide drum top, the string is criss-crossed in a star shape across the bottom side of the drum to tighten the hide.

Robinson tests out Sharlene Harrison-Hinds’ drum mallet, made from cotton balls wrapped in hide attached to a wood handle. Emelie Peacock photo

Teachers spend a day in Harvey Robinson’s drum-making class at Hope Secondary School. Emelie Peacock photo

Just Posted

B.C. Ferries faced series of technical problems causing long waits

11:00 ferry now good to go, but lines anticipated

‘It’s a very real and acute issue:’ agriculture expert on food insecurity in Hope

New food and agriculture plan presented to public Tuesday

27 years of supporting victims and survivors of crime and trauma

Marianne Brueckert with Victim Services says it is a gift to work with survivors of crime, tragedy

A little school club with a big goal of better mobility for students

Coquihalla Elementary’s PeaceJam group asks businesses to fund adaptive tricycles

Hope Search and Rescue assist in flood response

Evacuation alerts and river monitoring carried out by HSAR together with the District of Hope

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Suspected scammer attempts to use Black Press newspaper to dupe woman

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre offers tips after Langley resident received suspicious call

Vote points to abortion being legalized in Ireland

Voters asked whether to keep or repeal Eighth Amendment to Roman Catholic Ireland’s Constitution

COLUMN: Women’s breasts really aren’t that big a deal

A follow on some Princeton, B.C., students gained considerable exposure when they dropped their bras

Canadian soccer officials talk up World Cup bid at Champions League final

Current bid calls for 2026 World Cup games to be staged in the U.S., Canada and Mexico

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

Most Read