Written by Layne Redmond and illustrated by Tommy Brunjes
"Much of the information I've put together over the last ten years on the history of the frame drum and the women that played it is available now for everyone to read and study. -- Layne Redmond
In this lavishly illustrated book, drummer Layne Redmond presents an empowering narrative history of the sacred drum in the ancient Goddess civilization, using her extensive collection of images gathered during more than five years of research and travel in the Mideast and Europe. 80 photos & drawings.
"Women's spirituality circles have taken to drumming in a big way. Redmond has been a leader in reintroducing the frame drum, which, she persuasively argues, has been an instrument of spiritual transformation for millennia. Her marvelous book brings together mythology, history and prehistory, personal experience, musical lore, and scientific information on the healthful effects of drumming. Scores of illustrations show stately goddesses holding frame drums, wild maenads tossing their heads as they pound, and priestesses sanctifying space with the rhythms they beat. Redmond's own story of learning drumming in a society in which women are still actively discouraged from taking up the drums is a paradigm of female experience. Wise and passionate, Redmond's book will find a ready audience, made up not only of those who have attended her popular workshops but also of other women drawn to the ecstatic pulse of the drum."
-Patricia Monaghan, Booklist , May 1, 1997.
Copyrightę 1997, American Library Association. All rights reserved
"I devoured this book with a spiritual hunger that astonished me, hunger for roots that go all 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 wild 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 beat back into our tribal hearts."
- Gabrielle Roth, author of Maps to Ecstasy
"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."
- Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
"What is so important about Layne Redmond's work, is that it has sprung from an immemorial need: It is the quest for women to recover their ancient roots. Some scholars of myth, such as Joseph Campbell, have insisted that the seemingly more widely distributed men's mysteries emerged from a male attempt to rival the natural magic that women have always had: The mysteries of fertility, menstruation, childbirth. But the work of Marija Gimbutas, Riane Eisler and Layne Redmond show that women were far from passive "embodiments" of the Mystery. Rather, in a way congruent with their own magic they celebrated the universe in Her Feminine Form; an ancient religion largely free from violence or grandiosity, one in harmony with the natural rhythms of being."
- Stephen Larsen, author of The Shaman's Doorway and A Fire In The Mind, a Biography of Joseph Campbell
"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
"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 goddessses 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
"If it were possible to select a single factor responsible for the parlous state of the world today, patriarchy might be the leading candidate -- with its brutal suppression, denigration and denial of the feminine. In this passionate and erudite book, Layne Redmond links the goddess principle (expressed in the sacred, ecstatic sexuality of the distant past and the role of sexuality in evoking divine consciousness) to the playing of the frame drum -- once, apparently, exclusively a feminine instrument. As a scholar she traces the history of the drum from its former exalted position, thought its centuries of suppression, down to its current intense revival; as a virtuoso performer she speaks with authority on the drum's real and readily accessible powers. Women reading this book will want to jump up and start playing Layne Redmond's drum; men will get a valuable lesson in what they have been missing these past 5000 years or so."
- John Anthony West, author of The Serpent in The Sky
"Beautifully and gracefully written, this book expands our understanding of religious insight over the centuries. Redmond's work on rhythm is as wise as it is deep, especially in its contribution to personal renewal. Her scholarship enables the reader to establish powerful personal and political connections to the profound mystery of the goddess, past, present and future."
- Maria Harris, author of Dance of the Spirit and Jubilee Time
Paperback - 192 pages 1 Ed edition (June 1997)
Crown Pub; ISBN: 0609801287