When The Drummers Were Women

Hey Goddess, I have a treasured read for you!

My sweet friend Tricia recommended When the Drummers Were Women by the late Layne Redmond (1997). We were exchanging favorite resources at our women’s circle and this book was first on my list.  For fifteen years the author researched the history of the frame drum in religious and healing rites in the ancient Mediterranean world culminating in this treasure chest of divinely feminine wisdom.

I’ve been drumming and shaking my tambourine at special gatherings for several years, but had no idea about women’s role in the spiritual history of drumming.

This extraordinary book details the lost history of a time when women were the primary percussionists in the ancient world and also explains why we are not today.

Reading this book motivated me to buy a drum (go figure). I was delighted to find an old handmade frame drum available on Ebay that needed a new home. I received my new drum the day I finished reading this book! Divine timing…

Layne Redmond discovered her life’s passion as an apprentice to a male percussionist. The author’s personal story of  drumming in a society where women are still not encouraged to learn how to play the drum is fascinating. When Layne discovered her music teacher’s vast collection of artwork from the ancient world showing goddesses and priestesses holding frame drums, she was intrigued to learn more.

This extraordinary manuscript weaves together pictures, mythology, musical lore, history and scientific information about the supportive and healing qualities of drumming.  The author unearthed a history of women and their role in worship, sacred ritual and art for thousands of years before the patriarchy became dominant.

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

Enjoy this video of Layne Redmond & Friends

This book is well written, informative, empowering, spiritual and historical. When the Drummers Were Women is a keeper in the Transformation Goddess Library!

Layne RedmondLayne Redmond (1952-2013)
Composer, Drummer, Author, Filmmaker, Educator and beautiful soul.

Layne’s recordings include The Wave of Bliss, Invoking the Muse, Trance Union, Since the Beginning and she has two instructional videos: Rhythmic Wisdom and A Sense of Time. Her meditation albums include: Chakra Breathing MeditationChanting the Chakras, Heart Chakra Meditations. She also authored a chakra meditation guide titled Chakra Meditation. She recorded her gifts under the Sounds True label.

Please Share the Love Beauties! 

About Shann Vander Leek

Shann Vander Leek

Shann Vander Leek is an Award Winning Podcaster, Best Selling Author, Voice Over Talent, Podcast Coach, and Producer.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Peggy Nolan Sep 24, 2014, 7:13 am

    Hi Shann,

    Looks like I’m ordering a new book. Talk about divine timing as well…as I put together my Yoga and Writing workshop, I’m bringing music into the mix and I’m selecting some of my favorite percussion – from Albannach to the KDZ Drummers. Yup!

    • Shann Sep 24, 2014, 10:44 pm

      Wonderful! Divine timing is such a beautiful thing. Enjoy the book!

  • Debra Reble Sep 24, 2014, 7:16 am

    Love this review of When the Drummers Were Women. Such a beautiful blend of history and our feminine energy as a powerful force. I used to belong to a drumming circle and this article makes me want to participate again in this synergy of women’s energy. Blessings Shann

    • Shann Sep 24, 2014, 10:45 pm

      Thank you. Drumming circles are magical. I bet you can find another! Big LOVE.

  • Carina Sep 24, 2014, 8:37 am

    Oh MY. Looks like I am ordering that book too!! Thank you SO much for sharing that.

    • Shann Sep 24, 2014, 10:46 pm

      My pleasure. You will love this book!

  • Nadia Sep 24, 2014, 10:01 am

    What a beautifully written book review. Thank you Transformation Goddess 🙂

    • Shann Sep 24, 2014, 10:46 pm

      Thank you love! XO

  • Minette Sep 24, 2014, 2:52 pm

    Yep, ditto, will be ordering the book. My daughter plays drums and I can’t wait to share this perspective with her and perhaps start drumming myself. Thanks, Shann, for this great review.

    • Shann Sep 24, 2014, 10:47 pm

      This book is the perfect gift for your daughter! Thank you for your kindness. I’m so glad you were lead to read this post.

  • Chara Armon Sep 24, 2014, 4:11 pm

    Shann, thanks for calling our attention to another beautiful resource that shines light on women’s vital roles in leading in spirituality and life.

    • Shann Sep 24, 2014, 10:49 pm

      My pleasure. There really are so many wonderful resources to share. Blessings to you.

  • Andrea Sep 24, 2014, 6:11 pm

    One of my mentors used to incorporate a drum circle into our trainings. It was a powerful experience… and worth revisiting. Thank you.

    • Shann Sep 24, 2014, 10:50 pm

      Drum circles are powerful and so much fun! Thanks for your kindness.

  • laura Sep 25, 2014, 11:56 am

    Shann….i JUST cleared out 40 books ~ i guess I’ll be adding this one in!
    Just got off of a powerful Super Moon Drumming Session with my mentor and soul sisters ~ this is such a gift thank you 🙂

    • Shann Sep 25, 2014, 2:09 pm

      Wonderful Laura! I was with you in spirit at your last drum circle! XO

  • Melissa Sep 29, 2014, 7:13 pm

    I went to a women’s drumming event last year and it was so powerful. The energy pouring off the women into the audience left me speechless. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Shann Sep 29, 2014, 7:31 pm

      Sounds like an extraordinary event!
      Thanks for your kindness. XO