It was probably in 1998 or '99 while nosing around in a local Vancouver bookstore that Layne's newly published book (1997) literally dropped off the top of a shelf and fell into my hands...
Well... needless to say, i immediately bought the book and have had it on my book shelf ever since. I have read it often and since learning of Layne's passing i am reading it again.
I was thrilled to learn and re-member that the first drummers were women... The first drum was the women's drum... yeah!!!
Layne spent five years travelling and researching the ancient Goddess traditions and civilization in the Mideast and Europe... she collected and compiled hundreds of photos and drawings of ancient women drummers, mostly of Goddesses and and priestesses...
Layne was compelled to create a powerful and empowering herstory of the sacred drum - the 'women's' sacred drum - an empowering reclaiming of the sacred feminine... The book has over 80 photos and drawings throughout. I recommend all women drummers to own and read this important book.
The ancient frame drum was and is a women's symbol - of the sacred power of women... of creation... birth... and fertility... where, with one stroke of the sacred drum, everything comes into existence.
One of my favourite and i feel most powerful and beautiful passages within, is a sacred teaching from Layne Redmond... First Sound............
...It is often said that the first sound we hear in the womb is our mother's heartbeat. Actually, the first sound to vibrate our newly developed hearing apparatus is the pulse of our mother's blood through her veins and arteries. We vibrate to that primordial rhythm even before we have ears to hear. Before we were conceived, we existed in part as an egg in our mother's ovary. All the eggs a woman will ever carry form in her ovaries while she is a four-month-old fetus in the womb of her mother.
This means our cellular life as an egg begins in the womb of our grandmother. Each of us spent five months in our grandmother's womb and she in turn formed within the womb of her grandmother. We vibrate to the rhythms of our mother's blood before she herself is born. And this pulse is the thread of blood that runs all the way back through the grandmothers to the first mother. We all share the blood of the first mother - we are truly children of one blood." -- Layne Redmond
We are all drummers even before we were born.
So, the exciting news is that we all (women and men) already KNOW HOW to drum even before we are born - because it is the sound of our mother's heart-beat and her blood pulse that taught us - 'her' blood is the first sound we ever hear within our mother's womb.
In 2004, women from Cypress who saw and read Layne's book invited her to come to Cypress to teach them the sacred frame drum and now, once again, the sacred frame drum is sounding yet again there! The women have re-membered!
Right before Layne passed, in the last few months of her life, she was passionately working on a revised edition of "When the Drummers were Women" - to be republished with added photos, text and accounts from women all over the world on how her book influenced and changed them... I do hope she was able to complete this, her life's work.
Thank you Layne Redmond for your life's work and your journey of reclaiming the sacred women's frame drum... thank you for your sharings and teachings... for helping all women (and men) to re-member the ancient traditions and feminine lineage of drumming... You have inspired me and moved me to continue my passion of sharing the sacred drum to those who are drawn to re-member... to re-member and return to our blessed earth mother...
With bright blessings to you dear sister of the sacred drum on your journey home to ride the pulse of the great red mother, hi-yi-yah!!! I hear your voice!
...in sacred gratitude, weaver x (((o)))
• To learn more about Layne's work and legacy, i welcome you to visit her website at www.layneredmond.com