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When The Drummers Were Women: A Spiritual History of Rhythm

SKU: bki163561788X

 • Product Size: 9" L  x  1" H  x  7.5" W

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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 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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  • 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.


    "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

    "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

    "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

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