The drum is much more than a musical instrument to the Indian; it is sacred. The drum is a very special tie to the traditional Indian way of life. As such, it should be cared for in a certain prescribed manner. All singers must know the strict and exacting protocol to be observed while seated at the drum. You may not that singers observe strict drum etiquette/rules.

The drum sets the rhythm of the dance and tempo of the song. There are two types of drums used at most Powwows. One is a traditional drum, made by stretching hides over a frame, and lacing the hides together with leather raw hide thong. The other kind is more common, a regular band bass drum. Both drums are accorded the highest respect by all tribes as a most important part of any Powwow.
The information in this section of the website is courtesy of 'Chicago Original Powwow' 48th Annual Pow Wow Flyer