“The Heartbeat of Mother Earth”: The Pipekeepers Perform Powwow Drumming

They taught the community about the significance of drumming in Native American culture

MOORHEAD, Minn. — It’s more than just a drumbeat… it’s considered the heartbeat of Mother Earth.

A group of Native Americans called The Pipekeepers taught people at the Moorhead Library about powwow drumming and why it’s so important in Native American culture.

“It’s a reflection of your own heartbeat and the heartbeat of all the living things here on earth,” Rona Johnston said.

She says drumming gives rhythm and meaning to life.

“Just feeling those vibrations puts a smile in my heart,” she said.

Those vibrations were even used to put a twist on some classic children’s songs.

Johnston says everyone who plays the drum should treat it with respect, and her demonstrations are done to teach others about the culture.

“It doesn’t matter what culture you embrace, we all have cultural identity,” she said.

Johnston says when her father was growing up, he was discouraged from identifying with his culture.

“It wasn’t cool to be Indian. A lot of people, if they could pass for French, they’d say oh we’re French-Canadian. We’re not Indian,” she said.

Now, the next generation is embracing their heritage.

“[I like] singing songs and getting volunteers,” Zayden Kellar, 9, said.

“I feel very happy and like I’m going to impress people,” Camas Rose Johnston, 12, said.

“I feel great energy. To me it feels like the earth. Like the energy of the earth, it puts a smile on my face,” Johnston said.

If you would like to learn more about events from The Pipekeepers or shop for their goods, click here.

Categories: Community, Local News, Minnesota News, Moorhead