Honouring Birth - Creating a Drum with Amniotic Membrane?
**These sacred drums have all been birthed with honour and respect 💜
As a doula, and sacred drum practitioner i had often wondered early on in my learning if our ancestors may have honoured the membranes of childbirth by creating a drum. These membranes, like the placenta are sacred and i know are honoured in so many cultures.
It's sacred knowledge and ideas, sacred knowledge is always for all to share.
Amniotic membranes, I have noticed with making these drums, have never lasted covering a drum frame for more than 5 days. They aren't created for outside the body in the earths atmosphere, they become brittle and break. I have found that covering them with an another skin protects the precious membranes. I have not kept these drums apart from the first I made, they are not mine to keep, and so i am unsure how they fare a year or two on, as I guide parents in making them themselves for their babies.
I do feel it sacred in the way that a drum making with real skins can be similar to childbirth in the journey it takes you on, it strips you bare to raw emotions, and it can feel more so working with your babys birth membranes.
This last drum in the images is one I had the honour of guiding a parent with, it was a true honour. You can see it is covered with a deer skin. The others above are pre covering taken while the amniotic membranes dry.
I do offer membrane drum making but I don't promote it as it is so sacred, and I don't want to earn a living from a spiritual act we may not truly understand as yet, but if a client feels a calling to create one for their baby I will guide them.
In today's western world we dry umbilical cords and dehydrate Placentas believing it carries nutritional and hormonal value to the mum and baby, as well as being a way to honour the precious sacred organ.
I see in a way creating drums as honouring is no different but there is an uneasiness within me that wonders if burial, as my teacher in Ecuador says, is the most natural and sacred way to honour our baby's womb space birth protector and nurturing friend. She was horrified at the thought of encapsulating as to her the placenta spirit needs protecting in a sacred place in the ground.
I have found Spanish midwives who make beautiful little amniotic drums but never spoken to them. I also know a beautiful fish skin drum was made by musician Carolyn Hillier, which is also very thin skin, but fish skin is of course better adapted for life despite it being made for aquatic life.
I found a company in the UK who use amniotic membrane eye surgery for the eye surface. The membrane is so strong when wet and is of course transparent, it doesn't damage easily and it scratch resistant. Apparently it's really popular!
I have searched quite hard for evidence of sacred amniotic drums being made but found no strong sources. I do find that people from traditional cultures I have spoken to say they honour all placenta, membrane and blood by burying it in sacred sites meant for Placentas.
In New Zealand I found while I was there last year the government have given specific sacred placenta burial spaces for Maori.
I did contact Brighton council on my return to suggest we create space here, suggesting that most of my, and collegues clients bury their Placentas (suggesting its on thr increase) but many people have no sacred space in which to do so, of course the council said 'that's interesting, but unfortunately we cannot allow this'. I tried 😉 but maybe one day it'll happen? As placenta burial is growing.
We have always honoured birth membranes, not so long ago in these lands our ancestors sold the membranes to fisherman, especially that of an en caul birth (birth where the membranes are intact). To keep the membranes in a small pouch would give fishermen luck at sea and ensure they were less likely to drown.
I do very strongly feel in my heart and soul that the membranes from birth have been honoured everywhere, of course they were, birth is incredible, birth is deeply sacred!