First Peoples > Arrival of Strangers > Beliefs > Retention of Traditional Beliefs

Arrival of Strangers - The Last 500 Years


Retention of Traditional Beliefs

Today, some Aboriginal people follow traditional beliefs exclusively. Many are Christian, while others maintain both Christian and traditional beliefs. Still others have adopted new Aboriginal religious traditions. Some of these are associated with particular regions, while others are practised by Aboriginal people across Canada.

For many Aboriginal Elders and spirit keepers, the drum is an essential instrument of communication between the spirit world and the everyday world. In many Aboriginal societies in Canada, the drum has become a symbol of the living relationship between Aboriginal people and the land. Drums from different geographic areas are made in different forms and materials, reflecting the diversity of Aboriginal cultures.

Man with a traditional drum, Bear Lake, 1928-1929, photograph by C.B. Osgood
Canadian Museum of Civilization, 73285,
Man with drum - 73285 - CD96-812-011

Drum and Drumstick - III-I-55 a,b - CD98-216-016 Drum - VII-A-189 - CD94-336-071 Drum - VI-Z-194 - CD98-216-019
(left) Drum and drumstick
Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)
Wood and animal hide
Canadian Museum of Civilization, III-I-55 a,b, CD98-216-016

(center) Drum
Moosehide, pine, metal tacks, string and paint
Canadian Museum of Civilization, VII-A-189, CD94-336-071

(right) Drum
Wood and aminal hide
Canadian Museum of Civilization, VI-Z-194, CD98-216-019

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