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Ethnic group: Ilnu
Canadian Museum of Civilization

Audio Excerpt

Music: Teueikan et chant, Gérard Siméon, Mashteuiatsh, Canada, 2001, Musée amérindien de Mashteuiatsh. Canadian Museum of Civilization

  Tambour sur cadre (teueikan) - CMC no. 2001.39.1 / Photo: Merle Toole


The Ilnu (Montagnais) use this circular frame drum to accompany hunting songs. Singing is a way of communicating with the invisible world, of calling upon the spiritual masters of the animal world. The songs are untranslatable because they represent the thoughts of the singer-hunter or his personal relationship with the animals. They are composed of words or simple sentences that are repeated over and over. "To those who sing them, they have been the means of getting in sync with the forces of the animal world and making dreams a reality" (Sylvie Vincent, translation).

The frame on this drum is made of birch, as is the beater. A snare, consisting of a string to which small pieces of birch have been attached, vibrates against the membrane when the drum is beaten. The two membranes are made of caribou hide and are held in place with strips of the same material.