Drum Making Step by Step

My friend Fred creates his first drum. In his own words.

Earlier this year I purchased a deer rawhide from Two Wolves (Kfir Mendal) to make a drum. I remember in Philosophy 2 (Tracker School) being taught the drums could be between 12 and 18 in. in diameter. I chose to make mine 14″. They could be 1.5 to 2.5 in. deep. I chose 2.25″. and the thickness of the frame material could be 5/8 to 7/8 in. I chose 5/8″.
This past winter, the snows here in Maryland were more than in Buffalo N.Y. !! Well there is a tree at the boatyard where I work, that I used to often pray under before work ( the place has changed hands and it is harder to get privacy and time to do this now ). It is a wonderful Juniper (red cedar). The winter snows brought down a large branch.

I collected the branch, cut and dried the parts for the frame of the drum. That way the tree and I can still spend time together.

A Mock Up
I made a “mock-up” from pine and vinyl to get a pattern for the drum head with the holes in the correct places, and also to practice lacing ( with jute ). The hide that I had was small and instead of being able to cut the drumhead from between the shoulders like you are supposed to, I was forced to cut from the center of the back. This meant I had to cut the more than 40 ft. of lacing from around the perimeter of the drumhead cut. This concerned me because the hide gets thinner in those outer areas and weaker.

So, with all the preparation in place, the “avoidance mechanism” kicked in, and I decided I’d wait to the following weekend to attempt the assembly. I’ve never worked with rawhide before except for a few scrapes on a hide at class. WELL, I IMMEDIATELY SENCED A VOICE, “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” O.K. I thought, so into a large can with water went the roughed out drumhead and the lacing. I’m committed now! So, I stopped, and in turn faced each of the four directions and asked for help.
The drum was assembled. Hey it’s tough pulling 40 some ft of wet rawhide thru a hole in a drumhead ! I brought it in the kitchen to dry overnight.

In the morning, I woke up like a kid on Christmas morning. Out to the kitchen I went. Will it be twisted? warped? will the lacing have pulled thru the holes?? No, the drum was fine. It may have been my hands that assembled the drum, but I HAD ALOT OF HELP !!!!! So, on Sat the 14 of Aug. a drum was born.

8 sided drum front

8 sided drum back

Healing School-Wilderness Fusion

Karl Dirseke

Karl Direske is the founder of Wilderness Fusion a school that teaches the art of healing.

Here is a little about him.
Karl Direske is a certified Energy Healer and graduated from and taught at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing for nearly 10 years and at Tracker School for more than 15 years. He now teaches healing and self-awareness at his own school Wilderness Fusion. By blending his high-sensory perception skills with his ability to influence energy he assists individuals to hasten their personal process and healing.

Wilderness Fusion
Passionate about his work with students Karl runs Wilderness Fusion to change consciousness and bring people back to a healthy relationship with the Earth. He and his team integrate ancient skills into modern society, promoting a healing lifestyle that not only teaches the how-to but also the why-to. Wilderness Fusion is a community, laboratory, and a repository of Niasziih Healing knowledge.

It’s a Tracker’s Life for Me

Our guest blogger is Bill Marple

Bill Marple

Bill Marple Tracking Instructor

an instructor at the Tracker School in New Jersey. He gives classes on tracking animals and humans in the wildereness and on the streets of urban America. I’m so glad he is allowing me to add his post to our site and share his expertise with you. Now without further ado Bill Marple (Applause!)

Hi Magda,

Well, I suppose I should
begin by apologizing for not
sending a whole lot out
on the Tracking Update recently.
We’ve just finished about 3
weeks of classes in the primitive
camp which left me with
little time to get myself to
a computer.  But, what a three
weeks of classes they were!

I must say, I’ve been working
at Tracker for awhile now,
and every year, all of us on
the staff look forward to the
Scout class.  It’s a great
time of booby traps, “awareness
devices,” stalking, camoflage,
and a whole lot more!  Just the
cameraderie that develops during
a class as the students make
their way through the curriculum
is a blast!

This year, however, taught me to
look deeper into the more
fundamental truths of Scout
philosophy, and how it relates
to the overall teaching presented
at the Tracker School, particularly
with regard to tracking and
pressure releases.

If you’ve been to any of my
workshops, you often hear me read
passages from Science and Art of
One of my favorites is
a beautiful quotation about the Way
of the Scout and how it relates
to tracking(there are several,
actually).  But, just to pull
out a few tidbits of it, Tom writes,
“…it was the Scout’s awareness
that kept their people safe…
If the tracks were the Scout’s
cathedral, then the pressure releases
were the voice of the Creator.”

I wish I could pull out the full
quote for you, however, it’s quite
lengthy.  But wow,  what a quote,
even for just a few lines,
eh?!?!?  These two sentences, when
looked at “from the belly of the
coyote” contain so much knowledge
and information!

First of all, consider to yourself:
Who was Grandfather really?
What was Grandfather really?  A shaman?
A healer?  An herbalist? a master
survivalist?  Yes to all of the above,
but as Tom will tell you, Grandfather
was a Scout first.  He usually goes
further with it, explaining how Grandfather’s
Scout training underscored everything
he learned and passed on to Tom.

As you know, for Grandfather, there was
no difference between tracking and
awareness, so, anytime you hear Tom
mention the word “awareness,”
you can think to yourself, “tracking.”
When considered in this way, you begin
to see how tracking, or the ability
to expand your perception, is central
to what Tom teaches.  In my opinion, when
Tom writes  “it was the Scout’s awareness
that kept their people safe,” he is
referring to tracking as the underpinning
of all the other teachings!!!!

Hey, I’m not trying to tell you just
because you know something about
tracking, you know something about
healing, or herbalism, or whatever else.
What I’m saying is that if you know
how to track, you’ve automatically
trained your mind to think in the
proper way so those other pursuits
become easier.

Remember, in many ways, tracking is
the process by which we search for
and study the truth about things.
So, if you’re a tracker, you’re training
your mind in the right way to be
able to study and perceive things many
other people might not ever distinguish!!
Pretty good argument for
tracking, huh?

Well, that’s not even all of it.
Tom goes on to write that the
pressure releases are the voice of the
Creator in the track.  Well,
I’m not going to trample on your
“religious or philosophical toes”
in an email by trying to tell you what
you should consider to be the “voice of
the Creator.”  I just know from what
Tom has written here, and from some of
my own personal experiences, pressure
release studies have a monumental amount
of knowledge to teach us.

If you have trouble swallowing pressure
releases as the  “voice of the Creator”
just think of them as a language we have
to get to know and speak if we ever hope
to truly understand what the Earth
is saying to us.  As trackers, we are
constantly seeking to be in
dialogue with Earth Mother, but we can’t
do that if we don’t speak her language.
Trust me, a study of pressure releases, any
study of pressure releases, will be worth
your time.

When I really consider it, it’s amazing
to me what the Scout societies
accomplished,  and, in my estimation,
pressure release is one of the crown
jewels of that accomplishment.  All
during the Scout class, I couldn’t stop
thinking of just how important
pressure release tracking is.

Particularly when I stop to consider
just how much of a difference it’s
made in my own life, I’m amazed. I hope
you take some time to consider this as
well, and think about what tracking
means to you, and how its affected your

Are your own people safer now that you’ve begun to
study tracking?

Talk to you later, and I hope you’ve had a great few weeks!

PS-I’ll catch back up with you in a few days with a complete
breakdown of my upcoming class schedule.  So many people have been
asking for it, I thought it would be worth it’s own broadcast so
you can find out the scoop!  Classes are filling up quickly, so if
you can’t wait, take a look for them on the Tracker Schedule at

Bill Marple
Tracker School
928 Main Street
Manahawkin, NJ

Contact Bill at

Our First Hello

Welcome to A Moment in the Woods Weblog. My name is Magda Santos. For the last twenty three years I have studied and investigated meditations from all over the world.

I began a journey to learn and have fun with walking meditations, drumming meditations, and meditations of all sorts. Then I began to learn about the value of nature as a focus for meditation and began combining my love of meditation with my love of nature.

My love of nature became a clear motivation and it developed into my Monday segment “A Moment in the Woods.” Every week I challenge myself to become aware of the natural world around me and then share it with you. Always asking the sacred question, “What is this teaching me?”

The end result we hope is that you learn to use nature as a form of healing.

Sitting by my beloved river in all kinds of weather, in every season, during the day and at the night, walking the Florida wilderness trails and experiencing nature as meditation and then sharing it with you is what the show offers you.

Walking into the forest can be a sacred act if it is done in a special way. Bringing yourself to higher levels of meditation is just one of the ways to create this connection with the land.

This blog takes my radio show and organizes it into categories to allow you to listen to your favorite shows all in one place. We make sure the categories are related in content and  give you some commentary on the reasons and ideas behind presenting them to you.

The show covers several categories like The Saturday Healing Show, For Kids, and of course A Moment in the Woods.

We invite you to listen, comment, and ask questions here on the blog. On Mondays we open a chat room for about 15 minutes to have a chance to talk to you after the meditation.

Then on occasion we have a special treat for children like an original story call “Carmen’s House.”

Take a moment and listen to our show by clicking on the button on the right side of the page and I hope it soothes you.