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Alternative Culture Magazine

Tribal Roots Drum Jams

Those of us raised in North American culture lack the tribal roots at the core of djembe and dunun drumming from West Africa. That is not to say, however, that there is no way to discover that magic of the past. The magic is contained in the music and the drums. And fortunately, some of us have the vision and imagination and dedication to create new forms of drum-and-dance culture appropriate to our time and place. Here are some of the best examples I know of:

Rainbow Gatherings

"Some say we're the largest non-organization of non-members in the world. We have no leaders, and no organization. To be honest, the Rainbow Family means different things to different people. I think it's safe to say we're into intentional community building, non-violence, and alternative lifestyles. We also believe that Peace and Love are a great thing, and there isn't enough of that in this world. Many of our traditions are based on Native American traditions, and we have a strong orientation to take care of the the Earth. We gather in the National Forests yearly to pray for peace on this planet."

They don't mention drumming - the raging primal fires and hot funky grooves and chaotic drumstorms - the ritual circles to bring rain or sun, the innumerable random jams here and there among the camps ... Hmm, for me these were the highlights!

Fire Tribe Hawaii

"Fire Tribe Hawaii's Gatherings are conscious community celebrations focused around spontaneous sacred ceremony, and midnight-to-dawn magical fire circles. We intend, harmonize and liberate together through chant, dance, poetry, drumming, art, invocation and ritual theatre. Our vibrant festivals invite and welcome friends from all paths and traditions to share their individuality, honor our humanity and join us in communion with each other, nature, and spirit."

Firedance | Alchemical Fire Circle

"The heart of the FIREDANCE Santa Cruz Festival is the celebratory all-night fire circles. At night we come together to explore the beauty and mystery of life and each other through co-created adventures of drumming, dancing and singing around a sacred fire - connecting, trancing, and transforming - until the magnificence of morning is upon us." - Djembe and Dunun/djun-djun group

"For all lovers of West African rhythms who want to share experiences / music / insight on the Culture. 3 dunun, ballet style, Guinea, Senegal, Mali, pictures, clip art; all styles and variations welcome. Posts of local classes encouraged. We are all students."

Paralounge Drum Circle

Paralounge is an organization that is dedicated to building communities through rhythmic events. We are located near the historic Suwannee River, in Suwannee County Florida. You can attend the Paralounge Drum Gathering twice a year! Every April and November you can expect a whole lot of drum circle excitement.

   ...and then of course, there's always Little Beach on Maui...


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