When the Drummers Were Women

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Layne Redmond (1952-2013) Composer, Drummer, Author, Filmmaker, Educator


I devoured this book with a spiritual hunger that astonished me, hunger for roots that go all the way back to zero. Hunger for information to back up my instincts, my intuitive responses to a world that has forgotten that god is the dance. Hunger for religious roots buried in the beat, burned at the stake, pulsing in the bloodlines of a billion wild women. Erased but not eradicated. Layne Redmond offers us proof that rhythm is our mother tongue. She has undertaken a shamanic journey for all of us to recover our spiritual heritage and call the beat back into our tribal hearts.”

                                                              Gabriel Roth

“When the Drummers Were Women adds a valuable new dimension to our understanding of the ancient Goddess religions. Redmond, herself a brilliant drummer, documents that these instruments have long been played by women in ritual. Her own experience as a musician gives her insight into the ways drumming can be used to affect consciousness and opens our imagination to envision the actual ceremonies of the Goddess. As a drummer and priestess myself, I loved this book!”     Starhawk, author of 

               The Spiral Dance

"Reading WHEN THE DRUMMERS WERE WOMEN gave me goosebumps. This inspiring history of feminine power and spirituality shows that patriarchy is just a blip on the screen and that women in charge of our bodies and spirits is our natural state. Layne Redmond has restored the drum to its rightful place as a sacred technology for repossessing our own consciousness."

Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

 "Wow! Through Layne's fabulous book, my own intuitive experience with drumming has been made more clear, and has been grounded in "Her-story." I'm sure this learning will deepen and enlarge my personal and group work. I highly recommend this well-documented treatise to EVERYONE, and especially those who are drawn to the power and magic of the drum."

Brooke Medicine Eagle, author of Buffalo Woman Comes Singing

“If it were possible to select a single factor responsible for the parlous state of the world today, patriarchy might be the leading candidate -- with its brutal suppression, denigration and denial of the feminine. In this passionate and erudite book, Layne Redmond links the goddess principle (expressed in the sacred, ecstatic sexuality of the distant past and the role of sexuality in evoking divine consciousness) to the playing of the frame drum -- once, apparently, exclusively a feminine instrument. As a scholar she traces the history of the drum from its former exalted position, through its centuries of suppression, down to its current intense revival; as a virtuoso performer she speaks with authority on the drum’s real and readily accessible powers. Women reading this book will want to jump up and start playing Layne Redmond’s drum; men will get a valuable lesson in what they have been missing these past 5000 years or so.”  John Anthony West, author of The Serpent in The Sky

“By searching out the lost, early history of the frame drum, Layne Redmond has uncovered an important missing chapter in the history of humanity -- a chapter in which goddesses ruled besides gods and in which women's spirituality, wisdom, and sexuality were affirmed through rituals involving drumming.  In an age where people are rediscovering the communal and healing powers of rhythm, When The Drummers Were Women establishes the link between ancient knowledge and the contemporary emphasis on the importance of passion and soulfulness to life." 

                         Rick Mattingly, editor, Percussive Notes magazine

“What is so important about Layne Redmond’s work, is that it has sprung from an immemorial need: It is the quest for women to recover their ancient roots. Some scholars of myth, such as Joseph Campbell, have insisted that the seemingly more widely distributed men’s mysteries emerged from a male attempt to rival the natural magic that women have always had: The mysteries of fertility, menstruation, childbirth. But the work of Marija Gimbutas, Riane Eisler and Layne Redmond show that women were far from passive “embodiments” of the Mystery. Rather, in a way congruent with their own magic they celebrated the universe in Her Feminine Form; an ancient religion largely free from violence or grandiosity, one in harmony with the natural rhythms of being.”

Stephen Larsen, A Fire In The Mind, a Biography of Joseph Campbell

When The Drummers Were Women is being revised for 
E-Book, filled with new images, videos and MP3s links!
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