I am the most fortunate individual on Earth, for practically every time an order for a drum comes in, it signals the start of a new friendship. We swap a few emails, discover our common interests, and share a common goal. Then, by the time the drum is born a few weeks later, we — customer, drum maker and drum—are all friends.
That’s why you are looking at Stian, a resident of Norway, and his drum, pictured here. He ordered the drum a few months ago, but it did not take long for a friendship to take root. After all, theories abound about how shamanism started in Siberia and soon spread in all directions, down into the Scandinavian countries and around the world, so I was interested in its influence in Stian’s Norway. I began to ask questions about life in the far north, and Stian indulged my curiosity with wonderful email replies. Our dialog continues even now, as that recent photo (above) and an earlier one he sent (below) reveals. Here’s his latest email (reprinted with his permission).
“Hello. Hope it goes well in Kentucky. Here in Norway goes just fine. The days spent on shopping for Christmas gifts to make clear for Christmas. We’ve got some snow. I hope the snow for Christmas.
“Since we live north of the Arctic Circle, the sun gone from the sky. The sun does not come back until January. We call it dark time. When the sun comes back in January, we tend to have sunshine party. When we celebrate the sun is back in the sky. We have lots of Northern Lights in the sky, there is one lovely light.
“Otherwise I must say att it’s gorgeous sound of the drum. Love it.
Wish you all well.
Your friend Stian”
“Hello, Stian. Wondrous to hear from you, my friend, and to read about the ‘dark time.’ It is so refreshing to know that your people embrace the land and its seasons in such a joyful way. I can imagine the wonderment of living a few months in a place without sun, and of how special it must be when the sun returns. It is like a time of incubation before being born. Amazing…and mysterious.
“And I am so happy that your drum is adjusting to your environment and sounding good!
“So very delightful to hear from you. All best wishes to you and to all of those around you in the land of the long night.
Aho & Namaste,
I wish to thank Stian for his emails, photos…and friendship from a faraway place!
A drum in the Artic Circle is so perfectly symbolic. It’s only natural, too, as the drum is both a circle in shape and in representation of the greater circle of friendship that can and should include all of us in this world.
And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. —Black Elk (quote)
Aho & Namaste, Friends Everywhere
Here is Stian’s wonderful and informative email follow-up to this post:
12/11/16: “That was a beautiful article. Really liked it. Did you know that shamanism is religion in Norway?
“As the first country in the world Norway accepted shamanism in 2013 as a religion in the country. Sjamanistisk Forbund (” Shamanistic Association”) can now perform weddings and other rites in public. The Norwegian government also gives money to support this. Denmark and Sweden are following this and has started the same associations in their countries.
“That’s my religion.
Your friend, Stian”
Thank you, Stian!