Covina, California – Drumming, an integral aspect of Native American cultures, resonates with spiritual significance for Native American women. In Covina, on the second Wednesday of each month, women from various Native American tribes gather in ceremonial unity, creating a drum circle that transcends both time and tradition.
Cloaked in distinctive and vibrant clothing, these women, hailing from different tribal backgrounds, convene as the “One Drum Winds of the South.” In a sacred space, they embark on a journey of healing, drawing strength from the rhythmic beats that echo the essence of their cultural heritage.
The drum circle serves as a platform for women, whether acquainted for years or meeting for the first time, to connect on a profound level and share in the collective purpose of healing. Litzia Chalcehuattl Sierra, a member of the drum circle, emphasizes the significance of this cross-tribal gathering, stating, “It’s very important for different tribes to gather because we share different knowledge from our roots. And it’s important to keep the tradition of our ancestors alive.”
In addition to the drumming, the women engage in the age-old ritual of “smudging” to cleanse negative energy, using a feather to fan smoke and purify their surroundings.
“I feel very connected to Mother Earth. My ancestors, my guides, my people, that universe, I feel really a lot of joy and happiness. So it’s just an amazing opportunity to just come in and come with women and other people and then just share my teachings and part of my medicine,” shares Danielle Macias, echoing the sentiment of profound connection that permeates the drum circle.
Sewa Valencia, known as “One Drum” within her family, leads the ceremonial drum, prayers, and songs—a role traditionally reserved for men. The circle partakes in warm cacao, believed to hold mystical properties and considered “the food of the Gods.”
“The medicine of the drum is a way for us sisters to sit, knee to knee, to sing our prayers, to see ourselves in each other and to do some deep healing with one another,” expresses Valencia, shedding light on the profound nature of their communal experience.
In a world seeking comfort and unity, the women extend an invitation, asserting, “We would love to share the medicine of the drum with each and every one of you because it belongs to all of us.” This safe space, steeped in tradition and spirituality, stands as a beacon of solace and harmony for those seeking healing in a turbulent world.