We started our business as Powwow Vendors
traveling the Powwow Trail for 8 years.
This is Our Story
In 2000, Keith and Cheryl got married.
Together, we decided we wanted to do something more meaningful with our lives.
Keith quit his job as Project Manager of New Creation Builders in Panama City, Florida.
Cheryl quit her job as Director of Institutional Research at Southern Illinois University.
And we set out on our adventure . . .
We became Powwow Vendors, following the powwow trail,
Just being Artists, Dancing, and Selling our Crafts.
We started out as Earth Shadow Design.
When folks would ask other vending booths about drums,
they would point to our tent and say:
"ASK THE DRUM PEOPLE"
What an appropriate name!
Keith started building Drums like his grandfather, Shoe, taught him.
Cheryl painted the Drums and sewed Hand Drum Bags.
Keith made Gourd rattles and Cheryl painted them.
Keith made Cedar Feather boxes and Cheryl painted them.
Keith made Rawhide quivers and Cheryl painted them.
Well, you get the picture . . .
With these four hands, we built a small company that sells
Authentic Native American Drums around the World.
Little Badger - A Funny Story
When Keith was a little boy, he hung out in his Grandfather shop as Shoe built drums. Shoe would give Keith a wooden block and nails and let him hammer away. One day, Keith hit his thumb with the hammer, kicked the wood stove and threw his wood block against the wall. Shoe looked at him and said "You have a temper like a Little Badger.
And Grandfather's name took.
Keith is a member of the Cherokees of Northeast Alabama, a State-Recognized Tribe, in compliance with the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990.
Shoe is a whole different story. During the Great Depression he would travel to woolen mills in Greenville, NH. When the loom leather belts were worn out, they would give them to Shoe. Shoe traveled to Oklahoma and resoled Native people's shoes. When Keith was asked to build a drum for Moundville Museum in Tuscaloosa, AL, he met a group of Chickasaw elders who actually remembered Shoe.
Cheryl Talking Bird
Anyone who knows me, and our customers can attest to this fact, I talk nonstop. I'll chat with customers for over an hour sometimes. And I am in constant motion like a hummingbird. We had only been married for about 6 months and Keith asked "Do you ever shut up? And why can't you sit still?" He started to call me "Talking Bird"
And the name took.
I am not Native American so all the crafts I make (drum bags, rattles, beadwork and painting) are "Native American Style" in compliance with The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990.
THANK YOU ALL!
We would like to thank all of our loyal customers. We've met some wonderful people over the years. We've shared stories and become friends. We appreciate your cards, emails and visits to our home. We are both BLESSED AND HONORED to build your drums for healing, prayer, service to your communities and sharing your Native American heritage. Without your support, we would not be:
THE DRUM PEOPLE
SO MUCH MORE FUN & FULFILLING THAN OUR OLD CAREERS
We Are "Partially" Retired
In 2008, we traded in our vending tent for a more stable life. We were just too old to set up and take down our tent and to make all the different crafts. It was a tough decision because we missed our friends on the powwow trail. And we missed traveling. We were The Drum People for so long that we couldn't imagine who we would be.
So we became an Internet Based Company. We decided that we would never become IMPERSONAL. We refused to use a shopping cart on our website. We wanted to interact with all of you, our all wonderful customers. We wanted to learn about you and share our stories.
Then in 2015, we "PARTIALLY RETIRED." Finally old enough to receive pensions, we bought an old motor home, and like a turtle, we travel with our "shell." We visit our sons and their families in South Dakota and Oklahoma. We have also grown close to many of our customers who extended invitations to visit them. We keep hand drums in stock and travel with them so we can ship from wherever we land. All other crafts we continue to create most of the year when we are home. Please call us at 256-538-0246 M-Sat 9-5 Central time, so we can continue to serve you.
When we talk about REALLY retiring, we just can't do it. We have been The Drum People for decades. This is our identity. This is who we are. Keith will build drums long into old age, like his Grandfather Shoe, because that is who he is. Building drums is his calling in life. As we faced the challenge of new technology, Cheryl tackled the task of creating a new, mobile-friendly web site.
We hope that this new web site is still informative and friendly. We want to continue to be part of your lives . And we pray that we always attract kindred souls.
Thank You for Your Continued Support of Us.
Keith and Cheryl, The Drum People