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Pesach - Myriam - Frame Drumming

In the time of the Al Andalus, drums were ritually decorated with henna. These frame drums, known as adufes in Spanish, tof in Hebrew, and duff in Arabic, have a long history in the Iberian peninsula, and were deeply linked with religious ritual and symbolism in local Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities. This Frame Drum was round and also sometimes would have a square shape, and they were especially associated with women. In the artistic iconography of this period, the frame drum is associated with Miriam the Prophetess in particular.

One of the most prominent symbols painted on the drum was the eight-pointed star. This star is commonly found in both Islamic and Jewish medieval art. Although we are more familiar with the six-pointed star in Jewish art, the ‘Star of David’ was not adopted as an exclusively Jewish symbol until more recently, in the 17th century or possibly even later. These 8 pointed stars were known as ‘the seal of the prophets’ and ‘the seal of Solomon.

There is an image from a Mozarabic Bible known as the First Bible of Léon, produced in 960 in Burgos (northern Spain), showing Miriam and the Israelite women playing round drums, each decorated with dark brown dots and a large circle.

Happy Pesach, the annual reminder for the journey from slavery to freedom. Today we remember The Prophetess Miriam and the Women who drummed with her.

The story of the exodus has inspired the search for freedom in many places and times. No matter what faith you practice, today is a great day to remember that Sovereignty is our birth right The Drum is a powerful form of prayer when used as prayer, as the Drum brings down the Shekhinah, the Holy Spirit, the Divine Feminine Presence.

Stay tuned for a special Drumming course in May.

Sending all of you so much love.


Ana Otero

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