richmond Powwow Association, Inc.
Education With A Purpose



The Peoples Medicine Drum
A written Biography of the Drum
   In 2001 we purchased a drum while visiting the Qualla Boundary Reservation in Cherokee North Carolina to be used as a Teaching instrument of the United Cherokee of Ohio, INC. Cultural Preservation Society.
The Drum was constructed by Redhorse and was a 30” oak body and buffalo hide top and bottom southern style drum. We worked on tribal music as we gained members willing to sit at the drum and sing with it. At this point in our history, we had no intention of becoming a road drum.
   In 2003 a Cherokee elder  built a ring for a drum but wasn’t sure what to do with it, it was 40 inches but still deep like a southern drum, but too heavy to hang on the stand. Two buffalo hides and a lot of ceremonies over the next two years produced the drum that is now known as “Thunder with the Hands”.
    In 2005 we were asked to our first powwow as a co-host drum and were offered to be paid for doing what we enjoyed. We performed and took the money and gifted it to a Culture group for native children in Ohio. In 2006 we were invited to Gaston Indiana as a Co-Host drum with Eagle Boys. Upon completion of that weekend in Gaston, we were invited back the following year as Host Drum.  So began our life as a Powwow drum, still do not understand how we are considered a powwow drum, we are neither northern or southern. Our Music reflects our heritage as a woodland tribe. The songs have been gifted to us by the Mingo, MiqMaq, Cherokee, Shawnee, Anishnabe’, and Miami. We have members who have written various songs.
   In 2019, after the founder of Thunder with the Hands passed, the drum group changed the name to The People’s Medicine Drum. This was told to us by the elder who built the 40” drum. It was changed so the spirit of the one who passed could continue the journey to the Creator instead of that spirit trying to stay here for something tied to them.
Matt “Unalasgi Adisi Waya” Lawson
             Drum Keeper
      The Peoples Medicine Drum