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~ The Story of our Drum Logo ~


Years ago, when Jonathan first went to Finland to teach, Tuula Nikulainen signed up for all three courses. She was the only one to do that. On saying good-bye it was clear that she was burning to get back to the forests of southern Finland and incorporate her newly found power and knowledge into her life as felt-maker and artist. shaman felt capeA year later, Tuula showed up on the doorstep in Copenhagen. “Here!” she said, and presented a beautiful felted poncho-like cape which she had crafted herself. Pictured on the front and back was the story of her experiences visiting the spirit-world, framed by the shape of a Siberian shaman’s drum. We immediately fell in love with it, and made her design into our logo. Tuula was very happy about this – and so are we! THANK YOU, Tuula!


The image itself tells a story:

shaman drum logoThe oval shape shows the form of shaman drums in many Saami and Siberian traditions. These old oval drums often had the drum skin painted with characters from the spirit world. The Saami shaman drums ("runebomme") sometimes show the shaman’s map of the universe painted on them with the cosmos divided into three areas: the upper, middle and lower worlds. Tuula’s image shows this in the simplest form. The shaman can move between the three levels, and sometimes the image on the drum shows an opening or passage between worlds. On Tuula’s drum image the Tree of Life, or World Tree, connects the three levels, which the shaman can travel along. We recognize this story from many parts of the world, including the Nordic cultures. In the Middleworld, you can see a boat manned with stylized figures. It is Tuula’s representation of the great spirit-boat ceremony she was a part of, and the power of community.

Today, the felt mantle lives at Åsbacka. It has place of honor in Dansstugan, where it greets all who come to work with the Spirits.

You can see more about Tuula Nikulainen’s work at http://tekotuulahdus.blogspot.fi