About Paul Crane Tohlakai

Paul Crane Tohlakai is a full-blood Dineh (Navajo ) from the Black Mountains of the Navajo Nation in northeast state of Arizona. He is an artisan whose drum creations are inspired by traditional beliefs, especially the belief that one’s creativity is a reflection of nature. Spirit to him is the true impulse of his artistic gift as evident in his workmanship, meaningful symbols, and coordination and combining natural materials from his native land in North America. It is his hope that by sharing his talent, others will discover their own beat, rhythm, and relationship to all creation.

Each Each Tohlakai drum is individually hand-crafted by Paul and his apprentice sons; Brian, Connan and Jared. Through his own evolutions as a drum craftsman, he has developed a unique stretch and tie technique that allows the hand drum freedom in movement. His floor drums are equally unique and favored by native singers. Paul has amassed over 18 years of knowledge in drum-making that is essential when making a drum for others. Climate, land, and use are considered when Tohlakai does customized work for others. An added attraction is his one-of-a-kind personal drum head paintings based on preference, dreams, or at his choosing for customers.

Elk, Buffalo, Deer are the preferred hides used but customer preference for other hides are considered. Light Redwood cedar is the preferred wood for hoops also.




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