There was a great respect for the drum. It wasn’t just a gift you gave someone to play with. The owner of the drum had to ensure it was well taken care of and didn’t lose its form.
… Some people had a hard time making the drum. But not me. I had observed my father bend the small pieces and I picked things up quickly. It’s one piece of wood, as thin or as wide as needed. It would bend around and connect at the ends. When I was done, I would check how it sounded. I hit it, and I knew it would be a loud drum! When I would remember that I had a song to sing, I would give it a try. If I sang about animals, such as the moose or a bear, I would bang the drum and sometimes I would sing about the moose first. I would drum more loudly and sing at a higher volume to match the drumming. That’s how I sang about the bear and he would get up, listen and make its way towards me. Sometimes he would show up very close by and I would shoot him where I saw fit, and he would fall and die instantly. He would not be getting up!
– Charlie Etapp, Mistissini