“When people of diverse cultures are beating together around a thundering seven-foot heartbeat, they get it,” explains Drumkeeper White Eagle Medicine Woman. “They remember who they are and what is really important – caring, sharing and respecting one another. Grandmother Drum is absolutely contagious!”
White Eagle Medicine Woman (Suraj Holzwarth) and the Grandmother Drum Ensemble have traveled a half million miles through 15 countries over the last decade drumming up support for world peace, tribal unity, reconciliation and earth sustainability. Lynden International has played a vital part in the Grandmother Drum International Peace Project by making sure the seven-foot, 1,660-pound crystal inlaid drum and over 1,000 pounds of performance equipment arrives safely and on time from one international stop to the next.
Grandmother Drum is the largest healing drum of its kind in the world. “We’ve been moving this drum and handling customs for The Whirling Rainbow Foundation for several years,” says Licensed Customs Broker Keith Hall of Lynden International in Anchorage. “The drum was made in Alaska in 2001 and is used in ceremonies to promote world peace and understanding. We’ve moved it via air and ocean to and from California, Hawaii, Peru, the U.K., Israel, Australia and Austria. The drum recently toured eight countries in Europe, launching from Anchorage to the U.K. and returning via Vienna, Austria, which is where we arranged the cargo flights. Grandmother Drum had to be back in Homer, AK from Austria for an event on June 21.”
The main challenge, Keith explains, is ensuring the drum clears customs and is delivered to its destination on time since the Foundation has performances set up months ahead of time. “The drum is the main event so it’s absolutely critical that it arrives when needed. Additionally, this drum is huge and has a great deal of ceremonial value; it must be kept safe,” he says. “We move it in a large custom-built crate.”
The Whirling Rainbow Foundation is an international spiritual and educational non-profit organization. “We are very happy and in deep gratitude that Grandmother Drum arrived home to Alaska safely once again from her amazing 2013-2014 World Tours,” says White Eagle. “We picked her up from the Lynden warehouse in Anchorage and headed home to Homer. Please know each time she is freighted, we have people praying worldwide for her safe care. We appreciate working with Lynden to get our sacred drum safely around the world.”