is a descendent of the Anasazi People, a people known in the Navajo language as “the ancient ones”, or “the ones who came before”. His ancestors’ came across the Bering Strait, where they crossed into Alaska, and eventually moved south to the Chaco Canyon in New Mexico. Red Bird grew up on the Anasazi reservation, fifty miles from Santa Fe. He learned Indian ways of horseback riding, tribal hunts, survival skills, medicinal practices, and subsistence farming from his grandfather. At the age of 9, he learned the art of drum making – a craft he specializes in today. From 1964 to 1966 he served in the Vietnam War and was held as a POW, noting his cultural teachings as the source of his survival.

Over the years, has been invited by other tribal councils such as the Sioux, Cheyenne, and the Hualapai to learn their traditions, ceremonies and spiritual ways. He has also been invited to teach other tribes from his diverse experiential knowledge.

His son and grandson now follow in his footsteps, keeping the tradition of Cochiti Drums alive.

creates unique, one-of-a-kind medicine drums of aspen wood and hide, a tradition passed down from father to son, as he has to his own son and grandson.

Call in Cochiti, NM, at (505) 218-3440, to have a custom-made drum made for you. also leads workshops in Drummaking. Emails can be directed to

Check the Photo Gallery for drums in various stages of completion.

talks drums and drummaking and their importance to Native Americans

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