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South Dakota Historical Society Press

Muskrat and Skunk

Muskrat and Skunk

Animals stop and listen. A new sounds is in the forest. The beat vibrates through the trees and across the meadows. What is it? Where is it coming from? 

The story of the drum connects the instrument’s sound to the heartbeat of Mother Earth-a beat inside all of us. For the Lakota people, the drum is more than something to be played. Its rhythm is felt, and it is ventral to many ceremonies. 

Donald F. Montileaux illustrated and retells the origins of the drum, using traditional stories that Lakota people still tell today. His colorful images breathe life into Muskrat and Skunk, enhancing our understanding of the Lakota culture.

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