Local Artist Profile: Alexander “Golden Eagle”, maker of Prayer Drums

by Shasta Cascade on July 1, 2009

Alexander Golden Eagle

Alexander Golden Eagle

One of the most interesting artists in Mt. Shasta area is Alexander “Golden Eagle”, maker of ceramic pottery prayer drums.

Alexander has been making prayer drums for over 40 years, and has made over 10,000 in his careet. The drums range in size from 1 inch wide to larger bass drums almost two feet wide.

Every one of his drums is unique and painted so that no two are the same.  Usually, the drum skin is made from goat skin from Pakistan.  The pottery drum body is made from a dense ceramic that holds up well to playing.  The drum head is fastened to the drum body with water buffalo rawhide.  A handwoven small loop handle allows the drums to be easily carried around.

Alexander learned to spin pottery in high school ceramics.  A friend’s mother brought a pottery drum back from Morocco, and there was something about it that fascinated and inspired to create drums for a living.

His design is based on the doumbek design from the middle east.  The signature of a doumbek design is the globlet shape of the drum.  Over time, the design of the drum has grown into a unique style.

Alexander is also known as Golden Eagle.  He says that he got the name when on a spiritual retreat in the deserts of New Mexico.  He said that a fellow traveler told him that Golden Eagle would be a good name for him, and the name stuck.

When Alexander is not making his drums, he can usually be found camping at one of the local lakes.

Alexander can be reached at his studio at (530) 926-3229, or at his shop at (530) 926-1377.  Alexander conducts classes and workshops to teach others about pottery.



{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Vince Walker January 13, 2011 at 1:39 am

Next time you see Alexander (Larry) Golden Eagle could you let him know brother Vince in Vancouver would love to hear from him. If you could pass on my email I would appreciate it.

"Duckie" February 4, 2015 at 12:51 am

I worked for this man putting the heads on his drums back in ’90 or ’91. He went by the name of Larry Mitchell and had a small booth at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. He also lived in an authentic, full sized tipi back in the employee/artisan campground.

His drums have always been beautiful, but he buys his leathers/hides from local shops; in Michigan it was Tandy Leather in Wayne. He taught me how to cut and string them, but he told me to always put white Elmer’s glue under the heads before tightening them.

He packed up his white school bus (purchased because it had the number “9” on it and he was a huge Beatles fan) that night and left in the morning.

spirit walker April 2, 2015 at 11:14 pm

I can personally vouch for Golden Eagle. He is a respectful elder with great integrity and nobility.

carol beck October 19, 2015 at 7:04 pm

hey Larry . Heading to Mt shasta for a couple days in Dec. my number is 908 839 9125 . call if you can I would LOVE to see you again.

Regina Pelagio January 27, 2016 at 5:02 pm

Hi Alexander Golden! The package that I shipped to you is a gift! I bout done African drums and no longer need the drum you sold me. So I decided to ship it to you at no cost to you and give it back to you as GIFT. So the package is waiting at a mailbox to be shipped back to you but you need to email me to let me know if you want it for free. It will be at the mailbox this week only.

Penny Weiss February 17, 2016 at 10:51 am

I believe I have one of your Mt. Tamalpais prayer drums. The drum head is torn and I would like to have it restrung. Can you please tell me what to do? I have lived at the base of Mt. Tam for 46 years and I personally know of its sacred nature and this drum means a great deal to me and my family. It was a gift to our son who is a drummer.
Thank you in advance for your help.

Randy Bigman March 28, 2016 at 12:05 am

Alexander Golden Shower…the one who pisses on thy nieghbor and takes shit on lawn, the one who steals ones property to make a quick pawn, the one who has no teeth and looks like a goblin, the one who will take teeth out and start gargling, o Alexander you think your so wise but your son runs around uncircumcised, your daughter still sucks on your wife’s tit while she sucks my…spirit stick

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