Culture

Berbon K. Hamilton is the Pawhuska District’s new Drumkeeper

Berbon K. Hamilton has been selected as the next Pawhuska Drumkeeper 

Hamilton, 16, is a junior at Sequoyah High School in Tahlequah, Cherokee Nation. He is the son of Berbon R. Hamilton and Angela Hammer.  

He and his family will be responsible for hosting the Pawhuska In-Lon-Schka and taking care of the district’s members, along with many more cultural responsibilities.  

Hamilton was given the drum on Sunday of this year’s Pawhuska In-Lon-Schka from George Stabler, Jr., and his family, as is custom. Stabler, Jr., was Drumkeeper for five years. 

Hamilton and his family will “pay for the drum” at next year’s Pawhuska In-Lon-Schka dances. 

He has one brother Noah and one sister Kiana and is the grandson of Otto and the late Sandra Murphy Hamilton. The great-grandson of Otto, Sr., and Josephine Pryor Hamilton and Berbon and Gertrude Elam Murphy. Great-great-grandson of Bill Pryor, Amos Hamilton and Dora Strikeaxe, along with Foster Strikeaxe and Chief Strikeaxe. 

He is also the great-nephew of the late Harriet Hamilton Shadlow.
 

Past Pawhuska Drumkeepers include: 

1883-1924: Ben Mashunkashey 

1925-1927: Charles Lookout 

1928-1929: Clarence Gray 

1930-1932: Louis Brave 

1933-1934: Ed Lookout 

1935-1940: Don Big Elk 

1941-1945: Leo Miles 

1946-1950: Morris Lookout 

1951-1953: Andrew “Buddy” Gray 

1954-1955: Louis Stabler 

1956-1958: Ervin DeRoin 

1959-1962: Willie Hamilton 

1963-1966: Eddy Red Eagle Jr. 

1967-1969: R.E. Yarbrough 

1970-1972: Louis Cunningham 

1973-1976: John Henry Mashunkashey 

1977-1979: Jess Burris 

1980-1984: Sammy Lookout 

1985-1988: Vann Bighorse 

1989-1991: George Stabler 

1992-1997: Matthew Littleton 

1998-2002: Eli Red Eagle 

2003-2006: Cameron Rumsey 

2007-2010: Bruce Cass 

2011-2015: George Stabler, Jr. 

2015: Berbon K. Hamilton