Archaic Roots Origin- how it started

posted in: blog, Drums | 2

I’ve been asked what’s the origin of Archaic Roots, and how did it all start. Below is a brief overview of the how it all began.

What is Archaic Roots?

Archaic Roots is a tangible outlet for my passions, and the physical manifestations of those passions. From an early age I was prone toward artistic expression. Whether those were sketching monsters and other creatures on every test or school work paper I had the time to decorate. Or it could have been through reading everything I could, learning more ways to create with different mediums, more historical facts and perspectives, more fictional stories and myths, more life experiences.

These talents with creation, skills in memory, passions for ancient practices and history, all have stuck with me, all pieces of my inner spiritual core and perspective.

The early years

early-designEven though these passions were always there, I’ve spent most of my life working in the visual communications field; designing logos and characters for branding companies and events, designing websites and developing them into functional sites. As a teen I carried around a sketch pad everywhere I went; drawing my ideas, laying out my concepts, sketching my dreams, taking notes on everything. Many of my friends would often compliment those sketches.

One day someone said, “That would make a great t-shirt!”, and that really struck my core. I proceeded to teach myself graphic design and how to use the industry standard software to create. Once I felt confident in that, I chose to put myself through college and gained a BFA in visual communications, finishing with a 3.95 GPA. I’ve worked in that industry for close to 15 years and successfully built my own business which I still run today.

I love helping businesses and events succeed with their branding and marketing directions. But my passions for art and ancient cultures were not being fed well.


The Conceptionmedicine-maker

Archaic Roots came about over 10 years of manifestation, through many different roots and foundational groundwork experiences. Years ago I sold my art through my other business, W.A.R. Graphic Arts; which included paintings, mixed media, jewelry, shirt, etc. Then I strayed away from my own artistic expressions to run and business, study other things and focus on family life. Purchasing a home in the mountains and building a small farm was a top priority for many years.

A few years ago I started Pachamama Drums, basically as a side business repairing drums, which I loved. At the same time still developing my art and learning other things like flute design and carving stone. Late 2015 I had a vision of a new outlet that encompassed all those artistic mediums with my passion for ancient cultures, indigenous musical and ceremonial instruments, anthropology, herbalism, etc. The concept of Archaic Roots was born late one night while working on art.

Manifestation from a vision10551585_807043909373803_5319725153964002500_o

That vision led me into starting Archaic Roots, and developing it into it’s current state. I can share my passions for art and culture with the world around me; through school teaching events, art exhibits, drum circle facilitation events, workshops, festivals, and all kinds of other events. This type of sharing is much more fulfilling than anything I’ve done in the past.

Whether it’s sharing my knowledge and or talents with an audience, creating a custom instrument or stone carving for a commission, educating and creating instruments via workshops, or taking part in community music making events like drum circles; every aspect of this business is such a joy to experience. Though no where near complete, this current state of Archaic Roots is evolving each day, blossoming into a conscious and positive outlet for my passions.


14567428_1171678829542279_4639724398879788913_oThe future

The future of Archaic Roots looks very bright. I will be offering more instruments in stock, since currently most of my instruments are commissioned. Looking to include some herbalism knowledge with the addition of healing salves and oils. There will be a wider range of workshops available in 2017 with many venues opening up that will be hosting them. I have teamed up with places such as The Wellness Place in Highlands, NC and Wicked Mojo in Conyers, GA; that will be hosting some of my workshops and other events.

I’m really looking forward to expanding Archaic Roots into a larger vision. With more instruments and art forms, more workshops, more educational presentations, and more volunteer work to share the gifts I have been blessed with with world around me.

2 Responses

  1. Star Smith

    What Indigenous tribe are you affiliated with? Is there a Native community you are connected to, for spiritual guidance?

    Do the Cherokee people know that you are giving workshops about constructing sacred objects from Native traditions, for money?

    Had to ask.

    • William Rodriguez

      Hello Star!

      I understand your perspective on my fees for my workshops. I would like to express my perspective on this, and some background on my lineage.

      First, my lineage and the ancestors that stand behind me come from almost every continent on this planet. For the most part, many of my ancestors come from the indigenous people of North and South America, which includes Cherokee, Creek, Cree, Taino/Awarak, and Mayan. I also have ancestors who are european (spanish, english, irish, scottish), West African, and Asian. So, as you can see, my ancestors come from all over the world, which is why I have a cross-cultural perspective on spirituality. I have been guided by elders in many traditions, ranging from traditional Lakota, Cherokee, and many more; plus I am led in this work via the ancestors who stand behind me in the spirit realm.

      Secondly, it doesn’t matter if the Cherokee people know I am teaching these workshops or not. I in no way express that any of my workshops are based directly on any certain culture, other than my African drum & native flute building workshops. These sacred items are considered that no matter which culture you relate to, whether it be Cherokee or Nordic, Yoruba or Tibetan, or any other culture. So these cross-cultural objects are sacred in almost every indigenous group; drums, rattles, flutes, etc., are all sacred across the globe.

      None of my workshops are intruding on any specific culture, or any specific ceremony. I do not charge for ceremony, only for the guided instruction on making instruments, and those fees barely cover the supplies and expenses that go into each workshop, the profit usually goes to my educational services. Now the ceremonies I provide within each workshop are not cultural appropriating in any way, these ceremonies are organic and fluid, they may be inspired by teachings from any of my ancestors, but not specifically emulating any certain one. There is a big difference from ritual, which is dedicated to a certain tradition, and ceremony, which is created in the moment and is more organic and not led by dogma or certain rules.

      I hope this helps you understand my perspective, and expands your perspective on what is appropriate in this path. I would not be able to teach anyone how to make these instruments without fees to cover expenses, my ceremonies are not rituals and are not cultural-appropriation, and I am led by my ancestors in this work and take this path with honor and respect. Below is a tidbit of a past conversation I had that expresses this idea.

      I believe culture is fluid and organic, changing and evolving depending on the current generation involved. We are creating a new culture, new ceremonies, which integrates a perspective that is cross cultural, but not specifically intruding on any certain one.

      I would be more than happy to discuss this further if you would like!