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Old 09-18-2002, 11:56 AM   #8
kneegrow_native
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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I know a singer that got himself in trouble at a few pow-wows a little while back for singing songs inappropriatley (sp). He was called on it and was really embarrased.

This singer was at a pow-wow and another drum was singing a song for a family who just had a death. This singer recorded this song and began using it at other pow-wows as a flag song. He used it as a flag song for about a year, then a visiting drum came around that knew that song and what it was used for. When this visiting group heard this singer and his group singing what they thought was a flag song, the visiting group had a concerned look on their faces. The visiting drum's dad confronted the singer and told him that the song he had been using was in fact a death song. The singer was embarrased. Especially since he was called on it in front of his drum group, who looked up to him for song selection.

This singer had not asked permission to sing the song, nor did he find out where it came from or what it was for. The singer used it because he thought it sounded cool.

The same singer was also called on again when he sang a song with Navajo words in it. After the song a man approached him and asked where he got the song. The singer lied and said that someone made it for him. The man then informed the singer that he had made the song, and that the singer was singing it wrong. Once againg this singer sang the song because he thought it sounded cool.

I used to drum with this singer. I am happy to say that I quit before these incidents. I quit drumming with him partly because he didn't care to know about the songs he was using. He only cared that they sounded cool.

These are just prime first hand accounts and examples of why you should ask before you sing a song. Especially if it does not come from your tribe.
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It is so sad that a family can torn apart by something as simple as a wild pack of dogs.
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