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Old 03-03-2001, 04:42 PM   #12
raptor
Tiny Tot Dancer
 
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Join Date: Mar 2000
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Louis Garcia is refering to a traditional custom up north where a man gains a reputation as a singer and repository of tradition and songs. His expertise in these areas is ackowledged by the community. The singer is presented with a specially beaded stick at a public ceremony and after that 'has a right' to sit at any drum. There is usually a special song and a giveaway to mark the occasion. The man is called a 'Head Singer' and the beaded drumstick is carried as a 'badge of office' much the same way a tail dancer carries his tail stick or a whipman his whip. These sticks are beaded in a certain way and may or not have any relationship with the beaded sicks carried as 'leaning sticks' by myriads of southern singers. Does anyone know if these leaning sticks ever had any significance or if there is such a thing as a head singers stick down south.

I suspect the tradition started with the special drumsticks used for the 'Drum Dance', as a version of the hethuska is called in some areas.

Louie wrote an article on the head singer stick for Whispering Winds or Moccasin Tracks some years ago.
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