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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Pow Wow Singing Eastern Woodland Drum Eastern Woodland Drum

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Old 03-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #1
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Eastern Woodland Drum

I haven't given you guys a chance to poke fun at us back easterners for a while, so here goes. We had an elder singer whose drum has recently retired come in to teach the younguns some of the classic songs from our area of the country.

He said something that I had pretty much figured out on my own, but never heard anyone say. He said "We are neither Northern or Southern, we are Eastern Woodland. We don't sing high (falsetto) and we don't sing fast. Not that we don't like that, we just don't do it"

Later on, when we were kind of 49ing, I mentioned my fondest for some of the Cree singers. I love Edmund Bull and Quentin Thomas and of course Buffy is Cree. And that music is pretty much the same as what we were doing. Then I was thinking well the Cree are Algonquin and most of the songs we were learning were from Algonquin tribes; Shawnee, Mikmaq, etc. So if they're related by language, why wouldn't the music be similar?

So I need a music ethnologist or some Cree to tell me if I'm on to something or not. I can't find anything on the internet or in the local library. If there are any Cree singers out there; Do you consider yourself Northern or Southern or do you just do your own thing? Or are all the tribes different. Inquiring minds want to know. Or at least one crazy white man does.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:42 AM   #2
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"Cree" is the problem. Cree that live on the Great Plains are culturally Plains peoples, inlcuding their music. "Cree" that are from the subarctic or the Northeast are culturally from those areas. There are several groups that are large enough that their is a great deal of cultural variation betweem then. A cree in Montana is different from a Cree living in Quebec. there are many examples of groups who share a language and their culture is different. The music of the Cree in the Northeast would be/is culturally like the music of other northeastern groups,
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
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Thanks. But that's what's interesting. The guys I was talking about are from Saskatchewan and I'm saying their style is much the same as what we do.
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Go look up work done by Dr Gordon Smith. He's spent his whole academic career studying eastern woodland music... spent lots of time with Rita Joe and folks from Eskasoni.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weopsit Walt View Post
Thanks. But that's what's interesting. The guys I was talking about are from Saskatchewan and I'm saying their style is much the same as what we do.
And you still have two very distinct Cree groups. In Northern Sask and Alberta... the Woods Cree. In the south, Plains.

Many folks who are not linguist, can't grasp that a language group does not equate to a cultural similarity unless the groups were in proximity to each other.

For example, Dene is spoken by my people and folks down in the four corner areas of the US. The Athabaskan language base is just that a base in which linguists can trace root words of a similar nature. The culture evolves the language and vice versa. Although I can understand a Navajo speaker.. I can pretty much tell you that's where the language group ends of having similarities in culture, songs and dances between the two.

I live up in Wood Cree territory and I can tell you, you may think their style sounds like an Eastern Woodlands, but the subtle differences are there... as well as some big old matzo ball ones.. Go listen to the any of the Denny or Augustine boys singing and you'll even hear the difference between the two territories...Then go listen to an Abenaki singer or an Anishnabe or an Innu... they are all Algonkians too...I think you're stretching way too far with trying find a comparison with Woods or Plains Cree (which you really lumped in togther).
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:39 AM   #6
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*LOLZ* I have to agree about the price .... However i would like to add - make them in a digital format - flash drive - sdhc memory cards - digital download. I dont even have a cd player in my car - all usb. and i dont even own a cd player outside of my laptop.
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