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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Pow Wow Singing Tribal Flag Song question Tribal Flag Song question

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Old 10-25-2017, 09:49 AM   #1
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Tribal Flag Song question

I'm doing an interview for the Associated Press about American Indian Flag songs. They specifically asked me if I knew any tribes who have composed their own tribal flag songs in the Southwest and Atlantic Coast. Through my networking with powwow friends I have found 4 tribes that have their own flag song in New Mexico, 3 tribes that have their own flag song in North Carolina, 2 tribes in Connecticut and 1 tribe in Maine.

Most flag songs have been composed by plains tribes and often other tribes outside of the plains (and non Indian groups) sing established plains tribal flag songs when asked for.

What tribes do you know of that have their own tribal flag songs outside of the plains?
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:19 PM   #2
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In AZ, I know that the Navajo, the Hopi, and Yavapai Apache have composed their own songs that they render for Flag Songs during powwows. There may be others, but these are the ones that I have heard live.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:00 PM   #3
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I know of 3 songs.

1. Myself and singers from the 80's White Eagle Singers composed a flag song with Dine' words honoring the Dine' Veterans of US wars. We used a phrase obtained from my Chei, the late Keith Begay. Silaoltsoi bi Danatah--referring to the flag/danitah of the Yellow Protectors/silaoltsoi. I knew that Silao also meant a policeman and asked why Silaoltsoi meant veteran. Ltsoi(this L is Dine' sound made by putting your tongue against your upper incisors and letting air pass around the sides of your tongue) usually refers to the color yellow. He said when World War II broke out, many Dine' entered the service. Many returned wearing the distinctive yellowish khaki uniforms and that color now denotes US military veterans.

2. My late brother-in-law, Dennis Coan, composed a song honoring our Dine' Nation's flag. In this song with classic refined poetic style, he described our flag. Residing upon it images of our Four Sacred Mountains and the Rainbow surrounding...protecting them. It is a beautiful song and has been learned by many other tribal singing groups and sung many places far and wide. It now is used by other tribes without words to honor our Eagle Staffs, the Flags of our Tribal Nations, the US & Canada.

3. While host drum at the Northern Navajo Fair powwow in Shiprock, NM a couple of years ago(A sweet dream finally come true!), I was asked by powwow coordinator, Kelvin Keeswood, to sing a song to retire the staffs & flags. I am not sure which Keeswood brother, but someone may be able to provide that info. He then taught us their song. This song has the phrase Washing-don, bi Danitah, hyi Danitah. The term washing-don, has come to mean the US government and nation depending on context. "The US governments flag. Our warriors traveled over the Big Waters to stand between us and the enemy in war. Now, this US flag is theirs as well".

I am sure there are other songs, these are just ones that I have learned with our Dine' words.

Arlie Neskahi
Dine' Nation
White Eagle Singers
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:35 PM   #4
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