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Old 01-09-2003, 01:56 AM   #1
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The calling Song's

There are a few calling song's but the best ones that I thank are the ones that my PON KA People sing!"Beautiful". But I would like to know what other people feel when they hear that first song of the year? For my self I have to fight back the tears. Man those song's make me feel so good. How about you guy's
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Old 01-09-2003, 02:16 AM   #2
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I agree that the Ponka calling songs are very great songs. I have only heard songs by the Kiowa and Comanche(I was told it was a Comanche song) that I knew to be calling songs. I was at a dance once when an O mah ha sang a song I believe was a calling song. Of these I personally prefered the Ponka but the Kiowa song was very nice.

I don't hear calling songs used much anymore at Powwows. Seems they are mainly used at Ceremonials. I am curious on this note. This is for the Apaches. Is the Black Moccasin Ceremony a form of calling songs?
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Old 01-09-2003, 02:24 AM   #3
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Not

In oklahoma they sing a calling song at all the dances. I sould have made my self clear calling songs at the real dances and ceremonys. I should all so say this to not all Indian people live by the powwow way . Not try to get in to it but let's get real.
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Old 07-01-2005, 12:25 AM   #4
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Define "calling".

Clyde Warrior, Ponca, told me that there were four calling songs sung near the beginning of the dance. He got a lot of his information from his grandparents, Bill, Sr. & Metha Collins.
I can only recall two of them, but one is "U hé Shu Ble" (spelling?), meaning roughly, "Get out of the way". The story I heard was that a man was dressed for battle and was trying to get to his horse, but some people were crowded together and in the way. He had to tell them to move out of the way.

Another one was the "prayer song", "Wakonda ga'ahxobe, Hethushka ga'ahxobe" (spelling?)...something to the effect that "God gave us the war dance". This is repeated throughout the song.

The starting song where nobody rises is more properly a "flag song". It talks about the "haska", a white flag.
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Old 07-01-2005, 11:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEROSAGE
I agree that the Ponka calling songs are very great songs. I have only heard songs by the Kiowa and Comanche(I was told it was a Comanche song) that I knew to be calling songs. I was at a dance once when an O mah ha sang a song I believe was a calling song. Of these I personally prefered the Ponka but the Kiowa song was very nice.

I don't hear calling songs used much anymore at Powwows. Seems they are mainly used at Ceremonials. I am curious on this note. This is for the Apaches. Is the Black Moccasin Ceremony a form of calling songs?
CHEROSAGE,

The Kiowa don't have a calling song - per say. It is called a "Starting Song." Like the calling songs of the Ponca, you are not supposed to dance to it.

A lot of head dancers don't know this and dance to both Starting and Calling songs prematurely.
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Old 07-01-2005, 12:44 PM   #6
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The Ponca calling, or starting songs are awsome. But one of my favorite songs is the starting song for the O mah Ha, when I hear it, it sends chills up my back. Pretty song..
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Old 07-04-2005, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thekeenest
In oklahoma they sing a calling song at all the dances. I sould have made my self clear calling songs at the real dances and ceremonys. I should all so say this to not all Indian people live by the powwow way . Not try to get in to it but let's get real.
Even though you were not making a reference to the "powwow way", this is still an interesting topic to address because its still not seen all the time. Something that seems to be fading. My only guess towards an explanation of this is that some guys, when they compose songs for themselves and their groups, compose new starting songs as well...These songs are typically "straight songs" where no words exist. I'm not sure if its that people don't know their own language, don't have access to it, or what. But when this happens, people can very easily think that way of singing "Calling/Starting Songs" is lost.

Hmmmmmm Have I talked enough of the circle for ya?
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Old 07-04-2005, 12:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gledanh Zhinga
The starting song where nobody rises is more properly a "flag song". It talks about the "haska", a white flag.
We sing this one just about everytime. Primarily because it comes to me a lot quicker than my own.

[QUOTE=Gledanh Zhinga]Another one was the "prayer song", "Wakonda ga'ahxobe, Hethushka ga'ahxobe" (spelling?)...something to the effect that "God gave us the war dance". This is repeated throughout the song.QUOTE]

I had never heard that before. I had always been told it was a Vet Song. Interesting tid-bit to chew on!
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Old 07-04-2005, 05:33 PM   #9
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I read some tranlations that was given to me and Harry Buffalo Head talked about the calling song. The word "Haska" was reffered to. The word talks about the staff or stick that was used with eagle feathers on it. Today we would call it a eagle staff. "Haska" is what I guess to be said is the Ponca word for flag.

And that prayer song that was talked about. Wakonda ga'ahxobe. The translation given is correct. The song talks about God giving or blessing this dance. The song is used in starting setting set. Alot of thease ponca songs are very old and were part of the Hethuska, and were not ment to be part of mordern day powwows. But they are, and its good to seem them used. But like I am learning, you have to know where they go and what the song is used for. And sometimes it is forgotten. By no means am I a expert, thease observations come from conversations and reading things from famed singers.
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:03 AM   #10
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I would be interested in any comments on the accuracy of the translations of these Ponca songs that have been discussed.

Ponca Starting Song

Ponca:
(vocables in first part of song)
He-thu-ska, ha-ska tha, doM-ba-ga

English Translation:
(vocables in first part of song)
Hethuska, the white flag, behold it.

Commentary:
“This song is the opening song of the Hethuska Society, which is known as War Dance. It has the words which say for the men members of the organization, ‘Behold the flag’.”
(Sylvester Warrior - 1967)

“In those days, they didn’t have no automobile, no telephones to get around. People would go about on reservations and they see a flag up. That flag meant something. They say that organization is going to have a dance. That’s the way. It’s just like the white man says, it’s a smoke signal. Now that’s just the way our flag was.”
(Lamont Brown - 1968)

“This song, with other words, was formerly the personal song of Birdhead, the Northern Ponca Chief. Present text was substituted following WWI. At Ponca dances, no one dances to this song.”
(Dr. James H. Howard, PhD - n.d.)

This song is on the commercially available cassette tape, “War Dance Songs of the Ponca," (Volume 1, Side 1, Song 1)


Ponca Calling Song

Ponca:
He-thu-ska, ta za-ni noN-zhiN tho be yo ha
He-thu-ska, ta za-ni noN-zhiN tho be yo ha
He-thu-ska, ta za-ni noN-zhiN tho be
Za-ni noN-zhiN. Tho be He-thu-ska, ma za-ni noN-zhiN tho be
He-thu-ska, ta za-ni noN-zhiN tho be yo ha ya oi
He-thu-ska, ta za-ni noN-zhiN tho be
Za-ni noN-zhiN. Tho be He-thu-ska, ma za-ni noN-zhiN tho be
He-thu-ska, ta za-ni noN-zhiN tho be yo ha ya ya


English Translation:
Hethuska, all stand.
Hethuska, all stand.
Hethuska, all stand.
All stand. Hethuska, all stand.
Hethuska, all stand.
Hethuska, all stand.
All stand. Hethuska, all stand.
Hethuska, all stand.

Commentary:
“This song says here, Hethuska, that means the ‘War Dance’. Zani nonzhin, zani means ‘all,’ nonzhin means ‘arise’. He is telling them all to arise and dance.”
(Sylvester Warrior - 1967)


Ponca Calling Song

Ponca:
U-ha shu-bthe moN-she, noN-zhiN-ga
U-ha shu-bthe moN-she, noN-zhiN-ga
MoN gtha-u the ha a-doM-ba-ga moN-she, noN-zhiN-ga
U-ha shu-bthe moN-she, noN-zhiN-ga, yo ha ya oi
She the, moN gtha-u the ha a-doM-ba-ga moN-she, noN-zhiN-ga
U-ha shu-bthe moN-she, noN-zhiN-ga


English Translation:
Walking a path I am coming, stand aside.
Walking a path I am coming, stand aside.
Even chiefs behold me walking a path, stand aside.
Walking a path I am coming, stand aside.
Elder brother, even chiefs behold me walking a path, stand aside.
Walking a path I am coming, stand aside.

Commentary:
“This song is said to be in reference to the bringing of the tribal pipes to the camp circle.”
(Sylvester Warrior - 1967)

“This song pertains to the processional of the leaders of the old time War Dance society.”
(Lamont Brown - 1967)

Title of this song is listed as, “Bearer of the War Pipe.” The words are shown translated as, “The path I travel, stand aside. Even Chiefs behold. Stand aside from it, the path I travel. Elder brother, even Chiefs behold.”
(Dr. James H. Howard, PhD - n.d.)

This song is on the commercially available cassette tape, “War Dance Songs of the Ponca," (Volume 1, Side 1, Song 8)


Ponca Prayer Song

Ponca:
(vocables in first part of song)
He-thu-ska, te Wa-koN-da ga-a-xo-be
A-ho shoN ha the, yo he ye


English Translation:
(vocables in first part of song)
Hethuska, it was God who made this.
Now it is completed.

Commentary:
“‘Hethuska, God made this for us,’ that’s what it says. ‘God made this way for us.’”
(Sylvester Warrior - 1967)

This song is on the commercially available cassette tape, “War Dance Songs of the Ponca," (Volume 1, Side 2, Song 14)
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Last edited by Historian; 07-06-2005 at 03:09 PM..
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:10 PM   #11
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Wow, nice sing the old songs again...if even on the web.

I have many of these songs written down and some traslated by Harry and Lenore when they use to come to Fla. and sing with the NFICS.
Love to see Silvester Worrior dance when he was in the Miami area in the 60's for Crow Owners. And Abe...what a dancer there and kidder. Where have all the old singers of song gone and their songs. So many are lost because they have not been handed down or could only be song at a certain time and then the sing dies taking it with them.


the other person who has the real records, tapes and information is Beth Hass who is sometimes on this site.
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:28 PM   #12
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Thanks, Historian.

That sounds like good information and translations on the Ponca calling songs. When I posted earlier, I said, "Define calling...". It was never explained to me what "calling" meant. I know that in Lakota/Dakota sweats, they have calling songs to bring in the spirits. I assume the Ponca songs were to call to the dancers and audience to pay attention, and to occasionally rise...for the dancers, meaning to rise and dance.

Another related item. At the hethushka prior to the last, Ely Warrior, the head singer, was under the weather and could not head the drum. The duty was given to Kensall (sp?) Lieb. Kensall got up at one point and spoke to everyone, saying that he had just returned from singing at Comanche, and that he had "put the songs in their proper order". So, at our dance, I think what he did, was to sing the starting song and the calling songs all together in sequence. I'm not positive of this, but if this is so, it is new to me. I was busy dancing, but this is what I think I heard.

Sometimes, going back a few years, I have heard the U-he-shu-bthe song sung right after the starting song, but not the rest in order, immediately following. The calling songs always seemed to me to be apportioned randomly near the beginning of the dance with other songs "sandwiched" in between.
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Old 07-07-2005, 12:01 PM   #13
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Lightbulb

Just to clarify things, there is a difference between the Ponca Starting Song and the Ponca Flag Song. The following is the Ponca Flag Song as I understand it.

Ponca Flag Song

Ponca:
(vocables in first part of song)
NoN-zhiN-ga ha-ska-tha, i-noN te-xie the moN-zhoN, the tho de

English Translation:
(vocables in first part of song)
Pure flag stands, we glorify in this land.

Commentary:
“This song was dedicated to the American Flag—A song which is equivalent to the National Anthem. The words in it say: ‘The flag, we glorify in this land’.”
(Sylvester Warrior - 1967)
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Old 07-07-2005, 03:33 PM   #14
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Good point made on the flag song.

Yes, the Plains flag songs were mostly made in the 20th century, and you hear them sung at the beginning of powwows after parade-ins. Benjamin Black Elk composed the one sung in South Dakota by the Lakota. When I visited the Nebraska Winnebagos in the 50's, they said they had two of them; one from WW I and one from WW II.

In my earlier posts, I was talking about the much earlier starting song for the formal hethushka.
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Old 07-08-2005, 08:03 PM   #15
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Ponca Veterans Song

I think that the most beautiful song I have ever heard, pow-wow or non is the Ponca Veterans song, Sonnie watters version. Talk about sending chills up and down your spin, and it honors our veterans and oue native people that fought for our rights.
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Old 07-09-2005, 05:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kay-yah
I think that the most beautiful song I have ever heard, pow-wow or non is the Ponca Veterans song, Sonnie Waters version. Talk about sending chills up and down your spin, and it honors our veterans and oue native people that fought for our rights.
Would this be the Ponca World War II Veteran's Honoring Song or the popular Ponca Vietnam Veteran's Honoring Song?
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Old 07-12-2005, 07:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Historian
Would this be the Ponca World War II Veteran's Honoring Song or the popular Ponca Vietnam Veteran's Honoring Song?
....and WHICH Vietnam Veterans song? There's two right? One that was SUPPOSED to be only sung at White Eagle for Poncas.....and the other for whomever.
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Old 07-13-2005, 03:05 PM   #18
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Veterans' Songs

There are many Ponca veterans' songs. The structure of them is the same as hethushka songs. I'm not sure, but I think they came about during and after WW II. The Ponca used to or still do sing them, especially on Veterans' Day in November.

The Veterans' song from the Viet Nam era was made by Sylvester Warrior when he met Weldon "Smitty" Smith who returned from service in the Navy. That's the one that is supposed to stay at Ponca.

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Old 07-13-2005, 05:12 PM   #19
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The Poncas have many old warrior songs, or what we would call Vet songs from pre-1900's. Mnay of the hethusks songs talk about war deeds, and stuff like that. There was also songs made for the boys would went over to WWI, WWII, and so on.
When Smitty Smith came back from Vietnam, he brought back a flag he got from a ship during battle and gave it to the Poncas. Slyvestor Warrior then made two songs, and I think they were both for post 38. One was put on the drum to travel around for the whole powwow world, and the other was just to stay at White Eagle. But I have heard it sung at few other places...
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Old 07-13-2005, 06:38 PM   #20
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