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Old 03-07-2007, 01:39 PM   #1
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rolling of the drum

I'm just curious on what everybody else's views on how to dance on the ruffle/ceremonial songs when the singers roll the drum.

Reason I'm asking is, I've seen straight dancers act like it was sneak up and get down on one knee.

I've seen straight dancers try dance real fast or chop their feet like a chicken dancer to keep up with the rolling of the drum.

Other times, I've seen straight dancers spin or jump in a circle.

I'm curious on what other tribes or perspectives dancers have on these songs. My perspective is from our Osage Ilonshka and we do not do anything until the rolling of the drum stops and the singing starts. Then just dance, none of the other stuff. Just would like to know the thoughts of others.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:48 PM   #2
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I either walk around a little zigzag, or I "chop my heels" rapidly. I think I do the heel thing, because I used to do it as a fancy feather dancer. Force of habit, maybe.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:57 AM   #3
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I agree with Osagesooner, I like to wait for the roll to end. I have danced a sneakup as a sneakup when the Straights have been added to the Tradish's. But, a ruffle should be danced as was mentioned by my friend, Osagesooner.
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Old 03-08-2007, 09:54 AM   #4
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Osage,

This question would apply in In'lonshka just the way you do it.

However, if you happen to travel in Canada and many northern US powwows, most do not accommodate straight dancers. So if you want to compete, the norm is to dance with the Northern traditional dancers.

This may actually be part of what you are asking?

___


I was with a close friend who is Osage, at Crow Fair awhile back when they didn't have a separate contest for the straight dancers. So he entered the men's traditional (nonCrow) competition.

For his first contest song they sang a sneak up.

He stood there and looked bewildered and then looked at me! I motioned for him to go down on one knee. By the time he got my signal and went down on one knee, the song started and everybody got up and took off dancing!

He jumped up and started dancing and the song stopped. He overstepped. But not real bad.

This repeated over and over again and everyone was laughing. He was really flusted having to dance to a sneakup.

___

Have one of you straight dancers ever had to dance with the northern traditional dancers?

Have any of you ever had to contest to a sneak up song?

If so, what did you do?
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post

___

Have one of you straight dancers ever had to dance with the northern traditional dancers?

Have any of you ever had to contest to a sneak up song?

If so, what did you do?

I just danced in place. But, I didn't place in the contest so....wouldn't take my advice...
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:27 PM   #6
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Angry

dang, i sounded mean........

Last edited by LuncheonMeat49; 03-08-2007 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:52 AM   #7
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I have danced in contest that had the Straights and Tradish's combined. Most are small more localized dances. Just as you mentioned and as usual the drum gives up a sneak-up song. I have heard and sung these songs enough that I had a clue about the song, no expert by any means. I did just as the Tradish's did and got down on one knee and danced out the song. The drum did give us a regular straight song right after. I must have done something right, because, in one dance I took first. In another I took 2nd. I just remember having watched Charlie Chibitty and Woojie doing a sneak-up when the drum called for one.
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:08 PM   #8
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For those first time readers, who may not be aware, there are many names attributed to the group of songs sung after the War Songs in a formal Ponca Hethuska Dance Ceremony, or an Osage Inlonschka Dance Ceremony.

They have been referred to as Charging Songs, Ruffle Songs, Roll-the-Drum Songs and Thunder Songs. These songs, which I will refer to as Charging Songs, have two distinct parts to them with the dancers responding accordingly. The beginning of each song would have load vigorous drum beats with occasional loud single raps of the drum. This is referred to as the “rolling of the thunder” on the drum. I have been taught that traditionally the Omaha/Ponca believed “Thunder Beings,” or powerful spirits which cause and control thunderstorms, especially the sound of the thunder associated with the storms, are being imitated during the rolling drum beats. It is also said that their spiritual power could be pulled down through the drum and sent into the spirits of the dancers to give them strength and courage.

During this beginning segment of rolling the drum in the Charging Songs, the dancers originally danced in place facing the drum, while shaking their bells and making body movements imitating the preparation to charge an enemy. After a signal from the drum, the drumbeat changed to a fast dance tempo and the dancers began slowly dancing toward the drum. The advancement stopped when the drum again rolled the thunder beats and the dancers responded by dancing in place were they stopped, still facing the drum in the center of the dance circle. This process was repeated four times throughout the song. On the fourth time, the dancers advanced to the drum and spun off dancing clockwise around the drum for the rest of the song. This dancing action in two parts was repeated for each Charging Song sung. It has been said that this group of Charging Songs would re-enact the courage of Ponca warriors who would charge the enemy and become victorious.

Today, these Charging Songs have become popular at Pow-Wows throughout the Southern Plains as contest songs where young men ruffle the feathers of their fancy dance outfits and show off their dancing skill for the judges.

In the Northern Plains, especially among the Lakota, these types of songs are considered Veteran Songs and the dancing has been referred to as the “Sneak-Up Dance”.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:26 PM   #9
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Thank you for clarifying Historian, the songs that I am referring to are the ones that are sung Saturday night of our Ilonshka, before the trot songs. I've heard them called different names like the ones you mentioned.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Historian View Post
For those first time readers, who may not be aware, there are many names attributed to the group of songs sung after the War Songs in a formal Ponca Hethuska Dance Ceremony, or an Osage Inlonschka Dance Ceremony.

In the Northern Plains, especially among the Lakota, these types of songs are considered Veteran Songs and the dancing has been referred to as the “Sneak-Up Dance”.
I gotta ask, where on Earth does he get this info!?!? Much of that touched on stuff I barely remember hearing as a boy, but which has gone the way of the do-do in my memory since. Thank you for reminding me of much of this. I had always thought Sneak-Ups were supposed to have 4 parts (1 for each cardinal direction, from what I was taught), but no one around here gives 'em more then 3 parts. The 3 parts, usually done by a Southern drum, were explained to me as 'the going out' or 'hunting' part, 'the fighting' part, and 'the returning' part where the story of the hunt/battle was told. But, even though I can see that, it never jived with what I understood of Northern songs. Someone also once told me that the 3-part 'sneak-up' was called a Horse Stealing Song, though I'm not positive that's correct.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:21 PM   #11
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if those songs are being sung today, is it being danced in the manner desribed in historian's post?
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Old 03-09-2007, 07:19 PM   #12
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I talked about one Lakota sneakup on another thread. I heard one song in 1957, that was honoring wounded warriors. It was danced as a sneakup. You snuck up for three renditions of the song. On the fourth time, the singers turned the song loose [singing pushups], and you could go around the drum.

I've not heard the Ponca charging songs sung the way Historian describes the old way of the dance. The way I hear a charging song, first, the drum rolls. It then changes to the steady beat which leads the dancers toward the drum where they stop completely. The dancers then usually back up a bit. The drum rolls again briefly and goes right into the song with pushups. The dancers then circle the drum. There is one stop and one go, not three stops and one go.

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Old 03-10-2007, 11:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe View Post

Have one of you straight dancers ever had to dance with the northern traditional dancers?

Have any of you ever had to contest to a sneak up song?

If so, what did you do?


hello everyone,

i've danced these songs mostly when i traveled. when i first started hearing them i was very bewildered on what to do, so when in rome, do as the romans do. So i got down on one knee and danced the song. but then i was told about the "chop step" and the explanation of that is, it was a more practicul way of imitating the running charge of warriors. I guess i got good at it after awhile because we got one everyround of contest at post falls, (on a foot note, i got first). the one thing i can say i never felt right dancing was the crow "duck and dive", but than again it was contest and if i ever wanted to win i needed to be roman. but since than i have danced these dances numerous times and i enjoy them very much. and have made lots of friends and they explained alot to me and even given me there way of dances. now they are my favorite contest "second song" (other than the straight song if i have to get a northern drum). the one thing i dont think i ever did as a straight dancer was chicken dance.

but either way....as a contemprary straight dancer, i enjoy dancing the many different traditional dance ways, wether it is southern or northern traditional it is still a warriors dance and i respect that and mean no disrespect to anyone or anyways.

aho and thanks for your time.
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