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Old 01-10-2007, 05:31 PM   #1
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Question Chorus Girl Protocol

Is there chorus girl (women behind the drum) protocol?

What are some do's and don'ts at the southern drum for chorus girls?

Can a women be dressed and get up and dance and still be a chorus girl?

Each year several women stand behind the drum during the GON gourd dance... and not sing. They just look around. Personally I think they should be there to sing.


Whatcha' think?
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:37 PM   #2
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I agree, if you are going to stand there --- SING. If you can't sing, then dance. That's kind of like singers and drummers. There is a difference and there are some of us that know the difference. I have always told my children (2 sing, one male and one female) you aren't out there to look keen, either sing or get away.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvstraightdancrs
..... you aren't out there to look keen, either sing or get away.

*L

I'm glad I am not the only one who thinks this!
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:58 PM   #4
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BUT....what about the older women who cant stand up and sing...that go out there because they have always sang...and want to feel like they used to....and another question...what about women that are pregnant...ive always heard they dont belong around there..but i have seen women there...even at tha comanche complex...soooo>??
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suthernwaterbird
BUT....what about the older women who cant stand up and sing...that go out there because they have always sang...and want to feel like they used to....and another question...what about women that are pregnant...ive always heard they dont belong around there..but i have seen women there...even at tha comanche complex...soooo>??
That's not the topic....it's about women that stand behind the drum and don't sing......As far as older women out there, if they are singing fine, if not please be seated with the other spectators. Pregnancy is another thing altogether, each tribe has their own beliefs on that so I won't go there. Bottom line if your are not singing, don't take up the space.........
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Old 01-12-2007, 09:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvstraightdancrs
That's not the topic....it's about women that stand behind the drum and don't sing......As far as older women out there, if they are singing fine, if not please be seated with the other spectators. Pregnancy is another thing altogether, each tribe has their own beliefs on that so I won't go there. Bottom line if your are not singing, don't take up the space.........

Good answer!

I can't think of any older women who were former singers, who would stand behind the drum and not sing.
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:01 AM   #7
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As a little girl I remember seeing women sing wherever they were sitting ,and not always at the drum ,meaning with the crowd or in their own chairs, and to this day I see it here and there, My mom sang wherever she was sitting ,and I do the same thing if I want to join in. Ive also sang while dancing.
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Old 01-12-2007, 10:37 AM   #8
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My liddle grand-daughter tries. She's almost six. At first she would go stand and watch. She'd look at the older girls singing and then she started to try. I would never have thought to tell her get away if she's not going to sing. One of her heroes is Sunny Rose. She just loves her. Sunny Rose takes her under her wing when they're at the same powwow. If it weren't for the encouragement of women like Sunny Rose and other back up singers, some of these younger girls wouldn't even try.

Just being there, taking in the awesome atmosphere of women harmonizing with the drum and the men is a true inspiration to the would-be chorus girl.

Chase away the recorders and let the young ladies in.
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Old 01-12-2007, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
Good answer!

I can't think of any older women who were former singers, who would stand behind the drum and not sing.
Well I dk if they were former singers..but I see older women sittin there and not singin all the time at the complex...and nobody says anything to them..
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Old 01-12-2007, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suthernwaterbird
Well I dk if they were former singers..but I see older women sittin there and not singin all the time at the complex...and nobody says anything to them..

suthern,

You're right.

And there's older men who sit at the drum and don't contribute. But you can bet the head singer knows that and puts them on the opposite end of where he is.

Same with women. You can bet there are older (and younger) people in the crowd who notice them just sitting there!
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Old 01-15-2007, 04:38 AM   #11
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As a woman who has been sitting at Southern drums for the past 10 years...LOTS of times there will be women sitting behind the singers simply because their "man" is singing. They might NOT sing one note, but they will still sit there. The 1st time I sat behind the singers, I did not sing at all, but I was still welcomed by everyone at the drum.
I think it is a personal feeling of the singers and how well a person knows what is happening and the people who are singing. EX: NOBODY (men/women) sits at the drum in Carnegie during the 4th of July unless they are invited by the head singer. Local Phx, Az, pow wow-I sit with the southern singers because I know most of them very well and I love to sing. There are always a few who don't sing anything and still sit there. It's not my drum, I don't complain.
Now, I was singing at Gathering this year during Gourd Dance and I dont' recall seeing these ladies that you refer to. Often, women who are gourd dancing will come and dance at the drum, standing where the women singers are and as is usual for protocol, they will dance all the songs in a set so maybe they don't know the next song?
I don't agree with the idea that either you sing or sit down. How else can a person learn the songs or the protocol if they stay in their seat the whole time. The young boys who are learning are allowed to sit at the drum if for no other reason than to drum, so I think the ladies should too.
I was taught on my Northern/Lakota side that you either sing or dance but you don't do both...however that's a different topic altogether!
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Old 01-16-2007, 10:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skybird5
...... Now, I was singing at Gathering this year during Gourd Dance and I dont' recall seeing these ladies that you refer to. Often, women who are gourd dancing will come and dance at the drum, standing where the women singers are and as is usual for protocol, they will dance all the songs in a set so maybe they don't know the next song?

skybird,

This is exactly what I am talking about.

During gourd dancing, a woman is NOT supposed to dance in front of the men dancers. If a woman comes to dance at the drum and not sing ..... they WERE NOT informed right.
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Old 01-16-2007, 06:51 PM   #13
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Ah ha. Yer all talking about gourd dance songs.

I thot this was about basic southern songs, it being a southern singing thread.

I'll just shut the hole in my pie. Ayyyeee.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:31 PM   #14
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Being a northern guy I really shouldn't even post here, but I just thought I'd offer a perspective that might hold true for you guys as well.

I was always told that the wicaglatas would come sing to help out the singers when it was needed - and that was not on every song. The chorus girl phenomenon is fairly recent. Sure, there have been female singers for years and years, but only fairly recently have they sung every song. I was also told that many times older women would stand to honor a singer or a song, and they may or may not sing depending on their feeling and mood at the time.

Don't know if this applies or helps or hurts, but just wanted to offer a different perspective.
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Old 01-17-2007, 04:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wojapi4Me View Post
The chorus girl phenomenon is fairly recent. Sure, there have been female singers for years and years, but only fairly recently have they sung every song. I was also told that many times older women would stand to honor a singer or a song, and they may or may not sing depending on their feeling and mood at the time.

Wojapi,

This is all true of the southern center drum as well.

One thing I believe Wicaglatas (aka. women singers behind the drum) and southern chorus girls have in common is that when the singers are singing, women should come directly behind the singers to sing - not dance.

An exception on both cases would be women who record songs at contest powwows. But that is not the norm in southern center drums if the woman is just there stand, record and not sing.
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Old 01-18-2007, 07:13 PM   #16
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*L* My grandpa used to say, "there's the singers, the drummers and the hummers. Too funny.. SING!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-19-2007, 10:41 AM   #17
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Who Me ur asking the protocol? I should be asking YOU...heehee...well here in the south I have seen a lot of protocol with the women singers...I dont know about much but im very careful to go around that center drum cuz i dont understand...so someone fill me in! lol

I grew up singing, northern, mostly ceremony songs...a lot of that is separated men and woman so it kind of takes away the protocol....but when I do sing w/the men, like behind the drum its a sense of prayer...that is how i understand it. I remember once my grams heard me singing really soft when i was a little girl....she explained to me that song was a prayer...your not going to whisper your prayers to the creator...when you ask for something. Be sincere and be humble...i try to remember thoes things.

Now i will quit before I ramble...good topic tho 49 king! heeeeee
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Old 01-23-2007, 05:26 PM   #18
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Just my own opinion...

On our drum, our female singers sit directly behind our drum, spouces and girlfriends that don't sing are still with us, but sit behind them, and stay out of the way. BUT, this isn't a Center Drum, up here, drums sit on the side and are groups not center drums with head singers... all I can talk about is what we do as a group...

Personally, if I was a singer at a center drum where the women were singing hard all around us, that would just make me sing harder, but if it was surrounded by a bunch of women who were just there and contributed little to nothing... that wouldn't push me too much.

My theory, sing or get out of the way for those that will... just my 49 cents worth.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:21 PM   #19
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... if it was surrounded by a bunch of women who were just there and contributed little to nothing... that wouldn't push me too much. ...


RedS,

But what if it was a "purdy stranger" who came to stand across the drum - just to watch YOU sing?

Would you crank it up a knotch?
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:39 PM   #20
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RedS,

But what if it was a "purdy stranger" who came to stand across the drum - just to watch YOU sing?

Would you crank it up a knotch?
nahhh... my wife sings behind me... always good to know she's back there watching my back...
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