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WhoMe 02-21-2007 11:27 AM

Drum Teachings
 
I was sharing some drum information with a friend yesterday.

I was telling him that I was taught not to come to the drum if you have bad feelings or don't like someone who is sitting at the drum. Because if you do, this negative energy will affect all the singers.

I put this into practice recently and chose not to sit at the drum because of some personal things that were going on in my life at that moment.

I wonder how many new singers are taught about the drum and how to conduct yourself properly when you sit around a southern drum?

hobbs49 02-21-2007 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhoMe (Post 889542)
I was telling him that I was taught not to come to the drum if you have bad feelings or don't like someone who is sitting at the drum. Because if you do, this negative energy will affect all the singers.

The guys that I spend most of my time singing with talk about this alot. We talk about proper dress and behavior both at the drum and away. Sometimes what you do before you come to the drum is equally bad as something that you may do at the drum simply because it carries over. Of course not being native myself, it's often doubly important that I follow the "rules" to the best of my ability to not make my native friends look bad. Of course, in reality, many of the drum rules are really just good rules to live by anyway.

WhoMe, I feel compelled to ask, what happens if you get the drum first? If the person that you have a problem with were to come join, such as at a center drum, do you leave? How does that jive with once the butts in the seat, the butt stays in the seat?:regular_s

danbear 02-21-2007 12:58 PM

well
 
hobbs, i was taught to ask to be excused by the head singer, and have done so a few times, you can definitely tell a difference in energy of the people and the songs when you have that kind of negativity at the drum

WhoMe 02-21-2007 01:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by danbear (Post 889595)
hobbs, i was taught to ask to be excused by the head singer, and have done so a few times, you can definitely tell a difference in energy of the people and the songs when you have that kind of negativity at the drum

danb,

You gave "sound advice" to hobbs question. Good job!

I was head singer at a benefit dance at the Otoe-Missouria complex a while back. I had forgotten that I had asked two singers that do not get along, to come help me.

One of the singers physically threatened the other at the drum. I had to intervine and ask him to leave and cool off. I felt as the head singer, it was my resposibility to diffuse the tense situation.

I can say, it really affected the harmony and concentration for the rest of the dance.


I have heard there have been fist fights at other drums in the past. I wanted to make sure it didn't happen in my situation.

suthernwaterbird 02-21-2007 01:57 PM

This is a complicated situation especially if you were there since the beginning of the dance, sitting with the head singer. But consider you have an obligation to help the head singer. NOW what? It's different if you just come out to the drum to help out, and weren't asked.Then it would be appropriate to excuse yourself. But I was asked in this situation. I just kept peaceful thoughts in my head, and helped that one person sing, just as I helped anyone else sitting there. It helps if you can ignore their smart remarks and azzhole stares, and ESHOP stories they come up with. I dealt with it, didn't think of anything bad about them. Kept myself thinking positive, remembered WHY I was there. Not always that easy though...

RedShield 02-22-2007 04:46 PM

I was taught similarly to you WhoMe... if you can't bring good feelings, stay away. I don't want any of that brought to my drum and I sure as heck ain't gonna take it to someone else's... it's just common courtesy.
This is something we talk about on our drum, among other things, when you bring those type of feelings they can hurt you, others singing with you, and the dancers listening... drums are there to make people feel good, not harm anyone... I always equate the drum to an amplifier... if you bring those feelings, all that drum does is send those feelings out even stronger than they went in...
Just my 49 cents worth!

Paselo~

danbear 02-23-2007 09:12 AM

well......
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by suthernwaterbird (Post 889672)
This is a complicated situation especially if you were there since the beginning of the dance, sitting with the head singer. But consider you have an obligation to help the head singer. NOW what? It's different if you just come out to the drum to help out, and weren't asked.Then it would be appropriate to excuse yourself. But I was asked in this situation. I just kept peaceful thoughts in my head, and helped that one person sing, just as I helped anyone else sitting there. It helps if you can ignore their smart remarks and azzhole stares, and ESHOP stories they come up with. I dealt with it, didn't think of anything bad about them. Kept myself thinking positive, remembered WHY I was there. Not always that easy though...

well you know who i've sat with so you know my situation, and being on of the more experienced singers with that drum i feel like its my responsibility to the younger singers to teach them right, and teach respect for others at the drum and more importantly the drum itself, there's no place for negative energy at a drum, like i said you been 'round and i think you've seen me do it too......i'm a firm beliver in energy that comes from each and every individual, even the ones that sit behind the drum.....suthern knows who i'm talkin bout

suthernwaterbird 02-23-2007 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by danbear (Post 891567)
well you know who i've sat with so you know my situation, and being on of the more experienced singers with that drum i feel like its my responsibility to the younger singers to teach them right, and teach respect for others at the drum and more importantly the drum itself, there's no place for negative energy at a drum, like i said you been 'round and i think you've seen me do it too......i'm a firm beliver in energy that comes from each and every individual, even the ones that sit behind the drum.....suthern knows who i'm talkin bout

See when it comes to people like that...the ones in charge..no matter HOW much they deny it, they're really in it for the money. That's why they incorporate so many "rules" into somthing that is sooo simple. Singing is a simple deed. So much good is meant to come out of it, and when people do introduce this negativity, it defeats the purpose..And yes the women that sit behind the singers and gossip play a big part in the feeling around the drum, the feeling them dancers get from the singing...But for the guys you are talking about, their ignorance will limit them from their potential. Their "leader" will only stir them in the wrong direction. They don't know how to take care of the things they need to take care of, especially when it comes to that drum. I tried to teach them a few things that I seen but they didn't wanna listen.. Hopfully they'll learn one day, and not the hard way..

CrazyInDn 03-01-2007 02:34 AM

Good advise! From all.:smile:

RedShield 03-11-2007 10:19 PM

So here is a question... to paint or not to paint...

I know a lot of Northern Drums that paint designs and the name of their drum group on the head of their drum... I know a lot of my Ojibway friends that would tell you only the thunderbirds should be painted and only in a certain way... are there any taboos against painting the heads of a southern drum... nothing fancy... just the name of the group... I am just curious... is it allowed or is it not allowed? What have you been told regarding this?

LSS 03-11-2007 10:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedShield (Post 903101)
So here is a question... to paint or not to paint...

I know a lot of Northern Drums that paint designs and the name of their drum group on the head of their drum... I know a lot of my Ojibway friends that would tell you only the thunderbirds should be painted and only in a certain way... are there any taboos against painting the heads of a southern drum... nothing fancy... just the name of the group... I am just curious... is it allowed or is it not allowed? What have you been told regarding this?

I've seen it done....and not much is said from what I understand. Now...having said that....can you or I get away with it?...But, then again...what do I know....

cakewalk 03-18-2007 11:26 PM

There is this one guy i know that just doesnt like me for some reason, and i was always told to go and ask the person what it is that they have aggainst you. but everytime i think about going and asking, he gives me the same "im gonna whip you a** look everytime." and if we ever sing at the same drum i know he doesnt help out when i sing but you can hear him everyother song, and he just stares at me and gives me that same look, but im there to sing and enjoy myself so i help him whenever he leads. so whats the deal?

as for the painting thing, ive seen so many older promenent southern drums do it, i dont know if theres a reason, but i knows it done. i always thought about it, but who wants to put facepaint on there grandpa?lol...

Gledanh Zhinga 03-26-2007 11:19 AM

Abe Conklin used to tell us, as hethushka dancers, to leave all of our bad feelings outside the east entrance to the dance circle. Then, when the dance is over, if you want to pick them all up again and take 'em with you, you can. BOL

Cakewalk,
As for the grump staring daggers at you, I usually give those kind of guys a goodly dollar amount at an appropriate giveaway time. Blows 'em away.

LSS 03-26-2007 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gledanh Zhinga (Post 908259)
Abe Conklin used to tell us, as hethushka dancers, to leave all of our bad feelings outside the east entrance to the dance circle. Then, when the dance is over, if you want to pick them all up again and take 'em with you, you can. BOL

Cakewalk,
As for the grump staring daggers at you, I usually give those kind of guys a goodly dollar amount at an appropriate giveaway time. Blows 'em away.

He He He...

Kill 'em w/ kindness!

Gledanh Zhinga 03-27-2007 08:12 AM

Butt staying in seat.

Long time ago, there was a closed drum singing for one of the ilonskas, and an elder from another tribe, an "outsider", pulled up a chair and sat in. For some reason, the head singer allowed this to happen and probably should not have done so. Sylvester Warrior was one of the singers. As a silent protest, Sylvester arose, left the drum and did not return for the remainder of the dance.

I'm not in a position to judge this action; just reporting what I saw.

LSS 03-27-2007 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gledanh Zhinga (Post 908480)
Butt staying in seat.

Long time ago, there was a closed drum singing for one of the ilonskas, and an elder from another tribe, an "outsider", pulled up a chair and sat in. For some reason, the head singer allowed this to happen and probably should not have done so. Sylvester Warrior was one of the singers. As a silent protest, Sylvester arose, left the drum and did not return for the remainder of the dance.

I'm not in a position to judge this action; just reporting what I saw.

Huh!...Why do I have the feeling I know who this elder, the "outsider" was?

powwowgirl4life 08-11-2008 05:10 PM

Man! I was reading and loving the conversation and then it stopped. A whole few minutes of wasted time in my life. lol

LSS 08-11-2008 05:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by powwowgirl4life (Post 1190950)
Man! I was reading and loving the conversation and then it stopped. A whole few minutes of wasted time in my life. lol

If reading these messages were nothing but a waste...:thinking:...then you got (will get) nothing from it.

No matter how repetitive things may seem, it is always good to hear them again. Even if it is nothing more than to simply be reminded of the very things we try to preach.

Thank you for pulling this one out of the archives! :thumbsup:



LSS

RedShield 08-18-2008 04:59 PM

You know, it seems the longer I sing and travel, the more lax questions of protocol are getting, people not coming to the drum in the right way is a big thing, not taking the time to learn songs right an sometimes straight up butchering them.

As a lead on my own drum, I make sure everyone around the drum has been taught the songs before we sing them, when it comes to center, you listen and learn.

Sometimes I wonder how much farther things will keeping bending before they break altogether with the way things should be...

I dunno...

Woof Woof 10-09-2008 04:06 PM

check it at the door...
 
Good topic. :tounge_sm Some comments from the peanut gallery (northern singer in southern forum)

I also was taught to leave those negative feelings behind when you come sit at the drum. But also like Glenda Z said, when you're done, if you want to pick those feelings back up again, that's your choice.

In addition to that, I was told it was possible that through singing you could get rid of those negative feelings. Who doesn't feel better after putting everything you got into the drum? Even just practicing, it's a good feeling. :thumbs_up

I hesitate to get too "sacred" :wink: but this one singer demonstrated to us his way of freeing himself up- it involved a certain teaching and he had devised his own method or process based on that teaching. It was something you do before you even come sit down and it was very simple but very useful to him. It's tough because some times you do have other guys bringing in their own baggage. If the feeling is not right I always blame it on one of the other guys being on their moon LOL

The worst kerfuffle I saw was 2 guys sitting next to each other almost come to blows. Head singer said hey hold on take it easy now, take a little break so everybody went for a smoke break and those 2 didn't come back. Then another time there was a couple guys who wanted to sing a different song than what we had ready. Lead singer comes back and they suggest their song and eventually they are arguing about which song we'll sing, which song sucks, etc. Mutiny! The lead singer finally says go ahead and sing it, which we did, half-arsed cuz we all didn't know the song. :tounge_sm


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