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Old 05-25-2004, 01:40 PM   #1
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Drums touching the ground

Drum ettiquete is different according to northern and southern arenas, regions, tribes and how individuals are taught (or not taught).

I have heard many people state that drums are not supposed to touch the ground or be left unattended. But I have seen at most summer dances drums left leaning on the ground and a post or chair "warming up."

What are your tribes or regions beliefs on drums actually touching the ground?
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Old 05-26-2004, 12:03 PM   #2
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Is there ever going to be anything you won't ask on here?


:mocking: :D


I think I'll start the next one;

How Exactly Do You Run Ceremonies In Your Region?

:czyeyes: :Angel:
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Old 05-26-2004, 03:00 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=The_HULK]Is there ever going to be anything you won't ask on here?
QUOTE]
__

Hulkster:

Jealous? *L

Don't be.

I just see a lot of new situations on the powwow trail and bring them to the attention of the readership of pws.com. Anything wrong with this motive?

Powwows are a place where many different tribes with strong beliefs come together. Many times strong powwow beliefs collide in the powwow arena. This is particularly true with southern and northern powwow beliefs.

I have heard arguements in the arena as to how a drum is to be positioned when it is not being used, during an intertribal powwow.

Northern singers take the drum off its stand and place it on its side until it is time to sing. This drum is often put away during a supper break.

Whereas,

Southern singers keep the drum on it's stand ready to go at all times even leaving it in the center of the arena during supper break.

These are two examples of beliefs that collide.
___

I have often heard different tribes say the drum should not touch the ground at all. I am wanting to know tribal specific tribal beliefs for a reason.
___

I post because I am wanting to learn another point of view other than my own.
__

Why do you post?
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Old 05-28-2004, 04:18 AM   #4
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One time I was at weds night practice, I had took my drum. anyway there was this other guy who had arived before me and brought his drum. I left my drum about 10 feet from were I was at. anyways the guy who sings with a northern group snatches up my drum and tries to take it. pissed me off I walk over to were my drum was and got it. He told me that I was never to leave my drum unattened. My Belives are not the same as other tribes. I don't think it is anything big because at Oklahoma powwows you always see drums heatin up in the sun and there is no one around it. Next time it happens someone might get a black eye.
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Old 06-01-2004, 11:33 AM   #5
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Excellent Point.

I have seen Northern Drums preach and yell and give other Drums a hard time about leaving the Drum alone.

Recently I saw a Northen Drum yell at another Drum for simply covering the Drum and then walking away. But then get this -that Same Northen Drum has their Drum in the Sun lying on its side against a Chair and absolutely nobody is around. Talk about hypocrisy!

As this thread was introduced - all have different ways and beliefs. We may not agree and we may even get upset but things are different all across the Native American Culture.
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Old 06-08-2004, 12:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
Hulkster:

Jealous? *L
:D Thats funny, I never heard that since grade school. :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoMe
I just see a lot of new situations on the powwow trail and bring them to the attention of the readership of pws.com. Anything wrong with this motive?

I post because I am wanting to learn another point of view other than my own.

Why do you post?
Well, like someone said before, "Whome" you do make pws.com interesting.... 90% of the time. The other 10% is just plain intruding, in my point of view anyway.

I don't see anything wrong with, and I'll never tell anyone to change their "motives". And, I might add, that I would never purposely try to impose my will/opinion on anyone. That is not the way I was taught.

With that said, I recently was involved in a discussion where the issue of educating "non-natives" about the traditional ways of our people was the topic. Without getting too deep into it, I would just like to say that I don't agree with people who post on here about teachings that would normally be handed down through ceremony, or with an offering of some sort.

To answer your question, I post on here because I enjoy to discuss, and read about who the favorite drum/singers/dancers/etc. are. I also like to learn of a point of view other than my own, but I don't care to share my teachings that I hold sacred.

Again, this is just my point of view, love it or leave it, don't matter to me one way or the other.

(maybe I took the issue a little lightly before by laughing and being sarcastic, for that I'd like to say.... Oh well, this is a forum where people speak their minds more often than not, and I've seen it done plenty of times. So, maybe you should be more concerned about toughening up your skin a little bit. Just a suggestion.)
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Old 06-14-2004, 11:01 AM   #7
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Hulkster:

Attention (good or bad) is the best form of flattery! I have never had anyone go out of their way to antiquate my posts in percentages before. Congratulations on being the first! I'm not sure where you're going with your posts, but I don't think I will be "toughening up my skin" anytime in the near future. No real need to. I will just continue to on as usual . . .

ndntaco and TIEagle:

What you have shared are exactly the situations that I have experienced in the past. Even though we have modern "intertribal powwows," there are still dance arenas considered "northern and southern" protocol. What you have said confirms this.
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Old 06-16-2004, 01:06 AM   #8
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Hulkster:

I'm not sure where you're going with your posts....
Thats alright. I'm sure it's easier that way.


:Wave
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:38 AM   #9
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This is much like eagle feather ettiquete (sp).
When i was young in the early 60's, the drum was treated with greater respect than now...more ''real' reverence, not just show. Most elders I know considered the earth sacred..holy, as we still do in the NAC and many ceremonial dances. We place our medicine and feathers on the earth with reverence; not indifference. All this "do not touch the ground" stuff, (I think) is white influence. My uncle and dad told me after WWII so many boys came home after serving that they began to treat drums and feathers like the american flag and began to use the same protocols that had been drilled into them. Also many natives who knew little about there own ways and then came into the circle adopted these flag protocols. Things change, so like every other topic on this site you have a mix of old ways and new ways. so who is 'right?"
Heck, I don't know. When I am in charge, I have to go with they way those old men taught me, otherwise (gritting my teeth) I have to go along.....
More than anything, my elders taught me 'MANNERS'
In my own tribes, at our dances, I can fight with my own folks over how to do things; but outside that, i am just a visitor.
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Old 06-16-2004, 08:26 PM   #10
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Being a southern singer, my mentors always preached to have the drum hanging/suspended in the air...so, its not suppose to touch the ground. Why? Don't remember much from that day...I took in so much I was overwhelmed.

This was preached to me by my mentors. They're Kiowa, Pawnee, and Cherokee. They know many of the old songs and I trust them. As a matter of fact, I'm gettin' up w/ them again this weekend, I'll ask again to refresh my memory.

But, to answer your question WhoMe....I think the biggest difference is gonna be of Northern influence versus Southern influence. I've never really seen southern singers push the issue of leaving the drum unattended. Most of the time, at my drum, we'll cover the drum w/ a blanket and generally push the chairs up to the drum or turn the chairs around and push them up to the drum. However, when I use to sing northern way back when...we'd turn the drum up on its side, blanket it, and push the chairs in.

A similar story I've heard of happend to some of my friends last year I think when someone tried to snatch their drum. These guys are southern singers. Although, I'm not sure who the accomplace (sp?) was...but if its who I'm thinking it may have been, the clash was northern/southern.

Also, I think you may find clashes when you find people that either show up to a dance intoxicated, if they're just hard up for something in particular, or got BEEF with that person, group, or themselves.

Just my 2 cents worth.

LSS
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Old 06-17-2004, 10:28 AM   #11
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Dont mess with someone elses drum is what i say. Everyone has different beliefs. If you think they are disrespecting than let them, its their problem.

my drum is never in direct contact with the ground, usually a blanket at least or a quilt. it is thinner so if i dont have the stand i need to put it on something. I have used a suitcase and a spare tire.

What do they do when they arent at a powwow? carry the drum to work?
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Old 06-17-2004, 12:11 PM   #12
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Ain't nuttin wrong wit putting a drum on the ground from where I come from here in Oklahoma. Besides whenever it is on its side it is connected to the arena. This arena and mother earth as we know it is sacred enough for our folks. Whenever there is a break in the pow-wow or whatever then the drum can be set on its side and still within the racks. This indicates to most (maybe) not all that the singers at that particular drum are away and the drum should not be bothered because of the respect. But in most cases someone is still near the drum at all times.


Damn I her that lulu in the back ground for giving my two cents.....

eeecha
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Old 06-17-2004, 12:27 PM   #13
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drum history 101 (with a question):

Southern Plain's Indians prior to the late 1800's beat on rolled raw hides that were stretched by the singers and beat with long, unpadded stick. The singers sat on the ground and often times so did the hide.

In the late 1800's a band leader called Jim Phillip Sosa gave a band drum (and set of cymbals) to the Ponca people. They then made a drum out of the frame - drum as we know it today.

In 1873 the drum was given to the Gray Horse district of the Osage by the Ponca. About that same time, the Kaw (Kansa) gave the Pawhuska district their drum.

Does anyone know if these original drums had stands?
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Old 06-17-2004, 02:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Damn I her that lulu in the back ground for giving my two cents.....

eeecha
So people won't think he's hearing voices......


LULULULULULU dang, them Indin egos! ;)
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Old 06-17-2004, 04:02 PM   #15
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Drum History

Awesome Point - WhoMe!

I had not thought about bringing up the History of the Modern Drum. Very good on your part as you are so right!

In general, The Drum that we think of today at most Powwows, events, etc. is based on the modern Band/Orchestra Bass Drum. Remeber that "modern" refers the the big picture in Time - even though the Bass Drum we think of has been around for hundreds of years.

A true authentic Drum (depending on size and make) would more than likely just have sat on the ground because the sound was not uni-directional. This would have been especially true of some Log Drums.

But as with anything, there were exceptions. If we only had a Time Machine I am sure we would find examples all over Native America where Drums were on the ground and Drums were off the ground. As mentioned before over and over again - there are so many teachings and traditions about so much including how Drums are played.

My main concern with this post is the Hypocrisy that you see with some Drums and their treatment of the Drum and maybe even their behavior. As I posted before I have seen Drums preach to others about how to treat the Drum but then turn around and not follow their own preaching.

One should Follow what they have been taught. And one may also have their own opinion and be critical if they choose as thet is a right. But one must always be careful about being hypcritical with their teachings and when comparing with someone else's teachings.
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Old 06-17-2004, 04:45 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tom Iron Eagle
Awesome Point - WhoMe!

One should Follow what they have been taught. . . . . . But one must always be careful about being hypcritical with their teachings and when comparing with someone else's teachings.



Tom,

This is the BEST advice I have heard in a long, long time.

THANK YOU!
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Old 04-25-2005, 09:07 PM   #17
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Do what you feel is right

I believe that you should do what has been taught to you. If you think that you are paying proper respect to your drum then so be it.
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Old 04-26-2005, 10:00 AM   #18
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Talking Northern/Southern Drum Customs

Who me:
Good question. To add my 2-cents worth, up in Wisconsin; specifically among the Menominee, we generally don't let our drums touch the ground. The thinking here is that these drums are like "elders" and you wouldn't make your grandfather sit on the cold ground--has to do with respect.

Anyway, being that most of our drums are northern, we follow northern protocal: During the break, the drum is placed on his side and is covered with a blanket and all the chairs are pushed around to signified that the drum is closed--hands off!

As for leaving the drum unattended, the beliefs here ARE dictated by the veterans. Our veteran's society began the rule of not leaving a drum alone--if you did, the vets would grab your drum and you would have to "publically" apologize and ask for your drum back. Man! This practiced caused a lot of tension and for a while, some bad blood between some of the vets and some singers. After a couple of years, things calmed down and the drums knew to always keep a person by the drum--"to keep grandfather company".

The Practice of putting a drum on a chair or blanket in the sun, is practiced up here as well, but there is someone always a few feet away. I hope This adds to your discussion

Peace--Niwiwan.
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Old 04-26-2005, 11:03 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niwiwan2005
Who me:
Good question. To add my 2-cents worth, up in Wisconsin; specifically among the Menominee, we generally don't let our drums touch the ground. The thinking here is that these drums are like "elders" and you wouldn't make your grandfather sit on the cold ground--has to do with respect.

Anyway, being that most of our drums are northern, we follow northern protocal: During the break, the drum is placed on his side and is covered with a blanket and all the chairs are pushed around to signified that the drum is closed--hands off!

As for leaving the drum unattended, the beliefs here ARE dictated by the veterans. Our veteran's society began the rule of not leaving a drum alone--if you did, the vets would grab your drum and you would have to "publically" apologize and ask for your drum back. Man! This practiced caused a lot of tension and for a while, some bad blood between some of the vets and some singers. After a couple of years, things calmed down and the drums knew to always keep a person by the drum--"to keep grandfather company".

The Practice of putting a drum on a chair or blanket in the sun, is practiced up here as well, but there is someone always a few feet away. I hope This adds to your discussion

Peace--Niwiwan.
__

Niwiwan,

Thank you for bringing this thread "back to life."

I appreciate you sharing the tradition that your veteran's started concerning taking away a drum if it was left alone. I had never heard of any explanation to address this tradition before.

I have heard of treating the drum like a grandfather. Therefore, I respect this belief when it is practiced.

One practice that is utilized by some drums with this "grandfather belief," is putting the drum on it's side, covering it with a blanket then folding the chairs and laying them all against the drum. I don't understand how laying chairs against a covered drum is showing a "grandfather" respect?

Niwiwans' explanation of moving the chairs in around the drum, seems like a better alternative.


Anybody have any comment?
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