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Old 06-06-2002, 12:45 AM   #1
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southern ladies shaking rattles?

First, I want to apologize to everyone who knows better(atleast this sounds hokie to me), but I just had to post this. Has anyone ever heard of any southern ladies shaking rattles while singing with a drum? Unfortunatley, in my area, there are some drums who think that ladies should shake rattles, keeping in time with the drum. During a drum and dance demo I was recently involved in, a member of a drum I sing with decided to take up rattle shaking up at the drum. She said she was gifted with the rattle to shake at the drum & was asked if she was going to use it.

As far as I know, the only rattles being shaken as part of the southern plains tradition are gourd dance rattles which ladies do not shake. If I am wrong, please let me know of any exceptions to this. I know what I have learned through observation at real (not hokie) powwows in my area(such as ladies not touching a blessed southern drum) & can recognize what is proper.
I know that Ndn culture is ever evolving( a friend of mine, who also knows better, stressed that fact during a recent conversation) , but that's no excuse for what I have recently observed.

What's your opinion about this?
Thanks for bearing with my having to post this topic.

Last edited by Suzizila; 06-06-2002 at 12:48 AM..
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Old 06-06-2002, 05:42 PM   #2
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rattle

I have seen a lot but not that. But I had never heard of putting a baby's butt on the drum or spreading someone's ashes in a dance arena. It makes it a cemetery not matter how many times you bless it after that. But come to GA or FLA and I am sure you will find that a dozens more to curl you hair and set you teeth on edge.
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Old 06-06-2002, 11:18 PM   #3
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Thanks, but no thanks, Beth. I've seen enough around here to last a lifetime......ladies carrying critters instead of shawls, ladies shaking rattles at the drum & getting insulted when a request is made that they not shake them for an honor song, a form fitting, zippered turquoise ultra suede being presented to the general public as a traditional buckskin dress, having regrand-entries after you've already entered the arena from the east one time, chicken dancers (supposedly northern traditional, but they look like chickens pecking at the ground...I feel like asking if they got enough to eat)....It's enough to make me want to move out west.

I'm sure I will be seeing more of the same stuff at the Ft. Ancient Celebration this weekend.
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Old 06-07-2002, 12:10 AM   #4
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dances

Sounds like one of us has the off-shoot of the other. The best I have seen was a lady that had a pole up an anhingas tale and carried it around the arena in front of her.
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Old 06-07-2002, 01:24 PM   #5
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Did she say why she was carrying the tail? Atleast ladies I've seen with bells loud enough to hear laced on their mocs have the excuse of "keeping evil spirits away". (Someone I know had enough sense to ask if it was right for women to wear bells last weekend. When she heard what another person and I had to say about it, she took her ankle bells off.......Hurray!!!!!!!) Why hasn't anybody come up with something for the rest of us to wear to keep the hokies away.....hokie repellant....because they don't want to listen to people who know better...or people whose culture it is. I hope I don't come across too many hokies this weekend.

Beth, I hope you don't run into too many hokies where ever you go next. Hopefully, there will be some more responses to this thread soon. I'd like to hear other people's opinions about this topic.
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Old 06-08-2002, 03:49 AM   #6
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I have yet to see that around here but give it time and I'm sure we may see it.
Holy women might use a turttle rattle for prayers but that would be the only time women use them that Icould think of. I know shell shakers use turttles for shakeing during a stomp dance.
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Old 06-09-2002, 03:55 PM   #7
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crazy

A friend went to Red Earth this weekend and told me she saw bits of the hokie in the dance arena there. Most of the artists had gone to a gallery in Norman.
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Old 06-10-2002, 02:07 AM   #8
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I sing with several southern drums and that is something I am not familiar with, and hopefully wont run into! Did your friend mention who had "gifted" her with the rattle and what the meaning of using it with the drum was? I am suprised that your head singer didnt say something to her.
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Old 06-10-2002, 05:40 PM   #9
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Catsmeow, it was only after she had gone ahead & shook her rattle during a small demo that she asked about using her rattle (kind of backward if you ask me). We've got a drum keeper, but don't really have a head singer unless you want to give that title to the person who knows the most songs. This is who the lady asked. Naturally, he hadn't seen any southern ladies shaking rattles either & let her know about that. Luckily, she didn't shake her rattle during the demo at Ft Ancient.
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Old 06-11-2002, 06:38 PM   #10
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:D :D :D Anyone see the ever famous men's traditional dancer wearing a GODSEYE?!?!:p :p :p LAMENESS....ferreal....
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Old 06-12-2002, 01:26 PM   #11
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Rattles??? I'd like to shake some of the idiots until their teeth rattle!!!!!!!:Eyebrows
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Old 06-13-2002, 05:22 PM   #12
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Question Rattles

I was at Fort Ancient this pasted week end .I did not see any ladys with a rattle but then again, I was not really looking.
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Old 06-13-2002, 08:44 PM   #13
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Thank you to all who have chosen to respond to my topic of discussion. I saw and experienced many things at Ft. Ancient last weekend. For the most part, what I saw was good. I saw many people dancing, including people from outside of the arena during intertribals. During the evening and the dance sessions, I heard other styles of singing which I do not usually get to hear since I am more geared toward songs from the northern and southern plains. One thing I was glad to see is that since the individual with the rattle had asked about whether it was acceptable to shake it while singing with the drum, there was no rattle shaking along with the southern (southern plains to be specific) drum. I only heard rattles being used by ladies of drums who were of tribes of southeastern origin( ex. Lumbees, Shawnees) It is their traditional, therefore, it was proper that they use their rattles as part of their singing. In that manner, rattles being shaken were by no means seen as hokie, but as part of their tradition. Now if a group designated themselves as northern or southern plains, then I would question rattle shaking.

I am still open to other opinions, so voice what you have to say. This has been very informative. Thanks again for taking part in this discussion. :)
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Old 06-13-2002, 10:16 PM   #14
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i would alter the statement that there were shawnee's shaking rattles. now people shaking rattles who say they are shawnee may be a different matter. out in ohio, there are quite a few questionable things being done that are "part of their tradition" by people that "say" they are shawnee. and shaking rattles, at a powwow? nope.
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Old 06-14-2002, 12:55 AM   #15
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Rattles are used during gourd dance. We travel a lot and this is the first I've heard of this behavior. Hope I never see it.

Not sure what dances you folks go to see these sort of things but dang give us names of places so we don't go there!
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Old 06-14-2002, 02:00 AM   #16
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This was technically not a powwow, but an extended dance demonstration with about 5 drums and a lot of explanation. Unfortunately, there were a lot of what people would call hokies, wahoos, or members of the tandy clan. Some of what people came dressed in made me kind of want to gag. The event was not representative of all powwows in Ohio. A couple of the drums there were ones that I hope I never encounter at a powwow because they were just too strange. I recognized songs they were attempting to sing, but seemed to be butchering. The drum I sing with is still working on learning a lot of songs, but I think it is a good indication that we are making progress when singers who definitely know what they are doing ask to sit at the drum. We were one of the only two drums not to have ladies shaking rattles because, and I stress, as far as I know with no exceptions, southern plains ladies don't shake rattles while singing with a drum. There was a gourd dance demo during the event, done by men who were members of various gourd society clans. That was the only time anybody connected with the southern plains protocol ever shook a rattle (only the men....no wahoos dancing during this demo.......thank the Creator!)

About the statement describing who would possibly be shaking rattles in Ohio......I know there a lot of people who claim to be what they are not and go about making up their own "traditions". The statement was just made as a result of some information shared with me by someone who was a knowledgable source and of a southeastern tribe. This person just stated how some southeastern tribes had that tradition & named a couple of tribes who originated or may have originated in the southeast. That was the information I had to go by in making the statement. Truthfully, the only southeastern rattle tradition I was aware of were the shakers (turtle shells or cans) that are worn by Cherokee ladies during the stomp dance. I am sorry if I got some misinformation posted here and stepped on somebody's toes.
I just want to hear what people have to say about this topic.

Thanks for the feedback. :)
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Old 06-14-2002, 11:24 AM   #17
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no problem. just wouldnt want anyone to come under the impression that what goes on in ohio has anything to do with real shawnees and shawnee "tradition". (' :) ')
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Old 06-14-2002, 12:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
I only heard rattles being used by ladies of drums who were of tribes of southeastern origin( ex. Lumbees, Shawnees) It is their traditional, therefore, it was proper that they use their rattles as part of their singing.
What do you mean it is their tradition to shake rattles at the drum? Powwows are not even a Lumbee tradition so how can shaking rattles at a powwow drum be a Lumbee tradition? Tell your friend to do a little more research on southeastern tribes before he/she tries to educate other people about them.

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Old 06-14-2002, 01:18 PM   #19
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Exclamation Rattles among some Southeastern People

The use of rattles is a common tradition in the East. They can be used for everything from social needs to more serious and ceremonial needs - it all depends on the Tribe, the Clan and the event going on.

The use of rattles at a Drum is also a tradition in some (note keyword - some) Southeastern People. With some extensive travel this can be seen among some (again note keyword - some) Shawnee, Lumbee, Saponi, Catawba, Meherin, Cherokee, Mingo, Creek, Yuchi, and others.

Now one must remember that just because some Southeastern people do this does not mean they are the same as a powwow drum or other drum. For this reason, often some dances or events among Southeastern People are not referred to as powwows so that people will realize that there is a difference.

Actually one may notice that in some areas more and more events are being given titles other than "powwow" - like Fair, Celebration, Gathering, Union, and of course Doin' (the very old and very traditional title for a dance, etc.) And if the event is truly Intertribal then we must all know that we may see different traditions from different people including some that use rattles for various reasons.
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Old 07-16-2002, 04:24 PM   #20
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Question Rattles????????????

I liked the way Tom Iron Eagle answered this question. Can,t we all get along,learn from each other. Do we have to pick everything apart all the time. I am willing to ask questions and learn from all. If i am in doubt I find a trusted Elder and ask them to help me understand. I hope I have not made anyone mad with my words. Peace to all
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