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Old 10-23-2000, 08:50 PM   #21
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I dont think Kakakew is a bigot.I think that he is a nationalist proud of his culture and heritage!whats wrong with that?I think Indian Nations need guys like him.
As for traditions changing,nothing wrong with that,as long as the change come from the people who practice their traditions,not the other bunch who just want the culture to change to fit their own agenda.
As for women singing at the drum,traditions are different i guess depending the nations.I just can't forbid myself to think that most of these new trends come from the western world under disguise of so called woman lib!
A lot of people are raised in the western culture and when they get back to their roots they dont always like what they find.
Too bad!but by trying to change their culture they are only finnishing the job started in 1492 !
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Old 10-24-2000, 01:32 AM   #22
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The definition of BIGOT in the dictionary:

a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices;
a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief or opinion

I stand by what I said - Kahkakew dismisses anyone who believes differently from himself as not knowing anything or being un-traditional.

But here's the thing - if that's his belief then I would be the first one to go by his traditions if I was visiting one of his tribal powwows. But how do you go to an inter-tribal powwow and decree to everyone what is traditional? Want to be really traditional? Then there would be no powwows outside of the southern plains. There would be no men's fancy dancers, and no women's dancers at all. White people would not be allowed. There would be no modern regalia (flashy colors, etc.). Powwow traditions are always changing - Indian people are not forced to be stuck in the 19th century. Even Kahkakew, if he were able to transport back in time 200 years, would probably find that he practices his traditions a little differently from how his great-grandfathers did.

As far as women singers, I have lots of friends who are on drums with their wives/girlfriends/mothers, etc. I've never seen them looked down upon, but if they went to a powwow and were requested for their women to not sing, they wouldn't make a fuss either, they'd probably just leave. But then they are not there for the money or to win - they are there to sing for the people. In any case, you have to go with what is accepted in your area or the area in which you are visiting.
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Old 10-24-2000, 11:03 AM   #23
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Yeah, what he said!
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Old 10-24-2000, 12:38 PM   #24
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I totally agree with you - he is doing a good thing for HIS nation. He is keeping their traditions exactly as he was taught them. I just don't agree with people saying that anyone who is different, NDN or not, is wrong. People, there are hundreds tribes in the lower US alone, you can't ever generalize and say "this is how Indian people believe...", especially about powwow, which is not traditional to most people in the first place. And here's the kicker - my people are southern, so I personally agree with Kahkahew about women not sitting at the drum. But I live in a place where women are welcomed at the drum for the most part, so I respect that also...
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Old 10-24-2000, 03:57 PM   #25
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i think that a lot of people are looking at this in the wrong way. its not that it's so and so's nations way of not letting women sit at the drum, therefore its fine for him, but should not apply to everyone. What it is, is that it has been tradition from where the powwow comes from that women do not sit at the drum. you have to keep in mind that this powwow has come to many tribes and were not their own ways. that does not mean that you should adapt it to fit your own traditions or way of thinking. the powwow drum has not been a tradition in many tribes. sure there were some type of drums used that women may sing on in ceremonial or social songs. but the powwow drum, and the style of songs sung in powwow were not traditional to these tribes. if you are going to use another's traditions you must respect them in the way that they do. if the powwow has not came from one of our tribes, then it is not ours to change, or make our own traditions. especially not with something as important as the drum.
men and women each have a role at the drum. they both can sing, but its for the man to sit at the drum. yeah you see alot of things in areas where the powwow is newer to the area, and with people who have not had powwows as a way of life with them. but it is not tradional for a woman to sit at the drum. i look at it as being somewhat like a man wearing a jingle dress. it is not our place to change tradition, tradition is there for a reason.

i'm not try to make any one mad, or have any one take offence, just to make a point.
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Old 10-26-2000, 09:38 PM   #26
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I think it all depends on what area you are in and what that host nation believes.
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Old 11-09-2000, 05:38 PM   #27
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So much has been well said. But back to responding to the person asking the question.
There are many traditions, yes. Most of them appear to allow women in the second row, few if any allow women at the drum. New practices by a few are changing those "traditions". We appear to be speaking of traditional practices, or matters of social norms rather than religios absolutes. Since the drum in question is a young group, in WV, tribally mixed and apparently lacking leadership from specific tribal elders, it is best that out of respect they observe tradition and not push the limits. For those that want push those limits they should find elders to support them.

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Old 11-10-2000, 04:14 PM   #28
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Good day,

I would like to share what we have learned as a Northern Drum group concerning woman and the drum.

I am a memeber of a drup group called the "Red Dog" singers and we have been all singing together for the past 10 years. We had to learn about the proper respect for the drum before we started singing.

We were taught that Women are to be respected at all times because they are very powerful creatures. They posess within them a gift, to be able to bring life into this world. We are taught that because of this gift, the women have a place in the supernatral. They do not have to suffer themselves like men do in the traditional ceremonies because they are already blessed because of this gift.
Men on the other hand, have to suffer themselves and always have to prove themselves to the supernatural in order to accumualte meager spiritual power.
This is why women have to stay away from the men's spiritual objects especially during their moon time because they are at their most powerful.
We are taught that if a woman touches or even comes near a man's spiritual objects, she indirectly drains the power these objects posess because she is so powerful already. This is why we do not let women sit at our drum because she is too powerful to be amongst the men's meager power and she may indirectly drain any power we may have.
I hope this helps you in some way,

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Old 11-13-2000, 01:31 AM   #29
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To clarify for those who seem to lack knowledge around Pow-wow drums and their teachings as opposed to any drum, it is in most plains traditionsa gainst the tradition to have women sit on the drum....as it is to see whites there as well including dancing...here in Canada, where my tribe does boast to be the orginal tribe along with a few Northern tribes from the us, the original pow-wow tribal groups where many of the teachings and traditons were given by our creator to our people...not to whites or their sympathhizers, but to fullbloods....simply that it is it, orginally it was presented in a ceremonial form, today it is sen in many wonderful, traditional and questionable ways.
Bigotry or not, Cree traditons as earlier said are very close to other plains tribal traditons..the major difference is the language if from another tribal group.
Here pow-wow is possibly still more authentic than most other places and this coincides with women singing and non-natives singing or dancing, etc...if these traditions which are quite similar are considerd bigotted, so what, it makes little diff to those who grew up with it and practice it year in and out and pass it on through their families as mine has and I will do.

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Old 11-14-2000, 11:09 PM   #30
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i have to argue with what you're saying about all plains tribes teaching the same thing. first off, not all are the same, so how could they teach the same thing. they all have differnt beliefs. secondly, there are some drums that have invited non-native onto them. look at porcupine as an example. the had a white sing with them and they often invite non-natives to sing with them.
you made some good points in how you were taught but that does not mean that every person in the world is taught the same way. it is an intertribal pow wow, so all teachings should be respected.


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Old 11-15-2000, 04:48 AM   #31
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You take the seven main ceremonies from the Lakota/Dakota/nakoda, the Cree, Ojibwe, Peigan/Siksika and Kaina and you will see they are virtually identical except for the langugaes. In the Cree and Ojibwe and even to some extent the Blackfeet languages are very similar or in many terms and words.

I grew up with Ojibwe, Lakota/Nakoda and Cree grand parents who took us to sundances, pow-wows, horse dances, ghost dances, vision quests, berry picking, hnting and round/tea and memorial dances since the early 1960's and until the mid 70's, they were all so similar, one would have thought they were eone big tribe...which they are.
In regards to the drum, the western pow-wow drum, their teaching amonsgt these 4 tribes are the same in their tradish form and they do not include whites anywhere...one drum's choices does not change a tradition, they only mock it by their choices. 39 years of experience tells me you do not know much re: tradish knowledge or lifestyle but that I assume is by no fault of your own and it has made me out to be very very fortunate which I truly am grateful for. I have the ability to ask reputable, respected, pre-mission school elders whose upbringing was far more tradish than mine and for you to argue with me is saying their words and teachings are lies..as I am only one of their apprentices, I will argue on their behalf with you.

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