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Brackett481 02-01-2006 12:26 PM

Womens Drums
 
I have noticed more womens drums starting up lately. I was taught that women typically did not touch th drum: Unless it was like a family drum or something like that. With that said, I hav also noticed a few mixed drums emerge. Is this proper? Was I taught wrong? I do not want to be rude or improprer, but I would like to have a better understanding.

ndngirl70 02-01-2006 12:49 PM

I was taught the same as you, that women do know drum

WhoMe 02-01-2006 01:07 PM

Brackett,

Good question!



There have always been women's ceremonial drums who sang/sing for women's ceremonial societies, clans and groups.

Powwows are NOT spiritual ceremonies.

There is a differenciation. (In most tribal specific spiritual ceremonies, recording devices are not allowed and what takes place inside spiritual ceremonies is not talked about "in public." On the flip side, at most powwows, recording devices ARE allowed and information talked about on powwows.com *L).

My point is, "women's ceremonial drums and women's powwow drums are two different types of drums." Also. "Tribal women's ceremonial songs and powwow songs sung by women - are also two different entities (as are apples and oranges)."

Different regions are more tolerant of women's drums than others. The Pacific Northwest is one of the most tolerable regions of women's powwow drums. The Plains is the least tolerable of women's powwow drums.


I hope this helps.

WocusWoman 02-01-2006 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WhoMe
Brackett,


Different regions are more tolerant of women's drums than others. The Pacific Northwest is one of the most tolerable regions of women's powwow drums. The Plains is the least tolerable of women's powwow drums.


I hope this helps.

You stated it right WhoMe. I was just going to say; being from the Northwest that in my tribe the women were traditionally the ones who "ran" everything. It is not uncommon to have women drums or mixed family drums. Another thing I'd like to say on this subject is when drums travel to other areas; they need to keep an open mind as to the areas traditions and beliefs, to avoid stepping on toes!

WhoMe 02-01-2006 01:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WocusWoman
...on this subject is when drums travel to other areas; they need to keep an open mind as to the areas traditions and beliefs, to avoid stepping on toes!


This is good advice WW.

southernsky 02-01-2006 05:51 PM

I come from Oklahoma, and the way I was taught, is no woman is going to be singing at the drum unless it is behind the singers. No woman is going to be singing church songs in peyote meetings either. They can sing along but will not be using the gourd or drum. I was taught that the drum is a very ceremonial instrument. The drum has been here longer than and will be here long after any of us. I do know there are women drum groups out there, and some of them are pretty good. Todays powwows are nothing ceremonial at all. Commercial if anything. People see something they saw at another powwow and do what they saw somewhere else. A bunch of copy cat cr*p! I say for any woman interested in singing, talk to your elders first, is it appropriate? Is this something that your tribe does or approves of? Because I know my tribe doesn't. Just a few words....



"A pow-wow (sometimes powwow or pow wow) is a gathering of Native Americans. It derives from the Narragansett word powwaw, meaning shaman . It since came to be used to describe any gathering of Native Americans of any tribe, and as such is occasionally heard in older Western movies."

LSS 02-01-2006 08:31 PM

I guess I need not reply.

WhoMe 02-02-2006 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by southernsky
. . . People see something they saw at another powwow and do what they saw somewhere else. . .

That is a good point southernsky. That is true for everyone and every powwow, if you think about it.

**jdazmum** 02-02-2006 04:45 PM

Great insight everyone, but I'm not allowed near the drum. I'd get lectured (for real). I teach that to my daughter that the drum is a living soul and not to be reckoned with. Don't disrespect it. As for women drums, the only place I ever saw a women drum group was in Southern Cali powwow, think it was San Marcos. I didn't feel comfortable with it, because I hold high regards to it. Even when I step into an NAC meeting, I've never seen a women carry a drum, but I've see women singing with a gourd. I remember the elder womens scolding us as kids not to touch a gourd. Back in the day, gourds were used as drinking tools in ceremonies. Grandmas would say if you touch it, your breasts are gonna grow! LOL. yeah it's funny, but taboos are not taken lightly. I have problems with disrespect to drums. Sometimes I'd see a drum sitting alone with no one watching it. Once I've seen writing on a drum like grafitti writing. (shaking my head) I think if you want to be part of a powwow, whether it's a social gathering and not ceremonial, there is still power in it and can inflict pain on you. Just something to consider.

obigd 02-02-2006 05:47 PM

spirit woman
 
undefinedI was told as a young boy. If you can hear a woman singing with the men when only men are singing it is a spirit woman. This is a good thing. spirit woman can only be heard when the music is good. We can hear spirit woman on some of our bear claw songs. on the C.D. going home.
Quote:

Originally Posted by WocusWoman
You stated it right WhoMe. I was just going to say; being from the Northwest that in my tribe the women were traditionally the ones who "ran" everything. It is not uncommon to have women drums or mixed family drums. Another thing I'd like to say on this subject is when drums travel to other areas; they need to keep an open mind as to the areas traditions and beliefs, to avoid stepping on toes!


nativesweetie77 02-05-2006 08:34 PM

I was taught much the same way as Brackett. That the drum was only to be touched by males. Brackett and I live in the same area and it's true that at some recent Pow Wows that we have attended that we have seen some women's drums. The women's drum that we saw at the last Pow Wow we attended was actually pretty good. I enjoyed hearing them sing, but it is still not a concept that I am completely comfortable with. I am all for women having equal standing, equal pay, and even equal say as members of the drum but I'm still not comfortable with the idea of a woman actually playing the drum. I was taught that my place was to stand behind and support the guys on the drum and sing, and as liberated and opinionated of a woman as I am that is a place that I am completely comfortable filling. I've never had a desire to touch the drum and don't feel that I ever will. However, for those ladies who are out there starting their own drums,while it is not an idea that I am personally comfortable with for myself I do have a lot of respect for you. It is never easy to be amoung the first to step outside the box and say "Let's try something different". It takes a lot of guts and strength of character to stand up against the oposition and fight for something that you believe in your heart is right.As long as your heart is in it and you are doing it for the right reasons then best of luck to you.

Joe's Dad 02-05-2006 10:13 PM

Knowing how WhoMe is modest. Check out the thread 'All Woman Drum Groups' that he started in the Northern Singing forum. That thread has a lot of good information.

Eagle Plumes 02-06-2006 01:22 PM

Drumming is not for me.....
 
I have heard some Woman groups that had a good sound but I would not dance to them ,I know that sounds bad but its just not the way I was raised i will sit behind as my mother did,sisters and friends do and do so with honor. But I do not fault those who try something new its just not something for me and if my heart does not feal rite then I dont enter the arena. Im not the only one I have seen plenty of people men and women sit out a song if there is a woman drum group, I have even seen other drums pack up and leave if they dont the older gentlemen were afraid of getting sick ,im sure there are those reading this will understand with out me explaining to much

ndngirl70 02-06-2006 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eagle Plumes
I have heard some Woman groups that had a good sound but I would not dance to them ,I know that sounds bad but its just not the way I was raised i will sit behind as my mother did,sisters and friends do and do so with honor. But I do not fault those who try something new its just not something for me and if my heart does not feal rite then I dont enter the arena. Im not the only one I have seen plenty of people men and women sit out a song if there is a woman drum group, I have even seen other drums pack up and leave if they dont the older gentlemen were afraid of getting sick ,im sure there are those reading this will understand with out me explaining to much

I know exactly what you mean. What really gets me is that most of the women who sit on a drum (at least in my area) are twinkies who just started going to powwows because indians are cool. They think that they are correcting some injustice done to indian women. What they don't realize is that women not drumming is in no way a subserviant postion. The way I see it is that in native society, men have jobs and women have jobs. It's not my job to sit front row on a drum so I'm not going to do it! Of course, there are reasons behind the jobs that I don't need to get into here. I see it as just another case of someone jumping in with both feet before they have the neccessary information.

SilverMoonStarDancer 02-08-2006 12:49 AM

womens drums?
 
I was taught to FIRST RESPECT the drum AND ALL THE PEOPLE that SIT and STAND at the drum. you may not like them but you will respect them. a drum, and the songs you sing come from the heart. it should not be used for "play time" or showing out time. respect yourself! women have voices too. and a lot of them have the respect, and the knowledge, and the Love it takes to lead a drum. if there were no men left desiring to drum and continue our traditions with the Love and passion and RESPECT it takes who will be left to teach? who will be left to contine? Druming and singing is not only about the voice and what you put out. You also have to listen to the others. All of them. especially your elders. that may include people only a few years older than you. i also believe in listening to the young people. because they are the ones who tell us what we are or are not teaching them. They are the ones we see OUR FUTURE OUR SURVIVAL IN.

clm 02-08-2006 07:59 PM

i have heard diffrent people say that it is good and bad im not really sure myself i have also heard people say that young children should not be drumming??

nativesweetie77 02-08-2006 11:08 PM

While I agree with the fact that drumming should be left to men, I disagree that young children should not be allowed to drum. I believe that is extremly important to teach children from an early age to respect the drum and that if young males are going to drum, the proper way to do it.How else are they going to learn but to be exposed to it first hand. My youngest son is two and has been sitting at the drum with the older boys since he was about 15 months old. He sits with the older boys both at practice and occasionally at Pow Wows. For a child so young he picked drumming up as though it was what he was born to do. He has a natural talent for it. We have been approached by both other drummers and elders who cannot believe that he is so young. He has such a love for it and I want him to learn the songs correctly as well as the ways of the drum.Where better for him to learn these things than at the drum?

suthernwaterbird 02-10-2006 03:23 PM

No kids? Wrong. Having children at the drum is the best possible thing we could do. If there is no youth, there is no future. That grandpa attracts the young ones, that's just the way it is. I have been singing since I was a baby and my little brother and many other people I have grown up with. So as long as we continue to dance and sing, there will always be children at that drum and in that circle.

WhoMe 02-10-2006 04:34 PM

Okay everyone.

It has been established that children are our future and should be allowed at the drum.


Hmmmm?


What about "little" girls sitting on their father's lap? (this is a legit question).




Anyone?????

danbear 02-10-2006 06:41 PM

Hmmm
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by WhoMe
Okay everyone.

It has been established that children are our future and should be allowed at the drum.


Hmmmm?


What about "little" girls sitting on their father's lap? (this is a legit question).




Anyone?????

i've seen this a time or two i don't know what to think about it...that's a tough issue to tackle :confused:


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