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  • Finally, someone said it!

    Here is an email that I received yesterday, I think it is dead on! Just wondering how many of you feel the same way.


    "Nostalgia: Indian Style



    Joseph Shunkamolah 4/18/2008



    I was wondering the other day why all of a sudden “Oldies” stations have become such big business on the radio and they have a lot of listeners, there are different types of oldies stations also: country and western, jazz, big band, rock, metal and on and on. All I have to do is tune in to an up to date radio station and it is hard to understand what that music is all about. I switch back to the “Oldies” real quick to comfort myself with the thought that there will never be any music like that again and it was way better than what is out there now. Sometimes when I’m driving a war dance song will come to me and I will start it out and second myself and if I am with one of my son’s they will second me and usually pick up the lead even if I don’t want them to. This is a comfort to me as well, as I look back on it because I know they understand the words of the songs and they will be able to sing them when they have sons of their own and they can look back and feel the comfort in the songs.

    Lately, there have been some big changes in many of our traditional dances, songs and just Indians in general. Powwows have become more of a business than the gatherings that used to bring people together to celebrate an annual event or the celebration of the songs and the dances that used to make our ancestors feel like they were still a people. Powwows were a way for Indians to remember what life used to be like before the herding together of tribes onto reservations by the government and the forced schooling and anglicizing, before we began to be acculturated into what we have now become. Don’t fool yourself we are acculturated! I look at the internet and I am amazed at the kinds of outfits that both men and women wear at powwows now, the way they have made their outfits look like dancers in a Las Vegas show with all the sequins and rhinestones, not only the women but men too. Indians have always been adaptable people but I’m not sure what we are adapting too especially in our powwows and even in ceremonies. The big powwow in Albuquerque each spring brings “Indians” from all over and is “the beginning of the powwow season” according to the organizers, who by the way are not Indians themselves and the “great Native Oklahoma gathering” in Oklahoma City both of which do not benefit Indians but only show them off to anyone with the price of admission. Money has become the Pavlov’s dinner bell for many of our Indian people and many of them have lost the teachings, if they ever knew them, of our elders. I do not go to many powwows much anymore because I do not like to see what they have changed in to; the truth is they are not much fun anymore, watching contest after contest.

    In many places there is no longer anything called a benefit dance, or an honor dance; if you don’t have contests you don’t have a powwow, even some of our ceremonial dances have changed in the past few years. I have witnessed some of those changes in our ceremonial dances in the past few years as well, I used to go back to them just to get that old feeling again looking for that good path and renewing the spirit, but we are starting to lose that as well. I remember hearing some of the old men say that when you hear a certain song memories from the old folks come back and it brings tears to your eyes and you get a lump in your throat you are remembering those people and that spirit, that’s what these dances are about. It is getting down right difficult to hear those old songs at powwows and it’s getting hard to hear them at some of our ceremonial dances as well. In some places what people don’t know they tend to make up and pretty soon those made up things become tradition, things stop being traditions when you stop doing them and they can not be made up to suit the situation. I miss those times and wish we could have them back, Nostalgia.

    I guess we have to switch back to the “Oldies” when we can, the new stuff doesn’t make sense. I wish I could say how to do that but it is not up to the older people like it used to be, we have so many young people that have for one reason or another put themselves into a position of knowing about the old ways and want to dictate what should be done. This is another argument for assimilation, a word that used to scare us older people to death, but has now become the norm. I recently saw an article written by an Indian anthropologist that listed modern Indian people as being “Traditional”, a person that knows and practices tribal ceremonies and speaks the language through five degrees to “Assimilated”, a person that shows up at ceremonies with a camera and several white friends. When this was presented younger people took it badly and disagreed vehemently, even to the point of telling this elder person that he did not know what he was talking about, so much for respecting your elders."

  • #2
    Amen Brother Buster!! I totally agree with every word you said.

    And if you do try to tell the younger generation about why you dress a certain way or dance a certain way they get butt hurt. And then you offend their folks, who should have told them in the first place.

    I wanna go back to the Oldies and that's why they call them "Golden Odies". I was lucky to experience a time when powwows were in their "Golden Age"...awesome! Great singing and great dancing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Good post. I could do without all the contest powwows that are held today.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow good post
        ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
        Till I Die!

        Comment


        • #5
          Yep good post.

          My son is young and he likes the old ways better then the new stuff. He goes and asks his uncles or male cousins before he does something, just to make sure that it's the way that it should be. He doesn't just do what all his friends his age do at pow wow's. He has watched many of his friends combine their outfits and just throw things together, my son wants to do his the way that it was and is supposed to be--for him.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sure glad to know that I am not the only one that agrees with this. Sure wish more folks did. I hope to hear from more people - get their view on the subject.

            Thanks again for the responses.....thank goodness old school is alive and well!

            Comment


            • #7
              interesting post. I don't really go to the big powwows....and I don't have any 2 cents to add. But it was good.
              sigpic This is how I dance when your standing next to me...

              "Cry 'Havoc' and let slip the Dogs of War..."

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah I don't go to the big pow wows either. I think something gets lost when they are all about the show. Of course, I ran into someone yesterday asking if I was dancing this year....I felt all bad b/c peeps remember how much I used to dance and HAVEN'T in so long!!! It's weird how things change. It does make me feel good though when they tell me they miss seeing me dance, makes me feel like I did okay and people thought nice things about me. :)

                I like the little pow wows.



                Mussy by birth.....Native by the Grace of God.......


                Comment


                • #9
                  We like the little pow-wows and dances too. But even those are changing, with all the colors and bling. Lots of politics going on as well. I prefer the smaller dances - love the benefits - but also enjoy the larger dances. Don't think we will be straying too far from home this year though....can't afford the gas.........

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CandaePrincess View Post
                    Yeah I don't go to the big pow wows either. I think something gets lost when they are all about the show. Of course, I ran into someone yesterday asking if I was dancing this year....I felt all bad b/c peeps remember how much I used to dance and HAVEN'T in so long!!! It's weird how things change. It does make me feel good though when they tell me they miss seeing me dance, makes me feel like I did okay and people thought nice things about me. :)

                    I like the little pow wows.
                    Soooooo....
                    When are you going to dance again???
                    ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
                    Till I Die!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CandaePrincess View Post
                      ... I ran into someone yesterday asking if I was dancing this year....I felt all bad b/c peeps remember how much I used to dance and HAVEN'T in so long!!! It's weird how things change. It does make me feel good though when they tell me they miss seeing me dance...

                      Candae Cane,

                      Are you talking about powwow dancin or pole dancin?????


                      *L
                      Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Josiah......I'll let you all know when I do.


                        Who........that was too burnt up for words. It did make me crack up though.



                        Mussy by birth.....Native by the Grace of God.......


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CandaePrincess View Post
                          Josiah......I'll let you all know when I do.
                          Fair enough...
                          You know we would be there in a heartbeat!
                          ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
                          Till I Die!

                          Comment

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