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    When I was young the FFD's would whistle at the beginning of a song. One of their whip sticks was a whistle. Is this the same as whistling a song up north? Is this why people rarely do it anymore. At Copan this year during the old skool fancy they whistled the song and brought back some good memories!
    So is whistling a song for a fancy dancer allowable? Does it have the same meanings?

  • #2
    Originally posted by tribaltagz View Post
    When I was young the FFD's would whistle at the beginning of a song. One of their whip sticks was a whistle. Is this the same as whistling a song up north? Is this why people rarely do it anymore. At Copan this year during the old skool fancy they whistled the song and brought back some good memories!
    So is whistling a song for a fancy dancer allowable? Does it have the same meanings?
    Whistling up here it typically done at the second half of the fourth pushup, the dancer dances towards the drum and then blows over the drum (or as close as they can get) right as the song nears the end of the pushup. Depending on the traditions of the dancer, or of the drum, or of the host tribe or organization, it may be calling for one more pushup or 4 more. Typically they will blow it 4 times, getting an additional four pushups. up north, typically, only those who have the status of "whistle carrier" (varies from tribe to tribe how, who, and why), can blow as whistle. At large powwows or contest powwows there are usually restrictions on whistle blowing. I actually can't remember the last time I saw a fancy dancer whistle up a drum (that doesn't mean it hasn't happened, just don't remember). up in my part of the north, whistle carriers are usually traditional dancers or grass dancers.

    Almost universally, whistle blowing during a contest is a big no-no.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Iowa_Boy View Post
      Whistling up here it typically done at the second half of the fourth pushup, the dancer dances towards the drum and then blows over the drum (or as close as they can get) right as the song nears the end of the pushup. Depending on the traditions of the dancer, or of the drum, or of the host tribe or organization, it may be calling for one more pushup or 4 more. Typically they will blow it 4 times, getting an additional four pushups. up north, typically, only those who have the status of "whistle carrier" (varies from tribe to tribe how, who, and why), can blow as whistle. At large powwows or contest powwows there are usually restrictions on whistle blowing. I actually can't remember the last time I saw a fancy dancer whistle up a drum (that doesn't mean it hasn't happened, just don't remember). up in my part of the north, whistle carriers are usually traditional dancers or grass dancers.

      Almost universally, whistle blowing during a contest is a big no-no.
      I'll Take it a step further,.
      You should never whistle a drum unless you have the right to. If you have to ask if you have the right, you dont.
      In many places, if you whistle a drum, expect to be ready to explain the whistle, why, how, for what reason. You had better had a discussion with the AD b4 hand. In sum places you will be expected to speak, not to mention, paying for the $ong.
      "Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is." JW

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank You Iowa

        I really appreciate the quick response.
        Here in Oklahoma when I was young the only time I heard whistles was during fancy and it was when the song was first starting, the dancers would blow on their whipstick/whistles as they were dancing. I know that "whistling up a drum" is very big stuff and not done by just anyone. Thank you for the clarification. Does anyone else remember the old skool fancy dudes and their tin whistles? Anyone know if it's the same as whistling up a drum or is it done for different reasons?
        While we're on the subject of memory lane..... what else do people remember about fancy dancers that isn't done any more??? What should our Old skool guys out there bring back? I think feather crests will be coming back in a big way! They're awesome! What about bustle styles? knee bustles?

        BTW I just want to clarify. I'm not a fancy dancer, straight dancer here now and always but love reading this thread! Just heard something from teh past and thought this would be a good place to ask about it. Not planning on busting out a whistle or anything!
        Last edited by tribaltagz; 06-08-2009, 04:24 PM. Reason: clarification

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by lostsalt View Post
          I'll Take it a step further,.
          You should never whistle a drum unless you have the right to. If you have to ask if you have the right, you dont.
          In many places, if you whistle a drum, expect to be ready to explain the whistle, why, how, for what reason. You had better had a discussion with the AD b4 hand. In sum places you will be expected to speak, not to mention, paying for the $ong.
          Which is why, even though I was given some bone whistles, I've never carried them.

          This is a horrid metaphor, but I am a football official. If you're going to throw a flag, you'd better know the rule, the application, who committed the infraction, why it occurred, the enforcement, etc... AND be willing to explain it on a Head Coach's sideline, amid a torrent of "boos," because you're right and you KNOW that you are doing it correctly.

          If you do not have THAT level of certainty...

          So, no whistles for me.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tribaltagz View Post
            I really appreciate the quick response.
            Here in Oklahoma when I was young the only time I heard whistles was during fancy and it was when the song was first starting, the dancers would blow on their whipstick/whistles as they were dancing. I know that "whistling up a drum" is very big stuff and not done by just anyone. Thank you for the clarification. Does anyone else remember the old skool fancy dudes and their tin whistles? Anyone know if it's the same as whistling up a drum or is it done for different reasons?
            While we're on the subject of memory lane..... what else do people remember about fancy dancers that isn't done any more??? What should our Old skool guys out there bring back? I think feather crests will be coming back in a big way! They're awesome! What about bustle styles? knee bustles?

            BTW I just want to clarify. I'm not a fancy dancer, straight dancer here now and always but love reading this thread! Just heard something from teh past and thought this would be a good place to ask about it. Not planning on busting out a whistle or anything!
            Zekes right -on.
            To answer the other part of your question...
            No Whistling up a drum and the whistling our Founding Fathers of Fancy Feather dancing did are and where different. As Iowaboy stated , they occur at different segments of the song. And they are done for different reasons.
            "Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is." JW

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks

              Just wanna say thanks to the three of you for answering. BTW I've enjoyed reading the posts from all you guys! Keep it up!

              Reading the tutorial on arm bustles makes me wanna go out and make one now!

              Does anyone know the origins of the tin whistles for fancy feather way back in the day? Used to everyone did it. Now I hardly ever hear it anymore.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tribaltagz View Post
                Just wanna say thanks to the three of you for answering. BTW I've enjoyed reading the posts from all you guys! Keep it up!

                Reading the tutorial on arm bustles makes me wanna go out and make one now!

                Does anyone know the origins of the tin whistles for fancy feather way back in the day? Used to everyone did it. Now I hardly ever hear it anymore.
                Tin whistles were considered "different" from bone or bird effigy whistles in the 60s/70s, they were simply hand objects. Then there were, at various places at various times in the 80s/90s, a re-awakening of whistle traditions. Now those types of tin whistles aren't seen, because people only know of the bone/bird whistles, they are not aware of the past traditions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tribaltagz View Post
                  I really appreciate the quick response.
                  Here in Oklahoma when I was young the only time I heard whistles was during fancy and it was when the song was first starting, the dancers would blow on their whipstick/whistles as they were dancing. I know that "whistling up a drum" is very big stuff and not done by just anyone. Thank you for the clarification. Does anyone else remember the old skool fancy dudes and their tin whistles? Anyone know if it's the same as whistling up a drum or is it done for different reasons?
                  While we're on the subject of memory lane..... what else do people remember about fancy dancers that isn't done any more??? What should our Old skool guys out there bring back? I think feather crests will be coming back in a big way! They're awesome! What about bustle styles? knee bustles?

                  BTW I just want to clarify. I'm not a fancy dancer, straight dancer here now and always but love reading this thread! Just heard something from teh past and thought this would be a good place to ask about it. Not planning on busting out a whistle or anything!
                  I remember when Fancy Dancers use to blow whistles too. in fact i still have one that was given to me when i was alot younger. lol It wasn't blown directly on the drum as to what is done up north. Part of the purpose of blowing a whistle was to catch the attention of judges, many of the dancers had their own little tune they would blow.

                  One thing I remember is when alot of fancy dancers would wear knee pads whle dancing. lol Alot the dance arenas would have rocks or was not the well groomed arenas we have around today and they wore them to protect their knees. I remember seeing guys bleeding from doing some kind of trick move on one of their knees....

                  Another thing I remember is when guys would paint their legs. They style of shorts back in those days were pretty short and many wore tiny aprons, so they would wear pant on their side of their thighs.
                  Last edited by ndnsooner; 06-08-2009, 05:56 PM.
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                  • #10
                    Lol omg!

                    Leg painting! I remember that too! and the ultra keen tube sox with the bands of color that matched your outfit.

                    I kinda miss the fancy dancers whistling. I always loved that sound. It reminded me of the sound young eagles make when they're playing. Maybe it will come back again. I did hear it at Copan for teh Old Skool special maybe it will catch on in contemp too.
                    Last edited by tribaltagz; 06-08-2009, 05:50 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      way back

                      As a young man, my family moved to Los Angeles in the late 1950's as part of the federal Indian relocation program. In LA, the powwows were small gatherings, usually in a National Guard Armory on a Saturday evening. Back then, there were only the fast and slow war dances. All of the dancers wore feathers, arm bustles, back bustles, tail bustles, roach and roach feather, etc. They did a lot of dancing, fast and slow. Now and then there would be a special dance, like the hoop dance, or schield dance (I have not seen that doen it years), Eagle dance, and round dance. Round dancers usually did not hold hands like they do today. They danced individually. Usually, there was one drum. There were no vendors, except for a food stand of frybread, coffee, packaged goodies, like corn chips, and soft drinks. I don't remember any contest dancing or powwows back then. As a young guy, I did a lot of hoop dancing, so that was my thing at the LA powwows. I live back East now, but I hope some day, I will return to LA to visit a powwow.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fast Buck View Post
                        As a young man, my family moved to Los Angeles in the late 1950's as part of the federal Indian relocation program. In LA, the powwows were small gatherings, usually in a National Guard Armory on a Saturday evening. Back then, there were only the fast and slow war dances. All of the dancers wore feathers, arm bustles, back bustles, tail bustles, roach and roach feather, etc. They did a lot of dancing, fast and slow. Now and then there would be a special dance, like the hoop dance, or schield dance (I have not seen that doen it years), Eagle dance, and round dance. Round dancers usually did not hold hands like they do today. They danced individually. Usually, there was one drum. There were no vendors, except for a food stand of frybread, coffee, packaged goodies, like corn chips, and soft drinks. I don't remember any contest dancing or powwows back then. As a young guy, I did a lot of hoop dancing, so that was my thing at the LA powwows. I live back East now, but I hope some day, I will return to LA to visit a powwow.
                        Did you ever meet Pete Looking Horse? He was out in the LA area during the time on relocation as well. He was a singing mentor of mine.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Southern Fancy War dancers used the tin whistles, also some dancers would use hollowed out wood or PVC pipe made into a whistle. They would blow the whistle to add effect to their dancing at a certain point of a song. Just as Northern Traditional dancers would include war whoops during their dance.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tribaltagz View Post
                            I really appreciate the quick response.
                            Here in Oklahoma when I was young the only time I heard whistles was during fancy and it was when the song was first starting, the dancers would blow on their whipstick/whistles as they were dancing. I know that "whistling up a drum" is very big stuff and not done by just anyone. Thank you for the clarification. Does anyone else remember the old skool fancy dudes and their tin whistles? Anyone know if it's the same as whistling up a drum or is it done for different reasons?
                            While we're on the subject of memory lane..... what else do people remember about fancy dancers that isn't done any more??? What should our Old skool guys out there bring back? I think feather crests will be coming back in a big way! They're awesome! What about bustle styles? knee bustles?

                            BTW I just want to clarify. I'm not a fancy dancer, straight dancer here now and always but love reading this thread! Just heard something from teh past and thought this would be a good place to ask about it. Not planning on busting out a whistle or anything!

                            I recall whistle-blowers in DC at the NMAI Pow Wow a few years back when Yellowhammer was Host Southern. Seems like I remember 2 or more being fancy dancers.
                            To get a true picture of your purpose in life, you only get the whole picture when you listen with your mind, your ears and your heart. This way The Creator has a direct connection with you and only you...no outside interference.

                            When you follow the will of IT that created you, understanding that your purpose is not for you...but for IT and all that IT has created, there can be no wrong except failure to be obedient. Only then do we jeopardize the gifts we are given.

                            Its not the final destination that defines us, rather the journey taken!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LSS View Post
                              I recall whistle-blowers in DC at the NMAI Pow Wow a few years back when Yellowhammer was Host Southern. Seems like I remember 2 or more being fancy dancers.
                              They just happen to be fancy dancers (I believe). People who have been "given the right" to whistle do not necessarily have to be a traditional dancer.

                              LSS i think what you saw was whistling up a drum. General done by Traditsh/Grass guys, but not exculsively.
                              In my opinion.
                              "Now remember, things look bad and it looks like you're not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That's just the way it is." JW

                              Comment

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