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southern ladies shaking rattles?

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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; 06-05-2002, 11:48 PM.

  • #2

    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.


    • #3
      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.


      • #4

        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.


        • #5
          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.


          • #6
            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.


            • #7

              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.


              • #8
                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.


                • #9
                  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.


                  • #10
                    :D :D :D Anyone see the ever famous men's traditional dancer wearing a GODSEYE?!?!:p :p :p LAMENESS....ferreal....
                    tuck & roll


                    • #11
                      Rattles??? I'd like to shake some of the idiots until their teeth rattle!!!!!!!:Eyebrows


                      • #12

                        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.


                        • #13
                          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. :)


                          • #14
                            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.


                            • #15
                              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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