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Un-written rules of the drum

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  • Un-written rules of the drum

    It has been said on here that the old guys arent teaching the youg guys the proper etiquette at the drum. What do you all think about this? What are some of the un-written rules of conduct at the drum?

  • #2
    Re: Un-written rules of the drum

    Originally posted by DungHill
    What are some of the un-written rules of conduct at the drum?
    But that would mean we would have to write them down!



    • #3

      I am not sure what the Young People (and for that matter any age) on certain Drums are learning or where thay are learning it from - but they do need to be taught something about Drum behavior.

      And the Rules of the Drum are the kind of rules that can be written down if needed, but they should not need to be since it should be common sense how to act as a Drum and how to act around a Drum.

      All to often Drums are not behaving right in the Circle or under the Arbor.

      Here are some examples of BAD Drum behavior:

      1. Disrespect for anyone other than themselves.

      2. Using foul language.

      3. Telling inappropriate stories and or jokes.

      4. Making fun of and or insulting fellow Drums.

      5. Refusal to stand for Honor Songs, Flag Songs, Invocation, etc.

      6. Eating at the Drum as if it were a table or catch bin.

      7. For some - Smoking around the Drum.

      8. Making a total mess of the Drum area and not cleaning it up.

      AND there are many others but it basically comes down to controllig bad behavior and bad habits.


      • #4
        Re: Agreed

        Originally posted by Tom Iron Eagle

        5. Refusal to stand for Honor Songs, Flag Songs, Invocation, etc.

        What do you guys think about this? Almost everyone I've ever sung with remains seated at the drum while these songs are being sung by other drums. This, in singing with older respected singers and younger singers alike. What does everyone think?



        • #5
          Southern singers always sit.


          • #6
            What Breeze said.
            J~Dawg - the one and only!!!
            In NDN Paradise!!!


            • #7
              Telling inappropriate stories and or jokes.
              I dunno about that one. I have heard some good jokes from the drum. My dad and family are always lkaughing and singing and having a good time!!
              "Deep Thoughts" By Jack Handy

              "It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man."

              "I wish I had a dollar for every time I spent a dollar, because then, yahoo!, I'd have all my money back."


              • #8
                I think a couple of the rules need to be followed more than others if need..such as

                1.Not getting up and down from the center drum and running to see your snag

                2.Not acting up around the drum,ex. horse playing around the drum,or trying to get someones attention on the other side of the arena.

                3.Not making fun of other singers no matter how bad they sound because someone told me,"When you first sat at this drum you didnt come out singing all pretty and etc..."

                that should be enough for right now.
                :indian2: MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL, JEAN CLAUDE VAN DAMME IM FINE:muscles:

                " say what I feel, I say what I think, I say what you do not like, Yet for some reason what I say is somewhat correct" Chief Big Beef 1999


                • #9
                  Those are good points you made SBZ4life, here are a couple others that you may not hear about.

                  1. Tapping the drum during breaks and when not singing.

                  2. Eating at the drum, i was always taught this was not to be done. See it all the time now.

                  3. Rushing the beat on songs.

                  4. Starting songs too high or not high enough.

                  5. Leaning your sticks against the drum during break. This one varies depending upon were you are.

                  6. Singing the appropriate songs. In gourd dance , there is an order of songs. The same is for war dance. Slow to medium, to rockin. Its not always fast as hell right off the bat.

                  7. Paying for mistakes. Placing a dollar or two or ten on the drum when you mess up. I know several singers that would leave with a negative balance if this was required. I think the only reason they came out was to catch a dollar or two. You know the kind im talking about.

                  8. Adding those northern style beats on peoples songs. As a general rule of thumb, if you start the song you can do that. Its not always best to do that to other peoples songs especially if you dont sing with them that much. I think this is a more recent deal anyway....its aight every now and then ...but every song, give me and the dancers a break.

                  9. Singing in your dance clothes. Hmmm, happens all the time at contest powwows. I was always told you either sing or dance. A sign of changing times.

                  10. If several drums are in a line to accomodate the high volume of singers at the middle drum, dont place your chair in between the drums. It closes the circle, your backside is to sombody on the drum, and it just looks plain silly.

                  11. Beating the hell out of the drum. Do you think the dancers are deaf? Which is more important, good singing or loud drumming. If you have good singing the drumming will be were it is suppose to be. I think some singers try to compensate bad singing with loud drumming.

                  12. Dress. See many folks coming to the drum with bandannas and baggy pants hanging off. Sure this is good if youre trying to hook up with that snag but if thats the case stay out there with her. Im not saying put on your tux or sunday suit but have a little respect.

                  13. Alcohol- dont hear too much about this one anymore. Seems to go on alot at the contest powwows. I had always heard never sing after you have been drinking.

                  Well these are just a few, im sure i will think of more when i have more time.

                  Brown Hornet


                  • #10
                    I feel that if your gonna be at the drum all day its alright to eat , joke, whatever. as long as your not doing it in a way where its taking away from the powwow.

                    does any one use the rule " if your dancing, and you place, you dont get any of the drum cut."?

                    I think it makes sense. if you place in your catagory, you dont split it with anyone, and the drum may have ten singers that split up the drum pay.
                    Mens inhumanity to each other is surpassed ONLY by what women do to each other.
                    Quote: "I blame it on my youngnessness..." BTH
                    DEATH TO ALL LURKERS!!!! ME


                    • #11

                      The only eason for food on the back row was medical. Diabetes. but not at every dance. And the ladies need to be discrete about it. A male asked for food just because he was hungry. The cooks made him a hamburger. Took a frozen burger put it in the pan turned it once put it on the bun and sent it out frozen with the compliments of the cooks. He should have known better.
                      Most of the time the ladies even the diabetics take oatmeal bars and the like. But there are rare cases.


                      • #12
                        I feel that if a singer has a good teacher like a respectfull person with high honor, that singer will probably follow his lead and go by what he has been taught. If you learn by someone who is not all about " The Singing and Respect for the drum " that person will do all negatives. If yo notice things like Greed and Jealousy like I do with drums now days, thats just kills it for me. When $$$$ are involved all people around the drum are going to feel a little greed and jealousy. I turn that makes the singer do and say dumb things and therefore shows how they act the Drum. Thats just my personal opinion.
                        Live life one day at a time. Things happen for a reason.


                        • #13
                          Some Points

                          Brown Hornet you had some great points to add.

                          Here are some more things to ponder for Drums:

                          Standing for certain things can be up to the teachings of that particular group. But some respect should be shown for some things like the Flag Song and the Invocation or Prayer.

                          Powwows are to be fun and having fun and laughing is good. But I have heard Drum Groups telling very inappropriate jokes with foul language and sexual conotations - that should not be done around the Drum. Any joke in very bad taste should be avoided at the Drum.

                          Dress is a very good point. Drum Groups should at least look somewhat decent and care about the respect to the Drum itself.
                          Last edited by Tom Iron Eagle; 03-06-2003, 11:34 AM.


                          • #14
                            The powwow dont start till the afternoon mostly right? and you can eat before the powwow then, so need to eat during the time your at the drum. Maybe some water here and there. but you wont die or anything, thats what supperbreaks for.

                            There are alot of Southern singers who are taking up the northern style "dressing", to me it looks tacky for a southern drum.

                            just read Brown Hornets column, he made some REALLY great points.
                            :indian2: MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL, JEAN CLAUDE VAN DAMME IM FINE:muscles:

                            " say what I feel, I say what I think, I say what you do not like, Yet for some reason what I say is somewhat correct" Chief Big Beef 1999


                            • #15
                              I just wanted to add a couple:

                              1. Not going out to the drum during the middle of a set of songs! I've seen this done a few times. Everybody has to move around and keep time with the drum. Just wait to the end of the set, or better yet, be there on time!

                              2. Singing word songs and not knowing the meanings. The words have a lot of meaning to the tribe or individuals in which the song belongs. I can imagine how disheartening it is to hear words mis-pronounced.

                              3. Singing peoples family songs without permission. Many of these songs are on the drum. They are owned like property and those that arent shouldnt be sung unless by request. Some singers will blurt out an individuals family song just to get a few extra dollars in their pocket. One day Im expecting to see some of these singers get a surprise when the drum is stopped.

                              Just a few more



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