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  • New Drum Introduction

    I know a guy who has recently put together a new drum. He seems to feel compelled to do something special to bring the drum into the circle the first time that is it used. He is non-native so he has no tribal tradition, custom, ceremony to fall back on. Nor does he, I believe, have any or many native guides to help him with doing the right thing. But even so he feels that something should be done. What he is considering is to sing the drum into and around the circle. He is wanting me to help with this, but I'm just not sure where I stand on it. I believe it is important to honor and respect the drum, but it's equally important to treat the native culture that we try to share with respect and this feels to me like he's making something up here.

    I'd appeciate any advice either here or in PM.

    Thanks!
    "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."

  • #2
    Originally posted by hobbs49 View Post
    I know a guy who has recently put together a new drum. He seems to feel compelled to do something special to bring the drum into the circle the first time that is it used. He is non-native so he has no tribal tradition, custom, ceremony to fall back on. Nor does he, I believe, have any or many native guides to help him with doing the right thing. But even so he feels that something should be done. What he is considering is to sing the drum into and around the circle. He is wanting me to help with this, but I'm just not sure where I stand on it. I believe it is important to honor and respect the drum, but it's equally important to treat the native culture that we try to share with respect and this feels to me like he's making something up here.

    I'd appeciate any advice either here or in PM.

    Thanks!
    Umm....looks to me like he's making something up too....just an opinion....

    He's a non-native guy...who started a drum group...and now he's making up a ceremony to bring himself into the circle....

    I'd instruct him to sit outside the circle and WATCH for 20 years until maybe he really learns something.....

    Noodlz
    Underneath all this genius I'm just a human being.....but I'm working on that.....

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    • #3
      I say paddy wagon!
      There are 2 types of people in the world...
      Really stupid people who think they are smart
      and
      Really smart people who think they are smart.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hobbs,

        In the true southern way, some tribes pay their way to have a seat at the big drum.

        Think he's done that?
        Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

        Comment


        • #5
          Wow, this is an interesting topic...

          In true southern protocal... there are no "drum groups" only a center drum lead by a head singer, and if you want to join in, you haul your chair and stick out there and pay the head singer for the opportunity to sit... it is up to them whether they except that or not.

          Over the past few decades you have seen a birth of the southern drum group... a completely different situation where protocol is still followed, but now a head singer now chooses his singers that travel with him and hits the road.

          We have run across a few situations with our own drum that I will share... on our drum we have two types of singers... our full timers and our non-full timers (who will sing with us here and there, but have not been asked to sit full time... they are allowed to sing if they have asked permission from the lead, but may also be turned down.) Our full timers are asked to join us as a singer by the full group and only after they have "proven" (not so sure I like that word in this case, but its as close as I can say) themselves and been unanimously approved by the rest of the full timers... yes we are more democratic than most would be... as the lead of the drum, I realize that I could solely make all the decisions, but I don't work that way... our drum is a family, and I don't want to bring anyone in that everyone doesn't feel comfortable with...

          When our group sing its first pow wow a year ago, we approcahed the committee of the pow wow for permission to run a give away and paid our way into the circle. We didn't do this as a way to show off or any such thing... as for your friends idea of drumming his way into the circle... as a singer I would be like "what the [email protected]?" Singers are suppossed to be humble... making a show of anything we do should be avoided in my opinion. But we gave to the community as a way of showing our appreciation for accepting us... and not just a little, we gave all we could... that is just what should be done... I remember my friend telling me what it was like when he brought his daughter on to the floor for the first time back home in OK... and he did it the right way with a give away and it was respected. He did it not as a show, but because it was what was appropriate.

          I would tell your friend to ask other head singers what they have done under the same circumstances, and listen carefully if they feel fit to answer his questions, also, if they help him out he should also give something to them for their help.

          All too often, we seem to get away from our ways by not giving when we should. I see a lot of groups out there today that I know for a fact have not gone about things the right way to give to their communities in situations when they should... especially with your friend being from outside the community, his way will be hard enough, only made tougher if he doesn't go about things the right way...

          I hope this helps your friend, but is only one man's opinion...

          Paselo~
          I became a singer because I love to sing... and to feed my addiction to cough drops!

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          • #6
            I first want to thank everyone for thier inputs. It is very appreciated. I think that I didn't choose my words well. My reference to the "drum" was meant to address the instrument, not the collective of instrument and singers. I think that WhoMe did something once with powwow terms, the word "drum" is certainly one of those that can have multiple meanings. However, I do think that the advice that has been given both publicly and privately still applies. Also this drum is actually a replacement for one that was no longer suitable to use.

            My friend and I spoke this morning. We sat at his new drum and talked about his goals and ideas for introducing the drum into the circle. We talked about what has been said here as well as other more private discussions which I've had. I also reflected on some of my own experiences.

            The bottom line is that there has been no public display, no show-y-ness, no boasting, no "look at me" or "look at us." And I don't believe that there be any longer.

            Again, I appreciate the input of my firends here as it helped me a lot. I believe that while my friend is unsure if he is on the right road, I am sure that he is on a better one.

            Thanks everyone! And as RedShield said, this is an interesting topic and I'll certainly be looking for more thoughts, ideas and opinions as the discussion continues.
            "It doesn't really matter, they don't know any better anyway."

            Comment


            • #7
              hello,

              just thought i'd say a few words; one way to bring in a new drum, just drum not group. would to set the drum up and ask a respected elder to pray over your new "grandpa" and maybe even smudge off the drum and the group. i know that most drum groups and drum makers do this already when making the drum but just a thought to do it before you sing on it for the first time before the powwow.

              now as far as a singer, my grandpa took me to the head singer and gave a monitary donation aswell as some smokes. asked if it would be ok for me to be out there. he said yes and the head singer told me to sit next to him. it was great he told me alot of things and spoke to me practically the whole night just telling me things. the next day i was running a little late so my grandpa told me to go give the A.D. some tabacco and explain to him why i was late. so the AD. told me to go get my chair and sit infront of the speaker stand. it seamed like i was sitting there for an hour, but finnally the set was over and the A.D. went to the head singer and told him i wished to join them he said yes and then the A.D. came and grabed my chair. i walked out towards the drum and the A.D. asked where he wanted me and he pointed straight across the 4 drums and said there. so the A.D. put my chair down and told me to go shake hands with everyone else and i did.

              geez that took forever, but just thought i'd share my experiance with my fellow singers.

              i wonder if there is another topic for first drum experiances, i think that woulod be a good topic, especially about all the etiqutte that goes into southern singing, theres alot to learn and even more i still dont know and think it would be good for even younger singers to read about those experiances we have all shared.

              so if theres not another topic about that;

              What's Your First Singing Experiance?
              "Most of you dont like me, All of you dont have to. But from the bottom of my heart, Thanks for noticing me!"-Nashoba Simmons

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