Sumo

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

standing for a verse in the northwest

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • standing for a verse in the northwest

    In the pacific northwest there is a practice of standing for a verse during dance contests. This is usually in the traditional categories.

    Now my thoughts on this practice:

    I believe that this practice had it's beginning in the not so distant past when the style of drumming changed, from having a single central big drum, to having many drum groups. I can recall there was a big drum used during what was then locally called "war dances" (in the 1960's).

    The practice then was that a Head singer would pass out the drum sticks to a known singer for a set of songs, similar to what the stick man's duty is at Round dances.

    Singers would then join him at the drum.
    while the singer would choose his song, the other drummers would follow along tapping softly on the drum, until they all "caught the song". When the lead singer was confident that every one had it, he would stike the drum hard and start the lead. At this time the whipman motioned to the dancers to start dancing.

    Now today this is used as a part of a "traditional" protocal.

    As an emcee, i try to have dancers start from the beginning of a song in order to make the judging fair to all dancers. Had the Drumming still been done as it was in the past, i would not have a qualm with this "observance". However the drum groups have thier songs all ready. There is no need to get everyone on the same page.

    just food for thought any other views?
    Last edited by SpeakingOwl; 01-26-2009, 05:58 PM.

  • #2
    I was always taught to not start contest dancing until the "second" was sung, the repeat of the lead line at the beginning, that's obviously not as long as a whole verse. I was told that gave the dancer (like the other singers at the drum) a chance to hear what song was being sung. Nowadays dancers start competing before the song even starts!!!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Honestly, I remember back around the early 90's seeing this practice start kicking up. I remember hearing some folks telling their kids and grandkids a couple of different reasons. One was that this verse was for the people who have passed on (I guess kind of like pouring out a little bit of you drink for your dead homies), or for those who can no longer dance.

      This absolutely is something new, at least within the last 20 years easily.
      It is so sad that a family can torn apart by something as simple as a wild pack of dogs.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've heard the same thing, also, that this Kneegrow guy speaks of...

        Also, I've been told that this is a reflection of the manner of dance performed within the Washat longhouses, or Seven Drum religion.

        Also, I've been told that this was adopted. The person in charge of being the arena director would stand on the floor at the start of a song. If the arena director felt the song that the drum was singing was appropriate for the dancers or kind of dance that had been requested, he would give the "high sign" so to speak and dancers would then begin in with the song. This then evolved into arena directors only giving a "high sign" for contest dancing once dancers and judges were in place, and subsequently dancers waiting for the first verse to be sung through or whatever..


        *L

        ...that's so true....so, so true...

        Comment


        • #5
          I have seen this in a few videos before, like this one...

          YouTube - Powwow: Duck and Dive
          www.myspace.com/anishtradish

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ntownn8ive View Post
            Also, I've been told that this was adopted. The person in charge of being the arena director would stand on the floor at the start of a song. If the arena director felt the song that the drum was singing was appropriate for the dancers or kind of dance that had been requested, he would give the "high sign" so to speak and dancers would then begin in with the song. This then evolved into arena directors only giving a "high sign" for contest dancing once dancers and judges were in place, and subsequently dancers waiting for the first verse to be sung through or whatever..


            *L
            I have been to at least a few pow-wows in my lifetime where the drum started off a song that was not appropriate for the dancers on the arena floor and they all just stood there shrugging their shoulders looking oddly at the drum wondering what they heck they were doing. Both times I saw this the drum just quit drumming. Although I don't remember exactly where this happened because it was years ago.
            It is so sad that a family can torn apart by something as simple as a wild pack of dogs.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ntownn8ive View Post
              Also, I've been told that this is a reflection of the manner of dance performed within the Washat longhouses, or Seven Drum religion.
              I wonder how that fits into the Waashat? I don't think so..... or maybe the ones that wait for the second verse are usually from the Tribes that participate in the Longhouse or Waashat way of life? Plateau Tribes......

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by kneegrow_native View Post
                I have been to at least a few pow-wows in my lifetime where the drum started off a song that was not appropriate for the dancers on the arena floor and they all just stood there shrugging their shoulders looking oddly at the drum wondering what they heck they were doing. Both times I saw this the drum just quit drumming. Although I don't remember exactly where this happened because it was years ago.
                Yeah, them dancers can be real jerks sometimes, ayeZ!

                Juss kiddin', don't no one be gettin' all butt hurt, geez...

                ...that's so true....so, so true...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kakeeya View Post
                  I wonder how that fits into the Waashat? I don't think so..... or maybe the ones that wait for the second verse are usually from the Tribes that participate in the Longhouse or Waashat way of life? Plateau Tribes......
                  That's basically what I'm tryna say there buddy... And yes, the majority of those dancers that wait for the second verse, are most likely from, or raised in the longhouse way.

                  I type chyt all funny n e wayz, but that was the gist.

                  ...that's so true....so, so true...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ntownn8ive View Post
                    I type chyt all funny n e wayz, but that was the gist.

                    Me understand u now....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kakeeya View Post
                      Me understand u now....
                      It's okay, a lot of us don't understand him either. It's like talking to Nell in the movie Nell, ya kinda need a translator.
                      It is so sad that a family can torn apart by something as simple as a wild pack of dogs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kneegrow_native View Post
                        It's okay, a lot of us don't understand him either. It's like talking to Nell in the movie Nell, ya kinda need a translator.
                        I like how in Robin Hood Men In Tights, when the sheriff gets all pissed and effs up all his words!

                        Yeah, kneegrow kinda talks like that...but I mean its normal for him, so its okay.




                        ...that's so true....so, so true...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The thought that seems to carry the day, in this day and age, is that there is a sanctity of the dances used in todays powwows. There may be a sacredness in the original meanings, but for the majority of contests, the standard "intertribal" is used.
                          These were to celebrate victories and preparation for war for the most part. But when the veterans are honoured at powwows, every one finds this boring and an interruption to thier event. There are many of our young who are now being called to war - this is perhaps that we can show them a respectful tribute. However for the most part that is an unwelcome intrusion into the contesting.
                          Whose dances are they? The Warriors who first were the impetus for many of these dances, the competitors who are out to make a buck? Or is it all for those who think that the powwow circle is a religion because they do not participate in their tribal faiths?
                          So I think that those that act as if competition dancing is a subsitute for establishing thier ""indianness" and look to the powwow as a quasi-sacred event are misplacing thier faith. there are religious activities in all tribes that are being forgotten.
                          The one verse standing is not a tribute to some vague religious observance it is misunderstood by those who are putting too much into a simple thing of "finding the song".

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SpeakingOwl View Post
                            The thought that seems to carry the day, in this day and age, is that there is a sanctity of the dances used in todays powwows. There may be a sacredness in the original meanings, but for the majority of contests, the standard "intertribal" is used.
                            These were to celebrate victories and preparation for war for the most part. But when the veterans are honoured at powwows, every one finds this boring and an interruption to thier event. There are many of our young who are now being called to war - this is perhaps that we can show them a respectful tribute. However for the most part that is an unwelcome intrusion into the contesting.
                            Whose dances are they? The Warriors who first were the impetus for many of these dances, the competitors who are out to make a buck? Or is it all for those who think that the powwow circle is a religion because they do not participate in their tribal faiths?
                            So I think that those that act as if competition dancing is a subsitute for establishing thier ""indianness" and look to the powwow as a quasi-sacred event are misplacing thier faith. there are religious activities in all tribes that are being forgotten.
                            The one verse standing is not a tribute to some vague religious observance it is misunderstood by those who are putting too much into a simple thing of "finding the song".
                            So...are you saying that there is no "sacredness" left in the dances, regalia, and items used in our intertribal dancing? In reading I can't quite be sure what you mean.

                            Secondly, not everyone disregards the honoring of veterans, as you say. And to date, I can't think of one powwow that I've been to, that this has been the case, as you state.

                            I also have a hard time believing that competition dancing is some sort of motive for filling a void from a lack of traditional cultural/spiritual-ness. That's an awful bold statement about a lot of folks, of whom I am certain, you do not know about fully in all aspects of their lives.

                            For example, if a person did in fact participate in traditional ceremony and practices, in what light would you look at them if they were out there at powwows and social events and online boasting publicly about these ways they take part in? What I'm saying is, that it is not a virtue to "brag" about traditional ceremonial practices, so how would one know what these "competition dancers" are and aren't participating in?

                            And as far as your last comment, if you were going to give us the answer to your question, then why did you ask it in the first place!

                            ...that's so true....so, so true...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The point that i state is to those who, come onto the dance floor and treat the powwow as a church where they find it the place to pray for this or that.
                              I feel that there is places within all of our native communities that offer that help which is sought. Waashat, shake, Smokehouse, Medicine dance and others here in the NW. The same in other parts of indian country. For example tent shaking, sundance, yeibechee and all other tribal faiths.
                              And where todays powwows are based on the premise of competition, the ritual nature of what these dances meant in the past is set aside.

                              Comment

                              Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

                              Related Topics

                              Collapse

                              • LSS
                                Some good advice passed along to you...
                                by LSS
                                I was sitting here embarking on some new, positive changes in my life...and I began to think about some words that were passed along to me from one of my mentors that was passed to him by one of those Ponca guys.

                                My mentor had asked about singing behind northern drums in rotation for...
                                05-01-2009, 01:13 PM
                              • osagesooner
                                rolling of the drum
                                by osagesooner
                                I'm just curious on what everybody else's views on how to dance on the ruffle/ceremonial songs when the singers roll the drum.

                                Reason I'm asking is, I've seen straight dancers act like it was sneak up and get down on one knee.

                                I've seen straight dancers try dance real...
                                03-07-2007, 01:39 PM
                              • chazbot
                                Dancing when the drum stops
                                by chazbot
                                Just wondering if any of you out there could answer a question.

                                When the song has a tail after the third pushup, and the drumming stops, but the singers continue singing, should the dancers stop and wait for the drum or continue dancing.

                                I've never noticed this type of...
                                01-11-2002, 04:00 PM
                              • WhoMe
                                Question on Southern Singing
                                by WhoMe
                                I was judging a southern drum and saw a drum pass the leads four times to four different singers. To me, passing leads is not a part of southern singing. As a result, I gave no points for the Lead.

                                This drum is a good drum! But to me, multiple leads in the same song is NOT a part of southern...
                                08-05-2005, 04:08 PM
                              • tribaltagz
                                whistles
                                by tribaltagz
                                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!...
                                06-08-2009, 02:46 PM

                              Trending

                              Collapse

                              Sidebar Ad

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X