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Female Drum Groups

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  • Female Drum Groups

    here in MI there are not female druk groups. i know they do exsist, i heard there are some in the west coast. does anyone know of any female drum groups?

    If you lose the drum beat of the creator, you are lost in life - Aanishnabe

    You say I don't look indian? Well you don't look stupid, but looks can be deceiving!

  • #2
    I have personally never heard of all girl drum groups, but I know there are several groups that have or have had female singers such as:

    1) Red Bull
    2) Cathedral Lakes
    3) Little Boy (I think)

    These are northern groups that I have heard of having female singers.

    Anyone else??

    [This message has been edited by Smokin' Ace (edited March 05, 2001).]
    Everything is gonna be alright!

    Be blessed - got love???

    This b me.....


    • #3
      A few years ago, I moved out to Vancouver, B.C. Every powwow I went to had about 20 drums at each, with half of these drums being all women or mixed. This was the only area I've seen first hand, all women drums. When I asked about the reasoning behind it, I was told that the women simply felt they had every right to sing on the bigdrum as men. So in essence, they are breaking tradition. Is it right or wrong? Even I'm not sure, all I know is the way I was taught, the bigdrum is for men but as a man, I am no better then any other human. Traditions are not constant but ever changing, and even moreso in present day society.


      • #4
        hi n8tive,
        there's one pw on long island that i go to that always has one all female drum named Mothers of Nations. I think they may have changed their name though. someone help me out.
        there's also the Mankillers out of california:
        that's all i know of now.



        • #5
          The only all women drum I've heard of is Mankillers.


          • #6
            Well I honestly don't know too much about all women groups. But what I do know is our traditions where I'm from says that the drum is for women only, but that's an Ojibway tradition. On the other hand, I know that in the Midewin Society that woman can handle drums to sing the ceremony songs. I know of a few groups that have had women singers on them, but not all women. As noted already before,

            Cathedral Lakes
            Little Boy
            and also:
            Black Lodge
            Kicking Woman

            I'm not sure of the first two if it's in their traditions or not, but the last two I know are a part of the Blackfoot tribe and I do believe that they allow women to sit down at the drum. I really don't believe it's wrong if you've always followed those teachings, but if you're just all of a sudden saying that you're gonna start an all women group, I think the people starting the group should touch up on the teachings of their tribe.



            • #7
              I have never seen a women sit on a drum in Cree country unless it was a drum from B.C.
              At the 1996 Poundmakers pow-wow, a drum of women from B.C set up a drum and everytime they sang a contest song, the dancers just stood there looking at them with disgust, and they were asked to stop and another drum sang contest, rightfully so as they were terrible.
              There were many rude and unflattering comments made about them amd that was primarily because they were sitting on the drum instead of behind it and that they were terrible singers.
              The previous post about mixed drums in B.C. is true and it is something I do not like but pow-wow here is like many places, adopted and imtit, poorly in many cases, traditions are not taught or earned because so many here want and use it as their supposed healing.
              They do not listen to those who know..myself personally I do not dance if the mixed or womens drum is poor and even if they are sounding good I do not partically enjoy dancing to them. Here there are so many groups that all sing the same ole songs that everytime a new drum appears, they sing the same songs as they all learn from each other.
              They sing no words songs because they cannot speak or understand the language so consequesntly if they sing a word song they butcher it...unlike the big drums whose women singers come in late and can hit all the right aunt is credited with starting this style of singing with women around the back..Florence Nepoose(Deschamps) of Pigeon Lake singers in Hobbema...she has been doing it for over 25 years now and she still sounds great.
              So if I had it my way there would be no women or mixed drums and women would sing behind the men as tradition dictates and as one sees it in the prairies in most is like having any white sing or sit on a drum, it is just wrong and traditonally unacceptable and a mockery of our ways.



              • #8
                I have heard of female drum groups, and have had the pleasure to listen to them! The one that I have heard was from the southern area of BC, with some very prominent pow wow people as singers, I think that they where younger then I was, about teenage years.

                "Live to win, Dare to fail" James Hetfield


                • #9
                  I think the drum you are refering to is called "Smoke signals"??? The lead singer is marrried to a Cree from Saddle Lake and they live there again and lived there for many years prior where she learnt to sing properly as did other members of the drum...funny though I have never seen them sing in Alberta as it is not accepted but you see them at lower mainland pow-wows all the time where they sound good! Still I do not like it but that will not stop them will it, even when it seems they should know better....



                  • #10
                    No, sorry but that is not the drum I was refering to. If you would like some "concrete" information on what group I was talking about, please contact me, and I shall put you in with the right source

                    "Live to win, Dare to fail" James Hetfield


                    • #11
                      Among the Eastern Shoshone of Wyoming there was an all or mostly female drum since the 1970s. I think their name was Crying Woman. I've been to the Eastern Shoshone annual powwows but have never heard them so I don't know if they are still around or not.


                      • #12
                        And if you ask that question among traditional golley ya might be a wahoo!
                        Hate is for FOOLS!And fools like m&ms come in all colors

                        I am ready to tell you my secret now,I see dumb people,.I see them everywhere.They dont know they're dumb,they only see what they want to see.That weird feeling which make the hair on your neck stand up....thats them!


                        • #13
                          question for kahkakew-
                          before you said, "my aunt is credited with starting this style of singing with women around the back..Florence Nepoose(Deschamps) of Pigeon Lake singers in Hobbema...she has been doing it for over 25 years now and she still sounds great." before that, what did women do? did they not sing at all?



                          • #14
                            I am not aware of any woman/women ever singnig by the drum prior to that...that was around the time that competition pow-wows were really satrting up again and there was alot more opportunity to sing and compete.
                            The early 70's saw a huge revival in pow-wow dancing/singing as the healing movement out of addicitons started up then with Poundmakers Lodge in Edmonton.



                            • #15
                              Hmmm...I don't knwo what to say about this topic.


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