Sumo

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rites of the drum

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

  • Rites of the drum

    I speak alot of protocols and traditions as thye have been a cornerstone and foundation in my life and teachings..the same is said for the westren or pow-wow drum what we Crees refer to as "Misto-Kwa-Skake;,
    My late father was a wellknown drum maker amongst his many recognized rites he had achieved through old style apprenticeship.
    He made drums of all sizes for nearly 45 years bfore he died...he sang all of his life and was a veraccomplished singer in all areas.
    He told me as a young boy that the drum needs 7 men to be whole, each one ogf these men receiving the rite to be a caretaker of the drum. One man was repsonsible for the drum itself, another for the frame, another for the sticks and finally when the canes of "Chocans" as we call them were common, another 4 men each had responsibilty to care and keep this part of the drum.
    These parts rarely travelled togehter or stayed together, only they came togehter at a gathering, ceremony or pow-wow where the drum was to sing.
    My dad told me all parts of the drum had to be present for the dum to be able to sing. Earning the rite to care for and keep one of these parts is another long and difficult journey and it was rare in my oyuth to see anyone but either an elder or older man sitting on the drum. Back then it was the younger boys like myself who stood behind and sang, now it is women, something my aunt, Florence Deschamps of Pigeon Lake singers started up in the early 70's.
    Today the Chocans are never seen as competition pow-wow has detraditionalized the meaning of the drum, but they are seen at other gatherings and the tradition of passing on responsibility to care and keep for parts of a drum are continued.


    Kahkakew

  • #2
    Kahkakew

    Thank you for the information on your people and traditions, not just in this post but in the many others you have made. Where I live we just aint got many (if any) Cree folks around. I myself do not know many Cree people firsthand and I have enjoyed your open sharing of your family's and tribes teachings. Through your post I have gotten much information about a nation that I have not had the pleasure to get acquainted with before.

    A-ho
    Powwowbum49

    PS - I assume that 'Chocans' is a cree word. Could you enlighten me as to what they are? Forgive my ignorance but for the life of me that word doesn't ring a bell.

    PB49

    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

    "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


    My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

    Comment


    • #3
      The chocanak are the four canes which used to be seen on drums coming off the frame in the 4 directions, often they were beaded with a four matching feathers hanging from them, sometimes with ribbons as well...it is a great honor to hold the rite to a chocan, they have ceremonial and spiritual connotations but by now you know I do not give that info out.
      These chocans displayed many associations to socieites, chieftains, lineage, etc, status of spiritual abilities and knowledge...as I said, competition and contemp pow-wows along with fewer men holding and passing on the rites have seen them naish almost completely from modern pow-wows but not from ceremonial and spiritual events.

      Kahkakew

      Comment


      • #4
        Kahkakew

        Thank you again sir. I thought that what you described was what you were talking about but I didn't recognize the term and didn't want to make an assumption.
        PB49

        "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso

        "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift...that is why is it called the Present." Master Oogway - KungFu Panda


        My comments are based on what I have been taught and my experiences over the years I have been around the circle. They should in no way be taken as gospel truths and are merely my opinions or attempts at passing on what I have learned while still learning more.

        Comment


        • #5
          prior to my fathers death, he spoke of the other rites which many are not aware of and even when they are theydo not know how to earn the rite or practice it respectfully..that is the construction of the drum and all its parts...the selection ofthe hide, wodd, etc comes from first a ceremonial point where the person asks the trees, animals to give up of themselves the materials needed..then when granted, the offerings are completed and then ..here is the most important knowledge the invocation songs are sang..the calling songs which invite certain spiritaul forces to coome inot the object being constructed...that is why when we start to sing at anytime we do not place tobacco on the drum, instead we all put our hands on the hide and pray to the drum asking the collective spirit to come out as we sing and drum.
          Very few I have ever known of have the rite to these invocation songs, let alone hte ceremony tht is used to intitate the completed drum..it is alot more than building a frame and strecthing wet buckskin over it and then lacing it up..a heck of alot more.


          Kahkakew

          Comment


          • #6
            My late father was also Lakota, although predominantly Cree. Back in the 1800's many Lakota, Nakoda came north to escape persecution from the american settlers and army, many died on this trek, many came well into northern Alberta and saskatchewan where they were readily accepted into Cree bands and mixed in, so as today many Crees in the Batteleford area, Onion Lake, Sweetgrass, Poundmaker, MOsquito, Moosomin, Saulteaux, and many other bands have significant Lakota bloodlines.
            Many of the Lakota who made it to safety in Frog Lake, made it because of their horses, their horses literally walked until they died for the people.
            Because of this, the rite of the horse dance was given to many including my fathers family and eventualy himself. He held horse dances every year he put up his sun dances.
            He also gained the rite to use the horses hide for the big drum through his affilaition to horse societies.
            He always used when available, horse hides for pow-wow drums..deer hides for hand drums.
            He was given the rite to ask for and take the horses life and then as taught how to prepare the hide. This included the ceremony and invocation.
            In our family this tradish has been passed
            on to my brother. My father has made many drums for many well known groups over the years and literaly hundreds of hand drums for round dances and sun dances.
            He achieved all the rites needed to become a drum maker, the last being the rite to preprare a specific hide, that being the horse, usually a young stud pony. He said they are the best.
            When ever we hold horse dances we pay hommage to our Lakota ancestry and to our relative the horse which cared enough
            for our relations to die for their freedom.

            Kahkakew

            Comment


            • #7
              My late father told me that the horse gave hinm the rite to the hors edrum in another manner. He adored one of his fathers stallions which was very wild and head of the pack...he wanted to rid ethis one but it was too wild. it was even too wild to be around when on foot.
              He said one day as he watche dit run around the corral, it stopped and stared at hinm for sometime, then it ran away a fast gallop. The nest day he said his father found that stallion dead in the pasture. Without any explanation my dad was told by his father that this horse would be the first one to give itself to him for adrum when he was of age....he said it was the finest drum he ever sang on which his dad made in the old way.
              Do not believe that saying of beware a horse bearing gifts..CHAA!!! That was in 1951 if memory serves me right, that drum no longer exists but my fathers eyes gleamed when he spoke of it. He said it was with that drum that he became gifted with songs.

              Kahkakew

              Comment


              • #8
                Kahkakew,

                These are great histories you are sharing with us. I greatly appreciate these posts.

                -Dan
                Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you for sharing this with us Kahkakew.

                  CEM

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My father passe don before we could finish making my drum I had asked for....so I am going home in the new year too ask for the rite from another member of the family who has aassumed his lead role as drum and pipe maker. I already had the rite to make pipes from my dad. This put a damper on my drummin gpplans but I accept this as the way it is meant to be...I amnot a memebr of nay horse society, that was somehting I was to ask for in a few years through my fathers , mothers side in saskatchewan...time will tell.
                    For now we us ethe drum form one of the bands I work with..I ahve my own hand drum from my dad which I sing with every night for my wife and daugther.it has a claming and empowering effect at the end of a long stressful day and it brings joy to my heart to watch my 15month old girl hit the drum in rythmn as I sing and she dances beside me.
                    I am also going home to ask for my dad's songs. He must of known he was to leave us as he taped all of his songs, sweat, round dance, ceremonies , sundance and horse dance on 6 tapes..thats alot of songs. I ahd asked him for all of his songs prior to his death and he agreed. It must be meant for me to hear his voice in tis manner as many of these songs I have neevr heard before...someday I will pass them on to my children and grandchildren so that their legacy will continue along with therites I have and will have attained.

                    kahkakew

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wonderul Wonderful Wonderful, Thanks for the kind words. This post was very thoughtful and thought provoking.....It really made me think. Thanks for the post.

                      TMS
                      If I do not know the answer someone else will!!!!
                      Also forgive me, this system does not have a spell check so forgive the bad spelling

                      Comment

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

                      Related Topics

                      Collapse

                      • yellowthunders mama
                        What about the Family Drum?
                        by yellowthunders mama
                        I see a lot of posts questioning whether women should or shouldn’t sing and drum and I always check them out because I am a female singer. I sing with my family drum. My husband is our drum keeper. Since I taught the members of our drum the songs, my husband asked me to sing lead. I had to sing...
                        10-27-2006, 04:55 PM
                      • Charlie TwoShirts
                        Powwow in Dubuque Iowa and Mr. Larry Lockwood
                        by Charlie TwoShirts
                        I was very offended at the recent powwow that was held at Putnam Museum on Saturday and Sunday. In Dubuque, Iowa.

                        http://www.putnam.org/events/powwow2005.htm


                        The committee and one Mr. Larry Lockwood did not handle things in a good way. I found Mr. Lockwood to be...
                        01-19-2005, 01:44 PM
                      • Senoy
                        Hate to beat a dead horse
                        by Senoy
                        First, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am 22 years old and of mixed blood Southern Piegan descent. I am not enrolled in the tribe. The last person in my family eligible for enrollment was my maternal grandmother who chose not to enroll for her own reason's. I am currently 22 years old and...
                        10-17-2000, 09:05 AM
                      • billyjoejimbob
                        Strange drum traditions
                        by billyjoejimbob
                        Being on the east coast, I have seen my share of strange things at powwows. Since Im a singer, I will focus on THE DRUM.

                        There are a bunch of strange drums in the east. You know who Im talking about. Those drums that sing and hit the drum but you dont know if its northern or southern....
                        03-22-2006, 08:57 AM
                      • WhoMe
                        Sacred or not sacred
                        by WhoMe
                        Normally, I would put this in the 2 singing threads but this is more about drums. . .

                        I was with a group of Indians and we were helping out with some workshops for school aged children. When it was time to change work stations, a blonde, non Indian woman would beat a hand drum that she...
                        10-31-2008, 04:51 PM

                      Trending

                      Collapse

                      There are no results that meet this criteria.

                      Sidebar Ad

                      Collapse
                      Working...
                      X