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1 singer took first, 1 dancer took first. who's got more cash?

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  • 1 singer took first, 1 dancer took first. who's got more cash?

    Hey,

    This thread is directed to all people on pow-wow committees around the great lakes, and to anyone who is interested as well. How come next to nobody reconizes singing around here as being 2 different styles? Contemp and straight. And for those who run the contests or those who will run them in the future, why are you not creating 2 seperate contests? For those of you who don't know, smoke dancing has took off around here big time, and more and more pow-wows are having them as a part of regular money contests. So no one can say having 2 singing contests is too difficult. The money could be raised. Pow-wows around here are so cheap when it comes to paying singers. Most dance contests have first places consisting of anywhere from 600-1000 dollars! Committees raise this kind of cash not to mention the places below that, for a total of 8 dance styles. Unbelieveble. And the average drum contest around here pays about 2000 for first, give or take a hundred. That is nothing when you split that up between 8-12 singers or depending on how many singers you have. this issue is ignored by the majority of pow-wow committees. Are they trying to say something about singers? That we aren't as talented as dancers, or we don't work as hard? I just want to know what makes us overlooked. Some "Dancer" walks away with a cool grand, and some singers are just having their expenses covered. Not to mention any family they might bring with them. I want to know what people think about these disrespectful acts, and if any "committee" people can answer this, I dare you. But in all probability they won't, cause deep down, everyone knows that the majority of people in committees can't even sing or dance. You know when people say you "can't have a pow-wow without singers or dancers", they don't know how true that is. Sometimes the tolerance practised by singers and dancers is the only thing that keeps some pow-wows together.

    And to anybody that wants to reply with a "what ever happened to pow-wow just to pow-wow?" Or "Its not about the money!"
    Don't even bother. That is not even the issue here.

  • #2
    I totally agree that the drum groups are under-paid. This is a good thought-provoking topic. It should open some eyes.

    The powwow committees that I have knowledge of are hard-working individuals who would like nothing more than to increase the honorarium for the singers.

    At our community gathering, a singing contest was held with fairly good prize money. The non-placing groups also had a fairly good honorarium. Total payout was around $15,000.00. Total cost to put on the powwow (including food, prize money, etc.) was in the $45,000.00 range.

    This coming year, I believe the committee is going to go the invited drums only route with each group receiving equal amounts. It is the only way in which there could be an equitable solution and the singers could all get a little more in their pockets.

    They are open to suggestions on how to raise more funds for the
    singers. The person who initiated this thread should be able to help with some suggestions and possibly (if he's available) come to the communities who need his expertise and help them out. Of course, food & lodging would be provided. Financial compensation would be out of the question as most committee members that I know of are volunteer basis and do this strictly out of the love of the native culture and of their communities.

    If there was a way to raise maybe $15-20,000.00 more it would be great!

    Can you help us out? Miigwetch

    Comment


    • #3
      Now this is a good discussion. I have been sitting back for years, watching dancers walk away from pow-wows with a hefty chunk in their pocket after a pow-wow. How did they dance so good to impress the judges and everyone else?? The drum sang a good good song for them - making them want to dance harder. That drum may number 7-15 people. The dancer gets $500.00. So does the drum. Does that make sense???

      Pow-wow wooer - $2000??? That is gold considering what pow-wows pay on the East Coast. Most groups that I know of do not sing for the money - that is the truth - but travelling to pow-wows is expensive, especially if you have families travelling together.

      It's still a touchy situation, because you want to attract the best dancers - and they want to dance with a good solid drum - so the drum sings hard all weekend - only to get the same amount to be split between an average of 10 people????

      And this is not about singing for the money - so let's not go there. But if is about being fair to everyone.

      Just adding my 2 cents worth.
      Everything is gonna be alright!

      Be blessed - got love???

      This b me.....

      www.myspace.com/akayo

      Comment


      • #4
        Drum groups are under paid and really under appreciated for the most part. There is alot they are responsible for and not just the next song.
        I have traveled with a drum group for going on seventeen years now and have seen alot of good meaning people just not thinking clearly on this matter.
        I have seen some great feeds for the drum as I have also witnessed more often than not the famous or infamous "Mystery Stew" made with mystery meat. That isn't right. I have also seen on the other hand where the committee did not want to feed the drum at all.
        Now on to the subject of accommodations!!??!! Some committees have said they cannot afford to provide even one motel room for the HOST drum. At one powwow we were offered free camping! This isn't right when they expect you to travel a couple states away for a three day powwow and then only want to pay you five to eight hundred dollars for the whole group plus backup singers. Some of these guys have to take off work to make this event.
        No, we are not talking about singing for money. We are not even talking about breaking even at this point. we just like to go and have a good time and not go into debt to finance it.
        "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

        Comment


        • #5
          i HAVE BEEN SINGING OUT ON THE EAST COAST SINCE 1991 AND DANCERS HAVE ALWASY TAKEN THE LIONS SHARE OF ANY CONTEST VERY FEW DANCERS WILL COME AND PUT SOME CASH ON THE DRUM FOR A GOOD SONG, BUT THERE ARE A FEW.
          POW WOW COMMITTES SHOULD SPLIT THE DRUMS INTO DIFFERENT CONTESTS LIKE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN, CONT, TRAD, SO ON I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY TIMES WE HAVE SEEN A DANCER WALK AWAY WITH A GRAND AND WE HAVE TO SPLIT A HAPPY MEAL, WITH NO GAS. IT'S NOT GOING TO CHANGE. HOPFULLY SOME PEOPLE WILL READ THIS AND WAKE UP! GOOD POINT BUT WE WOULD SING NO MATTER WHAT, SING FOR THE PEOPLE EVEN IF THEY HAVE SNOWCONE MONEY AND WE DON'T.

          WEE CHA!

          SINCERLY HORSE THROAT!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi

            Thanks Acey,

            Money is not really important, secondary actually.
            I know my group will sing pretty much anywhere we're asked to go, its just that our expenses take a hefty toll. And there are groups out there with up to 15 singers. I think alot of committees are stuck in the same old mode, ya know, the same quoted prices for various jobs at the pow-wow. The cost of living is ever increasing, and committees have to respect that. Not all pow-wow people are 9 to 5's, and that shouldn't be held against them. For those Indians who are lucky to have jobs, that still doesn't take away from the fact that is costs money to travel. And any so-called traditionalist that would dispute this obviously doesn't know the meaning of hard-*** work and dedication. You know, there are a few people out there who are totally traditional, and talented at the same time. There always seems to be a really good singer, who is a drunk, or there is somebody who is a traditionalist who doesn't know jack about pow-wows, but thinks they do.

            Know what I mean....?:)
            Last edited by pow-wow-wooer; 12-20-2001, 10:58 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Things could be better but I see it as part of the challenge in being a singer. It can be hard.

              Sometimes I think the fact that you won't get rich keeps half-hearted singers at home. To me it's better to have 6 guys who really want to sing than to have 15 at the drum and nine of them are there because they found out how much the committee is paying the drum.

              CEM

              Comment


              • #8
                What about the most dedicated singer with a family, bad job (or no job) and no bank account?
                "We see it as a desecration not only of a mountain but of our way of life. This is a genocidal issue to us. If they kill this mountain, they kill our way of life." ~Debra White Plume

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well that guy stays home.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    bold large red pow-wow-wooer:I think u just opened these old eyes, I have been on a committee for a # of years and we are guilty of doing just that , not thinking of the people who actually help the dancer look good.The drums should get paid better than the dancers because it takes two to tango.If there were a set number of singers to each drum it would be easy to pay the drums their dues but how can u justify paying one drun who has 10 singers the same as a drum with 14 singers?:Help :Help :Help
                    the hurrier u go the behinder u get

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If I may - I believe when pow-wow wooer began this thread, it wasn't solely for bi***ing, but to bring this discussion to the table - and I think many people have alot of good imput. There have been some very good questions here, and I think people are learning about the importance of a good drum - making the dancers look all the better thru good dancing, making people feel better with their gift of song.

                      But here's something else - I have worked on several pow-wow committees - it is a hard decision on the price to pay a drum - some people you can afford - some you cannot - but there are other things that can be done to make that drum want to visit you again, and it doesn't just fall on the pow-wow commitees shoulders. Most pow-wows are held in communities or by organizations right? Well, just like you have a guest in your home, your hope is that that guest will feel good enuff to want to visit you again, and tell his frens how fine he was treated in your presence. To me, that is all any good drum asks too. And that is one of the highest compliments to an organization, that a drum will WANT to come back to your event year after year.

                      So to all the pow-wow committee people - here's a question: Can you honestly say that you put on such an event that drums don't need to be invited, they just come to sing, knowing they will be treated good? There are a few pow-wows I personally know of that can say yes, hands down! What do they do that makes you feel like coming back?

                      Number one, they let you sing. They don't take up the whole pow-wow with other agendas - they actually let you sing.

                      Number two - they take care of you - bringing water, beverages. Asking if they need anything. We recently went to Tullahoma Tennessee (KTNJ) - the pow-wow was :dontknow: but the arena director and others kept asking if we needed anything - because it was cold and we were the only drum for a while, they brought coffee and hot chocolate to the drum. That kept everyone happy.

                      Arrange for housing - of some sort - this is for host drums mostly - but usually there is a "host/guest" hotel set aside to accomodate the groups. It does fall on the shoulders of the drums to make the arrangements, but shame on committees who do not have a host hotel of some sort!!!!!!!!! This is so easy to do, and helps so much. One of the glorious things about pow-wowing is being able to see your fellow pow-wowers in the halls or at the hotel restaurants. Helps develop that sense of family.

                      And the money is important - just to show your appreciation of their singing. At pow-wows where there is no money for drums alloted - (non-comp. and a host and guest are already paid), a blanket dance is appropriate for the other visiting drums. When you are thinking about a host drum, think of their singers, how long they will be there (day and night sessions), their travel time. If you have a limited budget - tell the drum you want what you can pay, and be honest - it may be that arrangements can be made to satisfy all.

                      Remember - the key to committees and communities is having that drum WANT to come back to your event next year. That's how the best pow-wows have been able to survive year after year - those good pow-wow feelings.

                      Have a good evening! And Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night! ;):c1:
                      Last edited by Smokin' Ace; 12-22-2001, 01:42 AM.
                      Everything is gonna be alright!

                      Be blessed - got love???

                      This b me.....

                      www.myspace.com/akayo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1&1

                        :D :D TY smoking ace i could not have said it better :1Party:
                        the hurrier u go the behinder u get

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          one of the drums that i sing on, we only go just to sing, and if the pow wow doesn't have a good feeling to it we don't go back. it's not about the money for us.

                          the other one, well, they only go where their invited and are paid enough for hotel, gas and food. i don't agree with them on this but i go with them when i can. they do it for the money.


                          keith

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have read thease post several severeal times. I have tried to come up with something smart to say. Well I figured something out. if you look a lot of people who sing also dance. Look at people like Joe Fish DuePoint, Johnathan WindyBoy, Wade Baker. They are several people who sing and dance, and make lots of money.

                            So dance too, and I am not trying to say that to be a smart a** but offering a view. So have a good one..............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


                            • #15
                              drums

                              In the dinosaur age, we were taught if you were a dancer and had a few extra bucks on you contest or not, you put money on the drum to say thank you for the good music you danced to.
                              I don't see a lot of this any more. It can be no more than a dollar or even change. The change usually went to the ladies. (Kids always want change from moms.) Committees can always send food home with the singers that have to travel distances. Nibble food always is good. Fewer full meal stops and maybe some left over for home. Have seen some horrendous treatment of droms over the years.

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