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Native American Music - Essay Example

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It is an event meant for socializing, family reunion, singing, dancing and enjoying and everyone including woman and children take part in it. The Powwow is a unifying force for all the native tribes who forget all…
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Native American Music

The Grand entry marks the beginning of a Powwow. All the people enter the showground and everyone is asked to hoist up flags. These flags include different tribal flags along with a US flag which is raised in memory of all the wars and battles waged by the tribesmen in the country. The music for the songs and the dance competition is provided by the drums. The drum is specially designed to be large and a group of drummers beat it while the traditional songs are being sung. There is generally a starting song for the event, the grand entry song as a call for all the people who have participated, flag songs to show patriotism and respect and a closing song to mark the end of the Powwow. The Powwow is a way of the tribes’ thanksgiving to the creator and the dances are treated like an offering. The dance performances are a way of celebration of the circle of life and for this reason the setting of the Powwow is also a circle. The area reserved for dancing is known as arbor and is also a large circular area within the location. Most of the cultural activities like contest dancing, drum competition, ceremonials, singing and cultural exhibition usually take place inside the arbor. Contest dancing is actually an evolution of the traditional dancing in which good dancers were awarded with small prizes. Now the dancers have huge fan following and are given heavy cash prizes for the entertainment they provide to everyone attending the Powwow. The other entertainment activities like gambling games, parades, food stalls, exhibition of arts and crafts usually take place outside the arbor. After the grand entry performance and the flag songs, there are traditional dances performed which include the sneak-up dance, victory dance, inter-tribal dance and veteran’s dance. An important part of the Powwow culture is the respect and veneration which they hold ... Read More
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