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Music ethnography - Essay Example

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The 17th Annual Native Hope International Pow Wow Concert was a gathering of California Native People and non-Native Americans. A mixture of cultures met at the occasion to sing, socialize,…
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Music ethnography

In a special interview of one of the natives who claimed to have attended every Pow Wow Festival since he was five years old, he said the festival often takes a whole week. Whereas this still takes place, the March event was not one of the special occasions that called for a week’s celebration of dances, music and culture of the First Nationals of America.
Obtaining historical information about the event that has become popular over the ages was easy given the fortunate friendship I struck with the old man (probably 76 years). He had so much interest in the event that his knowledge of every detail of the event was more refined than obtainable in a cultural encyclopedia. Abukcheech Adahy explained the significance of the event from its origin. From the senior native’s knowledge, the word “powwow” comes from Naragansett term “powwaw” that has the meaning of a “Spiritual Leader”. It is used to describe a gathering of Native Americans of any tribe. Abakcheech is a member of the planning committee for Pow Wow Festival, and he revealed that planning for the occasion begins close to a year before the event. In essence, Pow Wow Committee starts planning for the following years as soon as one festival is over. For this year’s event, the festival was sponsored by assortment of colleges and universities, American Native Communities within California, Tribal Organizations, American Native Club and Native American Studies Program.
Performance on the occasion is highly choreographed and organized. The Pow Wow Committee is responsible for securing location of the event, hiring head staff of the event and recruiting vendors to sell merchandise related to the cultural occasion. These include foods and artifacts as well as costumes and traditional attire that the performers use in the event. The head staff of Pow Wow Festival is usually chosen as an honor to a person’s dedication to the ... Read More
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