2017 / Afternoon Session
Church Hymns, Social & Stomp Dance Songs
Echoes of Future Legacy
Structure and function of
Stomp and Social Dance Society
Our Songs are our Legacy
American Indian social songs plays a vital role in history and education, with ceremonies and stories orally passing on to new generations. American Indian ceremonial music is traditionally said to originate from deities or spirits, or from particularly respected individuals. Rituals are shaped by every aspect of song, dance and costuming, and each aspect informs about the ``makers, wearers and symbols important to the nation, tribe, village, clan, family, or individual``. American Indian illustrate stories through song, music and dance, and the historical facts thus propagated are an integral part of American Indian ways of life. Our stories about culture preservation are a part of tribal music traditions and stories are often an iconic part of local culture. They can vary slightly from generation to generation, with leaders recombining and introducing slight variations.
The styles and purposes of music vary greatly between and among each American Indian tribe. However, a common concept amongst many indigenous groups is a integration of music and power.
Music and history are tightly interwoven with American Indian's culture of life. A tribe's history is constantly told and retold through music, which preserves our history through social songs. These historical narratives vary widely from tribe to tribe and are an integral part of tribal identity.
The Five Civilized Tribes, hold dances before stickball games. At these pre-game events, men and women perform separate dances and follow separate regulations. Men will dance in a circle around a fire, while women dance in place. Men sing their own songs, while women have their songs sung for them by an elder. Whereas the men's songs invoke power, the women's songs draw power away from the opposing stickball team. In some societies, there are customs where certain ceremonial drums are to be played by men only.
Many tribal music have a relative paucity of traditional women's songs and dances, especially in the Southeast regions. The Southeast is, however, home to a prominent women's musical tradition in the use of leg rattles for ceremonial stomp and friendship dances, and the women's singing during he Southeastern Stickball games.