Performance by Northern Cree at the Saddle Lake Pow-wow

  • 1.Listen to the performance by Northern Cree at the Saddle Lake Pow-wow. In 5-7 sentences, describe what you hear in this performance, especially giving detail for the major elements of pow-wow song discussed in the reading and lecture. What instruments are present and what are they doing? How does this performance compare or contrast to “Hoka Hey” and “Kiowa Flag Song”? Is this a Northern or Southern style song? What adjectives can you use to describe your experience of hearing this piece?
  • 2. How does the Northern Cree example fit into or contrast with Hoehner’s Four Circle model of pow-wow activity? Talk through each circle of the model, connecting musical or visual features present in the video and their meaning as described by Perea.
  • 3.In many traditions we’ll study, music and dance go hand-in-hand. Now that we’ve explored pow-wow music, let’s practice observing and describing movements in relation to sound. Watch the Women’s jingle dress competition from the Gathering of Nations pow-wow. What is happening in the dance? What elements are worthy of note or might have meaning? How does the dance relate to the music? What do you see that is similar to what you’ve learned about pow-wow? What are differences?
  • Note: There is no “correct” response to this question. As you get more familiar with a tradition, you will grow to understand what elements are notable, important, or central to the people who create or perform it–and this can vary across styles. For now, you are being asked to make informed guesses about what elements seem important to note, even if you don’t yet know how to interpret them.
  • 4. How was (or is) the ring shout an expression of African or African American identities? What specific larger groups, institutions, or communities does an individual performing this tradition connect to? Discuss at least two elements of the ring shout present in “Adam in the Garden” that exemplify the concept of identity.
  • 5. Looking at Rosenbaum’s account of how the ring shout has continued in the Bolden community and the “Jubilee” video, how might its practice there reflect communally held values or beliefs? Point to two elements in the music, dance, or context in which it unfolds that might express these.
  • 6. Watch the video “Puerto Rico’s Bomba, A Dance of the African Diaspora.” Describe how the five key African elements are present in this tradition. How is each similar to or different from the ring shout? How does this comparison exemplify the notion of “diaspora”?
  • 7. Which elements of ring shout and bomba appear to be a product of the encounter with Europeans? Discuss two elements–from one or both traditions–that exemplify the clash or combination of African and European identities.
  • 8. Read about and watch A Tribe Called Red’s “The Virus.” Given all of the themes for this week, how might you interpret this song and/or video? What histories does the song point to? What might the song illuminate about shared experiences of indigenous and black people? Do you see or hear references to any of the musical traditions we have studied thus far?
  • 9. Think about your own identity. What larger social or political communities or institutions are you a part of? List two identities you hold. What specific connections to larger groups of people or institutions do you have?

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