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Native American - Essay Example

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There were roughly five hundred different nations of native peoples during the earliest affirmation of European influx on the coasts of the North American continent. Every nation had distinctive cultural traditions such as in architecture, art, language, music, spiritual…
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Download file to see previous pages The use of stringed instruments such as guitars and fiddles and the application of music synchronization to Indian music were initially introduced by the Europeans. With the migration of the Europeans and their African slaves to western Americas, both the European and African music started to influence Native American music traditions (Prinzing).
In the American Indian humanity, music has always portrayed an important role — a medium of communication with the spiritual kingdom, and of inviting mystical force into their daily existence. It has become a fundamental expression of American Indian identity (Fields).
“The importance of American Indian music is found not in its impact on modern scholarship and composition but in the traditions and values it expresses to and for the Indian people. This oral tradition has survived solely because the music was too important to be allowed to die” (1976).
Indian songs are an integral component of any activity, and encompass power in and of itself (Fields). There are songs for all events. There are songs for the efficiency of labour, success in hunting and fishing, winning in betting and gambling, making of rain, safety of the home and the family, power to heal, abundant harvests, lullabies, songs of romance, worship songs, corn-grinding songs, social dance songs, game songs, and legend songs (Rhodes 6).
Some Indian songs are for teaching roles in society. Lullabies not only put babies in deep slumber, but furthermore aid as guidance and preparation for a life ahead. The songs are intended to facilitate happiness, good health, and the making of a better person and a useful part of humanity. One Indian lullaby says, “My little son, you will put a sealing spear into your canoe, without knowing what use you may make of it when you are a man” (Densmore 226). Another lullaby for a little girl says, “This little girl will pick black salmon berries when the women go to get berries” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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