Music is an important part of all cultures and Native Americans are no exception. They may not have spent their evenings listening to jazz or an electric guitar like some of our ancestors, but Native Americans have a storied history when it comes to their own unique hand-made instruments like drums, flutes and rattles.
Here’s a look at the impact music has had, and continues to have, on Native American culture:
Indians.org says that music plays an important role in the daily life of Native Americans. From ceremony to recreation to healing, music is present in just about every facet of a Native American’s day-to-day life. Native Americans lift their voices to inspire their daily lives. The style of music is unusual very rhythmic and often many people would sing at once.
Native Americans would sing to invoke the spirits or ask for the healing of a sick or wounded friend or family member. They also used their voices to pray for rain. Men would gather in a circle and sing while dancing round and round, while the women would form a separate circle nearby and dance in place.
Each tribe had its own unique form and sound of music and song; even if a tribe shared a similar geographical location, their music styles may have been vastly different.
Tribal Directory says that Native American songs are also used in the passing down of stories and history from one generation to the next. Stories told via song may include explanations of why a certain ritual is taking place, a story of something that happened in the tribe’s past, or an invocation to the spirits for help to solve a problem.
When it comes to instruments, no Native American ceremony would be complete without the incorporation of drums, flutes and rattles into the music. The instruments were used to guide the tribe through a ceremonial song, or on their own to evoke emotion and feeling among people, and to call out to the spirits.
Kachina House has a passion for the stories and history of the indigenous peoples of North America. Call us today at 866-587-0547 to learn more, or ask us questions about any of our items for sale.