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Introduction to Native American Music. Ms. Hendrickson Mr. Stuckenschmidt Mr. Toll. Cherokee. Location: Southeast (Tennessee, Kentucky, parts of the Carolinas and Virginia) Population: 50,000 in 1670 25,000 after smallpox epidemic

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Introduction to native american music

Introduction to Native American Music

Ms. Hendrickson

Mr. Stuckenschmidt

Mr. Toll


  • Location: Southeast (Tennessee, Kentucky, parts of the Carolinas and Virginia)

  • Population: 50,000 in 1670

    25,000 after smallpox epidemic

    19,000 after Civil War 370,000+ currently on and off reservations (largest Native American Nation)

  • Four distinct tribes: Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band, the Eastern Band of Cherokee, and the Echota Cherokee

  • Mascot: corn, turtle was sacred because it had 13 sections on its shell which paralleled the 13 moon celebrations

Cherokee culture significant history
CherokeeCulture & Significant History:

  • Held 13 festivals of the moon every year, (now just 12), different moon for each festival.

  • Important crops include "three sisters:" corn, beans, and squash.

  • Played game similar to lacrosse to settle disputes, also played marbles.

  • Musical instruments include water drum, an earthen pot or gourd with skin stretched over it, rattles made from turtle shells, and river cane flute.

  • Music was part of family songs, sometimes nonsense words for chants and celebrations.


  • Mohawk tribe- Mohawk means "man eater“

  • Most easterly tribe of the Iroquois confederation

  • Three clans, the Bear, Wolf, and Turtle (Use one of these for the mascot)

  • Very warlike, but with a strong, peaceful connection with nature


  • In 1650 there were only 5000 Mohawks left

  • Very driving, intense music. Usually with a quick tempo, drums and shakers

  • Their ballads were mostly a capella with sparse shaker accompaniment


  • Population of 53,000 members

  • Located in southwest deserts (particularly in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas)

  • Famous for their fine beadwork and basketry.

  • Apache men hunted buffalo, deer, antelope, and small game, while women gathered nuts, seeds, and fruit They got corn by trading with the Pueblo tribes and the Spanish, or by capturing it during raids.

Apache music
Apache Music

  • One of the simplest of Native American Music

  • Nasal vocals

  • Use of drums, rattles, and Apache violin

  • Arc-type melodies and large melodic intervals


  • The tribe is divided into more than 50 clans

  • Songs, chants, prayers, and sand paintings also form part of the complicated religious rituals, and a large body of mythology exists

  • Traditional dishes and cooking important in culture

  • Velvet, turquoise, and silver part of the traditional clothing

Navajo music
Navajo Music

  • Love for dancing

  • Intertribal Pow-Wows continue today

  • Most social events help for pleasure and visitors are welcome

  • The traditional song and dance is conducted to help cure someone who is sick