Paper #1 - Michael Reber Native American Music 2/22/11...

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Michael Reber Native American Music 2/22/11 Paper #1 The Mandan tribe of present day North and South Dakota lived along the Missouri River and its tributaries, the Knife and Heart rivers. Unlike most tribes in the plains region the Mandan lived in permanent dome shaped earth lodges made from reeds, twigs, and hay, which was held together with mud. These earth lodges were massed into villages, and held as the center of their social, spiritual, and economic lives. Villages were strategically located on bluffs overlooking the rivers for defense purposes, limiting attacks to one land approach. The Mandan tribe is also known for housing Lewis and Clark on their journey to the west. During Lewis and Clark’s stay with the Mandan they met and hired Sacagawea as their guide. The men and women of the Mandan culture had very different jobs within the society. Women in the Mandan culture tended to their gardens of corn, squash, sunflowers, and many other crops. Mandan men had the job of hunting buffalo but also hunted deer, bear, antelope and waterfowl. Sadly the Mandan tribe today has diminished to a handful of people, and out of those people few know all the traditional aspects of what once was a flourishing culture. In 1804 the number of Mandans was estimated as about 1,250, increasing later to 1,600 but being reduced to 274 by 1918 (Densmore). In this essay I will go into depth about the many aspects of the Mandan Tribe. First I will be covering their creation myth, next the outline of their ceremonial life and last the music of the Mandan people. The creation myth of the Mandan is an interesting story and I found out that there are many different versions of this myth. Although there are different versions they all begin and end in similar ways and the differences lie in the body of the story. Foolish Woman told the version I am summarizing during the Mandan and Hidatsa Independence day July 11, 1929 (Beckwith 7- 13). In the beginning there was said to be a Lone Man walking on top waves at a time when earth was covered in water. While walking he asked himself, “Where did I come from?” So he retraced his footsteps and came to a jagged peace of land sticking out of the water. From there he saw an object in the distance and it turned out to be a mud-hen. There Lone Man also came across
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another man known as the first creator at the mud-hen. Both of the men wondered where this bird gets it substance to survive and the bird told them it dove for its substance. The two men asked the bird to show them and after the bird dove several times Lone Man had enough mud to roll into a ball. He then split the ball giving half to First Creator and Lone Man said, “We will make a dividing point and leave a river and you may choose which side you create.” First Creator took the south and Lone man took the North. After creating their version of what was to be the perfect landscape, both men believed that they had created the better side and debated why each had the better side. For the most part the debate was on the topography of the land and the
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2012 for the course MUS 164 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at Washington State University .

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Paper #1 - Michael Reber Native American Music 2/22/11...

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