3 the music has incorporated characteristics of non

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Unformatted text preview: on listing families by surnames (which Indians did not possess), thus changing inheritance rules. Schools were established both on and off the reservation to facilitate the learning of American language and customs. Christian missionaries continued conversion efforts that had been part of the earliest European contact, and as Indians accepted or incorporated aspects of this new cosmology, many of the old rituals and traditions were abandoned and replaced with new religious practices. Indeed, whole tribal nations were wiped out along with their traditions, or the survivors assimilated into other tribal groups or into mainstream white society. Given the drastic changes in Native cultures and societies, it is not surprising that native music traditions also changed. Because it is now impossible to ascertain specifically what was changed and what was lost, the following generalizations must suffice. Since music had played such a significant role in a wide range of social and religious functions, when these functions were abandoned or changed, so was the music that originally accompanied them abandoned or changed. There was increasing incidence of inter- tribal music, where the music traditions of tribes that had been separate prior to European invasion were blended. Native American music also incorporated influences from European traditions. In terms of instruments, the Apache fiddle and Navaho violin were apparently hybrids of Western string instruments and the Indian musical bow. The large double- headed drum popular at pow- wows is believed by some to be a result of exposure to European- style percussion instruments known as timpani (others, particularly Native Americans, insist that this is not true). 15 Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 Indians were systematically taught European music traditions by Christian missionaries and by teachers in reservation schools, and although they generally tried to keep their own music traditions separate, some European characteristics were assimilated. For example, two important late- developing traditions, the Peyote religion (early 18th century, re- named Native American Church in 20th century) and the Ghost Dance (late 19th century) both reflected the influence of Christianity. When interest in native traditions as entertainment became a whole industry starting in the 19th century (Buffalo Bill’s “Wild West Show,” for example, was begun in the 1880s) traditional music performance style was replaced by European- style concerts intended for tourists. Hence by the time scholars began studying Native American music traditions in the 1890s, many traditions had been vastly altered and their stylistic variety and repertories greatly reduced.8 Native Americans in the Twentieth Century The massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota in 1890 was the last major confrontation between whites and Natives. That same year, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that there was no longer a frontier line on the map, for all land had now been settled and the Indians had been relocated to reservations. The decade that followed represented the nadir in Native American history. The population had been reduced from many millions to about 250,000 and the culture had been decimated. However, the destructive pattern that had begun several centuries earlier with the first European contact finally began to reverse in the 20th century, and following centuries of population decline, Native Americans began to slowly but steadily increase in the 20th century. Following are some of the key components of the historical and social context of the 20th century. Boarding Schools: In the early 20th century, federal policy makers still believed that the answer to the “Indian problem” was to assimilate Indians into mainstream America,...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

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