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Heartbeat of the People: Music and Dance of the Northern Pow-wow (Music in American Life)

Tara Browner

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ISBN 10: 0252027140 / ISBN 13: 9780252027147
Published by University of Illinois Press, 2002
Condition: Good Hardcover
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Title: Heartbeat of the People: Music and Dance of ...

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Good

Edition: NULL.

About this title


The intertribal pow-wow is the most widespread venue for traditional Indian music and dance in North America. Heartbeat of the People is an insider's journey through the dances and music, the traditions and regalia, and into the functions and significance of these vital cultural events.

Tara Browner comes to the pow-wow as a participantÐ-she is a dancer of Oklahoma Choctaw heritage--as well as a scholar. Focusing on the Northern pow-wow, which derives from the northern Great Plains and Great Lakes region, Browner presents an in-depth discussion of the pow-wow's roots and traditions, protocols, and order of events. She also describes footwork, styles of singing, and the diversity of participants' regalia. Browner centers her discussion of the Northern-style pow-wow around the Lakota Sacred Hoop and the Anishnaabeg Sacred Fire.

Browner traces the history of specific events such as the Grass and Jingle Dress dances and distinguishes among various dance types, including Traditional, Fancy, and "special" exhibition dances as well as ceremonial honor dances, giveaways, and memorials. She also discusses women's changing roles within pow-wow performance and thoughtfully examines how continually changing musical repertories, dance styles and regalia, and customs foster a vibrant state of transformation that coexists, often uneasily, with more traditional Native mores. She closes her study with a series of interviews with members of two families of pow-wow dancers, one Lakota and one Anishnaabeg.

Marked by meticulous scholarship and firmly grounded in Browner's extensive experience as a pow-wow participant and observer, Heartbeat of the People is a unique and powerful celebration of the vibrancy, continuity, and evolution of an ancient music and dance tradition.

From Library Journal:

Browner aims to document the contemporary intertribal pow-wow for future generations of Native peoples and to "offer non-Indian readers an entry point into a richly textured realm of music and dance." A Native American ethnomusicologist who teaches American Indian studies at UCLA, Browner is both participant and observer. As a dancer herself, she had immediate access to the community of pow-wow participants, and as a scholar she brings a historical and critical analysis to a politically sensitive subject. The introduction includes a summary and critique of 19th- and 20th-century pow-wow research, describing both its value and flaws. Descriptions of the diverse dance styles, regalia, songs, singing styles, and the structure of pow-wow events are covered in chapters separate from interviews. Browner limits her treatment of the subject to pow-wows of the Lakota and Anishnaabeg peoples, and, within this limit, this is an accessible work for both Native and non-Native, nonspecialist audiences. Recommended for both academic collections and large public libraries. Faye Powell, Portland State Univ., OR
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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