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Article

Hulusi  

Alan R. Thrasher

Mouth organ of the Dai, Achang, Wa, and other minority cultures in southern Yunnan province, China. Hulusi is a Han Chinese name; local names include bilangdao (Dai), huluxiao (Achang), and baihongliao (Wa). The instrument has a bamboo melody pipe and one or two bamboo drone pipes inserted into the bottom (flower) end of a small bottleneck gourd windchest. Traditionally the pipes are secured with hardened beeswax though nowadays usually with a stronger adhesive. A thin blowpipe is similarly mounted in the neck end of the gourd. The melody pipe (c25 cm or longer) has six or more fingerholes and (attached near its closed end within the gourd) a thin, triangular free reed of bamboo, bronze, or silver in a rectangular frame, similar to the reed assembly of the bawu. On some instruments, one short drone pipe, with the same kind of reed, runs parallel to the melody pipe; more commonly nowadays, a second drone is attached to the opposite side of the melody pipe, either with its reed tuned to a different pitch, or without a reed for symmetrical appearance....

Article

J. Richard Haefer

(Apache: ísal, ‘pot’ or ‘bucket’; ‘bucket bound around’)

Water drum of the Apache people of Arizona and New Mexico. A large iron pot or kettle with the handle removed is partially filled with water and sacred materials (corn pollen and ash). A buckskin head (or nowadays sometimes rubber from a truck tire inner tube) is lashed tightly over the opening with buckskin thongs or strips of cloth or inner-tube rubber, with the excess skin or rubber draped around the pot. Historically a large pottery vessel was used; there is no evidence for use of a wooden vessel. The drumstick, of pine, is wrapped in buckskin at the distal end.

The drum accompanies singing, secular and religious (na-i-es, girl’s puberty ceremony; edotal, diagnostic; gojital, curing). It is usually played in groups of four with the performers standing and holding the drums under the left elbow, but in the curing rites it is held in the lap of a seated player. The earliest representation of the drum is a painting by George Catlin of ...

Article

Richard Keeling

Strung rattle of the Hupa and other native peoples of California. The Maidu call it temsisili. It is a cluster of deer hooves or dew claws tied to a wooden or bone handle 30 to 45 cm long. When shaken, the hooves create a sharp clicking sound. Among tribes of northern California and the San Joaquin Valley, it is used in the girls’ puberty ceremony. Luiseño hunters shook the rattle for luck before setting out for deer. Other southern California tribes such as the Chumash, Fernandeños, and Gabrielinos used it in mourning ceremonies....

Article

Mary Riemer-Weller

[ka’wásta’] (Seneca: ‘stick’)

Stamping sticks of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederation peoples of northeastern North America. The sticks, used in pairs, are hickory wood poles from 1.5 to 1.8 m long and about 5 cm in diameter. They are held vertically by two women of the towisas (society of women planters) and are used to beat time to the songs of the women’s rite, performed at the Green Corn and Midwinter ceremonies. According to Seneca belief, the stamping is said to represent thunder, wind, and rain....

Article

Mary Riemer-Weller

[ká:ˀke:taˀ] (Seneca: ‘whistle’)

Vertical whistle of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederation people of north-eastern North America. It is made of cane, about 45 cm long with an external duct, like the courting flute, but no fingerholes. Only two notes are produced, the fundamental and its overblown octave. It is used only during the ceremony of the Little Water Medicine Society and in the Eagle Dance, a curing ritual....

Article

Mary Riemer-Weller

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[kana’tsio:wi] (Seneca: ‘covered keg’ or ‘bucket’)

Water drum of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy peoples of northeastern North America. It is called gana’atso [gä no jo’ o] in Cayugan. The drum is a small wooden vessel covered with a soft-tanned hide which is held taut by a cloth-wound wooden hoop. Water is kept in it at all times and before being played it is inverted to soak the skin, which is then tightened until a characteristic high ‘pinging’ tone is heard when it is tapped lightly with a wooden beater. The body can be carved from a solid block of wood, in which case a binding ring is wrapped around it to prevent it from splitting, or it can be made from a staved wooden nail keg. The drums are usually 13 to 15 cm in diameter and 11 to 13 cm deep. A bung hole about halfway up the side allows water to be added without removing the head; if allowed to dry, solid-bodied drums tend to split and staved drums loosen and could collapse. The drumstick (...

Article

Beverley Diamond

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[kalluraq, kalluak, kaylukuk, kotlookuk]

Ceremonial box drum associated with the Messenger Feast of the Iñupiaq-speaking people of Alaska. It is a rectangular wooden case (usually made of poplar), 45 to 90 cm tall by 18 to 30 cm long and wide. A fur-padded rail, attached along one side with a strip of black whale baleen, is struck with a thick, short stick while the drum is suspended from the ceiling of the ceremonial house. The drum is played by a seated drummer (usually male) wearing the tuutlik, a loon-skin headdress. A soundhole can be cut in the bottom of the drum and a handhold attached to one side. The drum is decorated with a zigzag pattern on the top edge and with eagle feathers. In the native cosmology that explains the origin of the feast, the drum is said to represent an eagle’s heartbeat.

The Tlingit people call the box drum lákt gaaw. Such instruments are often decorated in red and black stylized raven patterns....

Article

Mary Riemer-Weller

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[ka:nóˀskä:ˀ]

Rasp, or scraper, of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederation peoples of northeastern North America. It is called gaksaga:nye (‘chipmunk sticks’) in Cayugan. It is a pair of flat hickory sticks, each about 30 to 35 cm long, 1 to 3 cm wide, and 2 cm thick. One stick is notched along two-thirds of its length and the other is smooth with slightly rounded edges. The notched stick is held at its unnotched end while the notched end rests on the player’s left leg. The smooth stick, held in the right hand, is scraped up and down over the notches. The sticks produce a rasping sound in the same rhythm as the water drum ka’nohko’wah that leads the singing.

Rasping sticks are used only at wakes, held in people’s homes, and even here their use is quite rare, with preference given to the drum. The sticks are either buried with the person for whom the wake is held or are broken and burned with the drum-beater used during the singing....

Article

Kapelye  

Article

Mary Riemer-Weller

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[ká’nowa’, gasdöwøe’ sä]

Generic term for vessel rattles of the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy peoples of northeastern North America. Haudenosaunee vessel rattles are made from horn, bark, gourd, tin, and coconuts, as well as snapping, box, and painted turtles.

The most important rattle is the kanyáhte’ [kánˀo:waỉ] (‘great turtle rattle’) made from the shell, head, and neck of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine). It is called ganya:hde gano:wa or ganya:hde gasdawedra in Cayugan. Its construction is a skilled and lengthy process: the legs, tail, and viscera are removed and the shell is placed in the earth for ants to clean it; chokecherry pits are placed inside the shell and all openings are sewn closed. The head and neck are stretched out to form a handle, which is supported by a wooden rod or splints and wrapped with a rawhide thong, friction tape, or strips of inner tree bark (hickory or slippery elm are preferred). After the rattle has dried, it may be varnished and painted with red, black, or brown dots, bands, or crosses. The dimensions vary according to the size of the turtle and the total length can be from 25 to 50 cm. Instruments of about 30 cm are considered best for playing....