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Chad Stephen Hamill

[kiwkiwíl’ec]

Frame drum of the Native Americans of the Columbia Plateau. It is traditionally made of deer or elk hide stretched over a wooden circular hoop typically 5.5 to 10 cm deep and 25 to 38 cm in diameter, and struck by a stick with one hand. The hide is perforated at the perimeter with an awl or deer antler to form a series of holes 4 to 5 cm apart, then soaked, stretched over the frame, and tied through the holes across the open back, creating a knot in the center for a grip. Called pumíntn by Salish speakers and kiwkiwíl’ec by Sahaptin speakers, it is particularly important in the context of the Washat (Seven Drum Religion), a complex ceremony of drumming, dancing, and singing that honours indigenous foods and natural cycles that sustain the community. The drum is also used in communal ceremonies, as an accompaniment for personal songs, and during healings conducted by a medicine person....

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Qilílu  

Chad Stephen Hamill

Idiophone of the Native Americans of the Columbia Plateau. Literally ‘rawhide’ in the Sahaptin language, it is made of a bison hide wrapped fur-side in around itself as a bundle 50 to 80 cm long and allowed to dry and harden. It is held with one hand by several singers who use the other hand to strike it either with an open palm or a stick. A possible precursor to the drum, it formerly was used in a tradition known as ...

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Raberi  

J. Richard Haefer

[raveli]

Violin of the Rarámuri (Tarahumara) people of Chihuahua, Mexico. The instruments have the basic European violin shape although the size and proportions vary; some are as large as a viola. Traditionally, the four strings were made from goat gut, but nowadays nylon and metal strings are normal. The bridge might be handmade or commercially mass-produced. Local woods such as ash, maple, pine, and willow are used for the top and back, and fresh, green wood that bends easily is used for the bouts, which can have a distinctly squared shape. Traditionally, the woods are glued with gum from the roots of the ŕako plant.

Typically, the fingerboard, of inóko (a local hardwood), extends to the top of the C- or f-shaped soundholes. The soundholes often end in a small circle or a cluster of two or three small circles. The tailpiece is attached with cord or wire to an extension of the back; there is no endpin. The nut is part of the one-piece neck and pegbox. The pegbox might terminate in a carved scroll but usually does not. The bow, made from ...

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Sandia  

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Bryan Burton

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Santee  

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Chad Stephen Hamill

Scraper of the Native Americans of the Columbia Plateau. A serrated 30- to 60-cm length of wood or bone or an oblong piece of hardened, notched rawhide is held to the ground at a slant, and scraped up and down over the notches with a stick. It was the main rhythm instrument before the advent of the drum in Sahaptin cultures and remains in use nowadays....

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Saúga  

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Mary Riemer-Weller

revised by J. Richard Haefer

[shawikuth]

Vessel rattle of the Tohono O’odham (Papago) Indians of southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. It is made from a dried gourd (Largenaria siceraria) about 15 cm in diameter and 20 cm long. The stem end is cut off just beneath the body and large stones or pieces of broken glass are placed inside and shaken to clean the interior. The gourd is then boiled to make it harder, to sharpen the sound. Many small pebbles from the edge of desert anthills are used for the rattle elements, though some players prefer four larger stones obtained from the Gulf of California.

A handle is carved from cottonwood tree root and fitted to the open end of the gourd; the handle extends through the top of the gourd where it is secured by a small wooden peg. If it does not fit tightly, gummy secretions from the creosote bush can be used as glue. Small soundholes are drilled in the body. The tip of the handle may be decorated with downy eagle feathers....

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Charlotte Heth and Karen Faye Taborn

Native American group of Creek origin formerly referred to as the Lower Creek. They began to migrate from their towns in the present state of Georgia into northern Florida in the early 18th century. Increasing conflicts with Anglo-Americans led the majority of Seminoles to relocate to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in the 1830s where they continue to share some of their music and ceremonies with the nearby Creek Indians today. The remaining Seminoles presently reside in the Everglades and the Big Cypress Swamp region of Florida.

In Florida, Seminole music includes songs associated with treatment of the sick, with success in hunting or ball games, and with various stories and legends; and other songs that are used to accompany the Corn Dance, Hunting Dance, social dances, and other events (Densmore, 1956). Musical instruments include coconut-shell hand rattles used by men, turtle-shell and tin-can leg rattles worn by women, water-drums and knee drums made of cypress (both played by men), and flutes. In Oklahoma, all types of song and all instruments but the knee drum are used by the Seminole....

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Senasom  

J. Richard Haefer

[teenatzo]

Sistrum-type rattle of the Yoeme Yaqui people of Arizona and northern Mexico, and the Mayo and Guarijio peoples of Sonora, Mexico. A piece of wood approximately 30 cm long by 5 cm square has a rectangular chamber with open centre about 15 cm long cut into one end, and a rounded handle at the opposite end. Inside the chamber two sets of three or four bronze or tin disks about 8 cm in diameter are inserted on metal rods. The senasom is carried by pahko’ola (pascola) dancers and played by striking it against the palm of the left hand when the dancers wear their masks in front of their face; when dancing with the mask on the side of the face the senasom is inserted into the rihhutiam (dance belt) in the centre of the dancer’s back. Their Seri neighbours to the south most likely borrowed this rattle, which they call ...

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Seneca