Traditional Native American Indian Music

Published on January 31, 2012 by Casey

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Native American Indian instrument
Native American Indian instrument

Traditional Native American Indian Music

Music is an important part of everyday life for Native American Indians. Just as there are many different Indian communities and tribes, there are many different styles of Native American Indian music.

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The role of music in the life of Indians, however, shares several common ideas: songs and music are used in religious rituals, music is thought to contribute to healing, it accompanies work or games, allows for storytelling, and is a big part of social events.

While different regions had stylistic differences, even within a specific tribe the music varied: harvest festivals, birthing and naming ceremonies, funeral ceremonies, war dances, and hunting dances all have their own distinct music.

The most important Native American Indian instrument was and still is the drum, although flutes and rattles are also very common. The basic construction of the drum is very similar in most tribes: a wooden frame or a carved and hollowed-out log, with finely tanned buckskin or elkskin stretched taut across the opening by sinew thongs.

Source: artsology Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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