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Omaha Indian Music-Hethu'shka Society Concert

Omaha Indian Music-Hethu'shka Society Concert

  • By Various Artists
  • Release 09/05/2006
  • Music Genre International
  • Media Format CD
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Price: £9.91

Product Notes

The proliferation of instruments imbued with sacred symbolism is often a work of art in itself. Omaha Indians perform many different genres of music and those of the Hethu'shka Society are quite exclusive. This honorary body of Omaha Indians once represented the elite warrior class and has now been entrusted with the preservation of tribal culture and tradition, and this role is evident in the songs and dances they perform. The items presented at powwows by the Hethu'shka Society are a much awaited and treasured feature, since they present traditional dances and songs, including a series of war dances that are of special significance to the Omaha Indians. A case in point was the Hethu'shka Society concert of 1985, where the featured items were representative of the antique recordings made by Francis La Flesche, the son of an Omaha chief and the 19th century historian Alice Fletcher. The concert flier announced - FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT - TRADITIONAL Omaha Indian Music: Dances and songs performed by members of the Hethu'shka or Warrior Society of the Omaha Tribe, Macy, Nebraska. Thursday, August 22, 1985 Neptune Plaza, Library of Congress. 12 noon-1:30 P.M. To the many who attended it, American history surely took on a new meaning. The Hethu'shka Society Concert CD features 13 traditional Hethu'shka songs that were performed at the concert. Amongst them: The Whipman's Song In Hethu'shka context, the Whipman is the head dancer and his function is reflected by the title, which has been derived from the original meaning of 'scout'. It is his duty to motivate people to rise to the occasion, and events such as this concert use three to four 'whipmen' to do this. This is the Whipman's 'theme song'. 'Sneak up' Song The music accompanying this dance is a very high introductory section to a tremolo drumming, followed by a vigorous fast song. During the tremolo section, traditional dancers walked about 10 yards forward. It is so named because it took place out of order from the original concert schedule. Grand Finale Song: Translated, the words of this song exhort the audience of get up, since the ceremony is over and the participants are leaving. Songs renditions by this Nebraskan Native Indian tribe first immortalized by the earliest sound recording technology known to man - the Edison phonograph. Here is the background of some of these historic tracks recorded at the 1983 Omaha powwow in Macy, Nebraska: Flag Song This song is normally sung towards the conclusion of a program. During this concert, however, it was rendered almost at the outset. A colloquial translation of it's lyrics would be - 'When you went overseas, you made a stand so that the flag could be raised. When you returned, you brought the flag back. You saved our lives' These and nine other traditional musical songs of the Hethu'shka Indians were sung during the 1985 concert and are included on this fascinating CD. EDITORIAL REVIEW: Omaha Indians have no particular traditions of music entertainment. Their musical orientation was largely spiritual, performed usually in groups in a ritual setting important to their religion. The Hethu'shka constituted the warrior class of the Omaha tribes, much like the Kshatriya caste of ancient Hindustan. Theirs was, and is again, a highly regarded rank, since the Omaha Indians place great value on valor and distinction in battle. There were distinct parameters for membership to the Hethu'shka Society - the candidate had to have earned public honor with his exploits. As such, this is the warrior elite and has great influence on matters pertaining to the tribe as a whole. Naturally, their music and dances reflect their orientation and status. The fabled Warpath has become a highly modified concept in modern times, and the Hethu'shka Society stood as good as disbanded for a long time. However, it was eventually recognized that the values it stands for are the very essence of Omaha Indian culture, and the Hethu'shka Society has witnessed a revival of sorts. This time around, it is entrusted with the general welfare of the Omaha people and the preservation of their culture. The 13 songs included on the Hethu'shka Society Concert CD from A2ZCDS are set to dances traditionally performed to commemorate definite events in the lives of Omaha Indians. They were originally compiled between 1895 and 1910 in wax cylinder format by ethnologist Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche, scion of an Omaha Chief. There is a refreshing rustic aura surrounding these songs, and the listener derives a definite sense of cultural history from the experience. The selection includes songs of love, songs dedicating the harvest, funeral songs and various others. This CD is highly recommended to students of ethnic sociology and American cultural history. ----------------- CUSTOMER'S REVIEWS: 'Let's not pretend to understand everything there is to understand about our ethnic roots. The Omaha Indians probably know a lot more about our homeland than we do. How much of their knowledge is secreted between the lines of these songs (on the Hethu'shka Society Concert CD)? On listening to them, what comes across most strongly is the pure simplicity of these people. I was rudely reminded of the fact that we have stolen this simplicity from the Omaha Indians.' Customer's Name: Amanda Castellan (Brookings, South Dakota) 'I have heard recordings of voodoo chants and had thought that this live recording from A2ZCDS will be like that - but it isn't. There is no evil in these tunes. Instead, there is a sacredness and naturalness to the unassuming music that we, as modern people, will never understand and be able to replicate. I was deeply moved by this collection.' Customer's Name: Rick Warren (Orem, Utah)

Details

Artist: Various Artists
Title: Omaha Indian Music-Hethu'shka Society Concert
Genre: International
Release Date: 09/05/2006
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 882012001349
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