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Traditional Dancer

Rose Ann Abrahamson
(Lemhi-Shoshone)
Women's Traditional Dancer
from the book
People of the Circle

Feather Dancer
Michael Roberts
(Choctaw-Chickasaw)
Men's Fancy Dancer
from the book
Powwow - Photographs by Ben Marra
Ben Marra 1996

Jingle Dancer

Andrea "Sissy" Gopher
(Chippewa/Cree/Jemez Pueblo)
Jingle Dancer
from the book
People of the Circle

Traditional Dancer

Derwin Velarde
(Jicarilla Apache)
Men's Traditional Dancer
from the book
Powwow - Photographs by Ben Marra
Ben Marra 1996

Straight Dancer

William Moore
(Prairie Band Potawatomi)
Men's Straight Dancer
from the book
Powwow - Photographs by Ben Marra
Ben Marra 1996

Native American Music Styles

There are many different styles of Native American music. We categorize them to assist you in finding a title appropriate to your tastes and needs.  Eventually, we will have extended descriptions and examples for each category.  For now, here's the description of our powwow category.

       
POWWOW

This is the music typically heard at powwows. It consists of strong drumming and singing. The dancers keep step to the drum and celebrate the dance in their own unique styles. Some recordings are live in which you can hear the bells and whistles of the dancers and others are studio recordings. There are several distinct types of music in our powwow category:

   
Northern Style
   
A Northern Style drum is a drum group which sings in the style of the Northern Plains tribes such as the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, Crow, Blackfeet and Cree. Northern Style powwow music typically has very high pitched singing and a fast beat. Note that members of Northern Style drums are not always from northern tribes. There are excellent Northern Style drums which are made up of drummers from the Navajo Nation (a very Southwest tribe).

Intertribal Song Intertribal Song
by Black Lodge Singers
from Pow Wow Songs Recorded Live at White Swan
Mens Traditional Song Men's Traditional
by High Noon
from High Noon Original Style

Southern Style

A Southern Style drum sings in the style of the Southern Plains tribes such as the Ponca and Kiowa. Southern Style powwow music is typically sung in a lower pitch and slower beat than Northern style music and is somewhat more reserved.

Intertribal Song Intertribal Song
by Southern Thunder
from From the Heart – Vol 1
Intertribal Song Intertribal Song
by Yellowhammer
from Live at Hollywood, Florida

Veteran's Honor Songs

Native Americans have a long tradition of honoring their warriors. From the time of the Plains horse culture and the Indian Wars to contemporary conflicts of Vietnam and Desert Storm, those who defended the people were honored in song. Even today, virtually all powwows begin with a veteran's song to honor those who have served our country in the Armed Forces.

Soldier Boy Song Soldier Boy
by Black Lodge Singers
from American Warriors — Songs for Indian Warriors
World War I & II Song World War I & II
by Black Lodge Singers
from American Warriors — Songs for Indian Warriors

And More...

Note that even in the powwow category there are many styles of songs such as straight dance, sneak up, jingle dress, grass dance, two-step, and many more. We'll try to provide information on these songs in the future.

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