September 23rd, 2013 Last Updated on: September 23rd, 2013
Q) How did you begin your life in powwows?
A)I am a Dakota Sioux from the Sisseton Wahpeton Sioux Tribe. I began my life in powwows when i was young, around 3 years old. My Family and I would always go to a Powwow almost every weekend.
Q) What drum do you sing with? What's your current drum?
A) Currently I am not designated to a current drum, How ever I have been traveling with the Iron Boy Singers as well as being the Co/Lead Singer of the Mid Noon drum group.
Iron Boy Video
Q) How would you describe your music to someone who wasn't familiar with powwow music?
A) I would describe the Style of Powwow Music as something Powerful and Uplifting, Gives Encouragement to the People. Whether it's a powwow or ceremony.
Q) Which style of powwow music do you sing? What does the drum mean to you and to your life?
A) The style of powwow music I would prefer singing is the contemporary style, Which has a more uptempo beat and higher energy singing. I was raised to respect the drum and was taught that always take care of the drum and the drum will take care of you.
Q) What are the most important qualities a drum group should have? Why?
A) Loyalty, Respect, Integrity. Because all the singers need to have these aspects to make the Drum Group successful and dependable.
Q) What are some of your favorites powwow memories? Share some good ones!
A) Winning 1st place at a couple powwows with the Iron Boy singers, Being Honored by 7 Whistle Carriers and a Fan of Encouragement at Founders Day Wacipi 2011 with Mid Noon, and Black Hills Powwow 2010 when I proposed to my Lovely Wife Gabrielle in front of the Entire Powwow.
Q) What is the most valuable lesson that being part of a drum group has taught you? How has applying that lesson or lessons impacted your life?
Why should folks listen to your music? What do you hope will happen when they do?
A) Commitment to the Drum, It taught me Discipline and Respect no matter where you are singing. The type of music I like to sing gives of good energy and good feeling.
Q) For those who may not have grown up listening to powwow drums,what should they listen for in a song? What makes a song a “Gooder”?
A) The People should listen for the Awesome Style of the Song being sung, The type of Energy it puts out to the dancers and spectators.
A) I have a lot of favorite drum groups, here are some for example. Iron Boy, Northern Cree, Midnite Express, Blackstone, Blacklodge, Whitefish Jrs., Southern Cree, Southern Boys, Thunder Hill, Sizzortail, Yellow Hammer, Whitetail, Whitetail Boyz, The Boyz, Eyabay, Maza Kute, North Bear, Young Bear, Young Spirit, Mountain Soul, Pipestone and many more! Some other musical inspirations I have would vary, Just basically whatever sounds good.
Q) What is on the horizon for you? What are your Plans for powwow season and beyond?
A) I plan to continue my singing career throughout powwows and possibly doing a Solo Round Dance CD.
Q) If you could jam with any drum throughout history,which one would you choose?
A) There are a lot of Amazingly Talented Drum Groups out there, It would truly be a tough decision.
Q) What are some of your favorite powwows? What makes a successful powwow in your eyes?
A) My favorite powwows are Shakopee, Prairie Island, Black Hills, Founders Day, Julyamsh, Untied Tribes, Denver March, Rocky Boy, Hinckley, Flandreau, Sisseton, Ft Hall. In My eyes a Successful Powwow would be the Drum Groups, because without the Drums and their Good Music there would be no Powwow.
Dr. Dawn Karima Pettigrew is the author of two novels, THE WAY WE MAKE SENSE and THE MARRIAGE OF SAINTS. Her home is Cherokee, NC.
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