SATURDAY NIGHT ON THE REZ

The music is a cumbia by a Tohono O’odham group. I am not sure where the video clip came from, but it seems more plains Nation than Arizona border. However, there’s a lot of energy in the dance. Especially from the young fellow in the foreground:

If you have never heard of the Tohono O’odham nation, they are also somewhat better known as the “Papago.” Just don’t call a Tohono that, you might wind up with a bust in the snoot. Anyhow, the Tohono “waila” sounds almost German to me:

This is probably more like what most Americans think of as “Indian dance.” It is – but the 2,000 or so Nations each had their own distinctive music and dance. This is typical of the Tsit Tsista, or Cheyenne as the French Missionaries are said to have named the Nation:

Of course, speaking of Europeanization, the various Nations tended to “pick up licks” from whatever cultural group they first or most strongly came in contact with. The words to this will be strange, the tune should be familiar:

There are many more surprises in American Indian music. While some will not be your cup of tea, some is sure to please you.

Stranger

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