Passamaquoddy Ceremonial Songs
Aesthetics and Survival
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
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This is a study of a group of Native American ceremonies, written by a musicologist whose cultural identity is Euro-American. It reflects centuries of relations between Europeans, including my direct ancestors, and Native people in northeastern North America. The ceremonies under consideration are part of the alliance protocols ...
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Chapter 1: Identity, History, Tradition
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Peskotomuhkatiyik are the people living in Peskotomuhkatik, the region where there are plenty of pollock fish, now called Passamaquoddy Bay.1 This area of deep bays, high tides, and many small islands—only one part of their traditional homelands—is shared between the United States and Canada. The bay itself is fed by several rivers, along which the people traveled in small bands ...
Chapter 2: Sources
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Written sources constitute the materials for historical study, which may em
Chapter 3: Overview of Passamaquoddy Songs
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There are two way to define the music of any contemporary community: by all the music that is made and used within it, or by the style identified with that community wherever it is made and used. I have chosen the latter, because Peskotomuhkatiyik have maintained their social ties and their culture despite conditions that caused migration and dispersal throughout Native ...
Chapter 4: Musical Instruments
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The Passamaquoddy community today is affected by global musical influences, like the culture of the United States as a whole. A wide variety of musical styles is available over the airwaves, and instruments from around the world may be purchased a short distance from the reservations. The reservation communities themselves are magnets ...
Chapter 5: Welcoming Ceremonies
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Every school child in the United States has heard a story of how the Pilgrims were welcomed by Native Americans when they landed at Plymouth Rock: meetings were held between their leaders; treaties were signed; the Pilgrims were taught to plant corn; and it all culminated in feasting at the first Thanksgiving. These stories have achieved the status of foundational myths ...
Chapter 6: Ceremonies of Peace and War
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Historical records of European interactions with Peskotomuhkatiyik and their allies indicate that ceremonies of welcome, alliance, and warfare were related as part of the protocols for political conferences. They appear together in the Wampum Records of the Wabanaki Confederacy. Connections between the welcoming ceremonies and those of peace and war are explicitly made in ...
Chapter 7: The Marriage Ceremony and Social Dances
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Protocols for marriage are included in the Wampum Records of the Wabanaki Confederacy, underscoring the interpretation of marriage as a kind of alliance. Historically, this was often the case. Marriage was at the least an alliance between two families, creating bonds of honor and ultimately of blood between them. Since political allegiance within the Wabanaki communities for ...
Chapter 8: Aesthetics and Survival
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Performances of the ceremonies of the Wabanaki Confederacy at the Sipayik Indian Days are contrasted throughout this study with performances of the same protocols in other contexts. The Indian Day presentations differ from other contemporary performances in that they are reconstructions for a general audience, with a primary purpose of educating outsiders about ...
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Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 10 illus.
Publication Year: 2010