Resistance in Indigenous Music: A Continuum of Sound
The purpose of this research is to examine past and present Indigenous music and how both interconnect in a continuum of sound and meaning. This research is intended to address the value and benefits of Indigenous music in today’s society based on the past practice of music as an integral aspect of all elements of life. With a main focus on Northern Plains knowledge of music, elements of continuity illustrate how Indigenous music promotes resistance, social change and healing for both rural and urban Indigenous peoples. The research methodology is based on an Indigenous knowledge framework that prioritizes the study of Indigenous music through an Indigenous lens. Interviews with musicians and ceremonialists confirm that Indigenous music relates to and is embedded in the physical, political, economical and spiritual worlds. Through a trans-disciplinary approach, this thesis allows reconsideration of the place and space in which Indigenous music dwells within our current culture. By reassessing the limited definitions of traditional, this study shows that the idea of Indigenous music becomes an emancipatory, evolving and constant stream of consciousness embedded in the adaptations of our people. With the interviewees’ knowledge, I have constructed a unique understanding of Indigenous music, how it adapts with modernization, yet maintains an original intention, purpose, meaning and message. Indigenous worldview, consisting of ceremonies, protocols, teachings and knowledge of history, ensures continued existence through song and music. I focused on the drum, women’s roles, prayers, language and hip hop as examples of resistance within Indigenous nations. As we begin to consider decolonization strategies within Indigenous communities, musicians and ceremonialists serve an essential role in this process.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeInnes, Robert; Van Styvendale, Nancy
Copyright DateAugust 2013