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so who is jerry jenkins it is oh look at these people all dressed up in the address where they would be doing with him playing with her motivation or non native point you have at sea keep the thing and then all the sudden they come across a nice margin than his military top bobby expect more ingenious the
reviews and the survival of its culture and to the future and i'm not doing traditional music and wearing a turquoise and silver that all has its own history but i'm playing this european based music and we're doing this thing that represents this most of cosmos of cultural existence all at once please do among horses horses expect he
says people have about other people because it is a long history of expectations people will visit cities it's visiting people are practicing certain kinds of music indians are primitive they don't play brass instruments they don't play modern marches they don't exist in the modern world they have drums and war dances they have chance but they don't have musical be recognized requests so many people did other kinds of music but don't think it's unexpected something is different we internalize it what's interesting i think and really worth noting is that for indian people who are
experiencing these things they're not the prisoners of that kind of white cultural infrastructure places the marches and they're quite happy to do it and the question that a white audience asks doesn't necessarily even occur to play it's a playing surface dessert he makes marching in hospice the full monty and in the hallmarks of an ending days and that says i was that is all i know is these are playing trumpet now i play bass tomorrow
speaking spanish thank you music is a universal language and on the audience that have a very competent march as the way people express
themselves and connects with others trees but the boarding schools were intended to eradicate native culture they were intended to wipe out the vestiges of the world they believe in the savage and an underage a mobile nineteenth century performers who came up with the idea of the boarding schools believed that it was imperative to remove children from their families they felt that their families were negative influence on the possibility of their becoming proper american citizens room do many schools the children were giving you names there clothes were placed with that of the military options
and very long victorian dresses it was a very hard and harsh place they were taught to speak english not speak your language are punished for speaking our language or doing things outside of what they're being taught us to be americans just as they were forbidden from speaking their native language is richard pratt believed that the students must learn euro american forms of music in eighteen seventy nine richer profiles the first indian boarding school in carlisle pennsylvania his goal kill the indian save the man fred quickly identifies music as one area or reform is necessary during the first years existence of the school for two great musical instruments to be heard where the tom tom in the indian flute which were as annoying and musical as they were constant interviews
i want to stop that but feel it wouldn't be fair to do unless i give them something else is good with most native cultures music as a primary way to transmit important information down through generations and so being able to saying being able to sing in one's language being able to sing older ceremonial songs in them and find new ones won't be able to do those who knows how we transmit history pride substitutes western estimates put the crews is in the dormitories as a way to detach is tunes from there who's this on the boarding schools the girls were taught piano because pratt and the other school teachers believed that women should warn music petition or music that they can perform in the part of the boys were top brass band music because he felt that native people
generally lax discipline and brass bands really served his purpose as a mechanism by which the students' bodies would be regimented and to support the clarinet players of the band have improved wonderfully in the last week or ten days was once a painful to listen to as now become a pleasure but carlisle bad mergers music by beethoven mozart and the marsh can john philip sousa as the hours of practice mental prep takes to ban on the role of media school marching band full of younger kids they're all uniforms that all couples hats on and they're kind of military in their precision mill kind of mostly you know that's caring and that scary really strong message about the power of education to assimilating in kids into white american culture for vaccaro band performed in parades for all of the presidential inaugurations
between creating eighties and the nineteen teens there are many many moments in american history where these american indian musicians were there and they were performing the soundtrack of those kind of experiences it is an unusual thing to see indians mourned the cornet dance lighting the trombone most people think all they can do is use to talk and our efforts but what effect does this new found notoriety have on the students themselves had buried in an instant trade in their own musical traditions for something else what they're doing is operating in this really interesting kind of complicated culture today just to think you know what it was like to be a young person taken out of your family context and put into this new context you should never forget how hard that was how brutal that was right how unconscionable that was in so many
ways but i think when you look in the eyes of these people he also after member that they were human beings are playing music for some of these people was a way of sort of figuring out that connotation of having creating an emotional life of creating a community for themselves a figure survival kinds of techniques you know in the middle of an oppressive kind of situation and this didn't mean that this was the only kind of music that like this didn't mean that that pratt's plan worked there all the sudden these students were only performing this quote unquote civilized music that they had transformed into something that they're not for women was that simply day enjoy this kind of additional instruction because they made what they wanted to wear her jewish readers once the students at the schools they would form their own bands and in fact this instruction and brass
band music prompted this new tradition that erupted on reservations across the country they've learned that playing music for the intellectual debate is now getting this now we'll be able to change attitudes it's a stereotype and our pretty non natives a very different picture of a panacea and the view is in a very different light greg critser this goes for dozens of all the indian bands using their native identity as their calling card on the one hand they're demonstrating at pratt boarding schools were on many counts toward failure in terms of this plan too assimilated the tribal eyes students on the other hand these musicians are very smart and yemen of them also realized that we could probably make a lot of money if we
performed these pieces by susannah wearing headdresses a buckskin and the dead and then they've got the great plains headdress rate which is this signifier of indians nor to be recognized to be visible to be legible some indian pudding on the headdress and early twentieth century is the absolute do it these are people who you understood you know the power of marketing and of marketing themselves in in a certain way i believe that the dollars became very aware that this is starting to become a very good and not a chart but it i think it became old a lot lesbians and jazz bands sometimes uneven reports interviews with the scent of their ruined in there the growing recognition of indians as talented musicians challenges more nostalgic depictions of indian culture
it's really interesting to contrast these bands with while the show's well as shows are our performances of narratives that everybody no unions are attacking a common george custer well the show allows unions to be placed in narratives of the past and performance places indians right in the heart of modernity they developed a remarkable way i think are perceiving what the new economy was and where they would be allowed to enjoy it they sell movies american way these colorful ways of turn the mirror back to anglo american culture in saying okay this we got it and i think that's really of value as our culture changes
being able to express from a traditional perspective or express from a contemporary expression about being in the world and utilizing all of those skills together you know is quite important i think this is kind of the piece of this twentieth century early twenties and for a moment that we don't catch a very often has the exuberance of the new people the possibilities for them not only in their home communities right but out there in the world sort of enjoying and venturing suffering hard times yes also a fearless today most of the original bands are gone our forebears remain to carry that tradition for an addition to the form are then the award winning
zuni pueblo ben from mexico plays at local state and national events to reduce injuries the multi generational navajo nation is enjoyed by hundreds of festival goers every summer and as martian three unit histories presidential inauguration and in upstate new york with your accordion and that is the community for the river she was over to him to school soon not to reset christian welcome you here to the story the nation think they can feel they we are here to what we're going to do right now we're going to play for you the liberty bell thank you
it was a journey that prince's request in twenty thirteen or fourteen years i can't sit still listen to john philip sousa certain romance or sometimes known i think especially in some coffee and pastries in the lobby of the hospital singing
till goofy stories where getting to hang out with good guys in jails is part of the final season of the band go along with the music for family head washington post iroquois indian marching band was under the direction my great grandfather chief alan green unlike other bands greenspan was nominated former boarding school students the group was formed in the early nineteen hundreds by musicians who simply shared a love of music wilson
people are because you want to listen to music and the original tape recorders or cds or reports or reveals television is it was a big thing for her and how they had a chance they had maybe twenty seven players and their names and get a different times my great great uncles would be playing the trombones are playing the plane the bases or playing the trumpets and playing the drums and playing with playing with fury on fuel corp would fire another thing and now a knight i often think of that one sometimes when our band is on stage and finally i think
there's two kinds of memory continues to inspire his great grandson buddy rich history and home movies are not the only treasure is the regional that left behind this new acres tell viola like oh we're pouring in various to play it's you know violent what the old and we will was even though ana good stuff there for where is research continues to consume there has been
this is because businesses see something else this is morning edition threats the reason the form of orchestrating a revolution and brass music we start in nineteen oh six so we got over a hundred years ago a music note that test our music and even further now that are now he said he wanted to stop gospel
music as we call it for bird song re invent from jordan rau through brass music now you know i'll lay on is not that we don't have two more that were pioneered with grass to live with this brutal different channels in the us there were a lot of cars
the national anthem because although i'm a hobby but only americans were probably americans and we will never be completely wipe out this fight to me that more than me that military dominate this is that are on base and then if it's embedded and how the band that come to be and this is that if we have included as but we've also require schools the store and that he balanced is a celebration of music and but also abandoned resilience empowerment and tradition and emotion is a will be around because of their internal audiences that to say the bands themselves people get together to play music that just happens it's a great thing it's a way for young people to identify with being traditional and
modern at the same time it's our only to deal with poverty and will not lose yourself they may seem as though indians have substituted for their own traditions for their own history something so and it was something so white but the fact is that in these long ago gave the highest unionized all of these things they are no longer anyone they are a part of what they do and an absolutely essential part of at and fb options fb is this
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Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum
Producing Organization
Native American Public Telecommunications
The Center for Independent Documentary
Contributing Organization
Vision Maker Media (Lincoln, Nebraska)
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Program Description
When you hear the phrase "Native American music" you may not think of tubas, trumpets, and Sousa marches. Yet, this rich musical tradition has long been a part of Native American culture. Experience the Native American music scene like never before and get an inside look at contemporary Indian life in this unexpected and engaging half-hour documentary, Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum.
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Local Communities
Race and Ethnicity
Copyright Desert Penguin Pictures, 2012
Media type
Moving Image
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Director: O'Connell, Cathleen
Producer: O'Connell, Cathleen
Producer: Luther, Billy
Producing Organization: Native American Public Telecommunications
Producing Organization: The Center for Independent Documentary
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Vision Maker Media
Identifier: 2013-00840 (VMM Inventory #)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 0:25:50
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum,” 2012-00-00, Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 23, 2024,
MLA: “Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum.” 2012-00-00. Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Sousa on the Rez: Marching to the Beat of a Different Drum. Boston, MA: Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from
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