Indian Songs Of Today

Recorded and Edited by Willard Rhodes
Music Of The American Indian from the Archive of Folk Culture L36
Ever since Columbus discovered America the native Indians of this continent have held a great interest and romantic fascination for non-Indian peoples. To the modern man engulfed in a mechanized, industrialized civilization in which he becomes more and more dependent upon unionized organizations of his fellow men for the necessities of life, the simple primeval life of the Indian appears to be one of unlimited freedom. For, generations children have bedecked themselves with feathers and Indian costumes in "playing Indian," and the Boy Scouts of America have based a large part of their program upon Indian lore. The techniques of camping, making a fire with the fire drill, and trail blazing, and the campfire gathering with its stories, songs, and dances, are but a few of the things that the Boy Scouts and American educators have borrowed from the Indian.

The borrowings have not been limited to the material culture, for the ethics and social organization have been similarly influenced by Indian concepts of tribal government and social life. The Boy Scout organization bears a striking resemblance to the age-grade men's societies of the Plains Indians, in which a young man advanced from one society to another as he aged and validated his rights to membership.

An enumeration of the Indian's contributions to the culture and economy of the white man reveals information of which the average American is little aware. The Indians of North and South America gave us corn, tobacco, cacao, alligator pear (avacado), cashew nuts, the tomato, pineapple, manioc (cassava), sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and gourds.

The question is often asked, "What are Indians like today?" It is not possible to give a simple answer to this question for the various tribes have reacted differently to their contacts with the white man. Three hundred and fifty years of association and contact with European-American civilization have not destroyed the intrinsic tribal culture of many groups. Though the Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona live very much like their white neighbors, having accepted modern technology, they have not abandoned their language, religion, or social organization. It is a tribute to the inherent strength and integrity of the Indian character that they have been able to keep their culture intact and functional despite the impact of alien influences. They are proud of being American Indians and they cling tenaciously to those concepts and values distinguish them from other peoples.

The Navajo, the largest tribe in the United States, have been less affected by modern civilization than the Pueblo. Living in small family groups scattered a scattered over a reservation of sixteen million acres, two-thirds of which is desert, they have had relatively little direct contact with the white man and his culture. But great changes are in progress. The forward-looking leaders of the tribal council are making heroic efforts to improve the economic status of their people by introducing modern techniques of land use, sponsoring programs of adult education, and developing the various resources of the land. The government program of education, expanded and accelerated since World War II, will eventually contribute much to the improvement of the Navaho's living conditions. The Navajo possess a tremendous physical and mental vigor that will serve them well in their adjustment to a changing world.

In Oklahoma and Western Washington, where reservations have been broken up by the individual allotment of land, Indians live on farms beside white neighbors who have bought into the reservation. While some lease their land to white ranchers and farmers, others farm their fields and tend their herds of livestock. They live and dress
like white men, their children attend public schools, and to the passing observer there are only a few external features by which they can be identified as Indians. However closer association with them reveals those intangible qualities that mark their character and personality. Though changing social and economic conditions have forced on them a new way of life to which they have obligingly conformed, they have not forgotten their Indian heritage.

Modern medical science and hospitals generally have replaced the practices of the old medicine men, and tribal ceremonies have given way to the secular pow-wow, Fourth of July celebrations, and the Indian fair. The Indian is by tradition religious, and while many have become members of Christian churches, Catholic and Protestant, others have found their deepest religious experience in the new Indian religions that have developed within the last century. In the Northwest the Indians have established their own nativistic Shaker church in which many of the belief's and practices of the old guardian spirit religion are combined with Christian concepts and doctrine. In Oklahoma the Peyote cult, chartered with the State of Oklahoma as the Native American Church, has flourished and given spiritual sustenance to those who practice its teachings.

Through the years Indians have suffered untold hardships at the hands of the white man. They have been pushed off their rich lands and forcibly removed to reservations on dry, unproductive lands that. were foreign to them. Treaties were made only to be broken and superseded by new treaties, when it was to the advantage of the
government to do so. All this combined with a series of fluctuating, contradictory, government programs under changing administrations has bewildered the Indian and robbed him of a sense of security. Despite these inequalities and injustices the Indians have remained loyal and friendly to the United States. In the nineteenth century, they furnished skilled scouts who rendered invaluable service to the U.S. Army. In the twentieth century, they contributed generously of their, young men and women to the armed services in two World Wars and the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Invigorated by a renewed awareness of their unique identity, Indians are uniting in their demands for self-government, respect for treaties, justice, and human rights.

The United States Government has obligated itself repeatedly in its treaties with Indian tribes to provide for the education of Indians as an aid in their adjustment to the dominant white culture and as a means of conserving the desirable values of their own culture. A primary objective of Indian schools is "to give students an understanding and appreciation of the cultural contribution their own tribal arts have made to the literature, art, music and folklore of the nation," It was toward the realization of this goal that Willard W. Beatty, director of Indian education from 1937 to 1951, oriented the curriculum of Indian schools and introduced a lively and enriched program of art, music, and literature.

The songs presented on the accompanying record were recorded between 1938 and 1952, during which time I served the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs as education specialist and music consultant. The age of the singers ranges from that of children entering school (Seminole Duck Dance, Al) to that of maturing youths as they approach the completion of their high school education (B6, 7, 8). When the record was first published in 1954 it was titled, Indian Songs of Today, for it was a broad and representative sampling of the songs that were being sung by young people at the time. One can safely predict that many of these songs are still being sung a generation later, and possibly by the children of those young people who contributed to this album. But one would also expect to find new songs that have been added to the repertoire. Except in a few instances I have purposely refrained from notating the melodies of these songs. If they are to be sung by non-Indian children they should be learned by ear as the Indian children learn them. By relying so heavily upon notation for the transmission of music in music education, children's interest and enthusiasm is oftimes dulled and their creativity thwarted.

Play song


Performed by


Native Words



Seminole Duck Dance In the nature world of the Indians, animals were regarded with great respect. They acted as intermediaries between the Creator and man and became guardian spirits to those whom they chose to protect and endow with their power. Many songs have been given to the Indians by animals that appeared to them in dreams and visions. Animals have personality and character and behave very much like human beings. The Indians have many animal dances, most of which are honorific or propitiatory, for the Indian generally apologized to the animal for killing it and offered a sacrifice to its spirit, In the animal dances, the dancers often mimed the characteristic movements of the particular animal that was being honored. With the passing of time, many of the dances lost their religious character and became purely social and secular. Bear, buffalo, rabbit, eagle, alligator, horse, mule, skunk, owl, duck, snake, chicken, and fish are but a few of the many animals and birds that have inspired Indian dances.

The "Seminole Duck Dance Song" of the Creek and other Muskogean-speaking peoples was recorded by a group of young children from the Pueblo San Ildefonso in August 1940. The children were spending the month at the, Santa Fe Indian School, where they were pupils in a demonstration class that was being conducted as part of the In-Service Summer School for Teachers in Indian Service by the Education Division of the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. As education specialist, my work was to demonstrate how music might function in the school program of the average Indian day school. The children were most responsive, but when I asked them for an Indian song they were reticent. I was prepared for their reluctance, and understanding the reasons for their hesitancy. I dropped my request. When I offered to sing and teach them a Seminole Duck Dance from Oklahoma their approval was definite. No doubt they curious to hear a white man sing an Indian song, but I think they were mainly interested in learning a new song from Indians in Oklahoma. They learned the song by rote with surprising facility and enthusiasm. From that day on to the end of school, I never had to beg for Indian songs. They were happy and eager to share their music with me. The children sang the song so prettily that I have included it in this collection. This explanation of the circumstances under which the song was recorded will answer the query of the listener who wonders why a Seminole song is sung by a group of San Ildefonso children.

The song was notated by Mrs. Nancy H. Brigman, teacher of music at Carter Seminary, Ardmore, Oklahoma, from the singing of Hazel Palmer, one of her students. Mrs. Brigman kindly supplied me with a copy of her notation and a description of the dance. In 1951 I received a version of the song as sung by a group of Creek Indians at Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Direction for the Dance:

The dancers form two groups, the men in one, the women in the other, and take positions in pairs or couples.

In first figure the dancers remain in position, and during the singing of the song they sway from side to side with the following step: On the first beat of the song, a small side step is made with the left foot, followed by a light swing of the right foot against the left foot, followed by a light swing of the right foot against the left foot on the second beat. On the third and fourth beats, these steps are repeated in the opposite direction, the right foot stepping to the right followed by a swing of the left foot. These steps are made with a bouncing motion on the ball of the foot and a flexing up and down movement of the knee, imitating the waddling walk of the duck. The hands hang down at the sides. The dancers continue these swaying steps in their position throughout the singing of the song until the leader interrupts with the spoken signal, tick-la-ho, whereupon the singing ceases and the dancers move on to the next figure. The couple in Group A join inside hands and hold them high, forming an arch under which the couples of Group B pass, much as in the game of London Bridge. After the dancers of Group B have passed under the arch and turned to their original position, the first figure is resumed and continued until the leader again calls tick-la-ho. This time Group A passes under an arch made by Group B. As Group A comes out from under the arch, the leading couple starts the formation of a single circle in which all join hands and circle in a counter-clock-wise direction, singing the song ad libitum until the leader decides to stop.
Creek Lullaby Indian babies were well cared for by their families. From birth the child was surrounded with loving care and attention from his parents, grandparents, and brothers and sisters, all of whom were responsive to his needs. When he was hungry he was fed. When he was tired he slept. He did not have to conform to a fixed schedule, regulated by the clock. Indian mothers sang their babies to sleep as they rocked them to and fro on the cradle board. Some of the loveliest Indian melodies are the lullabies with which the babies were sung to sleep. This song was recorded at Haskell Institute, Lawrence, Kansas, during the summer of 1943. It was sung by Margaret, a little Creek girl who was a student at Haskell. Baby, sleep, sleep, sleep.
Father has gone to find turtle shells.
He said he will come back tomorrow.
Baby, sleep, sleep, sleep.
Potawatomi Song This song was recorded by two Potawatomi girls at Haskell Institute, Lawrence, Kansas, during the summer of 1943. They did not know what kind of song it was nor did they know for what purpose the song was used. Later attempts made with adult Potawatomis to classify the song were unsuccessful. It is sung with the following vocables. he ne ya na
chete ya, wa na he ya do sha
na na ne ya
he ne ya na wa na he
he ne ya na wa na he
he ne ya na wa na he
he ne ya na.
Sioux War Dance Song Richard Sitting Up The War Dance, also known as the Omaha Dance because of its association with the Omaha Society, is one of the most popular dances of the Plains tribes. The Sioux were renowned as warriors, brave, fierce, and daring in encounters with their enemies. Today the dance has lost its functional significance. It is frequently performed at fairs, rodeos, and tribal or community gatherings, where it is the most colorful and exciting feature of the entertainment. The dancers are brilliantly costumed in their feather bustles and roaches as they enter the dance plaza, there to compete with one another in the originality and excellence of their performance. The music is provided by a chorus of men who surround a large drum on which they beat a rhythmic accompaniment to their song. To this exciting music is added the pulsating sound of the bells which each dancer wears as part of his costume. Something of the original spirit of the dance was revived during World War II when the Sioux boys entered the military services.

The "War Dance Song" and the "Rabbit Dance Song," which follow on the record, were recorded at Wanblee, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, during the summer of 1940, as sung by Richard Sitting Up, who was ten years old at that time. A comparison of his performance with those of his father, Ben Sitting Up, and other leading singers indicates that the lad had mastered the traditional style of Sioux singing.
Sioux Rabbit Dance Song The Sioux Rabbit Dance is a relatively modern social dance that was introduced sometime in the present century It is similar to round dances of other Plains tribes but is generally regarded as the first dance in which men and women danced together as couples. The couples stand facing forward in a circle that moves clockwise. The individuals place an arm around the backs of their partners and, with the free hand, clasp the free hand of the partner. As the music proceeds with its throbbing drum beat in triple meter, the dancers move forward with a shuffling step, two steps forward and one hesitating step backward. The Indians sometimes call this their Indian waltz. The slower tempo of the music contrasts markedly with the lively, driving rhythm of the War Dance Sioux
Navajo Squaw Dance Song 1 The Navajo Squaw Dance was once an incidental element of the War Ceremony, a chant whose function was the purification of those who had been defiled by contact with the enemy.

Today the Enemy War Chant is a curing ceremony for those whose sickness is believed to result from contact with non-Navajos, and the Squaw Dance, which constitutes the secular part of the three-day ceremony, has become the chief attraction, drawing great crowds who travel long distances to participate in the social life that attends the event. Here girls of marriageable age have an opportunity to meet prospective husbands. The dance is a circle dance in which the girls choose their partners. It is customary for the young man to make a gift to the girl who invites him to dance with her. A male chorus singing to the accompaniment of a small drum furnishes the music for the dance. Squaw dance songs are especially popular with young people who enjoy them not only for dancing but also for singing. The repertoire is not a closed one and new songs are composed by leading singers from time to time. The first song is sung by a group of girls, the second by a group of boys.
Navajo Squaw Dance Song 2 Navajo
Navajo Song Of Happiness The Navajo live in harmony with the world of nature. They are sensitive to a deeply appreciative of the beauty of the desert, the mountains, and the sky which surround them. The concept of beauty, not limited to the wonders of the physical world, is extended into every aspect of life. The song as sung by a group of children who were attending the Indian Service Summer School at Fort Wingate, New Mexico, in 1941 conveys the spirit of the Navajo way of life. One of the boys discovered that he could play the song on his harmonica, and it can be heard in the background of the singing. He played it later without singing. Where I am,
Where I am,
Where I am,
There is happiness,
land of' happiness,
Where I am [living].
Tewa Basket Dance Song Priscilla Duran, Tesuque Pueblo, and Patsy Guttierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo The Tewa Basket Dance or Tunshare is a dance in which the symbolic power of the baskets and the women who carry them promotes fertility in vegetation and in human life. "A complete series of the scenes presented in this ceremonial would constitute the epitome of woman's life her consecration to child bearing and the sustaining of life of the pueblo" (Dutton, p. 16). A slow, standing dance is followed by the dance of the mwe'e or scraping stick, in which the women kneel on a blanket, place their basket face down and proceed to accompany the singing by scraping a notched stick held against the inverted basket which serves as a resonator. The sticks that have been carried in, concealed in branches of spruce, are now used as musical instruments with phallic symbolism. This dance is followed by a slow standing dance. The Basket Dance has been described in detail by Gertrude Kurath in Music and Dance of the Tewa Pueblos. The three contrasting sections of the song represent a more developed and sophisticated form of musical composition. The singing style and melodic style of the song are characteristic of Pueblo music. This song was recorded in 1940 as sung by Priscilla Duran, Tesuque Pueblo, and Patsy Guttierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo who were students in the Indian Summer School at Santa Fe, New Mexico. Tewa Pueblo
Round Dance Song (Picuris Pueblo) Rafaelita Duran, Picuris Pueblo Round dances are social dances that contrast in style and function with the formalized ceremonial line dances of the Southwest. In the social dances participation is open to all, men and women young and old, thus providing an occasion for an expression of communal solidarity. Round dances have a wide geographic distribution among Indian tribes, and it is most likely that many of the songs have found their way in the Southwest from Oklahoma and Northern Plains. Modern transportation has accelerated travel and contributed to the exchange of songs that takes place when Indians of one tribe visit friends in another tribe. The upward leap of the opening interval followed by a series of descending phrases is characteristic of many round dance songs. This song was sung by Rafaelita Duran, Picuris Pueblo, who was a student in the Indian Summer School at Santa Fe, new Mexico, In 1940. Picuris Pueblo
Buffalo Dance Song (San Juan Pueblo) The buffalo was an important animal in the economy of the Indian, for it was a source of food, clothing, and shelter. The meat was eaten, the hides were made into clothing, and used in the construction of the conical tipis that were the houses of the Plains tribes. After the autumn harvest of the spring and summer plantings came the hunting season. The westward migration of white men in the nineteenth century, accelerated by the gold rush to California in 1849 and the commercial activities of traders and fur companies, resulted in the destruction of the herds of wild buffalo that had roamed the plains. The ecology of the land was unbalanced and the economy of the Indian was seriously changed.

In the Buffalo Dance or Konshare,, buffalo impersonators approach the pueblo at dawn with a Buffalo Mother as decoy. Though the dance has lost some of its original function of assuring a successful hunt, it is still celebrated in the Tewa Pueblos of the Southwest. Kurath states, "All types of konshare follow a traditional procedure with three songs, performed by a separate chorus of singers and drummers. . . . the dance songs are traditional in each pueblo and are rarely newly composed." This song was recorded at the Indian Service Summer School, Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1940 by a group of boys from San Juan Pueblo in which Peter Garcia was the leader of drummer and Manuel Trujillo was the assistant leader.
San Juan Pueblo
Modern Love Song This modern love song is sung with English words and represents the blending of two cultures. The song was popular with the students at Bacone College, Bacone, Oklahoma, a college that was established for the higher education of American Indians. Though the song is sung with a lovely voice in a style that bears the marks of acculturation, the melody remains characteristically and traditionally Indian. The song was recorded during the summer of 1941 at Fort Wingate, New Mexico, by Leah K. Hicks, who at the time was a teacher in an Indian day school of the Western Shoshone Agency, Owyhee, Nevada. I'll watch the twilight shadows
From the ceaseless march of the moon.
ya he yo hai yo
Now that I have come to your lodge
I'll follow the setting sun.
E ya hai e ya hai ye yo

We'll watch the twilight shadows
From the ceaseless march of the moon.
ya he yo hai yo
Now that we have come to my lodge
We'll watch the rising sun.
E ya hai ye yo
Kiowa Round Dance Song The Kiowa Round, also known as "49" song, is typical of the social dances of the Southern Plains. It is sung in a comfortable, and medium tempo and the form, consisting of two nicely balanced sections, is clearly defined. The scale is limited to four tones in descending order, E, B, A, G, E. The interval of the third above tile tonal center is variable. In the opening phrase, the pitch is close to a G-sharp and suggests a major tonality, but in the next phrase it is lowered to create a minor third. This shift is consistently done and is not fortuitous. The origin of the designation "49" is not well established, but it has been explained in relation to the California Gold Rush of 1849. The song was recorded by a group of boys at the Riverside Indian School, Anadarko, Oklahoma, in 1941. They also sang the following "Buffalo Dance Song."
Kiowa Buffalo Dance Song The song opens with a fast tremolo on the drum and is followed by a sequence of short phrases sung with vocables. The phrase is announced by the leader and taken up by the male chorus. After the introductory section just described, the song is repeated in a fast tempo with a regular pulsating drum beat that controls the dance. By comparison with other songs this one if very simple. It is believed that this dance was introduced to the Kiowa by the Comanche (Gamble, p.99). Kiowa
Feather Dance Song Oscar Beavert The "Feather Dance Song" is accompanied by a triple meter drum rhythm consisting of a long beat followed by a short one. It is pattern like that of the Sioux Rabbit Dance and is widely distributed throughout the Northern Plains. Though the song is sung with the vocables, sections with drum accompaniment are alternated with unaccompanied vocal sections. It is a common practice with the Sioux to sing a song first with vocables and then to repeat it with meaningful text. When the words are added to the melody, the drum remains silent or plays softly so that the words may be heard. The song was recorded on the Yakima Reservation at Toppenish, Washington, July 28, 1947, by Oscar Beavert, who at that time was thirty-two years old. The Feather Dance is danced by unmarried girls who carry an eagle feather in each hand. The singing is done by men. The same song is sung for the Eagle Dance, which appears to be another name for the Feather Dance. The dance is believed to be old. Yakima
Cherokee Christian Hymn 1 Hymn singing is a favorite pastime with many Indians in Oklahoma, particularly those from the Muskogean speaking tribes, the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole. On Sunday afternoons Indians, young and old, gather in the church house to sing together. The old hymns are "white" in their origin and musical style but are sung with Indian words. The young people enjoy singing the latest songs from the new song books that are brought out each year by the music publishing houses in the Southwest. These books that are printed in shape-note notation reminiscent of the white spirituals that nourished the religious life of the South in the early nineteenth century. The new songs are in a livelier tempo, with an engaging rhythm that appeals to the youth of today. The hymns presented here are old ones and are sung in the traditional manner, with simple harmonies in thirds and sixths. They were recorded in 1952 at Eufala Boarding School, Eufala, Oklahoma, where the three singers, Helen, Luella, and Juanita Hallmark were students. Cherokee
Cherokee Christian Hymn 2 Cherokee
Stomp Dance Song John Mulley, Victor Wesley, and Marcellus Williams The Stomp Dance is serpentine line dance in which the dancers follow the leaders as they wind the line into an ever-narrowing circle before unwinding it to its original form. The dance usually takes place at night around an open bonfire toward which the dancers follow the leaders making mimetic motions. The dance step is in the nature of a jogging stomp that follows the regular rhythm and tempo of the songs. Women co-leaders wear leggings to which turtle shell rattles are attached. These rattles produce a loud and stimulating accompaniment to the dance, that becomes more frenetic as it continues. Recently the turtle shell rattles have been replaced by small tin milk cans filled with tiny stones.

The most characteristic feature of the Stomp Dance is its antiphonal, responsorial form. Short phrases chanted by the leaders are either repeated by the dancers or answered with a short refrain that remains more or less fixed throughout the song. This style formerly prevailed among the Eastern Algonquin as well as the Iroquois and the tribes in the Southeastern United States that were removed from their native habitat during the administration of Andrew Jackson and settled in Indian Territory, later to become the State of Oklahoma. In a paper "African Influences on North American Indian Music," George Herzog found that "Stylistic features and melodies undoubtedly of African origin have survived among the Indians in the Southeastern states of this country, owing to contacts and even to a certain amount of intermixture between Indians and Negroes" (p 31). The song was recorded at Bacone, Oklahoma, in 1951, as sung by John Mulley, Victor Wesley, and Marcellus Williams.
Modern Love Song 1 Boys and young men have had fun making new love songs with English words which they sing for Round Dance. The three songs presented here were sung by the Boys Chorus of Santa Fe Indian School, where they were recorded in 1940. No one knows who made the songs, but Taos Pueblo appears to be the center for their diffusion. With the alternation of phrases of nonsense syllables with phrases of English text, the songs follow a characteristic Indian pattern. The Initial upward leap of the interval of a fourth in the first song and an octave in the third song, followed by a descending melodic line that comes to rest on the lowest tone of the song, the tonal center, is typical of the melodic contour of many Indian songs. The use of English words has not affected the Indian character of the melodies. wi ya he ya wi ya he ya
wi ya he ya wi ya he ya
When the dance is over sweetheart,
I will take you home in my one-eyed Ford.
wi ya he ya wi ya he ya
wi ya he ya wi ya he ya
Taos Pueblo
Modern Love Song 2 wi ni ya he ya he ya wi ni ya he ya
wi ni ya he ya he ya wi ni ya he ya
My sweetheart wi ni ya he yo
She go mad at me
Because I said hello to my old timer.
But it's just OK with me.
ya ho we ya e he yo
Taos Pueblo
Modern Love Song 3 wi ya he ya wi ni ya he yo he yo
wi ya he ya wi ni ya he yo he yo
Oh yes I love you honey dear.
I don't care if you're married sixteen times.
I'll get you ya he yo ha
wi ya wi ya hai ya wi ya yo-o
Taos Pueblo
Tinglit Paddling Song For the Tlingit living along the coast and on the island of Alaska, travel was chiefly by water in large sea-going canoes, some of which had sails. Paddling songs, with their clearly defined rhythm, served to coordinate the movements of the group, while providing a sociable atmosphere and entertainment. The song presented here was recorded by the Mt. Edgecumbe Boys Chorus of the Mt. Edgecumbe School, in an arrangement made by the director of the chorus, Michael O. Ossorgin. Regarding the arrangement of the song Mr. Ossorgin wrote:
I wrote it down as it was sung by a Sitka mixed group in unison with a tendency on the part of the women to sing the melody in parallel motion, a major third above, not a fifth as it often happens in primitive singing. Two reasons make me think that this peculiar way of singing may be attributed to the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church: (1) I have heard it done only in Hoohah and Sitka where for a long period of time the influence of the Russian Church was very strong. (2) The singing of the congregation in the Russian Church is usually in 4-5 parts: first voice has the melody, second voice moves in parallel motion, diatonically, and always a third above the melody. The bass and tenor fill in the complete the chords, sometimes a tenor adds a descant above the first and second voices. Even at this time when many Russian Orthodox Churches throughout Alaska have no priests, this type of singing may be heard in most of them. Especially the Aleuts are virtuosos at it. However, some folks in Hoonah and Sitka are not to too far behind in this skill.
By adding parallel thirds and fifths above the melody, the song emerges as a series of major chords. There are no words in the song, only vocables.