Indian Games, Dances & Native Songs - online book

Native American Ceremonials, Sports, and Songs with Sheet Music, Lyrics & Commentary

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INDIAN GAMES AND DANCES                 25
This dramatic dance will require to be rehearsed and the details planned by the dancers, so that a clear picture may be brought out and also the native poetic thought embodied in the Ritual Song from which it is taken. A few hints can be given, but much of the action must de­pend upon the imagination and dramatic feeling of the dancers.
As the first line, "A call I hear!" is sung some one should raise the hand toward the ear, another raise it as a warning to keep quiet. The line "Hark! soft the tones and weak" is an address to one another in the groups. Then comes another sudden arrest, "Again the call!" These three lines should be sung without any change of position either by the groups or by the individuals. Action should be confined to the hands and the head. When singing the fourth line all should begin to stir, to adjust their pouches, tighten their hold on the wooden hoes and, as if moved by a common im­pulse, should prepare to go and seek the source of the call. In their going the groups should not fall into one line but each group move by itself. During the refrain the dancers should act as if in doubt which way to go. At the line "Again the call!" all should stop as if arrested, and then move off again when the refrain is taken up. All the groups should keep the rhythm of the music. There should be a good deal of by-play and the action should indicate bewilderment, both as to the meaning of the call and the locality whence it comes. It should appear as though some of the groups are baffled in their attempt to locate the call.
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