Native American Culture/Native American Music


QUESTION: What were the original purposes of the creation of songs in the Native American culture?

ANSWER: There is ample evidence in the fossil record of our ancestors, that human vocal chords and larynxes were first more structured for singing than for spoken speech. That would make song the very first human expression, all over the world. Native American people are no different than all other peoples, who long ago, after developing speech retained song as a personal expression for concepts and feelings that speech could not adequately communicate. Spiritual feelings, prayer, personal expression, love, storytelling it's the same for all of us, then and now. Hope this helps.

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QUESTION: Do believe that there are influences of Native American music hidden inside some of the popular music we listen to today?

Hidden? I don't think so. Musicians influence each other all the time. Take a look at Paul Simon's music, or Bob Marley's music, or any other interesting musician/songwriter out there. If orchestration only came from within the musician's raised-in culture, music would be very boring. Even classical composers were influenced by percussion, tones and instruments of indigenous people all over the world. Reggae comes not just from Jamaica, where it grew up, but also from Africa, and from American Blues and R&B. Music is the one language we all share in equally.

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Richard Sutton


As a direct reservation trader in all aspects of American Indian arts since 1985, I've answered questions regarding cultural property issues, origins of traditional crafts, materials and techniques, collecting, authenticity, symbols and, of course, repairs! We have operated a retail gallery since that time, bricks and mortar until 2007 and online since 1996. Our online operation closed in 2/2015, to allow me to finally write full-time. My writing site can be found at I'll be adding a book or two from our trader experiences under the pen name of W.T. Durand and the rest of my fiction is under my own name. We are not "New Age" practitioners of adopted American Indian religious ceremonies or combined philosophies. If you are seeking such knowledge for spiritual reasons, we will only provide answers that address factual information on these subjects. Unless one is raised in a traditional, American Indian family with language, culture and religious belief intact, we don't believe that simply applying the trappings or cultural property of a given traditional group will give a non-Indian (Native if you prefer)any insight other than the academic.


My primary focus is on Southwester American Indian Nations and their people, but I also have experience in Plains and Northeastern traditions, having engaged in active trade and retail since 1985 and study for most of my life. I am not claiming any expertise at all in the work, techniques, lifeways or crafts that are made by the Native People of Mexico. They are not the same, either linguistically or culturally but certainly their crafts deserve discussion and appraisal by those who are able to provide real information.

I was a guest on Fox Network "Lifestyles" program, during the 1990s, to discuss how to tell forgeries, and authenticating jewelry as Native American work. I have also written extensively for our website, and our Ebay Store.

UofO, 1970 active in the Authentic American Indian Arts business and direct Trader since 1985. Graphic Designer and published novelist.

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