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WORKSHOP #7: "November Is American Indian Heritage Month"
A BACHorgan.com Guest Workshop by Will W. Rogers

[Will W. Rogers passed away on November 21, 2005. -Dan]

[This past week, BACHorgan.com community member Will W. Rogers mentioned that November is American Indian Heritage Month. Having just posted an interpretation of "Amazing Grace" to the CompFreeEx page, I asked Will about it, remembering from a previous conversation with him that there was some connection between the hymn and the Cherokee. I enjoyed his response and thought it would make a good workshop. Thanks, Will! -Dan]

Dan,

"Amazing Grace" was and is a popular hymn for the Cherokee. This is a quote from "Cherokee Hymns: History & Hymns:"

"The Cherokee were the first Indian tribe to be given a scripture in their language by the printing press. These historical points add deeper dimension to the meaning of our hearts when we sing "Amazing Grace" as Cherokees. To be so chosen is a point of sacred humility."

The Cherokee sang this hymn as one of their favorites during the Trail of Tears. Today, it is considered an unofficial national anthem for the Sovereign Cherokee Nation.

The Cherokee language is a descriptive language. The word for "wife," for example, literally translates to "she cooks for me" and the order and syntax of the language is totally different than English. "The Lord's Prayer," for example, translates to "Our Father heaven dweller my loving will (to) Thy name. Your Lordship let it make its appearance. Here upon earth let happen what you think. . ." This is how the text of "Amazing Grace" translates into Cherokee:

u ne la nv hi u we tsi God's son
i ga gu yv he i paid for us,
hna quu tso sv wi yu lo se then to heaven He went,
i ga gu yv ho nv after paying for us.
 
a se no i u ne tse i But He said,
i yu no du le nv when He rose,
ta li ne dv tsi lu tsi li "I'll come again,"
u dv ne u ne tsv He said when He spoke.
 
e lo ni gv da li s qua di All the earth will end
ga lu tsu na i yu when He comes.
ni ga di da ye di go i All will see Him
a ni e lo ni gv All over the earth.
 
U na da nv ti a ne hv i All the good people living
do dv ya nv hi li He will come after.
tso sv hna quo ne go hi lv Heaven always,
do hi wa ne he s di in peace they will live.

(When "Amazing Grace" is sung in English, the traditional text is used.)

The web page for the Cherokee Nation is www.cherokee.org. On the "Culture" page, click on "Downloads" to find MP3 files of "Amazing Grace" and other gospel hymns sung in Cherokee. There are many other interesting downloads as well.

Also from "Cherokee Hymns: History & Hymns:"

"The first hymn of the Cherokee was the Twenty-third Psalm. The story is that soon after Lydia Lowery received Christ, she awakened one morning with the words and melody of a song in her heart. She believed God had given it to her. Later, missionary Chamberlain wrote the music for the melody. We were not able to locate the melody with the music. In a loose translation, the Cherokee words are (23rd Psalm):

      "God and I are friends.
      I will not be afraid of Him
            Though all the world be against me
            I will still be confident."

Note: Text and quoted items were taken from "Cherokee Hymns: History & Hymns," written, illustrated, designed and compiled by Willena Robinson with translation and corrections by Prentice Robinson. ("Historical information was taken from the writings of James Adair, John Howard Payne, James Mooney, Moravian Missionaries' journals and an article by William R. Lee, Associate Professor of Music at the Univeristy of Tennessee at Chattanooga.")
Publisher: Cherokee Language and Culture, 4158 E. 48th Place, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135-4739, (918) 749-3082

The Cherokee Language is well suited for singing because of the open vowel sounds. A cassette or CD is available from the same address. The tape/CD is entitled: "Hymns in Cherokee Language -- Songs and Hymns of the Culture Spanning the 18th-20th Centuries, sung on the Trail of Tears."

The Cherokee Nation has the Cherokee Nation Children's Chorus. Members are 13-18 years of age. They were nominated for a Native American Musical Award at the 2002 NAMMY's. They have sung at Ground Zero and several locations in New York. They can be contacted at the Cultural Center, Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, OK.

I am a registered member with the Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, OK, and a member of the First Families of the Cherokee Nation. My great, great grandmother marched the Trail in November 1838 or 39.

Dan, I hope this answers your question.

Wa-do (Thank you)

Will
http://www.willwrogers.actorsite.com/

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Books of Interest
cover Trail of Tears: The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation by John Ehle
This book has 27 sample pages. See all pages.
Editorial Reviews:
Ingram
In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, the author of the highly acclaimed The Winter People tells the moving, searing story of the betrayal and brutal dispossession of the Cherokee Nation. "(A) beautifully written and emotionally mature book . . . a must."--New York Newsday.
From the Publisher
The fascinating portrayal of the Cherokee nation, filled with Native American legend, lore, and religion -- a gripping American drama of power, politics, betrayal, and ambition.

cover Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Alexander Brown
Editorial Reviews
Amazon.com
First published in 1970, this extraordinary book changed the way Americans think about the original inhabitants of their country. Beginning with the Long Walk of the Navajos in 1860 and ending 30 years later with the massacre of Sioux men, women, and children at Wounded Knee in South Dakota, it tells how the American Indians lost their land and lives to a dynamically expanding white society. During these three decades, America's population doubled from 31 million to 62 million. Again and again, promises made to the Indians fell victim to the ruthlessness and greed of settlers pushing westward to make new lives. The Indians were herded off their ancestral lands into ever-shrinking reservations, and were starved and killed if they resisted. It is a truism that "history is written by the victors"; for the first time, this book described the opening of the West from the Indians' viewpoint. Accustomed to stereotypes of Indians as red savages, white Americans were shocked to read the reasoned eloquence of Indian leaders and learn of the bravery with which they and their peoples endured suffering. With meticulous research and in measured language overlaying brutal narrative, Dee Brown focused attention on a national disgrace. Still controversial but with many of its premises now accepted, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee has sold 5 million copies around the world. Thirty years after it first broke onto the national conscience, it has lost none of its importance or emotional impact. --John Stevenson

cover I Will Fight No More Forever: Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce War by Merrill D. Beal
This book has 19 sample pages. See all pages.


Sheet Music
6 Native American Songs/satb (6-PACK) Edited by Bob Dingley. Sacred choral octavo. Published by Warner Brothers. (LG52865) 6-PACK includes six original copies of this piece.
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Song for Mother Earth (6-PACK) As performed by Native American Chants. Edited by Bob Dingley. Bob Dingley. Choral octavo: Two-Part (Opt. Three-Part) any combination of voices. Level: moderately easy. 8 pages. Published by Warner Brothers. (SV9523) 6-PACK includes six original copies of this piece.
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Native American Spring Songs By N. Grundahl. SSAA, flute. Published by Shawnee Press. (8MF0963)
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Two Native American Songs By Lantz Brownsey. 2-part. Published by Shawnee Press. (1E0447)
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Two Native American Songs By Lantz Brownsey. Accompaniment/performance CD. Published by Shawnee Press. (1CD0114)
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(14) Native American Tunes For Most Sat/atb Recorders. Recorder Trios. Published by Kelischek. (KEFOS04)
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Flute Magic - An Introduction to the Native American Flute by Tim R. Crawford edited by Dr. Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl. Level: Beginning. Book. Size 8.75x11.75. 176 pages. Published by Mel Bay Pub., Inc. (99190)
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Music of the North American Indians for Acoust Gtr by Steven Zdenek Eckels. For classic and fingerpick guitar. Acoustic Guitar Series. Native american, American. Level: Intermediate. Book/CD package. Solos. Size 8.75x11.75. 48 pages. Published by Mel Bay Pub., Inc. (96015BCD)
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Native American Music - set of 7 volumes By Chazanoff. Recorder with other instruments (Soprano recorder and percussion). Published by Kelischek. (KEFOS12)
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Native American Songs for Piano Solo by Gail Smith. For piano. Native american, American. Level: Beginning. Book. Solos. Size 8.75x11.75. 48 pages. Published by Mel Bay Pub., Inc. (95451)
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Native American Songs for Piano Solo by Gail Smith. For piano. Native american, American. Level: Intermediate. Compact Disc. Solos. Size 5.5x5. Published by Mel Bay Pub., Inc. (95451CD)
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The Art of the Native American Flute by R Carlos Nakai and James Demars. For flute. Native american, American. Level: Beg-Intermediate. Book. Solos. Size 8.75x11.75. 132 pages. Published by Canyon Records Prod. (96718)
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Native American Prayer A (6-PACK) By Schmit. SATB. Octavos. Published by Heritage Music Press. (15/1695H) 6-PACK includes six original copies of this piece.
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Native American Portraits By David Amram. For violin, piano, percussion (1). This edition: parts. Photoprint edition - publisher prints this title after order is received. Duration 12'. Published by C.F. Peters. (P66705a)
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Native American Portraits By David Amram. For violin, piano, percussion (1). This edition: score. Photoprint edition - publisher prints this title after order is received. Duration 12'. Published by C.F. Peters. (P66705)
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Native American Portraits By David Amram. For violin, piano, percussion (1). This edition: score. Photoprint edition - publisher prints this title after order is received. Duration 12'. Published by C.F. Peters. (P66705)
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Song Pictures By Laura Karpman. For Soprano, WX7 Midi synthesizer. Five Songs Based on Native American Poetry. Sequencer disk (mac format). Published by MMB Music Inc. (X811002D)
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Trail of Beauty, The Selections from Navajo Prayer,Iroquois Constitution,Song of the Sky Loom,and Chief Seattle's Speech about the meaning of Land to the Native American People.(Eng). By David Amram. For mezzo-soprano, oboe soli, 21 (english horn) 33 4231 timpani, percussion, harp, strings. This edition: vocal score. Photoprint edition - publisher prints this title after order is received. Duration 25'. Published by C.F. Peters. (P66704a)
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WINTER MOONS (Suite) By Jerod Sheffer Tate. For Storyteller-1 (d Piccolo).0.0.2 (opt 1d Contr Bassoon): 2.1.0.0: Perc (1).Piano: Strings. Based on Native American stories Commissioned by Dr. Patricia Tate with funding by U.S. West Foundation . Full score. Published by MMB Music Inc. (X077099)
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American Indian Songs (Collection) (6-PACK) By Kenneth Jennings. (SATB). Walton Choral. Size 11x13 inches. 24 pages. Published by Walton Music. (8500997) 6-PACK includes six original copies of this piece.
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American Indian Songs - Book Choral/Vocal (Music and Classroom Publications). Published by Alfred Publishing. (12000)
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American Indian Songs - Cassette Tape Only Choral/Vocal (Music and Classroom Publications). Published by Alfred Publishing. (16901)
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Music Of The American Indian Piano/Vocal/Chords Mixed Folio (Arrangements for piano and voice with guitar chords). Size 9x12 inches. Published by Hal Leonard. (384265)
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Myth, Music, And Dance Of The American Indian - Student's Workbook Choral/Vocal (Music and Classroom Publications). Published by Alfred Publishing. (3520)
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Myth, Music, And Dance Of The American Indian - Teacher's Resource Book Choral/Vocal (Music and Classroom Publications). Published by Alfred Publishing. (3518)
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American Indian Melodies, Op. 11 By Farwell, Arthur (1877-1952). For Piano. Score. Published by Masters Music Publications Inc. (M3092)
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American Indian Suite 4 Tribal Themes Sheet music. Published by Schaum Publications, Inc. (58-38)
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Cedar Song (contemporary American Indian flutes) Recording. Published by Magnamusic. (TAPCEDS)
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