Friday, December 14, 2012

Omaha Sioux Indian Musical Instruments

Omaha Sioux Indian Musical Instruments

Musical Instruments.

Battles were of five kinds, [P]exe were generally gourds; watan′ [p]exe, gourd rattles, were always round, and were partially filled with seed, fine shot, or gravel, [T]ahánuʞa [p]éxe, green-hide rattles, were of two sorts, one of which is "ȼigúje," bent a little. Specimens of this form are in the National Museum.
Two kinds of rattles were called ʇa-cáge, i.e., "deers-claws," from the composition of one variety, though the other was made of molars of the elk.
fig317Fig. 317—Skin drum.
The Omaha used three styles of drums. The ȼéxe-gaʞú bȼáska, or flat drum, is illustrated by a specimen (no. 21675) in the National Museum. The ȼéxe-gaʞú gadáje is made of buffalo hide, cowhide, or the skin of a horse. An example of this drum (no. 24682) is also in the National Museum, and is illustrated by the accompanying figure 317. The jan′ ȼéxe-gaʞú, or ʞúge ȼéxe-gaʞú, is a wooden or box drum, represented by the accompanying figure 318, also from a specimen (no. 58610) in the National Museum.
fig318Fig. 318—Box drum.
Whistles were made of elder (baʇúci-hi, or popgun wood) by pushing out the pith. No holes were made in the sides of the tube.
Nisúde ʇañ′ga, or large flutes, were made of red cedar. A branch was cut off, rounded, split open with a knife, and hollowed out; then six holes were made in the side of one of them, and the halves were stuck together again. When one of these instruments is blown it produces quavering notes. The best specimens were made by [P]áȼin-ʇañ′ga, Big Pawnee.
The large flute is illustrated in figure 319.1 Wahí nisúde, or bone flutes, were made of the long bones from the eagle wing. These small flutes have only one hole. Reed flutes, ȼíqȼe nisúde, were made of a kind of reed which grows south of the Omaha territory, probably in Kansas. The Omaha obtained the reeds from some of the southern tribes and made them into flutes having but one hole each.
fig319Fig. 319.—Omaha large flute.