Excerpted from Jaakola’s 2005 Masters Thesis,

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Excerpted from Jaakola’s 2005 Masters Thesis, Powered By Docstoc
					                   Excerpted from Jaakola’s 2005 Masters Thesis,

      “Development of a community college course in the music of the

                           Ojibwe-Anishinaabe” August 5, 2009

Historical Perspective of Ojibwe-Anishinaabe music education

         A historical perspective of Ojibwe-Anishinaabe music education was determined by examining

the following topics: Traditional Ojibwe-Anishinaabe music education, Western music education for the
                          th
Ojibwe-Anishinaabeg, 20 century education about American Indian music and culture, and Ojibwe-

Anishinaabe curriculum development in music education.



Traditional Ojibwe-Anishinaabe Music Education

         Author’s note: To ensure that further miseducation does not occur as a result of

this study, the author makes certain careful and irregular uses of standard English

grammar. It is difficult to write about traditional indigenous cultures in the past tense

alone for it may be interpreted that these cultures no longer exist. Therefore, the present

and past tense are offered through use of the backslash between tense endings. The

reader is then made aware that members of many indigenous cultures continue to

practice traditional education methods. This choice is also made to give voice to the fact

that many indigenous peoples live within a different understanding of the space/time

continuum: The past, present, and future are not necessarily separated in Indigenous

worldview. Conventional tense usage is employed when reporting findings of exclusively

historical material.

         Traditional Anishinaabe education begins/began at birth with a focus on observation and

enculturation. It is/was understood that children arrive in our world complete, with knowledge sometimes

surpassing that of adults, especially in the realm of spirit. Children only require/d guidance in the ways of
the temporal existence in order to fulfill their given destiny. This guidance is/was offered by means of

repeated exposure to cultural practices, rites, skills, and behaviors (Johnston, B. 122, Peacock 71-74,

Deloria and Wildcat 45). Anishinaabe worldview is/was thereby passed on from generation to generation

in the oral tradition.

         Music is/was an integral component to the Anishinaabe worldview. The Anishinaabe Creation

story teaches of the world coming into being by means of sound. The zhiishiigwan (rattle) sound is/was

used to emulate this creative force in many of the sacred Anishinaabe teachings. According to these

teachings, the Creator sent out his singers in the form of birds (binesiwag) to carry the seeds of life to the

four corners of the Earth (“Ojibwe Music”, Benton-Banai 2, 15). Music is at the very core of Anishinaabe

epistemology. Children learn/ed music interwoven with sacred teachings as well as daily activities

(Johnston, B.148). A morning song that one sings to greet the day is/was learned by rote, ricing songs

are/were taught with stringent accuracy to ensure the survival of the people, and ceremonial songs require/d

further studious attention and were occasionally written down (Densmore, Chippewa           Music 14,15).

This is how Anishinaabeg learn/ed music (Kohl 287, 292).

         The writings of early Christian priests and fur traders confirmed the musicality of the Anishinaabe.

“The Indians are fond of singing […] and pride themselves on singing well. Some of them, in truth, have

very fine voices” (Thwaites).



Western Music Education for the Ojibwe-Anishinaabeg

        The meeting of the Anishinaabe and European arrivals brought many changes to both cultures.
Anishinaabe peoples welcomed the French fur traders and missionaries into their communities. Both
exchanged goods, language, services, and music. Catholic and Protestant missions established in


To read more of Lyz Jaakola’s Masters
Thesis, please see:

				
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