Thunderbird image
spacing image
Search   CARD   MediaBase
Colours  
Myths
Stories
Drumming
Music
Sound
Video
Interviews
Artists
Press
Scholars Site
Teachers Site
Kids Site
Website français venant bientôt.
Native Drums Homepage
Tell us what you think... Take a site survey
Scholars Site
Teachers Site
Kids Site
Set Large Text
Set Medium Text
Set Small Text
  Visit our
companion
   website

Visit our companion website, Native Dance
Native Dance

 

Site Design
Design and
technology by
Sumner Group


Site Content
Content by
Carleton
University


Acknowledgement
This site was
made possible by
the support of

Heritage Canada Logo
Drum Gallery
Mask Gallery
Chapter Buttons
Paul Kane Watercolour - Ojibwe Cermonial Drum
Painted Cree Frame Drum
Cedar Box Drum
Frame Drum with 2 Snares
Octagonal Painted Frame Drum
Butterfly Painted Frame Drum
Ojibwe Frame Drum
Cedar Log Drum
Raven Wolf Drum
Halibut Drum
Sculpin Drum
Iroquois Water Drum
Ojibwe Bird Drum
Dzunukwa Mask
Kwigwis Mask
Bakwas Mask
Deaf Man Mask
Nulamal Mask
Crooked Beak Mask
Baxbakwalanuksiwe Mask
Owl Mask
Ancestor Mask
Xwi Xwi Mask
Home
Drums
Masks
Myths
Stories
Drumming
Music
Introduction
Structuring
Uniqueness
Singing
Context
Drum Dance
Social Dance
Powwow
Glossary
Bibliography
Links

Sound
Video
Interviews
Showcase
Press
Citations
Teachers
Scholars
Card
About

 

Video bullet
Morningstar
River Singers
Perform Live


Video bullet
Making an
Ojibwe
Hand Drum


Interview bullet
How to
find your
Voice


Interview bullet
The When
and Why
of Drums


 

Inuit Drum Dance

Drum dancing has been part of Inuit and Mackenzie Delta Inuvialuit musical life for centuries. This social activity can happen at just about any gathering, including births, weddings, funerals, and to celebrate successful hunts and tourist events.  All members of the community can drum dance. Usually Inuit women sat in a large circle and did most of the singing. The men would drum and dance in the centre. Dancers would start by offering to do a dance or they could be “coaxed” into dancing when other men or women would sing a personal song that one of the men had written.  The man whose song was being sung would then pick up the drum in the centre of the circle and dance and play. Drum dances often lasted all night and included children.

Drum dancing was originally thought to be spiritual and was used to contact special spirits of the hunt or fishing or for protection. As Christianity and modern life influenced the Inuit to abandon shamanistic practices the drum dance became more of a community and social event. Originally the drum dances happened once a year.  Now they can happen at any time.  Both women and men do drum dances now. In the Cape Dorset area the drum dance is known as Quaggi (after the large Igloo where the dance is held) while in parts of Northern Quebec is it called Pisiq (which is a specific type of song).

The following is a short description of a traditional drum dance from the Cape Dorset region.

People would all gather into one place at night, when all the things that needed to be done had been dealt with. When there was still time, before it was too late, invitations would be shouted out. ‘QAGGIAVUUT”. Then the people would start going to a place where the drum dances would be held then to enjoy the night. They would go to a place where the Igloo was the largest in the community.

The women would all sit and band together; there would be two groups; the idea was for them to sing together while the men danced to the song. Once he was done, he would lay down the drum and someone else would pick it up. Once he was done, he would lay down the drum and someone else would pick up the drum so that they were able to pick up the drum while the women were together.

When the composition of the drummer was done the singers would stop singing. The man would leave the drum and someone else would pick it up. The women would agree among themselves which song they would sing. Once that was established, the dancer’s wife would lead off, and the man would start to dance with the drum. Each man would take their turn in picking up the drum to dance
[ http://collections.ic.gc.ca/cape_dorset/drd.html (Last accessed 17 October 2004) ].

   * * *

 

Valid XHTML!     Level Triple-A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

 

Back to Top


This project was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through Canadian Culture Online

Heritage Canada Logo