Ojibwe Singers

Ojibwe Singers

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In the early nineteenth century, Protestant missionaries promoted the translation of evangelical hymns into the Ojibwe language, regarding this music not only as a shared form of worship but also as a tool for rooting out native cultural identity. But for many Minnesota Ojibwe today, the hymns emerged from this history of material and cultural dispossession to become emblematic of their identity as a distinct native people. Author Michael McNally uses hymn singing as a lens to view culture in motion--to consider the broader cultural processes through which Native American peoples have creatively drawn on the resources of ritual to make room for survival, integrity, and a cultural identity within the confines of colonialism.Ojibwe man in Ontario, for example, who prayed to God for deer three times prior to a hunt, in some evidently comparable fashion to the earlier Ojibwe practice.i2i ... of material purposes, they did so because the melodies, sounds, and words could generate, or tap into, power. ... By contrast, pronounced differences in the structure of the hymn underscored the deeper difference in their symbolic function.

Title:Ojibwe Singers
Author:Michael David McNally
Publisher:Minnesota Historical Society - 2009-02-01


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