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Friday, February 26, 2021

Cherokee Freedmen Descendants Win Right to Tribal Membership (video & article excerpt)



One America News Network, Sept. 5, 2017

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Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases a 2017 video of  Cherokee Freedmen's efforts to win rights to Cherokee tribal membership.

This post also provides an excerpt about the Cherokee tribe's Supreme Court's ruling on this matter which removes language from the tribe's constitution that limited citizenship rights of descendents of Black people who had been enslaved by the tribe before the Civil War. 

The content of this post is presented for historical and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all Cherokee people, including descendents of Cherokee Freedmen, and thanks to all those who are featured in this video.  Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of this video on YouTube.
-snip-
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPPmHkXljuM&ab_channel=CherokeePhoenix for a De. 28, 2020 YouTube video entitled "
The Cherokee Phoenix Breakdown: Cherokee Freedmen History Project." 

The Cherokee Phoenix Breakdown is back with its seventh episode of the Cherokee Phoenix’s virtual roundtable discussion that highlights significant topics in the Cherokee Nation and Indian Country, and elaborates on their impact as it relates to Native people. In this episode, we are joined by Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin as well as Cherokee Freedmen Historian and Advocate Melissa Payne. The final episode of 2020 touches on the history of Cherokee Freedmen and the tribe’s plan to promote the history of Cherokee Freedmen and their contributions to the Cherokee Nation in 2021.

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EXCERPT  FROM ARTICLE ON THIS SUBJECT
From  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/24/us/politics/cherokee-nation-black-freedmen.html Cherokee Nation Addresses Bias Against Descendants of Enslaved People

The tribe’s Supreme Court excised language from its constitution that limited the citizenship rights of descendants of Black people who had been enslaved by the tribe before the Civil War.

By Mark Walker, Feb. 24, 2021

"WASHINGTON — It has been a long-running point of racial friction between members of the Cherokee Nation and thousands of descendants of Black people who had been enslaved by the tribe before the Civil War.

Through a series of legal and political battles, those descendants, known as Freedmen, have been pushing to win equal status as members of the tribe, including the right to run for tribal office and receive full benefits like access to tribal health care and housing. And this week the Oklahoma tribe took another big step to resolve the issue by eliminating from its Constitution language that based citizenship on being descended “by blood” from tribal members listed on a late 19th-century census.

The change effectively codified in the Cherokee Constitution the effects of a 2017 federal court ruling that held that the Cherokee Freedmen should have all the rights of tribal citizens, based on an 1866 treaty that laid out the terms of emancipation. Julie Hubbard, a spokeswoman for the Cherokee Nation, said there had been about 2,900 enrolled Freedmen citizens before the 2017 ruling; another 5,600 have become enrolled citizens since then.

The Cherokee Nation is one of the largest tribes in the country with more than 380,000 enrolled citizens. More than half live within the tribe’s reservation in northeastern Oklahoma.

“This is a big win because what this means is that the tribal government, including the tribal courts, are working to uphold the 1866 treaty obligation to the Freedmen,” said Marilyn Vann, a Cherokee citizen and president of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association.

The Cherokee and other Native American nations originally in the South had purchased enslaved Black people as laborers in the 18th and 19th centuries, and had brought them along when they were driven westward by white settlers.

After the Civil War, the practice ended with the 1866 treaty, which also guaranteed that freed Black people and their descendants would “have all the rights and privileges of native Cherokees.”

But what followed were broken promises, exclusions and painful fights that only escalated in the past several decades over whether tens of thousands of descendants of the Freedmen were being afforded equal rights by the Cherokee Nation.

The latest development came on Monday, when the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court issued a ruling that removed the “by blood” language from the Cherokee Nation Constitution and made any related laws illegal.

“The ‘by blood’ language found within the Cherokee Nation Constitution, and any laws which flow from that language, is illegal, obsolete and repugnant to the ideal of liberty,” the ruling states. “These words insult and degrade the descendants of Freedmen much like the Jim Crow laws found lingering on the books in Southern state some fifty-seven years after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”…

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2017 YouTube Video Of Norfolk State University Marching Band (with special attention to NSU's drum line)



Kr Ro, Nov. 7, 2017

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Statistics (as of Feb 26, 2021 at 9:40 AM ET

Total # of views - 2,506,978
Total # of likes - 16K
Total # of dislikes -1.2K
Total # of comments - 1,208

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Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post presents a 2017 video of Norfolk State University's marching band. This video showcases that band's drum line.

Selected comments from this video's discussion thread are included in this post.

Meanings for certain African American Vernacular English terms that are found in some of these comments are included after those comments. 

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all members of Norfolk State University Marching Band. Thanks to the producer of this video and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post. Thanks also to the publisher of this post on YouTube. 

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SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THIS VIDEO'S DISCUSSION THREAD

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kenPCFUoTRY&t=197s&ab_channel=KrRo

Numbers are added for referencing purposes only.

1. ikarooz, 2017
"The dedication to tradition, musicianship, teamwork and hard work is evident. Your pristine uniforms and high step are impressive. Well done."

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Reply
2. HE360, 2017
"This goes to show what a drumline looks like when they MEAN BUSINESS!! And they're NOT playing around!! They came to play and fight! I love this!!"

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3. Tidewater 4 Hustlers, 2018
"💯💯💯💯💯💯"

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4. Uncle Monster, 2017
"
Most folks don’t think about how physical these young men and women have to be. Stand in place and mark time high step style for a minute and then think about marching, performing and band uniforms are not the lightest of clothing. Hats off to y’all!

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5. Alexandra, 2018
"
Everyone in the comments section knows what they’re talking about. I’m from England and have no idea what everything is called but I’ve just been binge watching these type of videos and I love the atmosphere and the teamwork in these videos"

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6. diva70smusic, 2019
"
It is called black college bands. Other schools have them but none better than the black colleges. It is about history, love, honor, tradition, and heart. These students work very hard to be in a college band. They have to be the best of the best to earn a spot. The deeper the South you go the deeper the tradition and talent."

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7. David Kemp, 2019
"I have some of these saved too. It is HBCU"s. Mostly in the south but check out Howard U in Washington DC also."
-snip-
HBCU= Historical Black Colleges And Universities

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8. Aric Robinson, 2019
"you should to a HBCU football game to get the real experience"

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9. uberfu, 2019
"@diva70smusic It's not just black colleges - it's definitely a southern college thing."

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10. diva70smusic, 2019
"@uberfu I will agree that the Southern schools have more "favor" and traditions. However, black college bands have traditions seeped in military precision, showmanship borrowed from West African funeral processions, black minstrel and vaudevile shows. Although Notre Dame is credited with having the first college marching band, performing in 1887, Tuskegee University is credited with bringing the showmanship and style to the game. Since almost all HBCU's were formed in the South, those schools wanted to outdo each other. The "Battle of the Bands" originated at the black colleges. Other colleges followed suit. I am not taking anything away from the non black college bands, there are some great ones at there. However, it is important to note our college history and contributions that these black colleges made and make in the collegiate world. Nothing and I mean nothing compares to the pageantry, sharpness, strutting, drumline and drum majors of the best of these bands."

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11. ava sane, 2019
"@uberfu yes it is its more awesome cuz we perform with heart soul and rhythm"

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12. Kira 123, 2019
"@diva70smusic Thanks for actually getting right to it...these are black bands and it's the same on the black high school level in the South."

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13. diva70smusic, 2019
"@Kira 123 Thank you for the validation. I am very proud of these students and band directors. This is a tradition that was perfected in our culture. We all should be supportive and proud."

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14. Donald Ham, 2017
"
The tonal colors being executed is amazing...The percussion section is absolutely locked...Much love to M.D.F.S. !!!"
-snip-
Another commenter wrote that the nick name of the Norfolk State University drum line is "Million dollar funk squad."  According to other comments such as #27 and #28 in this compilation, 
"Million dollar funk squad" appears to be the nickname for the entire marching band. 

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15. mos2, 2017
"Snare, tenor, bass are fine tuned...very nice...applaud you...DCI drums sound!"
-snip-
Here's information about "DCI" from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drum_Corps_International
"Drum Corps International is a governing body for junior drum and bugle corps based in Indianapolis, Indiana. DCI is responsible for developing and enforcing rules of competition, and for providing standardized adjudication, at sanctioned competitions throughout the United States and Canada."....

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16. JE Jones, 2017
"When they lift up their instruments at the end its like they are sayin "We done here"!"

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17. herbieberieherb, 2017
"dat be clean as the Board of Health."

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18. Vita, 2017
"OMG LUV THIS VIDEO!!!!!! I WISH I WAS THERE, N THEIR FACE EXPRESSION'S ARE READY FOR WAR!!!! 😠 GET IT!!!!!!🎶📣"

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19. Al Welch, 2017
"Snares and Tom Tom's Funk this thing on out and don't forget cymbals...Congrats NSU don't need 200 pieces to be great.. good as anybody. "

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20. klouds, 2017
"5: 14 those are sousaphones"
-snip-
Another commenter wrote about the tubas going through the tunnel.

"Tunnel" here refers to the space in between the two lines created by the drum line. There are a number of YouTube videos of  HBCU marching band "tunnel" performances.   

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21. Drew Anders, 2018
"Tons of practice hours on these guys and girls, the dedication is obvious. This is a program to emulate. Makes me want to go back 40 years to marching band and really commit! Thanks for sharing the video. We used to call it military bearing, whatever it is is gooood."

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22. NKLnDime, 2018
"I'm loving the ole skool boots with the pom poms the flags are wearing!"

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23. A Ceas, 2018
"You all are right. This drumline is the best black line I've heard yet. They are pretty much on the caliber of a professional DCI line. The snares are so crisp like one man is playing. And the tenors or basses start going up and down the line so fast. I was more than impressed. WOW!!! To see this band is on my bucket list."

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24. Drum 2, 2019
"A Ceas i agree that they are the best “black line,” but i’m gonna have to disagree that they are on the caliber of a DCI line. All DCI lines are much much cleaner, while playing complicated music and doing absolutely ridiculous stick tricks. So much more attention to detail is put into a DCI show, and while this line is straight-up funky, they are playing very repetitive and simple book paired with very simple visuals that many high school lines could pull off with no problem."

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25. burdrchitect 1, 2019
"@Drum 2 They actually had an alumni that marched with the Blue Devils for I think 2 or 3 years on quads. Marched when they won in 2009. So their line has alot of DCI influence.  My close marched in MDFS and tried out for a couple of corps."

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26. Drum 2, 2019
"burdrchitect 1 yeah, nothing against the individual players. I’m talking about the line its self. you know? like there could be a very simple drumline with someone like miles kenobbie, but the like would still be simple. But i do agree, this drumline is sick, and the funk is wild"

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27. burdrchitect 1, 2019
"@Drum 2 I'm pretty sure if they would be up there with them if given a book. But they just have there own style, that's why they are call the Millon Dollar Funk Squad. Take a look at all the other HBCU drumline like Southen U and JACKSON state. Now those are simple drum lines. Also check NSU  MDFS battle with NC A&T Cold Steel a  couple years ago.. nice book.
-snip-
NC A&T  = North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina   "Cold Steel" is the nickname for their marching band.  

My guess is that "nice book" refers to the titles of tunes that the bands played. 

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28. Kim Alexander, 2019
"@Drum 2 I agree with you, MDF$ has the best drumline out of all of the HBCUs.  They have been playing like this for years.  I graduated from high school in 1984.  I remember  the NSU drumline putting on a show at Armstrong - Kennedy High School in Richmond, Virginia.  They even played beats with the drum sticks in their mouths.  The show was amazing.  Also check out MDF$ 2015 Warren County with the stick toss.  Another amazing show by MDF$.  Often imitated, but never duplicated.

Keep up the great work NSU Spartan Legion!!!"
-snip-
"Spartan Legion" is the actual name for NSU's marching band.

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29. jayshooter 16, 2018
"The snares were on point perfectly hitting the drum at the same time"

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30. brina Jean, 2018
"
Wow!!! This has been THE BADEST drumline I have seen so far!!!!!!  Flawless y'all!!! You young people were were showing out !!!!!  😉"

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31. Taheerah Chestnut, 2018
"Nothing like an HBCU🙌💖💪🔥🔥🔥NSU KILLING IT💞🔥🔥🔥"

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32. Theo72 Bush, 2018
"Whole video was Fiya!"

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33. B B, 2018
"Soooo proud of my Spartans!! I marched on the 95-96 & 97-98 Silkette Squad!! And we were no JOKE! When we rolled into town, everyone took notice to the. Behold the Green and Gold!!"

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34. Pianoman42100, 2018
"White Chocolate is SICK on those Tenors (Quads!!!)"
-snip-
There are a number of complimentary comments in this discussion thread about the White drummer. The term "White chocolate" was used in a few of these comments. In those comments "white chocolate" is complimentary. One commenter mentioned that this drummer had graduated from a majority Black high school in Virginia (implying that he had become familiar with Black drumming performance techniques in that school.")

"Sick" = colloquial meaning "very good"  

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35. educapro, 2019
"I just have to come back here to listen and watch NSU drum corp kill it!  This is the coldest DC to date. Just love what I saw and heard rhythmically !!! THese boys are cold!!!!"
-snip-
"DC" = drum corp

In the context of this comment, I believe that the slang meaning for “cold” has basically the same complimentary meaning as the slang meaning for “hot” (i.e, "excellent").  However, "cold" probably also includes being highly disciplined, "tight", being "on point", and may also include showing no expression. 

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36. ptoyman, 2019
"Hell yeah, bring that funk at 1:58. Straight up groovin’.’"

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37. Woolly65, 2019
"The only other HBCU drumline that will MAYBE give them a run is BCU. In my opinion, NCAT has the funkiest cadences. PVAMU is nice also."
-snip-
BCU = Bethune–Cookman University located in Daytona Beach, Florida

NCAT = North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

PVAMU  = Prairie View A&M University, located in Prairie View, Texas

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38. Ramen Noodles, 2019
"When the bass cadence kicks in at 8:11 😍"

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39. Faunta, 2019
"EVERY BODY that came down that line was STEPPING!  The big, the tall, the short, the skinny!  Tuba's marching tall carrying their 'heavy' instruments up in the air!  DRUM LINE!  Drummers Bangin!  Wish they could have shown the bass drummer as s/he was holding it ALL together!  Playing instruments, marching, all in precision!!!  GREAT JOB!  SO PROUD OF YOU!"

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40. Greg R, 2019
"Black marching bands are SO extra! I like it! Fun to watch"
-snip-
"Extra" here means doing more than what is usually expected; being more dramatic than people or groups generally are, being "over the top". In the context of this comment (and comments elsewhere about African Americans) "being extra" is usually complimentary. 

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41. MrsConnie 2You, 2019
"Y'all betta STEP!!🥰🥰🥰🥰...That drumline tho🔥🔥🔥🔥"
-snip-
Y'all betta Step" is an exclamation of support and appreciation. "Step" here refers to African American marching band's high stepping styles.  "That drumline tho (though)" calls particular complimentary attention to the drumline  

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42. 
Debbie Bloodworth, 2019
"NOW that is how you are suppose march in a parade, Got to love the Drumline, Get down now Y'ALL🤗"

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43. nostalgia dude, 2019
"
Drumline kicks ass. DCI take note - This is what the fans want."

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44. Lamecia Butler, 2019
"Absolutely love it😍 The drumline is a powerful weapon in any band!!! Them drums will make you get up and dance even when you're having a challenging day💯💯💯 #Somethingaboutthedrums"

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45. Anigye SihmoNah, 2019
"BEHOLD.....THE GREEEN....ANNNND.....GOLD!!!! my entire family of 7 and my parents graduated from NSU and I have danced to the beat of thier drum since childhood watching my family in the band over the years and I take great pride.👍🏿✊🏾👍🏿✊🏾✊🏾🎶"

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46. Stacy Edwards, 2019
"I live about 7 mins away from NSU...i open my bedroom window when the band performs if i dont attend the game. It's like having a radio on there sound is so crisp and clear...God Bless them babies and there healthy lungs! BEHOLD THE 💚&💛!!!!"
-snip-
A number of commenters wrote "Behold the green and gold". This appears to be a standard Norfolk State University saying. 

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47. Angilia Clark, 2019
"I feel u, I grew up less than a mile 4rm Grambling State campus and I can even recall being in  class one day and they were onda field practicing. This was b4 Robinson Stadium, so school was right next 2da field. We're tryna concentrate and  suddenly the drummers start with Housequake by Prince!!! Now imagine being in high school, black, and expected 2 ignore and concentrate. It was sooo loud and funky that our teacher said "ok guys, put ur pencils down and relax 4 a minute, ha ha ha!" We all laughed and starting jamming in our seats 😂 That was sooo cool!!!"

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48. Kim Bailey, 2019
"
That's what's up. Give100 percent at all times. Bring back memories for me. You guys gave me the chills. Keep up the good work, & let your GPA speak for you as well.
-snip-
"GPA" = term used in the USA universities/colleges as an abbreviation for "grade point average".

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49. Jonathan T, 2019
"I guess you have never seen a DCI drum line then?  This line is very choppy at best. Ultimately however these kids are having fun and really that’s all that counts."

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50. Jonathan T, 2019
"Lightning Style Kirin this is a real drum line"

https://youtu.be/_WvoSjJizGI

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51. Always Learning, 2019
"
@Jonathan T Fr tho wow..... I guess call me a sucker for more African based rhythmic syncopations  personally"

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52. Truth Hurts, 2019
"Stickmanship is sick 😨😨😨😧😧😧😧😖😖😖👍👍👍👍👍thanks for sharing this video awesome showmanship ."

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53. Dr. Karen Hinton- Polite, 2019
"
Straight up African yall! The drums, the movement of our bodies, calling the ancestors! African!!!!!"

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54. Craig miller, 2019
"You all are sicker than sick brothers... give me chills!!! God bless every one of you for sharing your talent you guys are awesome🙏 I have always loved this snare and you guys did a killer job. I have to admit the quads are my favorite and you guys kill that you guys are so talented. Dont know how y'all do it. TOTALLY IMPRESSED..."

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55. HalfLifeAMD, 2019
"How many hours a day do these people practice!"

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56. Gods._Musician, 2020
"We are in practice 6-7hrs a day"

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57. ROGER WOODS, 2019
"
Only and I mean ONLY, in America. Bravo 👏"

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58. Wayne Morris, 2019
"aye aye...main...look...i couldn't be no drum major today....dem cats be doing calistenics, i got exhausted watchin these cats main...
-snip-
“Main” is another way of spelling the interjection “man”."
Cats= colloquial term for "men" (males)

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59. t.t Robinson, 2019
"whats the name of the cadence from the 4:30 mark"

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60. Abenzz, 2020
"Calypso Groove"

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61. arthur robinson, 2019
"What's the name of the cadence on 4:38"

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62. Abenzz, 2020
…"That cadence is called "CMP".

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63. SeoulVante, 2019
"I watched this in person and it was definitely the best tunnel I have ever seen. I didn't catch a single person standing still on the sidelines watching."

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64. Shirley Vinson, 2019
"SMOKING!!!!!!! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤"

*️*
65. Thankful Ready, 2019
"After we beat they behind they marched out of AGGIE WORLD lol"
-snip-
In the context of this comment, "Aggie World" refers to North Carolina Argriculture & Technology University.

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66. lucilla williams. 2019
"They BAD to the bone Dynamic"
-snip-
They're throughly bad (very good); all the way from their skin down to their bones.

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67. Morning Star, 2020
"They all play with the exact same technique, stick heights, velocity, everything. This is what all drumlines should be like."

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68. Tize, 2020
"
People. This form of marching band is the HBCU style aka the "swinging-high stepping" bands. This is unqiuely a black american marching band culture."

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69. Uncle Monster, 2020
"Most folks don’t think about how physical these young men and women have to be. Stand in place and mark time high step style for a minute and then think about marching, performing and band uniforms are not the lightest of clothing. Hats off to y’all!"

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70. Brandon Bridges, 2020
"that groove they layed down for the drum majors is FIRE tho!"

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71. Art Gamechanger, 2020
"Them  majoretts are HIIIIIGH steppn' !! Wow! Best I've ever seen!"

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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Egungun Masquerade In Ogun State, Nigeria (video & information)


Kabiyesi tv, March 28, 2020

The Egungun festival is the most colourful of Yoruba festivals. Annual Egungun festival are held in Yoruba communities and in communities that practice Yoruba traditional worship around the world. The masquerade can only be taken on by male members of the Egungun families. Women are only allowed to participate in the chorus that sings the praise and recites the histories of the family.

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Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases a YouTube video of Nigeria's traditional Egungun festival (masquerade). 

This post also includes a Wikipedia excerpt about Egungun festival.  

This content is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owner.

Thanks to the producer of this video and all those who are associated with this video. Thanks to all who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.
-snip-
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/10/comparative-traditions-masquerades.html for the 2011 pancocojams post entitled "Comparative Traditions - Nigeria's Egungun Masquerades & Other Whirling Dances"

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EXCERPT FROM WIKIPEDIA'S PAGE ABOUT EGUNGUN
From 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egungun
"
Egungun, (egúngún with Yorùbá language tone marks) in the broadest sense is any Yoruba masquerade or masked, costumed figure.[1] More specifically, it is a Yoruba masquerade for ancestor reverence, or the ancestors themselves as a collective force. Eégún is the reduced form (abbreviation assimilation) of the word egúngún and has the same meaning.[citation needed] There is a misconception that Egun or Eegun (eégún with Yorùbá tone marks) is the singular form, or that it represents the ancestors while egúngún is the masquerade or the plural form. This misconception is common in the Americas by Orisa devotees that do not speak Yorùbá language as a vernacular.

[…]

Family Role in Egungun

In the Yoruba religion, the annual ceremonies in honor of the dead serve as a means of assuring their ancestors a place among the living. They believe the ancestors have the responsibility to compel the living to uphold the ethical standards of the past generations of their clan, town or family. The Egungun are celebrated in festivals, known as Odun Egungun, and in family ritual through the masquerade custom.

In family situations, a family elder known either formally or informally as "Alagba" presides over ancestral rites. He may or may not be initiated into the local Egungun society. In matters that deal with whole communities, Egungun priests and initiates who are trained in ancestral communication, ancestral elevation and funerary rites are assigned to invoke and bring out the ancestors. They wear elaborate costumes in masquerade. Through drumming and dance, the Egungun robed performers are believed to become possessed by the spirits of the ancestors, as manifested as a single entity. The Egungun spiritually cleans the community; through the dramatic acting and miming of the robed priests, they demonstrate both ethical and amoral behavior that have occurred since their last visit. In this way, they expose the strengths and weaknesses of the community to encourage behavior more befitting of their descendants. When this performance is completed, the performers as Egungun give messages, warnings and blessings to the assembled spectators.

Important Egungun include the Oloolu and Alapansanpa, both of Ibadanland. Elewe of the Ìgbómìnà Yoruba clan, which is common in the towns of Òkè-Ìlá Òràngún, Ìlá Òràngún, and Arandun, is also of particular prominence.

In Brazil, the main cult of the Egungun is found on the island of Itaparica, in the State of Bahia. Houses of worship dedicated to the Egungun also exist in other states.

Egungun ensembles

Cloth plays an important role in the world of the Yoruba. Their beliefs equate nakedness with infancy, insanity, or the lack of social responsibility.[3] More elaborate dress reflects social power and prestige. In performances honoring ancestors, exquisite cloth is the major medium for the masker's transformation. An Egungun costume is composed of multiple layers of cloth lappets made from expensive and prestigious textiles, expressing the wealth and status of a family as well as the power of the ancestor.

The composition of an Egungun ensemble has several distinctive features. The layer worn closest to the masker's skin, the undersack, must be made of Aso-Oke, the indigo and white strip-cloth (Fig. 6). It closely resembles the shroud in which the dead are wrapped.[4] This sack, along with the netting for the face and hands, must completely seal the masker's body. The netting effectively disguises facial and hand features that might disclose his identity.

On top of this base are placed the layers of lappets. As the masker whirls, the lappets are sent flying, creating a "breeze of blessing." The design of the costume is therefore closely related to the choreography of the performance. Henry Drewal hypothesizes that the breeze of blessing created by the Egungun may also relate to Oya, the wife of Shango, the deified fourth king of Oyo and the god of thunder.[4][5] Oya is the whirlwind, considered a wind of blessing, that precedes Shango, the storm.

To make the costume beautiful, and thus powerful, the lappets are decorated with patchwork patterns, braids, sequins, tassels, and amulets. The amulets hold medicinal preparations which have performative power (ase), providing protection against enemies at a time when the transformed person is vulnerable. The main protective amulets, however, are on the inside of the costume, not the outside. Metallic objects are also sewn onto the garment. These catch the light as the wearer moves, creating flashes that suggest connection to the spirit world, orun.[4]

The multiple hidden and visible layers of fabric used to create an Egungun costume signify the sacred and the worldly, respectively.[4] The layers, used in combination, suggest the reunion of the departed and the living.[4]

An ensemble is repaired and refurbished for use year after year, with layers of new lappets and amulets added to express remembrance and honour. Through divination, however, an ancestor might request a new costume altogether. The owner and the patron, the priest of divination, the tailor, the herbalist who prepares the packets of medicines, and the entire lineage collaborate in creating the ensemble. Depending upon its wealth, a family may own several types of Egungun costumes, which may represent specific or collective ancestors of the lineage.

The Egungun ensemble acts as the medium for the masker's transformation into his ancestors. An Egungun society is composed of men and women whose lineages have the right to present the masquerade. Men do the masking. Women never wear the costume, although they participate in the chorus that sings the oriki praise poems and histories of the families. Elder women of high title also perform invocations, prayers, and offerings. At annual festivals, each of the numerous lineages is given a separate day to perform. The masker is kept at a distance from the surrounding crowd with the help of attendants dressed in masquerade costumes of different types. After all the Egungun have danced, the ensembles are stored until the next performance.[5]

Women's role in Egungun

Egungun masquerades are male-dominated within the performance aspect and only males are allowed to connect with the spirits in Egungun by transforming into the masked figure. Women are important in creating the materials, dramatizing the performance, singing, dancing and watching. Elders say that separation is necessary because of the dangers of women power. [6]

According to the Ifa corpus,  women were once in control of Egungun and the ritual originates from women’s religious experience in Yoruba.[7] It is also argued that women were the sustainers of Egungun and according to the Odu Irantegbe chapter of the  Ifa corpus, they were tricked by men and their powers over the Egungun cult were taken away. [7]”....

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

2014 YouTube Video Of The Brazilian Percussion Group "Olodum" (with information, & comments)



MrTharrison, Feb 17, 2014

Bloco Olodum, Carnival rehearsal, February 1st 2014, Salvador, Bahia

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Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcases a video of the Salvador de Bahia (Brazilian) percussion group Olodum.

Information about Olodum is included in this post along with selected comments from the discussion thread for this embedded video. 

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-afro-brazilian-bahia-percussive.html for Part I of a 2018 pancocojams series on Olodum entitled "The Afro-Brazilian (Bahia) Percussion Group Olodum - Part I (information & five videos)". Part II of that series can be found at http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/06/bahian-percussion-group-olodum.html for Part II of this series. Part II showcases a video of Michael Jackson performing his song "They Don't Care About Us" and a video of Paul Simon performing his song "The Obvious Child". Both of these videos feature Olodum.

The contents of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Olodum for its cultural legacy. Thanks also to to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

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INFORMATION ABOUT OLODUM (BRAZILIAN BAND)
Excerpt #1:
From http://www.narin.com/olodum/  [no date given, retrieved Feb. 24, 2021
"About Olodum 

Olodum is an internationally acclaimed Afro-Brazilian cultural group from Bahia, Brazil. Olodum (pronounced oh-lo-doon) was founded in 1979 as a bloco afro (African Bloc), a Bahian Carnival association highlighting African heritage and black pride through music, dance theater, and art. From their home city of Salvador da Bahia in Northeast Brazil (often described as the most African city in the Americas), Olodum has dedicated itself to cultural activism in the struggle against racial discrimination and socioeconomic inequality.

Olodum takes its name from the Yoruba deity Olodumaré. They focus their yearly Carnival themes on controversial issues such as black power and socialist movements in Africa and the African Diaspora. In the mid 1980s, the head drummer in the group - Mestre Neguinho do Samba - experimented with Afro-Caribbean rhythms and mixed them with the Brazilian samba. He divided the large surdo bass drums into four interlocking parts and layered the high-pitched repique drums in additive rhythms on top. The result was a new style of music dubbed samba reggae that quickly dominated Bahian Carnival. In the late 1980s Olodum assumed premiere position among the blocos afro in Bahia and became internationally known. They formed a professional musical band Banda Olodum which has now recorded over ten CDs. Olodum musicians have worked with international luminaries such as Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, and Spike Lee.

During Carnival season the group now parades with some two hundred drummers, singers, and thousands of costumed members. But the group's activities go well beyond Carnival and music. Throughout the year they sponsor seminars, speeches, and conferences on social and political issues and publish a monthly news journal, Bantu Nagô. They operate a factory where they make drums, costumes and other items which they sell to the public. Olodum also runs an inner-city school for Salvador's underprivileged children in which they teach a full array of academic and arts courses in order to build self-esteem and encourage economic ascension among Salvador's younger generation."...

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Excerpt #2
From https://playingforchange.com/musicians/olodum/
"Founded as an African block of the carnival in Salvador in 1979, Olodum is currently a cultural group considered a non-governmental organization. After their first run in 1980’s carnival, the band acquired almost two thousand associates and began to talk about historic themes about African and Brazilian culture. The band’s first LP was called “Egito, Madagascar” and was recorded in 1987, and became famous with the song “Faraó, Divindade do Egito”. The idea of this LP was to honor the roots of the group and show to the country “Mamma Africa,” and to show, too, how the group was born (from the drums to the influences of African Gods).

Just after, Olodum started to be known in the entire world as an African-Brazilian percussive group and performed in Europe, Japan, and almost all of South America. In 1988, Simone recorded “Me ama mô” live, in Pelourinho, featuring Neguinho do Samba and Olodum (this record is in Simone’s album, Simone). In 1991, Olodum performed at Paul Simon’s Concert in the Park after they had worked on Simon’s 1990 album The Rhythm of the Saints.

One of the biggest moments for the group was in 1996, when they participated in the Michael Jackson song, “They Don’t Really Care About Us.” The media interest surrounding the music video exposed Olodum to 140 countries around the world. Parallel to the artistic success, the band takes part in social movements against racism and for civil and human rights."

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Excerpt #3
From https://www.salvadordabahia.com/en/experiences/olodum-2/ [no date given; retrieved on Feb. 24, 2021
“Olodum

Samba-reggae’s live expression, of international prestige.

The group emerged from a carnival game on April 25, 1979 between friends Carlos Alberto Conceição, Geraldo Miranda, José Luiz Souza Máximo, José Carlos Conceição, Antônio Jorge Souza Almeida, Edson Santos da Cruz and Francisco Carlos Souza Almeida. What was supposed to be a momentary leisure option for the old Maciel-Pelourinho residents has won the world and became one of the most important Afro-Brazilian black culture institutions: the Olodum Afro Group.

The word “Olodum” is of Yoruban origin, a language spoken by the Yorubas that came from Nigeria and Benin to Bahia, in past centuries. The complete word is Olodumaré – the Creator God, the Lord of the universe, and represents, in Candomblé, a vital principle, the Supreme Fundamental Order – SFO.

The group gained different sonorities, transformed the African musicality based on percussion and gave rise to new rhythms, such as Ijexá, Samba, Alujá, Reggae and Forró. It has become a living expression of samba-reggae, rhythm idealized by Neguinho do Samba.

The colors that represent the band were not chosen at random. All together form the basis of Pan-Africanism, Rastafarianism and the Reggae Movement. They are the international colors of the African diaspora and constitute an international identity against racism and in favor of the African descendants. Green for the equatorial African forests; red for the black race blood; yellow for the African gold (largest producer in the world); black for the black race pride; and white for world peace.

[…]

The group has started actions and programs, such as the Olodum School, the Olodum Band, the Theater Band, the Carnival Factory, as well as workshops, newspapers, books and researches on Africa, campaigns against violence and for peace, and also the international struggle against apartheid in South Africa and the Buzios Revolt of 1798.

Wherever Olodum drums play, Bahia’s heart beats, with the positive vibration of a history marked by musicality and citizenship. The Olodum Band has revolutionized Brazilian music and Bahian carnival’s language through the creation of Samba Reggae. It has conquered success, popular acceptance and critic’s acceptance too.”…
-snip-
Note that black, yellow, red, and yellow are the colors of the pan-African flag. 

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SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THAT VIDEO'S DISCUSSION THREAD

These comments are given in relative chronological order, based on their publishing date with the oldest comments given first, except for replies. Numbers are added for referencing purposes only.  

1. John Miller, 2014
"Intoxicating rhythms from Africa, fantastic!"

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Reply
2. Ryu Rudá Raoní, 2014
"*from Brazil"

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Reply
3. Angolana, 2015
"+Nifero Piscine no actually  john is correct, it really is influenced from africa, hence the slaves, the whole beat is the exact same from african tribes:)"

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Reply
4. Ryu Rudá Raoní, 2015
"I agree with you. I meant someone or something from Brazil and of African ancestry, it is no less and maybe rather Brazilian than African. Im not denying African influence, being myself of African ancestry"

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Reply
5. Ana P, 2016
"Influenced, not, The same."

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Reply
6. aroldo marcospereira primo, 2018
"É Brazil"
-snip-
Google translate from Portuguese to English
"It's Brazil"

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Reply
7. aroldo marcospereira primo, 2018
"John Miller olodum é  brasileiro e único"
-snip-
Google translate from Portuguese to English:
“olodum is Brazilian and unique”

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8. carlos ramirez, 2014
"
saludos OLODUM ritmo que contagia al mundo, inspiración para los niños y jóvenes amantes de la percusión, cultura contagiante.  Saludos desde Costa Rica.
-snip-
Google translate from Portuguese to English:
"Greetings OLODUM rhythm that infects the world, inspiration for children and young people who love percussion, contagious culture. Greetings from Costa Rica."

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9. Suzete De Mattos, 2014
"Alafiá, meu amado Olodum...alafiá....axé"
-snip-
Google translate from Portuguese to English
“Alafiá, my beloved Olodum ... alafiá .... axé”
-snip-
The words "Alafia" and "axe" ("ase") are from Nigeria, West Africa. (from Yoruba with Alafia by way of Hausa/Arabic.)

These words are probably best known in the United States thanks to the song "Funga Alafia" which has the refrain "Ashe", Ashe".  Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-real-origin-of-song-funga-alafia.html for the 2019 pancocojams post "The REAL Origin Of The Song "Funga Alafia" - Hint: It Isn't A Liberian Song, Or A Nigerian Song, Or A Traditional African Song".

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9. CrowdPleeza, 2014
"
Do Brazilians ever get to visit Cuba? I think it would be cool if Cubans and Brazilians could interact. They both have similar African influences in their cultures."

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Reply
10. Ryu Rudá Raoní, 2014
"I havent enough money to go to Cuba ;( Gimme some, mister foreing?"

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Reply
11. juliana cordeiro, 2015
"@CrowdPleeza let me explain to you, in Brazil every part is very different of the other, Bahia is where the African influences is there, the whole Brazil is not like that, if you go to Sao Paulo the influence of japaneses is more there than the rest of Brazil and so on, Brazil is something you won't understand because it is so different of any other country, you must go there to visit and see the diversities like no other else."

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Reply
12. Canal do Jhow, 2017
"CrowdPleeza The africans what come for Bahia are same what go for Cuba and in good part for USA."

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13. Luiz Junior, 2018
"O maior som da Terra!!! Olodum, mãe Africa, nação Nagô, raiz de Angola!!! SALVE SALVE minha BAHIA!!!"
-snip-
Google translate from Portuguese to English:
"O maior som da Terra!!! Olodum, mãe Africa, nação Nagô, raiz de Angola = “The greatest sound on Earth !!! Olodum, mother Africa, Nagô nation, root of Angola !!!”
-snip-
Translation results for the Portuguese word "salve" from https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/portuguese-english/salve - “Salve! = “Greetings!”

Therefore, "SALVE SALVE minha BAHIA!!!” = Greetings, greetings, my Bahia!!!”.
-snip-
Google translate’s incorrect result for this sentence is “SAVE SAVE my BAHIA !!!”

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