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Secwepemc Songs

Songs for the spirit and the heart

Welcome Song

The Welcome song is sung when the people arrive at gatherings and celebrations. The song is sung to welcome the people and thank them for coming. The song is a chant accompanied by hand drumming, but words can be spoken throughout the song. A dance also accompanies the song where the dancers make hand motions waving to and welcoming the people.
You Can hear this song on the first page of our site:
The Welcome Song:

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Honor Song

The honor song is sung at special gatherings which were held, such as, funerals (to honor the deceased); name-giving ceremonies; birthdays; and recognition gatherings. The song is sung, not only to honor the people, but the Creator and all living things. The songs give appreciation and respect to the people being honored and the Creator.

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Stick Game Song

Stick game songs are sung while playing of the stick game (lahal). This is a game of skill and chance. There are two teams. Each team has a set of 5 – 6 sticks. Each team has two sets of bones. The bones are small enough to fit in the hand without any part showing. The object of the game is to win all the opponents sticks. To win a stick, the team members must guess which person on the opposite team is holding the bones and which hand the unmarked bone is in. If the guess is correct, a stick is won. Whichever team wins all the sticks, wins the game. Songs are sung throughout the game. The team who holds the bones sings while the other team observes them and tries to guess who has the bones and which hand they are in. A stick game could go on for hours and hours.

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Spyu7 (bird) Song

The bird song is sung at gatherings and celebrations to honor the birds. It is one of the many songs the Secwepemc sing to honor and pay respect to the animals. A dance accompanies the song in which the dancers imitate the actions of the birds. The song is reminders to the Secwepemc to always take care of the land and animals.

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Farewell Song

The farewell is sung at the end of gatherings and celebrations when the people are ready to leave. It is a prayer song which prays for the safe journey of the people returning home. Words may be spoken and messages given throughout the song, for example, “thank you for coming and we will see you again”. Dancers can accompany the singers. The dancers make motions with their hands (waving goodbye to the people).

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