Kamloops Wawa pictures, part 7: The Chilliwhack brass brand
“THE INDIANS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA”
…is the page header.
Brass bands were a major form of entertainment in 1800s Settler culture.
That’s why they became a favorite activity for missionaries to encourage among Native people in British Columbia.
This large group, about 20 Stó:lō people from the Lower Fraser River, would have been taught European-style music via Chinuk Wawa.
I wonder if they used sheet music; this would have been — along with Chinuk Pipa writing — the first group literacy in their community.
I found a good research article about First Nations brass bands in BC at that era, including the Squiala and Skwah people of the Chilliwack area. Go read the article at that link; it makes excellent points about these bands being a representation of Aboriginal cultural and political independence.
“THE CHILLIWHACK, B.C., INDIAN BRASS BAND”
— from Kamloops Wawa #126 (March 1895), page 43
More photos, from the article I mentioned:
Chilliwack Brass Band (image credit: VABBS)
Dapper looking crew! I wonder if their instruments were incorporated into any traditional cultural events, and if any of them transcribed any traditional First Nations music.
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I hear a research project taking shape…