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Songs | Fall 2019
Graphic: Apache Stretching Song

Apache Stretching Song

Internationally known dancer, singer, actor, and craftsman, Roman Orona opened the Children’s Music Network 2019 Annual International Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, with a ceremony to honor the ancestors who walked the land of the Franciscan Renewal Center long before future European-descended generations were even imagined. Ish hish itsaatsu is his Apache name, meaning “One Who Dances With Eagles.” His goal is to teach balance in all aspects of life, world peace, equality of men and women, environmental and cultural preservation, racial equality, and the abandonment of all forms of prejudice. Roman works to illustrate that all individuals are related through the common thread of humanity. In being human, Roman says, “we all have a responsibility to each other, for each other, for the betterment of all humankind.”

The Children’s Music Network seeks to honor both Roman and Native American culture by sharing Roman’s unique contributions to children’s music. His “Apache Stretching Song” and “Native American Counting Song” broaden all children’s horizons and can help non-native peoples raise consciousness about the debt owed Native American brothers and sisters.

The Apache Stretching Song is made up of vocables without a particular meaning; still the strong, even rhythm communicates peaceful movement. With Roman’s permission we have notated the melody and vocables below. It is important to stress the even, unaccented beat of Native American songs, and to combat the Europeanized version heard in so many western movies, e.g., THUMP, thump thump thump/THUMP, thump thump thump.

Thank you, Roman Orona, for sharing your knowledge with everyone.

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