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Moccasin Game Songs

One of the things that makes Amerindian musical culture so distinct is the efficacy of its songs. Songs served ceremonial or social purposes, and were played or sung at particular times to help connect the natural and supernatural world to a certain positive end.  Some songs served as “game songs,” such at the one pictured above. This is the Moccassin game, a gambling tradition from Amerindian groups across America (stretching from modern-day Wisconsin to Arizona). Game songs like this mix drums and chants to help bring luck to players.

Navajo Songs via Smithsonian Folkways


About Shauna Vert

Digital History geek, museum lover, former Smithsonian intern and uOttawa alumni. Tweeting @Shaunanagins, brainwaving at

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