Exploring Health Promotion Needs and Removing Barriers for Marquette county Seniors

Document Type



Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date



The aim of this project is to complete a documentary video exploring the History and cultural traditions of the Big Drum among the Lac Vieux Desert (LVD) Ojibwe. It will be the first film of its kind. The Lakota and Ojibwe had fought a century-long war over subsistence territory that ended in the 1870s. According to legend, a Lakota woman had a dream prompting her to present a drum to the Ojibwe and teach them specific rituals, songs and dances associated with a new ?Big Drum? religion. The drum would maintain peace between the nations and assure moral conduct within tribal communities that respected the drum and practiced its ceremonies. In the early 1940s the LVD Big Drum disappeared and the tribe experienced a social diaspora. Was it stolen and sold to a museum or to a private collector? Was it traded for whiskey? Some believe their community is being punished for not protecting their drum. Political quarrels and family feuds have devastated the band. Once a cooperative hunting and gathering community; they are now engaged in bitter competition for jobs funded by casino revenue. Some believe their communal spirit vanished with their Big Drum ? that the drum itself contained that spirit. They currently have an outstanding drum group but it remains in the shadows because so many are fixated on their lost drum.


Michigan council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs (2005-2007), $14,800

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