The is widespread through many tribes in North

The use of sound and
music healing is widespread through many tribes in North America. Not many instruments
are used for the healing. They use the voice as the primary instrument, although
the rattle and drums are also used. There are two main ceremonies used for
healing in the Navajo culture. One is the Nighway ceremony and the other one is
the Enemyway. In the Nigthway ceremony the songs sung are called Yeibichai, alludes
to the ancestor and gods that come to the ceremony to assist with the healing
with their supernatural powers. The last day of the Nighway ceremony is when
the healing songs are performed, the days before it is usually a purification
of the body of the sick individual being treated. This ceremony usually lasts nine
days. The medicine man and the sick person are not the only ones involes in the
ritual, usually many people assist in a way to reinforce this tradition. Enemyway is “often performed for a returned
Navajo member of the United States Armed Forces or for others who have been
away from home among strangers for a long time” (Ethno
book). They believe that those people might have been exposed to the
soul of non-Navajo dead people and they must be cleansed and cured from that. To
the Native Americans the most important elements in the music healing process
are rhythm and the songs. The medicine man uses rattles and drums while he
sings the songs. These songs come to them in dreams and for that reason are they
believe them to have supernatural powers. The believe that the rhythm comes
from the ocean and the vibration from the mountains. These elements are vital
in the music healing process. The rattle is a sacred object for the medicine
man made of pebble and bits of clay. In the desert are made out of a gourd. It
is usually played fast with an accented rhythm. In some tribes, medicines
plants are also given to the patient in addition to the medicine songs, but
sometimes the songs and the power of the medicine man are the only medicines utilized.
The Sioux have different songs for different ailments, and some tribes have a
specific song for each of the ailments treated. Some other instruments
frequently used are the flute and whistles. They usually imitate the sound of
the birds or nature. The Native Americans believe that the sounds from mother
nature is a way to thanks the God for the gifts given to them. (Native-American-Healing-Traditions.pdf)

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