Native Inspired or Influenced Musicians

Here it is, the world's first and probably only, list of native-influenced/inspired musicians. These are non-native musicians whose style is derived from Native American musical forms.

The main purposes of this list are to;

  1. dispel any notions that these people are Native,
  2. assist the consumer in knowing what is authentic Native American musical product,
  3. and to deter the exploitation of Native Music, Culture, and Spirituality.

I have performed all over North America and I can't tell you the hundreds of persons who have come up to me afterwards and talked of these musicians. When I tell them they are not Native, they are shocked and dismayed. Many don't believe me...

You will not find any of these products here at Rainbow Walker, but you can easily find these releases on many, many other internet outlets. Don't forget to visit my page, "I was Fooled" for an elaboration of my views on this topic.

Here is a link to a discussion of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990; Public Law 101-644, from the Federal Register. The law was created...

"In response to growing sales in the billion dollar U.S. Indian arts and crafts market of products misrepresented or erroneously represented as produced by Indians, the Congress passed the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990. This Act is essentially a truth-in-advertising law designed to prevent marketing products as ``Indian made'' when the products are not, in fact, made by Indians as defined by the Act.

If you are a Native Musician, please clearly and proudly offer the Nation/Tribe to which you belong in your cover text. Let's make it easy for our friends who want to support our products.

Personally, I do not want these non-native persons to stop making their music, they are probably fine musicians, just call it what it is, Native Influenced or Native Inspired... But, please stop putting pictures of what is obviously not your culture on these releases in attempts to make them look "native" so people will buy them. And finally, cut the spiritual babblings and gobbledy-gook... 'nuff said.

Native Inspired or Influenced Musicians;

  • Douglas Wallentine "Spotted Eagle"; this person is very likely the most mistaken for being native, even fooled me with his name.
  • Coyote Old Man; this is NOT a native elder, it is two non-native guys sitting in a studio with synthesizers, flutes, and pan pipes...
  • Gathering of Shaman; this is not a group of native elders playing native flute together, much less medicine people. There is very little connection to flutes in North America to our medicine people. Their principal use was to assist in courting women. Maybe in South America there was some kind of shamanistic connection... There are some persons going around the country today saying they are some kind of flute shaman, some even claim to be native. There is no such thing that I have ever seen or heard talked about within the traditional singing community. To be a medicine person you need to learn to sing the Sacred Songs, not play the flute.
  • Native Flute Ensemble; This is not an ensemble of Natives playing flute, it is an ensemble playing native-type instruments. None of which I have been able to find out are Native...
  • Mesa Music Consort; Same here... Be very suspicious of any recording that does not clearly spell out which tribes/nations to which the artists belong.
  • Sacred Earth Drums & Sacred Spirit Drums; both by David & Steve Gordon. Billed as the "The Native/Drumming Music Your Customers Want!", and the "#1 selling Native/Drumming Title Ever!", in a distributor's catalog. Replete with pictures of Native style hand drums and New-Agey type Indian cover art. Wanna bet with me that these are not native drumming rhythms, but variations of African, Caribbean, Celtic and other ethnic styles???


Sacred Spirits/Yeha Noha; Beware! This is what I call the biggest Native Music fraud of the decade! This recording was produced, composed, performed and arranged by a European named Claus Zundel. No Native artists were involved! Many or most on this recording are probably dead! He took archival recordings and set them to drumtracks and ambient music in his European studio, liberally added native images, spiritual babblings, and sold millions of copies!! He bills himself as the "Fearsome Brave" on his cover... For a major expose of this fraud, go to A Line in the Sand. Upon finding out this recording was a fake, the Line in the Sand website was born and dedicated to the protection of Native American cultural property.

P.S., I just saw a national TV ad campaign for this recording with an 800 number!!! This really upsets me as there have beens hundreds of legitimate recordings by quality Native musicians over the last 15 years and not a single one has ever been featured on a national ad campaign. Does this mean that non-natives will only support and buy FAKES!? I don't think so, it is time for the labels to wake up...Native music is the next big cultural musical explosion!!

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