1 Dakota Jacob de Haan Set of Clarinets.pdf
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(Jacob de Haan)
Commissioned by “Muziekvereniging Volharding,” Huissen (the Netherlands) on the occasion of its 50th anniversary
– Henk Hesseling, conductor
The Dakota (or Sioux) Indians from the American states North and South Dakota are the central figures in this
composition. The work consists of five movements in which the culture and history of these Indians have been
portrayed. In a few movements, Jacob de Haan has used an old Indian melody from South Dakota.
1. The Great Spirit
The culture of the Dakota Indians was related to the earth and spirit world. They believed that the Great Spirit
created the earth by casting a black ball onto the water, and that from a second ball, he created all living things.
2. Buffalo Hunting
To gallop up to a powerful buffalo required skill and courage. Yet men looked forward to the chance to prove
themselves in the hunt.
3. Smoking the Pipe
The pipe was the symbol of peace and was used as such between men and nations. Smoking the pipe stood for a
bond of good faith, and a holy man smoking the pipe would be in communion with the Great Spirit.
4. The Ghost Dance
This religious dance of lost hopes was based on prayer, dance, and song. In 1890, the soldiers engaged the Ghost
Dancers at a place called Wounded Knee.
5. Pilgrims at Wounded Knee
The tragedy of Wounded Knee is very painful to the Indians. Many still make the pilgrimage to the sacred,
windblown hilltop where so many innocent people were killed.