By Fiza Najeeb
In celebration of Native American Heritage month, the Native
American Student Center hosted “Tribal Fusion” Friday as a way to
give the students at Cal Poly a taste of their culture’s music.
Some of the featured artists included Cihuatl Tonali, Black Child
Red and Red Cloud.
Music has always been an important part of the Native American
culture. Typically, songs were passed down from generation to
generation, and consisted of oral narratives of their history.
Similarly, the artists at “Tribal Fusion” used their music to
spread powerful messages to the audience.
“I really enjoyed Quesca INC because he had a lot of energy,
interacted with the audience and intertwined his heritage with
[powerful contemporary] hip hop,” said Jackie Lara, a second-year
equine science student.
One of the most impressive elements of the songs was the impact
the lyrics had on the audience, bringing a sense of enlightenment
In the song “Time Travelerz,” the three artists of Cihuatl
Tonali sang about the need for people to elevate their minds and
regain a sense of culture as people. The song says to see through
the “false illusion of the American Dream,” which only consists of
wealth and greed, and leads people to forget their roots.
Another artist, Black Child Red sent a powerful message through
his reggae beats about fighting to change back into living
All the artists who performed were able to truly touch their
audience and give them a sense of how much they value their
heritage. They also demonstrated the powerful impact European
settlers had on the indigenous people.
The passionate lyrics sparked interest in the Native American
culture, as well as pride in one’s own culture.
The artists conveyed the message that someone can be American
while still being proud of his or her own culture. Even though the
artists used popular American genres such as rock and hip hop, they
still incorporated their own culture by using traditional
instruments such as drums and rattles.
“This was the first event I attended for the Native American
Heritage Month and I really enjoyed Red Cloud/DJ Wise. The most
interesting song they preformed was the free style about the
objects the audience was holding in the air,” said Sheryl
Saniaguel, a fourth-year business and music student.
For those who missed the opportunity to learn about the Native
American culture on Friday still have a chance to at the rest of
the events this month.
Fiza Najeeb can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or
by phone at (909) 869-3744.
Urban Fuses with Native
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