Sonny Pratt and Ralph Migelano / Hupa from Hoopa, California
In the mountains above Eureka, CA set down in a beautiful bowls of land is the Hoopa Indian Reservation in the village of Hoopa, CA. The reservation spans about 144 square miles along the Trinity River and the tribe is actually made up of seven different tribes of people from the Trinity River area.
In spite of their differences, the seven tribes were gathered under one name by the United States government and are now a federally recognized tribe. We meet Sonny Pratt and Ralph Migelano in the home of our friend, Joe Orosco, another Hupa man. The men gather together because the music is sung in rounds with one voice following the other. The exchange of music is casual and the men tell a lot of jokes and have some fun. The session almost becomes like a song fest with one man triggering additional song ideas in the others. Even Joe is challenged to sing a song. Like many other tribes, the music is carefully protected and only certain songs can be recorded. In fact, at one point the men sang a song that was not intended to be recorded but the energy was high and the music got recorded. When the error was realized later, we had to go back into the show and pull the sacred music out of the program.
Listen to a sample of the show here.
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