Friday Night Waila!


We lived in Arizona some years back. Our address was Casa Grande but we lived just outside the Akimel O’Odham rez and, in fact, spent a lot of time ON the rez in my job.

On Friday and Saturday nights, our neighbors would have Waila dances under the shade arbor at night going into the wee hours of the morning. It was nice after a long week at work to go out in the shade of the patio, relax in a lawn chair with a cold drink, and watch the incredible Arizona sunset and then listen to the Waila music starting next door. Good times! No skeeters!

This was filmed around where we lived.

I was feeling a longing for Arizona tonight and started listening to the music of the southern desert on YouTube. Thought maybe most people that haven’t lived in Arizona have never heard it.

9 Responses

  1. Thank you. : )
    It is very different from when I went with a mission group for a week or two to Grand Portage Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota when I was 18 –the cabin where we stayed, even the tiny chapel with the foot-pedal organ, was far more weather-tight and window-ed and floor-ed than the dirt-floor, oil-paper-covered window holes in the shacks the Indians lived in.
    On weekends the teen and working-aged people would come back from the Twin Cities where they worked, and “all-hell” would break loose, all night long…..

    • Yep. Nobody has seen real poverty in this country until they’ve been on a rez.

  2. I did a lot of Friday Night Wailing in my younger days, but not a lot of Wailaing, as best I can recall.
    /or wallowing

    • This is a wailin’ free zone on account of my singin’ voice sounds like a cat whose tail got caught under the rockin’ chair.

    • Although unaccountably my lil’ crazy children at school wanted me to sing to them all the time. Guess it just proved how crazy they were.

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