ancestor: a relative who lived in the very distant past

basers: in the ring shout, the group who sings a response to the songster

call and response: a common way to learn music in which one person sings part of the song (call), and another person repeats it (response)

Gullah Geechee: direct descendants of Africans brought to the United States as slaves, living in the Lowcountry and the Georgia Sea Islands

melodic contour: the shape and direction of the melody

powwow: gatherings that bring together members of different nations where arts and crafts, music, and dances are shared and celebrated

rattles: shaken Native American percussion instruments made from natural materials, such as turtle shells and pebbles

rhythm: pattern of sound and silence over a steady beat

ring shout: musical practice of American slaves of West African origin characterized by call and response and counter-clockwise shuffling

shouting: in the ring shout, the way people move to the music

social dance: a dance in which participants follow one leader, usually performed during a gathering with a specific purpose

songster: in the ring shout, the person who leads the rest of the musicians in call and response

steady beat: the pulse in music

stickman: in the ring shout, the person that keeps the steady beat

vocables: syllables like “la la la” or “dum de dum” that are used as lyrics so that everyone can sing together