Sihasin is a Native American music band from Arizona. It is composed of two siblings called Jenada and Clayson Benally. The name of the band means hope in the Navajo language.
Despite the Navajo Indian nation’s success as code talkers during World War II, many Navajo Indians continue to struggle. Brother and sister Jenada and Clayson want to give hope and inspire the next generation of Native Americans with their music. Native Americans have some of the lowest graduation rates in school. Many of the young people also turn to drugs and alcohol. Suicide rates are also alarmingly high, especially among the Native American youth.
So what kind of music does Sihasin create? It can be described as a blend of traditional and modern. The duo used to perform for a punk rock band called Blackfire. Now, their music incorporates a lot of traditional Navajo Indian music. They pair this with electric bass and percussion instruments.
The goal of the band’s music is to communicate to the people and inspire hope. Jenada and Clayson say that hope is part of their Navajo cultural tradition and upbringing. Their father was also a medicine man and you can be sure that some of his influence has rubbed off and entered Sihasin’s music.
Sihasin is doing a lot more than fusing traditional Native American music with modern electric and bass themes. The band is helping Native American teenagers learn how to write songs as a way of developing musical talent and expression. This may not only inspire some of the youngsters to pursue music as a career but also help them overcome difficult periods of their life.
The band says that it is breaking down the stereotypes of what is considered to be Native American music. They are also encouraging other Native American singers and musicians to not be afraid to use modern instruments and technology when performing. As long as the culture and message of the Indians are preserved, that is what truly counts.Categories: Native American, Native American Artists, Native American Music