Desirae Bernice Rambler, Ndee Bi’isii, The Healing Power of Indigenous Medicine Songs, Gene Closs, Apache Women at the Fiesta, and San Carlos Apache Doll

Desirae Bernice Rambler (San Carlos Apache)
Ndee Bi’isii, The Healing Power of Indigenous Medicine Songs
Drum made of tin, buckskin, black rope, water, stick made of willow
(right in image)

Indigenous medicine songs have unfathomable healing potential to alleviate or even eliminate pain and other health issues. Healing Indigenous music has the power to uplift, energize, calm, soothe, and remind us of who we are and what our ancestors endure for us to be here today. These songs have the ability to take you on a spiritual journey or to ground and reintegrate you back into our bodies. The Apache way of life revolves the around the Apache drum, which was given to them as a gift from Usen, the Creator. The Apache Drum was selected for a variety of reasons, the modern drum is extremely vital and is very valuable to the Apache people. The sound of the drum is the heartbeat of our Indigenous peoples’ resiliency, and it is one of the most essential reminders that we are still here. The drum is made of tin, buckskin, black rope, and water, and it contains significant spiritual objects. The drumstick is made of willow, which grows along the many rivers within the San Carlos Apache Nation in Southeastern Arizona’s 1.8 million acres of land. Sunrise dances, hunting, weather, healing, visions, weddings, war, strength, lullabies, and, most importantly, protection are among the various reasons for which Apache songs are performed.

Video (1:25) link here
This short audio clip is dedicated in honor of the brave Indigenous students that attended Fort Lewis Indian Boarding School from the years of 1892-1911, especially the Ndee (Apache) children. There is a mixture of 3 songs sung by Apache women from the San Carlos Apache Nation. Sandra Rambler (Apache Elder), Leopha Victor (boarding school survivor), and myself. The songs consists of “Where have I / you have been”, “Rainclouds – people know me wherever I go”, and the last song is“I will see you again, I am journeying on”. We hope that these songs will bring healing, peace, and harmony to those who listen, and that they will always treat one another with kindness, love, and respect.


Gene Closs
Apache Women at the Fiesta
Etching; 1954; Center of Southwest Studies Collections 1994:09006
(center in image)


San Carlos Apache Doll
Maker Unknown
Cloth, yarn, leather; Center of Southwest Studies Collections 2010:065.008
(left in image)




As Seeds, We Grow: Student Reflections on Resilience Exhibit Catalog Copyright © 2023 by Elise Boulanger; Shenay Atene; Kirbie Bennett; Paige Brown; Keo Crank; Ana Henry; Hannah Jacks; AJ Lopez; Camela Manheimer; Sam McCullar; Destiny Morgan; Desirae Bernice Rambler; Andrea L. Rogers; Eugene Rogers; Maddie Sanders; Kaitlyn Sebwenna-Painter; and Rexine Williams. All Rights Reserved.

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