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Featured Article: Abenaki

Abenaki in traditional clothing
The Abenaki (or Abnaki) are a tribe of Native American and First Nations people belonging to the Algonquian peoples of northeastern North America. They are located in an area the Eastern Algonquian languages call the Wabanaki (Dawn Land) Region. The Abenakis were one of the five members of the Wabanaki Confederacy, the other four being the Maliseet, Mi'kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot.

The Abenaki, like their fellow Wabanaki tribes, were peaceful, although they were often forced to defend themselves against the Iroquois. They relied upon horticulture for their food as well as hunting and fishing. When the Europeans came to the region, the Abenaki greeted them and accepted their Christian message, albeit often combined with their traditional Midewiwin shamanistic practices. However, diseases ravaged their population, and when the French and Indian Wars led to increasing danger of annihilation, they began to migrate to Quebec.

Contemporary Abenaki live on the reserves in Quebec, as well as on reservations in Maine, and in other communities in New Hampshire and Vermont. These communities have made efforts to revive their culture and traditional crafts, particularly basket and rattle making as well as traditional dances. These reflect the spirituality, connection to nature, and desire for peace and harmony that characterizes the Abenaki, qualities that are valuable for contemporary society as a whole.

Popular Article: Music of Africa

Nigerian drummers celebrating the arrival of running water to their village
The music of Africa is as vast and varied as the continent's many regions, nations, and ethnic groups. African music is as diverse as its cultures and peoples and has flowered in many indigenous forms as well as been shaped by foreign influences.

The roles of music and dance are tightly woven together in sub-Saharan Africa, and music intersects with every aspect of life. African music helps to connect people together in a variety of ways, strengthening the fabric of the community, which in turn reinforces people's commitment to support each other and the community, toward mutual health and prosperity. Another crucial role of music in Africa is as a mode of communication. Talking drums, signal drums, songs, and the sagas of the historian griots each communicate different types of important information.

As African society has changed in response to the forces of colonization, independence, and globalization, the role of music changed as well. Though there have been changes in some of the forms of the music, including the infusion of instruments, musical styles, and genres from outside the African continent, music remains very important in Africa today. Also, as Africans traveled from Africa to other parts of the world, both as a result of African slave trade and later migrations, the music and dance forms of the African diaspora have influenced a number of international musical styles and genres.