Is there a name for that Indian War Cry thing?

You know, the stereotypical noise where you hoot and cover then uncover your mouth? Sounds like “woo-woo-woo-woo”? I just David Lee Roth do it on a YouTube video & am trying to describe it accurately. Just in case you’re curious, click that. Around 2:00, 2:15. Unforgivably terrible.

Yes. It’s called stereotypical bullshit.

As noted in the OP. I knew someone would get bent out of shape.


The dictionary definition for that is “a howl or wail, as if with grief”, which oddly enough is actually what that sound is in Native American terms, if you believe this. (See “We did not whoop”).

“War whoop” would probably be as good an informal term as any, though.

War whoop is what I’ve always heard.

I’d call that strident wailing “keening”; a more throaty howl that varies in pitch is ululating.

Except that Indians (Southern tribes, at least) really did use “war whoops” to terrify enemies (a technique later appropriated by Confederates as the Rebel Yell).


However, the link I gave above says that yes, the Indians did use war whoops, but they were not the same as the stereotypical sound that we know, which in fact was the sound that women used.

Perhaps not the same “ululating” quality as the hand-over-the-mouth sound, but still a high-pitched shriek. There are plenty of contemporary sources describing the sound, and from those descriptions, the war whoop sounds like what we know as the Rebel yell.

Plus, I have a strong suspicion that there was no Pan-American consensus spanning from the Skokomish to the Seminole on the proper noise to make when attacking a foe.

“Screw the Lakota - we’re gonna stridulate!”