Format Audio Recordings
Contributors Fletcher, Alice C. (Alice Cunningham)
La Flesche, Francis
Merrick, Joseph (Gion'Zethinge) (None to Teach Him)
Miller, George (Inke'Tonga) (Big Shoulder)
Dates 1895
Location Nebraska
United States
Language English
Siouan Languages
Subjects Field Recordings
Music
Title
He'dewachi Prayer Sung As Two Bearers Hold Up the Sacred Pipes
Contributor Names
La Flesche, Francis, 1857-1932 (Recordist)
Merrick, Joseph (Gioⁿ'zethiⁿge) (None to teach him) (Performer)
Miller, George (Iⁿke'toⁿga) (Big Shoulder) (Performer)
Fletcher, Alice C. (Alice Cunningham), 1838-1923 (Collector)
La Flesche, Francis, 1857-1932 (Collector)
Created / Published
1895/09
Genre
Music
Field recordings
Notes
-  This song was collected by Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis La Flesche. It is included on "Omaha Indian Music: Historical Recordings from the Fletcher/La Flesche Collection" (AFC L71).
-  From the liner notes of the "Omaha Indian Music" album: Prayer sung as two bearers hold up the Sacred Pipes.
-  In the last half of the 19th century, the He'dewachi ceremony concluded the series of rituals surrounding the Sacred Pole. Like the Hethu'shka dance, He'dewachi dances imitated and celebrated the exploits and honors of warriors, and gifts were exchanged during the ceremony and dance which added to these honors, but the He'dewachi may also contain symbolism relating it to the cultivation of corn (1893, pp. 19-21, 82; 1911, pp. 251-260).
-  On the third day of the Thanksgiving festival the Hae-de-wache or tribal dance took place conducted by the In-kae-sabbae gens; the singing of the songs was the duty of the Wa-the-ge-zhae subgens. The dance was highly dramatic especially that part wherein the past experiences of the warriors was depicted. The scene was full of action and color, the whole tribe took part in it; every one was in gala dress, there was hardly an Omaha too old or too young not th have upon him some token of this festivity. Fragments of ancient tribal rites are discernible in this dance, as well as bits of tribal history; the music . . . [is] fitted to the movements of the dancing men and women as they pass in a vast circle around a pole, the male singers and drummers sitting at its base (1893, p. 20).
-  Fletcher and La Flesche describe the He'dewachi ceremony in their 1911 ethnography, which includes John Comfort Fillmore's harmonized transcriptions of five songs from the ceremony (pp. 251-260).
-  Probable years of birth of George Miller and Joseph Merrick are 1852 and 1845, respectively.
Medium
wax cylinder recording
Call Number
AFC 1948/123: AFS 20,310: 8c
Source Collection
Alice C. Fletcher and Francis La Flesche collection of Omaha cylinder recordings (AFC 1948/123)
Repository
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/afcomaha.2031008c


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The Library of Congress has carefully researched these materials to ascertain possible legal rights embodied in the materials it contains. For the most part, the performers have been identified in this collection. In the case of the pow-wow recordings there are some stray voices which are audible but not identifiable. As is often the case with materials collected in the course of ethnographic field research, however, it is difficult or impossible to sufficiently identify specific songs sung by participants which precludes performing a comprehensive assessment of the copyright status of underlying musical rights in lyrics or compositions. The identification of specific speakers or singers included in sound recordings is also often difficult or sometimes impossible. The songs in this collection were created in traditional genres by anonymous authors and are part of the oral tradition.

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Credit line

Please cite the source collection title, collection number, and repository, for example:

Alice C. Fletcher and Francis La Flesche collection of Omaha cylinder recordings (AFC 1948/123)

Omaha Indian interviews collection, 1983 (AFC 1983/026)

1985 Neptune Plaza Concert Series collection (AFC 1985/015)

Omaha Powwow Project collection (AFC 1986/038)

Omaha Indian interviews collection, 1999 (AFC 1999/014)

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