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Audio Recording Passamaquoddy War song Title in Passamaquoddy: Polansuwe Susehp Neptan (Francis Joseph Neptune) / Jesse Walter Fewkes collection of Passamaquoddy cylinder recordings SR18 / Polansuwe Susehp Neptan (Francis Joseph Neptune)

Passamaquoddy War song / sung by Peter Lacoote (Digital restoration from digital preservation master file)

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Passamaquoddy War song / sung by Peter Lacoote (Digital preservation master file from original cylinder)

Passamaquoddy War song / sung by Peter Lacoote (Track from digital preservation copy of AFC preservation tape LWO 6528 R2A)

About this Item

Title

  • Passamaquoddy War song

Other Title

  • Title in Passamaquoddy: Polansuwe Susehp Neptan (Francis Joseph Neptune)
  • Jesse Walter Fewkes collection of Passamaquoddy cylinder recordings SR18
  • Polansuwe Susehp Neptan (Francis Joseph Neptune)

Summary

  • Polansuwe Susehp Neptan (Francis Joseph Neptune) was sung by Peter Lacoote and recorded by Jesse Walter Fewkes in Calais, Maine, March 17, 1890 (Fewkes' wax cylinder 18; Cylinder 4249; AFC 1972/003: SR18). Fewkes identified this as a "war song" in his field notes, and noted the name "Pere Lacoute".

Names

  • Fewkes, Jesse Walter, 1850-1930, recordist, speaker
  • Lacoote, Peter, performer

Created / Published

  • 1890-03-17.

Contents

  • Translation by line: 1) U, tama ucuhsiyik nitapehsisol = Where have you come from my friend 2) U, natapi wici suk nitapehsisol = You paddled with your friend? 3) U, wasis ma ktahcuwi wisanaqsiw, apci wici nutehe nitapehsis = Child you do not have to hurry up, you will be able to go out again 4) U nil na ntapi wici nutaha wiciw nitapehsisol = I also went out with my friend (in the canoe) 5) U, ma ktahcuwi wisanaqsiw, apci wici nutehe nitapehsis = You do not have to hurry up, you will be able to go out again 6) U, nit na ntapi wicinu nitapehsisol / I am going too my friend 7) 8) Aw, Wicinu nitapehsis, kill u knaciphan naka knaciphin = ... Go get him and get me too

Headings

  • -  Neptune, Francis Joseph
  • -  Passamaquoddy Indians--Maine--Calais
  • -  Passamaquoddy Indians--Music
  • -  Passamaquoddy Indians--Folklore
  • -  Malecite Indians--Folklore
  • -  Micmac Indians--Folklore
  • -  Indians of North America--Northeastern States
  • -  Songs, Passamaquoddy
  • -  War songs--North America
  • -  Calais (Me.)

Genre

  • Songs
  • Field recordings
  • Cylinder recordings

Notes

  • -  Recorded in Calais, Maine on March 17, 1890 by Jesse Walter Fewkes.
  • -  Titles from Federal Cylinder Project catalog. Song titles in Passamaquoddy and cultural narratives and traditional knowledge were supplied by Passamaquoddy tribal elders and leaders in 2018.
  • -  In March 1890, Walter Jesse Fewkes traveled from Boston, Massachusetts, to Calais, Maine, to work with the Passamaquoddy Tribe to test out the new phonograph technology. The Passamaqoddy Tribe is one of the indigenous communities of the region and includes communities from Pleasant Point and Indian Township in Maine and St. Andrews, New Brunswick, in Canada. Over three days, Fewkes made recordings on 35 wax cylinders; 31 of these cylinders remain. The new cylinder technology allowed for recordings of approximately 3 minutes duration. Fewkes was able to record partial songs, vocabulary, numbers, and important Passamaquoddy cultural narratives. Peter Selmore, Noel Joseph, and Peter Lacoote have been identified as three key individuals with whom Fewkes worked the most closely. These are the first sound recordings ever made featuring Native American voices.
  • -  Passamaquoddy cultural narrative regarding "Matonotuwi-lintuwakon" or "War Songs": There were many 'war' songs that the Passamaquoddy sang, and this English title - war song - is inadequate and simplistic for understanding their independent complexity and diversity. There were songs in preparation for going to war, there were songs sung by those who were away at the battle and different songs for those still in the community thinking of those away. There were also songs for returning warriors, there were songs for loss and songs for honoring and remembering those warriors who were lost. There were also a range of spiritual and medicinal songs for warriors to help protect them at all stages of their journey. J. Walter Fewkes notes in his letters to Mary Hemenway in March 1890 that he recorded several war songs in his three days with the Passamaquoddy. All of these are different and because of their fragmentary nature (the wax cylinder could only record several minutes of much longer songs), it is difficult to understand them in relation to each other. Wayne Newell describes these songs as a "puzzle that we keep trying to put together by listening to them." All the war songs that Fewkes recorded in the 1890 trip have been identified as a whole series of songs and they have been given the name: Matonotuwi-lintuwakon which means generally 'war songs'.
  • -  Passamaquoddy cultural narrative: This recording is nearly 2 minutes long. There are approximately eight sentences sung in this song and it is incomplete. It was sung by Peter (Piel) Lacoote who was a French speaking Passamaquoddy man from New Brunswick (See biography below). Molly Neptune Parker, a direct descendant of Peter was involved in translating this song. With the preservation work on these recordings, the song is easier to hear, transcribe, and translate. In 2018, we were able to hear that in 1890 Peter Lacoote was singing a song about Chief Jospeh Neptune and the Revolutionary War in 1776.
  • -  Passamaquoddy traditional knowledge: Polansuwe Susehp Neptan is the name for Passamaquoddy Chief Francis Joseph Neptune who was a hero of the Revolutionary War. During the Revolution, the Passamaquoddy community sided with the American colonists. On June 12, 1775, the Passamaquoddy tribe assisted in a military attack against the British Fleet at Pleasant Point. The naval attack was called "The Battle of the Rim" and it was part of the Battle of Machias. Chief Francis Neptune fired one of the first shots in this battle and it killed the British Admiral Cox, which left the British Fleet in chaos and they quickly surrendered. Under Chief Neptune's orders, nearly 200 Passamaquoddy men served as soldiers in the Revolutionary War. The role of the Passamaquoddy in securing victory in the Revolutionary War was recognized by George Washington who wrote a letter to Chief Neptune in 1776 thanking the Passamaquoddy and proclaiming a 'pledge of friendship'.
  • -  Transcribed and translated in 2018 by: Molly Neptune Parker, Dolly Apt, Madonna Soctomah, Wayne Newell, Donald Soctomah and Dwayne Tomah, who also provided Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Narratives.
  • -  Digital restoration copy, MAVIS no. 2031752-4-1, from preservation master file (from original cylinder) using Izotope RX4, Cedar Cambridge v.10 and Izotope Ozone 7. Library of Congress, 2016 October 31. 51.97 Mbytes BWF.
  • -  Digital preservation copy, MAVIS no. 2031752-2-1, from original cylinder on Archeophone #27. Library of Congress, 2016 March 14. 53.86 Mbytes BWF.
  • -  Digital preservation copy, MAVIS no. 2005669-3-1 (at 04:22), from preservation tape reel. Library of Congress, 2014 January 14. 1.67 GB BWF.
  • -  Preservation tape reel, LWO 6528 R2A (at 04:22), from original cylinder. Washington, D.C. Library of Congress, 197u. 1 sound tape reel ; analog, 7 1/2 ips, mono. ; 10.5 in.
  • -  Engineer notes: Scuffing at the beginning of the cylinder is audible. Cylinder was transferred in reverse.
  • -  Passamaquoddy cultural knowledge of Peter Lacoote: Peter Lacoote was an expert canoeist and knew the ancestral lands and waters of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. The family name is rendered variously as LaCote, Lacoote, Lacoute, Laconte, LeCout, LeCoot. During the 1750s John LaCoote, a French nobleman, had married the daughter of the Chief of the Passamaquoddy Tribe in St. Andrews, Canada. The Lacoote family note some information has been found that points to them having a presence in Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada in the mid- to late-19th century prior to moving to Maine. The LaCoote family petitioned for the land in 1851 when they were in St. James Parish, Charlotte County. Parish records show that the French nobleman's sons John and Peter Lacoote both had children baptized in St. Andrews in 1831 and in Milltown in 1843, 1844, 1849, and 1858. The grandson, Peter "Piel" LaCoote II was born in 1843 and in 1870 was married to Mary Joseph and had several children. He died in 1902. In 1890, while he was in Calais, Maine he was asked to sing a song about the Great War, known today as the American Revolution. In the song he remembers the story of his Passamaquoddy grandfather who was the Chief of the Tribe. This is another song remembered as one that Peter sang: "I remember, in my younger days, I never did step back before any warrior, as I do now. But I have left my best and bravest warriors behind me to die. They will be tortured by the enemy. I remember, in my younger days, I never left even one of my braves behind, as I do now. Oh! I have left some of my best warriors. I remember the days, when I was young I sing the song now I never did have to sing before. Let all the hearts of the trees, who have heard my poor weeping song, arise and help me to rescue my braves that I have left behind. Let all the tops of the trees hear my song and come to help me. Let all the roots of the trees arise and come to help me. I remember the days when I was young."
  • -  Jesse Walter Fewkes collection of Passamaquoddy cylinder recordings (AFC 1972/003: SR18) American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
  • -  FCP notes: [David Francis]: 'Nitapehsis olu' which means 'my little friend.' [Announcement]: ". . . taken by J. Walter Fewkes, the 17th of March, 1890."
  • -  Titles and FCP notes from Federal Cylinder Project (Washington, D.C.: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1984), volume 2, p. 228.
  • -  Description in Fewkes, J. W. "A contribution to Passamaquoddy Folk-lore" Journal of American Folk-lore 3, no. 11 (1890) p. 263-265 https://www.jstor.org/stable/534065?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents External
  • -  Related Fewkes' fieldnotes are located at the National Anthropological Archives (ms. 4408:9) p. 32. A brief entry reads "War Song - Pere Lacoute"
  • -  Introductions in English, remainder in Passamaquoddy language.

Medium

  • 1 sound cylinder (1:32 min.) ; 3.75 in.

Source Collection

  • Jesse Walter Fewkes collection of Passamaquoddy cylinder recordings

Repository

  • Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, DC USA 20540 to 4610 https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/folklife.home

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2015655567

Rights Advisory

  • Traditional Knowledge Label: Attribution - Elihtasik (How it is done). When using anything that has this Label, please use the correct attribution. This may include individual Passamaquoddy names, it may include Passamaquoddy as the correct cultural affiliation or it may include Passamaquoddy Tribe as the tribal designation. https://www.passamaquoddypeople.com/passamaquoddy-traditional-knowledge-labels External
  • Traditional Knowledge Label: Outreach - Ekehkimkewey (Educational). Certain material has been identified by Passamaquoddy tribal members and can be used and shared for educational purposes. Ekehkimkewey means 'educational'. The Passamaquoddy Tribe is a present day community who retains cultural authority over its heritage. This Label is being used to teach and share cultural knowledge and histories in schools, and to raise greater awareness and respect for Passamaquoddy culture and worldviews. https://www.passamaquoddypeople.com/passamaquoddy-traditional-knowledge-labels External
  • Traditional Knowledge Label: Non-Commercial - Ma yut monuwasiw (This is not sold). This material should not be used in any commercial ways, including ways that derive profit from sale or production for non-Passamaquoddy people. The name of this Label, Ma yut monuwasiw, means 'this is not to be purchased'. https://www.passamaquoddypeople.com/passamaquoddy-traditional-knowledge-labels External

Access Advisory

Online Format

  • audio

Additional Metadata Formats

Traditional Knowledge Labels

  • Attribution - Elihtasik (How it is done).
  • Outreach - Ekehkimkewey (Educational).
  • Non-Commercial - Ma yut monuwasiw (This is not sold).
Learn more about the traditional knowledge labels

Rights & Access

Rights and Usage

The Library of Congress is providing access to these materials for noncommercial purposes such as education and research. The Passamaquoddy Tribe and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, donor of the recordings, have consented to this online presentation. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of an item and securing any necessary permissions ultimately rests with persons desiring to use the item. See our Legal Notices and Privacy and Publicity Rights for additional information and restrictions.

Researchers or others who would like to make further use of these collection materials should contact the Folklife Reading Room for assistance.

Traditional Knowledge Labels

The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress has undertaken a collaborative preservation digitization and access project focusing on its historical Native American audio recording collections. The project involves: a) digitally reformatting older media formats, including wax cylinder recordings, in order to recover and preserve the recorded voices and languages of Native American people, and b) developing curatorial protocols that are attentive to community cultural sensitivities regarding unique cultural materials along with digital access tools (online interfaces, catalog records) that embed Native American cultural knowledge about and descriptions of the content of the recordings in Library collection records, to the extent possible.

For this project, the AFC has partnered with members of the Passamaquoddy community and two non-profit organizations, Local Contexts and Mukurtu, to apply Traditional Knowledge Labels (TK Labels) to Passamaquoddy recordings made in 1890 and 1891 by anthropologist Jesse Walter Fewkes.

Local Contexts and its partners are working towards a new paradigm of rights and responsibilities that recognizes the inherent sovereignty that Indigenous communities have over their cultural heritage. Traditional Knowledge (TK) Labels are an educational and informational digital marker created by the Local Contexts initiative to address the specific intellectual property needs of Native, First Nations, Aboriginal and Indigenous peoples with regard to the extensive collections of cultural heritage materials currently held within museums, archives, libraries, and private collections. Indigenous communities use TK Labels to identify and clarify community-specific access protocols associated with the materials and convey important information such as guidelines for proper use and responsible stewardship of cultural heritage materials. TK Labels provide information to help users of traditional cultural knowledge from outside the creators' community understand the importance and significance of this material, even when it is in the public domain.  More information is available at Local ContextsExternal.

The Passamaquoddy Tribe is a present-day community that retains cultural authority over its heritage. The TK Labels selected and defined for this collection by Passamaquoddy community leaders provide community knowledge and context that define the significance and responsible representation of their cultural heritage. The Passamaquoddy Tribe requests that you follow its recommendations for use as indicated on the TK Label text on each recording. For more information and related collections see the Passamaquoddy People website supported by staff at Local Contexts, Mukurtu.org and Washington State University’s Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation http://passamaquoddypeople.com/External .

Traditional Knowledge Label: Attribution - Elihtasik (How it is done).
When using anything that has this Label, please use the correct attribution. This may include individual Passamaquoddy names, it may include Passamaquoddy as the correct cultural affiliation or it may include Passamaquoddy Tribe as the tribal designation. http://passamaquoddypeople.com/digital-heritage/elihtasik-trans-how-it-doneExternal
Traditional Knowledge Label: Outreach - Ekehkimkewey (Educational).
Certain material has been identified by Passamaquoddy tribal members and can be used and shared for educational purposes. Ekehkimkewey means 'educational'. The Passamaquoddy Tribe is a present day community that retains cultural authority over its heritage. This Label is being used to teach and share cultural knowledge and histories, and to raise greater awareness and respect for Passamaquoddy culture and worldviews. http://passamaquoddypeople.com/digital-heritage/ekehkimkewey-trans-educationalExternal

Traditional Knowledge Label: Non-Commercial - Ma yut monuwasiw (This is not sold).
This material should not be used for commercial purposes, including ways that derive profit from sale or production for non-Passamaquoddy people. In Passamaquoddy, Ma yut monuwasiw means 'this is not to be purchased'. http://passamaquoddypeople.com/digital-heritage/ma-yut-monuwasiw-trans-not-soldExternal

Credit line

Jesse Walter Fewkes collection of Passamaquoddy cylinder recordings (AFC 1972/003), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Fewkes, Jesse Walter, Recordist, Speaker. Passamaquoddy War song. performeds by Lacoote, Peter -03-17, 1890. Audio. https://www.loc.gov/item/2015655567/.

APA citation style:

Fewkes, J. W. (1890) Passamaquoddy War song. Lacoote, P., performer -03-17. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2015655567/.

MLA citation style:

Fewkes, Jesse Walter, Recordist, Speaker. Passamaquoddy War song. performer by Lacoote, Peter -03-17, 1890. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2015655567/>.