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Audio Recording He'dewachi Dance Song

He'dewachi Dance Song

About this Item


  • He'dewachi Dance Song


  • 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


  • -  Dance
  • -  Music
  • -  Field recordings
  • -  Songs
  • -  United States -- Nebraska


  • Music
  • Field recordings
  • Songs


  • -  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: ". . . The two bearers of the Sacred Tribal Pipes moved forward rapidly a few steps toward the pole and the people by gentes moved forward in the same way . . . (1911, p. 258)."
  • -  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.


  • wax cylinder recording

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1948/123: AFS 20,310: 8b

Source Collection

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


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • audio

Rights & Access

The Library of Congress is not aware of any U.S. copyright protection (see Title 17, U.S.C.) or any other restrictions in the material in this collection, except as noted below. Users should keep in mind that the Library of Congress is providing access to these materials strictly for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or other holders of rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. 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.

The American Folklife Center and the professional fieldworkers who carry out these projects feel a strong ethical responsibility to the people they have visited and who have consented to have their lives documented for the historical record. The Center asks that researchers approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Researchers are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material.

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.

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

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)

Cite This Item

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

Chicago citation style:

La Flesche, Francis, George Miller, Alice C Fletcher, and Francis La Flesche. He'dewachi Dance Song. /09, 1895. Audio.

APA citation style:

La Flesche, F., Miller, G., Fletcher, A. C. & La Flesche, F. (1895) He'dewachi Dance Song. /09. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

La Flesche, Francis, et al. He'dewachi Dance Song. /09, 1895. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.