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Audio Recording Hon'hewachi Song

HoN'hewachi Song

About this Item


  • Hon'hewachi Song


  • Miller, George (Iⁿke'toⁿga) (Big Shoulder) (Performer)
  • La Flesche, Francis, 1857-1932 (Recordist)
  • Mi'gthiⁿtoⁿiⁿ (Return of New Moon) (Performer)
  • Unidentified Woman (Performer)
  • Merrick, Joseph (Gioⁿ'zethiⁿge) (None to teach him) (Performer)
  • Fletcher, Alice C. (Alice Cunningham), 1838-1923 (Collector)
  • La Flesche, Francis, 1857-1932 (Collector)

Created / Published

  • 1895/09


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


  • 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: This is a Blue Spot song from the Hon'hewachi Society.
  • -  La Flesche: "They are coming for you. (The ceremonies are completed.) It is time. They are coming to tell you because it is time." The song is addressed to the girl, that the preparatory ceremonies are completed and she is sent for and also her father is notified by it that his gifts are complete and the ceremony of the blue spot is to take place.
  • -  In Omaha society, a man gained honor through the accumulation of wathin'ethe, "acts and gifts which do not directly add to the comfort and wealth of the actor or donor, but which have relation to the welfare of the tribe . . . (1911, p. 202)." When an individual accumulated one hundred or more wathin'ethe, he was eligible for membership in the Hon'hewachi Society, composed of men of similar accomplishment. According to Fletcher and La Flesche,"the literal translation of the name is Honn', 'in the night:' wa'chi,'dance;' but this does not convey the true meaning of the word. Wa'chi does not mean 'dance' in our sense of the word but dramatic rhythmic movements for the expression of personal emotion or experience, or for the presentation of mythical teachings (p. 493)."One of the privileges given a member of the Hon'hewachi Society was the right to tatoo the mark of honor upon a young woman, either the daughter of a relative, or close friend. Each member of the society had to compose his own personal song in the rhythm of the Hon'hewachi initial song which told of personal experiences, and which he sang when the ritual songs of the tattooing ceremony were completed (1911, pp. 493-509).
  • -  Probable years of birth of George Miller, Joseph Merrick, and Mi'gthintonin are 1852, 1845, and 1830, respectively.
  • -  Mi'gthintonin was the daughter of Wanon'kuge, one of the important chiefs of the early 1800s. She was also I'bahomba's (Benjamin Hallowell's) sister.


  • wax cylinder recording

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1948/123: AFS 20,310: 9a

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:

Miller, George, Francis La Flesche, Mi'GthiⁿToⁿIⁿ, Unidentified Woman, Alice C Fletcher, and Francis La Flesche. Hon'hewachi Song. /09, 1895. Audio.

APA citation style:

Miller, G., La Flesche, F., Mi'GthiⁿToⁿIⁿ, Unidentified Woman, Fletcher, A. C. & La Flesche, F. (1895) Hon'hewachi Song. /09. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Miller, George, et al. Hon'hewachi Song. /09, 1895. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.