Audio Recording Wau'waan Song

About this Item

Wau'waan Song
Contributor Names
Mi'gthiⁿtoⁿiⁿ (Return of New Moon) (Performer)
Unidentified Woman (Performer)
Merrick, Joseph (Gioⁿ'zethiⁿge) (None to teach him) (Performer)
Miller, George (Iⁿke'toⁿga) (Big Shoulder) (Performer)
La Flesche, Francis, 1857-1932 (Recordist)
Fletcher, Alice C. (Alice Cunningham), 1838-1923 (Collector)
La Flesche, Francis, 1857-1932 (Collector)
Created / Published
Field recordings
-  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 song was composed by an Omaha who was working for the blue mark honors. He had composed this song hoping for a vision when he got into the entanglement of the Sioux woman and then in fun and derision turned what was to have been his mystery song into a wau'waan(La Flesche).
-  Woman songs, songs about relationships with women composed and sung by men, were never sung in the presence of women, and were, in fact, largely unknown by them (1893, pp. 52-53, 143-145; 1911, pp. 320-323):
-  they always represent the woman as speaking, betraying her fondness for some one and thus violating social etiquette by speaking of her personal liking for a young man. They sometimes refer to uncongeniality in the marriage relation; the unhappy wife begs her lover to fly with her to another tribe. In most of these songs the act of the man is made to originate with the woman (1911, p. 321).
-  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 I'bahomba's (Benjamin Hallowell's) sister.
wax cylinder recording
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1948/123: AFS 20,310: 10d
Source Collection
Alice C. Fletcher and Francis La Flesche collection of Omaha cylinder recordings (AFC 1948/123)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

Rights & Access

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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)

Cite This Item

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

Chicago citation style:

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

APA citation style:

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

MLA citation style:

Mi'GthiⁿToⁿIⁿ, et al. Wau'waan Song. /09, 1895. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.