Audio Recording Bice'waan Song

About this Item

Bice'waan Song
Contributor Names
Miller, George (Iⁿke'toⁿga) (Big Shoulder) (Performer)
Fletcher, Alice C. (Alice Cunningham), 1838-1923 (Collector)
La Flesche, Francis, 1857-1932 (Collector)
Created / Published
August 24, 1897
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: Composers of love songs used melody and vocables to convey emotion (1893, pp. 53-54, 146-150; 1911, pp. 319-321).
-  The true love-song, called by the Omaha Bethae waan, an old designation and not a descriptive name, is sung generally in the early morning, when the lover is keeping his tryst and watching for the maiden to emerge from the tent and go to the spring. They belong to the secret courtship and are sometimes called Me-the-g'thun wa-an - courting songs. . . . They were sung without drum, bell or rattle, to accent the rhythm, in which these songs is subordinated to tonality and is felt only in the musical phrases. . . . Vibrations for the purpose of giving greater expression were not only affected by the tremolo of the voice, but they were enhanced by waving the hand, or a spray of artemesia before the lips, while the body often swayed gently to the rhythm of the song (Fletcher, 1894, p. 156).
-  George Miller's probable year of birth is 1852.
wax cylinder recording
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1948/123: AFS 20,313: 2b
Source Collection
Alice C. Fletcher and Francis La Flesche collection of Omaha cylinder recordings (AFC 1948/123)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format

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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:

Miller, George, Alice C Fletcher, and Francis La Flesche. Bice'waan Song. 1897. Audio.

APA citation style:

Miller, G., Fletcher, A. C. & La Flesche, F. (1897) Bice'waan Song. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Miller, George, Alice C Fletcher, and Francis La Flesche. Bice'waan Song. 1897. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.