Book/Printed Material Page 15 of 1983 Omaha Harvest Celebration Pow-Wow Fieldnotes by Carl Fleischhauer

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We went to Walthill for lunch, and had a bit at little local restaurant. Dennis said that Walthill was named for the son of the railroad magnate who founded the line that ran through the town (Hill of the Great Northern?). The restaurant had a pow-wow poster on the bulletin board which announced the event as the “116th Annual.” The program, of course, asserted that it was the “153d Annual Pow-Wow.” The program also quoted from the 1833–4 travel diary of Baron Braunsberg (pseud. of Prince Maximilian of Weid), who attended an Omaha dance event in Nebraska. This is the basis for the claim of “153d Annual.” (I do not know why 1983 minus 1833 comes out 153.) Dennis explained that the diary entry was a recent discovery. He agreed that there must have been some other authority for the prior 116-year claim, but he didn't know what it was.

After we ate, I was feeling so poorly that we came back to Macy, and Dennis took me to the the tribe's Health Education Center to see a doctor. I did, and my problem was diagnosed as severe hives, an allergic reaction to an unknown stimulus.

At the Health Center, we ran into Clifford Wolfe Sr., who was there with a sick neice (or some younger female relative). We talked for a while, and he said that after the pow-wow there had been a suggestion to limit or eliminate “specials” and giveaways. Wolfe said that many felt they slowed the pace of the event, and spoiled the experience for what he called “paying customers.” It wasn't quite clear to me what he meant by this term: certainly non-Indians like us, but he may also have meant Indians who weren't fully engaged by the culture. In any case, Dorothy and I tried to dissuade him, arguing that the giveaways were an important aspect of the event. Wolfe agreed, quoting some of his fellow-workers as saying, “It's just not a pow-wow without them.” But he worried about the time they took, and said that maybe they should be limited to the day before or after the big crowds came. I suggested that the spectacle taught the audience a good lesson about Indian attitudes toward material goods and ought to be maintained. But in order for the lesson to sink in, I opined, it might be prudent to add an explanatory section to the program.

The conversation again pointed up the location of the pow-wow between two worlds, and the slight tension among its organizers as they had to lean toward one or the other of these worlds. It was interesting to hear how clearly articulated the tension could be.

About this Item

1983 Omaha Harvest Celebration Pow-Wow Fieldnotes by Carl Fleischhauer
Contributor Names
Fleischhauer, Carl (Author)
Created / Published
1983/08/29 (1983/08/12 - 1983/08/16)
Field notes
-  Seventeen pages of typed fieldnotes by Carl Fleischhauer provide an account of the activities that took place during the 1983 pow-wow. As the sound recordist of the event, Fleischhauer includes detailed information about the recording equipment.
Manuscripts (17 pages)
Call Number/Physical Location
AFC 1986/038
Source Collection
Omaha Powwow Project collection (AFC 1986/038)
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
Online Format
online text

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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:

Fleischhauer, Carl. Omaha Harvest Celebration Pow-Wow Fieldnotes by Carl Fleischhauer. /08/29 /08/12 - /08/16, 1983. Online Text.

APA citation style:

Fleischhauer, C. (1983) Omaha Harvest Celebration Pow-Wow Fieldnotes by Carl Fleischhauer. /08/29 /08/12 - /08/16. [Online Text] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Fleischhauer, Carl. Omaha Harvest Celebration Pow-Wow Fieldnotes by Carl Fleischhauer. /08/29 /08/12 - /08/16, 1983. Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.