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Omaha Indian Music

Library of Congress, American Memory Project

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This site presents the Omaha Indian tribe’s culture from the 1890s and 1980s through songs, speeches, photographs, field notes, and interviews. It offers 44 wax cylinder recordings collected between 1895 and 1897, 323 speeches and songs from the 1983 Omaha Harvest Celebration Powwow, and 25 songs and speeches from the 1985 Hethu’shka Society concert at the Library of Congress. Each item is accompanied by brief (100250 words) descriptions that give the names of speakers or performers, the date of the performance, and the original recording format. More than 80 segments from interviews with members of the Omaha tribe conducted in 1983 and 1999 help to contextualize the music and spoken-word recordings from the powwow, and more than 350 photographs from the 1983 powwow and 1985 concert illustrate Omaha Indian culture. Excerpts from Francis La Flesche and Alice Cunningham Fletcher’s field journals provide further context to the recordings collected in the 1890s. This site is searchable by keyword and browsable by medium and event. The Powwow audio is also available in sequence for those wishing to hear the entire performance.

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