Indian Story and Song from North America

Indian Story and Song from North America

Indian Story and Song from North America

Indian Story and Song from North America

Synopsis

The present book, Indian Story and Song from North America (1900), was inspired by enthusiasm for Native American music generated at the Congress of Musicians held in connection with the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, Omaha, July 1898.

Excerpt

Music enveloped the Indian's individual and social life like an atmosphere"

Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923) showed a pioneering spirit in both her life and her writing. She went to live with the Omahas in 1881, just five years after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and she returned again and again during the following thirty years to photograph and record their way of life and song. She was the first white person to witness many Indian ceremonies and to notate or record them. Her books, the present one from 1900, are valuable to scholars, first, as a living record of Indian ways and, second, as insightful comment by an outsider.

Alice Cunningham Fletcher had an abiding desire to know about Native American life, its traditions, customs, songs, dance, and ritual. And along with her hankering to know was a strong impulse to disseminate the knowledge gained. In Indian Story and Song she says she is now offering "in a more popular form" material hitherto appearing only in scientific publications, "that the general public may share with the student the light shed by these untutored melodies" (pp. xxix-xxx). But in addition to sharing information, Fletcher inevitably wanted to draw conclusions from her . . .

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