Pawnee Music

Pawnee Music

Pawnee Music

Pawnee Music

Excerpt

The previous studies of Indian music have included no tribe in which ceremonialism is so highly developed as among the Pawnee, whose songs are here presented. This research was conducted among members of the Skidi and Chaui Bands near Pawnee, Okla., in 1919 and 1920. Portions of two important ceremonies were witnessed and several gatherings of a ceremonial character were attended during the progress of the work. The ceremonies were those of the Morning Star and the Painting of the Buffalo Skull, the writer being admitted to the Morning Star lodge during the former ceremony and witnessing the Buffalo and Lance dances, which are a part of the latter. The gatherings included hand games, and dances in honor of Pawnee soldiers upon their return from the recent war.

Grateful acknowledgment is made of assistance rendered by interpreters, especially by Mr. James R. Murie, chief of the Skidi Band, who explained many tribal customs and who wrote down and interpreted the words of the songs. The writer also acknowledges the courtesy of Dr. John R. Swanton in standardizing the orthography of the Pawnee words.

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