aided by Elsie Myers-Stainton
"Fourfold deep lie my roots with the land;
Clad in green, bearing fruit. Lo! here I stand.
Pluck and eat, life for life, behold, I give!
Shout with joy, dance and sing with all that live."
In the early years of the twentieth century, long before the plight of American Indians in the United States had become a national concern, a friend of those Indian tribes called them what they now request as their true designation. That honored name is Native American; that friend was Alice Cunningham Fletcher ( 1838-1923).
Alice Fletcher has earned for herself a special place among American anthropologists. She was one of the first to pay attention to Native American music, and most important she listened with a sympathetic ear to the sounds she heard. Born in 1838, at the age of forty-three she was so inspired by a self-imposed goal that she determined to visit the very Sioux Indians who five years before had defeated George Custer at the Little Big Horn. Eventually, for a time, she made her home with them.