Omaha Indian Music


The online presentation of Omaha Indian Music was organized and developed by Digital Conversion Specialist Laurel McIntyre, former American Folklife Center Director Alan Jabbour, and Digital Conversion Project Coordinator Thomas Bramel.

Essential support was provided by a generous grant from The Texaco Foundation.

The research that underlies this online collection resulted from the American Folklife Center's Federal Cylinder Project initiatives to return wax cylinder recordings to tribes such as the Omaha and make them available to a wider audience. In 1983-86, folklife specialists documented the annual Omaha pow-wows at the same time that they were returning recordings to the tribe.

Through collaboration with members of the Omaha community, an LP entitled Omaha Indian Music: Historical Recordings from the Fletcher/La Flesche Collection (AFC L71) was produced in 1985. Individuals involved in the documentation of the pow-wows and the production of the LP and its accompanying booklet include Erika Brady, John Carter, Carl Fleischhauer, Dennis Hastings, Alan Jabbour, Maria La Vigna, Dorothy Sara Lee, and Roger Welsch. For a complete listing of individuals who contributed to the publication of the LP, please see the acknowledgments that accompany Omaha Indian Music: Historical Recordings from the Fletcher/La Flesche Collection.

Archivist Nora Yeh coordinated the efforts of the American Folklife Center staff and was instrumental in the early stages of the online presentation's development. Other Center staff who contributed to the development of this online presentation include Judith Gray, who was always willing to answer questions; Peggy A. Bulger and James Hardin, who provided editorial guidance; and Peter Bartis and David Taylor, who aided in documentation preparation. Junior Fellow Clare Norcio performed initial background research on the collection. Intern Nikki Zeichner prepared tapes for use in the Omaha branch of the Nebraska Indian Community College.

Many dedicated professionals on the staff of the National Digital Library Program worked on Omaha Indian Music. Andrea Dillon designed the graphic layout and coded the HTML web pages. Melissa Smith Levine coordinated copyright and permissions for the collection. Laurel McIntyre conducted background research, constructed and maintained the database, made the original reel-to-digital audio transfers, created the digital audio files, and performed image and text quality review. Robin Fanslow, Rachel Howard, and Christa Maher provided technical expertise. Christa Maher scanned the framing essays. Rachel Howard assisted with SGML encoding. Christopher Pohlhaus coordinated manuscript image quality review. Emily Lind Baker and Jurretta Jordan Heckscher assisted in the editorial process. Danna Bell-Russell coordinated publicity for the online presentation. Extern Elle Erickson assisted with site review.

Mary Ambrosio of Information Technology Services (ITS) programmed the indexing and display of the documents.

JJT, Inc. scanned the negatives and color slides.

Phil Michel of the Library's Prints and Photographs Division managed the digitizing of the photographs and provided assistance in the quality review process.

Carl Fleischhauer, a photographer and recordist during the 1983 pow-wow, contributed significantly to the project. Now Technical Coordinator of the National Digital Library Program, he created the presentation idea for the photographs, aided in the photograph selection process, and provided assistance in the quality-review process.

Systems Integration Group, Inc. scanned manuscripts and converted them to SGML-encoded texts. Beth Davis-Brown coordinated the scanning.

The University of Nebraska Press granted permission for the online reproduction of the bibliography included in Blessing for a Long Time to Come: The Sacred Pole of the Omaha Tribe by Robin Ridington and Dennis Hastings.

The National Anthropological Archives of the Smithsonian Institution granted permission to use the portraits of Alice Cunningham Fletcher at her writing desk (Photograph No. 4510), Francis La Flesche (Photograph No. 4504), and George Miller (Photograph No. 4026), as well as a photograph of an Omaha Indian informant and Alice Fletcher in Macy, NE (Photograph No. 4500), and Mun-za goo ha, a sketch by George Miller (Manuscript No. 4800).

Bobier Studio (South Sioux City, Nebraska) granted permission for the reproduction of the studio portrait of Melanie Parker that originally appeared on the cover of the 1983 Omaha pow-wow program.

Special thanks to: Charles Trimble, member of the American Folklife Center Board of Trustees, for his help in consulting with the Omaha; to Rufus White, the lead singer of the Host Drum during the 1983 pow-wow and a consultant on the project, for song identification and contextual information, Omaha translation, and photograph identification; to consultant Dennis Hastings, Director of the Omaha Tribal Historical Research Project, for general advice and photograph identification; to Tribal Council Chairman Elmer Blackbird for his support and assistance and for Omaha translation; to members of the Omaha Tribal Council, including L. Arnie Harlan, Doran Morris, Amen Sheridan, and Clifford Wolfe, Jr.; to Maxine White for photograph identification; to Morgan Lovejoy for Omaha translation; to Linda Robinson of the Nebraska Indian Community College and Elsie Harlan Clark, Public Relations Coordinator for the 1983 Omaha Tribal Pow-Wow Committee, for their assistance with the project; to John Turner for having participated in the 1983 interview regarding wax cylinder recordings; to Diana Cooper of the United States Postal Service for her help in locating addresses of tribal members; and to the entire Omaha community.

Essays Published with the Release of Omaha Indian Music
Omaha Indian Music