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Manuscripts by Subject - Indians of North America- #10335

Title: Frances Densmore

Dates: ca. 1912-1918

Collection Number:  10335

Quantity: 10.25 feet 

Abstract: Consists of notes, music manuscripts, indexes, and inventories of wax cylinder recordings of Arikara, Hidatsa, and Mandan songs and legends recorded by Densmore and Orin G. Libby at the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Provenance: Orin G. Libby contracted with Frances Densmore to make these recordings for the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Property Rights:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.
               
Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.         
               
Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
               
Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.       

Biographical Sketch

Frances Theresa Densmore was born May 21, 1867 in Red Wing, Minnesota to Benjamin and Sarah (Greenland) Densmore. She had one sister, Margaret Louise and one brother, William G.

Frances studied music at Oberlin Conservatory ofMusic in Ohio from 1884 to1887. She studied at Harvard University and had private lessons with composers Carl Baerman and John Knowles Paine. She also studied with Leopold Godowsky (1870-1938) in Chicago Illinois in 1898.

Densmore was a music teacher of piano in St. Paul, Minnesota from 1887 to 1889. She visited a Chippewa village near the Canadian border in 1905 and published her observations in the American Anthropologist (April-June 1907). She began recording Indian music for the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology in 1907 and continued working for the Institution for fifty years with yearly stipend and title of Collaborator in the Bureau of American Ethnology. She transcribed the music and worked with interpreters to get the meaning of the words and the cultural context.

The Library of Congress American Folklife Center has over 275 recordings made by Densmore between 1907 and 1936 including Makah, Clayoquot, Quileute, Nootka, Quinault, and Yakima songs in Washington. Additionally she recorded songs of the northern Pawnee, Cheyenne, and Arapaho in Oklahoma, the Seminoles in Florida, Papago in Arizona, Winnebago and Menominee in Wisconsin, Chippewa and Ojibwe in Minnesota, and Kuna in Panama.

In the summer of 1911 Orin G. Libby, Secretary of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, met Miss Densmore where she was recording Lakota songs on the Standing Rock Reservation on the North Dakota/South Dakota border. He asked her to come to Fort Berthold to take down the songs of the Mandan which she did the following year.

Frances Densmore died June 5, 1957 in Red Wing, Minnesota.

Related Collections:
00270 Frances Densmore Photograph Collection
10005 Charles Lemon Hall
10085 Orin G. Libby
10105 Frank Fiske
1952 Frank Fiske Photograph Collection

INVENTORY

Box 1:
1 Words of Mandan, Hidatsa and Ree Songs 1912
2 Songs 1; Songs 2; Index 2 Elbowoods ND August 7, 1912
3 Sheet music
4 Index 1 Elbowoods Aug 1912
5 Recordings inventory

Box 2:
Card Index to wax cylinder recordings

Densmore Collection Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Cylinders Inventory

Performer/Date

Brief Title

Cylinder Number

Tape Number

CD Number

Holding Eagle

Holding Eagle 6 Fox Sac

001

1250

006

Holding Eagle 7

Holding Eagle 6 Fox Sac

002

1250

006

Holding Eagle 8

Holding Eagle 6 Fox Sac

003

1250

006

Holding Eagle 9

Holding Eagle 6 Fox Sac

004

1250

006

Holding Eagle 11

Holding Eagle 6 Fox Sac

005

1250

006

Wolf Head 6

Fox Society War Song

006

1250

006

Wolf Head 7

Fox Society War Song

007

1250

006

Holding Eagle 5 Fox Sac

Fox Society War Song- If he is a man

008

1250

006

Sitting Rabbit 16

Fox Society War Song

009

1250

006

Sitting Rabbit 17

Fox Society War Song

010

1250

006

Sitting Rabbit 18

Fox Society War Song

011

1250

006

Sitting Rabbit 20

Fox Society War Song

012

1250

006

Sitting Rabbit 21

Fox Society War Song

013

1250

006

Sitting Rabbit 19

Young Dog Society Serenade

014

1250

006

Sitting Rabbit 13

Young Dog Society Serenade

015

1250

006

Sitting Rabbit 14

Young Dog Society Serenade

016

1250

006

Sitting Rabbit 15

Young Dog Society Serenade

017

1250

006

Wolf Head 1

Young Dog Society Serenade

018

1250

006

Wolf Head 2

Young Dog Society Serenade

019

1250

006

Wolf Head 3

Young Dog Society- Haten Here

020

1250

007

Wolf Head 4

Young Dog Society Serenade

021

1251

007

Wolf Head 5

Young Dog Society Serenade

022

1251

007

Sitting Rabbit 10

Young Dog Society War Song

023

1251

007

Sitting Rabbit 11

Young Dog Society War Song

024

1251

007

Sitting Rabbit 12

Young Dog Society Dancing Song

025

1251

007

James Driver

Foolish Dog Society Serenade- My Fault

026

1251

007

Bear on the Flat 3 or Flat Bear 3

Foolish Dog Society Serenade- I Will Go

027

1251

007

Bear on the Flat 4

Foolish Dog Society Serenade- You Yourself Did It

028

1251

007

Bear on the Flat 5

Foolish Dog Society Serenade

029

1251

007

Mr. And Mrs. Little Crow 1

Foolish Dog Society Serenade- I Cannot Sleep

030

1251

007

Mr. And Mrs. Little Crow 2, box top, 6, lid,

Foolish Dog Society Serenade

031

1251

007

Mrs. Little Crow 2

Foolish Dog Society Serenade

032

1251

007

Alfred Chase 3

Foolish Dog Society Serenade- Duplicate of 26

033

1251

007

Crow's Heart 4

Foolish Dog Society War Song- I do not fear

034

1251

007

Bear on the Flat 7-8-9 or Flat Bear

Foolish Dog Society Songs preceding Battle

035

1251

007

Bear on the Flat 7-8-9 or Flat Bear

Foolish Dog Society Songs preceding Battle

036

1251

007

Bear on the Flat 7-8-9 or Flat Bear

Foolish Dog Society Songs preceding Battle

037

1251

007

Sitting Rabbit 5

Black Mouth Society (War)

038

1251

007

Sitting Rabbit 7

Black Mouth Society War Song "Here I Am"

039

1251

007

Sitting Rabbit 8

Black Mouth Society War Song

040

1251

007

Wounded Face

Black Mouth Society War Song "Earth always endures"

041

1251

007

Wounded Face 5

Black Mouth Society War Song

042

1251

007

Wounded Face 5

Black Mouth Society War Song

043

1251

008

Wounded Face 7

Black Mouth Society War Song "Song of the Raven"

044

1251

008

Little Crow 2

Black Mouth Society War Song "Going to Dance

045

1251

008

Little Crow 3

Buffalo Society "Oh that I were a Man"

046

1251

008

Flat Bear 10

Black Mouth Society Serenade "I will go to dance"

047

1251

008

Flat Bear 11

Buffalo Society Serenade

048

1251

008

Flat Bear 12

Buffalo Society Serenade "I will leave her"

049

1251

008

Bear on the Flat 13

Buffalo Society Serenade

050

1251

008

Bear on the Flat 13

Buffalo Society Serenade

051

1252

008

Little Crow 4

Buffalo Society Dancing Song

052

1252

008

Little Crow 4

Buffalo Society Dancing Song

053

1252

008

Little Crow 7

Buffalo Society Dancing Song

054

1252

008

Little Crow 8

Buffalo Society Dancing Song

055

1252

008

Little Crow 9

Buffalo Society Dancing Song

056

1252

008

Sitting Crow 4

Horse Society Song

057

1252

008

Little Crow 11

Horse Society Song

058

1252

008

Little Crow 12

Horse Society Song "You are frightened" War Song

059

1252

008

Wounded Face 11

Horse Society

060

1252

008

Sitting Crow 2

Horse Society

061

1252

008

Spotted Weasel 2

Horse Society "Medicine Song"

062

1252

008

Holding Eagle 4

Dog Society War Song "It will be the end"

063

1252

008

Bear on the Flat 15

Dog Society

064

1253

009

Flat Bear 16

Dog Society

065

1253

009

Bear on the Flat 17

Dog Society Song

066

1253

009

Bear on the Flat 18

Dog Society Song

067

1253

009

Bear on the Flat 19

Dog Society Procession around the Camp

068

1253

009

Bear on the Flat 20

Dog Society Procession Around the Camp

069

1253

009

Bear on the Flat 21

Dog Society Dance in front of Lodge

070

1253

009

Flat Bear 27

Dog Society Dance Song

071

1253

009

Sitting Rabbit 1

Half Cuts (Society)

072

1253

009

Sitting Rabbit 2

Half Cuts (Society)

073

1253

009

Sitting Rabbit 3

Half Cuts (Society)

074

1253

009

Sitting Rabbit 4

Half Cuts (Society)

075

1253

009

Holding Eagle 10

Stone Hammer Society

076

1253

009

Spotted Weasel 1

Stone Hammer Society

077

1253

009

Wounded Face 2

Scout Song, Songs of War "Goes to Garden", "A Certain Maid"

078

1253

009

Crow's Heart 1

Scout Song Songs of War

079

1253

009

Broken

080

1253

009

Missing

081

1253

009

Wounded Face 3

Victory Song

082

1253

009

Crow's Heart 5

Victory Song Songs of War "My Horse"

083

1253

009

Crow's Heart 6

Victory Song Songs of War

084

1253

009

Crow's Heart 7

Victory Song, Songs of War "A mans' property he never keeps"

085

1253

009

Crow's Heart 8

Victory Song "The Sioux Come"

086

1253

009

Wounded Face 1

War Song "Young Wolves Do your Best"

087

1254

010

Holding Eagle 2

Songs of War, Songs of Battle at Elbowoods

088

1254

010

Holding Eagle 2

Songs of War, Songs of Battle at Elbowoods

088

1254

010

Holding Eagle 3

Furry Wolf Songs of War

089

1254

010

Holding Eagle 12

Songs of War, War Dance Song

090

1254

010

Bear on the Flat 1

Songs of War "I will Bring the Wind"

091

1254

010

Flat Bear 2

"Disguised as a Buffalo" (Broken)

092

1254

010

Bear on the Flat 6

Songs of War "Take me to the Sioux"

093

1254

010

Crow's Heart 3

War Song "What was it you whipped?"

094

1254

010

Sitting Crow 1

Songs of War "I am a man"

095

1254

010

Sitting Rabbit 19 (See Flat Bear 2)

Duplicate of 92 Victory Song

096

1254

010

Crow's Heart 10

War Horse Song

097

1254

010

Crow's Heart 9 (Retake for Speed)

Song of the Warpath

098

1254

010

Crow's Heart 9

Song of the Warpath

098

1254

010

Mrs. Holding Eagle 1, 1st rendition

Creek Woman Society Spirit Woman's Song

099

1254

010

Mrs. Holding Eagle 2

Creek Woman Society "The Missouri Women"

100

1254

010

Mrs. Holding Eagle 3

Creek Woman Society "Bear Song"

101

1254

010

Mrs, Holding Eagle 4

Creek Woman Society Shell Song

102

1254

010

Missing

103

1254

010

Sitting Rabbit 23

Creek Woman Society "Coyote Song"

104

1254

010

Wounded Face 9

Creek Woman Society "A Stubborn Fellow" (concerning a Warrior)

105

1254

010

Flat Bear 22

Creek Woman Society (Duplicate of 100)

106

1254

010

Flat Bear 23

Creek Woman Society (Duplicate of 99)

107

1255

011

Flat Bear 24

Creek Woman Society Dancing Song

108

1255

011

Flat Bear 25

Creek Woman Society Dancing Song

109

1255

011

Flat Bear 26

Creek Woman Society Dancing Song

110

1255

011

Sitting Rabbit 22

Creek Woman Society Dancing Song "From the Buttes"

111

1255

011

Sitting Rabbit 24

Creek Woman Society "Entering the Lodge"

112

1255

011

Sitting Rabbit 25

Creek Woman Society After entering lodge

113

1255

011

Wounded Face 8

Creek Woman Society (Duplicate of 102)

114

1255

011

Wounded Face 10

Creek Woman Society Dance Song

115

1255

011

Young Hawk 1

Sioux Song

116

1255

011

Young Hawk 1

Sioux Song

116b

1255

011

Young Hawk 2

In memory of Bloody Knife (Ree)

117

1255

011

Young Hawk 3

In memory of Bob-Tailed Bull (Ree)

118

1255

011

Young Hawk 4

In memory of Little Brave (Ree)

119

1255

011

Young Hawk 5

Song in honor of himself (Ree)

120

1255

011

Young Hawk 6

Song Addressed to his comrades

121

1255

011

Sitting Rabbit 6

Moccasin Game

122

1255

011

Bear on the Flat 28

His father's song "If I am going to live"

123

1255

011

Crow's Heart 11

Song of the Elk

124

1255

011

Mrs. Little Crow 1

Her Native Village

125

1255

011

Sitting Crow 3

"Song of the Owl Dance", Crow

126

1256

012

Alfred Chase 1

"Song of the Owl Dance", Crow

127

1256

012

Alfred Chase 2

"Song of the Owl Dance, Hidatsa

128

1256

012

Little Crow 10

Buffalo Society

129

1256

012

Alfred Chase 4

Foolish Dog Society

130

1256

012

Alfred Chase 4

Foolish Dog Society

130

1256

012

Alfred Chase 5

Foolish Dog Society Serenade

131

1256

012

Alfred Chase 6

Foolish Dog Society Serenade

132

1256

012

Alfred Chase 7

Foolish Dog Society Serenade

133

1256

012

Alfred Chase 8

Foolish Dog Society War Song

134

1256

012

Alfred Chase 9

Foolish Dog Society War Song

135

1256

012

Alfred Chase 10

Foolish Dog Society War Song

136

1256

012

Alfred Chase 11

Foolish Dog Serenade

137

1256

012

Sitting Rabbit 26

Half-Cut Society, See 72-75

138

1256

012

Sitting Rabbit 27

Black Mouth Society Song Preceding Battle

139

1256

012

Sitting Rabbit 28

Black Mouth Society Dancing Song

140

1256

012

Sitting Rabbit 29

Sok'la Society

141

1256

012

Mrs. Holding Eagle

Language - Mandan, Foolish Man Cylinder 1

142

1256

012

Mrs. Holding Eagle

Cylinder 2

143

1256

012

Mrs. Holding Eagle

Cylinder 3

144

1256

012

Mrs. Holding Eagle

Cylinder 4

145

1256

012

Mrs. Holding Eagle

Cylinder 5

146

1256

012

Unidentified

Language, Domestic Words, Cylinder 6, 7-23

147

1258

013

Unidentified

Language Domestic 24-29 Love, Marriage, Family Life 1-10

148

1258

013

Unidentified

Mandan Words, Household Words 23-28, Domestic Words, 1-6

149

1258

013

Unidentified

Mandan Words, Household Words, 8-22

150

1258

013

Unidentified

Mandan Word, Religious 15-20 Household Words 1-7

151

1258

013

Unidentified

Mandan Words, Religious 4-14

152

1258

013

Unidentified

Mandan Words, Flora Fauna 6-15

153

1258

013

Unidentified

Fauna & Flora 16-20, Religious 1-3

154

1258

013

Unidentified

Physiography 15-20, Fauna & Flora 1-5

155

1258

013

James Holding Eagle

Mandan Words spoken by James Holding Eagle: Physiography 1-14

156

1258

013

James Holding Eagle's Class

Mandan Words, Men's Societies 1-8

157

1258

013

Unidentified

Language misc. 1-9, Societies (Women) 1-5

158

1258

013

Unidentified

Language: Love Marriage and Family 11-20; War 1-4

159

1258

013

Unidentified

Language-War 5-15, Clothes and ornament 1-6

160

1258

013

Unidentified

Clothes & ornaments 7-18, the Chase 1-5

161

1258

013

Unidentified

Mandan Words, the Chase 6-22

162

1258

013

Unidentified

Mandan words, parts of body 22-23, Colors and Musical instruments

163

1258

013

Unidentified

Language - Parts of body 1-21

164

1258

013

Mrs. Hall

Narrative early experiences at Fort Berthold by Mrs. Hall

165

1258

013

Mrs. Hall

Continuation of Mrs. Hall narrative of early experiences at Fort Berthold

166

1258

013

Rev. C.L. Hall 1912

Rev. C.L. Hall

167

1258

014

Rev. C.L. Hall No. 2

Rev. C.L. Hall

168

1258

014

Rev. C.L. Hall No. 3

Rev. C.L. Hall

169

1258

014

Rev. C.L. Hall No. 4

Rev. C.L. Hall

170

1258

014

Black Bear 8/11/29

Fish Trap Ceremony

171

1258

Spotted Horn 8/12/29

Dog Band Song

172

1259

Spotted Horn 8/12/29

Dog Band Song

173

1259

Spotted Horn and wife Otter Comes Out 8/12/29

Fox Society Song

174

1259

Spotted Horn and wife Otter Comes Out 8/12/29

Fox Society Song

175

1259

Dr. Cyde Fisher 7/4/32

Bismarck ND

176

1259

Unidentified

Indian Singing

177

1259

Unidentified

Field Song No. 4 other number 144

178

1259

Unidentified

Mandan Women's Field Song other number 145

179

1259

Unidentified

Song of a Mandan girl mourning her love other number 146

180

1259

Sitting Rabbit 5

Title Illegible, erased other number 147

181

1259

Little Crow 5

Buffalo Society-I am going to dance, other number 148

182

1259

Sitting Rabbit 30

Creek Woman leaving lodge, other number 149

183

1259

Flat Bear 12

title illegible, other number 150

184

1259

Little Crow 2

title illegible, other number 151

185

1259

Unidentified

title illegible, Song to Honor Custer's Death

186

1259

Goes Ahead 7/9/15

Crow Songs On Return from Warpath

A-1

1259

Goes Ahead 7/9/15

War Song

B-2

1259

Goes Ahead 7/9/15

War Song in attacking Nez Perces

C-3

1259

Unidentified

Unidentified

D-4

1259

Unidentified

Unidentified

E-5

1259

Alex Sage, His son, 7/9/15

Red Star Songs

F-6

1260

Songs by Red Star, sung by Alex Sage, 7/9/15

Song at Custer Fight, 6/25/1876

G-7

1260

Red Star, sung by Alex Sage, 7/9/15

Dance Song for Scouts Only

H-8

1260

Red Star, sung by Alex Sage, 7/9/15

Crescent on Red Ochre Songs

I-9

1260

Alex Sage

Song heard by Red Star sung on the River Charge

J-10

1260

Unidentified

Bald-Headed Eagle, Big Buffalo Wolf

K-11

1260

Unidentified

Strikes Two-Ree

L-12

1260

Unidentified

Bob-Tailed Bull Number 1

M-13

1260

8/23/15

Song by Standing Soldier. Horse Medicine Song

N-14

1260

Little Soldier and his son Clarence, Mr. Red Star

Ree War Song in preparing for fight

O-15

1260

Little Soldier

Song at Battle with Sioux

P-16

1260

Unidentified

Enemy Heart in Honor of Sitting Bear, 2 min.

Q-17

1260

Unidentified

Soldiers' Battle Song at Fort Berthold

R-18

1260

Unidentified

Sitting Bear Song by Enemy Heart

S-19

1260

Unidentified

Enemy Heart-Sitting Bear

T-20

1260

Missing

U

1260

David Hand

V-142

1260

Unidentified

Funeral Song

W-143

1260

Unidentified

Bear's Belly

X

1260

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