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PUEBLO OF ZUNI, NEW MEXICO Transcribed and translated by NATALIB Curtis.
(Also sung by the women while grinding corn.) Quietly but not slowly. M.M.,=132.
to-.... no, know ye who,
to-.... know ye who,
Ke- la Who was't
might include a reciprocal interchange of ideas. We may provide the undeveloped races with the means of adjustment to the life of modern industry and with the mechanical processes of self-expression, but on our side we should at least recognize the inborn racial ideals and inherited art impulses.
We understand that Mr. O'Hara is to seek to perpetuate among the younger Indians worthy features of the native life. This welcome effort cannot be too strongly commended, nor can it receive too careful thought as to the methods of procedure. The suggestion has been put forward at Washington that the songs collected from the older Indians should be “ harmonized," and that these inevitably distorted versions should then be “taught” to the younger generation in the schools. Students of native life may well ask if this method of perpetuating Indian art will not defeat its aim. In spite of our systematic efforts in the past to destroy the song-impulse in the Indian, the native music is still a live force in native life ; it is rot only
a sacred heritage (for much of the unwritten literature of the race is preserved in ritual of poetry and song), but it is also a natural and a spontaneous expression of thought and feeling. It is interwoven with the daily existence of the Indian more intimateiy and more inseparably than a white person can readily realize. The Indian has songs for nearly every act of life; every fraternity, religious, social, and military order has its own particular songs, and this is true of virtually all the tribes in the United States.
Certain songs belong also to certain occasions, and must never be sung at any but the proper times. Again, some songs are owned by families, even by individuals, and so highly do the Indians hold them that a man in dying may bequeath his own personal song to another, even as we bestow tangible possessions. In spite of the multiplicity of songs, the Dakotas group
them into two main divisions : “ Songs made by the mind of man to please the ear; and songs that come in dream or vision from Wakan-Tanka, the Great Mystery.” These
last songs are holy songs—all songs of sacred ing friend and counselor to both child and ceremony, of healing, and of prayer are of parent. this kind, and may never be lightly sung. Art is of value in school, as elsewhere, as Into this world of primitive art, in which song an effort to express in terms of outward goes hand in hand with the outward forms beauty something that lies within. The of active life and with the inner life of the music of the Indian is essentially such an spirit, we white people must enter warily expression, and new songs are constantly indeed, for truly we have here. little to teach being composed—“dreamed,” as the Indians and much to learn ; it is a world where even say. If we would keep alive the art of the those who have made Indian music a life Indian in the coming generation, we must study are but on the threshold.
above all see to it that we do not kill the one And it is precisely this beautiful and price thing without which no art can live—the less thing—the intimate relation of art to life- creative faculty. And if we care not at all that the Indian Office should try to perpetuate. for this live issue, but only that the old songs It is doubtful if it could be fostered or even shall be preserved, then it is of supreme encouraged by “teaching " the younger In- importance that the traditional chants should dians adapted versions of the songs of their be correctly handed down. Instead of hartribes, which they could themselves more monizing the songs, would not the Indian properly teach the teachers. The Indian Office more wisely lay particular stress on child does not have to be taught Indian their accurate transmission from the old songs; he has only to be encouraged to sing Indians to the Indians of to-day ? them. If, indeed, he has been taken from To encourage in the present generation the reservation very early and does not know the creative instinct, and to urge the young the native songs, he should be sent at vaca- people to learn of their elders the beautiful tion to his parents or the elders of his tribe traditional songs which modern education has to learn them correctly. It is just here that forced out of the life of the people—this is the white instructor can be of the greatest a task which would earn for our Government help, for he is now absolutely needed in schools the thanks of all who are interested the schools to counteract the benumbing in American art and ethnology, and in the effects of the old policy, and to be inspir- true progress of the Indians.
SAND PAINTING OF THE HOPI INDIANS OF NORTHEASTERN ARIZONA These paintings ("dry paintings") are made with colored sands on the ground and are obliterated when the ceremony of which they are a part is over. This one is a symbolic prayer for rain and the fertility of the fields. The Rain gods, black with the thunder-cloud, are seated at each side, holding in their hands the two kinds of lightning-the lightning arrow which strikes and the helpful lightning tipped with clouds and rain. The water. snake (from wliose tail flowers spring), water-bugs, birds, and other creatures of rain,
the sun, the rainbow, and the growing things, are all seen in this painting
And such a task, if supported by popular himself; and modern educators realize that sentiment, might be possible of speedy true education consists not so much in cramachievement, because experiments along these ming something in as in drawing something out. lines already have been tried and proved suc- While collecting Indian songs on the resercessful. At Hampton Institute in Virginia vations I made a point of visiting the Gov(a non-Government school) it needed but the ernment schools. The Indians, as all know teacher's awakening word of sympathy and who have lived among them, will never understanding for the Indian students to express their feelings in any form where they come forward at anniversary exercises and are not understood, or where things sacred public meetings and sing those tribal songs to them may be ignorantly profaned or ridiwhich they had themselves selected as culed. Even the children have learned to appropriate. The songs were thus perpetu- hide the inner life of their people behind a ated in all their original beauty and interest, mask of professed ignorance and impenetrawhile, better still, the Indian was expressing ble silence. Kindly orders from a white
teacher to a group of Indian children to life. And this co-operation was once tried by a “ Stand up and sing an Indian song for the broad-minded school superintendent who sent lady met with the stolid reply, Don't for a wise old medicine-man, a former leader
But, like a noble dog, the Indian of his people, to come and talk to the children is quick to scent a friend, and he gives instant at school, even as visiting white people do. response to the first word of understanding. The talent of the Indian for oratory is well Because I could sing Indian songs, the known. The superintendent wrote afterwards: speech of the Indian heart, they felt that “ The old man was a superb object-lesson in though I had a white face I was somehow his quiet dignity. He made the finest address “ Indian inside,” and before long the whole on Duty that I ever heard. The demoralized roomful of children would be singing. The younger generation need such teachings.” youngsters always took the keenest delight in I have never forgotten the bitter words of teaching me new songs, and their interest a Pueblo woman when I asked her to help was thoroughly alive. I respected and loved me in my effort to write down the Indian the things that were dear to them, and songs for the sake of the coming generation : the old people knew this too, for the chil- “Why seek to keep the old songs ? Let us dren would say in leaving school, “When lose everything that is ours. Our children I get home I will ask my father to teach me are taken from us; they no longer understand more of the old songs.
And this brings up us, nor we them. They neither respect nor a pertinent question : If any one should teach obey us, for they are taught to look down on Indian songs in the schools, should it not be us, their parents, and on all .our ways. If the old Indians ?
change we must, let us quickly lose everyIt has always seemed to me a sad and thing of the past. Then, at least, we may unnecessary thing that the old people, whose be happy in our homes !" passionate love for their children is such a But, fortunately, we are realizing before it strong racial trait, should be left completely is quite too late that “ the past” held treasout of all educational schemes for the young. ures of an ancient and primitive culture that They are the keepers of the tribal lore, of it would be criminal ruthlessly to destroy. the ideals and strong stoic teachings of their And if our Government, under the present
In old days, the first thing an Indian enlightened administration, wisely seeks to child was taught was to respect the elders. hold these treasures, it should surely bring But we have never considered that Indian about some definite co-ordination between the parents had anything of worth to hand down two great Bureaus in Washington that have to their own children. Would not the appeal to do with Indians, i.e., the Bureau of Amerto the older Indians still to take part in the ican Ethnology, with its expert students of upbringing of their children make for better native life, on the one hand, and, on the brotherhood between the races, and cer- other, the Indian Office, in whose power lies tainly
the entire shaping of happiness in Indian
Indian life to-day. communities? What
It is sincerely to be a warming, binding
hoped that the Office influence, as of some
long-distance thing intimate and
headquarters in the dear, the school could
East-may leave unthus become—the
trammeled by detailed “social center,” in
orders the musician deed, which is now
whom it sends into the ideal of our public
the field to encourage schools.
native art. For only The direct co-oper
through tact, symation of the older
and underIndians would surely
the prove the most
shaken confidence humane and practical
of the Indian now perpetuate
be won ; each reserart, or anything else
vation will present SINGING THE SONGS OF HIS TRIBE INTO THE inherent in the native
problem in the
of his own, and gentle art of mak
thus calling into ing friends, and
strange, each tribe its own
and original compeculiar art-tradi
positions. Some tions, often differ
of our own coment from those of
posers have alother tribes. Just
ready essayed this how he can best
field. But the reattain his aim
sult is not Indian should surely be
music; it does left to the in
not and cannot structor to dis
claim to be other cover for himself
than the artist's through experi
response to an mentand through
Indian idea. As friendship for the
such it is valuapeople. Those
ble, for it is music who have studied
that is suggestive, the Indians may
novel, interest all have sugges
ing, and sometions to offer,
times beautiful. like the above ;
But no white but suggestions
person will ever merely, for no ANGEL DE CORA-DEITZ
write true Indian (Hinook-Mahiwi-Kili prescribed course
music—we must A member of the Winnebago tribe, who, in conjunction with her husband, that deals with Lone-Star, is now art instructor at Carlisle Institute
leave that to the art, and thus with the spiritual life of a race, Indians. Only he whose soul holds the images could possibly be dictated by any one. of star-lit plains, silent deserts, purple can
yons, and the mountain tops at dawn-only There can, of course, be nothing of true he whose blood thrills to the pulse of the value to the Indian in the white man's drum-beat, in whose memory the wild, free arrangements of his songs. The addition of life of the open still calls, can truly sing of a harmonic accompaniment may be neces- that America older than the coming of the sary to interpret Indian songs to certain white white man, of that untamed land that was people, but the artistic value of this mongrel the Indian's 66 Earth-Mother,” and of that product is questionable. Using an Indian proud people whom civilization could contheme as the suggestion for a musical com- quer, but whose spirit it could not kill. position is a very different thing from harmo
It may seem daring to believe that the nizing Indian melodies and calling that native Americans, who are naturally gifted “ Indian music.” The first effort is the legiti- musically, may develop their own art if we do mate province of the composer ; the
not spoil it for them, and if we can refrain unless prompted by more genius than
of from corrupting the Indians artistically as we us who have tried it have yet been able to have already corrupted them in nearly every show—is neither art nor ethnology.
But we have a right to hope for The majority of those Indian songs that such a musical development because we have are still free from white influence are not, already seen the promise of a native evolution strictly speaking, conceived in the major of Indian pictorial art in the work of Angel De and minor modes on which our harmonic Cora-Deitz, of the Winnebago tribe. This system was founded, and a literal overlaying
a graduate of Hampton of these alien melodies with European har- Institute, was pronounced by Howard Pyle monies is usually as unsatisfying æsthet- a genius, and a future was predicted for her ically as it is inappropriate.
along the lines of the white man's art. But readily conceive of a great genius, with she chose rather to be true to the art of her the tone-imagination of a Debussy or the race, and in holding fast to the Indian's traharmonic daring of a Busoni, using Indian ditional decorative ideas, his love of symbol, themes for the inspiration of creations and his sense of the meaning of color, she has