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Category: Native American History

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Native American Cultural Revitalization Today

Posted by: Stephanie Hall

I remember a history class my junior year in high school dealing with the period in United States history when Indian tribes were being forced onto reservations. Presented as a better option were Indian schools where children were taught to assimilate into American society. To ensure that they would learn English and American customs these …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Reflections on the Life of a Native American Marine

Posted by: Lisa Taylor

November 10, 2015 marks the 240th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Semper fidelis! It just so happens that this birthday falls during November, the month set aside to celebrate the rich history and culture of Native Americans/American Indians. Interestingly enough, while recently doing some research for a media event, I came across a …

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Spooky Stories for Halloween

Posted by: Stephanie Hall

As some of our readers may remember, tomorrow is the second anniversary of Folklife Today, and our very first post was about Halloween.  Last year, we did a series of posts about collecting Halloween and Day of the Dead photos through a special hashtag.  You can see some of the results here and here and …

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AFC to Host Symposium on Native American Civil Rights

Posted by: Stephen Winick

To launch the annual International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries and Museums, the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress (AFC) and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums (ATALM) present a symposium. Titled Civil Rights, Identity and Sovereignty: Native American Perspectives on History, Law, and the Path Ahead, it will take place …

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More AFC Recordings on the National Recording Registry

Posted by: Stephen Winick

In my last post for Folklife Today, I shared some of the great recordings on the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry, a program of the Library that honors historically significant recordings and draws attention to the importance of audio preservation and audio archives in the stewardship of American culture and history. Specifically, I discussed …

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Honoring Vernacular Sounds: AFC Recordings on the National Recording Registry

Posted by: Stephen Winick

Last week, the Library announced this year’s inductees to the National Recording Registry.  There, along with classics by The Doors, Radiohead, Steve Martin, and Joan Baez, was a fascinating AFC collection: The Benjamin Ives Gilman Collection Recorded at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago. This collection of 101 wax cylinder recordings was created by …

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Moving Day and a Major Anniversary

Posted by: Nicole Saylor

This is a guest post by American Folklife Center’s Judith Gray, an ethnomusicologist who curates the largest body of early recordings of indigenous American songs and stories recorded in the United States. After all the identifying, rehousing, cataloging, labeling, barcoding, and databasing activity on the part of AFC staff over the past year, the actual …

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Preparing thousands of the earliest ethnographic recordings on wax cylinders for transfer to the National Audio-visual Conservation Center

Posted by: Nicole Saylor

Judith Gray, a specialist in Native American cultures, has been spending a lot of quality time down in the chilly decks of the Library’s Jefferson building lately. She curates the largest body of early recordings of indigenous American music and stories in the United States contained on nearly ten thousand wax cylinders. When not on …

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

Omaha Hethu’shka Society Songs and Dances

Posted by: Stephanie Hall

Historically, the Omaha Indian Hethu’shka Society were a group of highly respected men, voted into the group by unanimous consent of the society, who aimed to set a strong example for their people of the best attributes of a warrior. Although traditionally deeds in combat were the central test for inclusion in the society, such …