Songs Of The Chippewa

Recorded and Edited by Francis Densmore
Folk Music Of The United States Issued from the Collections of the Archive of American Folk Song L22
The songs presented herewith were selected from 340 songs recorded and transcribed in a study of Chippewa music made for the Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, by the writer. They were recorded in 1907-10 on the principal reservations in Minnesota and the Lac du Flambeau Reservation in Wisconsin. It was an opportune time for the work as a few of the old leaders and warriors were still living. These men realized that the old songs were disappearing and consented to record them when told "Their voices would be preserved in Washington, in a building that would not burn down." In fulfillment of that promise, the American people man now have copies of their recordings-songs of their dreams, dances and games, songs of the warpath and camp, love songs and the songs with which they treated the sick, as well as songs of their religious organization, the Mide'wiwin (Grand Medicine Society).

These songs, thirty in all, were recorded by sixteen singers, four of whom were women. Several of the men and three of the women spoke practically no English, and, with few exceptions, the singers were about 70 years of age, several being much older.

A favorable approach to the Minnesota Chippewa was aided by certain men and women of mixed blood, living on the White Earth Reservation, Most of these were relatives of William W. Warren, the historian of the tribe. His sister, Mrs. Mary Warren English, was my principal interpreter; another sister, Mrs. Julia Warren Spears, gave information; and his niece, Mrs. Charles W. Mee, commended the work to the Indians and interpreted when necessary. They also recorded songs, one of which, recorded by Mrs. Spears, is included in this album. I became acquainted with these members of the tribe with some of the singers in June 1905, when attending a certain celebration at White Earth.

The recording of Chippewa songs was begun in September 1907, at Onigum on the Leech Lake Reservation. I had visited this locality the previous June and heard the members of the Mide'wiwin sing their songs around Flat Mouth, their dying chief. His death took place a few days later, and I remained for his burial. All this was remembered by the Indians when I returned and asked them to record songs.

My first recording equipment was an Edison phonograph which was then the best equipment available. The next summer, it was replaced by a Columbia gramophone with four heavy springs. At that time the Indians were not generally accustomed to phonographs and few, if any, had seen the making of records. One Chippewa woman, after hearing a record of her own voice, looked at the phonograph and exclaimed, "How did it learn that song so quick? That is a hard song."

Each class of Chippewa song has its accompanying instrument. The hand-drum which is common to many tribes is used with game songs and by a man when singing alone; a large drum is used at dances, the singers sitting on the ground around it, each with his own drumstick; the doctor uses a gourd or disc-shaped rattle; and a waterdrum and gourd rattle are used in the ceremonies of the Mide'wiwin. Indians are accustomed to singing with some form of accompaniment, but the drum and rattle overpower the voice if used when songs are recorded. Therefore it was necessary to find, by experiment, some form of accompaniment that would satisfy the Indian singer and also record the rhythm of the drum or rattle. Pounding on a pan was too noisy, but this and other forms of accompaniment will be heard in the present series. Songs were often recorded in an Indian schoolroom during vacation, and an empty chalk box was found an excellent substitute for a drum. Inside the box I put a crumpled paper that touched the sides of the box but did not fill it. The box was closed and struck sharply with the end of a short stick, producing a sound that was heard clearly on the record. This was percussion without resonance, and made possible the transcribing of the rhythm of the native accompaniment.

The wishes of the singer were consulted, as far as possible, in the recording of his songs. One singer might insist that no one should hear him sing, while another might ask that a friend be present or that the record be played for his friends. The songs of É'niwub'e were recorded in his home at Lac du Flambeau. The activities of the family went on as usual but did not disturb him.

The songs heard at Indian dances are generally small in compass, but a tabulated analysis of 340 Chippewa songs shows that 3 percent have a compass of 14 tones, 30 percent have a compass of 12 tones, 11 percent have a compass of 10 tones, and 21 percent have a compass of an octave.

In listening to these records it should be borne in mind that they were made in the field and intended only for the use of the collector. Also, that sounds recorded on wax cylinders are amplified by electric copying. The purpose was to preserve the old melodies and, so far as possible, the old technique in singing them. The several renditions of a song often show slight differences, and it is impossible to indicate in musical notation the by-tones and embellishments that are heard in some songs. Such freedom is allowed an expert singer of our own race and is not shown in our notation. The Indians value skill in singing, but they appreciate the fine old songs, though sung by men with weak voices. The words of Chippewa songs are generally few in number but many songs are highly poetic.

With an understanding of these peculiarities, Chippewa music may be recognized as part of the native culture of the tribe.

Play song


Performed by


Native Words



One Wind Ki'miWun (Rainy) DREAM SONGS

Many Indian songs were not composed in our use of the the term, but were said to come to to the mind of the Indian when he was in a "dream" or trance, often induced by fasting. The Indian believed this condition put him in communication with supernatural powers that would help him in some undertaking, and that he could restore the communication by singing the song and complying with some other conditions. In this way he could secure the help of supernatural powers at any time. He might sing his "dream song" when going to war, when treating the sick, or giving demonstrations of various sorts to show his power. The meaning of the words of the dream song were known only to himself and referred to the subject of his dream. In time the song became familiar and others might sing it, but the song would not have it old power. Some songs of this sort are very old, and the words have been forgotten. Such are many songs of today - the dream songs of forgotten men.

The first three dream songs were recorded at a small Chippewa village in northern Minnesota. This village is located on a long point of land which divides the upper and lower portions of Red Lake and is called Waba'cííg by the Chippewa, meaning "where the wind blows from all sides." the white people call it Cross Lake as it is across the lake from the Red Lake Agency. The first encroachment of civilization on this isolated group of Indians was in 1901 when the Government started a day school in that locality. The Indians opposed it with all their power, but after it was established they became adjusted to it and were interested in keeping their children in school. in 1909, when these songs were recorded, most of these Indians were member of the Mîde'wíwín, observing its rites and ceremonies. They seldom heard the music of the of the white race, and were comparatively free from its influence. The village was reached only by an occasional steamboat, but an opportunity occurred to go on a government boat from the Red Lake Agency in July. I remained only a few days until the boat returned, but forty songs were recorded by five singers. Eight of these songs, recorded by three of the singers, are presented in this album.

This is evidently a dream song, the words referring to the dream in which it was received. The song was recorded at Waba'cíng, Minnesota in 1909, buy Ki'miWun (Rainy), a man of middle age who was prominent in the tribal councils.
I am master of it.
Dream Song (a) Awún'akúm'Ígíckún' (Fog covering the earth) This and the song next following were recorded by Awún'akúm'Ígíckún' (Fog covering the earth) at Waba'cíng, Minnesota, in 1909. His home was in Canada but he was with a group of Chippewa who came down to attend the recent Fourth of July celebration and were camping on upper Red Lake. He was about 30 years of age and the youngest Chippewa who recorded songs. He appeared to be a full-blood Chippewa, spoke no English, and said, through the interpreter, that his people have rarely heard a piano, organ, or any other tuned instrument. When he was a little boy he "sat with the old men," listening to their singing and learning their songs. Now he "sings the songs that the old men made up in their dreams." He sang with an artificial tone with a vibrato quality. He discovered the ability to sing with this tone when he was a boy and had cultivated it ever since. no information was obtained with this song except that it was a dream song, used in the Womans' dance. Chippewa
Dream Song (b) Awún'akúm'Ígíckún' (Fog covering the earth) Like the song next preceding, this was recorded at Waba'cing, Minnesota, in 1909, by Awún'akúm'Ígíckún' who said it was used in the Woman's dance.

The second three dream songs were recorded by Ga'gandac' (One whose sails are driven by the wind), who was commonly known by his English name, George Walters. He was a man of middle age, living at White Earth, Minnesota, and was a prominent singer at all tribal gatherings. His songs were recorded circa 1908.
Song Of The Thunders Ga'gandac' (One whose sails are driven by the wind) In this song the dreamer feels himself carried through the air. Na'níngo'dinunk'
I go about pitying
while I am carried by the wind
across the sky.
The Approach Of The Storm Ga'gandac' (One whose sails are driven by the wind) The Indian generally approaches in silence unless he announces his coming by making some sound. This song concerns a manido' (spirit) that lives in the sky and rules the storm. He is friendly, and the distant thunder is his manner of letting the Indian know of his approach. Hearing this, the Indian will hasten to put tobacco on the fire so that the smoke may ascend as a friendly signal or response to the manido'.

This song was recorded by a younger singer about a year before it was recorded by Ga'gandac'. On comparing the two records it is found that they differ less in rhythm than in melodic progressions. The younger singer used the same tones, but in some parts of the song he used the intervals in a slightly different order. The characteristic rhythm is identical in the two records.
From the half
of the sky
that which lives there
is coming, and makes a noise.
My Voice Is Heard No explanation was given of the words in this song but it seems probably that the thunder is speaking. It is one of the dream songs that are surrounded by mystery but sung in gatherings of the people.

This melody has a compass of 12 tones and contains interesting mannerisms of rendition. The tempo of the drum is slightly faster than that of the voice.
All over
the world
my voice resounds.
I Will Start Before Noon Ga'tcit-cigi'cíg (Skipping a day) WAR SONGS

In war as in all his undertakings, the Chippewa depended upon help from supernatural powers. He appealed to these powers by means of songs and he carried "war charms" as well as combinations of herbs known as "war medicine." The song came to him in a dream and the herbs were secured from old men of the tribe who were generally members of the Míde'wíwín. A personal war song was recorded by Odjíb'we, the leader of the Chippewa warriors during the time of Hole-in-the-day, who was assassinated in 1868. After recording this song the aged man bowed his head, saying that he feared he would not live long as he had given away his most precious possession.

The tribal war songs included those that were sung before the departure of a way party, songs of the warpath and battle, songs of the victorious return and the scalp dance. Examples of these are presented.

This and the song next following were recorded in 1907-10 at White Earth, Minnesota, by Ga'tcit-cigi'cíg (Skipping a day), who selected his songs with care. He recorded six songs comprising three war songs, a love song, a dance song, and the popular "folk song" concerning We'nabo'jo and the ducks. The singer said that he learned this war song from his father who was a warrior and in the old days was often sent in advance of the war party as a scout. Before starting on such an expedition he sang this song. The Chippewa words on the record are not correctly pronounced and contain many interpolated syllables. The song has a compass of 12 tones the highest tone being A, second space, treble staff. The tones are those of a major triad and sixth.
I will start on my journey before noon,
before I am seen.
Song In Honor Of Cimau'ganic Ga'tcitcigi'cig In the old days it was customary for a woman to go out and meet a returning war party. If a scalp had been taken, she received it at the hand of the leader and danced in front of the war party as it neared the camp, singing and waving the scalp. This song concerns such an event. The singer said that he had heard it sung by a woman on such an occasion. Sometimes several women went to meet the warriors, but one always preceded the others and received the scalp. The return to the camp was followed by the scalp dance. Each scalp was fastened to a hoop at the end of a pole and passed from one man to another, each man holding it aloft as he danced around a pile of gifts. This is an old song in which the name of Cimau'ganic has replaced the name of a former warrior. This was in accordance with custom, one melody often containing the names of several warriors in succession, the words of praise being the same for each. The words mean "Cimau'ganic killed in war."

In recording this song Ga'tcitcigi'cig imitated the singing of a woman. The same technique was used in love songs and in songs of the scalp dance. It is characterized by a peculiar nasal tone and a gliding from one pitch to another (Cf.B14, B15). The nucleus of this performance consists of five measures, in which the words occur. This is heard four times in the recording. The intervening measures show a similar basic rhythm with various melodic progressions.
War Song E'niwúb'e (Sits farther along) This song was recorded at Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, by E'niwúb'e (Sits farther along) in 1910. He is a conservative Indian, respected by all who know him, and is the owner of two houses, one in the Indian village and the other on his farm where he spends the summer. He did not remember the fighting between the Chippewa and Sioux in Wisconsin, but his father, said to be 90 years of age, recalled the war dances of that time.

No information was obtained concerning this song.
In The South E'niwúb'e (Sits farther along) This, like the song next preceding, was recorded at Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, in 1910 by E'niwúb'e (Sits farther along). No information concerning it was available. A peculiarity in the manner of rendition is the sounding of a tone slightly above the intended pitch and descending downward in a glissando. This is heard clearly in the second measure. ca'wúnong'
In the south
the birds
are heard singing.
The Entire World Ki'miwun (Rainy) MISCELLANEOUS SONGS

This was said to be the music of a very old dance and no information was available concerning the dance or the meaning of the words. The rhythm is vigorous and the song was a compass of 13 tones. It was recorded at Waba'cing, Minnesota, by Ki'miwun (Rainy) in 1909.
The entire
weeps for me.
Woman's Dance Song A'jide'gijig (Crossing Sky) The Woman's dance is a feature of every gathering of the Minnesota Chippewa and is said to have been learned from the Sioux. Both men and women take part and the dancers face the drum, side by side, moving clockwise in a circle with a shuffling step. An invitation to join the dance is accompanied by a gift, and the first invitation is usually given by a woman, the man responding with a gift of about the same value. The gifts are generally some form of beadwork and the dancers hold them up for all to see as they dance, making a picturesque scene. The songs of this dance have no general characteristics and are rather simple in melody and rhythm. This song has no words. A'jide'gijig (Crossing Sky) recorded it at Waba'cíng, Minnesota, in 1909. Chippewa
Moccasin Game Song Nita'miga'bo (Leader standing) The moccasin game is the principal form of gambling practiced by the Chippewa at the present time. In this game four bullets or balls are hidden under four moccasins. One bullet or ball is marked and it is the object of the opposing players to locate this with as few "guesses" as possible. A characteristic of moccasin game songs is a rapid drumbeat with slower tempo of the voice, as in this song. The drumbeat of these songs is a strongly accented stroke followed by a very short unaccented stroke.

This is the song of a determined player. It is the only song that was recorded by Nita'miga'bo (Leader standing), and was recorded at White Earth, Minnesota, 1907-1910.
I will go home,
if I am beaten
after more articles
to wager.
We Have Salt Henry Selkirk The age of this song is indicated by the words. In the early days the Chippewa had no salt. A treaty known as the "Salt Treaty" was concluded at Leech Lake, Minnesota, on August 21, 1847, with the Pillager Band of Chippewa. This treaty stipulated that the Indians should receive five barrels of salt annually for five years. This is the song of a member of the Pillager Band, boasting of the salt they have received by this treaty. The song was recorded about 1909 by Henry Selkirk, a man of Scotch-Chippewa ancestry living at White Earth, Minnesota. Ma'no
them despise us,
we have
here, beyond the belt of timber
we live.
The Approach Of The Thunderbirds Ki'miwun (Rainy) SONGS USED IN THE TREATMENT OF THE SICK

Two classes of native doctors treated the sick among the Chippewa, both using songs in their treatment. One class comprised the older members of the Mide'wiwin who used the songs and secret herbs of that organization. Members of the second class did not always belong to the Mide'wiwin. They claimed to receive their power in personal dreams and gave demonstrations to impress the people with that power. Both classes used affirmations, one affirming the great power of the Mide'wiwin and the other affirming the power of their own supernatural helpers. Several healing songs of the Mide'wiwin were recorded but the three songs presented here were selected from songs of the second sort recorded at White Earth and Waba'cing, Minnesota. One of the singers (Main'gans) treated the sick in the manner that will be described; the other (Ki'miwun) was familiar with the custom. Such a doctor treated the sick by singing, shaking his rattle, passing his hands over the body of the patient, and apparently swallowing one or more tubular bones which he afterward removed from his mouth. Each of these actions was considered indispensable to the treatment. There is a similarity in the melodic pattern of these three songs. This adds to their interest as they were attributed to different sources.

This song was said to have been sung after a demonstration with the tubular bones and the treatment which followed. The words refer to the dream in which the doctor received his power. The recording is realistic. After the second rendition a sharp, hissing sound was made by the singer who said that the Chippewa doctor makes such a sound as he breathes or "blows" on the person whom he is treating. After the third rendition there is recorded a shrill whistle which he is said to make when the bones issue from his mouth. The song was recorded by Ki'miwun (Rainy) at Waba'cing, Minnesota, in 1909.
The sound approaches,
the (thunder) birds draw near.
Going Around The World Main'gans (Little Wolf) This song was recorded by Main'gans (Little Wolf) of White Earth who treated the sick in the manner that has been described. He said that he sang three songs when treating a sick person, the melody being the same in the first and third songs. He sang the first song after he had looked at the sick person and decided that he could help him. the words are translated: "I am singing and dreaming in my poor way over the earth, I who will again disembark upon the earth." Then he sang a song which indicates that he received his power from a bear, the words being, "The big bear, to his lodge I go often." His third song is here presented. As stated, the melody is the same as in the song which preceded his treatment. The song was probably recorded in 1908. ka'wita'kumi'gíckaman'
I am going around
the world,
I am going through
the world.
Sitting With The Turtle Ki'miwun (Rainy) No information was obtained concerning this song except that it was used by the same medicine man as the first song in this group. It is evidently the song of a man who received his power from the great turtle (Mík´nak'). The form of the words suggests a lengthy conference with the turtle and, perhaps, a return to the turtle for the renewing of his power. The story of the dream, like the name of the medicine man who received the song, has been lost, but the melody and words remain a tradition among his people. This song was recorded by Ki'miwun (Rainy) at Waba'cíng, Minnesota, in 1909. míkínak'
I am sitting with him.
Song Of The Manido Main'gans (Little Wolf) SONGS OF THE MÍDE'WÍWÍN

The native religion of the Chippewa is the Míde' (Grand Medicine), and it organization is the Míde'wíwín (Grand Medicine Society) which consists of eight degrees. Both men and women may become members and are advanced from one degree to another on receiving certain instructions and bestowing valuable gifts. There are series of songs for initiation into each degree, and such songs for initiation into the first, second, third and sixth degrees were recorded. There are also songs for treating the sick, which is an important function of the society, and songs for success in various undertakings. The songs of the Míde'wíwín are estimated as several hundred in number. All are recorded in mnemonics on strips of birchbark.

A peculiarity of Míde' songs is the use of meaningless vowel syllables between the words and interpolated in the words. Explosive vowel syllables are often given between renditions of songs, similar to the ejaculations that take place during an initiation ceremony.

This series opens with three songs of initiation into the first and second degree of the Míde'wíwín, recorded in 1907-10 by Main'gans (Little Wolf), a prominent member of the organization at White Earth, Minnesota.

Main'gans (Little Wolf said this song was taught him by the old man who initiated him into the Míde'wíwín and that he sang it himself when acting as an initiator. In explanation of the song he said, through the interpreter, that the Chippewa lived on Lake Superior before coming to Minnesota and therefore many traditions of the Míde'wíwín are connected with water. Long ago a manido' (spirit) came to teach the Míde' to the Indians and stopped on a long point of land which projects into Lake Superior at the present site of Duluth. The words of this song refer to that incident. Between the words may be heard the meaningless vowel syllables that characterize Míde' songs.
On the center of a peninsula
I am standing
Dancing Song Main'gans (Little Wolf) This is similar to the song next preceding except that the person to be initiated would dance while it was sung. It may also be sung in the ceremonial lodge after the initiation. o'gotcitci'yane'
In form like a bird
it appears.
Escorting The Candidate For Initiation Main'gans (Little Wolf) In the middle of the ceremonial lodge is a pole with symbolic decorations and beside this pole is a pile of blanket to be used as gifts. The leader of the ceremony escorts the candidate to a seat on the pile of blankets, facing west. He moves slowly at first, then very rapidly, ejaculating we ho ho ho and shaking his rattle while this song is sung. Like the two songs next preceding, this was recorded by Main'gans (Little Wolf) at White Earth, Minnesota, in 1907-10. mikán'
Our Míde' brother
you are going around
the Míde' lodge.
Song Of The Fire-Charm O'déni'gun (Hip bone) This and the songs next following are examples of the songs that are sung in the lodges during the evenings that precede an initiation of the Míde'wíwín and at the dances which follow the ceremony. They are connected with the use of "rare medicines," the term "medicine" being applied to any substance connected with mysterious power. Their use may be to accomplish some definite purpose or to impress the people with the power of the Míde'. The songs can be sung only by those who received them in dreams or purchased the right to sing them from someone who received them in that manner. O'déni'gun (Hip bone) who recorded this and the song next following was said to be one of the most powerful medicine men on the White Earth Reservation. His songs were recorded in 1908.

Concerning the next song, O'déni'gun said that fire, like everything else, came to the people through the Míde'. At first they were afraid of it but soon learned that it was useful. Once an old medicine man showed that he could stand in a fire and not be burned. He put "medicine" on his feet and stood in the fire, chewing "medicine" and spitting the juice on his body. The flames came up to his body but he was not harmed. O'dén'gun said that probably some of the oldest Míde' still know the secret of this medicine and could take hold of hot stones without being burned. The words are continuous throughout the melody. A slow voice-rhythm and rapid drum-beat are noted in this as in some other songs of mental stress.
The flame goes up
to my body.
Song Of The Flying Feather O'déni'gun (Hip bone) Before recording this song O'déni'gun related its story, saying that a man and wife lived in a wigwam, but after a time the woman ran away. The man went to an old Míde' and asked him to bring her back. The old man replied "Your wife will come back tonight. I am sure of this because the sound of my drumming is heard all over the world, and when she hears it she cannot help coming back." So he began to drum and sing this song and the mans' wife came back to him. Then the old man gave him a charm so that his wife could never run away again. migwun'
The feather
is coming toward
the body of the Míde'wíwín'ní (member of the Míde'wíwín).
Burial Song For A Member Of The Mide'wiwin Na'waji'bio'kwe (Woman dwelling among the rocks) Two burial songs for members of the Míde'wíwín were recorded by Na'waji'bio'kwe (Woman dwelling among the rocks) who had taken four of the eight degrees in the Míde'wíwín. Her home was on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota, where her songs were recorded about 1908. There is a peculiar gentleness in both the burial songs. They are cheerful, yet plaintive and do not contain the ejaculations that occur in the ceremonial songs of the Mêde'wíwín. the first song (not presented) contained the words, "You shall depart. To the village you take your steps." The "village" of departed spirits seems to have been considered a pleasant place as another song contained the words, "Toward calm and shady places I am walking on the earth."

This is the second burial song recorded by Na'waji'bigo'kwe and is addressed to Néniwa', a member of the Míde'wíwín.
Néniwa' (name of a man),
let us stand,
and you shall see
my body
as I desire.
You Desire Vainly Mec'kawiga'bau (Stands firmly) LOVE SONGS

A favorite form of musical expression among the Chippewa is the love song and many such songs are known to be very old. Thirty-four love songs were recorded and transcribed, these having been collected at White Earth, Red Lake and Waba'cíng in Minnesota and on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation in Wisconsin. The love songs are freer in melodic progressions and generally slower in tempo than other classes of Chippewa songs, and also differ from a majority of other songs in having the words continuous throughout the melody. Words are often improvised to familiar melodies. The love songs are sung by older men and women with a strained, drawling, nasal tone that cannot be imitated by young singers. The same technique was formerly used in songs of the scalp dance. In addition to the love songs commonly known and sung by the people were the songs connected with "love charms." that formed part of the magic of the Míde'wíwín.

The words of Chippewa love songs are generally expressive of sadness, loneliness and disappointment. The only instances of love songs expressing personal affection were a few songs with improvised words said to be addressed by a wife to her husband.

The three songs next following are typical Chippewa love songs.

This song was recorded at Lac du Flambeau Wisconsin, in 1910 by Mec'kawiga'bau (Stands firmly). Sixteen songs were recorded by this singer including songs of the Drum-presentation ceremony in which he was a leader. He owned a house and a few acres of land near the Indian village. The phonograph was taken to his house for recording his songs and two that were recorded by his wife (Cf. B12).
You desire vainly
that I seek you;
the reason is
I come
to see your younger sister.
Work Steadily Main'gans (Little Wolf) Many of the Chippewa love songs can be sung by either a man or a woman but this is a woman's song. It was recorded by Main'gans (Little Wolf) at White Earth, about 1908. The tempo is slow, as in a majority of Chippewa love songs, the fourth above the apparent keynote is prominent and the melody has a peculiar, pleading quality. ayangwa'misin'
Be very careful
to work steadily;
I am afraid they will take you away from me.
Weeping For My Love Dji'sia'sino'kwe (Deceiving woman) This song was recorded by Dji'sia'sino'kwe (Deceiving woman), the wife of Mec'kawiga'bau. As stated, they recorded songs in their home at Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, in 1910. She recorded two love songs, naively insisting that her husband depart while she recorded them and be recalled to hear them, when they were played on the phonograph. I go around weeping for my love (Free translation) Chippewa
I Have Found My Lover Mrs. Julia Warren Spears Mrs. Julia Warren Spears, who recorded this and one other song, was a sister of William W. Warren, historian of the tribe. (Cf. footnote p. 2) She was born in 1833 at La Pointe, the Chippewa village on Madeline Island in Lake Superior. When she was 17 years of age her brother William was employed to escort the first party of Chippewa that came to Minnesota. They numbered about 800 and she was the only woman. She never returned to La Paointe to live, and in later years made her home with her daughter, Mrs. Charles W. Mee, at White Earth, where the songs were recorded, probably in 1908.

Mrs. Spears said that when she was a little girl on Madeline Island, about 15 years of age, her friend and playmate was a pretty Indian girl, the only daughter of a chief. This Indian girl "was always singing two songs." the writer heard Mrs. Spears sing them at intervals over a period of several years and the renditions never varied in any respect. One was a song of happiness and the other was a sad little song, said to be sung when the girl's love was leaving on a long journey. The first song is presented and expresses the girl's joy at finding her lover. Attention is directed to the compass of the melody which includes 12 tones, beginning on the highest and ending on the lowest tone of the compass, a melodic pattern noted in many Chippewa love songs. Nia is a woman's exclamation of surprise.

The two songs next following were recorded by a woman of unique personality whose name was Manido'gicígo'kwe (Spirit day woman). She was a member of the Míde'wíwín and recorded two Míde' songs connected with the use of "love medicine." Like other songs of that organization, they were represented by "song pictures," and she drew these when she recorded the songs. In one of these pictures a woman is drawing a man by the hand, though he appears reluctant. Neither of these songs is in the present series.

This interesting woman lived alone in a log cabin, on a point of land extending into a small lake. Back of the cabin stretched the forest, broken only by a wagon road whose single track was marked by stumps beneath and drooping branches overhead. There she and her dogs guarded the timber of her government allotment, and there I called upon her, being allowed to photograph her in the door of her home.
I am thinking,
I am thinking,
I have found
my lover;
I think it is so..
Love Song (a) Manido'giigo'kwe Chippewa
Love Song (b) Manido'giigo'kwe Chippewa
I Am Going Away Gage'binés Chippewa