During the early twentieth century, the American government’s standing expectation was that Native Americans should be adopting Western customs. In the face of that prospect, anthropologist and musicologist Frances Densmore sought to preserve Native American culture—particularly as it was expressed through music. In her extensive writings on Native American lifestyles, music, and history, Densmore opened a window onto American experiences that had been obscured by stereotypes, and encouraged a better appreciation of the varied traditions of tribes nationwide. In the various essays collected here—covering everything from dances and games to love songs and instruments—Densmore overturned the misrepresentation of a rich heritage and shared the vital importance of music as a gateway to knowledge and understanding.
Revised edition: Previously published as The American Indians and Their Music, this edition of The American Indians and Their Music (AmazonClassics Edition) includes editorial revisions.