Frances Densmore took notes as interpreters explained the songs to her. This is a page from one of her 1912 notebooks. The notes are hastily written in pencil and are incomplete.
"Mrs, Holding Eagle
In Olden times there were certain Spirit Women who lived in every hill and timber. All these Spirit women got together (made up a society or ceremony)and planned to take it to (the) Mandan Tribe. It started on (a) bare peak 15 miles below Mandan this side (of) Eagle Nose
So started it-
(The) Eagle came along and said he wanted to join them- and have a part of the feast. He gave them each a present of a feather. Each woman wore one . Before (they) got to the village the Coyote came and said to them . If I dont belong to your society things wont go well. He gave them a song and told them to make grass wreaths. Bear came along, he wanted to join too and have part of the feast. Bear gave them a song also his claws Bears claws)worn by two women,the leader and the one that came last."
612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
State Museum and Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
State Historical Society offices: 8am - 5pm M-F, except state holidays.
phone: (701) 328-2666
fax: (701) 328-3710