American Indian Soundchiefs, an independent record label founded by the Rev. Linn Pauahty (Kiowa) in the 1940s, developed a remarkable model of Indigenous sound media that combined home recording, dubbing, and small-scale mass production. Alongside other Native American media producers of the same era, Soundchiefs built on earlier engagements with ethnographic and commercial recording to produce Native citizens’ media a generation prior to the Red Power era of the 1960s and 1970s. This soundwork provided Native music to Native listeners first, while also seeking to preserve a “rich store of folk-lore” sometimes in danger of being lost under ongoing colonial pressures. Pauahty’s label found ways to market commercial recordings while operating within what music and legal scholar Trevor Reed (Hopi) calls “Indigenous sonic networks,” fields of obligation and responsibility.
“The demand for the recordings by the tribes got so great that in 1946 we bought more equipment in order to make more copies,” the Rev. Linn Pauahty (Kiowa) recalled. Between 1943 and 1951, when Pauahty gave this interview, his American Indian Soundchiefs record label—rooted in Oklahoma but networked across a far-flung range of Indian Country—incorporated and formalized its practice as a successful intertribal “Enterprise,” as he advertised it.1 The label would continue to release records into the 1980s, and much of its catalog remains in print today through the Indian House label. Soundchiefs joined a cohort of 1940s and 1950s Native American labels, radio practice, and home recording that built on half a century of Indigenous engagements with evolving sound media. By midcentury these media users formed innovative and sustained models of “citizens’ media” that were distinctly Indigenous, particularly in their community-rootedness and their concern with cultural preservation in a context of ongoing colonial displacement and pressure.
Indigenous media studies generally document the history of ethnographic media and the autochthonous Native media institutions created in the Red Power era of the 1970s and afterward.2 But 1940s innovators like Soundchiefs deserve attention for the media they created a generation earlier. While scholars in Native American and Indigenous studies have explored numerous aspects of Native history throughout the 20th century, much of the history of Indigenous media in this era remains to be studied. And in the broader scholarly and public realm, there remains a need to divulge what curator and critic Paul Chaat Smith (Comanche) has called “the secret history of Indians in the twentieth century.”3 These histories can counteract colonial narratives of disappearance or the “vanishing race,” to use terms associated with visual representations of Native people. Yet colonial narratives have also silenced Native voices and soundwork, or amplified what scholar Jodi A. Byrd (Chickasaw) calls the “cacophony produced through U.S. colonialism,” including in its din a caricatured and contested “Indian” sound.4
This article focuses primarily on American Indian Soundchiefs, situated among its contemporaries, as a successful model of sovereign Native sound media counteracting the silencing and the cacophony of a colonial United States history. I borrow scholar Michele Hilmes’s term “soundwork,” referring to media comprising music, speech, and noise but also including, in Indigenous contexts, the networks and obligations that inhered in the media. I also adopt the phrase “citizens’ media,” as articulated by media scholar Clemencia Rodríguez. Rodríguez defines citizen not as a legal status but as a continual creation of power, the ability to make things happen in the world, at whatever scale. Citizens’ media attends to “subtle and sometimes faint (but not less important or serious) movements in which individuals and their differentiated power positions coalesce when involved in citizens’ media experiences.”5 By filling Native peoples’ own “demand,” as Pauahty put it, for soundwork from Indigenous producers, the Soundchiefs label and its contemporaries added important frequencies to modern media practice.
Rewinding: Precedents and Context
Scholarship on Indigenous media often suggests recent roots for today’s multilayered array of Indigenous soundwork—which ranges from small record labels to community radio to globally shared programs and podcasts, but most of which exerts power as citizens’ media. From 1969 to 1971, John Trudell (Santee Dakota) hosted Radio Free Alcatraz, broadcast over the Pacifica network from the occupation of Alcatraz Island by the group Indians of All Tribes. As the Red Power era evolved, tribal governments and Native nonprofits founded the first Indigenous-controlled stations in 1971 (KYUK in Bethel, Alaska) and 1972 (KTDB in Pine Hill, New Mexico). As historian Michael Keith puts it, “by the mid-1970s, a half dozen tribes were involved with the operation of radio stations. In less than half a decade, the nation’s Indigenous peoples could claim possession of an evolving electronic media, whose progress would continue slowly but unabated into the 1990s” and beyond.6 In a recent ethnography of First Nations record labels in Canada, ethnomusicologist Christopher Scales traces the history of today’s Native recorded-music industry to the 1990s, with that era’s “historically unprecedented levels of intertribal interconnectivity, a deep engagement with media technologies, and increasingly complex, sophisticated, and creative engagements with tradition and modernity both as sets of practices and as mutually constitutive discursive universes.”7
Yet each of Scales’s descriptions was true of the entire 20th century for many Indigenous people, though their modernity was “unexpected.”8 In turn, earlier media practitioners sounded out numerous precedents for the mediascape of the past 50 years. From at least 1890 onward, Native people engaged sound media in a variety of contexts. Countless knowledge keepers, composers, and musicians worked with phonograph-toting ethnographers (a few of them Native themselves, most not) across Indian Country to record vast sound archives. Indigenous people living in various contexts listened to and often enjoyed the range of commercial recordings and radio—very little of it Native-created—that markets and networks offered. Some Indigenous performers recorded commercial discs for national and independent labels, and some broadcast on local or national radio for cultural, financial, and political reasons. Prominent Native performers such as Kiutus Tecumseh (Yakama/Cherokee), Lucy Nicolar Poolaw (Penobscot), and Will Rogers (Cherokee) brought their voices to the mainstream.9
Even the model of the semicommercial homegrown record enterprise was not without early precedent in Indian Country. In the 1910s on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation (whose lands cross the South Dakota–North Dakota border), an anonymous tribal member acquired a wax cylinder recorder, mastering both the recording and playback techniques far from a Graphophone or Edison shop. With a collective of friends, this man built up a library of “at least a hundred records of Indian songs,” a visiting ethnographer reported. “He and his friends make them and enjoy them much more than the commercial records. Some even make these records for sale among their people.”10 An enterprise of small-scale distribution that combined home recording and hand-to-hand sales, the model developed on Standing Rock is an early example of Indigenous people utilizing new sound media to develop modern citizens’ media.
Yet despite the ubiquity of modern soundwork, Indigenous recordings available for purchase within and across Indigenous communities remained rare prior to the 1940s. As frustrated Potawatomi record collector Vincent McMullen wrote in 1936, “It does seem strange, in this day and age, that, with the countless number of phonograph records which are made for sale, on this American Continent it is not possible for Indians to procure phonograph records of real Indian songs.”11 Victor, Gennett, and regional labels released a few records but marketed to non-Indian consumers; Native consumers like McMullen only occasionally managed to buy copies.12
With the arrival of somewhat affordable instantaneous disc recorders, magnetic wire, and finally tape, a distinct era of Native soundwork began, building on the model of the Standing Rock phonographic collective. Around 1939 or 1940, Manuel Archuleta—from Ohkay Owingeh or San Juan Pueblo in New Mexico and living in Albuquerque with his wife, Alyce (Pinno) Archuleta (Laguna Pueblo), and first child—purchased a disc recorder on a payment plan. His salary at the United Pueblos Agency of the federal Office of Indian Affairs was $50 per month, and the payments on the recorder were $30. “We had enough milk for the baby and a recording machine,” he later recounted.13 By around 1946 the Archuletas had conceived of their recording enterprise as a commercial label, called Tom Tom Records. And by the 1950s Tom Tom had released twelve 78 rpm commercial discs of music from various Pueblo and Diné/Navajo performers. However, beyond re-releasing these discs as 7-inch, 45 rpm singles and later as two LP compilations, Tom Tom was not able to continue producing new records. This may have been partly due to the Archuletas’ apparent use of commercial record-pressing plants, which pressed large batches with a substantial investment required for each disc.14 In Chicago, which like Albuquerque had a large urban Indian population that grew substantially during and after World War II, Lee Whitehorse Sutton (Southern Arapaho) and his wife, Chaucina (Yellow Robe) Sutton (Lakota), created the small-scale Chunksa-Uha Sings label, which released a similarly small number of 78 rpm discs out of the American Indian Center, which they cofounded.15 Each of these enterprises was a remarkable body of soundwork, growing out of individual initiative within intertribal communities.
In Oklahoma, media innovators produced a cluster of linked contemporary efforts. As a complex, dense region like no other in Native America, with dozens of tribal nations removed or confined there in the 19th century, Native Oklahoma gave rise to numerous noteworthy institutions in the 20th. Community leaders such as Garland Blaine (Pawnee), Bill Gooday (Fort Sill Apache), Sam and Blossom Haozous (Fort Sill Apache), Don Whistler (Sac and Fox), and Linn Pauahty adopted sound media as productive parts of their cultural and political work. In 1945 Blaine, a tribal cultural and political leader who would become head chief in the 1960s, began recording discs of his grandmother Effie Blaine and other Pawnee elders—as well as himself—singing old songs, some no longer performed ceremonially.16 Around the same time, Fort Sill Apache community members began recording for community use as well. Philip Haozous lived with his grandparents Sam and Blossom Haozous between 1947 and 1951, and recalled, “Bill Gooday, my Uncle Bill was the one that came in and with his own recording unit. And I remember sitting very quietly as my grandfather played his flute and as he sang his songs and told stories and Uncle Bill would be up there with his little brush, brushing away the vinyl cut.” Ethnomusicologist Thomas Christopher Aplin adds, “A noticeable number of [Fort Sill Apache] tribal members know of, or have possession of similar aluminum-based acetate, instantaneous disc recordings,” some of them produced with Sam Haozous.17
The weekly Indians for Indians Hour radio show networked all these communities and more, for social, cultural, and political purposes. Founded by Don Whistler (the elected chief of the Sac and Fox Nation), Indians for Indians broadcast weekly from WNAD in Norman across much of Oklahoma beginning in 1941 and continued for decades. It is still on the air in a smaller FM radius. Whistler utilized 16-inch transcription discs to preserve performances and replay them on future shows, consciously producing one of the richest extant archives of 20th-century Native soundwork. Garland Blaine, Sam and Blossom Haozous, Linn Pauahty, and hundreds of other performers appeared on the show over the years, and listeners ranged from boarding school students to hospital patients to regular gatherings in the back of a store.18
In 1948 Whistler encouraged Pauahty to expand his own recording enterprise and purchase yet more equipment. American Indian Soundmasters was born. Pauahty soon renamed it American Indian Soundchiefs after some Lakota singers gave him the name “Sound Chief.” Like Indians for Indians, this label grew out of personal, cultural, and institutional relationships among performers, label owners, and listeners. Soundchiefs would expand beyond the bounds of an AM radio signal but still remain grounded in and responsible to the communities it represented.
On a cultural front—and at regional scales—these sound media institutions and home-recording practices paralleled the founding of the National Congress of American Indians in 1944 and other Cold War activism in Native America (for example, working against the federal government’s policy to “terminate” tribal nations as political entities) as well as growing movements for Indigenous self-determination and decolonization around the world during and after World War II. At the same time, in some of the same regions, Native modernism flourished in the visual arts and literature. Soundwork paralleled and at least indirectly supported cultural sovereignty.19 These practices also echoed soundwork outside Native America that served audiences neglected by the consolidated national record and radio industries. From Henry Pace’s 1920s Black Swan record label in New York to Jack L. Cooper’s 1930s “Black-appeal” radio programming in Chicago, African American entrepreneurs used commercial sound media to connect and uplift communities. In 1946 Texas jukebox operator Armando Marroquín began recording local Texas-Mexican conjunto artists in his living room, releasing records on the Ideal label, succeeded by other independent labels such as Falcón in a vibrant but never vast market. Postwar jazz enthusiasts like Dante Bollettino and Boris Rose issued unauthorized discs of out-of-print records or radio performances dubbed to order, in Rose’s case, from a vast archive of rare master recordings.20 Each of these entailed a small-scale use, or even “mis-use” (that is, contrary to mainstream commercial practice or even contrary to law in the case of pirated jazz records), of phonographic and/or radio media. They were, as David Suisman writes of Black Swan, “experiment[s] in the political economy of…culture.”21
Yet Native American experiments in soundwork carried some characteristic frequencies. One was a community-rootedness akin to media produced within other ethnic or enthusiast networks, but particularly salient in Indigenous communities whose cultural property, including sound, was so often appropriated or caricatured through non-Indigenous media. While many collaborations between non-Indian ethnographers and Native knowledge keepers were mutual, the history of anthropology held countless examples of offenses large and small. (Red Power–era country singer Floyd Red Crow Westerman’s 1969 sonic adaptation of Vine Deloria Jr.’s manifesto Custer Died for Your Sins included the song (co-written with Deloria) “Here Come the Anthros.” It included the pointed line, “Taking notes and tape recordings of all the animals at play”).22 Mainstream radio, pop music, and Western genre fictions created sonic caricatures of Native people. To cite one example, in July 1937 NBC broadcast an hourlong program from the Southwestern All-Indian Powwow in Flagstaff, Arizona. Though it represented tribal traditions as disparate as Kiowa, Navajo, Hopi, and Yaqui, the various Indian performers became a backdrop for the announcer’s incessant description of what he repeatedly characterized as “grotesque” dances and costumes. A listener might hear a more complicated scene: a cosmopolitan gathering of peoples who continued to survive the crucible of colonialism and were now sharing their voices with some 7,000 fellow Indigenous people from “20-odd tribes,” and with listeners across the continent and internationally. But the commentator hardly let ten seconds pass without a purple description like “an almost endless forest of tall braves…, a brilliant and realistic reminder of the pages of the past.”23
A second characteristic to autochthonous Native soundwork was a concern with preservation or continuation of cultural practice in the wake of centuries of colonial violence and ongoing disruptions of culture. Native Americans navigated a widespread boarding school system, relocation and removal of communities and individuals, and ongoing dispossession of land and resources. Among other motivations, the desire to build an archive motivated many performers to participate in producing ethnographic recordings, as well as commercial “scholarly ethnic recordings” produced by record labels such as Gennett and Victor as early as 1904 when the Onondaga singer and political leader Jesse Lyon recorded at Victor’s Camden, New Jersey, studios.24 Resentment of “anthros” was real, yet many Native people themselves saw a need to use media to preserve their knowledge—not for a scholarly posterity, as many ethnographers saw it, but for their own descendants. They practiced what Hawaiian scholar Noenoe K. Silva calls “mo‘okū‘auhau (genealogical) consciousness.”25
Founding American Indian Soundchiefs
Linn Pauahty was born on July 14, 1905, in the Kiowa community in Carnegie, Oklahoma. He descended from several generations of custodians of a practice known as the Buffalo Medicine, beginning with his great-grandmother Ah-tah, who became a powerful holy woman beginning in the 1820s. Linn’s father was a medicine man named Ta-ne-haddle, or Running Bird, who had previously had the name Pauahty, or Walking Buffalo. Linn Pauahty later recalled what he believed was the last Buffalo Medicine Cult Dance to heal his injured brother in 1914. Eventually Linn himself came to inherit two sacred Buffalo Medicine bags.26 In September 1909, Ta-ne-haddle traveled to Montana to represent the Kiowa people in the media spectacle organized by Joseph K. Dixon under the auspices of the Wanamaker department store, a “Last Great Indian Council.” He sat for a photograph in his bone breast plate, peace medal, scarf slide, and other regalia and was quoted in the subsequent book as saying he enjoyed sleeping in a tipi at the council as he had when he was younger. He reportedly continued, “all I wish at the present time is for my children to grow up industrious and work, because they cannot get honour in the war as I used to get it.”27 This sentiment aligned neatly with Dixon’s romance with warriors of a “vanishing race” and his push toward Indian assimilation. Yet the stance of looking forward, for the father of 4-year-old Linn and his other children, may be believable. The Last Great Indian Council, argues historian Alan Trachtenberg, called attention to its own artifice “as if it were a live performance.” The Native performers were mostly savvy and seasoned performers, and many of them recorded wax cylinders and filmed motion pictures in Montana.28 Their engagement with mass media and new media, and with audiences from other tribes, was some of the work by which Native people would not vanish in the 20th century but persist—as individuals and families, and also as sovereign nations linked by intertribal connections.
Given his family history, it was not surprising that Linn Pauahty became a holy man himself in the Christian tradition, nor that he became a media innovator and custodian of “one of the largest private collections of Native American music in existence.”29 Pauahty became affiliated with Cedar Creek Methodist Church in Carnegie as a young farmer, converting to Christianity at age twenty-one. Several years later, after teaching Sunday school, he entered Folsom Training School, a mission school across the state. From the start, in the 1930s, he began promoting Native music, organizing quarterly singing conventions in the Kiowa Southern Methodist churches.30 In 1943 he became the first Native American student to graduate from Southern Methodist University’s divinity school. He served various Native churches across Oklahoma over the next 15 years, including Cedar Creek in Carnegie, an Osage congregation in Grayhorse, and a Ponca church in White Eagle. He was a district superintendent in Anadarko and served urban churches in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, where he established the Angie Smith Memorial United Methodist Church.31 Pauahty’s leadership in Native churches shone in an incident early in his career, when a white missionary at the Ponca mission found his church had “gone to pieces,” with parishioners “antagonistic” toward the minister and leaving for other faiths. The Poncas “want an Indian pastor,” wrote one missionary, and nominated Pauahty. He continued, “Pauahty agreed to go upon condition that he be allowed to conduct the meeting in his own way and receive members…without many other restrictions being imposed.…Pauahty is a highly educated Indian of wonderful ability and is certainly winning at Grayhorse.”32 His negotiation of autonomy in how to reconstruct a congregation reflected his resourcefulness in engaging with ostensibly non-Indian institutions and techniques to benefit Native people. His granddaughter, Mary Helen Deer, who grew up with her grandparents, recalled that his sermons affirmed that Christianity had not fundamentally transformed Native people’s values, but rather articulated them in new ways. He half-joked that Indians needed to learn white people’s ways to “use it against them.”33
In 1943 Pauahty secured a grant to buy his first recording equipment as part of the Board of Missions and Church Extension of the Methodist Church’s pre-production of The Great Spirit on the Plains, a 16-millimeter documentary released in 1948. The film presented Oklahoma Indians as “far from vanishing” but rather “constantly increasing” and in need of support in finding the Christian faith and mainstream American values while maintaining certain aspects of Indigenous culture and character. It optimistically filmed a Native radio repairman, a car mechanic, a baseball team, and Methodist ministers alongside church conventions and the annual American Indian Exposition in Anadarko. Pauahty does not seem to appear in the film, nor was he credited for the soundtrack of wallpaper-like orchestral music credited to Harry Glass. However, the film includes a few short segments of Native music not precisely linked to what is on film, which may very well have been recorded by Pauahty, given the mention of his contribution in a later newspaper profile.34
Pauahty, with his wife, Edna, began recording Indian musicians in his living room, first focusing on performers of Christian music. As noted at the start of this article, by around 1946 the demand from Native listeners outstripped their equipment. Soon, Pauahty recalled, “We began to get out-of-state inquiries for our records.”35 He took classes in electronics and visual training at Oklahoma A&M University (now Oklahoma State) in Stillwater. In 1948, after discussing the prospects with Don Whistler, host of the Indians for Indians Hour, the Pauahtys decided to found the commercial record company American Indian Soundmasters—later American Indian Sound Chief, Soundchief, or Soundchiefs in various renderings, or Sound Chief’s Enterprise. Indians for Indians was seven years old and very popular with an estimated 50,000 to 75,000 Native listeners in a swath of central and western Oklahoma. By 1951, Soundchiefs had made some 2,200 recordings, many of which were available as à la carte 78 rpm discs—that is, customers could choose which two sides to combine in their orders. (One reviewer found that the later LP versions of this process “will wear out faster than commercially pressed records, but it is much better than the usual home job.”) This label proved a much larger and more enduring institution than Tom Tom Records or Chunksa-Uha Sings, maintaining a large and sustaining Native audience, even as the Pauahtys transferred to Methodist churches in Wisconsin, Oregon, and Kansas in the late 1950s and 1960s. Soundchiefs operated into the 1980s when Linn Pauahty passed away.36 A portion of its catalog remains in print through a similar à la carte system on CD-ROM through the Indian House label.
Business records and many other archival materials for American Indian Soundchiefs were lost after Pauahty passed, so it is difficult to know the exact technological processes the label used. Evidently they changed relatively frequently as Pauahty acquired new equipment and new technologies became available to him. A group of extant discs from the time of American Indian Soundmasters (circa 1950) have handwritten labels and a visible “drive hole” indicating they were carved one at a time with a recording lathe (see Figure 1). It is unclear if the master for these commercial acetates was an original disc, a magnetic wire, or an early adoption of magnetic tape. In a 1955 published photo of Linn Pauahty at home, he appears to be holding a 12- or 14-inch acetate disc, and both a tape reel and a recording lathe are visible in the background (see Figure 2). The article mentions his collection of “500 tape recordings,” whereas the profile four years earlier had mentioned 2,200 recordings, which may indicate a change in medium of master recordings.37 An early surviving catalog from 1952–53 (by this time the name had changed to American Indian Soundchiefs) advertises “Special Orders–Cut from Original Files–Process Records for Automatic Changers and Juke Boxes” and also offered “Professional Modern Recording Equipment, Transcriptions for Broadcast, Phonographs, Needles, Recording Blanks and Tapes.” A notice to mail-order patrons clarified that Pauahty cut special orders on either 10-inch 78 rpm or 12-inch 33 1/3 rpm blanks.38
Evidently, the label either wholly or mostly bypassed record-pressing plants, perhaps excepting a few bestsellers among its “files.” Here was a midcentury expansion of the Standing Rock wax cylinder operation of the 1910s, with the addition of a catalog that did not require re-recording one-of-a-kind performances for each recording sold. This expanded its reach considerably but maintained the operation on a human-to-human scale, including strangers but not anonymous ones. Mary Helen Deer recalls frequent visits to the post office to ship the piles of orders Soundchiefs received. They sold in person as well. “I remember traveling with him to the big Indian fairs,” Deer recounted. “He had vendors who would sell the records.”39 The initial capital investment in equipment and Pauahty’s electronics training at Oklahoma A&M must have been substantial—and perhaps singular in Indian Country in its scale at the time—but once started, the “enterprise” could operate without large investments or “bets” on individual records that could sit as unsold inventory.
Once tape became widespread as a consumer medium in the 1960s, it would function as the key medium for many Native performers and listeners. Tape worked well as a dubbing medium at a smaller scale, and it traveled well. Pauahty did use a commercial pressing plant in California to produce some LPs, and as cassettes became more dominant, an Oklahoma City vendor transferred disc recordings to cassette. In fact, Christopher Scales observes of later developments elsewhere in Native America: “Despite the fact that cassettes have virtually disappeared as a viable consumer product within the mainstream music industry, they continued to play an important role in the powwow industry throughout the 1990s and only began to decline in importance in the early 21st century.”40 Soundchiefs seems to have achieved some of the benefits of tape—small-batch, home-duplicated, and hand-sold—before tape gained consumer dominance. Such a technological reengineering seems a characteristic of much of Native soundwork: nothing goes platinum, and dubbing predominates.
“Our Own Rich Store of Folk-Lore”
American Indian Soundchiefs primarily served Native listeners, using its mail-order catalogs and in-person sales throughout the Pauahty family’s many moves. A 1966 catalog, issued from Klamath Falls, Oregon, included the explanation:
Our library has been recognized by the Indian tribes of the United States and Canada as the world’s foremost authority of songs, chants, and music of the Southern and Northern Plains tribes.
We have spent eighteen years of intensive research[,] study and field work in many different Indian reservations, personal interviews with many tribal leaders, with historians and outstanding singers.
From these resources we have compiled our materials, with our own personal knowledge and experience with all the native authenticity that could be satisfactorily combined with the modern interpretations which have been received with hearty approval by the Indian people.41
In an academic review of several Soundchief albums, an anthropologist noted that the label’s output was an “accurate index of current Plains Indian musical trends.” The reviewer wrote, “American Indians are the primary market for Soundchief recordings; thus, to the great disadvantage of the ethnomusicologist, Pauahty does not write extensive notes.”42 Soundchiefs dispensed with other trappings of the “scholarly ethnic recording,” the sampler assortment of styles or tribal representatives accompanied by a booklet of explanations for listeners outside the community.43 Unlike many so-called ethnic recordings, the label also credited specific artists rather than implying that any given performance stood in for a seamless tribal culture. These factors made the label’s records a distinct form of intra-community soundwork.
The same 1966 catalog described the “three principal objectives” of the label’s mission, first among them being “to help bring back and develop an appreciation of our own rich store of folk-lore, and traditional songs by the use of it for richer living right here at home in our own country.”44 This articulated the way a citizens’ media could serve cultural sovereignty, enriching life “in our own country.” This intramural enrichment motivated Pauahty’s peers as well. Manuel Archuleta, founder of Tom Tom Records, stated in 1947, “The original purpose in recording the songs of our people is to make these songs on records available to the Indian people themselves and to preserve these songs on permanent discs for all who want them.”45 Archuleta met with some success, returning to his home pueblo the first time with about 100 copies of records by San Juan singers: “I was almost swamped as they tried to pull me out of the car. They all wanted me to come to their house to play the records.…It was an amazing experience to walk through the streets and hear the Indians playing their San Juan records in separate houses, all going at once!”46 The title of Indians for Indians indicated Don Whistler’s vision of Native citizens’ media, and he seemed to particularly foster an intergenerational conversation over the air as elders, boarding school students, and church groups all spoke to their mostly Native audience.
Still, by the 1960s, Pauahty articulated a second objective: “to help bring a better understanding of the people of other countries (non-Indian) through the inter-change of the folk expressions of our people of diverse cultural backgrounds.”47 While Soundchief did not go as far as Tom Tom and the Archuleta family enterprise in marketing to non-Native markets—Manuel and Alyce and their three daughters performed at summer camps, car dealerships, and even military events from Texas to California while selling their records—Pauahty did not close off “inter-change.” The Soundchiefs catalogs offered wholesale prices to “leading organizations, schools, museums, Indian Arts & Crafts Associations, Indian Trading Posts, Music stores, and Gift shops.”48
The third objective Pauahty articulated was “to save what remain authentic traditional songs of the Southern and Northern Plains tribes. Discovery became evident that authentic American Indian music and songs are rapidly becoming a vanish [sic] art.”49 “Vanishing” was such a key word for Native people across Pauahty’s life, epitomized by his father’s participation in the 1913 book The Vanishing Race, that he must have used the term with intent.50 Manuel Archuleta spoke of a similar fear. “I have always felt that the old customs—and the old culture—is slowly being lost,” he said on the occasion of re-releasing the Tom Tom recordings as LPs in 1960. “The new generation growing up are losing their identities in the new society…and with them many of the great traditions of Indian culture.”51 Recording for Native listeners and even for institutional archives—Soundchiefs offered museums and schools a discount—could help maintain some of this knowledge for future generations of Indigenous people.
A typical catalog’s cover advertised “Authentic Indian Recordings of various Tribal Ceremonial Songs, Five Civilized and Plains Indian Native Christian Hymns by Outstanding Tribal Singers.” Inside were scores of songs priced at $1.50 (over the years increasing to up to $4 apiece). In addition to War Dances, Veterans Dances, and other songs from across Oklahoma—including some Kiowa songs performed by Linn Pauahty himself—performers from tribes as distant as Crow (Montana), Zuni Pueblo (New Mexico), Ojibwe (Minnesota and Ontario), and Lakota (South Dakota) appeared. Demonstrating Pauahty’s independence within the Methodist Church, the catalog advertised many Native American Church or Peyote Songs—a religion described in Great Spirit on the Plains as “a powerful and evil pagan religion symbolized by the ritual of rattle and feathers.”52 The catalog also pointed back to the earliest commercial Native recordings by selling Ghost Dance songs by Kiowa, Ponca, and Pawnee singers. (In 1895 anthropologist James Mooney had released commercial disc plates of himself singing Ghost Dance songs he had learned and recorded on wax cylinders in Oklahoma. These discs were released by the Berliner company.)53 A short text explained: “Kiowa Feather Dance Religion—sometimes called ‘Ghost Dance’ Religion. Semi-Christian beliefs, prophecy of Coming Messiah, promise of ‘The Happy Hunting Ground.’ Movement died 1917 because of U.S. Government suppression.” Jack Hokeah, one of the Oklahoma modern artists known as the Kiowa Five or Kiowa Six (and a relative of Edna Pauahty), designed the logo of two Kiowa men dancing that appeared on many catalogs and on a custom album in which buyers could insert their own selection of Soundchiefs records.54
Most of the extant Soundchiefs catalogs included one other notable bit of text, a quote from Mark R. Harrington, an archaeologist and anthropologist (and a curator at Los Angeles’ Southwest Museum).55 The quote described the average non-Indian’s stereotype of an Indian, horse-mounted and war-bonneted. “True enough,” Harrington wrote, “such an Indian existed, but only in one part of North America—the Great Plains.” The Plains Indian was “picturesque, dashing, well armed, well mounted—a spectacular figure. The virile Plains tribes made a bitter resistance to the seizure of their beloved homeland by the whites, another thing which has made them stand out in the mind of the average white American.”56 This quote may not have sought to bridge to a non-Native audience; rather, it seemed to appropriate Harrington’s generic academic authority (likely few readers knew of him) to boost specifically Plains Indian pride and patriotism.
Linn Pauahty suffered a stroke in 1972 and retired from the clergy, but he continued to operate Soundchiefs at a slower pace. In the late 1970s and ’80s he helped lead the founding of the Kiowa Historical and Research Society, and he recorded numerous oral histories to be held by the Kiowa Tribe. He coauthored a major two-volume book, Kiowa Voices, in the early 1980s. Pauahty passed away on May 15, 1989.57 His efforts added to the preservationist and community-enriching aspect of Soundchiefs’ mission in a specifically Kiowa context. Pauahty sold the Soundchiefs catalog to Tony Isaacs and Ida Lujan Isaacs (Taos) of Indian House Records, another independent label founded in the 1960s. Over its decades of existence, particularly in the 1950s and ’60s, American Indian Soundchiefs achieved a sustained success in its experiment in the political economy of Native culture. Where Manuel and Alyce Archuleta’s slightly earlier experiment, Tom Tom Records, seemed to founder after its initial burst of success, leaning more heavily on hoped-for demand from non-Native customers, Soundchiefs continued to grow, maintaining a balance between personalized service for American Indian communities and an openness to a secondary non-Indian market. No doubt Soundchiefs’ profit margins were slim and probably could not have supported the Pauahtys as a primary profession, but they maintained the business through a series of moves that must have disrupted the mail-order business. Perhaps the flourishing of the powwow circuits on both the Southern and Northern Plains helped build demand for Plains Indian music especially in these years, particularly before home recording on reel-to-reel and then cassette tapes took off beginning in the 1960s. But the determination to build citizens’ media and sovereign soundwork echoed the efforts of Indigenous recording artists going back to the beginning of the century and also pointed forward to a future in which many small recording studios, labels, and distribution networks would serve Native listeners (and small non-Native audiences) across many cultures, styles, and traditions.58
Indigenous Sonic Networks
The music and legal scholar Trevor Reed (Hopi) has described the complexities of audio “repatriation” in the 21st century—usually involving ethnographic recordings returning in some form to the Native nations whose citizens created them—noting that successful sharing of historic and contemporary sound media often involves “real-life obligations between actors in Indigenous sonic networks.” From these obligations, Reed continues, “Indigenous worldviews (and modes of relation and the cosmological entities that constitute them) can enter the national and global political realm on their own terms—as legitimate adversaries with those of settler-states.” Reed contrasts these networks with the framework of settler-states’ copyright law.59 Lyz Jaakola, an Ojibwe musician and teacher, echoes this contrast: “We operate within a different copyright system. The Dakota elder Floyd [Red] Crow Westerman called it ‘Indian copyright,’ because our system involves cultural protocol and not an impersonal exchange of money.”60 Certainly consumers, labels, and performers exchanged money through Soundchiefs’ enterprise, and those of its contemporaries. But it was a tertiary factor behind cultural sharing and community building. Soundwork was an avocation for these media makers—the soundwork itself was nobody’s only source of income.
Accelerating in the 1940s, new models of Native sound media emerged from “real-life obligations” and relationships including family relationships, political relationships, and friendships forged through broadcast and recording as practices themselves. Don Whistler regularly served visiting radio performers “an Indian meal, sometimes from a big iron kettle” at his home after the show, according to his successor as host, Boyce Timmons (Cherokee).61 For some recording sessions, the Archuletas drove from Albuquerque to Pueblo communities, brought a performer to the city, fed them, recorded, then drove them home.62 No doubt the Pauahtys and other Native soundwork producers also shared meals and built obligations as they made recordings. This is not to say misunderstandings or offenses never occurred (though I have not encountered any specific instances), but they would have done so in a manageable field of obligations in which they could be negotiated.
By the early 1960s, recalled Lakota master-singer Severt Young Bear, “The spread of tape recorders…made songs more accessible so that different tribes were recording each other’s songs and singing them in a quite different area of the country right away. The tape was their memory now.”63 Open-reel and later cassette tapes proliferated outside any archivally documented or published collection. In the 1980s and ’90s, Winnipeg’s Sunshine Records found success in an in-house cassette duplication of Aboriginal music—75 to 80 percent of sales were cassettes produced “to order,” as Scales writes, “keeping inventory low.”64 A form of à la carte dubbing continued to serve Native soundwork. A recent report from the University of Oklahoma surveyed 40 Native community members who held private collections of Native recordings. Thirty-eight percent held recordings on media they could no longer play, and 88 percent wished to digitize at least some recordings. Determining access and ownership among individuals, families, and tribal and nontribal institutions remains a challenge moving forward. Over half (56.25 percent) were open to depositing all their originals in an archive, whereas 31.25 percent would consider depositing some of their recordings, provided that the archive allow them to decide who could listen to or obtain copies of the recordings.65 Numerous stewards of private and institutional soundwork archives continue to consider the best ways to share (and in some cases, restrict) these collections. The long history of small-scale dubbing within Indigenous sonic networks, taking care to observe “Indian copyright” protocols and obligations, offers an important context.
Among its contemporaries, American Indian Soundchiefs found a model that reengineered sound media to fit into both a sustainable economic model and the obligations of Indigenous sonic networks. This meant preserving cultural knowledge and performances and sharing its large catalog on a manageable scale with consumers both Native and non-Native, community-rooted and institutional. Well before the era of Red Power, Native practitioners experimented with political economies of sound. Soundchiefs, in particular, presaged the more flexible tape (and now digital) eras, and it offers lessons for the fields of obligations in which institutions and individuals might continue to embed these important sonic archives.
“The Chants Are Safe,” Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), October 7, 1951, 3.
On ethnographic media, see Erika Brady, A Spiral Way: How the Phonograph Changed Ethnography (Oxford: University of Mississippi Press, 1999); Margaret M. Bruchac, Savage Kin: Indigenous Informants and American Anthropologists (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2018); Brian Hochman, Savage Preservation: The Ethnographic Origins of Modern Media Technology (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014); and Jonathan Sterne, The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2003). On other Indigenous media, see Michael C. Keith, Signals in the Air: Native Broadcasting in America (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995); John-Carlos Perea, Intertribal Native American Music in the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014); Michelle Raheja, Reservation Reelism: Redfacing, Visual Sovereignty, and Representations of Native Americans in Film (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010); Christopher A. Scales, Recording Culture: Powwow Music and the Aboriginal Recording Industry on the Northern Plains (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012); and Dustin Tahmahkera, “Hakaru Maruumatu Kwitaka? Seeking Representational Jurisdiction in Comanchería Cinema,” Journal of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association 5, no. 1 (2018), 100–35.
Paul Chaat Smith, Everything You Know about Indians Is Wrong (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2009), 21. Smith writes that exploring this secret history can be “a powerful antidote to the manufactured past now being created for us.”
Jodi A. Byrd, The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011), xvii; on the “sound of Indian,” see Philip J. Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005), 183–240.
Hilmes uses “soundwork” in numerous works, including Michele Hilmes, “On a Screen Near You: The New Soundwork Industry,” Cinema Journal 52, no. 3 (Spring 2013), 177–82, and Michele Hilmes, “The New Materiality of Radio: Sound on Screens,” in Radio’s New Wave, ed. Michele Hilmes and Jason Loviglio (New York: Routledge, 2013). Clemencia Rodríguez, Fissures in the Mediascape: An International Study of Citizens’ Media (Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2001), 21.
Keith, Signals in the Air, 22.
Scales, Recording Culture, 7–8.
Deloria, Indians in Unexpected Places.
Joshua N. Garrett-Davis, “Resounding Voices: Native Americans and Sound Media, 1890–1970” (PhD diss., Princeton University, 2020). On Tecumseh, see John W. Troutman, Indian Blues: American Indians and the Politics of Music, 1879–1934 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009), 244–51. On Rogers, see Lary May, The Big Tomorrow: Hollywood and the Politics of the American Way (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 11–53, and Amy M. Ware, “Will Rogers’s Radio: Race and Technology in the Cherokee Nation,” American Indian Quarterly, 33, no. 1 (Winter 2009), 62–97.
Frances Densmore, Teton Sioux Music, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 61 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1918), 22.
V. McMullen to Laura Boulton, November 5, 1936, Laura Boulton Correspondence, Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana University. Thanks to Alejandra Bronfman for pointing this letter out to me.
Richard K. Spottswood, Ethnic Music on Records: A Discography of Ethnic Recordings Produced in the United States, 1893 to 1942, Vol. 5 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1990), 2927–34.
Manuel Archuleta, as told to Ilon Barth, “The Chants of My People,” The Desert Magazine, October 1949, 13. Dorothy L. Pillsbury, “Saver of Songs Records Indian Enchantments and Earliest U.S. Music,” Christian Science Monitor, December 16, 1950, WM10.
See Garrett-Davis, “Resounding Voices.”
The Lee Whitehorse Sutton Collection of recordings is held in the Special Collections at Marquette University, and the finding aid mentions Chunksa-Uha Sings as a record label.
Martha Royce Blaine, Some Things Are Not Forgotten: A Pawnee Family Remembers (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997). The recordings are held in the Martha Royce Blaine Collection, Oklahoma Historical Society.
Thomas Christopher Aplin, “Fort Sill Apache Cosmopolitans: Southwestern Music, Experience, and Identity in the Southern Plains” (PhD diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 2010), 208–9.
See Lina Ortega, The Indians for Indians Radio Show (Norman: University of Oklahoma Libraries, 2019); Josh Garrett-Davis, “The Intertribal Drum of Radio: The Indians for Indians Hour and Native American Media, 1941–1951,” Western Historical Quarterly 49, no. 3 (Autumn 2018), 249–73.
Daniel M. Cobb, Native Activism in Cold War America: The Struggle for Sovereignty (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008). On arts and literature, see, e.g., Bill Anthes, Native Moderns: American Indian Painting, 1940–1960 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2006); Philip J. Deloria, Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an American Indian Abstract (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2019); Nancy Marie Mithlo, ed. For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014); and in a specifically Kiowa context, Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote, Crafting an Indigenous Nation: Kiowa Expressive Culture in the Progressive Era (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019).
On the consolidated record industry in the 1940s and ’50s, see Alex Sayf Cummings, Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 61 and 226 n115, which notes “few options were available for people to press small runs of records.” See also: David Suisman, “Co-Workers in the Kingdom of Culture: Black Swan Records and the Political Economy of African American Music,” Journal of American History 90, no. 4 (March 2004), 1295–1324; Mark Newman, Entrepreneurs of Profit and Pride: From Black-Appeal to Radio Soul (New York: Praeger, 1988); Manuel H. Peña, The Texas-Mexican Conjunto: History of a Working-Class Music (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985), 70–78; and (on Bolletino and Rose and other “pirates”) Cummings, Democracy of Sound, 50–89, esp. 56, 65.
Suisman, “Co-Workers in the Kingdom of Culture,” 1297.
Floyd Westerman, Custer Died for Your Sins (Perception Records, 1969).
“Flagstaff All-Indian Pow-wow,” July 3, 1937, RWA 2238 1–4, NBC Radio Collection, Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress.
Garrett-Davis, “Resounding Voices,” 173–201.
Noenoe K. Silva, The Power of the Steel-Tipped Pen: Reconstructing Native Hawaiian Intellectual History (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017), 7–8.
Maurice Boyd, with Linn Pauahty and the Kiowa Historical and Research Society as Consultants, Kiowa Voices: Ceremonial Dance, Ritual, and Song, Vol. 1 (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1981), 86; Maurice Boyd, Kiowa Voices: Myths, Legends and Folktales, Vol. 2 (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1983), 102–4; Memoir (obituary) for Rev. Linn Pauahty, Official Journal of the Twenty-Third Annual Session of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church (Oklahoma City, 1990), 220; “Oklahoma Indian Putting Native Songs on Record,” Albuquerque Journal, December 9, 1951, n.p., Linn Pauahty vertical file, American Folklife Center; Marion Homer, “An American Indian Sound Chief,” World Outlook, August 1955, 38–39.
Joseph K. Dixon, The Vanishing Race: The Last Great Indian Council (New York: Bonanza Books, 1913, reprint), 49.
Alan Trachtenberg, Shades of Hiawatha: Staging Indians, Making Americans, 1880–1930 (New York: Hill and Wang, 2004), 253.
Boyd, Kiowa Voices, Vol. 1, xvii.
Tash Smith, Capturing These Indians for the Lord: Indians, Methodists, and Oklahomans, 1844–1939 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2014), 165. Pauahty is noted as a “preacher” attending Folsom in the minutes of the Fourteenth Annual Session of the Indian Mission of Oklahoma, 1931–32, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference Minutes, Methodist Church, Oklahoma City University Archives.
Thank you to Mary Helen Deer for clarifying these many moves. These moves are also indicated by the addresses on various catalogs and records issued by Soundchiefs.
W. U. Witt to Mrs. J. W. Downs, April 1, 1943, W. U. Witt Correspondence, 1940–45, Oklahoma City University Archives.
Telephone interviews with Mary Helen Deer, August 2015, May 2020.
Board of Missions and Church Extension of the Methodist Church, The Great Spirit on the Plains, General Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church, Drew University. The film’s narration was written by Alan Shilin and spoken by Dwight Weist. Photography was by Toge Fujihira. No other names (besides composer Harry Glass) appear in the credits. According to one summary, “It is the intent of the film to give a well-rounded view of the Indian’s life and activities—to present him as a human being and not as a sideshow to the American scene.” See Dorothy E. Cook and Katherine M. Holden, Educational Film Guide (New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 9th ed., 1949), 639. The 1951 profile is “The Chants Are Safe,” op. cit.
“The Chants Are Safe,” Daily Oklahoman, 3; Review, Kiowa Forty-Nine Songs, in Trimester Report, Indiana University Archives of Folk & Primitive Music 1, no. 3 (Spring 1965), 32. Linn Pauahty vertical file, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.
Homer, “Sound Chief,” World Outlook, 38; N. Doyebi and G. Saloe, “Kiowa Fast War Dance,” American Indian Soundmasters, circa 1950. Braun Research Library Sound Archives, Autry Museum of the American West, 2388.G.1J.
American Indian Soundchiefs, Songs of the Redman Catalog 1952–53: Largest Library of Authentic Indian Music and Songs of the Southern and Northern Plains Tribes, Historic Oklahoma Collection, Series 30, Native American General, Oklahoma Historical Society.
Quoted in Craig Harris, Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016), 66. Also author interview with Deer, August 2015.
Telephone interview with Mary Helen Deer, May 2020. Scales, Recording Culture, 157.
American Indian Soundchiefs, Songs of the Redman catalog (Klamath Falls, Oregon, 1966), Tony Isaacs private collection, Indian House Records, Taos, NM.
William Powers, untitled record review of eight Soundchiefs albums, Ethnomusicology 14, no. 2 (May 1970), 358–69.
An analysis of “scholarly ethnic recording” appears in Kay Kaufman Shelemay, “Recording Technology, the Record Industry, and Ethnomusicological Scholarship,” in Comparative Musicology and Anthropology of Music: Essays on the History of Ethnomusicology, ed. Bruno Nettl and Philip Bohlman (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991).
Soundchiefs, Songs of the Redman, 1966.
Untitled item, El Palacio magazine, vol. 54, no. 6, June 1947, 150.
Archuleta, “Chants,” 14. It is important to note here that many Indigenous communities preserve songs that are not to be shared outside certain societies, families, or other groups. Archuleta’s father-in-law, George Pinno, who recorded Laguna social songs for Tom Tom, also composed ceremonial songs that Archuleta noted were “not open to the public.” Ibid.
Soundchiefs, Songs of the Redman, 1966.
American Indian Soundchiefs, Songs of the Redman catalog, 1967, Tony Isaacs collection.
Soundchiefs, Songs of the Redman, 1966.
The historiography on this trope is long, but a key example is Brian W. Dippie, The Vanishing American: White Attitudes and U.S. Indian Policy (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1982).
“Indian Here Realizes Long Dream By Producing Album of Chants,” Albuquerque Journal, November 27, 1960, C8.
Soundchiefs, Songs of the Redman Catalog 1952–53, Oklahoma Historical Society, op. cit. Also various Soundchiefs catalogs, Tony Isaacs collection.
James R. Smart, “Emile Berliner and Nineteenth-Century Disc Recordings,” Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress 37, no. 3/4 (Summer/Fall 1980), 430–431.
Soundchiefs, Songs of the Redman Catalog 1952–53, Oklahoma Historical Society, op. cit.; “The Chants Are Safe,” Daily Oklahoman.
For an assessment of Harrington’s relationship with Indigenous people he worked with, see Bruchac, Savage Kin, 84–113.
The Harrington quote appears, at least, in Songs of the Redman catalogs from 1966–69. Tony Isaacs collection. I have not yet discovered where this quote originated, though it is recycled in a much later encyclopedia, Donald Ricky, ed. Native Peoples A to Z: A Reference Guide to Native Peoples of the Western Hemisphere (Native American Book Publishers, 2009), 2021.
“Official Journal of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, The United Methodist Church” 146th Sessions of the Indian Methodist Church in Oklahoma, 101. Held in the Indian Mission Annual Minutes, Oklahoma City University Archives.
On Indigenous music industry today, see Scales, Recording Culture; Harris, Heartbeat, Warble; Jeff Berglund, Jan Johnson, and Kimberli Lee, eds. Indigenous Pop: Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2016); and Kristina M. Jacobsen, The Sound of Navajo Country: Music, Language, and Diné Belonging (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017).
Trevor Reed, “Reclaiming Ownership of the Indigenous Voice: The Hopi Music Repatriation Project,” in Frank Gunderson, Robert C. Lancefield, and Bret Woods, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation (Oxford Handbooks Online, November 2018), n.p.
Lyz Jaakola and Timothy B. Powell, “‘The Songs Are Alive’: Bringing Frances Densmore’s Recordings Back Home to Ojibwe Country,” in Gunderson et al., Oxford Handbook, n.p.
Tape 1, April 1, 1986, Boyce Timmons Interview Collection, American Folklife Center, AFC 1986/046.
Severt Young Bear and R. D. Theisz, Standing in the Light: A Lakota Way of Seeing (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994), 69.
Scales, Recording Culture, 157.
Amanda Minks, Daniel Swan, and Joshua Nelson, “Community Archiving of Native American Music: A Planning Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities,” white paper from the University of Oklahoma and Sam Noble Museum, October 30, 2018.