Audio tape of Caroline Towhet and Mary Ann Meanus regarding songs and cultural practices of the Warm Springs
Audio tape of: religions, life history, women's roles, various songs, 1907 recordings, rituals, rasp, stick game.
Tape 7.3 Subject: Caroline Towhet and Mary Ann Meanus Interviewer: Loran Olsen and Judy Jones Date: 11/23/91 Location: Warm Springs, Oregon File name: MM&CT3.DOC TAPE THREE, SIDE A SONG (in progress) LO: It's broken again. MM: Yeah. (Sings with tape.) CT: This is nice. MM: It's a Wasco Dance. Victory Song. LO: These are all called- CT: Nelson sings this, too, doesn't he? MM: Uh, huh. It's, I think he spoke of it in that same terms, that it was a, Victory Song, and uh. PAUSE SONG (New song, words shouted out) CT: (laughs) [Wilsimxu] MM: (laughs) LO: What did he say? MM: [Wilssimxu], "One more time." LO: Oh. CT: Well, that's where all those songs originated, anyhow, was along the River. MM: Yeah, uh huh. CT: Wasco songs. MM: That's Wishram, this side. But they were all of the same origin, the people. LO: Maybe he was talking about Spidis being Wishram- MM: Possibly. LO: -and not necessarily the song. CT: They're the same thing. MM: Yeah. CT: They're the same thing, Wishram and Wasco are the same. LO: Oh. CT: Uh huh. TAPE: End of EC ten-inch, 2-6-7. PAUSE MM: -and hold a service, and you'd, probably, sure be welcome to come and LO: Oh, really? MM: -observe, and pray with us. LO: It would be allowed? MM: Uh huh. I'm sure it would. LO: Would you like to eat before that? MM: Mmm hmm. (Laughs) They'll eat there- CT: I would, I'm hungry. MM: Are you? I know, I'm a poor hostess- CT: That's all right. MM: -I got nothing to offer. LO: Well, we don't have anything to give you, but we could at least take you out to dinner. MM: Well, you can always feed- CT: You don't have to give us nothing, that'd be the first time I've ever had anything given to me. MM: -no we don't, we don't expect anything, that's a tradition that's kind of lost- CT: I don't, I don't sell, I share. MM: -too. Nobody visits, hardly, anymore, they just don't have time. You run into each other at the store or the Post Office, then you exchange and few words and ... JJ: Everyone's busy. LO: Too busy. MM: When we used to have to travel horseback and wagon, that's when we'd goand we'd visit for two, three days, go home. CT: [ ] the people had come to see us, clear from Simnasho, horseback. LO: Do you, do you ladies still practice uh, do you still go to sweathouse? MM: Yes. I, In fact, I have one. LO: You do, right here? MM: Yes, and I was gonna- CT: Did you want to sweat? MM: Yeah. LO: Yes! Sometime. MM: Yeah, I was going, in fact, today would be my third day I'd do it. LO: You sweat with the women and the men separate, I assume. MM: Yes, yes, we do. CT: Long ago, my father-in-law and my mother-in-law and sister-in-law used to sweat together. JJ: Do you sing songs in the sweathouse? MM: I do, my own, my own songs. JJ: Your own songs, uh huh. LO: You still do songs, in there? MM: Mmm hmm, mmm hmm. I sing my songs that I have. LO: Your personal songs. MM: Yeah. LO: I see. MM: Oftentimes I'll sing, somebody else's medicine song will come to me, well, I will sing it and pray with it and send it back with those prayers. LO: I see. Um, there's one other question, I wanted to ask you about, and it has to do with songs connected with the women coming of age? MM: Well, that's a Wasco tradition. LO: Are there songs connected with that? MM: Yes, uh huh. LO: Could you say a word or two about that? MM: Oh, just that when, when a young lady has her first period, then, then that's when they have a song, and a dance, for that. I don't know it, anymore, myself, but I remember we used to do that dance, it's called a Maiden's Dance. That was in the Wasco culture. (to CT)Did they have that in the Warm Springs? CT: What? MM: The Maiden Dance. Where, when a woman comes to her time of childbearing. CT: Well, if they have I don't know it. They probably do, but I don't know it. MM: I know the Wasco people did have a, such a dance. Madeline knows that song, I'm gonna see if I can pump it out of her. LO: (Laughs) Pump it out, huh? MM: That's my aunt, Madeline. (to Olsen, as her gathers up his stuff) Here's a page from there. LO: Okay. I'll try to give you a, whatever documentation I have on these things. MM: Oh, that'd be great. LO: Because, you know, you appreciate them and we're just kind of, I think it's more appropriate in your hands than in anybody's hands. Okay, now, let's see, what goes where? (rustle, rustle). Uh, did you say that this event tonight is in someone's home? MM: Yeah, it will be in a home. And we don't know, my niece has a home up in the West Hill, Hills area, but she had some problems in her life and she went into hiding with her niece and brother, they were living in a mobile home at the trailer park, and they just switched places. So I don't know if it's gonna be at her house, in West Hills, or if she'll want to be at her trailer, where she is living. LO: Is this, what is this called, that you're going to do. Is it a wake? MM: Well, no, it, uh, we don't call it a wake until the body comes home to the place, and we hold it overnight. But, right now, it's, it's just a, a worship service, that we're, a prayer service- LO: Prayer service. MM:-that we gather together and pray for a while. LO: And in your language, what would you call it? MM: Well, I don't know (laughs). (To CT) What do you call the preliminary services when, like... CT: Before the body comes home? MM: Uh huh. When you go to the home on the first eve of the, demise. CT: I don't know. MM: Is there a word that it could be described if you tell some old lady that- CT: Yeah, I know what you're saying, but uh, I'd say "papaoiakuk." MM: What was that? CT: Papaoiakuk, iwata. MM: Pa-pa, pa-paoiakukt. CT: Pa-p'a, pap'aoiaqukt. Iawata, I'd say. MM: I should write that down. CT: When you say a prayer. MM: Pa-p'ao- CT: Papala'ksimit, that's right, that's it, papala'ksimit. LO: Papala'ksimit? CT: That means "we're gathered together," yeah, papala'ksimit. MM: That's kind of like "we gather together as one." CT: Gathering of the family. Papayala'ksimit. MM: Pa-pa-ya-laksimit. LO: This is Nez Perce, goes with some tapes (hands MM the Archive Guide). You can have that if you'd want to. CT: Oh, thank you. END OF RECORDING
Warm Springs, OR
Rights:Washington State University Libraries, Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections
Source:Judy Jones (Cage 636), Nez Perce Music, (Cg636B1AT7.3)