Produced and annotated by Charlotte Heth, a member of the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma and a noted ethnomusicologist.
This disc offers ritual, ceremonial, and social music of Indians of the eastern United States. It demonstrates remarkable similarities of style in the music of Indians from two distinct regions.
Tracks 1-3 comprise songs and dances from the Cherokee and Creek Indians and probably the now-extinct Natchez as well, who were forcibly removed from their homelands in the southeastern United States in the 1830s and settled in what is now Oklahoma. Recordings are not allowed at the religious ceremonies where these songs were performed, so this recording was made at a "Practice Ground" called MEDICINE SPRING. The musical instruments include a crockery water drum, coconut-shell hand rattle, and terrapin-shell leg rattles worn by the women dancers.
Tracks 4-7 contain music of the Seneca (of the Iroquois Confederacy) from the Northeast. They were recorded at the Allegany Reservation in New York. In contrast to the Southeastern tribes, the Allegany Seneca, along with other Iroquois people prefer indoor performances. The religious setting would most likely be a longhouse, but, again, no recordings could be made at the ceremony. These tracks were recorded at a dance held in the Salamanca Community Center.