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Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs   By: (1838-1923)

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Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs by Alice C. Fletcher is a highly informative and engaging book that offers a fascinating insight into the games, dances, and songs of Native American tribes. A renowned anthropologist and Native American rights advocate, Fletcher's extensive research and first-hand experiences shine through in this well-organized and well-written publication.

One of the most commendable aspects of the book is Fletcher's meticulous attention to detail. She provides a comprehensive overview of various Native American tribes, their cultural practices, and their significance. The depth of her research is evident in her descriptions and explanations, which are both accurate and respectful, ensuring that readers gain a genuine understanding of these traditions.

The inclusion of Native American songs adds an immersive and authentic touch to the book. Fletcher not only provides the lyrics of these songs but also takes the time to explain their meanings and cultural significance. This adds another layer of understanding for readers and allows them to fully appreciate the beauty and significance of Native American music.

The book is also highly practical, offering detailed instructions on how to perform various games and dances. Fletcher's step-by-step breakdowns of each activity are clear, concise, and easily understandable, making it accessible to both readers who have prior knowledge of Native American culture and those who are newcomers to the subject. The inclusion of illustrations and diagrams further aids in comprehending the movements and formations required for each dance or game.

Moreover, Fletcher's writing style is engaging and approachable. She manages to strike a perfect balance between providing factual information and weaving in her personal experiences, resulting in a narrative that feels both scholarly and relatable. Her passion for Native American culture is palpable, and this enthusiasm is contagious, making it easy for readers to fully immerse themselves in the content.

However, it is worth noting that some readers might find the book's focus on specific tribes and their traditions limiting. While Fletcher does offer a wide range of examples, it is still centered primarily around the tribes she encountered during her research. A more diverse representation of Native American cultures would have added even more depth to this already rich exploration.

Overall, Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs is a remarkable contribution to the study of Native American culture. Alice C. Fletcher's expertise and passion shine through in every page, providing readers with a comprehensive, educational, and enjoyable reading experience. Whether you are interested in anthropology, Native American studies, or simply want to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural heritage of indigenous tribes, this book is an invaluable resource.

First Page:

Indian Games and Dances with Native Songs

Arranged from American Indian Ceremonials and Sports


Holder of the Thaw Fellowship, Peabody Museum, Harvard University

Author of The Hako, The Omaha Tribe, Indian Stories and Song, etc.


Dedicated to



This little book took its rise in the following experience that came to me many years ago when living with the Indians in their homes and pursuing my ethnological studies:

One day I suddenly realized with a rude shock that, unlike my Indian friends, I was an alien, a stranger in my native land; its fauna and flora had no fond, familiar place amid my mental imagery, nor did any thoughts of human aspiration or love give to its hills and valleys the charm of personal companionship. I was alone, even in my loneliness.

Time went on. The outward aspect of nature remained the same, but imperceptibly a change had been wrought in me until I no longer felt alone in a strange, silent country. I had learned to hear the echoes of a time when every living thing upon this land and even the varied overshadowing skies had its voice, a voice that was attentively heard and devoutly heeded by the ancient people of America. Henceforth, to me the plants, the trees, the clouds and all things had become vocal with human hopes, fears and supplications... Continue reading book >>

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