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Watie Akins Papers

Identifier: MF210

Scope and Contents

A collection of Penobscot elder Watie Akins's papers, focused on Wabanaki music. The collection includes copies of research findings, grant material, correspondence, financial records, and research CD copies of Wabanaki music.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 2000-2013


Language of Materials

Many of the songs are in the Wabanaki Confederacy languages: Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, Maliseet, and Abenaki.

Conditions Governing Access

For digitized items free from access restrictions, we are working to upload this material (pdfs, mp3s, jpgs) for public access, but it is an ongoing project. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, contact Special Collections (

Conditions Governing Use

Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher. No release form from Watie Akins.


Watie Akins is the creator of "For the Grandchildren" and "Greeting my relatives" CDs and author of "For The Grandchildren Music Book." Akins is a Penobscot elder and was born on the Penobscot reservation near Old Town, Maine.


1 box


When possible the original order of the material was maintained. Some file names were changed to make them more meaningful and to correct errors. Material was separated and divided into multiple sub-folders or combined where necessary and duplicate items were discarded.

Folder 1: Wax Cylinders project Correspondence, financial documents, dealing with digitization of wax cylinders made by Frank Seibert in 1936 done with the Maine Folklife Center; 2008-2009.

Folder 2: Music Project 2009 A demo CD for grant of Akins narration and singing, financial documents, sound studio information for Akins’s project “Greeting My Relatives” (; 2007-2009. “CD #2)” was written on the folder.

Folder 3: Natalie Curtis Mostly photocopies (a page of an appendix, drafts with marginalia, and song score) with final printed draft of Curtis’s “Wabanaki Songs from The Indian Book.”

Folder 4: Juliette Gaultier de la Verendrye Research notes, photocopies of song scores, print outs from Encyclopedia of Music in Canada related to ethnomusicologist Gaultier and folklorists. 2013

Folder 5: Linda Davenport Penobscot Pageant, August 1, 1976, Indian Island, ME, recorded by Linda Gilbert Davenport (2 CDs), correspondence from Davenport, partial copy of Davenport’s Master of Music thesis, 1977, “Music among the Contemporary Penobscot Indians” with marginalia. 1976-2004. Material relates to NAFOH MF084 NA1055.

Folder 6: Music among the Contemporary Penobscot Indians, Davenport Full copy of Linda Gilbert Davenport’s Master of Music thesis, 1977, “Music among the Contemporary Penobscot Indians.” Sent to Akins 2004.

Folder 7: English-Penobscot music/song notes and titles Research notes, copy of the Wabanaki section of The Indians' Book (Native American) 1968 by Natalie Curtis (Editor), copies of internet found American Indian music related essays and biographies enthnomusicologists and other music researchers/collectors. 1968-2008

Folder 8: Miscellaneous Music Information and Notes Correspondence with Jason Jackson and others on Akins’s research, copies of internet found Canadian and American Indian music related essays, copy of “Wawenock Myth Texts from Maine” by Frank G. Speck.

Folder 9: Miscellaneous Music: Notations and Transcriptions Correspondence, research notes, copy of “Drumming” Ndakinna Cultural Center & Museum, “Songs of the Wabanaki” by Jesse Bowman Bruchac, copies of song lyrics.

Folder 10: Music Notes/Songs Copies of journal articles, photocopies of book chapters

Folder 11: Gordon Day Copies of Day’s research and information related to Day. Gordon M. Day (1911-1993). Anthropologist. Day's research interest was the language and genealogy of the Saint Francis Abenaki natives at Odanak, Quebec.

Folder 12: Jesse Fewkes Correspondence, copies of Fewkes’s research, and information related to Fewkes. Jesse Walter Fewkes (1850-1930). Anthropologist. Made wax cylinder recordings of Passamaquoddy people.

Folder 13: David McAllester Correspondence with Bonner McAllester, copies of McAllester’s research, essays, and information related to McAllester. CD copy of NAFOH MF008 NA0857 recording, financial documents. David Park McAllester (1916-2006). American ethnomusicologist and professor of anthropology and music at Wesleyan University.

Folder 14: William H. Mechling. Copies of inventories, notes, correspondence, and financial documents related to Mechling’s collection at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. William Hubbs Mechling. Anthropologist. Made wax cylinder recordings of Maliseet and Mi'kmaq songs.

Folder 15: Princess Watahwaso Copy of two tracks sung by Watahwaso from the Smithsonian Institute, copies of finding aids, copies of pamphlets, and correspondence related to Princess Watahwaso. Princess Watahwaso was a character portrayed by Lucy Nicolar Poolaw (June 22, 1882-March 27, 1969) a vaudeville performer and political activist and member of the Penobscot Indian Tribe, born on Indian Island, Maine.

Folder 16: Frank Siebert Two CDs: Arthur Neptune, Andrew Dana, Sylvia Stanislaus; correspondence and copy of finding aids.

Folder 17: Nicholas Smith Copies of information about Nicholas N. Smith recordings, copies of Smith’s papers, financial documents, correspondence, research notes, copies of music scores and lyrics.

Folder 18: Frank Speck Correspondence, CD (Speck tapes: Roland Nelson, Louis Nicholas, Joe Thibodeau), copies of finding aids, research notes, and information about Speck.

Folder 19: Ann Morrison (Spinney) CD with articles, 2 CDs from the Mechling Collection tracks 1-46, CD Mechling Collection Inventory, music sheets, copies of Marrison’s papers, correspondence.

Folder 20: Native New England Now “Native New England Now: Celebrating Native Arts at NEFA,” published in 2013. A bound book.

Folder 21: Traditional Native American Drumming Music and Songs “Traditional (and a couple not so traditional) Native American Drumming Music and Songs.” Produced by The Clan of The Hawk, Burlington, VT, 2009. Was bound with a plastic binding, which was removed.

Folder 22: The Rough Guide to Reading Music & Basic Theory By Hugo Pinksterboer 2001.

Folder 23: Penobscot Nation 2000 Family Census Penobscot Nation Census Committee, January 01, 2000, Indian Island, Maine.

Folder 24: Grant journal Notes about grant travel and activity, organized by date and grant. 1) Maine Art Commission (MAC) Apprenticeship Grant (2007) and New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) Apprentice Grants (2007-2008), 3) NEFA Grant (2010-2013). Apprentices: James Neptune, Jason Brown, Gabe Paul.

CD Box: 29 CDs total. 4 CDs: 60-018-F, Frank Speck and other, 1901-11, EC 10” 453-456, IU Archives of Traditional Music. 2 CDs: Siebert Penobscot Music 1-2. APS additional Siebert music recordings. 2 CDs: Penobscot Recordings by Frank Siebert 1-2. Watie Akins, Penobscot, Dish Game (demonstration). Penobscot Songs: Watahwaso Lucy Poolaw. Indigenous Women’s Voice Gathering (produced CD) Live Performance 2000 at USM. 4 CDs: Siebert CDs: Penobscot Siebert Discs 1-2, Pana Wampskik Siebert Recordings 1-2. 3 CDs: McAllester, Eastern Woodland Series, World Music Archives, Olin Library Wesleyan University. McAllester, Penobscot “Ceremonial,” World Music Archives, Olin Library Wesleyan University. Manidou Wabanaisee (Spirit of the Snowbirds) Snowbird Singers (produced CD). 2 CDs: Penobscot, Passamaquoddy and Maliseet Music, Nicholas N. Smith, Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1-2. W.H. Mechling Collection I&II, Canadian Museum of Civilization. Ceremonial Songs for Watie, Chief Thomas Wounded Bear. Alnobak, Troupe Alnobak, 2000 (produced CD). Seneca Social Dance Music, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, 2006, Set #1 is 10 wax audio cylinders rec’d from Eric Greenan, Dec 19, 2008, Set #2 has 10 audios on it as well with minimal processions(?) written on the actual CD

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Watie Akins via Pauleena MacDougall.

Condition Description


Guide to the Watie Atkins Papers
Box And Folder List Available
Katrina Wynn
September 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States