Final Summer Blog Post: Natalie Curtis and Beyond

This summer was eye-0pening for me in an array of different ways. Not only did I have the opportunity to do my own independent research, which I’m immensely grateful for, but I also jumped far out of my comfort zone through the process of the research. Using the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Research Center for Cultural Folklife I was able to really narrow in on a more relevant and specific Honors Thesis topic, the study of the impact of female ethnographers/ethnomusicologists on  Native American Healing and Ceremonial Music.


For the sake of the summer research showcase presentation I will be presenting on Natalie Curtis and her impact in that setting. Though she was a controversial figure, there is no doubt that she left some impact on the world of Native American Healing and Ceremonial music. It’s interesting to examine how her controversy affected her popularity, as well as her authority. Through this examination, we can infer some things about the perceptions of people at the time.

I’m so happy I had the opportunity to do this research and I cannot say thank you enough times. The project has exposed me to many of the possibilities of archival research and the ways in which you can supplement it with personal accounts and other facets. This project definitely shifted from my original plan but I’ve learned, now, that research is an ever-changing entity. I’m excited to share some of my information at the showcase and get into the deep work of my Honors Thesis this year.