Various Artists

Osage Medicine: The Osage Sweat Ceremony

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This recording will be largely of interest as an educational or study tool. It is hard to conceive of how it might be enjoyed in repeated listenings due to several production decisions. The first side is a series of songs related to this ceremony sung solo by Louie McAlpine, accompanying himself with light shaker or gourds. Informational material that could have been printed in accompanying notes is instead read aloud on the recording, definitely breaking the mood that is created by the moving vocals. McAlpine's voice at first seems undistinguished, but his use of split tones and feathery style may linger in the listener's thoughts long after the recording has finished playing. The second side is an actual recording of a sweat-lodge ceremony, featuring praying, singing, and shouting that sometimes distorts the speakers completely. The participants are a combination of Osage, Cheyenne-Kiowa, and Caddo tribe members. There are a lot of sounds of water being poured and splashed. This is interesting to listen to once.

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