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Robert Black collection, [195?] - 1996


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Black, Robert
Title: Robert Black collection,
Inclusive Dates: [195?]-1971,
Inclusive Dates: 1982-1987,
Inclusive Dates: 1996
Quantity: 76 7-inch reels, 69 CDs, 31 DAT cartridges, 14 compact cassettes, 11 5-inch reels, 3 cm textual records
Identification: MS-154
Language: Audio materials are in English or Hopi, textual transcriptions are in English. Interviews with Pabanale are in English.English and Hopi
Repository: Museum of Northern Arizona
3101 N. Fort Valley Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
928-774-5211 ext. 256 or 269

Biographical Note

Robert Black (1927-2003) grew up in New York City; it was here he received his undergraduate degree. Shortly afterwards he graduated from a masters program from the University of Illinois. In the mid-1950s, while pursuing a PhD in Anthropology from Indiana University, Black was persuaded by Carl Voegelin – Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University – to come to the Southwest and work with the Hopi as a way of narrowing a topic for his dissertation. He and fellow student Roy Albert – a Hopi – began their work in 1957 doing ethnographies throughout the reservation. This would continue for many summers. Black became quite close with the Albert family, and found acceptance amongst many Hopi. He was given a Hopi name – Letayhoya – meaning Little Grey Fox.

By 1966, Black had developed a close relationship with Tewa potter Edith Nash and her husband. Nash spoke fondly of her father, Irving Pabanale, and suggested that Black record his story for posterity. The following four summers, Black returned and interviewed Pabanale, but did not pursue any particular publication based on the recordings for over thirty years. During this time, Black published other works based on his research and time spent with the Hopi, whom he continued to visit most summers for the remainder of his life. In 1985, while teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, Black was approached by a friend who encouraged him to publish a book based on Pabanale’s life, so he spent many of the following summers drafting and editing a text. He retired from U.C. Berkeley in 1995. The manuscript complete by 1996, the publication was not released until 2001. Robert Black, then-Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at U.C. Berkeley, died two years later in November 2003.

Scope and Content

Records consist of a large amount of audio recordings of interviews and songs of individual Hopi community members from the late 1950s through the 1980s, as well as a brief series of textual transcriptions of a selection of the recordings. A group of recordings that precipitate and anticipate the writing of Black’s book about Irving Pabanale form a unique series; included in this series is a photocopy of the original unpublished manuscript. Many original reels have been transferred to new media, which are also part of the collection.


Previous arrangements of the material allotted separate I.D. numbers to each individual item, regardless of shared content across a range of media items. Original series I.D. numbers are now ascribed only to the original medium, while surrogates of each are inventoried with identical I.D.’s. This material is arranged in the following three series:
Series 1: Hopi Music Tapes, [195?]
Series 2: Research Materials for Standing Flower, 1967-1971, 1982-1987
Series 3: Robert Black Interview, 1996


Conditions Governing Access

Most of this material contains culturally sensitive information that is restricted for those without permission for access. The only item not subject to restriction is the transcript of an oral interview between Robert Black and Susan Olberding in 1996 (Series 3). The restriction was placed by staff at the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office (HCPO). Please contact the MNA Archivist for more information and to obtain permission for viewing these materials.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Controlled Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Black, Robert A., 1927-2003
Nash, Edith
Pabanale, Irving, -1972

Geographic Name(s)
Hopi Indian Reservation (Ariz.)

Hopi Indians
Hopi Indians -- Music
Oral history
Tewa Indians
Tewa Indians -- Biography

Technological Requirements

The DAT cartridges require the use of a technology that is unavailable at MNA.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Materials were in the custody of the creator – Robert Black – until their donation to the MNA Archives.

Preferred Citation

Robert Black collection, MS-154 [Box Number]. Museum of Northern Arizona. Flagstaff, Arizona.

Acquisition Information

The first accession of material was received from Robert Black in 1970. It was assigned accession # MS-154 by the MNA Library. An accrual (MS-291) was made in 1987 by Black. A further accrual was made by MNA staff member Susan Olberding in 1996. The last accrual to this collection was received from Robert Black in 2002.

Processing Information

Processed in November of 2008.


No further accruals are expected.

Other Finding Aid

Earlier inventory listings of this material provided additional information about the content of some recordings, but were the result of later analysis and transcription of the recordings by individuals unassociated with the original creator (Black). As such, the present finding aid only provides descriptions using those titles and annotations ascribed by Robert Black at the time of their creation. Additional descriptions by other individuals are found in this collection’s textual material, which requires permission for viewing. Former inventory listings are found in this collection’s accession file.


Materials in this collection were used for the following publications, which are found in the MNA library:

Black, Robert A. A Content Analysis of 81 Hopi Indian Chants. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms, Inc., 1965.
Black, Robert A. “Hopi Grievance Chants: A Mechanism of Social Control.” Studies in Southwestern Ethnolinguistics (c1967): 54-67.
Black, Robert A. Standing Flower: The Life of Irving Pabanale, an Arizona Tewa Indian. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2001.

Container List

Series 1: Hopi Music Tapes [195?] 76 7-inch reels, 69 CDs, 31 DAT cartridges, 0.6 cm textual records
Series consists of audio recordings of songs and interviews collected by Robert Black in the mid-to-late 1950s. Most recordings have been migrated to new media. Transcripts of many recordings are also available. Also included is biographical information on many of Black’s informants.
This finding aid lists the locations for the original 7 inch reels (the first location listed) and for the access copy CDs (the second location listed).
14.1.5Audio recordings from S1
14.1.5Audio recordings from S2
14.1.6a, 4.1.6bAudio recordings from S3
14.1.6a, 4.1.6bAudio recordings from S4
14.1.6a, 4.1.6bAudio recordings from S5
14.1.7Audio recordings from S6
14.1.7Audio recordings from S7
14.1.7Audio recordings from S8
14.1.8a, 4.1.8bAudio recordings from S9
14.1.8a, 4.1.8bAudio recordings from S10
14.1.8a, 4.1.8bAudio recordings from S11
14.1.10Audio recordings from S12
14.1.10Audio recordings from S13
14.1.11Audio recordings from S14
14.1.11Audio recordings from S15
14.1.11Audio recordings from S16
14.1.12Audio recordings from S17
14.1.12Audio recordings from S18
14.1.13Audio recordings from S19
14.1.13Audio recordings from S20
14.1.13, 4.1.14Audio recordings from S21
14.1.13, 4.1.14Audio recordings from S22
14.1.15Audio recordings from S23
14.1.15Audio recordings from S24
14.1.16Audio recordings from S26
14.1.16Audio recordings from S27
14.1.17Audio recordings from S28
14.1.17Audio recordings from S29
14.1.17Audio recordings from S30
14.1.18Audio recordings from S31
14.1.18Audio recordings from S32
14.1.19a, 4.1.19bAudio recordings from S33+S34
14.1.19a, 4.1.19bAudio recordings from S35
14.1.19a, 4.1.19bAudio recordings from S36
14.1.20Audio recordings from S37
14.1.20Audio recordings from S38
14.1.21Audio recordings from S39
14.1.21Audio recordings from S40
14.1.22Audio recordings from S41 pt. 1
14.1.22Audio recordings from S41 pt. 2
24.1.22Audio recordings from S42
24.1.23Audio recordings from S43+S44
24.1.23Audio recordings from S45+S46
24.1.23Audio recordings from S47
24.1.24Audio recordings from S48
24.1.24Audio recordings from S49
24.1.24Audio recordings from S50+S51
24.1.25Audio recordings from S52+S53
24.1.25Audio recordings from S54
24.1.26Audio recordings from S55A
24.1.27a, 4.1.27bAudio recordings from S55B
24.1.27a, 4.1.27bAudio recordings from S56
24.1.27a, 4.1.27bAudio recordings from S57
24.1.28a, 4.1.28bAudio recordings from S58
24.1.28a, 4.1.28bAudio recordings from S59
24.1.28a, 4.1.28bAudio recordings from S60
24.1.28a, 4.1.28bAudio recordings from S61
24.1.29Audio recordings from S62
24.1.29Audio recordings from S63
2Audio recordings from S64
24.1.30Audio recordings from S65+S66
24.1.31Audio recordings from S67A
24.1.31Audio recordings from S67B
51Transcription of Robert Black Hopi Music Tapes [S1-S67] (0.4 cm textual)
52Biographical Information on Informants (0.2 cm textual)
2Hopi Insect Songs
24.1.9Hopi Chants
24.1.4a, 4.1.4bAudio recordings from T-1A
24.1.4a, 4.1.4bAudio recordings from T-1[2]B
24.1.1Audio recordings from Reel 1
24.1.1Audio recordings from Reel 2
24.1.1Audio recordings from Reel 3
24.1.2Audio recordings from Reel 4
24.1.2Audio recordings from Reel 5
24.1.3a, 4.1.3bAudio recordings from Reel 6
24.1.3a, 4.1.3bAudio recordings from Reel 7+8
24.1.3a, 4.1.3bAudio recordings from Reel 9
24.1.4a, 4.1.4bAudio recordings from Reel 10
Series 2: Research Materials for Standing Flower 1967-1971, 1982-1987 14 compact cassettes, 11 5-inch reels
Series consists of audio recordings of Irving Pabanale c. 1967-1971 and other Hopi community members (Dewey Healing, Sylvan Nash, Emory Sekakwaptiwa, Sam Shinoritewa, C&D Nasaftu) circa 1982-1987 that eventually led to the publication of Standing Flower in 2001. Included in this series is a photocopy of the original unpublished manuscript.
3Tewa: Irving Pabanale Personal Narrative Tape I, 1967
3Tewa: Irving Pabanale Personal Narrative Tape II, 1967
3Irving Pabanale: Tewa Tape III, 1967
3Irving Pabanale: Tewa Tape IV, 1967
3Irving Pabanale: Tewa Tape V, 1967
3Pabanale - Life History - Tape 1, 1969
3Irving Pabanale - Tape 2 - SIDE A (Policeman, Trip to L.A. w/ Miss Baldwin) SIDE B (Speech at Walpi, Illness & death of Nelson, Trip to Zuni, Hopi & Tewa Shalakos), 1969
3Pabanale - Tape 3 - SIDE A (Two Tewa Shalako songs in Navajo, Judge at Moenkopi, Drinking) SIDE B (Meeting w/ LaForget, discussion of Religion, Becoming a Mormon, "Puppy," Stock Reduction), 1969
3Pabanale - Tape 4 - SIDE A (Stock Reduction, Addenda to Tewa Migration, Nelson becomes a Medicine Man, Irving becomes a Medicine Man) SIDE B (Medicine Song, Repeat of Folktale of Sunflower Girl), 1969
3Pabanale - Tape 5 - SIDE A (Story: Sunflower Girl Cont'd, Added Material on Judge) SIDE B (Judge Cont'd), 1969-1970
3Irving Pabanale Addenda - SIDE A (Folktales: Coyote & Bird, Red Eagle Bellyache, Sunflower Girl) SIDE B (The Liquor Problem, building the Church, Problem with Sheep Raising, Misc. Questions, 1971
24Dewey Healing Tape I, 1982
24Dewey Healing Tape II, 1982
24Dewey Healing Tape III, 1982
24Dewey Healing Tape I, 1984
24Dewey Healing Tape II, 1984
24Dewey Healing Tape III, 1984
24Sylvan Nash Tape I, 1984
24Sylvan Nash Tape II, 1984
24Sylvan Nash Tape III, 1986
24Sylvan Nash Tape IV, 1987
24Emory S. Tape I, Comments on Pabanale, 1984
24Emory Sekakwaptiwa Tape II, n.d.
24Sam Shinoritewa, 1984
24Readings Notes, Interview: C&D Nasaftu, n.d.
53Life History of Irving Pabanale, 1987
Series 3: Robert Black Interview 1996 0.4 cm textual records
Series consists of a transcript of an interview that took place between Robert Black and MNA staff member Susan Olberding in June 1996.
23Robert Black Interview with Susan Olberding, 1996