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Pueblo Chant Recordings (SC-26)

Identifier: SC-26


The collection is comprised of eight rare 78 rpm shellac records of Native American chants and songs. Recorded in the early 1950s by Manuel Archuleta, the first Native American in the United States to own his own record label, the chants preserve the songs and dances from the Navajo and several Southwestern pueblos, including the Hopi, Zuni, and San Juan peoples.


  • Creation: [late 1940s]

Language of Materials

Hopi, Navajo, Zuni

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. The records have been digitized, and access copies are available on-site.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright, beyond that allowed by fair use, requires the researcher to obtain permission of copyright holders.

Biographical Note

In the late 1940s, a San Juan Pueblo Indian from Gallup, New Mexico, Manuel Archuleta, or Tse-We Ant-Yen (Rain God), used his life savings to launch Tom Tom Records. It would be the first Native-owned record label. A stock and file clerk at the Albuquerque Indian School by day, Archuleta supplemented his incoming by lecturing about American Indian music at the University of New Mexico and signing traditional songs at public schools.

Distributed primarily in the Southwest, Tom Tom's releases - originally on 78-rpm discs and later collected as a pair of twelve-inch albums, "Indian Chants, Volumes 1 and 2" - are remembered more for their historic importance than their commercial success.

Source: Heartbeat, Warble, and the Electric Powwow: American Indian Music


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box; 8 items)


The collection is organized into one series.

Series 1
Chant Recordings, [late 1940s]

Custodial History

The collection was donated by Karen Gravelle in May 2017. She inherited the records from her father who received them from his brother prior to 1953.

Related Materials - University of New Mexico Libraries

  • Manuel Archuleta Collection of Pueblo Indian, Navajo and Hopi Music, circa 1940, MSS 830 BC

Processing Information

The records were rehoused and the original wrappers retained.

Finding Aids to Special Collections in the VMFA Archives | Pueblo Chant Recordings
Special Collection 26 (SC-26)
Courtney Yevich Tkacz, VMFA Archivist
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Archives Repository

Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman Library
200 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard
Richmond VA 23220-4007 United States