Billy Proctor Collection

Languages Represented: The collection materials are in Quapaw and English

Extent: 21 items

Collection Date Range: circa 1960s – 1990s

Creators: Bill Supernaw, Charles Supernaw, Kugee Supernaw, Mande Supernaw, Alice Crawfish Gilmore, Jake White Crow, Edna Wilson, Robert Rankin 

Collection Identifier: BPR 

Abstract: This collection contains audio recordings documenting the Quapaw language. It consists of songs, stories, interviews, songs, vocabulary and prayers and features the voices of Quapaw elders and linguist Robert Rankin.

Acquisition Information: These records came to the Sam Noble Museum in 2012 and 2017 and were deposited by Billy Proctor.

Access Restrictions: The resources are open for research. Contact the NALC at 405-325-3332 or

Cite As: [title], [catalog number], Billy Proctor Collection, Sam Noble Museum Department of Native American Languages. 

Collection Scope and Contents: The Billy Proctor Collection is a digital audio collection centered on the Quapaw language, a Siouan language originally spoken in part of present day Arkansas, now spoken in Oklahoma. The collection consists of more than 70 hours of audio interviews, conversations, oral histories, songs, language classes and tribal business and general council meetings conducted in Quapaw with some English. Collectively, it is one of the largest Quapaw language collections known to exist.

Among the recordings are the voices of Quapaw elders Bill, Charles, Kugee, and Maude Supernaw; Alice Crawfish Gilmore; Jake White Crow; and Edna Wilson. Among the interviewers are Robert Whitebird, John McKibbon, Kristi Hampton Collington and linguist Robert Rankin of the University of Kansas.

The collection was first established by Billy Proctor, a member of the Quapaw Tribe and a former language department instructor for the Osage Nation in northeast Oklahoma. Mr. Proctor teaches Quapaw and has been recognized for using audio recordings in various formats to research, preserve and teach Native languages. Proctor’s use of audio recordings has been the focus of presentations he’s delivered to the Dhegiha language tribes, enabling him to demonstrate the similarities in their words and sentences.

The vocabulary, conversations, and stories in this collection were originally recorded in the late 1960s through the 1990s, and restored by the Native American Languages Department at the Sam Noble Museum in 2012.

Catalog #Title
BPR-001 Female Quapaw Singers
BPR-002 Grandma Supernaw, by Bill Supernaw Jr.
BPR-003Otter story and interview, Grandma Supernaw
BPR-004Quapaw vocabulary words and phrases, a conversation in Quapaw and English
BPR-005 Charles Supernaw speaking, Grandma Supernaw speaking
BPR-006Grandma Supernaw interview, by Kugee Supernaw
BPR-007Grandma Supernaw interview, July 12, 1969
BPR-008Quapaw stomp dance songs
BPR-009Quapaw vocabulary words, phrases and numbers, a conversation in Quapaw and English
BPR-010Quapaw prayer
BPR-011Quapaw vocabulary
BPR-012Quapaw words
BPR-013Quapaw vocab
BPR-014Quapaw vocab and texts
BPR-015Quapaw language class #3, 4, & 5
BPR-016Quapaw language class #6, 7, & 8
BPR-017Quapaw class #4 & 5
BPR-018Quapaw prayer spoken by Mande Supernaw
BPR-019Quapaw Tribe July 26, 1977
BPR-020Quapaw vocabulary terms interview
BPR-021John McKibbon 3-8-77, recording of a tape from Eona Wilson's Collection