Please note that this book contains a photograph of a burial platform, which some may find offensive. The elegaic tone, typical of the time, of much of the book may also annoy the modern reader. Some of the Indian interviews are still quoted today, however, and some of the photos are still reproduced.
[The Last Outpost]
The Last Outpost
The Vanishing Race
The Last Great Indian Council a record in picture and story of the last great indian council, participated in by eminent indian chiefs from nearly every indian reservation in the united states, together with the story of their lives as told by themselves—their speeches and folklore tales—their solemn farewell, and the indians' story of the custer fight By Dr. Joseph K. Dixon
Garden City, New York Doubleday, Page, and Company
To the man of mystery— The earth his mother— The sun his father— A child of the mountains and the plains— A faithful worshipper in the great world cathedral— Now a tragic soul haunting the shores of the western ocean— My brother the Indian
The Last Outpost The Approach of the Chiefs A Glimpse Backward The Sacrament of Winter The Lone Tepee Singing to the Spirits The Voice of the Water Spirits Trail of the Death Spirit A Leaf from the Indian's Book The Song of the Arrows An Imperial Warrior A Sunset in Camp Lighting the Smoke Signal Answering the Smoke Signal The Attack on the Camp Buffalo Thundered Across the Plains An Indian Home An Indian Burden Bearer An Indian Woman's Dress—Mrs. Wolf Plume The Flower of the Wigwam Little Friends A Bath in the Little Big Horn The Crown of Eagle Feathers Warriors of Other Days Chief Plenty Coups The Peaceful Camp Chief Red Whip The Pause in the Journey Chief Timbo The Downward Trail Chief Apache John Climbing the Great Divide Chief Running Bird Chiefs Fording the Little Bighorn Chief Brave Bear Skirting the Sky-Line Chief Umapine Down the Western Slope The Last Arrow Chief Tin-Tin-Meet-Sa Chief Runs the Enemy Scouting Party on the Plains Scouts passing under cover of the Night Map of the Custer Battlefield Chief Pretty Voice Eagle A War Council The War Party The Swirl of the Warriors Chief White Horse Chief Bear Ghost Chief Running Fisher Chief Bull Snake Mountain Chief War Memories Chief Red Cloud Chief Two Moons Here Custer Fell Custer Scouts White Man Runs Him—Custer Scout Hairy Moccasin—Custer Scout Curly—Custer Scout Goes Ahead—Custer Scout On the War Trail In Battle Line The Custer Battlefield Scouts on the March Sunset on the Custer Field The Reno Battlefield Two Moons as he fought Custer The Council Pipe Chief Plenty Coups Addressing the Council Chief Koon-Ka-Za-Chy Addressing the Council Chief Two Moons Addressing the Council An Indian Communion The Final Trail The Fading Sunset Vanishing into the Mists Facing the Sunset The Sunset of a Dying Race The Empty Saddle
Acknowledgment INDIAN IMPRINTS A GLIMPSE BACKWARD THE STORY OF THE CHIEFS Chief Plenty Coups Chief Red Whip Chief Timbo Chief Apache John Chief Running Bird Chief Brave Bear Chief Umapine Chief Tin-Tin-Meet-Sa Chief Runs-the-Enemy Chief Pretty Voice Eagle Folklore Tales—Sioux Chief White Horse Folklore Tales—Yankton Sioux Chief Bear Ghost Chief Running Fisher Bull Snake Mountain Chief Mountain Chief's Boyhood Sports Chief Red Cloud Chief Two Moons THE STORY OF THE SURVIVING CUSTER SCOUTS White-Man-Runs-Him Folklore Tale—Crow Hairy Moccasin Curly Goes-Ahead-Basuk-Ore THE INDIANS' STORY OF THE CUSTER FIGHT THE LAST GREAT INDIAN COUNCIL INDIAN IMPRESSIONS OF THE LAST GREAT COUNCIL THE FAREWELL OF THE CHIEFS
In undertaking these expeditions to the North American Indian, the sole desire has been to perpetuate the life story of the first Americans and to strengthen in their hearts the feeling of allegiance and friendship for their country.
For this purpose two expeditions were sent forth to gather historic data and make picture records of their manners, customs, their sports and games, their warfare, religion, and the country in which they live.
As a result, on Washington's Birthday, 1913, thirty-two Indian chiefs, representing eleven tribes, assembled with the President of the United States together with many eminent citizens and details from the Army and Navy to open ground for the Indian Memorial authorized by act of Congress to be erected in the harbour of New York.
The Indian chiefs assembled, hoisted the American flag, the first time in their history. This act and the flag gave birth to a thrill of patriotism. These warriors of other days laid claim to a share in the destiny of our country. So deeply were these First Americans impressed with a sense of loyalty to the flag that, again under the authority of the President of the United States, a third Expedition was sent forth to every Indian tribe. The purpose of this Expedition was twofold, the linking of every tribe in the country with the National Indian Memorial, and the inspiring of an ideal of patriotism in the mind of the red man—a spirit of patriotism that would lead to a desire for citizenship—a feeling of friendship and allegiance, to be eternally sealed as a convenant in the Indian Memorial.
Here, under the blessing of God, on the shores of our beloved country, where the red man first gave welcome to the white man, this Memorial will stand in eternal bronze, in memory of a noble, though vanishing race, and a token to all the world of the one and indivisible citizenship of these United States.
RODMAN WANAMAKER. [The Approach of the Chiefs]
The Approach of the Chiefs
FIRST of all, William Howard Taft, President of the United States, gave his sanction to this Expedition, and Hon. Robert Grosvenor Valentine, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, gave his permission to assemble eminent chiefs from the prominent Indian Reservations of the United States, and complemented his courtesy by helpful interest and cooperation. The Superintendents of the various Indian Reservations gave spontaneous and willing service; Major S. G. Reynolds, Superintendent of the Crow Reservation by sympathetic and efficient interest made possible the achievement of the Last Great Indian Council; Hon. Frederick Webb Hodge, in charge of the Bureau of American Ethnology confirmed the data secured. The Hand Book of American Indians made possible the larger scope of the suggestions on Indian dress. The great chiefs who participated in the Council in noble and faithful fashion lived out the history and tradition of their tribes. Heartfelt appreciation is merited and given to all.
Since the publication of the first edition of "The Vanishing Race", further grateful acknowledgment is accorded. While conducting a nation-wide Expedition of Citizenship to the North American Indian, embracing 189 tribes and extending over 26,000 miles, the author was adopted into the Wolf clan of the Mohawk nation,—Iroquois Confederacy. They said, "You have traveled so far, traveled so fast, and brought so much light and life to the Indian that we call you 'Ka-ra-Kon-tie, Flying Sun'."
Representative North American Indian Chiefs, scouts, and warriors participating in the Last Great Indian Council, held in the valley of the Little Horn, Montana, September, 1909, with their English, tribal, and Indian designations.
CHIEF PLENTY COUPS, Chief of the Crow Nation, bearing the Indian name of Aleck-shea-Ahoos, signifying Many Achievements.
CHIEF RED WHIP, an eminent Chief of the Gros Ventres Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Bein-es-Kanach.
CHIEF TIMBO, OR HAIRLESS, Head Chief of the Comanche Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Tah-cha-chi.
CHIEF APACHE JOHN, an eminent Apache Chief, bearing the Indian name of Koon-kah-za-chy, signifying Protector of his Tepee.
CHIEF RUNNING BIRD, an eminent Chief of the Kiowa Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Ta-ne-haddle.
CHIEF BRAVE BEAR, Head Chief of the Southern Cheyennes, bearing the Indian name of Ni-go High-ez, Ni-go, bear—High-ez, brave.
CHIEF UMAPINE, Head Chief of the Cayuse Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Wa-kon-kon-we-la-son-mi.
CHIEF TIN-TIN-MEET-SA, Chief of the Umatilla Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Wil-Lou-Skin.
CHIEF RUNS-THE-ENEMY, Chief of the Teton Sioux, bearing the Indian name of Tok-kahin-hpe-ya.
CHIEF PRETTY VOICE EAGLE, Chief of the Yankton Sioux, bearing the Indian name of Wambli-ho-waste.
CHIEF WHITE HORSE, Chief of the Southern Yankton Sioux, bearing the Indian name of Sung-ska.
CHIEF BEAR GHOST, Chief of the Crow Creek Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Mato-Wanagi, signifying the Ghost of a Bear.
CHIEF RUNNING FISHER, an eminent Chief of the Gros Ventres Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Itn-tyi-waatyi.
BULL SNAKE, an eminent Crow warrior and scout, bearing the Indian name of Ear-Ous-Sah-Chee-dups, signifying Male Snake.
MOUNTAIN CHIEF, Chief of the Blackfoot Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Omaq-kat-tsa, signifying Big Brave.
CHIEF RED CLOUD, Chief of the Ogallalla Sioux, bearing the Indian name of Marpiya-Luta.
CHIEF TWO MOONS, Head Chief of the Northern Cheyennes, bearing the Indian name of Ish-hayu-Nishus, meaning Two Moons or Two Suns.
WHITE-MAN-RUNS-HIM, Chief of the Custer scouts, an eminent Crow warrior, bearing the Indian name of Mias-tas-hede-Karoos, signifying The White Man Runs Him.
HAIRY MOCCASIN, a noted Custer scout, of the Crow Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Esup-ewyshes.
CURLY, a noted Custer scout, of the Crow Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Shes-his.
GOES-AHEAD, a noted Custer scout, of the Crow Tribe, bearing the Indian name of Basuk-Ose, signifying Goes First.
[A Glimpse Backward]
A Glimpse Backward
INDIAN IMPRINTS A GLIMPSE BACKWARD
We are exchanging salutations with the uncalendared ages of the red man. We are measuring footsteps with moccasined feet whose trail leads along the receding sands of the western ocean. A bit of red colour set in immemorial time, now a silent sentinel, weeping unshed tears with eyes peering into a pitiless desert.
Life without humour is intolerable. The life of the Indian has been a series of long and bitter tragedies. There is a look in his face of bronze that frightens us, a tone lights up the gamut of his voice that makes it unlike any other voice we have ever heard—a voice that will echo in the tomb of time—a Spartan courage that shall be regnant a millennium beyond the Thermopylae of his race.
We have come to the day of audit. Annihilation is not a cheerful word, but it is coined from the alphabet of Indian life and heralds the infinite pathos of a vanishing race. We are at the end of historical origins. The impression is profound.
A vision of the past and future confronts us. What we see is more wonderful than a view the points of which can be easily determined. We behold a dead sea of men under the empty and silent morning, a hollow land into which have flowed thousands upon thousands—at last the echo of a child's cry. The door of the Indian's yesterdays opens to a new world—a world unpeopled with red men, but whose population fills the sky, the plains, with sad and spectre-like memories—with the flutter of unseen eagle pinions. A land without the tall and sombre figure worshipping the Great Mystery; without suns and snows and storms—without the scars of battle, swinging war club, and flashing arrow—a strange, weird world, holding an unconquered race, vanquished before the ruthless tread of superior forces—we call them the agents of civilization. Forces that have in cruel fashion borne down upon the Indian until he had to give up all that was his and all that was dear to him—to make himself over or die. He would not yield. He died. He would not receive his salvation by surrender; rather would he choose oblivion, unknown darkness—the melting fires of extermination. It is hard to think this virile, untamed creation has been swept like hurrying leaves by angry autumn gusts across the sunlit plains into a night without a star.
The white is the conquering race, but every-whither there is a cry in the heart to delve into the mystery of these ancient forerunners. This type of colour holds the eye, rivets and absorbs the interest.
Men are fast coming to recognize the high claim of a moral obligation to study the yesterdays of this imperial and imperious race. The preservation of this record in abiding form is all the more significant because all serious students of Indian life and lore are deeply convinced of the insistent fact that the Indian, as a race, is fast losing its typical characters and is soon destined to pass completely away. So rapidly are the remaining Western tribes putting aside their native customs and costumes, their modes of life and ceremonies, that we belong to the last generation that will be granted the supreme privilege of studying the Indian in anything like his native state. The buffalo has gone from the continent, and now the Indian is following the deserted buffalo trail. All future students and historians, all ethnological researches must turn to the pictures now made and the pages now written for the study of a great race.
It is little short of solemn justice to these vanishing red men that students, explorers, artists, poets, men of letters, genius, generosity, and industry, strive to make known to future generations what manner of men and women were these whom we have displaced and despoiled. Indisputable figures, the result of more than five years of painstaking research on the part of the Bureau of Ethnology at Washington, place the decrease of Indian population in the United Sates, north of Mexico, since the coming of the white man, at 65 per cent. They have gone from the forests and plains, from the hills and valleys over which they roamed and reigned for uncounted ages. We have taken their land, blotted out their faith and despoiled their philosophy. It has been the utter extinction of a whole type of humanity. The conquering Anglo-Saxon speech has swept out of existence over a thousand distinct languages. These original Americans Deserve a Monument. They have moved majestically down the pathway of the ages, but it culminates in the dead march of Saul.
The record of the North American Indian has naught to do with the tabulation of statistics, the musty folios of custom reports, the conquests of commerce. He has never walked up to the gates of the city and asked entrance to its portals, nor subscribed himself as a contestant in the arena of finance. He has had no share in the lofty ideals of statecraft, nor the spotless ermine of the judiciary. He lived and moved and had his being in the sanctuary of the hills, the high altar-stairs of the mountains, the sublime silences of the stately pines—where birds sung their matins and the "stars became tapers tall"; where the zitkadanto—the blue bird—uttered its ravishing notes. He sought the kat-yi-mo—the "enchanted mesa"—as the place of prayer, the hour in which to register his oath. On the wide extended plain, rolling green, like the billows of the ocean, he listened for wana'gipi tah'upahupi—"the wings of the spirits." In wana'gi ta'canku—the milky way—he saw the footprints of departed warriors. His moccasined feet penetrated wa-koniya—"the place where water is born"—the springs that gushed forth to give life, and refreshing to all the earth. Canhotka ska—the "white frost"—became the priest's robe as he petitioned at the sacrament of winter. The universe to him became a sounding-board of every emotion that thrilled his being. He found in its phenomena an answer to his longings and the high expression of every fervour of his soul. We cannot understand this, because the Indian chased the ethereal, the weird, the sublime, the mysterious: we chase the dollar. He heard the voice of nature; we listen for the cuckoo clock of commerce.
[The Sacrament of Winter]
The Sacrament of Winter
The camera, the brush, and the chisel have made us familiar with his plumed and hairy crests, but what of the deep fountains of his inner life? What did he think? How did he feel? What riotous impulses, or communion with the Great Mystery, carved his face of bronze? These no scientist, no discoverer, no leader of expeditions have ever borne into the light. No footprints along the trail can spell out for us his majestic mien, his stolid dignity, his triumphant courage, his inscrutable self-poise, and all of these dyed with a blood-red struggle for survival such as crowns no other page of American history.
To gain this close measure of the Indian mind, his friendship and confidence must not suffer eclipse. It is a superlative task, for the inner Indian shrine is crossed by only a favoured few. The Indian is averse to being photographed, for he feels that every picture made of himself by so much shortens his life. He looks at his portrait, then feels of his person; he realizes that he has not lost a hand or a foot, but feels most profoundly that his soul will be that much smaller in the future world. His medicine is sacred, and you may not interrupt the daily tenure of his life without destroying some ceremonial purpose. It is meaningful, therefore, that these red men allowed us daily communion. This story is then simply instinct with the Indian's inner self: how we sat with him in his wigwam, and amid his native haunts, surrounded by every element of the wild life we were to commemorate; how his confidence was gained, and he was led to put aside his war-shirt and eagle feathers, and pull in twain the veil of his superstitious and unexplained reserve and give to the world what the world so much craves to know—what the Indian thinks and how he feels.
Memorable hours these under clear Montana skies, or at the midnight hour by the dim campfire light, the rain beating its tattoo on the tepee above our heads—surrounded by an army of shining tepees, like white ghosts of the plains, while these pathetic figures told the story of their lives. The warrior of other days gave himself up to mirthful tale, to boyhood's transports, to manhood's achievements, to the wild chase of the hunter, to the weaponry and woes of savage warfare, to the hallowed scenes of home life, to the primitive government of the tribe, and the busy and engaging activities of the camp; finally, to the royalty of the Great Council, when the chiefs assembled in solemn conclave to hold communion, to say a long and last farewell.
[The Lone Tepee]
The Lone Tepee
Months of arduous labour were spent in the effort to make a comprehensive and permanent record of an old-time Indian council. For this purpose eminent Indian chiefs were assembled in the Valley of the Little Big Horn in Montana, from nearly every Indian tribe in the United States. This council involved permission and unstinted aid from the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Washington, the cooperation of the Indian superintendents on all the reservations; the selection of the most distinguished chiefs—chiefs eminent for ability and honourable achievement among their tribes. The council involved the necessity of interpreters from each tribe, for they could only talk in the sign language. It involved the construction of a primitive council lodge along the lines of history and tradition, and again, the reproduction of primitive customs and traditions, both in paraphernalia, costume, and conduct.
These imprints are the trail marks left by this Great Council of Chiefs—the last Great Indian Council that will ever be held on American soil. The story most faithfully records the idiom and phrasing and atmosphere of the Indian's speech as it came from Indian lips. The language of the landscape where the Indian made his home, where he fought his battles and lived his life, where this solemn council was held, is manifest in the accompanying photogravures. On the Indian trail, we may note as a hint of the many, a few of his imprints.
[Singing to the Spirits]
Singing to the Spirits
The life of the Indian is one vast and glittering mosaic of rite and ritual. His warfare, his dress, his medicine, his ceremonies, his wooing, and his dying are all of them expressive of a dominant idea that pervades his life and controls his purpose. He lives constantly and absorbingly in a mystic land. He is beckoned by unseen hands and is lured into the realms of mystery by the challenge of voices silent to all other ears. His dress is studded with resplendent colours significant of the green earth, the blue sky, and the cry of his soul for a place in the great beyond. Like the high priest of old, he wears on his breast the fiery filaments of his faith.
The Indian sits in the tabernacle of the mighty forest or on the heights of some deserted and wind-swept mesa, beats his tomtom or drones song upon song, prays to the Great Mystery, pleads with the fires of the sun to give him strength and life and health, and calls the sun his father. The whispering winds tell his tale to the clouds. He peers into the depths of the stars, watches the aurora as the death dance of the spirits, answers the high call of the thunder as the voice of the Great Mystery, utters the cry of his soul to the lightnings—the arrows of taowity—communes with the rivers and the lakes, the moon, and the legion of wild beasts, and all of it with a pitiful longing that his days of fasting and his vicarious devotion may bring upon his life and his tribe the favour of the gods.
These primitive men hold time and money and ambition as nothing. But a dream, or a cloud in the sky, or a bird flying across the trail from the wrong direction, or a change of the wind will challenge their deepest thoughts. To the Indian mind all signs are symbolic. Their ceremonies are as complicated as any of ancient Hebrew or Greek tradition. The Indian aspires to be a great hunter, he seeks fame as a noble warrior; he struggles for the eagle feathers of distinction, but his greatest longing is to become a Medicine Man and know the Great Mystery. All medicine people of the tribes carry on their necks, or in a pouch at the belt, some sacred thing used in their magic practices—the claw of a bear, the rattle of a snake, a bird's wing, the tooth of an elk, a bit of tobacco. Every Indian carries his individual medicine, and his medicine is good or bad according to his success. If he finds a feather at wrong angle in his path, his medicine is bad for that day. The Indian fasts and dances and chants, using his mind, his spirit, and his body as pliable instruments in the making of his prayer. He finds in the veritable exhaustion of his body the spirit path made clear for his dreams, until the very stars seem as the eyes of the gods, and the sighing of the pines comes to him as the rustle of eagle wings to bear his spirit to loftier realms. Instead of the common acceptation that the Indian has no religion whatever, every single act of his life carries with it some ceremonial function, and his whole being is surrounded by a shining host of ceremonial spirits. The Indian goes with prayer thoughts to the water. His bath is a sacrament. He cuts the long supple willow withes that grow on the banks of the stream, enters the sharpened end into the soil, bends and ties the feathery tops into an arch; over the arches thus made he throws his blankets; meanwhile, gathered stones have been heated in the burning fire. These stones glowing white with heat are placed in a tiny pit underneath the covering of this booth, now to be called his sweat bath. First one stone until four have been counted are placed by the attendant in the pit, and then the fiery pile is thrown in promiscuous fashion on the heap. The Indians enter the closed covering, the ceremonial pipe is smoked, a gourd of cold water is handed to each; they then disrobe, the attending priest lowering the blanket over the entrance. Cold water is then poured over the heated stones, filling the enclosure with steam. In silence they commune with the Great Mystery until one of their number is blessed with a vision; then a call is made and the attendant lifts the blanket, almost immediately lowering it again. This action is repeated until the vision has been vouchsafed four times, when they all come forth and plunge into the river. These sweat baths are always located on the banks of a flowing stream. The Indian sees in every ripple of the flashing water that comes to meet him a shining token of the medicine he has seen in his vision. They then repair to the wigwam and listen in solemn silence to the chanting cadences of the Indian who has been favoured.
[The Voice of the Water Spirits]
The Voice of the Water Spirits
The curling smoke from the long-stemmed pipe breathes forth the fumes of war or the pale quiet of peace. With his pipe he pacifies the elements. On festal occasions, or when the camp rejoices at the joys of harvest, the priest smokes his pipe, blowing the smoke first to the earth, then to the sky, to the north, the south, the east, and the west, in token of gratitude for the favour of the gods. With the pipe the Indian also seals his councils.
[Trail of the Death Spirit]
Trail of the Death Spirit
The Indian buries his dead upon some high elevation, because it is a nearer approach to the spirit world. They bury on scaffolds and in trees that in some mute, sorrowful way they may still hold communion with their loved and their lost. At the grave they go to the four points of the compass and mourn, singing all the while a weird chant. They bury with their dead all of the belongings of the deceased, the playthings of the Indian child, for the Indian boy and girl have dolls and balls and baubles as does the white child: you may see them all pendent from the poles of the scaffold or the boughs of a tree. When the great Chief Spotted Tail died they killed his two ponies, placing the two heads toward the east, fastening the tails on the scaffold toward the west. The war-bonnets and war-shirts are folded away with the silent dead; then follow the desolate days of fasting and mourning. In some instances hired mourners are engaged, and for their compensation they exact oftentimes the entire possessions of the deceased. The habitation in which the death occurs is burned, and many times when death is approaching the sick one is carried out so that the lodge may be occupied after the loved one has been laid to rest. The grief of the sorrowing ones is real and most profound. They will allow no token of the departed to remain within sight or touch. In their paroxysms of sorrow the face and limbs are lacerated, and often the tips of fingers are severed. Until the days of mourning are over, which is for more than a year, they absent themselves from all public gatherings. The bereaved fold themselves in a white blanket, repair to some desolate hillside overlooking the valley, the camp and the distant weird scaffold, and sit, amid cloud, sunshine, and storm, with bowed head, in solemn silence. White blankets are worn by the mourners as they move through the camp, significant of the white trail of the stars whither the Indian feels his loved ones have gone.
The Indian has a sublime idea of creation. He loves the brown earth and calls it his mother, because it has creative power and because it nourishes. And thus we might gather in from the thirty-two points of the compass the forces operant in earth and sky, and each would become a herald of the Indian's life of faith.
[A Leaf from the Indian's Book]
A Leaf from the Indian's Book
THE BOOKS OF HIS LIBRARY
The Indian child is nursed on Indian song and story. Tribal traditions are handed down from age to age by enacting in the dance, on the part of the warriors and braves, their deeds of valour in war, their triumphs in the chase, their prowess against all foes. Forest lore is a constant text book. He is taught to observe which side of a tree has the lightest bark—which side the most branches; why the tree reaches forth longer arms on the edge of the wood than in the depths of the forest where his eye is taught to penetrate. The squirrel, the rabbit and the birds all become his little friends: where and how they get their food, their manner of life, their colour, and how they call their mates, who are their enemies, and how they may be protected. His ear is trained to hear sounds ordinarily inaudible, his nostrils are early taught to distinguish the scent of the different wild animals. Then came his ability to imitate the call of this wild life, sometimes by direct vocalization, or by placing two reeds to the lips so dexterously that the timid fawn is led to his feet. This literature the Indian child studies, until his arms are strong enough to bend the bow and send an arrow speeding to its mark. He soon essays the role of a warrior. His study of the birds enables him to find the eerie of the eagle, for a victory means that he may add an eagle feather to his war bonnet or coup stick. His study of the hills enables him to find in their vermilion and golden seams the colours for his war paint. In the crimson berries festooning the banks of the stream, when crushed, he finds still another element of decoration. The white man makes a book whose leaves talk. The sunshine bears speech and light to the Indian. He lives by communion with the stars. The Great Bear of the stars is called the great animal of cold weather. When a shadow crosses his mind he watches the clouds that touch the moon when it is new. He reads the stars, for they travel to him in a familiar pathway across the sky. They are bright spirits sent earthward by the Great Mystery, and when thick worlds gather in clusters, there are so many souls of earth people that their trail makes luminous the white way of the sky. The wing of a bird is the symbol of thoughts that fly very high. From the bird that soars nearest the blue he plucks prayer feathers. These he dyes and cherishes with jealous care. The Indian possesses a strange love for growing things, tall grasses with lace-like plumes forming a lattice for the deep green of the slender bushes that bear the rich clusters of crimson buffalo berries. He knows and loves the wild flowers that hang their golden heads along the banks of the purling stream or that in gleaming colours enamel the wide stretches of the plain. There are a thousand leaves in every book, and with every book in nature's library he is familiar to the point of success.
[The Song of the Arrows]
The Song of the Arrows
To the casual observer the costume and character of the Indian all look alike. The mind is confused amid a riotous and fantastic display of colours. The fact is that the minor details of Indian dress are an index to Indian character and often tell the story of his position in the tribe, and surely tell the story of his individual conception of the life here, and what he hopes for in the life hereafter, and like the laurel wreath on the brow of the Grecian runner, they spell out for us his exploits and achievements. To the white man all these decorations are construed as a few silly ornaments, the indulgence of a feverish vanity, but they open like a book the life of the Indian. His motive in adornment is to mark individual, tribal, or ceremonial distinction. The use of paint on the face, hair, and body, both in colour and design, generally has reference to individual or clan beliefs, or it indicates relationship, or personal bereavement, or is an act of courtesy. It is always employed in ceremonies, religious and secular, and is an accompaniment of gala dress for the purpose of honouring a guest or to celebrate an occasion. The face of the dead was frequently painted in accordance with tribal or religious symbolism. Paint is also used on the faces of children and adults as a protection from wind and sun. Plucking the hair from the face and body is a part of the daily program. The male Indian never shaves and the beard is a disgrace. A pair of tweezers becomes his razor. Sweet grasses and seeds serve as a perfume. Ear ornaments are a mark of family thrift, wealth or distinction, and indicate honour shown to the wearer by his kindred.
Among the Plains Indians the milk teeth of the elk were the most costly adornments. They were fastened in rows on a woman's tunic and represented the climax of Indian fashion, the garment possessing a value of several hundred dollars. Head bands, armlets, bracelets, belts, necklaces, and garters of metal and seeds and embroidered buckskin were in constant use. They were not only decorative but often symbolic. Archaeological testimony tells of the almost general use of sea shells as necklace ornaments, which found their way into the interior by barter or as ceremonial gifts. The chiefs of the tribe were fond of wearing a disk cut from a conch-shell, and these were also prominent in religious rites, ranking among the modern tribes as did the turquoise among the people of the Southwest. A necklace of bear claws marks the man of distinction, and sometimes was worn as an armlet. In the buffalo country the women seldom ornamented their own robes, but embroidered those worn by the men. Sometimes a man painted his robe in accordance with a dream or pictured upon it a yearly record of his own deeds, or the prominent events of the tribe. Among the southern tribes a prayer rug was made on deer skin, both the buffalo and deer skins having been tanned and softened by the use of the brains taken from the skull of the animal. The skins were painted with intricate ornamentation, symbols and prayer thoughts adorning the skin in ceremonial colours; white clouds and white flowers, the sun god, and the curve of the moon with its germ of life, the morning star, and also a symbol of the messengers from the gods. Above it all zigzag lines ran through the blue of the sky to denote the lightning by which the children above sent their decrees to the earth children who roamed the plains.
[An Imperial Warrior]
An Imperial Warrior
Footgear often proclaimed the tribal relation, the peculiar cut and decoration of the moccasin denoting a man's tribe. The war-shirt was frequently ornamented to represent the life story of the man wearing it. The breast contained a prayer for protection, and on the back might be found woven in beaded tapestry the symbols of victory. He had conquered the trail behind him. The shirt was often decorated with a fringe of human hair, the more warlike appending the scalps of the slain. The warrior wore no regalia so imposing as his war-bonnet with its crown of golden eagle feathers. Before the coming of the horse the flap at the back rarely extended below the waist, but when the warriors came to be mounted, the ruff of feathers was so lengthened that when the Indian was dismounted it trailed on the ground. The making of a war-bonnet was accompanied by song and ceremony. Each feather before it was placed in position was held in the hand and had recounted over it the story of some war honour. A bonnet could not be made without the consent of all the warriors and it stood as a record of tribal valour and a special mark of distinction granted to the man by his tribe. Every Indian takes great joy in laying out his colour scheme. It becomes a mosaic of artistic talent. Feathers are gathered from the eagles' flight. Skins are taken from the wild beasts. Bones, beads, sparkling metals, soft-tinted sea shells, and all of them blended with the varicoloured paints that he has compounded in nature's mortar. The woman enters into the work with intelligent zest, and when completed the whole array of blended colours is beyond the criticism of the tribe. The back of an Indian's war-bonnet and war-shirt is always more gaudy and sumptuous than the front view and this because when Indians pass each other their salutation is brief and formal. They ride right on. But after the meeting they turn in the saddle and look back to take an inventory. The wealth of the Indian, his position in the tribe, his ceremonial attainment are all passed upon and estimate entered. This colour scheme goes on through the entire Indian wardrobe to pipe sack, coup stick and moccasins. The Indian could not have received his suggestion for a colour scheme from the tinted leaves of autumn for they are dull in comparison. He may have had a hint from the glowing sunsets that in that western land fill earth and sky with a glory so transcendent that mere rhetoric is a profanation. More likely is it that when free and unrestrained he roamed over plain and hill his soul became enamoured with the dazzling array of colours, beyond the genius of the proudest palette, to be found in the marvellous formations that surround the great geysers of the Yellowstone, colours more exquisitely beautiful than the supremest refinement of art. Every-whither down the cone-shaped mounds are tiny steam-heated rivulets interlacing each other, edged with gold and vermilion and turquoise and orange and opal. Indian trails have been found also interlacing each other all through this wonderland. Deep furrows in the grassy slopes of these ancient footprints are still plainly visible. Thither we may believe came the red man imbued with the spirit of reverence and awe before all this majesty and beauty, and from this exhaustless laboratory claimed the vivid colouring for the expression of his life of faith.
[A Sunset in Camp]
A Sunset in Camp
[Lighting the Smoke Signal]
Lighting the Smoke Signal
The Indian has lived such a life of hazard for long centuries that he has had trained into him a first great instinct to fight. They have a war star in the sky, and when it moves the time to make war is heavy upon them. There are many cogent reasons for the belief that before the coming of the white man there were no general or long-continued wars among the Indians. There was no motive for war. Quarrels ensued when predatory tribes sought to filch women or horses. Strife was engendered on account of the distribution of buffalo, but these disturbances could not be dignified by the name of war. The country was large and the tribes were widely separated. Their war implements were of the crudest sort. A shield would stop a stone-headed arrow, and it necessitated a hand-to-hand conflict for the use of a flint-headed lance and the ponderous war club. The white man came, and for hundreds of years their contest has been waged against a superior force. They have disputed every mile of territory which has been acquired from them. During all that time they could not make a knife, a rifle or a round of ammunition. Their method of communication was confined to the smoke signal, signal fires and scouts. They had no telegraph, no heliograph, no arsenal. Modern implements of war they have been able to obtain only in late years and then in meagre quantities, even then only by capture or at exorbitant rates. The Indian has proved himself a redoubtable and masterful foe. For more than three hundred years millions of civilized white people have fought a bitter battle with three hundred thousand red men. During all these tragic years the nations of the world have moved on to discovery, subjugation, and conquest. Nation has taken up arms against nation. England, France, and Spain have put a rim of colonies about the globe. Our own great civil struggle has been written down on the pages of history with letters of blood. England, France, Spain, and the United States have during this period tried their prowess with these less than three hundred thousand braves and only now has the decimation become complete. No such striking example of endurance, power of resistance, and consummate generalship has been recorded in the annals of time. Sitting-Bull, Red Cloud, Looking-Glass, Chief Joseph, Two Moons, Grass, Rain-in-the-Face, American Horse, Spotted Tail, and Chief Gall are names that would add lustre to any military page in the world's history. Had they been leaders in any one of the great armies of the nation they would have ranked conspicuously as master captains. The Indian, deprived of the effectiveness of supplies and modern armament, found his strongest weapon in the oratory of the council lodge. Here, without any written or established code of laws, without the power of the press and the support of public sentiment, absolutely exiled from all communication with civilized resources, unaided and alone, their orators presented the affairs of the moment to the assembled tribe, swaying the minds and wills of their fellows into concerted and heroic action. The wonderful imagery of the Indian orator—an imagery born of his baptism into the spirit of nature—his love of his kind, and the deathless consciousness of the justice of his cause made his oratory more resistless than the rattle of Gatling guns, and also formed a model for civilized speech. It was an oratory that enabled a few scattering tribes to withstand the aggressions of four great nations of the world for a period of several centuries, and to successfully withstand the tramping columns of civilization. The science and art of Indian warfare would take volumes to compass. His strategy and statesmanship compelled victory. He was almost always assured of victory before he proceeded to battle. He knew no fear. A thousand lives would have been a small gift had he the power to lay them on the altar of his cause. He pitted the perfection of details against the wily strategy of his own colour and the pompous superiority of the white man's tactics. On the trail care was taken to cover up or obliterate his footprints. When a fire became necessary he burned fine dry twigs so that the burning of green boughs would not lift to the wind an odour of fire, nor carry a trail of smoke. He conceived and carried out a wonderful deception in dress. In winter a band of warriors were painted white. They rode white horses and their war dress was all of it made of the plainest white so that a group of warriors, stationed on the brow of a hill, would appear in the distance like a statuesque boulder clad in snow. This disguise also enabled them to come with stealthy step upon wild game. In autumn their horses were painted yellow and they wore a garb of yellow so that fringing the edge of the forest they could not be distinguished from the leaves of the dying year. The blue-green of the sagebrush, so conspicuously omnipresent on the prairies, furnished the Indian with another helpful form of disguise. He would almost completely disrobe and paint his face, his arms, and his hair, as well as the body of his horse, exactly the colour of the sagebrush; and when scouting, after their crouching fashion, among the clusters of sagebrush, or riding in the distance along the verdure-covered banks of a stream, the disguise would be so absolutely complete that detection became a difficult task. It was an ingenious and artistic display of war talent.
[Answering the Smoke Signal]
Answering the Smoke Signal
We are led to wonder often concerning the Indian's passion for his coup stick (pronounced coo). This rod, bedecked with eagle feathers and his own colour scheme, is the Indian's badge of empire. It is the "Victoria Cross" of his deeds of valour. In battle he rushes amid his foes, touches the enemy with his coup stick—that man is his prisoner, and he has counted a coup. He slays an enemy, then rushes up and touches him with the stick, takes his scalp; another coup is counted. The credit of victory was taken for three brave deeds: killing an enemy, scalping an enemy, or being the first to strike an enemy, alive or dead; any one of these entitles a man to rank as a warrior and to recount his exploit in public; but to be the first to touch an enemy is regarded as the bravest deed of all, as it implied close approach in battle. In the last Great Indian Council and on the journey home the attention of the writer was called to the prominence given to the coup stick. They are present at all ceremonial functions and are carried on all ceremonial parades. The warrior who can strike a tepee of the enemy in a charge upon a home camp thus counted coup upon it and is entitled to reproduce its particular design in the next new tepee which he made for his own use, and to perpetuate the pattern in his family. The eagle feathers on the stick can only be placed there after the warrior has counted his coup, recounted it in public, and the deed has met with the approval of all the warriors. The eagle, the proudest and most victorious of birds, then yielded a feather, which is deftly fastened with a circle of shining beads to the stick, and the proud victor flaunts another emblem of his bravery.
[The Attack on the Camp]
The Attack on the Camp
The buffalo, once the king of the prairies, has been practically exterminated. Perhaps no greater grief has ever entered into the life of the Indian than this wilful waste and irreparable loss. To this hour the Indian mourns the going away of the buffalo. He cannot be reconciled. He dates every joyful and profitable event in his life to the days of the buffalo. In the assembly of chiefs at the last Great Council the buffalo was the burden of every reminiscence. These veteran chiefs studied with melancholy eyes the old buffalo trails, and in contemplation of the days of the chase they said, as they thought backward, "My heart is lonely and my spirit cries." So much did they love the buffalo that the Indian children played hunting the buffalo. The animal furnished food and clothing, and many parts of the stalwart frame they counted as sacred. The annihilation of these vast herds aroused the darkest passions in the heart of the Indian, and many times stirred his war spirit and sent him forth to do battle against the aggressors. Within the nine years between 1874 and 1883 over eight millions of buffalo were ruthlessly slain. But the war curtain of the Indian has been rung down, and the vast area which twoscore years ago supported these vast herds of wild game is covered to-day with domestic animals and teems with agricultural life, furnishing food supplies for millions upon millions all over the civilized world.
[Buffalo Thundered Across the Plains]
Buffalo Thundered Across the Plains
[An Indian Home]
An Indian Home
HIS HOME LIFE
Far stretches of prairie, winding watercourses, leagues of white desert with only the clouds in the sky and the shadow of the clouds on the blistering sand, an army of buttes and crags, storm carved, forests whose primeval stillness mocks the calendar of man, the haunts of the eagle, the antelope, the deer and the buffalo—and the edge of the curtain is lifted on the land where the Indian roamed and where he made his home.
Game has been found, a semi-circle of cone-shaped tepees dot the green of the plain; a stream, tree-fringed, fresh from the mountains, flows by the camp—a camp that in earlier times was pitched upon some tableland as an outlook for the enemy, white or red. Horses are browsing near at hand or far afield; old warriors and medicine men sit in the shade and smoke the long-stemmed, red sandstone pipe, and tell of the days of yore. Gayly clad figures dart hither and yon as the women are bent upon their tasks. Great loads of wood are brought into camp on an Indian woman's back. She carries water from the river, bakes the cake, upturned against the fire, boils the coffee and then all are seated on the ground when they partake of jerked beef, coffee, bread, and berries. Hands are better than knives and forks, one cup answers for many, and the strip of dried beef is passed along that all may cut off his desired portion. A noisy, gleeful group of children play with their dolls and their dogs—dogs that are made to serve as beasts of burden and instruments of torture. At night beds are made on the ground around the interior circle of the tepee and the chill of frost is driven out by a fire in the very centre—the most perfectly ventilated structure in the world—the air passing underneath the edge of the tepee in the loop where it is tied at the bottom of the poles, then passing on out through the opening at the top, carrying with it all dust and smoke. The Indian never knew anything about tuberculosis until the white man confined him in log cabins where a score of people live in one room, the cracks and keyhole entirely filled, and where they breath each other over times without number. Within the tepee the chief has the place of honour. A rest is made with supports like an easel. A lattice-work of slender willow rods passed down the front, which is covered by a long strip of buffalo hide. Against this the chief rests. Each member of the family has his allotted place inside the lodge and he may decorate his own section according to ability or fancy. Here the warrior hangs his war-bonnet and sometimes records his achievements in the chase or on the warpath. Lying all about the circle are many highly coloured parflesche bags containing the minor details of dress or any personal possession. Many of the tepees in an Indian village are embellished with Indian paintings setting forth the heroic deeds of the warriors who abide in the lodge. The figures are often grotesque and without parallel in the realm of art. The medicine is given a conspicuous place in the lodge. No one sits or lies down on the side of the tepee where they have placed the medicine of the household, and when they pass it on entering or leaving the lodge all heads are bowed. The medicine tepee is distinct from all others. It is painted a maroon, with a moon in green surrounded by a yellow circle. The medicine of the ordinary Indian family is hung over the entrance of the doorway or suspended on a pole, and may consist of a wolf skin or a dark blanket rolled in oblong fashion containing the sacred tokens of the family. Every Indian family takes pride in the ownership of a bevy of dogs. They are rich in dogs. In our camp of about thirty tepees a reliable Indian estimated that there were over three hundred dogs. These canines have free run of the lodge, and at night they crawl in under the edge of the canvas and sleep by their Indian master. Let an intruder enter the camp during the hours of darkness and they rush out simultaneously, howling like a pack of wolves until one might think the bowels of the earth had given forth an eruption of dogs. The Indian warrior makes a companion of his dog, and he can show no greater hospitality to a guest than to kill his favourite friend and serve his visitor with dog soup. To refuse this diet is an insult most vital.
[An Indian Burden Bearer]
An Indian Burden Bearer
The Indian woman is master of the lodge. She carries the purse. Any money that comes into the hands of the husband is immediately handed over. The servile tasks of the camp are performed by the women. Herein we have an expression of the law of equality. The husband has to perform the exhausting and dangerous task of hunting wild game for food and the skins for clothing. He had to protect the camp against hostile attacks, and the woman felt that her task was easy in comparison. The Indian child rules the family. They are rarely, if ever, corrected. No Indian mother was ever known to strike her child. If they want anything they cry until they get it—and they know how to cry. In play they are as mirthful and boisterous as any white child. They ride mock horses, and play mud ball. The Indian boy prepares willow sticks, peels off the bark, then rolls the wet clay into balls, and, sticking the ball on the end of the twig, he throws it at a mark with great speed and accuracy. Perhaps the most popular sport among the children is what they term the stick game. Again willow rods are used without the bark, only this time they are cut short enough to be rigid, and they drive them with great velocity up an inclined board. When the stick leaves the board it speeds like an arrow far in the distance. Every Indian boy and girl owns a pony, from which they are almost inseparable, and which they ride with fearless abandon.
[An Indian Woman's Dress—Mrs. Wolf Plume]
An Indian Woman's Dress—Mrs. Wolf Plume
While men are off in search of game the women make bead work of a most bewitching order, meanwhile watching the pappoose, fastened completely in its wooden bead-covered cradle, only the head protruding. The cradle is hung from a lodge pole or the bough of a tree, rattles and bells playing in the breeze. Other women gather in the shade and play the game of plum stone, a gambling game. They use the stones of the wild plum, which they colour with fanciful devices, and toss them up in a wooden bowl.
[The Flower of the Wigwam]
The Flower of the Wigwam
The wooing of Indian lovers varies with the tribes. One pair of lovers seal their vows by standing a little removed from the parental lodge, with a blanket covering their heads. In another tribe the negotiations are made entirely through the parents, when the transaction resolves itself into a barter, so many ponies for a bride; while in still another tribe, when a love fancy strikes a young man, he arranges to meet the young woman who has attracted him as she goes to the river for water. They pass each other in the path without any recognition. This occurs two or three times. Finally if the young girl welcomes these attentions she looks toward him as they pass. That night he comes to the lodge of her parents, remains outside, beating a tomtom and singing the love song. The young girl then goes out to meet him and they sit outside and talk. The next morning the mother asks her daughter about the affair, and then the mother invites the young man to come and dine with them and sit around the campfire. Thus the courtship proceeds until he finally says, "I will take this girl for my wife," and the two go to their own lodge. The Indian has an unwritten code of family morals to which he most rigidly adheres. In some tribes no Indian will cross the threshold of another if the wife of that man is alone, and in others no brother goes into the house where his sister is unless she has a companion. This is an ancient law and belongs to many tribes. The Crows have an eccentric custom that a sister after marriage is not allowed to be seen in public with her brother. Should an Indian alienate the affections of the wife of another Indian or steal his horse the injured one would be justified in taking his rifle and killing the offender. The whole camp would sanction the action on the ground that it would rid the camp of bad blood.
The Indian's civility and hospitality, both to his own kind and to strangers, has been a marked feature of his character from the coming of the white man to the present day. When Columbus touched the shores of the New World the friendly Caribs gave him hearty welcome. The heart's right hand of fellowship was stretched out in welcome and hospitality as explorers and settlers landed on American soil. Dignity, generosity, and courtesy marked the attitude of the Indian toward these new white strangers. The character generally attributed to the Indian is that of a savage, but this blemish came upon him through contact with the white man. Their ingenuous and trustful nature quickly degenerated as they were enslaved, betrayed, and slain. Advantage was taken of their ignorance and kindness. Then came on a race war unparalleled in ferocity and barbarism. The inexorable march of civilization regardless of ethics swept on until we heard the Indians' war cry and failed to see the diviner grace of friendship. The Indian returned with interest every injury and hardship, every bitter assault and wicked aggression. He paid in full all accounts in the coin of pitiless revenge. These shadows obliterate our thought of him as courtier and hospitable host. The Indian will divide his last crust and then go hungry himself that you may have his half of the crust. Had it not been for Indian generosity in furnishing supplies of food, the early settlers in both New England and Virginia must have perished with hunger. Every guest entering an Indian wigwam is met by all the graces of hospitality—in cordial greeting—in a splendid home feeling.
[A Bath in the Little Big Horn]
A Bath in the Little Big Horn
Indian trails are no longer worn deep through the prairie sod, they have been growing ever more dim and indistinct. It is to-day, the "thin red line," a swift gathering of all that is left, in the gloaming, after the sunset.
[The Crown of Eagle Feathers]
The Crown of Eagle Feathers
THE STORY OF THE CHIEFS
The American mind could conceive a republic but not an Indian. America could conquer the Old World and rise redeemed and victorious when rent by the awful whirlwind of internal strife. But the red man defied her. His call rang across the plain like an autumn storm through the forests, and his fellow red men answered like clustering leaves. History shudders at the tale. Now look over the shoulder. When the fiery tongue of the Revolution blazed into the undying speech of liberty, Madison, Mason, Patrick Henry, and Edmund Randolph uttered their declaration that like a sunbeam has been written upon every page of the nation's history: "All men are by nature equally free and have inherent rights—namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety." Upon the inviolability of this sublime doctrine the early colonists fought for liberty, and the nation flung a battle line more than two thousand miles long, and engaged at arms over two millions of men, in order to procure liberty for another race. Once again, set each luminous word in this declaration over against the disposition and destiny that we have imposed upon the North American Indian. And then picture these famous Indian chiefs, gathered from many widely scattered wigwams; hear again and for the last time a life story that rounds itself out into an epic of sorrow; listen for the heavy footfalls of departing greatness; watch the grim faces, sternly set toward the western sky rim, heads still erect, eagle feathers, emblems of victory, moving proudly into the twilight, and a long, solitary peal of distant thunder joining the refrain of the soul—and it is night.
[Warriors of Other Days]
Warriors of Other Days
[Chief Plenty Coups]
Chief Plenty Coups
Chief Plenty Coups
Chief Plenty Coups, chief of the Crow Nation, was exalted to the head of all the Crows because of his untarnished valour on the field of battle, because of the supremacy of his statesmanship, and his loyalty to the interests of his tribe. He derived his name, "many coups," from the fact that he was able to add eagle feather after eagle feather to his coup stick, counting coups in victory. When a lad of sixteen his brother was killed by the Sioux. The boy, bewildered with grief, climbed for two days, struggling to reach the summit of some high peak in the Crazy Mountains, there to give vent to his grief and pray for revenge. While he prayed to the sun he mutilated his body. Upon those lonely heights, never before desecrated by human footsteps, he dedicated his life to battle. Before he was twenty-six he had counted a coup of each kind and was made a chief, and named "Many Achievements." At sixty-three years of age he stands as erect as a solitary pine on a lonely hill crest. He has the bearing and dignity of a royal prince and wears his honours and war dress with all the pride and courtliness of a patrician. He glories in the fact that from his earliest days he has never fought the white man, but his life has been a long series of conflicts with other Indian nations. Before the white man ever placed his footsteps upon Indian soil his days were filled with struggle in warding off the blows of hostile tribes who sought the women and the horses of his own people. Then, to use his own expression: "The Great Father ordered that we should stop fighting and live in peace, and since that time we have had allotments of land, schools have been built for the education of our children, and as an illustration of the feelings of my heart to-day, I am at peace with all the tribes, they are all my brothers, and I meet them all as one man. I shall live for my country and shall remain in peace, as I feel peaceful toward my country." The reign of this great chief over his tribe is one of benignity and beneficence. He is greatly concerned in his last days to raise up young men who shall know the rights and opportunities of his people and who shall thus have influence at Washington, which he has many times visited and where he is always welcome. The smile of Chief Plenty Coups is worth crossing many miles of prairie to see. It was eminently fitting that this great chief on the grounds of his own Indian tribe should receive the chiefs attending the last Great Indian Council.
[The Peaceful Camp]
The Peaceful Camp
[Chief Red Whip]
Chief Red Whip
Chief Red Whip (1)
Chief Red Whip is considered by his tribe as one of the greatest of the old hunters and warriors. The varying fortunes of the Gros Ventres, the strenuous war career of this noted chief, have ploughed deep furrows and written serious lines in his face. He is too old a man at fifty-five, but wounds and scars and battle rush age upon any man.
Chief Red Whip said to me: "The greatest event in my life was my fight with the Sioux in the Little Rocky Mountains. There were eleven Crows and three Gros Ventres in our band; our leader was a Crow. There were about one hundred and thirty Sioux. We were making the ascent of the Little Rockies, and my friends went down into the ravine to shoot some buffalo. While they were down there shooting the buffalo and cutting them up the leader sent me to do scout work. While I was up on the hills I saw the Sioux sneaking up to where we had killed the buffalo. I ran down at once to my friends and told them. We went back a little ways and made a fort and got ready to fight. I was painted yellow and red and was naked. When the fort was finished I went myself, taking two others with me, to find out the location of the Sioux. We went right up to where I saw them last. I could tell by their tracks that there were a great many of them. I went up a little ridge that divided our band from the Sioux, and just as I stuck my head up above the grass they all fired at me, about a hundred guns, but they did not hit me. When my friends heard the firing they came to where I was, and we went right down on the Sioux, and the Sioux came at us, and we had a fight for a few minutes at close quarters. After we had a short fight we rushed right on to the Sioux and they retreated. The Sioux had to go up a hill and we wounded some and killed others. After the Sioux had got up the hill I was the first one to get to a man who was killed. I scalped him and claimed everything he had. After the Sioux found out that we were only a small band they rushed down upon us and we retreated to where we had made the fort. Inside this fort there were two Crows killed with one bullet. The leader of the Sioux band was Chief Flying Cloud. I found out afterward who he was. It was Flying Cloud that we killed coming up the hill; he was trying to protect his band. When we were in the fort the Sioux people surrounded us. After the two Crows were killed the leader of our band became scared. I jumped out of the fort and led the way for my band. We ran the Sioux back to the Little Rockies, and then I told my friends to escape. As we retreated the Sioux pursued us. One Sioux was in advance and called upon me to stop, and as I stopped he fired at me but missed me, and then I fired and killed him. The Sioux then rushed on me so that I could not scalp the Sioux I had killed. We ran on into the mountains and escaped into another fort. In this last fort one of the Gros Ventres was shot and wounded. After we had rested a while the Sioux surrounded us again, and I rushed out at the Sioux so that my friends might escape again. While we were retreating again the Sioux shot one of the Gros Ventres through the leg, and he had to crawl on his hands and knees. I stayed with this wounded man, and the rest made their escape. I took this man on my back and carried him to some water at the head of a coulee. This Gros Ventre told me to go on and make my escape and leave him alone to die. While we were resting in the weeds at the washout the Sioux surrounded us again and waited for us to show ourselves. While we were waiting my wounded friend gave me his knife and paint and told me to tell his mother that she might have all his horses; then I jumped out and ran to catch up with my friends. After I had left my wounded friend about a quarter of a mile I looked back to see how the Sioux would treat him. There was one shot fired, and they all jumped into the washout, and then I made my escape. This gave me a great name in my tribe and among the Sioux and the Crows."
[The Pause in the Journey]
The Pause in the Journey
"Once on Tongue River there was a white soldier of the United States troops whom the Indians called Bear Shirt; he wore long hair like Custer. I was with him scouting for him. We called him Bear Shirt because he used to wear a bear coat. We came upon a band of Sioux, and there was a fight. This was a long fight, and there were many killed on both sides. In this fight when the Sioux got the best of the soldiers and the soldiers retreated, I stayed behind to protect them. The soldiers were so tired they could not run, and the Sioux killed off those who were too tired to run. I remained in the rear to protect them until they came to the main body of troops. When we were rested we went back to the main body of the Sioux and had another long fight and fought until sundown. There were a great many killed on both sides. We camped right where we quit fighting. The next morning we started to fight again and fought all day; again many were killed on both sides. The next day we went over the two battlefields and gathered up the dead soldiers and buried them. These battles were on Tongue River. After we had buried the soldiers I came back with the rest of the troops as far as the Yellowstone, and then went home." And yet such heroisms wrought out in lonely mountain fastnesses or on sun-parched plains will go unhonoured and unsung.
Chief Timbo, known as Tah-cha-chi, or Hairless, ranks as one of the leading chiefs of the Comanche Indians. With his stature of more than six feet, he is a commanding figure among any Indians. The portrait of Timbo reveals the striking difference to be found in the physiognomy of the southern tribes as compared with the northern tribes of the Plains Indians. In the photogravure presented Chief Timbo holds a long steel-headed spear, girdled with varicoloured beads, ornamented with great tufts of eagle feathers, and at the end of its ten feet of length bearing a picturesque plume. This staff descended to Timbo from Quanah Parker, once the leading chief of the Comanches. Chief Timbo brought this insignia of office from the southland to the council of the chiefs. In his own tribe the possession of such a mace answers among the Indians for the sceptre of a monarch. It is a coup stick with manifold emphasis. Chief Timbo accompanied the Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Apache chiefs to the council. They came as brothers, but no fierce fighting among these warlike tribes found a stronger or more fearless foe in the days gone by than this stalwart chief. In the assembly of the chiefs he moved among his fellows with a solemn and ponderous dignity, always silent and full of commanding reserve. In the battles that raged over the southern plains even far to the north, between the Comanches and the fierce Kiowas, Chief Timbo led his fighting bands to certain victory. Fierce blood runs in the veins of this masterful man, and only within recent years, and then not easily, has he submitted to Government rule.
[The Downward Trail]
The Downward Trail
[Chief Apache John]
Chief Apache John
Chief Apache John
The very name Apache means enemy and stands on the pages of all Indian history as a synonym for terror. Since our knowledge of them, the Apaches have been hostile and in every conflict they were favoured with rare and gifted leadership. It required the skill, strategy, and profoundest generalship of two of the greatest generals of the Civil War to subdue and capture the daring and reckless Geronimo, whose recent death closed the final chapter of a long line of unspeakable Apache atrocities. Koon-kah-za-chy, familiarly known as Apache John, because of his surrender to civilization, visited the last Great Indian Council as a representative of one of the many groups of this great body of Indians scattered through the southwest. There is an indefinable air of stoicism in the demeanour of all of these great chieftains. The subject of this text is not lacking in this prominent Indian element. A keen and piercing eye, a sadly kind face, a tall and erect figure, Apache John bears his sixty years of life with broad and unbending shoulders. He was fond of becoming reminiscent and said: "The first thing I can remember is my father telling me about war. We then lived in tepees like the one in which we are now sitting. We were then moving from place to place, and the old people were constantly talking about war. That was the school in which I was brought up—a war school. We kept on moving from place to place until I grew to manhood. Then I came to see a real battle. The first time I was in a battle I thought of what my father had told me. He told me to be a brave man and fight and never run away. I think this was good fighting, because I know what fighting meant from what my father had told me. At that time if an Indian wanted to win distinction he must be a good man as well as a good fighter. I was in a good many battles, until finally I had to give up fighting. About seven years ago the Government gave me advice, and with that advice they gave me different thoughts, and to-day I am one of the head men among the Apaches. I am head chief among the Kiowa-Apaches and I counsel peace among them. I used to think that my greatest honour was to be won in fighting, but when I visited the Commissioner in Washington he gave me other thoughts and other ways of thinking and doing until I felt that the new kind of life was the better. When the Commissioner told me these things I wrote them down in my mind and I thought that it was good. One of the greatest events in my life was when I found myself surrounded by two tribes of my enemies. This fight was by the El Paso River, and the bands of our enemies wore yellow headgear; the fight continued all day long until about five o'clock, when the Apaches were victorious."
By long and stubborn tutelage both from his father and the members of his tribe, this boy was taught the war spirit and in manhood he exemplified it. The principles of peace taught him in one short hour at Washington changed the whole tenor of his life: a pathetic commentary on what civilization might have accomplished with the Indian.
[Climbing the Great Divide]
Climbing the Great Divide
[Chief Running Bird]
Chief Running Bird
Chief Running Bird
Ta-ne-haddle, Chief Running Bird, is an eminent leader of the Kiowa tribe now located in Oklahoma. His massive frame, lion-like head, and dignified bearing show few of the marks of the more than threescore years written upon his life. His very walk betokens supremacy and his constant demeanour assumes a spirit of generalship. His large head is set directly upon his shoulders, which seems to give no neck-play for his voice, which issues in harsh and guttural tones.
"In the old times when the Indians used to live in tepees like this," he said, "when I was about eighteen years old, I began to go out with war parties. I have been in many wars, and lived in tents and tepees and moved from one place to another, and all this time I kept in good health. I remember a fight we had where there were thirty-eight Indians against four tribes. The battle began late in the evening and while the fight was raging high I thought I would never escape with my life. The enemy pressed us hotly, and finally we killed one of the chiefs, and then the Indians turned and left, and that saved our lives."
The construction of our Indian camp on the banks of the Little Horn awakened in this man, as it did in all the Indians, a disposition to turn back to primitive conditions. Running Bird said: "I was very glad to come here and see the old-time tepees, the kind of tepees our fathers used to live in. I grew up to manhood myself in this kind of a tepee, and I had good health, and now when they give us a house to live in I am not healthy at all. The reason we cannot have good health in a house is because the Great Father gave us tepees to live in where we have plenty of air; we feel smothered in a house. When I came out and sleep in a tepee I can sleep a great deal better. I am getting old now, and am getting up in years, and all I wish at the present time is for my children to grow up industrious and work, because they cannot get honour in the war as I used to get it. They can only get honour by working hard. I cannot teach my children the way my father taught me, that the way to get honour was to go to war, but I can teach my children that the way to get honour is to go to work and be good men and women. I shall go home and tell the other Indians and our agent about you."
And thus out of his gruff, austere, and soldier-like personality there issued words of a plain, homely philosophy that marks the path of success for all men. "The way to get honour is to go to work and be good men and women."
[Chiefs Fording the Little Bighorn]
Chiefs Fording the Little Bighorn
[Chief Brave Bear]
Chief Brave Bear
Chief Brave Bear
Brave Bear, in the language of the Cheyennes, of whom he is head chief, is Ni-go High-ez, Ni-go meaning bear, and High-ez, brave. This name he has kept to the standard on many a hard-fought field, and in helping to reconstruct his tribe in the ways of civilization. He is tactful and courteous, and his smile resembles the sunlight breaking a path across a darkened sheet of water; it is the most winsome that I have seen for years on the face of any man.
Showing the Indian's long continued aversion to any speech regarding the Custer battle, Brave Bear said: "I was in the battle of the Little Big Horn. The Indians called the General 'Long Hair.' It is a fight that I do not like to talk about."
Just here it may be well to carry in our minds the distinction between the Northern and Southern Cheyennes. When the tribe was a compact whole they were constantly pressed farther into the plains by the hostile Sioux and established themselves on the upper branches of the Platte River. In consequence of the building of Bent's Ford upon the upper Arkansas in Colorado, a large part of the tribe decided to move south, the other section moving north to the Yellow-stone. The two sections of the one tribe have since been known officially as the Northern and Southern Cheyennes. Ever and again the Southern branch of the tribe came to the far north to help their brothers when in conflict. This may account for Brave Bear being present with the Northern Cheyennes in the Custer fight. Then came the story of Brave Bear concerning one of the battles in the south. "There is," he said, "a Cheyenne called 'Tall Bear'; he was the head man at the time we began to fight down on the Platte River. From that hard battle we were returning home. In front of us there were a lot of soldiers camped, and some of the Pawnee scouts were with the soldiers. We thought they were Pawnee tents, but when we came close enough we saw it was a soldier camp, and they fired upon us and pursued us. That day we kept on fighting, and they killed three of us. It was a great fight, and it still remains with me when I think about it."
"I like the white man's way of living to-day better, because I feel that when the new day comes everything else is new, and the things of the white man grow new with every day. I try to do as our agent directs. I have never had any trouble with him."
There is a touch of humanness about these tall, graceful, feather-bedecked men, willingly assuming the role of children, that they may learn the better ways of the white man. The hard ideals of the warpath are all merged in pursuing the path of peace.
[Skirting the Sky-Line]
Skirting the Sky-Line
This eminent chief of the Cayuse tribe of Umatilla Indians, located in northern Oregon, resembles in stature the graceful outlines of a forest pine. A commanding figure, six feet two inches in height, noble and dignified in bearing, quiet and reserved in manner, he creates an atmosphere of intellectuality. His speech is sparkling and eloquent. His face wears the soul-mark of serenity and triumph. As he stood against the living green of the forest, clad in the rich Indian raiment of his tribe, wolfskin, gray with the tinge of the prairies, otterskin, smooth and dark like the velvet of moss, myriads of ermine tails glistening white in the sunlight, glimmering beads from necklace to moccasins, flaunting eagle feathers tipped with orange and crimson tassels, that must have floated in many a sky, all gave to this man the appearance of some god of the forest who had just come forth from its primeval depths bringing with him the laurels of wood and mountain crag and sky, some king standing on the edge of the wood amazed at the flatness and tameness of the valley and plains. Umapine stood there the embodiment and glorification of Indian manners, costume, and tradition, a vivid picture of Indian life and story. The waymarks of such a life are, always tense with interest: they are more so as he points them out himself. We will let him tell his own story:
"It was the custom among my people to narrate to their children the history of the past and they narrated to me that my tribe had learned to make clothing from furs which were gotten from animals, and this clothing was comfortable during the winter time as well as in the summer time. There is still some of this clothing remaining among older Indians of my tribe. My understanding is that all the Indians in this part of the country used animal furs and skins for clothing. The old Indians believed in those days that they had the best kind of clothing, but they do not feel that it would be right at the present time to dress that way, as the Indians of to-day are more civilized. Yet the clothes that we have now are derived from animals. We get fur from animals, and our blankets and clothes are made from animals. From that point I cannot say which I like the better. I like the clothing of civilized people as far as I can see. The white man's clothing is fit for men to wear. I like to wear his clothes very well, but I also like to wear the clothing my people used to wear in the olden time, but I do not like to wear it now on account of my friends the white people, who live with me. I remember when I was a small boy I used to see so many wagon trains going west. I knew these were white people, but at that time I did not know where they were going. I saw these wagons going through nearly the whole summer, and my folks told me these people were going west and were to live there, and that I must not injure them in any way, and that I must have respect for them, because they were always kind to my folks. And I was instructed later to respect these people, and so I did. Furthermore, my grandfather lived on a river called Walla Walla. Many white people came to that place and put up their tents and lived there, and also there was some kind of other people which we have found were French. My grandfather had a great respect for these white people as well as his own tribe, and thought very much of them and tried to help them get along. As soon as the other tribes learned there were some white people living near my grandfather's place, there was a great gathering of the tribes to meet these white folks who were living on the river. I have it in my heart to always remember what my folks told me, and when I grew old enough to know I had respect for these white people as well as my own tribe, and to-day my heart is just the same as it was in those days. Furthermore, I have respect for any kind of people; it does not make any difference to me from what part of the country they come. It does not make any difference whether I don't understand their language, but I always have respect for any kind of people who come to this land, and to-day I am sitting here in a strange country and I am worrying about my property in my own country, but at the same time I am rejoicing in the work that Mr. Dixon is doing here, and I highly congratulate him in this work. The work he is doing here to-day is work that may never be done any more after this, and I have a great respect for him this day because he is taking these photographs of my friends whom I meet here at this place, and whom I will never see any more. I rejoice to meet my own class of people who are coming here now. They all come from different parts of the United States. I cannot speak their language nor can I understand them all, but I do all I can to talk with them; and you, too, Mr. Valentine, I am thinking of you as I am here talking with Mr. Dixon, and at the same time I am rejoicing just as he has opened my eyes and I hope that we will get along well. I am going to say I have respect for the people you send to this country. I see that they have two eyes, they have two ears, two limbs, two feet, and fingers as I have, but we all have one head and one heart; we all breathe the same air and we stand on the earth as brothers. The only difference between myself and the white man is that his complexion is lighter than mine."
"I have a great love for you, President Taft, although I never saw your face, or never listened to any of your talk, but I know what you want, and I find you are greatly interested in the Indian, and so I am sitting here and giving the history of the Indian life, which will be a great benefit to you, and also benefit the people who are coming in later years. This evening I am rejoicing here, and I feel just as if you were present with this gentleman, and I feel just as if I were about to talk with you."