The Blackfeet do not consider the Sand Hills a happy hunting ground. There the dead, who are themselves shadows, live in shadow lodges, hunt shadow buffalo, go to war against shadow enemies, and in every way lead an existence which is but a mimicry of this life. In this respect the Blackfeet are almost alone. I know of scarcely any other American tribe, certainly none east of the Rocky Mountains, who are wholly without a belief in a happy future state. The Blackfeet do not especially say that this future life is an unhappy one, but, from the way in which they speak of it, it is clear that for them it promises nothing desirable. It is a monotonous, never ending, and altogether unsatisfying existence,—a life as barren and desolate as the country which the ghosts inhabit. These people are as much attached to life as we are. Notwithstanding the unhappy days which have befallen them of late years,—days of privation and hunger,—they cling to life. Yet they seem to have no fear of death. When their time comes, they accept their fate without a murmur, and tranquilly, quietly pass away.
MEDICINE PIPES AND HEALING
The person whom the whites term "medicine man" is called by the Blackfeet Ni-namp'-skan. Mr. Schultz believes this word to be compounded of nin'nah, man, and namp'-ski, horned toad (Phrynosoma), and in this he is supported by Mr. Thomas Bird, a very intelligent half-breed, who has translated a part of the Bible into the Blackfoot language for the Rev. S. Trivett, a Church of England missionary. These gentlemen conclude that the word means "all-face man." The horned toad is called namp'-ski, all-face; and as the medicine man, with his hair done up in a huge topknot, bore a certain resemblance to this creature, he was so named. No one among the Blackfeet appears to have any idea as to what the word means.
The medicine pipes are really only pipe stems, very long, and beautifully decorated with bright-colored feathers and the fur of the weasel and other animals. It is claimed that these stems were given to the people long, long ago, by the Sun, and that those who own them are regarded by him with special favor.
Formerly these stems were valued at from fifteen to thirty head of horses, and were bought and sold like any other property. When not in use, they were kept rolled up in many thicknesses of fine tanned fur, and with them were invariably a quantity of tobacco, a sacred whistle, two sacred rattles, and some dried sweet grass, and sweet pine needles.
In the daytime, in pleasant weather, these sacred bundles were hung out of doors behind the owners' lodges, on tripods. At night they were suspended within, above the owners' seat It was said that if at any time a person should walk completely around the lodge of a medicine man, some bad luck would befall him. Inside the lodge, no one was allowed to pass between the fireplace and the pipe stem. No one but a medicine man and his head wife could move or unroll the bundle. The man and his wife were obliged always to keep their faces, hands, and clothing painted with nits'-i-san, a dull red paint, made by burning a certain clay found in the bad lands.
The Ni-namp'-skan appears to be a priest of the Sun, and prayers offered through him are thought to be specially favored. So the sacred stem is frequently unrolled for the benefit of the sick, for those who are about to undertake a dangerous expedition, such as a party departing to war, for prayers for the general health and prosperity of the people, and for a bountiful supply of food. At the present time these ancient ceremonies have largely fallen into disuse. In fact, since the disappearance of the buffalo, most of the old customs are dying out.
The thunder is believed to bring the rain in spring, and the rain makes the berries grow. It is a rule that after the first thunder is heard in the spring, every medicine man must give a feast and offer prayers for a large berry crop. I have never seen this ceremony, but Mr. Schultz was once permitted to attend one, and has given me the following account of it. He said: "When I entered the lodge with the other guests, the pipe stem had already been unrolled. Before the fire were two huge kettles of cooked sarvis berries, a large bowlful of which was soon set before each guest. Each one, before eating, took a few of the berries and rubbed them into the ground, saying, 'Take pity on us, all Above People, and give us good.'
"When all had finished eating, a large black stone pipe bowl was filled and fitted to the medicine stem, and the medicine man held it aloft and said: 'Listen, Sun! Listen, Thunder! Listen, Old Man! All Above Animals, all Above People, listen. Pity us! You will smoke. We fill the sacred pipe. Let us not starve. Give us rain during this summer. Make the berries large and sweet. Cover the bushes with them. Look down on us all and pity us. Look at the women and the little children; look at us all. Let us reach old age. Let our lives be complete. Let us destroy our enemies. Help the young men in battle. Man, woman, child, we all pray to you; pity us and give us good. Let us survive.'
"He then danced the pipe dance, to be described further on. At this time, another storm had come up, and the thunder crashed directly over our heads.
"'Listen,' said the medicine man. 'It hears us. We are not doing this uselessly'; and he raised his face, animated with enthusiasm, toward the sky, his whole body trembling with excitement; and, holding the pipe aloft, repeated his prayer. All the rest of the people were excited, and repeatedly clasped their arms over their breasts, saying: 'Pity us; good give us; good give us. Let us survive.'
"After this, the pipe was handed to a man on the right of the semi-circle. Another warrior took a lighted brand from the fire, and counted four coups, at the end of each coup touching the pipe bowl with the brand. When he had counted the fourth coup, the pipe was lighted. It was then smoked in turn around the circle, each one, as he received it, repeating a short prayer before he put the stem to his lips. When it was smoked out, a hole was dug in the ground, the ashes were knocked into it and carefully covered over, and the thunder ceremony was ended."
In the year 1885, I was present at the unwrapping of the medicine pipe by Red Eagle, an aged Ni-namp'-skan since dead. On this occasion prayers were made for the success of a party of Piegans who had started in pursuit of some Crows who had taken a large band of horses from the Piegans the day before. The ceremony was a very impressive one, and prayers were offered not only for the success of this war party, but also for the general good, as well as for the welfare of special individuals, who were mentioned by name. The concluding words of the general prayer were as follows: "May all people have full life. Give to all heavy bodies. Let the young people grow; increase their flesh. Let all men, women, and children have full life. Harden the bodies of the old people so that they may reach great age."
In 1879, Mr. Schultz saw a sacred pipe unwrapped for the benefit of a sick woman, and on various occasions since he has been present at this ceremony. All accounts of what takes place agree so closely with what I saw that I give only one of them. Mr. Schultz wrote me of the first occasion: "When I entered the lodge, it was already well filled with men who had been invited to participate in the ceremony. The medicine man was aged and gray-headed, and his feeble limbs could scarcely support his body. Between him and his wife was the bundle which contained the medicine pipe, as yet unwrapped, lying on a carefully folded buffalo robe. Plates of food were placed before each guest, and after all had finished eating, and a common pipe had been lighted to be smoked around the circle, the ceremony began.
"With wooden tongs, the woman took a large coal from the fire, and laid it on the ground in front of the sacred stem. Then, while every one joined in singing a chant, a song of the buffalo (without words), she took a bunch of dried sweet grass, and, raising and lowering her hand in time to the music, finally placed the grass on the burning coals. As the thin column of perfumed smoke rose from the burning herb, both she and the medicine man grasped handfuls of it and rubbed it over their persons, to purify themselves before touching the sacred roll. They also took each a small piece of some root from a little pouch, and ate it, signifying that they purified themselves without and within.
"The man and woman now faced each other and again began the buffalo song, keeping time by touching with the clenched hands—the right and left alternately—the wrappings of the pipe, occasionally making the sign for buffalo. Now, too, one could occasionally hear the word Nai-ai' in the song. After singing this song for about ten minutes, it was changed to the antelope song, and, instead of touching the roll with the clenched hands, which represented the heavy tread of buffalo, they closed the hands, leaving the index finger extended and the thumbs partly open, and in time to the music, as in the previous song, alternately touched the wrappers with the tips of the left and right forefinger, the motions being quick and firm, and occasionally brought the hands to the side of the head, making the sign for antelope, and at the same time uttering a loud 'Kuh' to represent the whistling or snorting of that animal.
[Footnote 1: My shelter; my covering; my robe.]
"At the conclusion of this song, the woman put another bunch of sweet grass on a coal, and carefully undid the wrappings of the pipe, holding each one over the smoke to keep it pure. When the last wrapping was removed, the man gently grasped the stem and, every one beginning the pipe song, he raised and lowered it several times, shaking it as he did so, until every feather and bit of fur and scalp hung loose and could be plainly seen.
"At this moment the sick woman entered the lodge, and with great difficulty, for she was very weak, walked over to the medicine woman and knelt down before her. The medicine woman then produced a small bag of red paint, and painted a broad band across the sick woman's forehead, a stripe down the nose, and a number of round dots on each cheek. Then picking up the pipe stem, which the man had laid down, she held it up toward the sky and prayed, saying, 'Listen, Sun, pity us! Listen, Old Man, pity us! Above People, pity us! Under Water People, pity us! Listen, Sun! Listen, Sun! Let us survive, pity us! Let us survive. Look down on our sick daughter this day. Pity her and give her a complete life.' At the conclusion of this short prayer, all the people uttered a loud m-m-m-h, signifying that they took the words to their hearts. Every one now commenced the pipe song, and the medicine woman passed the stem over different parts of the sick woman's body, after which she rose and left the lodge.
"The medicine man now took a common pipe which had been lighted, and blew four whiffs of smoke toward the sky, four toward the ground, and four on the medicine pipe stem, and prayed to the Sun, Old Man, and all medicine animals, to pity the people and give them long life. The drums were then produced, the war song commenced, and the old man, with a rattle in each hand, danced four times to the door-way and back. He stooped slightly, kept all his limbs very rigid, extending his arms like one giving a benediction, and danced in time to the drumming and singing with quick, sudden steps. This is the medicine pipe dance, which no one but a pipe-owner is allowed to perform. Afterward, he picked up the pipe stem, and, holding it aloft in front of him, went through the same performance. At the conclusion of the dance, the pipe stem was passed from one to another of the guests, and each one in turn held it aloft and repeated a short prayer. The man on my right prayed for the health of his children, the one on my left for success in a proposed war expedition. This concluded the ceremony."
Disease among the Blackfeet is supposed to be caused by evil spirits, usually the spirits or ghosts of enemies slain in battle. These spirits are said to wander about at night, and whenever opportunity offers, they shoot invisible arrows into persons. These cause various internal troubles, such as consumption, hemorrhages, and diseases of the digestive organs. Mice, frogs, snakes, and tailed batrachians are said to cause much disease among women, and hence should be shunned, and on no account handled.
Less important external ailments and hurts, such as ulcers, boils, sprains, and so on, are treated by applying various lotions or poultices, compounded by boiling or macerating certain roots or herbs, known only to the person supplying them. Rheumatic pains are treated in several ways. Sometimes the sweat lodge is used, or hot rocks are applied over the place where the pain is most severe, or actual cautery is practised, by inserting prickly pear thorns in the flesh, and setting fire to them, when they burn to the very point.
The sweat lodge, so often referred to, is used as a curative agent, as well as in religious ceremonies, and is considered very beneficial in illness of all kinds. The sweat lodge is built in the shape of a rough hemisphere, three or four feet high and six or eight in diameter. The frame is usually of willow branches, and is covered with cow-skins and robes. In the centre of the floor, a small hole is dug out, in which are to be placed red hot stones. Everything being ready, those who are to take the sweat remove their clothing and crowd into the lodge. The hot rocks are then handed in from the fire outside, and the cowskins pulled down to the ground to exclude any cold air. If a medicine pipe man is not at hand, the oldest person present begins to pray to the Sun, and at the same time sprinkles water on the hot rocks, and a dense steam rises, making the perspiration fairly drip from the body. Occasionally, if the heat becomes too intense, the covering is raised for a few minutes to admit a little air. The sweat bath lasts for a long time, often an hour or more, during which many prayers are offered, religious songs chanted, and several pipes smoked to the Sun. As has been said, the sweat lodge is built to represent the Sun's own lodge or home, that is, the world. The ground inside the lodge stands for its surface, which, according to Blackfoot philosophy, is flat and round. The framework represents the sky, which far off, on the horizon, reaches down to and touches the world.
As soon as the sweat is over, the men rush out, and plunge into the stream to cool off. This is invariably done, even in winter, when the ice has to be broken to make a hole large enough to bathe in. It is said that, when the small-pox was raging among these Indians, they used the sweat lodge daily, and that hundreds of them, sick with the disease, were unable to get out of the river, after taking the bath succeeding a sweat, and were carried down stream by the current and drowned.
It is said that wolves, which in former days were extremely numerous, sometimes went crazy, and bit every animal they met with, sometimes even coming into camps and biting dogs, horses, and people. Persons bitten by a mad wolf generally went mad, too. They trembled and their limbs jerked, they made their jaws work and foamed at the mouth, often trying to bite other people. When any one acted in this way, his relations tied him hand and foot with ropes, and, having killed a buffalo, they rolled him up in the green hide, and then built a fire on and around him, leaving him in the fire until the hide began to dry and burn. Then they pulled him out and removed the buffalo hide, and he was cured. While in the fire, the great heat caused him to sweat profusely, so much water coming out of his body that none was left in it, and with the water the disease went out, too. All the old people tell me that they have seen individuals cured in this manner of a mad wolf's bite.
Whenever a person is really sick, a doctor is sent for. Custom requires that he shall be paid for his services before rendering them. So when he is called, the messenger says to him, "A—— presents to you a horse, and asks you to come and doctor him." Sometimes the fee may be several horses, and sometimes a gun, saddle, or some article of wearing-apparel. This fee pays only for one visit, but the duration of the visit is seldom less than twelve hours, and sometimes exceeds forty-eight. If, after the expiration of the visit, the patient feels that he has been benefited, he will probably send for the doctor again, but if, on the other hand, he continues to grow worse, he is likely to send for another. Not infrequently two or more doctors may be present at the same time, taking turns with the patient. In early days, if a man fell sick, and remained so for three weeks or a month, he had to start anew in life when he recovered; for, unless very wealthy, all his possessions had gone to pay doctor's fees. Often the last horse, and even the lodge, weapons, and extra clothing were so parted with. Of late years, however, since the disappearance of the buffalo, the doctors' fees are much more moderate.
The doctor is named I-so-kin-ŭh-kin, a word difficult to translate. The nearest English meaning of the word seems to be "heavy singer for the sick." As a rule all doctors sing while endeavoring to work their cures, and, as helpers, a number of women are always present. Disease being caused by evil spirits, prayers, exhortations, and certain mysterious methods must be observed to rid the patient of their influence. No two doctors have the same methods or songs. Herbs are sometimes used, but not always. One of their medicines is a great yellow fungus which grows on the pine trees. This is dried and powdered, and administered either dry or in an infusion. It is a purgative. As a rule, these doctors, while practising their rites, will not allow any one in the lodge, except the immediate members of the sick man's family. Mr. Schultz, who on more than one occasion has been present at a doctoring, gives the following account of one of the performances.
"The patient was a man in the last stages of consumption. When the doctor entered the lodge, he handed the sick man a strip of buckskin, and told him to tie it around his chest. The patient then reclined on a couch, stripped to the waist, and the doctor kneeled on the floor beside him. Having cleared a little space of the loose dirt and dust, the doctor took two coals from the fire, laid them in this place, and put a pinch of dried sweet grass on each of them. As the smoke arose from the burning grass, he held his drum over it, turning it from side to side, and round and round. This was supposed to purify it. Laying aside the drum, he held his hands in the smoke, and rubbed his arms and body with it. Then, picking up the drum, he began to tap it rapidly, and prayed, saying: 'Listen, my dream. This you told me should be done. This you said should be the way. You said it would cure the sick. Help me now. Do not lie to me. Help me, Sun person. Help me to cure this sick man.'
"He then began to sing, and as soon as the women had caught the air, he handed the drum to one of them to beat, and, still singing himself, took an eagle's wing and dipped the tip of it in a cup of 'medicine.' It was a clear liquid, and looked as if it might be simply water. Placing the tip of the wing in his mouth, he seemed to bite off the end of it, and, chewing it a little, spat it out on the patient's breast. Then, in time to the singing, he brushed it gently off, beginning at the throat and ending at the lower ribs. This was repeated three times. Next he took the bandage from the patient, dipped it in the cup of medicine, and, wringing it out, placed it on the sick man's chest, and rubbed it up and down, and back and forth, after which he again brushed the breast with the eagle wing. Finally, he lighted a pipe, and, placing the bowl in his mouth, blew the smoke through the stem all over the patient's breast, shoulders, neck, and arms, and finished the ceremony by again brushing with the wing. At intervals of two or three hours, the whole ceremony was repeated. The doctor arrived at the lodge of the sick man about noon, and left the next morning, having received for his services a saddle and two blankets."
"Listen, my dream—" This is the key to most of the Blackfoot medicine practices. These doctors for the most part effect their cures by prayer. Each one has his dream, or secret helper, to whom he prays for aid, and it is by this help that he expects to restore his patient to health. No doubt the doctors have the fullest confidence that their practices are beneficial, and in some cases they undoubtedly do good because of the implicit confidence felt in them by the patient.
Often, when a person is sick, he will ask some medicine man to unroll his pipe. If able to dance, he will take part in the ceremony, but if not, the medicine man paints him with the sacred symbols. In any case a fervent prayer is offered by the medicine man for the sick person's recovery. The medicine man administers no remedies; the ceremony is purely religious. Being a priest of the Sun, it is thought that god will be more likely to listen to him than he would to an ordinary man.
Although the majority of Blackfoot doctors are men, there are also many women in the guild, and some of them are quite noted for their success. Such a woman, named Wood Chief Woman, is now alive on the Blackfoot reservation. She has effected many wonderful cures. Two Bear Woman is a good doctor, and there are many others.
In the case of gunshot wounds a man's "dream," or "medicine," often acts directly and speedily. Many cases are cited in which this charm, often the stuffed skin of some bird or animal, belonging to the wounded man, becomes alive, and by its power effects a cure. Many examples of this might be given but for lack of space. Entirely honest Indians and white men have seen such cures and believe in them.
THE BLACKFOOT OF TO-DAY
In the olden times the Blackfeet were very numerous, and it is said that then they were a strong and hardy people, and few of them were ever sick. Most of the men who died were killed in battle, or died of old age. We may well enough believe that this was the case, because the conditions of their life in those primitive times were such that the weakly and those predisposed to any constitutional trouble would not survive early childhood. Only the strongest of the children would grow up to become the parents of the next generation. Thus a process of selection was constantly going on, the effect of which was no doubt seen in the general health of the people.
With the advent of the whites, came new conditions. Various special diseases were introduced and swept off large numbers of the people. An important agent in their destruction was alcohol.
In the year 1845, the Blackfeet were decimated by the small-pox. This disease appears to have travelled up the Missouri River; and in the early years, between 1840 and 1850, it swept away hosts of Mandans, Rees, Sioux, Crows, and other tribes camped along the great river. I have been told, by a man who was employed at Fort Union in 1842-43, that the Indians died there in such numbers that the men of the fort were kept constantly at work digging trenches in which to bury them, and when winter came, and the ground froze so hard that it was no longer practicable to bury the dead, their bodies were stacked up like cord wood in great piles to await the coming of spring. The disease spread from tribe to tribe, and finally reached the Blackfeet. It is said by whites who were in the country at the time, that this small-pox almost swept the Plains bare of Indians.
In the winter of 1857-58, small-pox again carried off great numbers, but the mortality was not to be compared with that of 1845. In 1864, measles ran through all the Blackfoot camps, and was very fatal, and again in 1869 they had the small-pox.
Between the years 1860 and 1875, a great deal of whiskey was traded to the Blackfeet. Having once experienced the delights of intoxication, the Indians were eager for liquor, and the traders found that robes and furs could be bought to better advantage for whiskey than for anything else. To be sure, the personal risk to the trader was considerably increased by the sale of whiskey, for when drunk the Indians fought like demons among themselves or with the traders. But, on the other hand, whiskey for trading to Indians cost but a trifle, and could be worked up, and then diluted, so that a little would go a long way.
As a measure of partial self-protection, the traders used to deal out the liquor from the keg or barrel in a tin scoop so constructed that it would not stand on a flat surface, so that an Indian, who was drinking, had to keep the vessel in his hand until the liquor was consumed, or else it would be spilled and lost. This lessened the danger of any shooting or stabbing while the Indian was drinking, and an effort was usually made to get him out of the store as soon as he had finished. Nevertheless, drunken fights in the trading-stores were of common occurrence, and the life of a whiskey-trader was one of constant peril. I have talked with many men who were engaged in this traffic, and some of the stories they tell are thrilling. It was a common thing in winter for the man who unbarred and opened the store in the morning to have a dead Indian fall into his arms as the door swung open. To prop up against the door a companion who had been killed or frozen to death during the night seems to have been regarded by the Indians as rather a delicate bit of humor, in the nature of a joke on the trader. Long histories of the doings of these whiskey trading days have been related to me, but the details are too repulsive to be set down. The traffic was very fatal to the Indians.
The United States has laws which prohibit, under severe penalties, the sale of intoxicants to Indians, but these laws are seldom enforced. To the north of the boundary line, however, in the Northwest Territories, the Canadian Mounted Police have of late years made whiskey-trading perilous business. Of Major Steell's good work in putting down the whiskey traffic on the Blackfoot agency in Montana, I shall speak further on, and to-day there is not very much whiskey sold to the Blackfeet. Constant vigilance is needed, however, to keep traders from the borders of the reservation.
In the winter of 1883-84 more than a quarter of the Piegan tribe of the Blackfeet, which then numbered about twenty-five or twenty-six hundred, died from starvation. It had been reported to the Indian Bureau that the Blackfeet were practically self-supporting and needed few supplies. As a consequence of this report, appropriations for them were small. The statement was entirely and fatally misleading. The Blackfeet had then never done anything toward self-support, except to kill buffalo. But just before this, in the year 1883, the buffalo had been exterminated from the Blackfoot country. In a moment, and without warning, the people had been deprived of the food supply on which they had depended. At once they had turned their attention to the smaller game, and, hunting faithfully the river bottoms, the brush along the small streams, and the sides of the mountains, had killed off all the deer, elk, and antelope; and at the beginning of the winter found themselves without their usual stores of dried meat, and with nothing to depend on, except the scanty supplies in the government storehouse. These were ridiculously inadequate to the wants of twenty-five hundred people, and food could be issued to them only in driblets quite insufficient to sustain life. The men devoted themselves with the utmost faithfulness to hunting, killing birds, rabbits, prairie-dogs, rats, anything that had life; but do the best they might, the people began to starve. The very old and the very young were the first to perish; after that, those who were weak and sickly, and at last some even among the strong and hardy. News of this suffering was sent East, and Congress ordered appropriations to relieve the distress; but the supplies had to be freighted in wagons for one hundred and fifty or two hundred miles before they were available. If the Blackfeet had been obliged to depend on the supplies authorized by the Indian Bureau, the whole tribe might have perished, for the red tape methods of the Government are not adapted to prompt and efficient action in times of emergency. Happily, help was nearer at hand. The noble people of Montana, and the army officers stationed at Fort Shaw, did all they could to get supplies to the sufferers. One or two Montana contractors sent on flour and bacon, on the personal assurance of the newly appointed agent that he would try to have them paid. But it took a long time to get even these supplies to the agency, over roads sometimes hub deep in mud, or again rough with great masses of frozen clay; and all the time the people were dying.
During the winter, Major Allen had been appointed agent for the Blackfeet, and he reached the agency in the midst of the worst suffering, and before any effort had been made to relieve it. He has told me a heart-rending story of the frightful suffering which he found among these helpless people.
In his efforts to learn exactly what was their condition, Major Allen one day went into twenty-three houses and lodges to see for himself just what the Indians had to eat. In only two of these homes did he find anything in the shape of food. In one house a rabbit was boiling in a pot. The man had killed it that morning, and it was being cooked for a starving child. In another lodge, the hoof of a steer was cooking,—only the hoof,—to make soup for the family. Twenty-three lodges Major Allen visited that day, and the little rabbit and the steer's hoof were all the food he found. "And then," he told me, with tears in his eyes, "I broke down. I could go no further. To see so much misery, and feel myself utterly powerless to relieve it, was more than I could stand."
Major Allen had calculated with exactest care the supplies on hand, and at this time was issuing one-seventh rations. The Indians crowded around the agency buildings and begged for food. Mothers came to the windows and held up their starving babies that the sight of their dull, pallid faces, their shrunken limbs, and their little bones sticking through their skins might move some heart to pity. Women brought their young daughters to the white men in the neighborhood, and said, "Here, you may have her, if you will feed her; I want nothing for myself; only let her have enough to eat, that she may not die." One day, a deputation of the chiefs came to Major Allen, and asked him to give them what he had in his storehouses. He explained to them that it must be some time before the supplies could get there, and that only by dealing out what he had with the greatest care could the people be kept alive until provisions came. But they said: "Our women and children are hungry, and we are hungry. Give us what you have, and let us eat once and be filled. Then we will die content; we will not beg any more." He took them into the storehouse, and showed them just what food he had,—how much flour, how much bacon, how much rice, coffee, sugar, and so on through the list—and then told them that if this was issued all at once, there was no hope for them, they would surely die, but that he expected supplies by a certain day. "And," said he, "if they do not come by that time, you shall come in here and help yourselves. That I promise you." They went away satisfied.
Meanwhile, the supplies were drawing near. The officer in command of Fort Shaw had supplied fast teams to hurry on a few loads to the agency, but the roads were so bad that the wagon trains moved with appalling slowness. At length, however, they had advanced so far that it was possible to send out light teams, to meet the heavily laden ones, and bring in a few sacks of flour and bacon; and every little helped. Gradually the suffering was relieved, but the memory of that awful season of famine will never pass from the minds of those who witnessed it.
There is a record of between four and five hundred Indians who died of hunger at this time, and this includes only those who were buried in the immediate neighborhood of the agency and for whom coffins were made. It is probable that nearly as many more died in the camps on other creeks, but this is mere conjecture. It is no exaggeration to say, however, that from one-quarter to one-third of the Piegan tribe starved to death during that winter and the following spring.
The change from living in portable and more or less open lodges to permanent dwellings has been followed by a great deal of illness, and at present the people appear to be sickly, though not so much so as some other tribes I have known, living under similar conditions further south.
Like other Indians, the Blackfeet have been several times a prey to bad agents,—men careless of their welfare, who thought only about drawing their own pay, or, worse, who used their positions simply for their own enrichment, and stole from the government and Indians alike everything upon which they could lay hands. It was with great satisfaction that I secured the discharge of one such man a few years ago, and I only regret that it was not in my power to have carried the matter so far that he might have spent a few years in prison.
The present agent of the Blackfeet, Major George Steell, is an old-timer in the country and understands Indians very thoroughly. In one respect, he has done more for this people than any other man who has ever had charge of them, for he has been an uncompromising enemy of the whiskey traffic, and has relentlessly pursued the white men who always gather about an agency to sell whiskey to the Indians, and thus not only rob them of their possessions, but degrade them as well. The prison doors of Deer Lodge have more than once opened to receive men sent there through the energy of Major Steell. For the good work he has done in this respect, this gentleman deserves the highest credit, and he is a shining example among Indian agents.
As recently as 1887 it was rather unusual to see a Blackfoot Indian clad in white men's clothing; the only men who wore coats and trousers were the police and a few of the chiefs; to-day it is quite as unusual to see an Indian wearing a blanket. Not less striking than this difference in their way of life, is the change which has taken place in the spirit of the tribe.
I was passing through their reservation in 1888, when the chiefs asked me to meet them in council and listen to what they had to say.
I learned that they wished to have a message taken to the Great Father in the East, and, after satisfying myself that their complaint was well grounded, I promised to do for them what I could. I accomplished what they desired, and since that time I have taken much active interest in this people, and my experience with them has shown me very clearly how much may be accomplished by the unaided efforts of a single individual who thoroughly understands the needs of a tribe of Indians. During my annual visits to the Blackfeet reservation, which have extended over two, three, or four months each season, I see a great many of the men and have long conversations with them. They bring their troubles to me, asking what they shall do, and how their condition may be improved. They tell me what things they want, and why they think they ought to have them. I listen, and talk to them just as if they were so many children. If their requests are unreasonable, I try to explain to them, step by step, why it is not best that what they desire should be done, or tell them that other things which they ask for seem proper, and that I will do what I can to have them granted. If one will only take the pains necessary to make things clear to him, the adult Indian is a reasonable being, but it requires patience to make him understand matters which to a white man would need no explanation. As an example, let me give the substance of a conversation had last autumn with a leading man of the Piegans who lives on Cut Bank River, about twenty-five miles from the agency. He said to me:—
"We ought to have a storehouse over here on Cut Bank, so that we will not be obliged each week to go over to the agency to get our food. It takes us a day to go, and a day to come, and a day there; nearly three days out of every week to get our food. When we are at work cutting hay, we cannot afford to spend so much time travelling back and forth. We want to get our crops in, and not to be travelling about all the time. It would be a good thing, too, to have a blacksmith shop here, so that when our wagons break down, we will not have to go to the agency to get them mended."
This is merely the substance of a much longer speech, to which I replied by a series of questions, something like the following:—
"Do you remember talking to me last year, and telling me on this same spot that you ought to have beef issued to you here, and ought not to have to make the long journey to the agency for your meat?" "Yes."
"And that I told you I agreed with you, and believed that some of the steers could just as well be killed here by the agency herder and issued to those Indians living near here?" "Yes."
"That change has been made, has it not? You now get your beef here, don't you?" "Yes."
"You know that the Piegans have a certain amount of money coming to them every year, don't you?" "Yes."
"And that some of that money goes to pay the expenses of the agency, some for food, some to pay clerks and blacksmiths, some to buy mowing-machines, wagons, harness, and rakes, and some to buy the cattle which have been issued to you?" "Yes."
"Now, if a government storehouse were to be built over here, clerks hired to manage it, a blacksmith shop built and another blacksmith hired, that would all cost money, wouldn't it?" "Yes."
"And that money would be taken out of the money coming next year to the Piegans, wouldn't it?" "Yes."
"And if that money were spent for those things, the people would have just so many fewer wagons, mowing-machines, rakes, and cattle issued to them next year, wouldn't they?" "Yes."
"Well, which would be best for the tribe, which would you rather have, a store and a blacksmith shop here on Cut Bank, or the money which those things would cost in cows and farming implements?"
"I would prefer that we should have the cattle and the tools."
"I think you are right. It would save trouble to each man, if the government would build a storehouse for him right next his house, but it would be a waste of money. Many white men have to drive ten, twenty, or thirty miles to the store, and you ought not to complain if you have to do so."
After this conversation the man saw clearly that his request was an unreasonable one, but if I had merely told him that he was a fool to want a store on Cut Bank, he would never have been satisfied, for his experiences were so limited that he could not have reasoned the thing out for himself.
In my talks with these people, I praise those who have worked hard and lived well during the past year, while to those who have been idle or drunken or have committed crimes, I explain how foolish their course has been and try to show them how impossible it is for a man to be successful if he acts like a child, and shows that he is a person of no sense. A little quiet talk will usually demonstrate to them that they have been unwise, and they make fresh resolutions and promise amendment. Of course the only argument I use is to tell them that one course will be for their material advancement, and is the way a white man would act, while the other will tend to keep them always poor.
Some years ago, the Blackfeet made a new treaty, by which they sold to the government a large portion of their lands. By this treaty, which was ratified by Congress in May, 1887, they are to receive $150,000 annually for a period of ten years, when government support is to be withdrawn. This sum is a good deal more than is required for their subsistence, and, by the terms of the treaty, the surplus over what is required for their food and clothing is to be used in furnishing to the Indians farming implements, seed, live stock, and such other things as will help them to become self-supporting.
The country which the Blackfeet inhabit lies just south of the parallel of 49 deg., close to the foot of the Rocky Mountains, and is very cold and dry. Crops can be grown there successfully not more than once in four or five years, and the sole products to be depended on are oats and potatoes, which are raised only by means of irrigation. It is evident, therefore, that the Piegan tribe of the Blackfeet can never become an agricultural people. Their reservation, however, is well adapted to stock-raising, and in past years the cattlemen from far and from near have driven their herds on to the reservation to eat the Blackfoot grass; and the remonstrances of the Indians have been entirely disregarded. Some years ago, I came to the conclusion that the proper occupation for these Indians was stock-raising. Horses they already had in some numbers, but horses are not so good for them as cattle, because horses are more readily sold than cattle, and an Indian is likely to trade his horse for whiskey and other useless things. Cattle they are much less likely to part with, and besides this, require more attention than horses, and so are likely to keep the Indians busy and to encourage them to work.
Within the past three or four years, I have succeeded in inducing the Indian Bureau to employ a part of the treaty money coming to the Blackfeet in purchasing for them cattle.
It was impressed upon them that they must care for the cattle, not kill and eat any of them, but keep them for breeding purposes. It was represented to them that, if properly cared for, the cattle would increase each year, until a time might come when each Indian would be the possessor of a herd, and would then be rich like the white cattlemen.
The severe lesson of starvation some years before had not failed to make an impression, and it was perhaps owing to this terrible experience that the Piegans did not eat the cows as soon as they got them, as other Indian tribes have so often done. Instead of this, each man took the utmost care of the two or three heifers he received. Little shelters and barns were built to protect them during the winter. Indians who had never worked before, now tried to borrow a mowing-machine, so as to put up some hay for their animals. The tribe seemed at once to have imbibed the idea of property, and each man was as fearful lest some accident should happen to his cows as any white man might have been. Another issue of cattle was made, and the result is that now there is hardly an individual in the tribe who is not the possessor of one or more cows. Scarcely any of the issued cattle have been eaten; there has been almost no loss from lack of care; the original stock has increased and multiplied, and now the Piegans have a pretty fair start in cattle.
This material advancement is important and encouraging. But richer still is the promise for the future. A few years ago, the Blackfeet were all paupers, dependent on the bounty of the government and the caprice of the agent. Now, they feel themselves men, are learning self-help and self-reliance, and are looking forward to a time when they shall be self-supporting. If their improvement should be as rapid for the next five years as it has been for the five preceding 1892, a considerable portion of the tribe will be self-supporting at the date of expiration of the treaty.
It is commonly believed that the Indian is hopelessly lazy, and that he will do no work whatever. This misleading notion has been fostered by the writings of many ignorant people, extending over a long period of time. The error had its origin in the fact that the work which the savage Indian does is quite different from that performed by the white laborer. But it is certain that no men ever worked harder than Indians on a journey to war, during which they would march on foot hundreds of miles, carrying heavy loads on their backs, then have their fight, or take their horses, and perhaps ride for several days at a stretch, scarcely stopping to eat or rest. That they did not labor regularly is of course true, but when they did work, their toil was very much harder than that ever performed by the white man.
The Blackfeet now are willing to work in the same way that the white man works. They appreciate, as well as any one, the fact that old things have passed away, and that they must now adapt themselves to new surroundings. Therefore, they work in the hay fields, tend stock, chop logs in the mountains, haul firewood, drive freighting teams, build houses and fences, and, in short, do pretty much all the work that would be done by an ordinary ranchman. They do not perform it so well as white men would; they are much more careless in their handling of tools, wagons, mowing-machines, or other implements, but they are learning all the time, even if their progress is slow.
The advance toward civilization within the past five years is very remarkable and shows, as well as anything could show, the adaptability of the Indian. At the same time, I believe that if it had not been for that fateful experience known as "the starvation winter," the progress made by the Blackfeet would have been very much less than it has been. The Indian requires a bitter lesson to make him remember.
But besides this lesson, which at so terrible a cost demonstrated to him the necessity of working, there has been another factor in the progress of the Blackfoot. If he has learned the lesson of privation and suffering, the record given in these pages has shown that he is not less ready to respond to encouragement, not less quickened and sustained by friendly sympathy. Without such encouragement he will not persevere. If his crops fail him this year, he has no heart to plant the next. A single failure brings despair. Yet if he is cheered and helped, he will make other efforts. The Blackfeet have been thus sustained; they have felt that there was an inducement for them to do well, for some one whom they trusted was interested in their welfare, was watching their progress, and was trying to help them. They knew that this person had no private interest to serve, but wished to do the best that he could for his people. Having an exaggerated idea of his power to aid them, they have tried to follow his advice, so as to obtain his good-will and secure his aid with the government. Thus they have had always before them a definite object to strive for.
The Blackfoot of to-day is a working man. He has a little property which he is trying to care for and wishes to add to. With a little help, with instruction, and with encouragement to persevere, he will become in the next few years self-supporting, and a good citizen.
Above Persons, Adoption of captives, Adultery, penalty for, Adventure, Stories of, Adventures of Bull Turns Round, Affirmation, solemn form of, Ah-kaik'-sum-iks Ah-kai-yi-ko-ka'-kin-iks, Ah-kai'-po-kaks Ah-kwo'-nis-tsists, Ahk-o'-tash-iks, Ahk-sa'-ke-wah, Ah'pai-tup-iks, Ai-sik'-stuk-iks, Aī-sin'-o-ko-ki, Ai'-so-yim-stan, Alcohol, agent of destruction, Algonquin myth, Algonquin tribes, All-are-his-children, All Comrades, All Crazy Dogs, Allen, Major, All-face man, Almost-a-Dog, Amelanchier alnifolia, American Anthropologist, American Hero Myths, Ancient customs dying out, Ancient Times, Stories of, Animals, birth of, creation of, Animal powers, Animal powers and signs, Animals to be food, Antelope, method of taking, song, where created, Anthropologist, American A'pi, Ap'-i-kai-yiks, Ap'i-kunni, Api-su'-ahts, Ap-ut'-o-si-kai-nah, Armells Creek, Arrows, Assinaboines (tribe), A'-tsi-tsi, Authority of "sits beside him" woman, A-wah-heh',
Back fat (of buffalo), Creek, Bad Weapons, The, Bad Wife, The, Badger, Badger Creek, Bags, Basins, Battle near Cypress Mountains, Bear, Bears, The Beaver, how taken, Creek, Indians, Medicine, The, song, Belly River, Buttes, Belt, Berries created, Berry of the red willow, Big Eagle, Big Nose, Big Topknots, Bighorn, where created Birch tree Bird, Thomas Birds created Birth of the animals Biters Bitter-root Black Elks (Blackfoot gens) (Blood gens) Blackfat Roasters Blackfeet as known to the whites Blackfoot cosmology country, boundaries of Crossing Genesis, The in War, The Black Doors Black Patched Moccasins Blood (tribe) Blood People Boiling meat Bow River Bowls of stone Bows Box Elder Creek Boys, advice to Brave (band of the I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi), Bravery held in high esteem proofs of required Braves, duties of Braves' society Brinton, Dr. Brush created Buckets Buffalo bringing to camp corral of Cheyennes created driven over cliffs Dung (gens) eating the people hunting disguised hidden slaughter, modern value of to the people surrounding Buffalo Lip Butte Buffalo Rock, The what it is Buffalo song Bull bats Bull berries Bulls Bulls' society Bunch of lodges Burial Buttes created
Camas root, how prepared Camp arranged in circle Camp, order of moving Canadian mounted police Casey, Lieutenant Catchers Cattle issued Cause of disease. Centre post of Medicine Lodge Ceremony of Medicine Lodge of unwrapping pipe-stem Cheyennes buffalo corral of Chickadee Chief Children in lodge sports of training of Children, The Lost Chippeways Chippeweyans Chinook winds Choke-cherries, how prepared Clark (W.P.) Clay images, of buffalo in human shape Clot of blood Clothing made of buffalo hide Cold Maker Confederation of three tribes Corral of Cheyennes, buffalo Cosmology, Blackfoot Counting coup coup at Medicine Lodge Country of the Blackfoot Coup, et seq. among Blackfeet. different tribes. counting, in early times. "Covering" the slain. Cowardice, penalty for. Coyotes, how taken. Creation, et seq. Creator. Cree (tribe), et seq. Crimes to be punished. Crops in Blackfoot country. Crow (tribe). Cups, how made. Custer, General, xiv. Customs, ancient, dying out. Customs, Daily Life and. Cut Bank River. Cutting rawhide for Medicine Lodge. Cypress Mountains. Daily Life and Customs. Dance, medicine pipe. young women's. Dawson, Mrs. Thomas, xiv. Dead return to life. Death, origin of. Deer, how taken. Deer Lodge. Diet. Disease. Diseases introduced by whites. Dishes. Divorce. Doctors. Dog and the Stick, The. Dogs beasts of burden, et seq. killed at grave. not eaten. Dogs Naked. Don't Laugh band. Double Runner, vii, xv. Doves. Dream helper, et seq. originates war party. person, et seq. Dreaming for power, et seq. Dreams, 3 et seq.. belief in. Dress. Dried meat. Dried Meat (gens). Dwelling. Duties of first wife. Eagle catching. songs. lodge. Early Finished Eating. Riser. wars bloodless. Ear-rings. Eggs of waterfowl, how cooked. Ē-in'-a-ke. E-kus'-kini, et seq. Elbow river. Elk, how taken. The. tushes. Elkhorn arrow. Elk River. Elopement. E'-mi-tah-pahk-sai-yiks,. E'-mi-taks,. Esk'-sin-ai-tŭp-iks,. Esk'-sin-i-tŭppiks. Ĕts-kāi'-nah,. Everyday life, et seq. Family names. Fast of Medicine Lodge woman. Fast Runners, The. Fat Roasters. Feast, invitations to. Feasting in the camps. Fighting between Bloods and Piegans. Fire, how obtained. carried. First killing in war. mauls. medicine pipe. people. pis'kun. scalping. shelter to sleep under. stone knives. Fish. hooks. Fish spears, Flat Bows, Flatheads, Flesh of animals eaten, Fleshers, how made, Flint and steel, Folk-lore, Food of war party, Forest and Stream, Fort Conrad, McLeod, Pitt, Union, Four Bears, Fox, The, Fox-eye, Frogs, Fungus for punk, Fur animals, how caught, Future life,
Gambling, Game, hidden, in Blackfoot country, Game played by prairie dogs, Genesis, The Blackfoot, Gentes of the Blackfeet, Bloods, Kai'nah, Piegans, Pi-kŭn'i, Sik'si-kau, now extinct, Ghost, bear, country, Woman, Heavy Collar and The, Ghosts, Ghosts' Buffalo, The, Ghosts, camp of the, Girls, carefully guarded, instructed, outfit for marriage, Girl stolen, Gown of women, Grasshoppers, Grease on red willow bark, Great Bear (constellation), Falls, Grizzly Bear, Grooved arrow shafts, Gros Ventres, Ground Man, Ground Man (of Cheyennes), Ground Persons,
Hair, care of, mode of wearing, Handles of knives, "Hands," Hats of antelope skin, Head chief, how chosen, Heavy Collar, and the Ghost Woman, Runner, Help from animals, Hill where Old Man sleeps, Horned toad, Horns, Horses cause of war, killed at grave, when obtained, How the Blackfoot lived, Hunting, alone punished, Husband's personal rights in wife, power over wife, property rights in wife,
I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi, origin of, Implements of the dead, made of buffalo hide, Indian a man, sign language, tobacco, Indians and their Stories, Beaver, general ignorance about, Infants lost, I-nis'-kim, In-uhk'-so-yi-stam-iks, I-nuk-si'-kah-ko-pwa-iks, I-nuks'-iks, Invitation to feasts, I'-pok-si-maiks, I-sis'-o-kas-im-iks, I-so-kin'-uh-kin, Is'-sui, Is-ti'-kai-nah "It fell on them" creek, It-se'-wah,
Kah'-mi-taiks Kai'-nah, Kalispels, Kettles of stone, Kill Close By, Kipp, Joseph, Kit-fox, Kit-fox (society), Kit-foxes, Ki'-yis, Knats-o-mi'-ta, Knives of stone, Ko-ko-mik'-e-is, Kom-in'-a-kus, Ksik-si-num' Kuk-kuiks' Kut'-ai-īm-iks, Kut-ai-sot'-si-man, Kutenais, Kut-o'-yis,
Ladles of horn, of wood, Lari pūk'ūs Lesser Slave Lake, L'herbe, Liars, Life among the Blackfeet, Little Birds, Little Blackfoot, "Little Slaves," Lizards, Lodge for dreaming, of stone, Lodges, ancient, how made, decoration of, of chiefs of the I-kun-uk'-kak-tsi, Lone Eaters, Fighters, Medicine Person, Long Tail Lodge Poles, Lost Children, The, Lost Woman, The, Low Horn,
Mad Wolf, Maker, the, Mandans, Man-eater, Many Children, Lodge Poles, Horses, Medicines, March of the camp, of war party, Marriage, girl's outfit for, how arranged, of important people, poorer people, prerequisites for, prohibited within gens, Ma-stoh'-pah-ta-kiks, Material advancement, Mats, Mauls, how made, Measles, Medicine leggings, Medicine Lodge, the, man, Pipes and Healing, rock of the Marias, woman, Mexico, Mi-ah-wah'-pit-siks, Mi-aw'-kin-ai-yiks Mik-a'pi, Miles, General, Milk River, Missouri River, Mis-tai' Moccasins, Mo-kŭm'-iks, Monroe, Hugh, John, Morning Star, Mosquitoes, Mo-tah'-tos-iks Mother-in-law, meeting, not to be spoken to, Mo-twai'-naiks Mountains created, Mourning, chant, for the dead, Muddy River, Murder, penalty for Musselshell River, Mŭt'-siks,
Na-ahks', Nai-ai', Name, changing, unwillingness to speak, Namp'-ski, Na'-pi, Nat-ōs', Nat-o'-ye, Na-wuh'-to-ski, Necklaces, New Mexico, Night red light, Ni-kis'-ta, Nimp'-sa, Ni'-nah, Ni-namp'-skan, Nin'-nah, Nin'-sta, Ni'-po-mūk-i, Nis'-ah, Ni-sis'-ah, Nis-kum'-iks, Nis-kūn', Nis-tūm-o', Nit-tūm-o'-kun, Nit'-ak-os-kit-si-pup-iks, Ni-taw'-yiks, Nit'-ik-skiks, Nit-o-kē-man, Ni-tot'-o-ke-man, Ni-tot'-si-ksis-stan-iks, Nits'-i-san, Nits-o'-kan, Ni-tun', No parfleche, No-ko'-i, No'-ma, North Bloods, North, Major, North Saskatchewan River, Northwest Territories, Number of wives,
Oath, Indian, Obstinate (gens), Office not hereditary, Ojibwas, Ok-wi-tok-so-ka, Old Man, and the Lynx, character of, disappearance of, Doctors, known to other tribes, makes first weapons, makes fire sticks, sleeps, hill where, Stories of, Old Man's predictions, River, Sliding Ground, Origin of the I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi, medicine pipe, worm pipe, Orpheus and Eurydice, Other game, Owl Bear, Owls ghosts of medicine men, Owner's seat in lodge,
Paints, Parfleche soles of moccasins, Past and the Present, The, Pawnee coups, Hero Stories and Folk Tales, Pawnees, Peace with Gros Ventres broken, the Snakes, The, Pemmican, Penalty for adultery, for cowardice, for murder, for theft, for treachery, Penances, Pend d'Oreille, People created, Phrynosoma, Physical characteristics, Pictographs of coups, Piegans, Pi-kun'i, Pi-nŭt-u'-ye is-tsim'-o-kan, Pipe dance, medicine, of the Soldier Society, stems, Pipes, material of, Pis'kun, etymology of, bringing buffalo to, how constructed, of the Blackfeet, of the Crees, of the Sik'-si-kau, Pis-tsi-ko'-an, Places chosen for dreaming, Plants, medical properties of, Plunder from the south, Pomme blanche, Pottery, Power, dreaming for, of herbs, to bring on storms, Powers, animal, Prayers, in sweat house, to the Thunder, Preparations for burial, for dreaming, for the attack, for war parties, Presents to husband from father-in-law, to the sun, Product of the buffalo, Property buried with dead, of Brave Society, of deceased, disposition of, Psoralea esculenta, Puh-ksi-nah'-mah-yiks, Puk'-sah-tchis, Punishment for hunting alone, for infidelity, for stealing tobacco, Punk, Pūn'-o-tsĭ-hyo, Purification by smoke,
Quarrels between the three tribes,
Rabid Wolf, wolves, Rabies, cure for, Race, the, Raven Band of the I-kŭn-uh'-kah-tsi, Bearers, Carriers, Ravens, Red Deer's River, Eagle, Old Man, River half-breeds, Round Robes, Religion, River, Badger, Belly, Big, Bow, Elbow, Elk, Milk, Missouri, Muddy, North Saskatchewan, Old Man's, Peace, person, Red Deer's, Saskatchewan, St. Mary's, Teton, Yellowstone, Roasting meat, Robes, Rock, The, Root-digger, Ross, Miss Cora M., Round, Running Rabbit, Russell, William,
Sacks, Sacred bundles, where kept, Sacred objects, things connected with eagle catching, Sacrifice, Sacrifices to sun, of war party, Sai'-yiks, Sak-si-nak'-mah-yiks, Salt, Sand Hills, Sarcees, Sarvis berries, Berry Creek, Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon Creek, Scarface, Schultz, J.W., Scout of war party, Screech Owl, Seats in lodge, Secret helper, Seeking the Sun's Lodge, Thunder's Lodge, Seldom Lonesome, Self-torturings in Medicine Lodge, Servants, Seven Persons, Seven Persons Creek, Shadow, Shelter for war party, to sleep under, Shepherdia argentea, Short Bows, Sign language, Signs, Signs and powers of animals, Sik-o-kit-sim-iks. Sik-o-pok'-si-maiks. Sik'-si-kau, Siks-ah'-pun-iks, Siks-in'-o-kaks (Blackfoot), (Blood), Sik-ut'-si-pum-aiks, Sin'-o-pah, Sioux, "Sits beside him" woman, Skeleton, Skidi tribe, Skull taken into eagle pit, Skunks, Sleeping for power, Small Brittle Fat, Small Leggings, Robes, Smallpox, Smell of a person, Smoking, rules in, Snakes, Snakes (tribe), Peace with, The, Snares, Social organization, Societies of the All Comrades, Soldiers, Song, antelope, beaver, buffalo, pipe, war party, Soul, Spai'-yu ksah'-ku, Spanish lands, Spear heads, Spears, Spoons, Sports of children, of adults, Spotted Tail's camp, St. Mary's River, Sta-au', Starvation winter, Steell, Major, Stockraising, Stolen by the Thunder, Stone bowls, kettles, knives, pointed arrows, Ston'-i-tăpi, Stories of Adventure, of Ancient Times, of Old Man, Story of the Three Tribes, The, Story-telling, Striped-face, Struck by the Thunder, Stŭ'miks, Suicide among girls, Sun, Sun dogs, Sun River, Sun's Lodge, Sun's Lodge, seeking the, Surrounding buffalo, Sū'-ye-stŭ'-miks, Sū'-ye-tŭppi, Su-yoh-pah'-wah-ku, Sweat bath, Sweat lodge, houses for Medicine Lodge, Sweet-grass, Sweet Grass Hills, Swindling the Indians,
Tail-feathers-coming-in-sight-over-the-Hill, Tails, Taking horses, Temperament, Teton River, The Bad Weapons, Bears, Beaver Medicine, Blackfoot Genesis, Blackfoot in War, Buffalo Rock, Dog and the Stick, Elk, Fox, Ghosts' Buffalo, Past and the Present, Race, Rock, Theft from the Sun, Wonderful Bird, Theft from the Sun, The, penalty for, They Don't Laugh, Things sacred to the Sun, Three Tribes, The Story of, Thunder, bird, described, brings the rain, steals women, Tobacco, Indians', songs, Tobacco thief punished, Tongues for Medicine Lodge, Touchwood Hills, Training of children, Transmigration of souls, Trapping wolves, Treachery, penalty for, Treatment of dead enemies, of women, Trial by jumping, Trivett, Rev. S., Tsin-ik-tsis'-tso-yiks, Tsĭ-stīks, Tŭis-kis'tīks, Turtles, Two Medicine (Lodge Creek), War Trails,
Under Water People, Persons, Uses of buffalo products,
Version of the origin of death, Visitor's seat in lodge,
War bonnet, bonnet of Bulls Society, clubs, how made, head-dress, journeys, duration of, journeys to the southwest, lodges, lodges, how built, systematized, with the Gros Ventres, War parties, Warrior's outfit, contributions to, Whiskey trading, White beaver, Breasts, Calf, Widows, Wife, standing of, duties of first, The Bad, Wind Maker, Sucker, Wolf Calf, Tail, Man, The, Road, song, Wolverine, Wolves, Wolves, rabid, Woman doctors, Woman, standing of, The Lost, Woman's dress, seat in lodge, Wonderful Bird, The, Wood for bows, Woods Bloods, Worm People, Pipe, Worms,
Yellowstone River, Young Bear Chief, women's dance, Younger sisters potential wives,
A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Although GEORGE BIRD GRINNELL (1849-1938) won distinction as an ethnologist, author, editor, and explorer, perhaps his most enduring achievement was that cited by President Coolidge when he presented the Theodore Roosevelt Gold Medal of Honor to Grinnell in 1925: "Few have done as much as you, and none has done more, to preserve vast areas of picturesque wilderness for the eyes of posterity...." It was largely thanks to Grinnell that Glacier National Park was created, and in Yellowstone Park, as the President said, he "prevented the exploitation and therefore the destruction of the natural beauty." Grinnell was a member of the Marsh, Custer, and Ludlow expeditions in the 1870's, and during those years prepared reports on birds and mammals of the northwestern Great Plains region which are still authoritative. From those years, also, dates his interest in the Indians, particularly the Pawnee, Blackfoot, and Cheyenne. Among the score of books resulting from his lifelong study of the Plains tribes, The Fighting Cheyenne (1915) and The Cheyenne Indians (1923), Pawnee Hero Stories and Folk-Tales (1889), and BLACKFOOT LODGE TALES (1892) are perhaps the best known. A friend of the famed North brothers, who commanded the Pawnee Scouts, Grinnell encouraged Captain Luther North to set down his recollections, and contributed a foreword to the book. Titled Man of the Plains, this work was published for the first time in its entirety by the University of Nebraska Press (1961).