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The Element Encyclopedia of Native Americans: An A to Z of Tribes, Culture, and History Adele Nozedar A comprehensive guide to the history, culture, and religious beliefs and practices of America’s native people, The Element Encyclopedia of Native Americans tells the varied and colourful stories of the tribes, their greatest leaders, wars, pacts, and the long-lasting impact that their profound wisdom and spirituality has on the West today.Containing a fascinating and comprehensive list of A-Z entries, including a series of essays, this encyclopedia will highlight:• Rituals and Ceremonies• Sacred Sites• The Arrival of the Europeans• Shamanism• Totems• The Warrior• The Afterlife• The First Nation Today• The Reservations• The Visionary World• Ancestors and SpiritsIllustrated throughout, including charts of the totem animals belonging to each clan and maps of tribal areas. DEDICATION (#ulink_23680ee7-afbc-57fc-8c62-89d9bee09d56) “That knowledge of past wrongs will teach us to be wiser” CONTENTS Cover (#ud72122cc-7236-517a-a6f4-5203864a4ca7) Title Page (#uc6111658-6e03-551f-92ce-cbc8426de3c4) Dedication (#ulink_88184f52-e269-5321-aaae-03b0d59f4897) Introduction (#ulink_c356efd0-ab95-5d63-846b-d0ce15112ec3) Map (#u312b708d-b1fc-5bfd-9db6-68521f4a406e) The Element Encyclopedia of Native Americans A—Abenaki to Atlatl (#u4f5102d2-bc3c-5822-abf1-4e32c05fbee3) B—Babiche to Bury the Hatchet (#ueeddc57a-2985-5a91-b75f-da21a0694084) C—Cacique to Custer’s Last Stand (#u7e305992-022c-5e5f-a604-bb47956f79a1) D—Dakota to Duwamish (#litres_trial_promo) E—Eagles to Etching (#litres_trial_promo) F—False Face to French and Indian War (#litres_trial_promo) G—Gall to Guyasuta (#litres_trial_promo) H—Hair to Huron (#litres_trial_promo) I—Illinois to The Iroquois False Face Society (#litres_trial_promo) J—James Bigheart to Jumping Bull (#litres_trial_promo) K—Kachina to Kokopelli (#litres_trial_promo) L—La Flesche, Susette to Luther Standing Bear (#litres_trial_promo) M—Mahican to Mystery Dog (#litres_trial_promo) N—Names for the White Man to Nisqually (#litres_trial_promo) O—Oglala to Ouray (#litres_trial_promo) P—Pacanne to Pushmataha (#litres_trial_promo) Q—Quapaw to Quetzalcoatl (#litres_trial_promo) R—Rain-in-the-Face to Roots (#litres_trial_promo) S—Sacajawea to Syringes (#litres_trial_promo) T—Tadodaho to Tuskaloosa (#litres_trial_promo) U—Umiak to Ute (#litres_trial_promo) V—Vanilla to Vision Quest (#litres_trial_promo) W—Wabanaki Confederacy to Wyandot (#litres_trial_promo) Y—Yakama to Yuchi (#litres_trial_promo) Z—Zitkala-Sa to Zuni (#litres_trial_promo) Picture Section (#litres_trial_promo) Image credits (#litres_trial_promo) Copyright page (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publishers (#litres_trial_promo) INTRODUCTION (#ulink_9deb02f9-12a8-5b3a-9a40-9c5744b8ee46) “Though the treatment accorded the Indians by those who lay claim to civilization and Christianity has in many cases been worse than criminal, a rehearsal of these wrongs does not properly find a place here. Whenever it may be necessary to refer to some of the unfortunate relations that have existed between the Indians and the white race, it will be done in that unbiased manner becoming the student of history. As a body politic recognizing no individual ownership of lands, each Indian tribe naturally resented encroachment by another race, and found it impossible to relinquish without a struggle that which belonged to their people from time immemorial. On the other hand, the white man whose very own may have been killed or captured by a party of hostiles forced to the warpath by the machinations of some unscrupulous Government employee, can see nothing that is good in the Indian. There are thus two sides to the story, and in these volumes such questions must be treated with impartiality.”—Edward S. Curtis, 1907 The story of the indigenous peoples of North and South America is a harrowing one. Time after time, in reading accounts of what happened, we see the same sequence of events, which were wryly and concisely encapsulated in a cartoon seen on a popular social networking site: an image of a “typical” Native American with the caption, “Bet you wish you’d never fed those pilgrims.” The striving for cultural superiority—and the many ways and means in which that superiority was demonstrated—has destroyed many lives, crushed cultures and belief systems, wrecked families, and smashed peace and equanimity to smithereens. And yet, ironically, what we perceive as the Native American way of life is something to which many aspire. The spirituality of the Native American way is not separate from “normal” life as it is for those of a Western mind-set. The innate respect for all of nature, and the consequences of that respect, are goals that have a practical as well as spiritual force and are within reach of everyone, no matter their culture. Despite the many privations inflicted upon the Native Americans, their profoundly empathetic underlying nature is as strong as it ever was, and so the stories in this book should be absorbed in the context of us being aware of a history which affects everyone. And we should do our utmost to make sure these types of atrocity never happen again. ABENAKI This group, who were concentrated in what has become New Hampshire and Maine, are a part of the Algonquian people and were among the first of the Native peoples of North America that European settlers would have encountered. The coming of the white man’s diseases, along with the risk of annihilation by warring French and English factions, forced the tribe into Quebec in the later part of the 17th century. The Abenaki people refer to themselves as Alnobak, which means “The Real People” or “men.” It was not uncommon among Native American nations to refer to themselves in this way. The origin of the word Abenaki is from Wabanaki, which translates as “People of the Dawn Lands,” a reference to their home in the east. One Abenaki myth states that the god Kechi Niwaskw created the first man and the first woman from stone; however, Kechi Niwaskw wasn’t happy, destroyed his first attempt at sculpture, and instead carved his creation again from wood. The Abenaki believed that they were descended directly from these wooden figures. There was an Abenaki Confederacy, a unified group that encompassed the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy, and Malecite peoples. The traditional home of the Abenaki is the wigwam, a semipermanent structure usually covered in bark or fabric. The word “wigwam” mistakenly became the generic term used by European settlers for any semipermanent Native American dwelling, because they assumed that this was what the word meant. The Abenaki survived by hunting, fishing, and agriculture. Their crops would have included corn, potatoes, and, of course, tobacco. At the time that explorers and settlers first encountered them, the Abenaki lived in small groups or villages, each enclosed by wooden fences. They knew that the flesh and bones of fish made an efficient fertilizer, and so had the habit of burying a couple of dead fish at the base of each stem of maize. Using fish as fertilizer was an area of expertise which would be adopted by the settlers in later years—and, indeed, is still in common practice today. The Abenaki also knew how to make a delicious sweet syrup from the sap of the maple tree—maple syrup—something that wild food-lovers even today celebrate as a great delicacy. The Abenaki were, and are, skilled at basketware. The area belonging to the Abenaki was situated between Massachusetts and Quebec, areas that came to be colonized by the English and the French respectively, who subsequently went to war with one another. The Abenaki gravitated toward the French side during the Anglo-French Wars, and one of their warriors—Nescambuit—was made a knight after he slayed over 140 enemies of the French king, Louis XIV. The allegiance of the Abenaki toward the French could have come about because of their relationship with an early French missionary, a Jesuit priest named Father Sebastian Rasles, whose mission was at Norridgewock on the Kennebec River. In 1722 the British destroyed the mission and killed Father Rasles; among his papers was discovered an Abenaki-French dictionary that he had been working on. Also, in 1614, 24 young Abenaki had been kidnapped by the British and shipped back to England, an outrage that would also have been a key factor in helping the Abenaki to decide which side they should support. Contemporary accounts from the Jesuits who had dealings with the Abenaki described them as “not cannibals,” and also as “not profane.” In contrast to other peoples such as the Iroquois, the Abenaki followed the patrilineal line (in which the nation of the father was considered to be the nation of the child) as opposed to the matrilineal. This arrangement was common to the New England peoples but unusual among Native Americans on the whole. Single Abenaki men could be identified by their long, untied hair; when a prospective wife came along, the man would tie back his hair. Once married, the Abenaki husband showed his status by sporting only a high ponytail and shaving the rest of his head. Before the need to alter his hairstyle arrived, however, there was the matter of arranging the marriage. This wasn’t always simple. A proposal of marriage was not simply for the prospective partners, but a matter for the whole village. And the bride and groom would make a gift to one another of a fine box, engraved with the loved one’s attributes. Other decisions besides betrothals were decided by the entire group. Everyone was given the right to an equal say, and to simplify matters various members would elect a single spokesperson. The Abenaki also had a system in which an impartial person would arbitrate in the case of disagreements. Until all parties agreed, there was no resolution. At the time of writing, the Abenaki are still not recognized federally, although the state of Vermont recognized their status as a People in 2006. At the time, the authorities noted that many of the Abenaki had been “assimilated.” ABIAKA 1760(?)—1860(?) Born in Georgia, Abiaka, a.k.a. Sam Jones, was a medicine man, spiritual leader, and also chief of the Muskogee Seminole tribe, who lived in the southeastern United States. He played a major part in the Seminole resistance to relocation, a resistance which would ultimately result in the establishment of a Seminole reservation in Florida. Perhaps not so famous as the other most influential of Seminole chiefs, Osceola, who died in his thirties, Abiaka was able to use powerful “medicine” to stir his men up into a frenzy, managing to keep the uncompromising resistance strong during many years of war, starvation, and hardship; no doubt the fact that Osceola had been attacked, imprisoned, and kidnapped after he was invited to peace talks fueled Abiaka’s determination not to fall for the same ploy. Above all, it seems that Abiaka provided a consistent reminder to his people of their spiritual strength. After the third of the Seminole wars, Abiaka moved to the Big Cypress Swamp with a small band of men and a larger number of women and children. By this time he was in his nineties, still retaliating against removal despite his great age. ACORN The seed of the oak tree, the acorn was a very useful foodstuff for the Native Americans in and around California. An entire community would gather to harvest the crop, which was processed by being shelled and then mashed in a mortar and pestle. Eaten alone, an acorn is bitter because of the tannins that it contains; however, the Native Americans had an ingenious method of leaching out this bitterness. First they would dig a shallow pit in clean sand, then line it with a dough made from ground acorns. Then hot water would be poured onto the dough. As the water seeped through the acorn paste and into the sand, it would carry away the bitter tannic acid. After this process, the dough would be baked into bread or used in soups. ADIRONDACK One of the Algonquian tribes, the Adirondack were so-named by the Mohawk; the word means “They Eat Trees” or “Bark Eaters,” and is likely to have been used as a derogatory name. The name refers to the Adirondack habit of chewing the bark of certain trees, and although most authorities suggest that the Adirondack only ate bark at times when there was nothing else available—that is, during times of famine when sustenance was scarce—it is likely that bark would have been an important staple. The inner part of the Eastern White Pine, which grows prolifically in the area, is not only tasty but nutritious and easy to carry, and Native American peoples have a tradition of being extremely resourceful when it comes to identifying edible plants. The Adirondack lived north of the St. Lawrence River, and, like the Abenaki, allied themselves with the French during the Anglo-French wars. Incidentally, the Adirondack Mountains and National Park are named after the Adirondack peoples who once roamed the area. ADOBE Common to the Pueblo peoples, “adobe” is a particular kind of brick made from dried grasses and mud, and baked in the sun. Alternatively, the term is used to refer to the mortar that holds such bricks in place. ADOBE WALLS The name of a trading post in the Texas Panhandle area on the Canadian River. Adobe Walls is infamous as the site of a terrible battle between 28 white men and one woman, and the massed forces of some 700 Kiowa, Comanche, and Cheyenne, in June 1874. The Native Americans wanted to destroy the contingent at Adobe Walls to protest at the white men’s wholesale slaughter of the buffalo, which accorded no respect to the animal which was so vital to the survival of the tribes. Despite their numbers, the white settlers had the advantage of guns, and managed to fight off the Natives, who were massacred. Some 100 died at Adobe Walls; only three of the white men perished. AGRICULTURE When the huge animals that formed the primary part of the diet of the early Native Americans eventually died out, they were forced to turn their attention to hunting smaller prey, including birds. Around the same time, Native Americans also began to forage for wild plants, not only as a source of food but also as a source of medicine. It may come as a surprise that 60 percent of the food we eat today comes from plants that were discovered, and then developed, by early Native Americans. These foods include the potato, the tomato, and, most important of all, maize, or corn. The first corn came from a wild grass called teosinte that grew in Mexico. The early men and women that lived there managed to modify this grass by selecting those with the fattest heads and cross-fertilizing them with other hardy grasses. By a time a thousand years prior to the birth of Christ, corn was the most important vegetable foodstuff in Mexico. The cultivation of corn then spread into the American southwest and was adopted by three civilizations that became famed for their farming methods. These were the Anasazi, the Mogollan, and the Hohokam. The earliest of these three peoples were the Mogollan, who dwelled on the borders of what is now New Mexico and Arizona between A.D. 150 and 1450. Their homes—subterranean pits covered by a “roof” of brush and plaster made from mud—would develop into stone dwellings. Next came the Hohokam, who lived in the scorchingly hot Sonoran desert west of the mountains that bordered the Mogollan areas. They lived between A.D. 200 and 1450. The harshness of their environment forced them to become ingenious, and they discovered that they could make the dusty desert soils and sands blossom by means of irrigation. They built hundreds of miles of canals, up to 25 feet wide, sourcing their water from the Gila and Salt rivers. Their crops included corn, beans, squash, and cotton. Examination of Hohokam remains has revealed rubber balls; this is a mystery, since at the time of the Hohokam, rubber was unavailable in Arizona. Around A.D. 1450 the Hohokam seem to have simply disappeared. It is possible that a drought or a crop failure caused them to disband and seek other places to live. In the meantime, the Anasazi people—otherwise known as “The Ancient Ones”—arose to the north of Hohokam territory. They further developed effective systems of irrigation, and farmed maize and cotton, learning along the way to weave the cotton crop into a useful fabric. THE THREE SISTERS There were three crops that were fundamental to the Native American, and their cultivation was developed and refined by the invention of a method that was a superb example of what we call “sustainable farming” these days. The “Three Sisters” in question were corn, beans, and squash. According to an Iroquois myth, these three plants were three sisters, also known as Deohako, who had been gifted to mankind by the Great Spirit. The Three Sisters thrive best in each other’s company, and another of their names reflects this: collectively they were referred to as “Our Sustainers.” The planting of the Three Sisters was accompanied by songs and ceremonies, the three seeds being planted together in the same mound of soil. Each of these plants not only supplies a healthy diet but, as the unused parts are plowed back in, adds nutrients to the soil. The first crop of green corn is still celebrated with festivals and dancing. The symbiosis between the three plants has a wonderful logic. The corn—growing straight and strong—provides a “pole” of support for the bean plants to scramble up toward the sun. These beans have the additional benefit of helping to fix nitrogen into the soil, which further fertilizes the ground. The vines of the bean also strengthen the corn stalks, making them less liable to wind damage. Thirdly, the squash—which have shallow roots—not only act as a mulch, covering the ground and suppressing weeds, but also help keep the soil moist. Squash plants with spiny skins also help to deter any predators. At the end of the harvest, the debris of leaves and stalks left by all three plants would be dug back into the soil, enriching it even further. As well as growing beautifully together, the nutritional value of the Three Sisters complement one another perfectly, too. The beans, when dried, not only provide protein but can be stored against the winter. The corn is starchy and full of carbohydrates, providing energy. The squash not only contains vitamins but its seeds yield a useful oil. Native Americans invented this system with no knowledge of vitamins, nitrogen-fixing capabilities, or any of the technical information that we know of today. Further, the natural world, it was believed, offered up signs that the time had come either to plant the seeds or to harvest the crop. For example, the return of the Canada Geese signaled the time for planting the corn. ALEUT Originally from the Aleutian Islands, which extend in a westerly direction from Alaska for a distance of about 1,200 miles to the Pacific Ocean, the name Aleut is believed to mean either “Island” or, alternatively, “Bald Rock,” from a Russian word. “Alaska” is from an Aleutian phrase meaning “mainland.” Aleut culture was very similar to that of the Inuit. Both peoples belong to what is termed the Arctic Culture Area. Their livelihood was based almost entirely on the ocean: they hunted sea mammals, such as otters and whales, and fished, using the traditional baidarkas—a kayak-like vessel made from waterproofed oiled sealskins stretched over a wooden frame. Much of the hunting for larger sea mammals was carried out using a harpoon. The Aleut seafood diet was supplemented with seasonal berries, fruits, and roots. Aleuts lived in partially buried homes called barabaras—large buildings shared by a number of families. Beautiful, intricately decorated baskets were made from the rye grass growing along the edges of the beaches. Shells and amber were used as currency. In such a harsh climate, the Aleuts had to be particularly ingenious about keeping warm. Their clothing was generally double-layered to preserve heat, made from animal hides and also animal guts. It is the Aleuts that we have to thank for the parka—the long, hooded coat that is worn all over the world. The coming of the Europeans and their involvement in the fur trade had a significant impact on the traditional Aleut way of life. The first explorer, Vitus Bering of Denmark, working under the auspices of the Russian Czar Peter the Great, arrived on the Aleutian Islands in 1741. His reports of the rich sealife and opportunities for fur trading soon saw a large contingent of prospectors from Siberia arriving in the area. Their methods of working were harsh for the Aleuts. Arriving in a village, hostages were captured, primarily women and children. The men were then forced to trade furs in return for the safe return of their families. The women and children were used as slaves, forced to skin the animals and clean the furs. The Aleuts rebelled in 1761 and succeeded in killing a group of traders; however, the Russians responded by sending in a veritable armada of warships, and blasted many Aleut villages to smithereens with their cannons. Thereafter, the Russians made some attempts to regulate the fur trade and to treat the Aleuts and the Inuit more fairly, including actually paying them for their efforts. This just meant that the traders found new ways to cheat the Aleut, inventing charges such as fees for food and transportation. The end of the 18th century saw the founding of the Russian American Company, a massive fur-trading company which would become the main competitor with the British Hudson Bay Company. ALGONQUIAN The collective grouped under the Algonquian banner lived primarily in and around the woodlands of northeastern America. The different Native peoples belonging to this family included the Abenaki, Wampanoag, Mohegan and Narragansett, the Mahican, Lenni Lenape, the Powhatan and Roanoke, the Ojibwe and Ottawa, the Shawnee and Illinois, the Sauk and Fox, Kickapoo, the Mi’kmaq, Cree, Montagnais, and Naskapi, as well as many others. There are of course differences in the lifestyles and histories of all the Algonquian peoples, which were banded together far more loosely than the Iroquois Confederacy, but still tended to come together to support one another during times of war or hardship. The tribes also tended to live grouped into small villages, typically living in wigwams. As well as tending their crops of corn, beans, and squash, the tribes hunted small game, fished, and foraged for various wild plants and roots. The peoples who lived close to the prairies where the buffalo roamed, for example in the Mississippi River Valley, would also have hunted the buffalo. ALLOTMENT ACT This is also known as The Dawes Act, after Senator Henry Dawes of Massachusetts, who was its main proponent. Passed in 1887, the Act gave the President of the United States the right to audit all the lands that belonged to the Native American peoples, and then, where necessary, divide that land into smaller pieces for individual tribes. The overarching aim of the Act was to aid the assimilation of Native Americans into the white majority; individual ownership of land was perceived to be of paramount importance in facilitating this aim. The European sensibility placed a lot of importance on land and property ownership, while this was not a primary concern of the Native peoples, who believed that the land belonged to everyone. As well as apportioning parcels of land, the Act enabled the Government to buy any “excess” land from the Native Americans, and then apportion that land to others—primarily, white settlers. Dawes was very much of the mind that ownership of land would have a “civilizing” effect on the Native Americans. In order to be civilized, he said, a man had to: “… wear civilized clothes … cultivate the ground, live in houses, ride in Studebaker wagons, send children to school, drink whiskey and own property …” The key points of the Act were as follows: The head of a family would be allotted 160 acres; an orphan or a single person under the age of 18 would receive 80 acres; and anyone else under the age of 18 would receive 40 acres. These allotted chunks of land would be held in trust by the U.S. Government for 25 years. Native Americans could choose their own land, and had four years to do so. If they still had not made a decision after this time, then they would have to take what they were given. Further, any Native American who had received land and who had subsequently “adopted the habits of a civilized life” would be made a citizen of the United States. Excluded from the Act at the time it was passed were the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Miami, and Peopria, who were living in the Indian Territory, also the Osage, Sauk and Fox in the Oklahoma Territory, and any of the Seneca in New York. The Act was not universally admired by any means, certainly not by the Native Americans whose traditional way of living, sharing the land and its bounty, was completely ignored. It was also looked upon with a great deal of suspicion and cynicism by many of European descent. Senator Henry M. Teller of Colorado spoke for many when he said that the real purpose of the Allotment policy was: “… to despoil the Indians of their lands and to make them vagabonds on the face of the earth …” Teller also pointed out that: “… The provisions for the apparent benefit of the Indians are but the pretext to get at his lands and occupy them … If this were done in the name of Greed, it would be bad enough; but to do it in the name of Humanity … is infinitely worse …” Teller was proved right. The amount of land given to individuals was not sufficient for them to subsist in the ways that they had done for generations, and effectively saw the end of the traditional way of hunting. It also forced the Native Americans to become farmers instead. A further complication came about in that, if the owner of the land died, the allotment could be divided into even smaller chunks by his heirs. After 25 years the Native had the right to sell the land, and the result was that much of it was bought by white settlers for bargain-basement prices. It was also sold to the railroad companies and other major organizations, as Teller had predicted. The amount of land originally owned by Native Americans was estimated at some 150,000,000 acres; fewer than 15 years after the Act, in 1900, this had been reduced to 78,000,000 acres. The Allotment Act was abolished in 1934, as no longer deemed necessary. AMERICAN HORSE 1840-1908 An Oglala Sioux chief and son of Sitting Bear, American Horse’s Native name was Wasicun Thasunke, meaning “he who has the horse of a white man.” He also had the nickname “Spider.” Other illustrious members of his family include his uncle, also American Horse, and his father-in-law, Red Cloud. He also fought alongside Crazy Horse and, in later years, became a performer in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. American Horse became Shirt-wearer, or chief, along with Crazy Horse, Young Man Afraid of His Horses, and He Dog, in 1868. In 1887 American Horse was one of the chiefs who signed a treaty between the U.S. Government and the Sioux, which essentially reduced the Sioux territory in Dakota by half, a ruling which, not surprisingly, was vehemently opposed by over half the Oglala. At the same time the unrest was reflected in the burgeoning Ghost Dance Movement, and further exacerbated by the murder of Sitting Bull. However, the potential uprising against the Federal Government by the Oglala was deflected by American Horse, who persuaded them to adhere to the terms outlined by the treaty in the name of peace; consequently, the tribe settled at the Pine Ridge Reservation. American Horse campaigned for fair treatment of the Sioux—including better rations—in accordance with what had been agreed. A great advocate of education, American Horse believed that Native Americans would do well to be schooled according to the white man’s ways; his son and nephew were among the first to attend the controversial Carlisle School. American Horse died peacefully at Pine Ridge in 1908. AMERICAN INDIAN MOVEMENT Also known by the acronym AIM, this organization was founded in Minneapolis in 1968 as a focus for numerous issues that concerned the Native American community. It followed on from the Red Power movement. The issues concerning AIM included housing, police harassment toward those of Native American origin, poverty, and also the outstanding issues concerning treaties between the Native peoples and the U.S. Government. Although the movement started in Minneapolis, it soon gained momentum across the United States, and in 1971 members gathered together to protest in Washington, D.C. The “Trail of Broken Treaties” saw the Native American representatives present a list to the Government of 20 demands that they felt they were entitled to, due to various promises that had been made in historical agreements. These 20 items were: Restore treaty-making (ended by Congress in 1871) Establish a treaty commission to make new treaties (with sovereign Native Nations) Provide opportunities for Indian leaders to address Congress directly Review treaty commitments and violations Have any unratified treaties reviewed by the Senate Ensure that all American Indians are governed by treaty relations Provide relief to Native Nations as compensation for treaty rights violations Recognize the right of Indians to interpret treaties Create a Joint Congressional Committee to reconstruct relations with Indians Restore 110 million acres of land taken away from Native Nations by the United States Restore terminated rights of Native Nations Repeal state jurisdiction on Native Nations Provide Federal protection for offenses against Indians Abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs Create a new office of Federal Indian Relations Remedy breakdown in the constitutionally prescribed relationships between the United States and Native Nations Ensure immunity of Native Nations from state commerce regulation, taxes, and trade restrictions Protect Indian religious freedom and cultural integrity Establish national Indian voting with local options; free national Indian organizations from governmental controls Reclaim and affirm health, housing, employment, economic development, and education for all Indian people. Perhaps the most noteworthy piece of activism by AIM was “The Longest Walk.” Following a spiritual tradition with political aims in mind, The Longest Walk began in February 1978 with a ceremony on Alcatraz Island, where the Red Power movement had first drawn attention to the plight of Native Americans ten years earlier. The beginning of the Walk started with a pipe ceremony; this pipe was carried the entire length of the route, some 3,200 miles across the U.S.A., ending in Washington, D.C. in July of the same year. The walk highlighted many issues, such as the need for tribal sovereignty and the civil rights of the Native American people. Support was garnered from both within the Native community and outside of it; and from both inside the United States and from much further afield. Once in Washington, the pipe, which had been loaded with tobacco at the beginning of the journey, was smoked at the site of the Washington Monument. Thereafter, rallies were held to highlight all the issues that The Longest Walk had set out to address. AIM continues to fight on behalf of the Native American peoples. AMOS BAD HEART BULL 1868-1913 Also known as Eagle Bonnet, Amos Bad Heart Bull belonged to the Oglala Lakota branch of the Sioux Nation. The nephew of the chiefs He Dog and Red Cloud, and the son of Bad Heart Bull and his wife, Red Blanket, Amos grew up in the traditional way for a young Lakota boy, although his upbringing was disturbed by the growing unrest between the tribe and the European settlers. Amos was only eight years old when the Sioux defeated General Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn; despite their victory, the Great Sioux War saw the tribe eventually overcome, and Amos’ family fled north to be with the great chief, Sitting Bull, in Canada, for a few years before returning south to the Standing Rock Reservation, and then to the Pine Ridge Reservation, in the early 1880s. Amos was interested in the history of his people and this, combined with an artistic skill, saw him start to draw pictures showing key events in the life of the tribe. His father Bad Heart Bull was responsible for keeping the Winter Count, a pictorial calendar, and it’s likely that the young Amos picked up these skills from his father. It was during his time serving as a scout for the U.S. Army that Amos bought a ledger book—intended for accounts, etc.—from a store, and began to draw in it. By chance, he adapted a traditional Indian technique of drawing on hide or skins to a modern medium: paper. This style became known as Ledger Art, and Amos became famous for it. Once he returned to the tribe after his time in the Army, he became the Winter Keeper of the tribe, following in the footsteps of his father before him. It wasn’t until after his death, though, that Amos’ art gained recognition. His sister, Dolly Pretty Cloud, had inherited the ledger book full of drawings, and she was contacted by a university student, Helen Blish, who wanted to study the drawings as part of her thesis. Her professor, Hartley Alexander, made photographs of the drawings to accompany his student’s text—which was fortunate, since when Dolly died the ledger book was buried with her. The text and drawings were subsequently published in 1938 by Professor Alexander as Sioux Indian Painting. Some 30 years later it was printed again, the content considered a very important record of the history and culture of the Lakota people, this time under the title A Photographic History of the Oglala Sioux, by Helen Blish’s alma mater, the University of Nebraska Press. ANASAZI Meaning “The Ancient Ones,” the Anasazi were among the first dwellers in the vast land that became the United States. Sometimes called the “Ancient Pueblo Peoples,” the Anasazi lived in the southwest. The Anasazi have been traced back as far as 6000 B.C., a hunter-gatherer people who had started to settle into agriculture (primarily growing maize as a crop) in the last two centuries B.C. The Anasazi also left behind a significant accumulation of archeological remains that have helped us to understand something of their culture and way of life. By A.D. 1200, horticulture had become a very important part of Anasazi economy, although prior to this they had still traveled in search of hunting grounds and sources of food. The more settled they became, however, the more skilled the Anasazi became at basket making, and indeed this was so important that the three delineated periods of Anasazi culture, from 1000 B.C. until A.D. 750, are defined as “the three Basket-Making periods.” Remains of these baskets—and sandals—prove that they were not simply utilitarian objects, but works of art, too. The Anasazi buried their dead in deep circular pits lined with stones, grasses, and mud; they stored goods in the same way. Houses were similar to hogans—circular permanent structures constructed of a framework of branches covered in reeds, grasses, and earth. By A.D. 500, the Anasazi were settled into a farming culture, living in small settlements that were scattered widely over what is now southern Utah. These settlements could be as small as just three homes, or as large as a “village” containing more than a dozen buildings. Archeological investigations of Anasazi remains have also helped us to gauge the arrival of the bow and arrow into this part of America. Sometime before A.D. 750, the bow and arrow replaced the older spear thrower. Around about the same time period, the people also started to make pots, probably as a direct result of using a basket lined with clay as a cooking receptacle. It wouldn’t have taken long to realize that the basket itself wasn’t a necessary part of the structure once the clay had hardened (probably in the cooking process). Anasazi pottery came in two grades: the plain “everyday” kind, and the more decorative ware which was patterned with black-on-white designs. From A.D. 750 onward, we start to think of the Anasazi as the Pueblo. This name refers to the way the people came to live, in solid, stonebuilt multistoried houses. “Pueblo” is not a tribal name, as some suppose. For 250 years onward, from A.D. 900, the Pueblo houses, formerly made from wooden poles and adobe, started to be replaced with stone masonry, and a floor was developed that was at the same level as the ground. The actual pithouses, or kiva, were used instead for ceremonies. ANGAGOK The shaman or medicine man of the Inuit. APACHE A tribe from the Northwest, the Apache were renowned for their fearlessness which, combined with a natural ferocity, meant that they were much feared, not only among the white settlers, but by other Natives, against whom were long-running feuds. Since they had been living in New Mexico when the Spaniards had first arrived there with horses, the Apache were one of the first tribes to train, breed, and ride horses after they had captured the animals in raids. It was their horseback raids on the Pueblo settlements of that area that gave them their name: Apachu means “enemy” in the Zuni language, and “fighting men” in the Yuma tongue. Inde, meaning “people,” is the term that the Apachean groups used to refer to themselves. Although the Apache and the Navajo are related, the term “Apache” isn’t used in reference to the Navajo. Both Apache and Navajo are a part of the Athabascan language group. There were several different bands of tribes that are grouped under the general heading of Apache. These include the Chiricahua, who had the reputation of being the most ferocious of all the Apache groups, the Kiowa Apache (or Plains Apache), the Jicarilla (who cultivated corn as well as hunting buffalo), and the Mescalero (so-named because of their fondness for the roasted heads of the wild mescal plant). The Lipan Apache in Texas were known to be particularly “unruly.” These separate Apache groups didn’t really work in any kind of unity; there were seven different languages between the major groups, as well as diverse cultural differences between those groups. The Apache were seasonal hunters, ranging after buffalo, deer, and elk. The Apache were matrilinear—that is, the children were deemed to belong to the tribe of their mother and, once married, their father’s obligations lay with their mother’s clan. Although all the separate Apache clans operated distinctly from one another, during times of warfare they banded together to make a formidable fighting force. As soon as they gained access to firearms as well as horses, the Apache became even more dangerous than before. It’s fair to say that they posed the greatest threat to the Europeans in the desert territories of New Mexico and Arizona. In addition to their warlike ferocity, the Apache were intelligent, wily strategists. One U.S. general, whose identity has been lost, described the Apache as “the tigers of the human species,” although for the Apache themselves their nature was simply one born of the constant struggle to survive, and the guerrilla war tactics that they adopted came completely naturally to them. It was rumored that an Apache warrior could run for 50 miles without stopping. The relationship between the Apache and the Pueblo people was peaceable enough. The Apache pitched their wickiup shelters on the outskirts of the Pueblo villages as they moved through in pursuit of wild game. However, the coming of the Spanish put an end to this existence. The Spanish slave traders had no compunction in hunting down captives to work in the silver mines of northern Mexico, and the Apache found in the Spanish a rich source of horses, guns, and captives of their own. When, in 1870, the tribe were told that they had to stay on the reservation that had been allotted them, a particular band, under the leadership of Cochise, simply refused, and caused as much mayhem for the U.S. Government troops as they possibly could. In 1873 the troops had corraled some 3,000 Apaches and forced them onto the reservation. Unsurprisingly in view of such treatment, the Apache chose to continue fighting. Perhaps the most famous of all Apache leaders was Geronimo, who led the tribe from 1880. However, even Geronimo had to admit defeat at the hands of the U.S. Government in 1886. APACHE MEDICINE CRAZE During the spring of 1882, Doklini, a popular medicine man of the Apache tribe who was otherwise known as “Attacking the Enemy,” otherwise Nabakelti, told his considerable number of followers who lived on the White Mountain Reservation in Arizona that he had had a vision, a divine revelation: the information imparted to Doklini revealed how the dead could be brought back to life. At this time, the losses to Native Americans of all tribes are impossible to estimate; suffice to say that everyone must have been affected by the deaths of family, friends, and colleagues because of diseases, war, and starvation. Such a message of hope must have been inspiring, and the same emotions would hit those affected by the Ghost Dance Movement, which would gain momentum just a few short years later. Doklini prepared some equipment that he needed for the miracle. He constructed 60 large wooden wheels painted with magical symbols, and also carved 12 sacred sticks. One of them, which he shaped into a cross, was given the title “Chief of Sticks.” Then he gathered 60 men from among his most fervent followers, and then Doklini started the dance. When the time was right, Doklini went to the grave of a man, prominent among his people, who had died just a little while earlier. The medicine man and his followers danced around the grave and then disinterred the bones. They then danced a circle dance four times around these bones; this dance went on all that morning, and then the group chose another grave and repeated the ritual in the afternoon. A shelter of brush was placed over the bones in each instance. The next set of instructions was then given by the medicine man. Everyone must pray for the next four mornings, he said; at the end of this time, the people to whom the bones belonged would be restored once more to life and vitality. By the second morning of prayer, the small band of Apache, anticipating the restoration of two of their loved ones, were almost at the point of hysteria, convinced that Doklini’s medicine would have the desired effect. Meanwhile, news of this interesting development had reached some of the Apache scouts who were based at Fort Apache, and were excused from their duties so that they could go and see what was happening. To the outside visitor, it must have appeared as though those waiting for their dead to be resurrected had gone crazy; this was the information that was relayed back to the fort. The presence of Doklini was requested, who responded by sealing the brush shelters over the bones tightly and suggesting, angrily, that he would appear to answer questions after two more days had passed. He also called together his people, explaining that the interruption meant that the bones might not reconstitute in the way he had promised, but that, because of the interference and interruption of the white men, the whole procedure might need to be repeated. Doklini traveled to Fort Apache with something like an entourage: 62 dancers and all the equipment: the wheels, the sticks, and ceremonial drums. In all, it took the party nearly two days to reach their destination, stopping to dance along the way, and they made an encampment just above Fort Apache, dancing, drumming, and waiting for someone to come and see them. But no one came. After dancing and waiting all night, at dawn the party wended their way back home, arriving not long after dawn after a day and a half of traveling. Word came that the agent at Fort Apache was expecting them. Doklini replied that they had traveled to Fort Apache, no one came to see them, and that he wasn’t going to go all that way again. The powers at Fort Apache decided to send a troop of 60 men to the small Apache settlement where Doklini and his band were based, with the purpose of arresting the old medicine man. Sixty men might seem extreme, given the task, but the agent was concerned that the Indians might resist the arrest of their spiritual leader. In the event, neither Doklini nor his followers put up any resistance at all, and rode with the men to their temporary headquarters. There was no sign that there would be any trouble, but suddenly one of Doklini’s brothers, angered at the arrest, rode into the camp and killed the commanding officer with a single bullet. Seconds later, a soldier hit Doklini over the head with a blunt weapon; the old man was killed. Knowing that a fight was looming, the soldiers hastily prepared their defenses. The Apache, outraged at the loss of Doklini, did indeed attack, and killed six of the soldiers. The pack animals escaped, but in the ensuing months the fighting caused deaths on both sides. Had the authorities at Fort Apache not interfered, the chances are high that, after the fourth day, when none of the bones had been transformed into living men once more, the whole Apache Medicine Craze would have fizzled out, Doklini discredited, but no lives lost. APACHE MOON This was the term used by the white settlers for a full moon. The reason? Some of the Plains Indians—the Apache in particular—chose to attack by the light of the full moon, since there was a belief among the Apache that when a warrior died he would find in the afterlife the same conditions that he had left behind on the earthly plain. A raid undertaken under a moon-filled sky would have been very effective for the Apache attackers, and would also mean that any enemies that were killed would be destined to wander around in the half-light for all of eternity. APALACHEE When the explorer De Soto visited the Apalachee people at their territory in what is now known as Apalachee Bay in Florida, he found an industrious, hard-working people who were not only wealthy and skilled in agriculture, but had the reputation of being fierce warriors, too. When the tribe allied with the Spanish, they became the subject of raids from the Creek people, sent on behalf of the English Government. As a result, the Apalachee really began to suffer. The worst was yet to come for this people, though. In 1703 the European colonists, accompanied by their Native American allies, conclusively raided the Apalachee territory and ransacked and burned all before them. More than 200 warriors were slaughtered and over 1,000 more were forced into slavery. Anyone lucky enough to survive fled, taking refuge with other peoples who were sympathetic to their plight. Although there were reports of a few Apalachee still living in Louisiana in 1804, all that remains of the Apalachee today is remembered in some place names, including the bay in Florida mentioned earlier, and of course in the name of the Apalachian Mountains. APPALOOSA This is the name that the white men gave to the beautiful war ponies, with distinctive spotted coats, that belonged to the Nez Perce peoples. The name itself was derived from the area in which the people lived at one time, the Palouse Valley of the Palouse River, located in Oregon and Washington. The Nez Perce had been breeding, handling, and riding horses for at least 100 years before the Lewis and Clark Expedition “discovered” the tribe in the early 19th century. Although many of their Appaloosa ponies were killed in the latter part of the 1800s, the breed was revived in the latter part of the 20th century, and continues to flourish. ARAPAHO When the settlers first came upon them, the Arapaho were already expert horsemen and buffalo hunters. Their territory was originally what has become northern Minnesota, but the Arapaho relocated to the eastern Plains areas of Colorado and Wyoming at about the same time as the Cheyenne; because of this, the two people became associated and are also federally recognized as the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. The Arapaho were also aligned with the Sioux. The Arapaho tongue is part of the Algonquian language group. In later years—toward the end of the 1870s—the Northern Arapaho would be further relocated to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, while the Southern Arapaho went to live with the Cheyenne in Oklahoma. Despite this close association, which often meant intermarriage, each people retained its own customs and language. One major cultural difference between the two, for example, is that the Arapaho buried their dead in the ground, whereas the Cheyenne made a raftlike construction on which to lay their deceased, leaving birds and animals to devour the remains. The Arapaho were tipi dwellers, part of the Woodland Culture tribes. It was this group that were the originators of the Sun Dance. They also had a government of consensus. Like other Native Americans, the Arapaho and the horse took to one another as though they’d been designed to; this meant that the tribe could travel further and faster, and also had the capability of carrying goods and chattels more efficiently than before. Fishing and hunting—which included hunting buffalo—provided much of what the Arapaho needed to survive. In 1851, the First Fort Laramie Treaty set the boundaries of the Arapaho land, from the Arkansas River in the south to the North Platte in the north, and from the Continental Divide in the west to western Kansas and Nebraska. When gold was discovered near Denver in the late 1850s, contact with the settlers increased rapidly, and in 1861 there was an attempt to shift some of the Arapaho to a chunk of land along the Arkansas River. The Arapaho did not agree to this, however, and the treaty remained unenforceable in law. However, the matter escalated when in 1864 a peaceable band of Arapaho, camping along Sand Creek in the southeastern part of Colorado, were brutally attacked by a Colonel Chivington, who had wanted to prove himself a war hero. These Arapaho had no warning whatsoever. The Sand Creek Massacre, as it came to be known, included the slaughter of women, children, and elderly people, and ignited angry conflict in the mid 1860s. Rather than giving him heroic status, the matter brought shame to Chivington. Eventually, treaties were agreed that saw the Southern Arapaho settling in west central Oklahoma. The Northern Arapaho became embroiled in Red Cloud’s War between 1866 and 1867. Sparked by the white man encroaching on Native American buffalo-hunting territory in Montana after gold was discovered there, the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Sioux were victorious. The conflict continued, however, climaxing in the Battle of Little Big Horn and the defeat of General Custer in 1877. Today, the Arapaho are among the peoples who operate casinos, one of which is located at the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. ARAWAK Also called the Taino, the Arawak people did not live on the mainland of North America, but on the Caribbean islands to the south—specifically, the chain of islands which came to be known as the West Indies/Antilles. As most people know, the islands are called the West Indies because Christopher Columbus stumbled across them while seeking a passage to India, thought that the Antilles were the East Indies, and called the Native Americans that he encountered there “Indians.” This name stuck (although for many it is a continual source of annoyance). Although Viking explorers reached America long before Columbus, it was Columbus’ “discovery” that really brought the continent to the attention of Europe and, consequently, to the rest of the world. And it was the Arawak with whom Columbus had the most contact. A farming people, the Arawak had traveled to the Caribbean from South America, and called themselves the Taino, meaning “good people.” Able to grow a varied number of plants because of the tropical climate, the tribe supplemented these crops of corn, potatoes, cassava, peanuts, peppers, and tobacco with hunting (mainly small game, specifically an animal called the Hutia) and fishing (from dugouts; they speared fish and also caught sea turtles). The tribe built seaworthy dugout canoes which could take 100 people; these were used to carry goods to and fro between the Arawak and the Native peoples in South America. The position of chief, or cacique, of each village, was a hereditary title; this could be a man or woman. Female chiefs were called cacicas. The chief lived in a square or rectangular house with a pitched roof; the villagers lived in circular huts and slept in hammocks, a Native American invention which has proved popular all over the world. These Arawak hammocks were the first that any European would have seen. Because of the climate, little was needed in the way of clothing, and when Columbus encountered the Arawak he would have seen many naked natives. Both men and women wore beautiful jewelry made from natural materials that were ready to hand, such as shells or bone. The Arawak provided the first contact for many things as well as the hammock, which was rapidly copied as a way of sleeping on board ship. The amiable Arawak showed their visitors potatoes, corn, and, of course, tobacco; in fact, the Arawak word for “cigar” was tabaco. The Arawak showed Columbus and his men nothing but kindness; this was not repaid. Columbus forced several members of the tribe to accompany him as slaves, and other potential colonists followed suit by treating the Arawak like slaves. The Arawak killed the Europeans, but when Columbus returned he tried to make the Arawak work for him in finding gold. This proved unsuccessful, but taking Natives to sell as slaves proved profitable. The Arawak were among the first to suffer from the diseases brought by the Europeans, as well as dying of starvation when they were forced into slavery. Others killed themselves, unable to bear such subjugation. ASSIMILATION A policy that was actively encouraged by the white settlers in order to encourage Native Americans to be absorbed into the “mainstream” culture. Assimilation of Natives into the ways of the white man generally resulted in the exchange of one culture for the other; for example, when they were sent to European schools, Native American children were not allowed to use their native tongue, and were encouraged to reject their traditional religious practices in favor of Christian ones. The movement toward assimilation was at its height in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. ASSINIBOIN Also known as the Rocky Mountain Sioux, despite the fact that the Assiniboin and the Dakota Sioux share virtually the same language, the two were enemies for as long as anyone could remember. The early Jesuits in America found the two peoples distinctly different from one another, except for their language. The name Assiniboin means “one who cooks with hot stones,” and the tribe were given this name by the Ojibwe; the Assiniboin united with the Ojibwe, and also with the Creek, to fight the Dakota Sioux for overall control of the buffalo plains. The Assiniboin originally lived in Canada, subsequently traveling south to what are now North Dakota and Montana. Sadly, many of the Assiniboin tribe fell prey to the white man’s disease of smallpox in the 1840s and were wiped out. ATLATL A device used to make spear throwing more effective, the atlatl was a prehistoric invention. It was constructed from a stick approximately 2 feet long. Using a rock as a balance, there was a groove in the stick to hold the shaft of the spear in place, and loops made of animal hide with which the atlatl was grasped firmly. BABICHE This is the name given to a string, or thong, made from the hide of a caribou, a deer, or even an eel. A useful material, it was used in the same way that string or twine is used today, except it was likely to be much longer-lasting. Babiche would be made into skeins and carried around with a person just in case it was needed for repairs. BALSA The Californian Native Americans made small boats from reeds or rushes that were tied together into bundles and bound into a cylindrical shape. After a period of use this small craft, or balsa, would become waterlogged and had to be dried out before it could be used again. The name “balsa” also refers to the lightweight wood that comes from the tree, whose Latin name is Ochroma pyramidale. BAND Smaller than a tribe, the term “band” is used to describe a small group of Native Americans, often a sub-division of a tribe or clan. A band might also be used to describe a group who had elected to follow a leader other than the accepted tribal chief. BANNERSTONE A decoratively carved and polished stone or rock, often sculpted into the form of a bird. This might be mounted onto the top of a staff to show the authority of the bearer. Such decorative stones were also used as weights on the atlatl. BANNOCK Related to the northern Paiutes, the Bannock belong to the northern Shoshone people. Their original stamping ground included southeastern Oregon, southeastern Idaho, western Wyoming, and the southwestern part of Montana. They belong to the Paiute language group. The Bannock had less trouble in general with the white settlers than other tribes. The tribe traded with other Indian nations, using their pottery, horn utensils, and salmon-skin bags as currency with which to barter. After they adopted the horse in the middle of the 18th century, they traded the animals with the Nez Perce. The Bannock, as well as other tribes, place a huge amount of importance on the buffalo, not only for food but for all manner of essential items: clothes, implements, tipi coverings, etc. There was another natural resource that was an essential for the Bannock lifestyle: a plant named camas, a purple/blue flower whose bulb was an important form of nutrition, especially in the winter months when little else was available. In 1868 the Bannock had been removed to the Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho. The rations allotted to them by the U.S. Government were not sufficient to keep the Indians from starvation. In the spring of 1871, the tribe left the reservation to harvest camas roots, but discovered that the settlers had allowed their livestock to roam free in the Great Camas Prairie; there were not enough of the precious tubers left. In addition, it became clear that the numbers of buffalo were rapidly diminishing due to dramatic overhunting by the white men. These two factors forced the Bannock to rebel against the white settlers and the U.S. Government, in an uprising known as the Bannock War, in 1878. The Bannock Chief, Buffalo Horn, made an allegiance with the northern Paiutes; the massed tribes made a series of raids on the white settlers in order to try to find some food. The tribes were defeated by the U.S. Army, and many members of the tribe were captured. After this defeat, they returned to the reservation at Fort Hall in southeastern Idaho. BARABARA The Inuit and Aleut peoples built large lodges in which many people could live; this was the barabara. Partially dug into the ground to a depth of approximately 2 feet, the barabara was lined with timber and the roof—except for a chimney or smokehole—made from arched branches covered over with earth and bark. BASKETWARE An ancient craft, the making of baskets was an essential skill carried out by every Native American people. Materials used for making baskets included grasses and reeds, whippy branches, bark, and roots. The Natives of the Great Lakes favored birch bark containers over baskets, whereas cane and willow were the preferred materials in the south. There were two specific styles of basket which are still made all over the world—woven baskets, and coiled ones. The former took as its basis a framework of a stouter material which would be woven through and in between that framework. Coiled baskets were made from braided material that would be coiled and then stitched into the shape of the basket. Patterns can be woven into baskets with fibers of contrasting color and texture. Different tribes developed their own unique designs. As well as being used to carry equipment, food, and other objects, baskets also made handy cooking receptacles. To use a basket in this way the receptacle was first lined with pitch or clay to make it watertight. During the cooking process the clay hardened; afterwards it was discovered that the clay vessel could be used on its own, without needing the basket itself. It’s not unlikely that pottery was developed because of using baskets in this way. However, it was also possible to weave baskets which were in themselves watertight, with no need to use any coating material. To boil something in a basket—which of course could not be used over direct heat—the water inside it was heated by dropping hot stones inside. Basket-weaving skills were also used to make cradles, shields, fences, boats, and fishing nets, among other objects. BATTLE OF LITTLE BIG HORN SeeCuster’s Last Stand (#litres_trial_promo) BAYETA Blankets were an important resource for the Native Americans, and were made from hair, down, fur, wool, cotton, feathers, and even bark. They were used as clothing, shelter, for making partitions, and even to wrap up goods and carry them while traveling. The bayeta—Spanish for “baize”—was the best known of all the various types of blankets made by the Navajo. They were generally a subdued reddish color, made from the baize which had been introduced as a trading item in the 19th century. The Navajo unraveled the fabric and reconstituted it into beautiful blankets. BEADS Just about all Native American peoples used beads as decoration. These beads were made from nuts and seeds, wood, bone, horn, shells, teeth, claws, the beaks of birds, and also minerals including turquoise, soapstone, quartz, and other stones. Beads made from the shells of shellfish such as the periwinkle were called wampum and were used as currency. Beads were used to ornament the hair, were sewn onto clothing, and strung onto sinew to make jewelry. When the white settlers arrived, they introduced glass and ceramic beads to the Indians. Historians are able to determine the age of an item by examining any beads that were a part of it. BEAVER The territorial spread of the beaver ranged from west of the Mississippi to south of the Great Lakes. The beaver was a much loved “brother” to the Native American, honored for its industry and ingenuity. Beavers, like men, were observed to live in “families,” and appeared to have their own language, laws, and a chief, and so they were considered to be the equal of human beings. The beaver was also a useful animal: some tribes ate its meat, and after killing it every single part of the animal was used; nothing was wasted. The teeth—notoriously sharp and able to chisel easily through trees to fell them—were prized as weapons, mounted onto the end of a stick which could be used either as a tool or as a weapon. The beaver skin was used to make bags, pouches, and clothing. Beavers build ingenious homes for themselves: oval-shaped lodges of which about a third is actually in the water. The rest is coated densely with clay so that it is both airtight and watertight. Native Americans might catch beavers by cutting holes in the ice and waiting until the animal emerged for air, when the hunter would grasp the animal quickly and kill it cleanly and efficiently. The white settlers, however, also quickly realized the value of the beaver, and soon established a thriving fur trade with the Natives, which assisted good relations on both sides. BEAVER (TRIBE) Also called the Tsattine, a word that means “those who live among the beavers.” There were many beavers in what is now northwest Alberta in Canada, especially near the Peace River, whose name in the language of the tribe was the Tsades, meaning “beaver river.” The tribe belonged to the Athapascan language family. The Beaver, among the hardy Native Americans who lived in subarctic conditions, were seminomadic, moving to follow the hunt. Their prey included not only beavers but moose, caribou, and smaller mammals such as rabbits. The Beaver used hand-made animal “calls” of birch-bark to attract their prey. They also sometimes encountered the buffalo. The Beaver lived in cone-shaped houses which looked a little like tipis, and when hunting built lean to shelters from whatever materials were at hand. Hunting parties consisted of loose bands of families, each assigned a territory; to follow the hunt the tribe used canoes, toboggans, and snowshoes. The shaman or medicine man of each band slept with his head toward the west, in order to allow him to speak with the spirits. The other tribal members slept toward the rising sun, facing east. They believed that this direction would help them to dream. The Beaver had a strong belief in guardian spirits, and would mutilate themselves to show grief, using methods of self-harm that ranged from chopping off a joint of a finger to piercing their chests. Their introduction to Christianity absorbed many of their traditional beliefs, and placed the priests in a role very similar to that of the shamen. Because of the potential for the fur trade in territory that was so rich in beavers, the tribe were among the first of the Athapascans to encounter the Europeans, and in 1799 their chief asked for their own fur-trading post. By 100 years later, the Beaver tribe had handed over vast tracts of their land to the Canadian Government. BIG ELK “What has passed and cannot be prevented should not be grieved for.” 1770–1846 The last pure-blood chief of the Omaha people, Big Elk was known to his own people as Ontopanga. Big Elk lived during rapidly changing times, and steered his people through these changes with wisdom and perspicacity. It was not only the white men who posed a threat to the Omaha, but the Sioux. What was out of the chief ‘s control, however, was the devastation caused by European diseases: smallpox, in particular, had a shocking effect on the population of his people, which was reduced from 3,000 in 1780 to 300 in 1802. Big Elk supported the United States in the War of 1812, hoping that a victory would mean that the Government would help protect the Omaha against the Sioux. A progressive leader, there were many facets of the new culture of America that Big Elk thought were good, and he was happy to have two of his daughters marry successful fur traders since he believed that assimilation could work well for both parties, and that such illustrious sons-in-law would give credence to his own family. Since the Omaha tribe followed a matrilinear system, any offspring would be automatically accepted as tribal members. One of these “good” marriages came with the betrothal of Big Elk’s daughter, named Mitain, to the Governor of the Missouri Territory, Manual Lisa, even though he was at the time still married to a white woman who had been left behind in St. Louis. Big Elk’s daughter Me um Bane married a wealthy fur trader named Lucien Fontanelle. Their eldest son, Logan, worked as a translator for the U.S. Indian agent from the age of 15. Logan went on to become an important person within the tribe because of his abilities, especially in negotiating land deals, although he was unfortunately killed by the Sioux. Big Elk believed that, in ceding land to the Government, his people would receive protection in exchange. Accordingly, the tribe gave up most of their land and were relocated onto a reservation in the northeastern part of Nebraska. At this time Big Elk adopted another fur trader, Joseph LaFlesche, not only into the tribe but as his son. In 1842 Big Elk informed Joseph that he would succeed him as chief, and so the young man began to train himself in the traditional ways of the tribe. Big Elk died in 1846, after a fever. He is buried in Nebraska, at a site known as Elk Hill but also known to the Omaha people as Ong-pa-ton-ga Xiathon, meaning “The Place Where Big Elk Is Buried.” BIG SPOTTED HORSE 1836(?)–? As a young Pawnee brave of 15 or 16 in 1852, Big Spotted Horse was chased by a Cheyenne warrior while taking part on a buffalo hunt in Kansas. The warrior, Alights on the Clouds, wore a protective material called scalemail which meant that he was impervious to arrows. Alights on the Clouds intended to count coup on Big Spotted Horse, and galloped toward his right hand side. What he did not know, however, was that Big Spotted Horse was left-handed; he turned to the right as Alights on the Clouds approached him with a sword, pulled back his bow, and struck home, piercing his enemy’s eye. The young Big Spotted Horse had no idea what had happened until some of his fellow Pawnee hunters, seeing the body fall, shouted out. The Cheyenne, shocked at the death, retreated, but for the Pawnee, the killing of a warrior decked in protective metal discs was celebrated as a great victory. Big Spotted Horse’s name as a great warrior was made, and his exploits as a horse thief and warrior became the subject of folklore. In one raid, in 1869, he led his men to a Cheyenne village near a river. There they stealthily untied the choicest horses, setting off for home with some 600 animals. Despite blizzards, they made it home intact to their village. However, horse raiding was very much frowned upon by the Indian agents, and 600 horses were too many to hide from Jacob Troth. Big Spotted Horse was called before him and ordered that the horses should be returned to the Cheyenne. Big Spotted Horse, determined not to be humiliated by such an action, refused, and was imprisoned. After five months he was released, however, when it was proved that there was no statute that made horse raiding illegal. On returning to his village, Big Spotted Horse was outraged to find that only some 40 of the horses remained, the rest having been returned whence they came. In his anger, he joined the Wichita people in Oklahoma. In 1872 Big Spotted Horse returned to his village with the intention of relocating his entire tribe to the Wichita territory, a move supported by them but disapproved of by the Pawnee chiefs, who did not want to leave. So Big Spotted Horse gathered some 300 supporters and returned to the Wichita; two years later, to the dismay of the Pawnee chiefs, the rest of the tribe followed him, despite the fact that the Wichita land was far less fertile than that of Nebraska. BIGIU The Chippewah word for the resins obtained from certain evergreen trees including the cedar and various firs. Bigiu was used to make things waterproof: rafts and canoes, basketware, etc. It was also used to coat the ends of sticks which could then be set alight so that hunters could hunt at night. See alsoGlue (#litres_trial_promo) BILLY BOWLEGS 1810(?)–1859 Also known as the “Alligator Chief,” Billy Bowlegs’ name in the language of his Seminole tribe was Holata Micco, meaning “chief.” Billy was born in the Seminole village of Cuscowilla, in the part of the U.S. which is now Paynes Prairie, Florida. His family, the “Cowkeeper Dynasty,” were the hereditary chiefs of the Seminole; among his relatives was King Bowlegs, who was head chief at about the time that Billy would have been born. Billy became chief in 1839 after the old chief, Micanopy, was forced west into exile during the Second Seminole War and thereby forfeited his right to remain chief. Billy remained chief during the Second and Third Seminole Wars, fought against the U.S. In 1832, on behalf of his tribe, he signed a treaty to agree that the Seminole would relocate west if suitable land were found for them. Land was found, but the tribe, under Billy, refused to quit Florida, and shortly afterward the Second Seminole War broke out. This war resulted in the deaths of many Seminole, including other leaders, and Billy and a small band of 200 warriors were among the few survivors. They lived peacefully for some 20 years until, in 1855, a group of white men who were surveying the territory built several forts in the area after destroying property and chopping down valuable banana trees. The Third Seminole War broke out as Billy Bowlegs and his men led a series of guerrilla attacks on the invaders. This war lasted for three years until, in 1858, Billy was approached by the chief of the Western Seminole, Wild Cat. Wild Cat had been sent to try to persuade Billy and his band to relocate; faced with an offer of hard cash, the 124 Seminole, including their leader, agreed to move to the Indian Territory. Billy died shortly after the journey there. BILOXI The Biloxi people belong to the Siouxan language family, although their actual dialect is no longer spoken; the last speaker died in the 1930s. Originally they lived near the Gulf of Mexico close to the city that is named for them—Biloxi, Mississippi. The tribe were descended from the mound-building people. When they were first “discovered” by a French Canadian explorer in 1699, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville was told that the tribe had been quite large before they suffered the ravages of smallpox. The Biloxi were a farming people who supplemented their agricultural efforts with fishing and hunting; their prey included buffalo, deer, and sometimes bear. The Biloxi society had as its head the Great Sacred One, effectively the monarch, who could be a king or a queen but was always a shaman or spiritual practitioner. In the Biloxi language he or she was called the Yaaxitqaya; nobles below the Yaaxitqaya were called ixi. The tribe lived in cabins made of packed mud and bark. The Biloxi had unusual funeral practices. The deceased were dried out by means of smoke and fire and then tied to red-painted poles which would be sunk vertically into the ground in the center of the temple. BIRCH BARK SCROLLS In the Ojibwe language, the wiigwaasabak are scrolls made of the flexible, long-lasting bark of the paper birch tree, which peels from the tree neatly and cleanly. The Ojibwe used these sheets to inscribe pictures and designs depicting all sorts of information: songs, rituals, maps, the movement of the stars, and the history of a family, clan or tribe. Sometimes the scrolls were themselves used in rituals, in which case they incorporated the word midewiwin (medicine), and were therefore named midewiigwaas. The designs were drawn or inscribed onto the soft inner side of the bark with a tool made out of bone or wood. The resulting indentations were made more visible by rubbing soft charcoal into them. If the scroll that was being made needed to be bigger than a single sheet of bark, then separate pieces of bark were stitched together using the strappy roots of pine trees. Once completed, the scroll was tightly rolled up and placed for safe keeping in a cylindrical box, also made of birch bark. These boxes might then be secreted away underground or in hiding places; after a few years had elapsed, the information might be copied onto another sheet of birch bark to ensure that the information remained intact. The scrolls could measure as little as a single sheet or as large as several yards of bark stitched together. We know that the scrolls have been in use for at least 400 years. The discovery of certain scrolls have revealed important aspects of Ojibwe history: for example, the route of the migration of the tribe toward the west from the eastern part of North America. Thanks to these scrolls, we also know about the discovery of white cowrie shells, which are found only in certain saltwater areas. The scrolls are very much a piece of living history, kept alive by the Native peoples of today, particularly among the medicine (midewiwin) societies. The contents of the scrolls are often memorized, and the interpretations can remain a secret among the elders of the group. BIRD WOMAN SeeSacajawea (#litres_trial_promo) BLACK DRINK The Native Americans of the southeast blended a particular type of brew which they then used in ritual and ceremonial practice. The primary ingredient of the tea was a poisonous plant called Ilex vomitoria; also included were tobacco and other herbs. As the name of the main ingredient might suggest, the tea induced vomiting, believed to detoxify the body as well as provide visions. BLACK ELK “And I say the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father.” 1863–1950 That we know so much about the life of Black Elk is because of a man named John Neihardt. As an historian and ethnographer, Neihardt was, in the interests of his personal research, searching out Native Americans who had a perspective on the Ghost Dance Movement. He was introduced to Black Elk in 1930, and thus began a productive collaboration which would provide a major contribution to the Western perspective on Native American life and spirituality—coming, as it did, from an authority on such subjects. The books they produced, including Black Elk Speaks, became classics, and are still in print today. Living during the time that he did, Black Elk was in a unique position: born into the Oglala Lakota division of the Sioux, he not only participated in the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876, when he would have been 12 or 13, but also toured as part of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show in the 1880s, and traveled to England when the show was performed for Queen Victoria in 1887. He was 27 when the massacre at Wounded Knee took place in 1890, during which he sustained an injury. Black Elk was a heyoka, a medicine man, and a distant cousin to Crazy Horse. Elk was born in Wyoming in 1863. Acknowledged as a spiritual leader and as a visionary, Black Elk’s first revelation came to him when he was just nine years old, although he did not speak of it until he was older. In this vision, he said, he met the Great Spirit and was shown the symbol of a tree, which represented the Earth and the Native American people. After Wounded Knee, Black Elk returned to the Pine Ridge Reservation and converted to Christianity. He married Katie War Bonnet in 1892. All three of their children, as well as their mother, embraced the Catholic faith, and in 1903, after Katie died, Black Elk, too, was baptized, although he remained the spiritual leader among his own people. He saw no inherent problems in worshipping both the Christian God and Wakan Tanka, or the Great Spirit—an open-minded attitude which undoubtedly was not shared by his fellow Catholic. Black Elk married once more in 1905, and he and Anna Brings White had three more children. He was one of the few surviving Sioux to have first-hand knowledge of the rituals and customs of the tribe, and he revealed some of these secrets to both Neihardt and Joseph Epes Brown, who published books based on his knowledge. BLACK HAWK (MAKATAIMESHEKIAKIAK) “Courage is not afraid to weep, and she is not afraid to pray, even when she is not sure who she is praying to.” 1767–1838 In what is now called Rock Island, Illinois, there was once a village called Saukenuk, and this is where Black Hawk, also known as Black Sparrow Hawk, was born. His father, Pyesa, was the medicine man of the tribe, and, in accordance with his destiny to follow in his father’s footsteps, Black Hawk inherited Pyesa’s medicine bag after Pyesa was killed in a battle with some Cherokee. Like many other young men of his people, Black Hawk trained in the arts of battle from an early age. When he was 15, he took his first scalp after a raid on the Osage tribe. Four years later he would lead another raid on the Osage, and kill six people, including a woman. This was typical of the training in warfare given to young Native Americans. After the death of his father Pyesa, Black Hawk mourned for a period of about six years, during which time he also trained himself to take on the mantle of his father, as medicine man of his people. It would also prove a part of his destiny to lead his people as their chief, too, although he didn’t actually belong to a clan that traditionally gave the Sauk their chiefs. It was Black Hawk’s instinctive skill at warcraft that accorded him the status of chief; this sort of leader by default was generally named a “war chief” since, sometimes, circumstances dictate the mettle of the leader that was needed. When he was 45, Black Hawk fought in the 1812 war on the side of the British under the leadership of Tecumseh. This was an alliance that split the closely aligned Sauk and Fox tribes. The Fox leader, Keokuk, elected to side with the Americans. The war pitted the North American colonies situated in Canada against the U.S. Army. Britain’s Native American allies were an important part of the war effort, and a fur-trader-turned-colonel, Robert Dickson, had pulled together a decent sized army of Natives to assist in the efforts. He also asked Black Hawk, along with his 200 warriors, to be his ally. When Black Hawk agreed, he was given leadership of all the Natives, and also a silk flag, a medal, and a certificate. He was also “promoted” to the rank of Brigadier General. After this war, Black Hawk led a group of Sauk and Fox warriors against the incursions of the European-American settlers in Illinois, in a war that was named after him: the Black Hawk War of 1832. It was this Black Hawk War that gave Abraham Lincoln his one experience of soldiering, too. Black Hawk was vehemently opposed to the ceding of Native American territory to white settlers, and he was angered in particular by the Treaty of St. Louis, which handed over the Sauk lands, including his home village of Saukenuk, to the United States. As a result of this treaty, the Sauk and Fox had been obliged to leave their homelands in Illinois and move west of the Mississippi in 1828. Black Hawk argued that when the treaty had been drawn up, it had been done so without the full consultation of the relevant tribes, so therefore the document was not, in fact, legal. In his determined attempts to wrest back the land, Black Hawk fought directly with the U.S. Army in a series of skirmishes across the Mississippi River, but returned every time with no fatalities. Black Hawk was promised an alliance with other tribes, and with the British, if he moved to back to Illinois. So he relocated some 1,500 people—of whom about a third were warriors and the rest old men, women, and children—only to find that there was no alliance in existence. Black Hawk tried to get back to Iowa, and in 1832 led the families back across the Mississippi. He was disappointed by the lack of help from any neighboring tribes, and was on the verge of trying to negotiate a truce when these attempts precipitated the Black Hawk War, an embittered series of battles that drew in many other bands of dissatisfied Natives for a four- to five-month period between April and August of 1832. At the beginning of August the Indians were defeated and Black Hawk taken prisoner along with other leaders including White Cloud. They were interred at Jefferson Barracks, just south of St. Louis, Missouri. By the time President Andrew Jackson ordered the prisoners to be taken east some eight months after their internment, their final destination to be another prison, Fortress Monroe, in Virginia, Black Hawk had become a celebrity; the entire party attracted large crowds along the route and, once in prison, were painted by various artists. Toward the end of his captivity in 1833, Black Hawk dictated his autobiography, which became the first such book written by a Native American leader. It is still in print today, a classic, and is a timeless testament to Black Hawk’s dignity, honor, and integrity. After his release, Black Hawk settled with his people on the Iowa River and sought to reconcile the differences between the other tribes and the white men. He died in 1838 after a brief illness. BLACK HAWK WAR SeeBlack Hawk (#u41fbc57c-5c3d-495f-b796-87bea9d8a9fb) BLACK KETTLE “Although wrongs have been done to me, I live in hopes. I have not got two hearts … Now we are together again to make peace. My shame is as big as the earth, although I will do what my friends have advised me to do. I once thought that I was the only man that persevered to be the friend of the white man, but since they have come and cleaned out our lodges, horses and everything else, it is hard for me to believe the white men anymore.” 1803(?)–1868 Born as Moketavato in the hills of South Dakota, Black Kettle was a Cheyenne leader who, in 1854, was made chief of the council that formed the central government of the tribe. The First Fort Laramie Treaty, dated 1851, meant that the Cheyenne were able to enjoy a peaceable existence, However, the Gold Rush which started a few years later in 1859 meant that the hereditary tribal lands were encroached upon by gold-hungry prospectors who invaded Colorado. The Government, whose duty it should have been to uphold the treaty, instead tried to solve the problem by demanding that the southern Cheyenne simply sign over their gold-rich lands, all except for a small reservation, Sand Creek, which was located in southeastern Colorado. Black Kettle was pragmatic, and also concerned that unless they agreed with what the U.S. Government was suggesting, a less favorable situation might be on the horizon. Accordingly, the tribe moved to Sand Creek. Sadly, the land there was barren; the buffalo herds were at least 200 miles away, and in addition to these hardships a wave of European diseases hit the tribes and left their population severely weakened. The Cheyenne had no choice but to escape the reservation, relying on thieving from passing wagon trains and the white settlers. These settlers took the law into their own hands and started a volunteer “army”; the fighting escalated into the Colorado War, 1864–1865. The Sand Creek Massacre, a result of this war, saw 150 Natives slaughtered, many of them either the very old or the very young. Despite his wife having been severely injured at Sand Creek, Black Kettle continued to arbitrate for peace, and by 1865 had negotiated a new treaty which replaced the unusable Sand Creek Reservation for lands in southwestern Kansas. Many of the Cheyenne refused to join Black Kettle in the exodus to Kansas, choosing instead to join up with the northern band of Cheyenne in the hills of Dakota. Others aligned themselves with the Cheyenne leader Roman Nose, whose approach to the white settlers was diametrically opposed to that of Black Kettle. Roman Nose believed the way forward was not via treaties or agreements, but via brute force. The U.S. Government saw that the Cheyenne were simply ignoring the new treaty, and sent General William Tecumseh Sherman to force them onto the assigned reservation. Roman Nose and his followers retaliated by repeated attacks on the white settlers who were heading westbound; these attacks were so prevalent that passage across Kansas became virtually impossible. The Government tried to relocate the troublesome Cheyenne once again, this time to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma, tempted by promises of food and supplies. Once again, the peacemaker Black Kettle signed the agreement, which was entitled the Medicine Lodge Treaty of 1867. However, the promises were empty; even more of the Cheyenne joined Roman Nose’s band and continued to stage attacks on the farms and dwellings of the pioneers. General Philip Sheridan devised an attack on the Cheyenne habitations. George Armstrong Custer was the leader in one of the attacks which was launched on a Cheyenne village on the Washita River. This was Black Kettle’s village. Despite the fact that the village was within the reservation, Custer launched an attack at dawn. He also ignored the fact that the white flag was flying from Black Kettle’s tipi. In 1868, 170 peaceful Cheyenne were massacred. Among the dead were Black Kettle and his wife. BLACKFEET SIOUX Nothing to do with the Blackfoot Tribe, the Blackfeet Sioux, also referred to as the Siksika or Pikuni, originally lived by the Saskatchewan River in Canada and in the very northernmost parts of the United States. By the middle of the 19th century, however, they had relocated to the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains, close to the Standing Rock Agency and Reservation. The tribe are part of the Algonquian language family. A band of the Dakota Sioux, there are two legends that explain how the name of the Blackfeet Sioux came about. The first explains that some of the tribe had been chasing some Crow Indians; however, the quest was dramatically unsuccessful and resulted in the Sioux braves losing everything, including their horses. They were forced to return home on foot, across scorched ground, hence when they got back their moccasins were stained black. The second myth describes how a certain chief, jealous of his wife and wanting to keep tabs on her, blackened the soles of her moccasins so he could track her wherever she went. From 1837 to 1870 the tribe’s population was drastically reduced during a series of smallpox epidemics. In common with other Native Americans, the Blackfeet had no natural immunity to the disease. We know that somewhere in the region of 6,000 Blackfeet people died in the 1837 outbreak alone. In 1888 the tribe were forced by the U.S. Government to relocate once more, to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. BLACKFOOT CONFEDERACY Also called the Siksika, meaning “Blackfoot,” or the Niitsitapi, meaning “original people.” Blackfoot/Niitsitapi is the name of a confederacy of tribes: the North Piegan, the South Piegan, the Siksika, and the Kainai. All these tribes belonged to the Algonquian language family. The entire group were large and renowned for their ferocity in battle, second only to the Dakota in size and importance. The Confederacy also gave protection to two smaller bands, the Sarsi and the Atsina, or Gros Ventre. Like the Blackfeet Sioux—a completely different tribe—the Blackfoot, legendarily, were meant to have been given their name after their moccasins were stained black from prairie fires. These moccasins—which had a beadwork design featuring three prongs—made the Blackfoot immediately recognizable. The Blackfoot ranged over a large territory, from the North Saskatchewan River in what is now Canada to the Yellowstone River in Montana, and from the Rockies to the Alberta—Saskatchewan border. Having adopted the horse from other Plains tribes, they roamed after the buffalo and lived in tipis in settlements of up to 250 people in up to 30 lodges. Each small band had its leader, and relationships between bands were flexible enough for members to come and go between bands as they pleased. In the summer the bands gathered together; they were among those who performed the Sun Dance ritual. In addition, the Blackfoot had another spectacular ritual: the Horse Dance ceremony. The natural enemies of the Blackfoot included the Crow, Sioux, Shoshone, and Nez Perce; their most particular enemy, though, came in the form of an alliance of tribes who came under the name of the Iron Confederacy. They would travel long distances to take part in raids on other tribes. A young Blackfoot boy on his first such raid was given a derogatory name until he had killed an enemy or stolen a horse, when he was given a name that carried honor with it. Like other Native Americans, a lack of immunity to the most common European diseases had brought tragedy to the Blackfoot for many years; in one of the worst incidents, in 1837, some 6,000 Blackfoot perished when smallpox was contracted from European passengers on a steamboat. During the protracted winter months, the camps of Blackfoot hunkered down, perhaps camping together when stores were adequate. The buffalo were easier to hunt during the winter, simple to track through the snow. Hunting took place when other resources were beginning to run low. For the Blackfoot as well as other Native American peoples, the buffalo was an essential part of their lifestyle. However, deliberate overhunting by the Europeans in an attempt to weaken the Natives by taking away their primary resource meant that, from the 1880s onward, the Blackfoot had to adopt new ways of survival. The Canadian members of the Confederacy were appointed reservations in southern Alberta in the late 1870s, which saw them struggle as they faced many hardships connected with a completely new way of life after generations of roaming freely. The Blackfoot were forced to turn to the white man for help, relying on the U.S. Government for food supplies, which were very often not forthcoming or rotten and inedible. The tribe were forced to turn to theft, which resulted in counterattacks from the Army; these attacks often saw women and children killed. The worst winter, 1883–1884, “Starvation Winter,” was so-called because not only were there no buffalo, but no supplies from the Government. Approximately 600 Blackfoot perished. BLAZING A TRAIL We use the term “blazing a trail” to describe a pioneering endeavor of any kind, but its origins are altogether more pragmatic. To blaze a trail was a way for either a Native or a white man to mark a route, often surreptitiously, so that the trail would be followed only by someone who was familiar with the signs that were left along it. Methods used to show direction might include sticks laid on the ground in a certain way, notches taken from trees or shrubs, or an arrangement of stones, rocks, or leaves on the ground. BLUE JACKET 1740(?)–1810 Also known to his own tribe as Weyapiersenwah, Blue Jacket was a war chief of the Shawnee people. We don’t have a great deal of information on his early life; he first comes into focus in 1773 when he would have been in his early thirties. He is first mentioned in the records of a British missionary who had visited Shawnee settlements, and mentioned Blue Jacket as living in what is now Ohio. There’s a strange legend surrounding Blue Jacket: that he was, in fact, Marmaduke Swearingen, a European settler who had been kidnapped, and subsequently adopted by, the Shawnee. So far, though, no definitive information has proved this legend; rather, records describe Swearingen and his entire family as being fair-skinned with blond hair. If this description had been applied to Blue Jacket, there is no doubt that there would be some mention of it somewhere. Blue Jacket was among the many Natives who fought to retain their land and their rights. During the American Revolutionary War, many Indians supported the British, believing that a British victory would end the encroachment of the settlers. When the British were defeated, the Shawnee had to defend their territory in Ohio on their own, a task they found increasingly difficult in the face of a further escalation of European settlers. Blue Jacket was a very active leader in his people’s resistance. The pinnacle of Blue Jacket’s career as a war chief was when he led an alliance of tribes, alongside the chief of the Miami people, Blue Turtle, against the U.S. Army expedition led by Arthur St. Clair. The Battle of Wabash proved to be the most conclusive defeat of the U.S. Army by the Natives. However, the American Army could not let this Indian victory go unchallenged, and raised a superior group of soldiers; in 1794 they defeated Blue Jacket’s army at the Battle of Fallen Timbers; the result was the Treaty of Greenville, in which the United States gained most of the former Indian lands in Ohio. A further treaty signed by Blue Jacket was the Treaty of Fort Industry, in which even more of the Ohio lands were taken by the U.S. Government. Blue Jacket died in 1810, but not before he witnessed a new person take on his role as chief. Tecumseh carried on Blue Jacket’s fight to win back the Indian heritage in Ohio. BOLA A weapon used to catch or hinder an animal (or person) when it was hurled at the legs of the prey. The bola consisted of rocks or stones attached to lengths of sinews or thongs, the whole attached to a longer length of rope. The bola hobbled the prey, enabling it to be captured easily. BOOGER MASK Likely to be a European word, since “booger” has the same origins as “boogeyman” or “boggart,” the booger mask was in particular a Cherokee artifact, a mask carved of wood with exaggerated, cartoonlike features, often resembling animals or human/animal hybrids. BOW AND ARROW The traditional image of a Native American would not be complete without the classic weaponry of the bow and arrow. We know that the use of the bow and arrow was widespread among the indigenous people of America from about A.D. 500, and that it’s likely the weapon arrived in America around 2500 B.C., from the Arctic. ARROW It was very important that the main shaft of the arrow was as straight as possible. The pithy canes used for these shafts were selected with care, and hung in bundles above a fire—the central fire in a tipi was ideal—to further straighten and season them. Afterward, the shafts were smoothed and polished with stone tools. Initially intended for hunting animals, a shallow groove would be carved along the length of the arrow so that, once the arrow had pierced its target, the animal’s blood would continue to flow along this groove, not only weakening the prey as it lost blood but also enabling the hunter to track the animal as the blood splashed the ground. The “flight,” or feathered end of the arrow, was actually made from feathers and helped the weapon fly through the air. In the main, feathers from the wild turkey or the eagle were preferred, and of these birds, the wing feathers were best for the purpose. Using feathers from the same wing meant that the arrow had a twisting, spiraling flight pattern. Most arrows had three feathers fixed to them, set at regular intervals around the end of the shaft. These feathers were fastened with glue (probably made from ground bones) and further strengthened with sinew tied around them. The actual arrowhead could be made from a number of different materials: knapped flint, copper, bone or horn, or the tips of antlers. The coming of the white man meant that iron was introduced to the Natives, and so this metal was used to make arrow tips, too. Hunting arrows did not have the distinctive barbed shape that’s often seen; this meant that the arrow could be removed easily from the animal. However, arrows that were intended for use in war were complete with the barb, which made them almost impossible to remove without doing further damage to the enemy. The barbs of these arrows were sometimes tied to the shaft quite loosely so that there was more chance of them remaining painfully embedded in the flesh of the victim. Different tribes preferred slightly different types of arrow; experts can differentiate these sometimes subtle distinctions. Plains tribes, for example, liked a short arrow with a long feather. Native peoples also marked their own arrows so that they were identifiable. It was always good to know without a shadow of a doubt whose blow had killed the enemy. BOW Any kind of springy, whippy wood—hickory, cedar, mulberry, white ash, or dogwood—could be used to make a bow; so, too could horn or bone. Bows were made in many different sizes and shapes, to suit the user. His bow was a precious tool to any Native American, and he continued to carry it even after the coming of guns. There were different types of bow, too. The simplest was called the “self bow,” made from one piece of wood and strengthened with sinew glued and lashed along its length. Then there was the “compound bow” made from layers of materials such as wood, bone, and horn, glued and lashed together with sinews. There was a bow whose wooden part was entirely wrapped in sinew. The Eskimo actually made bows from the rib bones of whales. In the same way that different tribes preferred different types of arrows, they also preferred different styles of bow. For example, the Plains Indians preferred a shorter bow since they would be likely to use it when on horseback. The Apache bow had its tips curved back, like the typical “Cupid’s bow.” The Pueblo made miniature bows, painted them, and buried them with their dead. The bowstring itself, which pulled back the arrow to make it fly, was generally made from twisted vegetable fibers, rawhide, and sinew. It was important that the bowstring had “bounce” and elasticity combined with toughness; bear guts or other animal guts were ideal for this purpose, since this material had the necessary qualities. One end of the bow string was affixed to the wooden part of the bow permanently, while the other was loose when not in use, attached only to a notch in the bow when the weapon was about to be used. This meant that the bowstring itself lasted longer and wasn’t overstretched. The Native American, no matter his tribe, was incredibly skilled with his bow and arrow, and legendarily could fire off half a dozen arrows in the time it took the white man to load one bullet into the early single-shooter guns. BRANT, JOSEPH “The Mohawks have on all occasions shown their zeal and loyalty to the Great King; yet they have been very badly treated by his people.” 1743–1807 “Joseph Brant” was the name given by the Europeans to the Mohawk leader Theyebdabegea (meaning “two sticks tied together for strength”). Joseph was born in Ohio Country into the Wolf clan of his mother—it was the practice among matrilineal tribes, as the Wolf were, for the child to belong to its mother’s people. Joseph’s father died before he was ten, at which point his mother moved back to a Mohawk village in the New York area with her son and his elder sister Molly. Shortly afterward, his mother married a Mohawk chief named Canagaraduncka, who also carried the name of Brant. Brant’s family had strong connections with the British, his father being one of the Four Mohawk Kings who actually visited Britain in 1710. The family were relatively wealthy, although none of the lineage of his stepfather was passed on to the young Joseph because of that matrilineal line. Joseph’s new stepfather had a good friend, Sir William Johnson, a very influential man who was the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the area. Joseph’s sister Molly and Johnson got to know one another, since Johnson spent a lot of time at the house, and the two subsequently married. Sir William Johnson, now Joseph’s brother-in-law, took an interest in the young Mohawk, to the point of supervising his education. Joseph was sent with two other Mohawk boys to a school that would later become Dartmouth College. A clever boy, he was a quick study and was schooled in Latin and Greek as well as English. Like other Native American boys, Brant was introduced at an early age to the arts of warfare, and had followed Sir William into battle at the tender age of 13 during the French and Indian Wars. After this excitement, he returned to school. It’s certain that Joseph was a talented linguist, and it has been suggested that he was fluent in all six of the Iroquois Confederacy languages—an extremely valuable asset. Because of his language skills and the fact that he had adopted the Christian faith, Brant acted as an interpreter for a Christian missionary named Reverend John Stuart; their work together resulted in the translation of the Gospel of Mark, and the common prayer book, into the Mohawk language. In later life Joseph would translate more Christian works. When he was 25 or so, in 1768, Brant married a woman named Christine, whose father was an Oneida chief. The couple had met at school, and they had two wedding ceremonies: a Native American and an Anglican one. When Christine died just three years later, she left behind a daughter and a son. A couple of years after this, Joseph married Christine’s sister, Susannah, who also died shortly afterward of the same disease: tuberculosis. In 1775 Brant was promoted to the rank of Captain and was dispatched to England; here he met King George III, and two dinners were held in his honor. Once he returned to America, Brant led four of the Iroquois League Nations into attacks on the colonial outposts at the borders of the New York Frontier. During the War of Independence, the Iroquois League split in its allegiances. Two of the tribes favored the American case, while the others sided, with Brant, in favor of the British. Some of the tribal leaders preferred to remain neutral, hoping, no doubt, that the white men would all simply slaughter each other and turn their attentions away from the Native territories. Brant, however, argued against neutrality since he suspected that the Indians would lose all their lands if the colonists won the war and achieved independence. Brant’s reputation as a formidable leader was cemented after an incident known as the Cherry Valley Massacre, in August 1778. Brant and his forces destroyed the town and fort at Cherry Valley in eastern New York. Some 30 men were killed, houses were burned to the ground, and 71 prisoners were captured. Subsequently, however, the British surrendered their lands to the colonists—and not to the Indians as they had promised. A couple of years later Brant married his third wife, Catherine Croghan, who was the daughter of a Mohawk mother and an Irish father. Brant was now faced with having to find a new home, not just for himself and his new wife, but for the Mohawk tribes. During this time he also helped the new U.S. Commissioners make peace treaties with the Native peoples, regained his Army commission, and was awarded a tract of land for the Mohawk to settle on. This land was on the Grand River in Ontario. This territory—the Grand River Reservation—was established in 1784, and almost 2,000 Iroquois loyalists set up home there. All six tribes belonging to the Iroquois Nation were included, although the majority of the settlers were from the Mohawk and Cayuga tribes. The year 1785 saw Brant return once again to England, where he managed to secure compensation for Mohawk losses in the War of Independence. He had also wanted to gain a secure holding on the lands that had been granted the tribes, but was unable to do so. Brant was a keen missionary, and in 1785 he oversaw the building of a small Protestant chapel on the reservation: Her Majesty’s Chapel of the Mohawks is a small wooden building which still stands today, and is the only place of worship with the title “Chapel Royal” outside the U.K. Brant believed that the Mohawk could learn a lot from the Christian faith, and encouraged white settlers onto Mohawk and Iroquois land, believing that the two races would learn from each other; this arrangement was unsettling for some. He also tried to arrange a proper land settlement between the Iroquois and the United States, and fought against further land cessions. He continued with his translations of the Bible up until his death in 1807 in Burlington, Ontario. He is buried at the Chapel of the Mohawks. BRAVE The word that used to be used to describe a young Native American male, “brave” was probably first applied by the Spanish explorers and settlers. In Spanish, bravo means wild and untamed, and the phrase Indios Bravos can be found in Spanish writings dating back to their time in the Americas. Whenever a Native American managed to overcome extraordinary hardship, he spoke of himself as having had a “brave time.” BREASTPLATE A covering for the chest of male Native Americans, which was both protective and decorative, often made of long beads made of bone; traders called these beads “hair pipes.” The breastplate was common to the Plains Indians. BREECHCLOTH Also called a breech clout, this was the material (often made of deerskin) that protected and covered the loins of a male Native. The breechcloth extended from front to back, looped over a piece of sinew tied at the waist with a length of cloth extending down at either side. BRULE The original name of the Brule was Sichanghu, meaning “burned thighs.” The French word brulé means “burned.” The Brule were a division of the Lakota, who were one of the seven tribes of the Sioux Confederation. When the Lewis and Clark Expedition encountered them in 1804, the tribe lived along both sides of the Missouri, Teton, and White Rivers. At the time they numbered about 300. The chief at the time, Makozaza, was well-disposed toward the Europeans, unlike some members of the larger Lakota tribe. A hunting tribe, the Brule chased the herds of buffalo; they were able to do this from horseback. The horses were generally wild, and could be caught on the Platte and in Arkansas country. When the white settlers and prospectors became a regular sight in Dakota country, it was the Brule who suffered the worst ravages of their diseases, which included smallpox and measles, more than any other division of the Sioux. The reason was that the Brule lived closest to the route of the trail. The Treaty of Fort Laramie, signed in 1868, had a strong advocate in the Brule chief Swift Bear; the treaty was meant to restrict the incursions of the settlers but sadly did nothing to alter the course of events, and the settlers continued to flood into Dakota territory. BUCKSKIN Although you would think that buckskin would be taken specifically from a male (buck) deer, this is not the case. Buckskin can be made from the hides of several animals, including the elk, the moose, the buffalo, and others. Buckskin does not rely on tanning agents in the same way as leather does; rather, the rawhide is softened by being treated with smoke. The hair on the outside of the buckskin was sometimes left on, for added warmth and protection as well as beauty. The process of making buckskin varied a little from tribe to tribe, but the basic technique was always the same. First, the skin needed to be softened; there were several methods of doing this. Sometimes the brains and gristle of an animal were rubbed into the rawhide to soften it; an alternative was to use mashed-up green maize, or eggs, or meal. After softening, the skin was beaten with a stone, stretched, and pummeled. At this point the buckskin would be ready to use: soft, white, and pliable. As such it could be fashioned into women’s dresses, pouches, and bags. However, this skin, if wet, was liable to become stiff, and so a further process was added. After digging a hollow or pit in the ground, the skin was laid over an arched framework of sticks. A fire, using material such as rotted wood, corn chips, and chips of white cedar, was started in the pit. The buckskin was smoked for a couple of hours, taking on a color depending on the material that was used for the fire. Skins could also be dyed using natural substances: the tannins in oak bark produced an orangey red, whereas peach bark produced a bright red color. Once finished, smoked buckskin was a very valuable resource: it could be cut and sewed easily, was hard-wearing and beautiful, and retained both its soft texture and its toughness. BUFFALO The American bison was renamed “buffalo” by default: early French settlers and fur trappers referred to the animal as boeufs, French for “bullock” or “ox.” The buffalo was easily the single most important animal to the Plains Indians, and the range of the animal was vast. These huge creatures—which can weigh over 2,000 pounds—occupied the plains and prairies west of the Mississippi from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to the commercialization of their hunting and slaughter in the 19th century, there were, literally, millions of buffalo. The animal was driven very close to extinction, and today there are only something in the region of 15,000 buffalo remaining that are considered to be wild. These days, they are restricted to reserves and parks, although the commercialized buffalo industry is another matter. But not so very long ago, the buffalo provided everything that the Native American needed for survival, and the list of uses to which the animal was put is impressive. The hides provided bedding, clothing, shoes, and the “walls” of tipis. The meat was good, nutritious food. The bones and teeth were used to make tools and also sacred implements. The hooves of the animal could be rendered into glue. Horns made cups, ladles, and spoons. Even the tail of the buffalo made a fly whip. The bones could be used to scrape the skin to soften it, and was also fashioned into needles and other tools. Some tribes used the bone to make bows. The buffalo provided leather and sinewy “string” for those bows. Even the fibrous dung was used to make fires. The rawhide, heated by fire, thickened; this material was so tough that arrows, and sometimes even bullets, couldn’t penetrate it, so it made an effective shield. This rawhide was used to make all manner of objects: moccasin soles, waterproof containers, stirrups, saddles, rattles and drums for ceremonial purposes, and rope. Rope could also be made from the hair of the buffalo, woven into tough lengths. Even boats were made from buffalo hide, stretched across wooden frameworks. Buffalo offal was eaten as soon as the animal was killed, or else the flesh could be dried to make jerky and pemmican. The stomach of the animal could be used as a cooking container by stretching it between four sticks, suspended over a fire. The buffalo actually has two stomachs; the contents of the first were used as a remedy for skin ailments and also frostbite. Hunting the buffalo must have been a feat of endurance, agility, and strength; the buffalo, despite its lumbering appearance, is in fact built for speed, and can run up to 37 mph, is able to leap vertically to a height of 6 feet, and is infamously bad-tempered. Prior to the coming of the horse, buffalo were “captured” by being herded into narrow “chutes” made of brushwood and rocks; they were then stampeded over clifftops in areas called “buffalo jumps.” It would take large groups of people to herd the animals, often over several miles, until the stampede was big enough and fast enough to run head-first over the precipice. Such a method of killing meant that there was usually a massive surplus of meat, materials, bones, etc. Another method would see the hunters form a large circle around a herd and, at the last minute, rush in and slay the animals with their spears and arrows. Arrows were marked to show which hunters had shot home, and the animal would be divided up accordingly, the hide reserved for the man who was deemed to have caused the fatal shot. Later, guns were used. When horses became available for hunting, there tended to be less waste than with the stampede method. The buffalo was also hunted ceremonially, with strict observances, during the months of June to August. Buffalo were never hunted by a lone hunter, but always in a party. The Native Americans believed that the buffalo had divine status, and describe the coming of the animal in the legend of the White Buffalo Calf Woman. They believed that the gods had created the animal as a special gift to them, and the head and horns were used in rituals and ceremonies. The buffalo, it was believed, had taught the first shaman or medicine man his skills in herbalism. To understand exactly what status the buffalo held in tribal society is also to understand the effect that its wanton slaying by the white settlers had on the Native American psyche. During the 19th century, the white Europeans hunted the animal almost to extinction; the tongue of the buffalo, for example, was considered a rare delicacy, so the animal would be slaughtered, its tongue cut out and the rest of the carcass left behind. The animal was also hunted for its skin alone, the skinned animal left to rot on the ground. We can only imagine the outrage that the Native Americans would have felt when they saw their sacred animal being treated in this way. The U.S. Army and Government gave its blessing to the wide-scale slaughter of the herds; it would not be disingenuous to suggest that this was in part intended to weaken the Native peoples. If there were no buffalo, then they had to move or face the risk of starvation and death. The coming of the railroad, too, meant that vast herds of animals had to be cleared from the land, since they would sometimes stray onto the tracks, damaging trains that could not stop in time. And an extended period of drought between 1845 and 1860 further decimated the buffalo population. Professional market hunters—including Buffalo Bill Cody—could slaughter hundreds of animals in one session; such hunting enterprises were a major operation and employed large teams of people, including cooks, butchers, skinners, gunsmen, and even men whose task it was to retrieve the bullets from the carcasses of the dead buffalo. From 1873 to 1883 it’s estimated that there could have been over 1,000 such commercial buffalo-hunting operations, with the capability to slaughter up to 100,000 creatures per day depending on the time of year. Skulls of slain buffalo, documented in photographs taken at the time, show a horrendous sight: those skulls were piled in huge mounds that would stand higher than a modern three-story house. Once it became apparent that the buffalo could not sustain the barrage of slaughter at such an epic scale, there were murmurs of proposals to preserve them. Buffalo Bill Cody’s was among these voices. However, the objective to rid the Plains of the Indians took top priority: this aim was underlined by President Ulysses S. Grant, who in 1874 vetoed a Federal bill that would have protected the animal. A year later General Philip Sheridan pleaded the case for the continued slaughter of the buffalo, so as to deprive the indigenous peoples of America of one of their major resources. Nine years later, the buffalo was almost extinct. The animal that was most fundamentally important to the Native American way of life had gone, taking that way of life with it. Things would never be the same again. BUFFALO BILL “Every Indian outbreak that I have ever known has resulted from broken promises and broken treaties by the Government.” 1846–1917 William Frederick Cody was born in Iowa and lived with his family, who were of Quaker stock, in Canada for many years before they moved to Kansas. His distinctive nickname—which became synonymous with the idea of the Wild West—was actually won by him in a shooting match with another Bill, Bill Comstock. Both were buffalo hunters and killers. Cody won the name after shooting 69 buffalo, 19 more than Comstock, in a timed shoot-out. Cody had secured a contract to supply buffalo meat to the men working on the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Evidently a prolific hunter, Cody killed over 4,000 buffalo in an 18-month period between 1867 and late 1868, and no doubt was among those who made a significant contribution to the almost-extinct status that the species subsequently suffered. In later life, understanding what was happening, Cody would campaign for a restricted hunting season. Bill had a wide-ranging resumé. During his life, he claimed, he had been a soldier, a scout, a Pony Express rider, a trapper, a stagecoach driver, a wagon master, and the manager of a hotel. He was also a distinguished Freemason. He won the Medal of Honor, awarded for gallantry in action. However, it was his Wild West shows that really made him famous, not only in the U.S. but throughout Europe. “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” was conceived after Cody had spent ten years as an actor in a traveling show entitled “Scouts of the Plains,” in which episodes from the lives of the settlers and the Natives were portrayed. Founded in 1883, Cody’s show changed its title ten years later to “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World.” From all accounts, this must have been a spectacularly staged event, a circuslike entertainment that included among its participants members of the U.S. Military, many, many horses, displays of sharp-shooting using real guns, and also real live Native Americans, dressed in full attire. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were among those who took part. The show traveled all over the U.S. and overseas in Europe (where it toured eight times), including Great Britain. The show played to Queen Victoria in 1887, the year of her Jubilee marking 50 years on the throne. In 1890 Buffalo Bill had an audience with Pope Leo XIII. Buffalo Bill, who had been a scout, had a huge amount of respect for the Native Americans and their plight. He believed that his show paid the Native American participants a good wage. When the show traveled, the Native American contingent would pitch their camps along the route and at each stopping-place where the show was going to be held. This not only added to the spectacle but showed the audiences a little of the Native American way of life. Buffalo Bill died peacefully in 1917 of kidney failure, surrounded by his family and friends. BUFFALO, WHITE The rare instance of an albino buffalo was seen as a favorable sign from the gods, and the animal was held in great reverence. A magical animal that was accorded the power of shape-shifting, and could even apparently transform itself into a beautiful woman, the sacred status of this rare natural phenomenon meant that the white buffalo became the subject of many myths and stories. The hide of the animal, once it had died a natural death, was made as an offering to the gods. BULL ROARER A piece of wood, carved and polished into a flat oval shape. The ends were pierced to allow thread to be passed through. The size of the wooden part of the instrument could be anywhere from 4 inches to 6 feet long. When the bull roarer was spun around the head, it emitted a loud roaring sound that was thought to emulate the sound made by the Thunderbird. It was used as a magical instrument, the sound of which was believed to call rain from the skies. It’s still possible to buy souvenir versions of the bull roarer. BULLBOAT A circular boat, something like a coracle, used for short trips across (inland) water. The bullboat was made of rawhides stretched over a willow framework. The seams of the hide were made waterproof with rendered animal fat, and ashes from wood fires. It was used by the Mandan tribes—who, it was conjectured, were descended from the Welsh; its similarity to the coracle, used in Wales, lends a certain credence to this theory. BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS This organization officially started as part of the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1849, but was first founded in 1824 when it was called the Office of Indian Affairs, a part of the War Department. It was given its current name in 1947. BURIAL OF THE DEAD Across the many tribes of Native American Indians, there were many different approaches to the disposal of the remains of a lost loved one. But it’s safe to say that the two main differences were whether the corpse was buried in the ground or left in the open air. The latter was the preferred way among the Arapaho, Chippewah, Gros Ventre, Mandan, Siksika, and Sioux tribes. All these peoples placed the corpse either in the branches of a tree, or at the top of a framework that was specially constructed for the purpose. In northwestern America the body was put into a boat or canoe, the entire canoe then suspended in a tree. The underground burial, though, was really the most widely used method. The corpse might be wrapped in matting made of cane, and buried in the ground. Some tribes embalmed the body prior to burial. Seminole and Creek Indians dug circular holes into which the corpse was inserted in a sitting position, whilst the Mohawk used the same method except the corpse would be squatting. The buried bones of the tribes belonging to the Great Lakes region would be disinterred periodically and placed in a common pit. Lots of tribes placed items near the burial place, such as weapons. The belief was that these worldly goods would be needed in the world that was to come. And sometimes the horse of the dead person was slain with him, so that the two might go into the afterlife together. All tribes mourned their dead, but again, the methods of displaying that grief varied. Cutting the hair off, slashing the body or arms with blades, wailing and fasting; all these were ways of expressing grief to the rest of society. Among some tribes, if a person died in a tipi, then the tipi would be sealed up, marked as unlucky. The Comanche, expert horsemen, placed the corpse on the back of a horse along with a (living) rider. The rider would then go in search of a suitable burial place, such as a cave. Once the body had been buried, stones were piled up to mark the spot. If a member of the Creek tribe died while in bed, the corpse was buried underneath that bed. Several prominent Native Americans, including Sitting Bull and Black Hawk, have been disinterred and moved to other places. BURY THE HATCHET When we “bury the hatchet,” we let go of irritations we might have with a neighbor or adversary in favor of peace. The saying has its origins in a small piece of ritual belonging to the Native Americans. When chiefs of tribes met to discuss a problem, as soon as a solution was settled, the pact was sealed, symbolically, by the literal burying of the hatchet, which was a weapon of war. There are records to prove this, too: for example, in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register of 1870 is an account, first written in 1680, from a gentleman named Samuel Sewall: “ … Meeting wth ye Sachem [the tribal leaders] the[y] came to an agreemt and buried two Axes in ye Ground; which ceremony to them is more significant & binding than all Articles of Peace the Hatchet being a principal weapon wth ym.” CACIQUE A word with Arawak origins (Kasseque), a cacique is another name for a chief or a head of a tribe and applies in the main to South American tribes as well as those of the Caribbean. Some Pueblo people applied the word to their spiritual leaders. CADDO This tribe originated in the Red River part of Louisiana, but moved to the Southern Plains area, following the great herds of buffalo, where they became buffalo hunters as well as horse traders. Caddo Indians were recognizable by their dark complexion, their pierced noses and nose rings, and tattoos. They lived in tall, elegantly conical houses made of a wooden framework covered in grasses and reeds. These houses looked a little like an elongated bee hive. Unusually, the Caddoans had furniture such as beds and chairs inside their houses, which possibly made the early Spanish explorers well-disposed toward the tribe. The Caddoans also had a covered house for winter, and a house with open sides and a ventilated raised flooring area for the hot summers. The white men referred to a “Caddo confederacy” which encompassed the Kichai, Tawakoni, Waco, and Wichita peoples. During the Civil War the Caddo tribes stayed loyal to the Union Government and escaped to Kansas to seek sanctuary. Because of their loyalty, in 1902 each tribal member was accorded citizenship of the United States. The Caddo were a farming tribe, raising corn, beans, and squash in large clearings which they made in their forests. The tribe was split into two main groups. The Kadohadacho lived along the Red River in what is now the Oklahoma/Arkansas border. The other group were called the Tejas Caddo. The town Nagadoches is actually built on the site of one of the most ancient Tejan settlements. The word Tejas became “Texas” and, in the Caddoan tongue, means “those who are our friends.” Other tribes spoke almost the same language as the Caddo, including the Wichita and the Pawnee. At one point, all these separate groups belonged to one tribe; their collective myths suggest that at one time all these tribes originated in Arkansas. The pine forests of eastern Texas have a consistent annual rainfall and a temperate climate, which meant that it made for good farming land. Another advantage for agriculture were the many rivers, streams, lakes, and swamps that could be used to irrigate the land. The woods provided useful hardwood trees, too, and the Caddoan diet was supplemented with nutritious nuts from pecan and walnut trees as well as acorns from the oaks. The Bois de Arc tree was also important, since its tough and springy texture was perfect for making bows. Fortunately for the Caddoans, their territory had the only supply of this particular timber, so they were able to trade these specialist bows with other tribes. CALENDAR STICK A way of marking the passing of time, a calendar stick was notched or marked in such a way that it would act as a reminder of prominent events in the history of a tribe. See alsoWinter Counts (#litres_trial_promo) CALUMET The origin of this word is French, from chalumeau, originally referring to the reeds that were used to make pipes, and later coming to mean “pipe stem.” Most people are familiar with the concept of the so-called Peace Pipe, the ceremonial pipe that’s passed around the circle of tribal members in a sun-wise direction, the tobacco shared and smoked as a symbol of concord, or to seal a treaty or pact. Although the ceremonies involving the smoking of a pipe extend far beyond this particular use, the pipe itself is known as the calumet. The pipe used by the Native Americans in Canada was first seen by the French settlers from Normandy, and that’s the name they gave it. “Calumet” now refers, in general, to the highly decorated ceremonial Native American smoking pipe. A specific type of mineral—called pipestone, pipeclay, or alternatively catlinite after the great painter and explorer George Catlin—is commonly used to make the bowl of the calumet. The catlinite is easy to work, since it has a claylike texture and friability. The importance of this pipe clay is evidenced by the fact that the quarries where the stone is found—in particular the great pipestone quarries in Minnesota—have generally been accepted as neutral territory by warring tribes. Stone from this quarry has been mined and used by the Native peoples to make pipes and other artifacts for at least 3,000 years. The Lakota people believed that the pipe and its smoke formed a bridge between the world of man and the world of spirit, and therefore another very important aspect of the pipe is the material that’s smoked in it. The smoking mix varies from region to region and from tribe to tribe, but in all cases the smoke created by these sacred herbs was believed to carry the prayers, thoughts, and good wishes of the smoker up to the heavens. Often, various herbs were blended together; this is traditionally called kinnikinnick, meaning “mixture.” The pipes themselves are ornamented in accord with their sacred status, decorated with beading, fur, hair, quills, feathers, and carvings. The pipe has been described as a “portable altar,” and using the object is carried out with a great deal of ceremony and respect. CALUSA Also known as the “Shell Indians,” the Calusa originally lived on the southwest coast of Florida and controlled most of the area. The name Calusa means “fierce ones,” and by all accounts they were a warlike people who caused alarm among the smaller tribes in Florida. The early Spanish explorers, too, became the target for attacks by the Calusa, who were one of the first Native American peoples encountered by the Spanish in around 1513. Living along the coast and inland waterways, the Calusa constructed houses on stilts with palm frond roofs and no walls. They did not need to farm, but could subsist entirely on the food they found along the waterways. Skilled fishermen, the Calusa made nets from palm and used them to catch catfish, mullet, and other fish. They made spears with which to catch eels and turtles, and also hunted for small game including deer. Children learned from an early age how to catch various shellfish. Sailing, too, came naturally to the Calusa, as did boat-building. Cypress trees, hollowed out, made dugout canoes which were able to travel long distances, even as far as Cuba. The canoes were also used to scavenge the shores for booty from shipwrecks, and from which to stage attacks on other tribes. The Calusa, like most other Native American peoples, were incredibly skilled at adapting any resources that came their way, and, living as they did by the water, shells provided an abundant natural material. They used shells as utensils and in weaponry (including spear tips) as well as for ornamentation and in ritual use. The shells were also used in mound-building. These shell-and-clay constructions are now under the preservation of environmentalists and historians. The artifacts that have been found there are considered an important indication of how the Calusa lived, and are preserved in museums. The Calusa themselves suffered, as did many indigenous peoples, from the illnesses brought by the Europeans. In particular, smallpox and measles were responsible for wiping out entire Calusa villages. Those Calusa who had not succumbed to illness or being captured for the slave trade are believed to have left their homelands in or around 1763, emigrating to Cuba when Florida changed hands from the Spanish to the British. CAMAS The scientific name for this plant is Camassia quamash; it is also known as Wild Hyacinth, Indian Hyacinth or Pommes des Prairies (Apples of the Prairies). Growing wild in damp meadows, it is an important foodstuff for many Native Americans, including the Bannock, Shoshone, Nez Perce, Cree, and Flatheads. The plant was ready to harvest in the fall after the flowerheads had withered. The roots provided the edible part, and these were prepared by being roasted in a pit dug into the ground. Camas cooked this way is a little like sweet potato, but more fibrous. The bulbs were also dried out and roasted before being ground into flour. The white settlers turned their animals out onto the camas prairies, drastically reducing the crop. This caused tension between them and the Native peoples. The importance of camas as a food source is reflected in various place names, including Camas, in Washington state. CAMP CIRCLE Among the peoples who favored the tipi as their dwelling place—this included the Plains tribes—the Camp Circle was the term used to describe the circular formation of tipis which, through how the dwellings were placed, showed the political status of the owners and their relationships to one another. CANOE A word that we take for granted, “canoe” is Native American in both its name and invention. And the canoe itself has proven a very useful tool, not only for the white settlers but for the rest of the world. Often made from the bark of the birch tree, the canoe was strong and waterproof, yet light enough to be carried distances between stretches of water. The canoe also disturbed the water very little because of its shallow shape, and so the Native Americans could travel relatively silently and stealthily. The boats could be built to fit just one or two people, or could carry several passengers and their goods; these canoes could be up to 40 feet long. This sort of canoe was used on the Great Lakes. The smaller type was used on smaller rivers and lakes. The frame of the canoe was constructed from springy pine with a covering of flexible birch bark. The rough side of the bark faced outwards, as the toughest part of the wood and the sheets of bark were stitched together. The vessel was made watertight with a coating of pitch, especially concentrated around the area of the stitching. CANONICUS A chief of the Narragansett, Canonicus would have been born around the 1560s. When the Pilgrim Fathers first landed at Plymouth, Canonicus was one of the first Native American chiefs they had any dealings with. By all accounts Canonicus was not at first impressed with the immigrants, treating them with disdain. However, after the incident for which he became best known, he would reverse his opinion. Canonicus is remembered as the chief who challenged the head of the new colony, William Bradford, by sending him a bundle of arrows tied together with the skin of a snake. As a riposte, Bradford sent a parcel back to Canonicus: the “gift” was a bundle of lead shot and gunpowder. This small package was passed among the Narragansett with an increasing amount of awe and reverence, until it eventually acquired an almost magical superstitious relevance. The gunpowder and shot were finally returned to Bradford, this time as a symbol of peace, and in 1636 Canonicus signed over part of the tribe’s territory to the white settlers without any recourse to war. CAPTAIN JACK 1837(?)–1873 Also known as Kintpuash, or Keentpoos, Captain Jack was a leader of the Modoc of California. He was born close to Tule Lake, which was part of the hereditary lands of his people. In common with other Native Americans, the Modoc were moved to a reservation in order to make way for the white settlers who favored the fertile Modoc land for their agricultural endeavors. Problems arose, however, because the area that the Modoc were sent to, in 1864, was already occupied by the Klamath tribe; the Klamath and the Modoc had been enemies for generations. Not only that, but the reservation was on Klamath land, and the Modoc were also outnumbered. Conditions for the Modoc were uncomfortable, to say the least. A year after arriving at Klamath territory, Captain Jack took charge of the deteriorating situation and led his people back home. Four years later they were rounded up by the U.S. Army and returned to Klamath territory; matters did not improve, since the Klamath were still effectively in charge, and so once again Jack led some of his people—almost 200 in number—away from hostile territory and back to their homelands. A couple of years later, in 1872, the U.S. Army once again decided to “deal” with Captain Jack and his band of Modoc men. Their aim was to round up the errant Natives and force them back to the Klamath reservation. However, a fight broke out between a Modoc and a U.S. Army soldier, which led to a skirmish; Jack used the ensuing confusion to lead his people into a naturally fortified area consisting of caves and lava beds, in what became known as “Captain Jack’s Stronghold.” The Modoc hunkered down; when the U.S. Army found them in 1873, the attack they launched was a disaster for them: the Army suffered 35 fatalities and numerous casualties, while the Modoc band remained unharmed. Jack hoped for a peaceable solution, and negotiations opened between the two sides. However, there was a faction of the Modoc that wanted action rather than talk. For them, negotiation was frowned upon as unmanly; Jack was accused of cowardice. Retaliating at this slur, Jack agreed with a plan to kill the negotiators. At a conference in April, at a pre-arranged signal Jack and other Modoc men drew pistols and shot the two leaders of the commission, General Canby and the Reverend Dr. Eleazar Thomas. Reinforcements were brought in by the Army, and this time the Modoc had no choice but to flee. During what became known as the Modoc War, some of the Modoc continued to fight the Army while others, seeing the futility of the situation since they were severely outnumbered, began to surrender. Captain Jack was hunted down by his own people, who were working against him at the request of the Army. Jack finally surrendered on June 1, and was duly dispatched yet again to Fort Klamath. In October 1873, he was hanged for the murder of Canby and Thomas. Three other Modoc men were executed alongside him. Captain Jack’s body was sent east by train, where it was rumored that it was to be embalmed and used as a carnival attraction. However, the truth was that the severed heads of all three men were transported to the Army Medical Museum in Washington, D.C.; just before the turn of the century the skulls were moved to the Smithsonian. In the 1980s, the remains of Captain Jack were returned to his relatives. CARLISLE SCHOOL As part of the effort to “civilize” the Native Americans and recruit them into a European way of thinking, several boarding schools were established with the aim of assimilating Indian children into the culture of the white man. The Carlisle Indian School was the first of these educational establishments, founded in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1879 by Captain Richard Henry Pratt. His aim was “ … to get the Indian away from the reservation into civilization, and when you get him there, keep him there.” Pratt was authorized by the Federal Government to use the former Carlisle Barracks for the school. As part of the process of assimilation, it was deemed necessary to remove the Native American children from their parents and families, their traditional homes, and the way of life that they had followed for generations. In view of this fact, the Carlisle School, and others which emulated it, were situated away from the reservations. It was suggested to the Native Americans that one of the reasons the white man had been able to dominate was that the Natives were not educated. If their children were brought up in the European way of education, and taught to read and write English, they would be better off for it. Accordingly, many Native families sent their children to the Carlisle School voluntarily. Subsequently, as 26 more schools sprang up using the example of the Carlisle School as their inspiration, the Bureau of Indian Affairs applied more pressure in separating children from their families. At the Carlisle School, it was initially forbidden to use any language other than English, and when they first arrived children were given new English names. Also, a young student arriving at the Carlisle School would be given an enforced haircut. Many tribes believed that cutting the hair was a sign of mourning, and consequently the children would often weep until late into the night after this treatment. Their own clothes were taken away and replaced with formal Victorian dresses for the girls and military uniforms for the boys. There are archives of “before and after” photographs, ordered to be taken by Pratt, which were sent to Washington to show the difference in the children’s appearance to prove that all was in order. For a student of the Carlisle School, the day’s regime was strict: the pupils were even expected to march, military-style, to their classes. The mornings were spent in academic studies (subjects included English, history, and math) and the afternoons were spent in learning skills that might be useful in adult life, such as woodwork and blacksmithing for the boys, laundering and baking for the girls. Children were inevitably schooled in the Christian faith. The rigid discipline of the Carlisle School also extended to its methods of punishment. Hard labor and confinement were usual for transgressors of the strict school rules. Children were even locked into the small cells of the former military guardhouse on the premises, sometimes for up to a week. There were many critics of the Carlisle method of teaching, among them a former female pupil, Zitkala-Sa. Many pupils struggled at the school—as well as the shock of separation from everything they held dear, including their parents, many died after contact with European diseases. Some 192 children, primarily from the Apache tribe, died and were buried at the school site. One of the more successful programs of the Carlisle School was a scheme, invented by Pratt, called the Outing System. Students were sent to live with white families to observe their way of life and live within their society. After this experience students were able to train in various jobs, which eventually led to “legitimate” employment. After Pratt retired in 1904, some of the stricter practices of the school were relaxed a little, and the emphasis shifted from the military and academic to sports and athletics. One pupil, Jim Thorpe, a Sauk whose original name was Bright Path, was a particularly brilliant sportsman, described at the time as the world’s greatest athlete. He went on to compete in the decathlon and pentathlon events at the 1912 Olympics, winning two gold medals. The school eventually closed its doors in 1918. CARSON, KIT 1809–1868 Born in Kentucky and christened Christopher Houston Carson, Kit Carson was one of 15 children, and moved as an infant with his family to Missouri. Carson would have a colorful career, including an apprenticeship to a saddle maker at the age of 15, as part of a group of itinerant merchants headed toward Santa Fe, for whom he tended the horses, as a trapper, an explorer and guide, as an Indian agent, and as an officer in the U.S. Army, promoted to the position of General shortly before his death. The name of Kit Carson has become legendary, used in fictionalized accounts of the Wild West in books, movies, and in several TV series. CASINOS Reservations are governed by the Native American people who own them. So long as the state in which a reservation is situated allows gaming and gambling, then the reservation is permitted to open casinos if the owners so wish. The Reagan administration (1981–1989) placed an emphasis on the tribes becoming self-sufficient, and so those living on the reservations were keen to find new ways to try and lift the people out of the extreme poverty that affected many. The very first tribe to open a gambling operation were the Seminole in Florida. They opened an elite bingo operation, with valuable prizes. The state tried to close down the venture, but the courts ruled in favor of it. In the early 1980s, another court case established the right for reservations to run gaming and gambling operations—this landmark case was “California vs. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians.” In 1988, reservation gambling and gaming laws were further supported by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Casinos on reservations now draw significant crowds, and bring in a healthy revenue, especially since the casinos themselves often include conference facilities, hotels, and other tourist attractions. CASSAVA Also called manioc, this was an important food source, particularly for the Arawak. CATAWBA Also known as the Esaw or Issa, which name refers to the river running through their ancestral lands, the Catawba were at one time considered to be the most important tribe in the Carolinas. About 250 years ago there were estimated to be 5,000 tribal members in North and South Carolina. The tribe belong to the Siouxan language family. Despite constant battles and skirmishes with other tribes in the area—including the Cherokee, the Delaware, and the Shawnee—the Catawba were, on the whole, well-disposed toward the very early European explorers and settlers. However, like many other tribes, the Catawba fell prey to the white man’s diseases—in particular, smallpox: in 1759 a severe epidemic obliterated almost half of the tribe, who had no immunity to the illness. In 1763 the tribe were allocated a reservation of approximately 15 square miles which straddled both sides of the Catawba River. Fighting on behalf of the Americans against the British in the War of Independence, the tribe relocated to Virginia at the approach of the British troops, but returned afterwards and formed two villages on the reservation. In the early 19th century the tribe chose to lease their land to white settlers, and in 1840 they sold the entire reservation, all except for one square mile, and headed toward Cherokee country, where they found that the relationship with their old adversaries was as bad as it ever had been. Although there were instances of intermarriage between the two tribes, for the most part the Catawba returned to South Carolina. The Catawba were an agricultural tribe and, in common with other Indian peoples who enjoyed a stable existence, were able to devote time to experimenting with basketware and pottery. Hunting and fishing supported their farming endeavors. In terms of religion, the Catawba believed in a trinity of the Manitou (or creator), the Kaia (or turtle), and the Son of the Manitou. It’s possible that this idea of a trinity was influenced by the beliefs of the Christian faith of the white settlers. When the Mormons visited the tribe in the 1880s, several members of the Catawba converted, and some even relocated to Utah. CATLIN, GEORGE “I have, for many years past, contemplated the noble races of red men who are now spread over these trackless forests and boundless prairies, melting away at the approach of civilization.” 1796–1872 Arguably the most famous painter of the Native American, Catlin’s writings as well as his paintings provide a rich heritage of information about the indigenous peoples of America, invaluable in that Catlin lived closely among them, studying their customs and habits, languages, and ways of living. Born in Pennsylvania, although he was trained as a lawyer Catlin opted out of the legal profession quite early on in favor of art, and set up a portrait studio in New York. In common with others, Catlin rightly suspected that the Native American and his way of life were endangered, and so he decided to dedicate his life to the study of the people. He published two significant volumes of Manners, Customs and Conditions of the North American Indians, replete with 300 engravings, in 1841. In 1844 another book followed: The North American Portfolio contained 25 color plates, reproductions of his paintings. These books are still in print today. Catlin’s mother inspired his continuing fascination with the Native people of his country. When he was a child she regaled him with stories of how she’d been captured by a band of Indians as a little girl, which no doubt stimulated his childish imagination. Catlin’s appetite for recording the lives of the Native Americans, a passion which led to his giving up a “proper” career, was further excited when he witnessed a delegation of Native Americans passing through Philadelphia. In 1830 he joined General William Clark on his expedition up the Missouri. Basing himself in St. Louis, Catlin managed to visit at least 50 different tribes, and later traveled to the North Dakota—Montana border, where the tribes—including the Mandan, Pawnee, Cheyenne, and Blackfeet—remained relatively untouched by the encroaching Europeans. When he returned home in 1838, he assembled his works—which included some 500 paintings of Native Americans and their way of life—into his “Indian Gallery.” He also included artifacts in the exhibition. Catlin lectured extensively about his experience, and in 1839 took the Indian Gallery exhibition on tour of the major European capitals—Paris, London, and Brussels. However, none of this generated an income and Catlin was forced to seek a buyer for his work. He was desperate to keep his life’s work intact, and spent some time trying to convince the U.S. Government to purchase the entire collection, but in vain. Eventually, he sold the entire collection of 607 paintings to a wealthy industrialist, Joseph Harrison, who put it into safe storage. In 1879, after he died, Joseph Harrison’s widow donated the Indian Collection, a deal of which had suffered the ravages of time and were mouse-eaten and damp, to the Smithsonian Institution, where Catlin had worked for a year just before his death. It remains a part of the Institution’s collection. CAT’S CRADLE The traditional game played by two or more children, who “weave” a loop of string in and out of each other’s hands. Traditionally played by the Navajo and Zuni peoples. CAYUGA One of the five original tribes of the mighty Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee), the name Cayuga means “People of the Great Swamp” or else “People of the Mucky Land.” During the Revolutionary War, the Cayuga had fought on both the British and the American sides; however, the majority of the Iroquois elected to support the British in the hopes that a British victory would put an end to encroachment by the settlers onto Native territories. The power of the Iroquois posed a real threat to the plans of the Americans, and in 1779 the future president, George Washington, devised a military campaign specifically aimed at the Confederacy. Over 6,000 troops destroyed the Cayuga’s ancestral homelands, razing some 50 villages to the ground, burning crops so that the people would starve, and driving the survivors off the land. Many of the Cayuga, along with other tribes, fled to Canada where they found sanctuary and were given land by the British in recognition of their aid. Although the Seneca, the Iroquois, the Oneida, and the Onondaga tribes of the Confederacy were given reservations, the Cayuga were not. Earlier, however, small bands of Seneca and Cayuga had relocated to Ohio, and many other Cayuga joined them because they had no home. The Cayuga—along with the rest of the Haudenosaunee—signed the Treaty of Canandaigua in 1794, which ceded lands to the new United States Government. Thereafter, the floodgates opened for the former Cayuga lands, and settlers arrived there in droves. CAYUSE Of the Penutian language group, the original meaning of the word Cayuse has been lost in the mists of time. However, because of the tribe’s particular skill in breeding horses and also in dealing them, their name has become synonymous with that of a particular small pony that they bred. The Native American name of the Cayuse is Waiilatpu. Associated with the Nez Perce and Walla Walla, the Cayuse lived along the Columbia River and its tributaries from the Blue Mountains as far as the Deschutes River in southeast Washington and northeast Oregon. The Cayuse lived in a combination of circular tentlike structures and rectangular lodges. Extended families made small bands, each with its own headman or chief. The horses that became such an important part of the life of the tribe were introduced to them in the early part of the 18th century. Trading was not restricted to horses, though; the Cayuse bartered with the coastal tribes items such as buffalo blankets for shells. Later, they would trade with the white men: furs for guns and tools. The Cayuse War of 1847–1850 was ignited by an outbreak of one of the European diseases for which the Native American tribes had no immunity: measles. The disease was first contracted by the Cayuse children who attended the mission school, and it spread to the adults. The people who had started the mission school were not popular, and it seems that they had made little attempt to establish good and meaningful relationships with the Cayuse, with whom they had lived and worked for ten years. Marcus Whitman and his wife, Narcissa, were Presbyterians and had started the Waiilatpu Mission in 1836. The couple took little notice of the traditional ways and customs of the Cayuse and were zealous in their pursuit of converts. Moreover, it was rumored that they had made money for themselves from resources which should have belonged to the Cayuse: furs and land sales. At the outbreak of measles, then, a chief and another Cayuse visited the mission in search of medicine, already angry with Whitman since, as well as any other grudges they had against him, they blamed the mission for the disease. Whitman was attacked and killed. Shortly afterward, the angry Cayuse attacked again, killing Narcissa along with ten other white people. An army was organized by Oregon County officials, who retaliated by raiding a Cayuse settlement and killing some 30 people. The Natives in the area, including the Walla Walla and the Palouse, allied with the Cayuse against the Oregon army. Cornelius Gilliam, the army leader, was shot by his own gun and his troops fled. In the meantime, the two Cayuse who had visited the mission for the medicine, Tomahas and Tilokaikt, had fled immediately after the incident. Tired of hiding, after two years they gave themselves in, hoping for mercy. But they were sentenced to death by hanging. The Cayuse uprising caused change in Oregon, with new forts and military posts being built; this in turn exacerbated mistrust between the Natives and the white people, which led to more wars. In time, the Cayuse were forced onto a reservation in 1853, in northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. Whitman was honored by having a town named after him in Washington. CELT A tool used as a scraper (for scraping hides, for example), as an ax for chopping meat, as a skinning knife, for woodworking, and also as a weapon of war, a Celt was made from hard stone, shaped in the form of a hatchet but without a handle. CHANUNPA This is the Sioux name for the ceremonial smoking pipe, and also the ceremony that features it. An ancient legend has it that the chanunpa was brought to the people by the White Buffalo Calf Woman, in order that it might enable the tribes to communicate with the sacred and divine worlds of The Great Mystery, or Wakan Tanka. CHEROKEE A member of the Iroquoian stock and language family, the Cherokee are one of the more prominent tribes in Native American history, and also had a crucial role to play in the shaping of the United States. The oral history of the tribe records that the Cherokee migrated south from the Great Lakes, settling in southwest Virginia, western North Carolina, South Carolina, northeastern Georgia, and northeastern Alabama. There is no date accorded to the start of this migration. In their own language, the Cherokee refer to themselves as Tsalagi. The Spanish explorer De Soto was the first European to encounter the Cherokee, in 1540. They had further considerable contact with the Europeans in the 1700s, and in the 1800s the white settlers referred to the Cherokee as one of the Five Civilized Tribes because it was deemed that the people had adopted enough of the characteristics of Europeans to be deemed “civilized” by European standards. Respected by the whites in ways that perhaps other Indians were not, by 1825, 47 white men and 83 white women had actually married into the tribe. The Cherokee were the first of the Indian Nations to accept the European way of schooling and farming. By 1808, they had established a Cherokee police force, for example, and two years later had abolished “blood vengeance” (essentially, long-running feuds). Further, by 1820 the Cherokee had emulated the style of government belonging to the United States, and in 1825 had a designated capital city of the Cherokee Nation, a town that was formerly known as New Town and was renamed New Echota. However, as well as benefits, the European settlers had brought with them other things that did the Cherokee no good at all. Of the population of 6,000 Cherokee people spread across some 64 settlements, smallpox claimed half that population between 1738 and 1739; further Cherokee people committed suicide, unable to live with the severe disabilities and disfigurements that came in the wake of the disease. It was the Cherokee who were the first to turn their language into written shapes and symbols with the creation of a Cherokee alphabet by the prominent Cherokee tribal member, Sequoyah, who was born of a Cherokee mother and a white father. It is certain that his mixed-race background inspired the need to communicate in the same way as the white settlers, and be able to send letters home and receive information from far afield. Because of Sequoyah’s syllabary, we have access to documents written by the didanvwisgi—the Cherokee medicine men, who were the only ones who could read and write, since the letters of the alphabet were considered extremely sacred and powerful. The Christian Bible was subsequently translated into Cherokee, and a bilingual Cherokee newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, was established in 1828. This was the first Native American newspaper. Prior to the 19th century, Cherokee society was divided into two parts: the “White” and the “Red.” The elders of the White society represented the seven clans of the Cherokee. These elders were effectively the hereditary priests, or Ani Kutani, who led ceremonies and prayers, and performed healing acts and rituals of purification. Warfare was considered by this group to be “unclean.” The Red organization was responsible for warfare; after engaging in combat, the warriors had to be ritually purified and cleansed before they were permitted to re-enter the everyday life of the tribe. For some reason, by the time the Europeans encountered them, this caste-style system had all but disappeared, and the shamans of the Cherokee were chosen according to their skills rather than their birth. Prior to the 19th century the Cherokee were also polygamous, a practice that was more common among the wealthier male tribal members. The tribe were also matrilineal—any children born were considered to belong to the clan of the mother, not the father. Also, when children were born, the mother’s brother, rather than their father, was considered to be the main influence on the children. Couples were allowed to divorce freely. Women made all the major decisions regarding the family and also with respect to the leadership of the tribe itself. Alliances between the white settlers and the Cherokee were cemented by marriage even before the 19th century. The offspring from such marriages helped to build a bridge between the two cultures, and none in a more practical and ingenious way than Sequoyah. It was rarer for a Cherokee man to marry a white woman than for a Cherokee woman to marry a white man. If the former happened their children would be disadvantaged in that, because of the matrilineal law, they would not be considered to belong to either Nation, having been born “outside” the clan and therefore not Cherokee. However, the progressive Cherokee people passed a law in 1825 stating that children born to a Cherokee man and a white woman would be included as full tribal members from then on. Later in the 1800s, however, the U.S. Government began to impose restrictions on inter-racial marriages. A European man now had to gain the approval of ten blood relatives of his prospective bride. Then, if the marriage still went ahead, the husband’s rights were restricted. He couldn’t hold any sort of tribal position and would also remain subject to the laws of the United States above those of the tribe. Therefore it’s not surprising that common law marriages were popular, being easier in many ways for both parties. Gold was discovered in Cherokee country, in Georgia, in the 1820s. The Europeans, despite all their respect for the Cherokee, lost all consideration for the Native people in the face of potential wealth, and made moves to eject them from their hereditary lands. Horses and cattle were stolen; homes and farms were destroyed. And in the late 1830s the U.S. Army simply corraled the Cherokee and forced them to march west to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma, as part of the Indian Removal Act. Many Indians perished en route to their newly designated homeland. Once the straggling Cherokee survivors arrived, they found that they had joined Chickasaw, Choctaw, Seminole, and Creek Indians—others of the Five Civilized Tribes—and would go on to fight on the side of the Confederate States in the Civil War. CHEROKEE PHOENIX This was the name of the first American Indian newspaper, which was bilingual. It was possible only because of the work of the Cherokee scholar Sequoyah, who devised a syllabary—i.e., an alphabet that rendered the sounds of the language into shapes and symbols. The newspaper was first published in 1828, and was, at the time, relatively short-lived, closing down in 1834. It has, however, been published from time to time since then, and is currently available online. CHEWING GUM The origins of our modern chewing gum are from Native American people. As well as chewing the delicately flavored sap of pine trees, a habit that they passed on to the Europeans, the Aztecs chewed a substance called Chicle, a naturally occurring latex substance of the Sapodilla or Naseberry tree from Central America. Chicle itself can be a pink or reddish brown color, and has also been used as a rubber substitute. It was introduced to the United States as the primary ingredient of chewing gum in the late 1880s. In order to collect the chicle, deep V-shaped grooves were cut into the tree to allow the sap to run down the trunk, where it was collected. The word “chicle” is reflected in the brand name of some chewing-gum products. CHEYENNE The name Cheyenne was for a while believed to be derived from the French word for “dog,” which is chien, since this people had a noted society of Dog Soldiers. However, the name is actually a Sioux word meaning “people of different speech.” The Cheyenne name for themselves, Tsistsistas, means “beautiful people.” The Cheyenne were part of the large Algonquian language family. The Cheyenne originally lived in what is now Minnesota, and moved to North Dakota, from which they were driven west by the Ojibwe and the Sioux. The Ojibwe destroyed the Cheyenne settlements, at which point the Cheyenne allied with the Arapaho. The Cheyenne adopted the horse in the late 16th century, and rapidly became adept at both riding and breeding the animals. The coming of the horse meant a great change in their lifestyle, and the tribe gradually abandoned agriculture—as they put it, they “lost the corn” in favor of hunting buffalo. They also abandoned their former permanent homes in favor of the portable tipi. The Cheyenne, in general, did not want to have fights with the white settlers, and were party to a treaty signed in 1851 which was intended to guarantee safe passage for the white settlers traveling along the Oregon Trail, which stretched from Missouri to Oregon. But when the settlers continued to encroach upon Native lands, they found themselves attacked by some members of the Southern Cheyenne. The Natives were then attacked by a force of cavalrymen in 1857. Then came the Colorado Gold Rush, which affected Cheyenne and Arapaho lands. Neither tribe wanted to sell their lands, and refused offers which would have involved trading territory and settling on a reservation. However, the governor of the area, John Evans, decided to force the tribes to agree by starting a war against them. The leader of the volunteer army was Colonel John Chivington, a notorious Indian-hater. In early 1864, Chivington started a merciless all-out attack on the Cheyenne and Arapaho. He razed their settlements to the ground, killed women and children, and stole their possessions. The Cheyenne retaliated by attacking white settlements. Matters came to a head at the Battle of Sand Creek. Negotiations had been held outside Denver, Colorado, at which the tribes were informed that, if they agreed to camp nearby and checked in regularly at army posts, it would be assumed that a truce had been declared. This was agreed by the Cheyenne chief, Black Kettle, who led some 600 of his people to a place called Sand Creek, as agreed. Black Kettle assured the garrison there that he wanted peace. Chivington, however, although informed of what had happened, decided to attack the Indians anyway. Many of his soldiers were drunk when, at dawn on the morning of November 29, 1864, the Cheyenne were attacked. This despite the fact that Black Kettle had flown a white flag as well as the flag of the United States. Some 200 Cheyenne were murdered in one of the most appalling massacres in Native American history; further, half of those who were slaughtered were women, children, and babies. The ensuing outrage forced Chivington to resign. The Cheyenne unified with the Lakota under Sitting Bull, and were among the force that fought against General Armstrong Custer in 1876. When they were defeated, the Cheyenne were forced to live on a reservation in the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The Cheyenne chief, Dull Knife, hating conditions on the reservation, left a year later with a band of some 300 of his followers, intent on returning to Wyoming and Montana. They managed to escape capture for some six weeks before their pursuers—who numbered approximately 13,000 men—finally caught up with them. In the ensuing battle Dull Knife’s daughter was killed, and most of the band surrendered eventually at the Sioux reservation in South Dakota. The Cheyenne who had escaped were given a reservation in Montana. The spiritual life of the Cheyenne encompassed ceremonies called the Arrow Renewal and the New Life Lodge (also called the Sun Dance). The mythical and legendary hero/god of the Cheyenne was a figure called Sweet Medicine. Chickee A dwelling place of the Seminole, the Chickee was a building constructed of a wooden platform with a thatched roof, raised on stilts. CHIEF The overall leader of a tribe. In many tribes, the position of chief was, as with European royalty, a hereditary one. In other tribes, however, the position of chief was given to a man after acts of great courage or as an example of exemplary leadership. Desperate times often gave men the opportunity to prove themselves. During war, if one man stood out from the others as being both a warrior himself and also capable of leading others to be warriors, he was called a war chief; Black Hawk is a good example. In circumstances like this, the original chief of the tribe, the civil chief, would resign his position so that the man more able for the wartime role could step into the position of leader. The Iroquois had a system of making sure their chiefs were exceptional men: when a chief died, his shoes were not filled automatically. They were happy to wait until the right man came along at the right time. Unlike captains or generals, or kings, the chief had no automatic right to be obeyed, and following him was a voluntary act. Some of the Plains tribes had a system whereby a man could put himself forward for the position of chief. There were many different types of chief who would all sit together to make decisions on behalf of their people at a tribal council. Although, as has been mentioned, chiefs did not have the same rights or powers as Western kings, the man at the top of a powerful tribe might be labeled as such. The Europeans would sometimes give Native American rulers titles that would mean something familiar to other Europeans. Hence Pocahontas was described as a princess when she was presented in England, and her father was referred to as a king. Chief John BIG TREE 1877–1967 A member of the Seneca, Isaac Johnny John was an actor who appeared in a number of films between 1917 and 1949. Born in Michigan, Big Tree said that he had been one of the three Indians who inspired the portrait of a Native which appeared on a coin of the U.S. Government. This coin became known as the Indian Head Nickel. He also appeared on the front cover of Esquire magazine, replicating the pose of the Native American on the coin. CHIEF JOSEPH “If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian, he can live in peace … Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The Earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it …” 1840–1904 Born in northeastern Oregon, Joseph’s Native American name was Hin mah too yah lat kekt, which means “Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain.” Chief Joseph was a renowned leader of the Wallowa Band of the Nez Perce tribe. The tribe’s ancestral homelands were at the meeting point of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, many of them living near the Wallowa Lake area of northeastern Oregon. Joseph guided his people through a difficult time when one General Howard attempted to force the band to relocate to a reservation in Idaho, which was just one-quarter the size of the original territory that they had roamed in for generations. Joseph used logic and dignity in his protest against such a move, and is still renowned as a peacemaker over 100 years after his death. Later, Joseph would earn the epithet of “The Red Napoleon” for the way he fought, and subsequently surrendered, to save the lives of his people. Like many Native Americans meeting the Europeans for the first time, Joseph was courteous and hospitable to the settlers, but quickly realized that they were greedy for land, taking territory that had been used by the indigenous peoples for centuries for grazing and agriculture. Joseph was among other Nez Perce chiefs who signed a treaty in 1855 establishing a new reservation to safeguard 7.7 million acres of land for his people. The treaty included the traditional territories of the Nez Perce tribes. However, as soon as the European settlers discovered the yellow metal—gold—on the land designated to the Indians, they went back to the Nez Perce and asked them to accept a considerably smaller allotment—780,000 acres—in Idaho. This land excluded the traditional territories. Promises of a new school and various other financial incentives proved too tempting to refuse for some of the chiefs, but Joseph was among those who would not sign the treaty on behalf of the Nez Perce nation. This split the Nez Perce nation into two: those who had signed the treaty, who relocated to the new reservation, and those who refused to sign, who stayed at home on their traditional territories. Joseph’s father outlined this territory with poles, and swore never to give up the precious land where their ancestors were buried to the white man. When the old chief died in 1871, his son, Joseph, took on the mantle of his father. His father had told Joseph, prophetically: “Always remember that your father never sold his country. You must stop your ears whenever you are asked to sign a treaty selling your home. A few years more and white men will be all around you. They have their eyes on this land. My son, never forget my dying words. This country holds your father’s body. Never sell the bones of your father and your mother.” Although the Nez Perce who did not sign the treaty were prey to unfair treatment by the settlers, who wanted them out, Joseph kept a level head and never retaliated with violence; he did all he could to maintain peace, often under extreme duress. In 1873 Joseph managed to arrange with the U.S. Government that his people would have the right to remain where they were, but just four years later the Government reneged once again on its promise. It was at this point that General Howard said that he would attack the band if they kept on refusing to do as they were told and move, with the other Nez Perce, to Idaho. Not wanting to fight, Joseph warily agreed to inspect alternative lands with the General. When the General offered them land that was already inhabited by other Native Americans and white people, Joseph refused it, telling Howard that he couldn’t take what wasn’t free either to give or to take. Exasperated, Howard gave Joseph’s people just 30 days to pack up everything and leave. Joseph wanted more time, but Howard declared that if the band were there after the designated 30 days, there would be war. Explaining what had happened at a council meeting, Joseph advocated peace above all, even willing to sacrifice the land that his father had held so dear. But the others were prepared for war. Despite Joseph’s conciliatory attitude, blood was spilled shortly afterward when a young member of the band murdered four white settlers as an act of revenge after his father was killed. Wanting to avoid bloodshed, Joseph and other leaders began moving their people away from the Wallawa Lake region. Now the people were on the run; this amounted to 800 Native American men, women, and children, including the elderly, being pursued by 2,000 United States Army soldiers. When the Nez Perce were refused asylum with the Crow Nation, they headed north toward Canada. In total they out-maneuvered their would-be attackers for three long months, traveling nearly 1,250 miles across five states. General Howard was apparently impressed with the fighting skill of the Nez Perce; their naturally developed strategies were common to those learned by European soldiers after years of training: advance guards, fortifications, skirmish lines. However, after a five-day battle in freezing weather with half his people starving, Joseph had to abandon the fight. He surrendered to General Appleton Miles on October 5, 1877. The Nez Perce tribe had traveled a long way from home and were less than 40 miles from the Canadian border when they surrendered. Yet again the white man cheated the Indians. Despite the fact that Joseph had negotiated a safe return home for his decimated tribe, Joseph and 400 of his followers were taken in uncomfortable, unheated railroad cars to a prisoner of war camp in Kansas, where they were held for eight months. Those that survived were taken to a reservation in what is now Oklahoma. Here, during their seven-year stay, there were many more deaths. In 1879 Joseph met with President Rutherford Hayes to argue for his people, but to no avail. Finally, however, in 1885 Joseph and what was left of his followers were permitted to return to the Pacific Northwest. Some went to the Idaho reservation, but Joseph and a few others were effectively segregated from their people, and removed to the Colville Reservation in Washington. The Native Americans from other tribes who already lived there were not pleased that they were forced to give away some of their allotted lands. By now Joseph was an old man, but he continued to speak eloquently, stating his hope that America’s promise of freedom and equality for all men might actually one day include the Native American people, too. This was sadly not to come to pass during Joseph’s lifetime. He died in 1904, still exiled from his homeland. CHIEF SEATTLE “Let him [the white man] be just and kindly with my people, for the dead are not altogether powerless.” (attributed to Seattle) 1780(?)–1866 A chief of the Duwamish tribe, whose name would become immortalized for all time in the great city named after him, Seattle also became famous for one particular speech, although there is controversy as to the content, context, and precise nature of the speech. Seattle—or Si’ahl—was born in the area of Blake Island, Washington. His mother was of the Duwamish and his father of the Suquamish. His position as chief was inherited from his maternal uncle, as was the tradition in a matrilineal tribe. Accounts of Seattle tell us that he was tall for one of his tribe, standing at almost 6 feet; he was given the nickname Le Gros, meaning “The Big One,” by the European traders. A skilled orator, he also had the added vantage of a loud voice. He was a confident and skilled warrior, leading skirmishes against enemy peoples. It was a tradition among the Duwamish to make slaves of enemies that they captured. Seattle’s first wife died after giving him a daughter; his second wife bore him seven children: four girls and three boys. His best-known child was his first daughter, Kikisoblu, who would become better known as Princess Angeline. In the late 1840s Seattle was baptized into the Catholic Church, taking the name of Noah Seattle. The town of DuWamps was changed to Seattle when Chief Seattle formed an alliance with the Europeans against the Patkanim tribe, who were making incursions onto the traditional sites where the Duwamish caught clams and other shellfish. After the Battle of Seattle in 1856, the Chief was reluctant to allow his people to relocate to the reservation that had been allotted them, since the Snohomish, their traditional enemies, were also going to be relocated there, and Seattle knew that this would lead to conflict. Instead, his people relocated to the Suquamish reservation in Washington, where he died in 1866. He was buried at the tribal cemetery there. SEATTLE’S SPEECH The quote at the head of this entry is an extract from the controversial speech involving Seattle. Consensus of opinion says that the occasion of the speech was March 11, 1854, in the then-town of Seattle. A public meeting had been called by the governor of the town to discuss the sale of Native lands to European settlers. Seattle was asked to speak on the subject, and here the real controversy arises. Evidently Seattle spoke with passion and at some length, in the Lushootseed tongue, which was translated into Chinook and then into English. The speech was only written down in English some years after the event, by one Henry A. Smith, who had taken notes at the time. In Smith’s version, Seattle thanked the Europeans for their generosity, and also compared the Christian god to the Native god. Smith himself admitted that he had noted only a small part of the speech, and what he wrote is rather florid. The speech has subsequently been rewritten by others who could not possibly know what was actually said, although it has been described as “a powerful, bittersweet plea for respect for Native American rights and environmental values.” CHILKAT The traditional form of weaving carried out by peoples on the northwest coasts of British Columbia and Alaska, including the Haida and the Tlingit. The Chilkat people after whom the blankets were named were a division of the Tlingit who originally lived along the river of the same name in Alaska. Chilkat blankets were worn exclusively by high-ranking tribal members at important dances and ceremonies including the potlatch. This method of weaving is one of the most complex in the world; the artist is able to incorporate curved lines and circular shapes within the body of the weave itself. All sorts of materials are used in the fabric: dog and mountain goat hair and the bark of the yellow cedar were used traditionally, although today, sheep wool is more likely to be used. The designs are very distinctive, incorporating stylized animal designs primarily in red and black. The art of Chilkat weaving had almost been lost—in the 1990s it was estimated that only six people still practiced the art—but luckily the technique has enjoyed a revival recently. CHINOOK The Chinook lived on the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest, and were known for their fishing and trading skills. They used dugout canoes for their fishing trips and lived in permanent wooden houses rather than, for example, the moveable tipis of the Plains Indians. In appearance they were tall; their most defining characteristic was perhaps the shape of their skulls, which were deliberately manipulated in infancy to alter their appearance. For the Chinook, a skull modified in this way was the height of good breeding, and a “normal” skull was considered to be inferior. The Chinook language was particularly difficult to master, not only its rudiments but its pronunciation. Because of this, other tribes—and also the European fur traders—used a sort of shorthand language with the Chinook. This was known as “Chinook Jargon,” and made life easier for anyone who had to trade with the tribe, or for whom Chinook was not their mother tongue. CHIPPEWAH SeeOjibwe (#litres_trial_promo) CHOCTAW Belonging to the Muskhogean language family, the Choctaw were the largest tribe in that particular group. Originally they came from the southeastern U.S., including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi. There are different theories as to the origin of the tribe’s name. It was possibly the name of a great chief of the tribe, possibly from a derivation of “river people,” possibly from the Spanish word chato, meaning “flat heads.” Because they allowed their hair to grow long, they were also called “long hair.” An agricultural people, the Choctaw had a unique way of dealing with their deceased. The bones of the corpse were cleaned thoroughly and then placed in boxes which were stored in “bone houses.” The task of cleaning the bones was carried out by older men who let their fingernails grow especially long for the purpose. The Choctaw also belonged to the ancient mound-building cultures, and an ancient myth belonging to the tribe states that the people emerged from a mound in the ground, called Nanih Waiya. In the 17th century the Choctaw arranged themselves into three independent groups: the eastern, western, and southern Choctaw. These different bands struck up different allegiances with the European settlers, although the American War of Independence saw all three Choctaw groups band together to take the side of independence against the British monarchy. Because the Choctaw had embraced many of the practices of the white settlers, they were credited with the title of one of the Five Civilized Tribes in the 19th century. The other four tribes considered by the Europeans to be “civilized” were the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole. The Choctaw were also one of the tribes who kept slaves. Nine treaties were made between the Choctaw and the U.S. Government; this resulted in vast tracts of former Choctaw land being ceded to the Government, and the tribe itself relocating to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The Choctaw had the dubious honor of being the first Native Americans to undergo such forced removal, although they did manage to negotiate a sizeable chunk of land for themselves. One of the features of the Choctaw, which no doubt led to their “civilized” status, was their system of self-governance, which divided the tribe into three, each with its own chief. There was also a Choctaw delegate to represent the tribe at the center of the U.S. Government in Washington, D.C. After the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1831, the Choctaw were the first large non-European group to be given the status of U.S. citizens. In the First World War, a number of Choctaw soldiers served in the U.S. Army. The Choctaw language is a difficult one for nonspeakers to decipher, and so was used as a code to transmit messages on behalf of intelligence officers in order to make sure the German enemy wouldn’t be able to discover the plans of the Allied armies (SeeChoctaw Code Talkers (#ua1c31b78-6eb0-4e0a-ab21-5690c4edbd12)). CHOCTAW CODE TALKERS During the First World War, despite the fact that the American military tried to befuddle the German enemy by means of various codes and ciphers, the Germans had a high success rate in deciphering these messages. But one Colonel Bloor had an epiphany one day when he realized that he had a number of Native Americans—including several who spoke the Choctaw language—in his division, which was based in France. The first test of the new “code” took place toward the end of the war, in 1918, and resulted in the successful withdrawal of two battalions, with no interference from the Germans. This told Bloor that it was unlikely that the enemy had any idea what language was being spoken, an assumption that was corroborated by a German officer who was subsequently captured. The “code talkers” used field telephones to communicate with one another. The only downside was that the Choctaw language simply did not have words to translate some of the modern military terminology and technicalities; however, the Choctaw soldiers were able to improvise. Nineteen Choctaw men formed this band of “code talkers.” They rarely spoke about what they had done and did not gain the acclaim that the Navajo code talkers, operating during the Second World War, achieved. However, all 19 of the men were awarded posthumous medals, the Choctaw Medal of Valor, in 1989. CLIFF DWELLING Various Native American peoples lived in dwellings on or in cliffs, either perched on ledges or in caves or other natural hollows, which might be enlarged by digging and scraping or the addition of adobe. The Anasazi in particular lived in such a way. CLOWN SOCIETY There were many different secret societies among the various Native American peoples, and the Clown Society was one of these. Members of this particular society were known to the Sioux, for example, as Heyoka. The Sacred Clown had an important part to play in many societies, was beyond authority and therefore able to poke fun at any form of officialdom without fear of reprisal. An important aspect of the Heyoka was the ability to ask the sorts of questions that others might be afraid to ask. A prospective member of a Clown Society has to be initiated; naturally the initiation rites are a closed matter, but it has been recorded that one of the rites involves eating dirt and smearing the body with mud. This might seem to be antisocial behavior but is in keeping with the contrary nature of the Heyoka. It is in the nature of a clown to be funny; the Heyoka is trained in all forms of humor, from wit to slapstick. Each Heyoka develops his own makeup and costume; once he is wearing his disguise, then anything is permissible. COCHISE “Nobody wants peace more than I do. Why shut me up on a reservation? We will make peace; we will keep it faithfully. But let us go around free as Americans do. Let us go wherever we please.” 1805–1874 A famous chief of the Chiricahua Apache, at the core of Cochise’s reputation was his resistance to the white man’s invasions in the 19th century. In the Apache language his name, Cheis, means “strong like the oak” or “hardwood,” a name that proved to be entirely appropriate. Cochise is most infamous for having held off the U.S. Army for four years, with just 200 men, when the Government tried to force them to move onto a reservation in New Mexico. Cochise County in Arizona is named in his honor. Cochise’s tribe originally occupied that part of the United States which would become Arizona and New Mexico, as well as Sonora. The Chiricahua were already used to invasions; they had resisted the encroachment of the Spanish and the Mexicans into their territory. Consistently losing to the Chiricahua in various skirmishes, the Spanish rethought their approach, employing wilier means than mere warfare. They devised a strategy whereby the Chiricahua would become dependent on cheap liquor and the substandard guns issued to them by the Colonial Government. This worked for a while, and Spain gained control of the land; however, Mexico managed to win it from Spain. As a result, the supplies of liquor and guns to the Chiricahua dried up. The more traditional method of warfare flared up once again, since the tribe were no longer reliant on cheap alcohol to befuddle them. In an attempt to subdue the Chiricahua, the Mexicans decided on a policy of killing them off. Mercenaries, who were paid per scalp, were employed in this endeavor. Cochise’s father was a victim of this policy, and it was this tragedy that proved to be the driving factor behind his desire for vengeance, not only for his father in particular, but for his people as a whole. A mark of Cochise’s effectiveness was that when he was captured by the Mexicans in 1848, he was ransomed in exchange for a dozen Mexican prisoners of war. Tensions on the U.S./Mexican border were nothing new, not to the Apaches and the Europeans in any case, although there was a relatively settled period in the 1850s after the United States acquired the area. But since the U.S. persisted in encroaching further into Apache grounds, the skirmishes continued, and in 1861 things blew up when Cochise and his men were (falsely) accused of kidnapping the son of a local rancher, and stealing his cattle. This crime had in fact been committed by a different band of Apaches. In a case that became known as The Bascom Affair, which is cited as a key trigger in the Apache War, a young Army officer invited Cochise into the camp, where he was then accused of the kidnapping. Cochise denied everything and even offered to help find those guilty, but when the officer made moves to arrest him, Cochise struck back with a knife, which he then used to slash his way to freedom. The U.S. Army officers retaliated by taking, as hostages, some of Cochise’s people. Numbered among these hostages were some of Cochise’s immediate family. The whole situation was racked up another few notches as Cochise took more U.S. hostages in an attempt to release his own people. As the situation escalated beyond anyone’s control, the hostages from both sides were summarily murdered; among the slain was Cochise’s brother. The war raged on for another 11 years, resulting in countless deaths; a total body count of as many as 5,000 has been estimated. In the meantime, Cochise had married Dos Teh Seh, the daughter of the renowned chief, Mangas Coloradas. With his father-in-law, Cochise led a series of raids on the white settlements that continued to encroach on Apache land. One of these raids became known as the Battle of Dragoon Springs, during which the Apache’s superior knowledge of the landscape, and their ability to survive in the tough environment, meant that they held sway over a U.S. Army that was increasingly preoccupied with its own civil war. At the Battle of Apache Pass, however, the U.S. Army turned their artillery fire on Cochise, Coloradas, and their men. Up until that point the Native Americans had been holding their ground. Despite the fact that this was the first time that they had experienced such powerful weaponry, some of them still fought on until they were either killed or forced to flee to save their lives. General Carleton, who had orchestrated the battle, took over as Commander of the territory. In 1863, the U.S. Army perpetrated a shameful crime. Pretending to fly the flag of truce, General Joseph Rodman, under the orders of Carleton, captured Mangas Coloradas and, sometime later, murdered him. For Cochise—for anyone—what the Army had done—murdering someone under the pretence of inviting them to negotiate—utterly violated all the rules of war. And so the bloody battles continued. Cochise and his men were driven toward the Dragoon Mountains, which provided good cover to use as a base from which the Indians could continue their attacks. For four years, Cochise managed to avoid capture by his enemies. Eventually, though, Cochise negotiated a peace treaty and retired, with his people, to a new reservation, a position which he had resisted for as long as he was able. Cochise felt that there was no need for the Native peoples to live on reservations, and that it was possible for them to live side by side in harmony with their white neighbors. He said: “Let my people mingle with the whites, in their farms and communities, and let us be as one people.” Sadly, this would not come to pass during Cochise’s lifetime. He died in 1874 of natural causes, and was buried in the Dragoon Mountains, in a secret location in a larger area that is now called Cochise’s Stronghold. COMANCHE A Native American people belonging to the Plains Indians group, for whom the horse was an inherent part of life and culture. The Comanche were considered among the finest horsemen of all the Indian Nations. A warlike people, largely open to new ideas, the Comanche were also buffalo hunters, and had a formidable reputation for stealing cattle and horses from other tribes, a trait that would cause many fights with other Native Americans. The Comanche allegedly were responsible for killing more white men than any other tribe. They were also slave traders. The traditional territory of the Comanches was known as the Comancheria and encompassed the lands that we now know as eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona, southern Kansas and Oklahoma, and the majority of northwest Texas. The Comanche are believed to have been an offshoot of the Shoshone, who broke away around 1700, when the Dakota Sioux pushed the Shoshone back into the mountains; the offshoot Comanche were driven toward the south. The horses that were to prove such an essential part of their lives were acquired from the Pueblo after their successful resistance to the Spanish, which resulted in the Spanish leaving their horses behind in Pueblo territory. Indeed, it was the Comanche who supplied horses to traders from both France and America, and also to the hopeful gold prospectors who traveled through Comanche territory on their way to California. The tribe also had access to the thousands of feral horses that ranged through their territory. The Shoshone, Comanche, and Kiowa tribes were all also known as “Snakes” by explorers such as George Catlin. The Comanches themselves were subdivided into many different “bands,” of approximately 100 members each. These bands were part of larger divisions, of which there had been three prior to 1750: the Jupes, the Kotsotakas, and the Yamparikas. In the decade after 1750 many of the Kotsotakas split away from the others and moved to the southeast, a move that caused friction between them and the original Comanches. The Comanche did not have one single chief who controlled the whole tribe; instead, they had a number of leaders who counseled the group according to its needs at any one time. For example, different styles of leadership would be necessary during times of peace than were appropriate during war. War was a way of life for the Comanche, and the longest battle they waged was that against the Mexicans. This particular fight ran on for nearly 40 years. Traditionally, the Comanche would lead their raids into Mexican territories at the time of the full moon, so that they had the element of surprise combined with the visibility that the full moon gave them. This strategy gave rise to the term “Comanche Moon.” Initially the Comanche were hunter-gatherers; women as well as men would hunt. Subsequently, though, when the tribes moved from the Rocky Mountains to the Plains, hunting became the job of the men. Deer, wild mustang, bear, elk, and buffalo were all captured and eaten; the fur, bones, and teeth were all made good use of. The Comanche were also not averse to raiding Texas in search of cattle. The Comanche would eat birds and fish only when there was nothing else. This meaty diet was supplemented by berries, fruits, and nuts; gathering these was the task of the women. The Comanche did not cultivate the staple crops of the Native Americans, such as corn, maize, and tobacco, but instead acquired them through trading or raiding. When they wanted to cook meat or vegetables the Comanche women would dig a hole, which they then lined with skins or the stomach of a buffalo to make it waterproof. Hot stones made the water boil, and enabled the food to be cooked. The metal pots of the Spanish and other European settlers would make this domestic task much easier. A delicacy for the Comanche hunters was the curdled milk from the stomachs of buffalo calves that were still suckling. In common with other Plains Indians, the Comanche were very hospitable, and prepared something to eat whenever a visitor arrived. This meant that people not used to such a custom took it as read that the Comanche ate at all hours of day or night. Like other Plains Indians, the Comanche lived in tipis, the portable home made of skins draped around a cone-shaped construction of loose poles. Their clothing was simple: for the men, a breechcloth, deerskin leggings, and moccasins; in winter the upper torso was covered in buffalo-hide robes. Small boys went naked except in very cold weather. Women traditionally wore deerskin dresses, with beautiful fringing along the hems and sleeves. These dresses were often beaded, or had metalwork inserts that were similar to the mirrorwork done in India, in which small pieces of mirror are stitched into the pattern of the fabric. The women also wore moccasins and buffalo-hide robes. Young girls, unlike their brothers, did wear clothes: breechcloths from the time they were babies until they were old enough to wear smaller replicas of the clothes worn by the women. Comanche men were proud of their earrings; the womenfolk pierced the men’s ears with as many as eight holes, which would be ornamented with shells or loops of wire. The men also had facial tattoos as well as markings on their chests and arms. These took the form of geometric designs; both design and color were the choice of the individual, although black was universally used in the case of war paint. Comanche women liked to paint the very insides of their ears a brilliant red. When a Comanche died, the corpse was wrapped in a blanket and placed on a horse, with a rider. The rider would then carry the body until he found a place that was right for the burial of the body. The burial place was marked by stones and boulders, then the rider returned, his task completed. The possessions that had belonged to the dead person were burned, and the mourning began. As in other tribes, the chief mourner would slash his or her arms as a demonstration of grief. The Christian missionaries, however, persuaded the Comanche that the “proper” way to respect their dead was to bury them in wooden coffins in the ground. Because the Comanche were on the move much of the time, unlike the “settled” Native peoples, it made no sense for them to have possessions or utensils that were in any way breakable. This means that fragile clay pottery was of no use to them. What they had in abundance as available material was the buffalo, and, as well as eating the animal, the Comanche made use of the horn, bones and hides for almost all of their household goods. The lining of the buffalo’s stomach made a water bag; it could also make a vessel which, when stretched and hung between a framework of sticks, made a sort of waterproof cooking “pot,” as described previously. Even the dung of the buffalo, fibrous and dry, was used as a fuel for fires. For the Europeans, the Comanche were something of a double-edged sword. Well able to adapt any new circumstances to their own favor, they made good traders. However, their fearlessness and predilection for raids was unnerving. The Comanche were also involved in a seemingly endless series of wars with any and all of the other Great Plains tribes; this meant that the tribe were prey to political maneuvering and exploitation by the U.S. Government, as well as by the Spanish and French colonial settlers. There was very nearly a peace pact between the Comanche and the white men, but this was stymied when the Government refused to describe a boundary between the Comanche lands and the territory of Texas. Despite all this seeming chaos, the Comanche were able to stay independent, and unlike other Indians, even managed to increase the scope of their territory. Tragically, it was not the politics of the white man that caused the most injury to the Comanche, but his diseases. The worst of these—smallpox—ravaged the tribe in 1817 and again in 1848. Measles and cholera also took their toll. The population of the tribe, it is estimated, would have dropped from approximately 20,000 to 5,000 by the 1870s. It must have seemed a much easier prospect, faced with a weakened Comanche nation, for the U.S. Government to start forcing the tribe onto designated reservations toward the end of the 1860s. They offered a standard of living that included schools for the children, Christian churches, and money, in return for Comanche lands ranging to 62,000 square miles. In return for this, the Government suggested that the Comanche should squeeze themselves into fewer than 5,000 square miles—along with Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Kiowa peoples. Part of this agreement was that the Government would put a stop to the white buffalo hunters who were slaughtering the animals on a grand scale. But the Government could not, or would not, stop the buffalo hunters, despite the agreement. Buffalo were a fundamentally important part of the Comanche way of life; therefore the tribe, under the leadership of White Eagle, retaliated by launching an attack on a group of white hunters in 1874. The Comanche were decimated; the survivors rounded up and forced onto the reservation. Fewer than ten years later, the buffalo were just about extinct, forcing an end to the traditional way of life of the Comanche. The last of the free members of the tribe moved onto the reservation in 1875, at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. These Comanche, few as they were, quickly became disillusioned with their supposedly ideal new way of life. A year later, fewer than 200 warriors were left to battle in the Buffalo Hunters War of 1877. COMANCHE CODE During the Second World War, the U.S. Government had the idea of using the Comanche language as a “code” to befuddle the enemy Germans. In order to do this, 17 young men were trained in the language. Ironically, the language had nearly died out after Comanche children were placed in boarding schools in the 19th century where they were encouraged to speak English, and punished for speaking their native language. CONCOMLY A Chinook chief, Concomly extended a friendly welcome to the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805 when it reached him and his tribe at the mouth of the Columbia River where it entered the Pacific Coast. His daughter would go on to marry Duncan McDougal, head of the Astor expedition which sought to take over the country on behalf of the United States. Concomly liked to display his power; he must have been an awe-inspiring sight for the white men, since he traveled with a retinue of some 300 slaves, who went before him carpeting the ground with beaver skins. Concomly was notoriously accused of being charged with a plan to massacre some soldiers at a nearby garrison and raid the stores. Although this was not proved, Concomly offered to show his allegiance to the Americans by fighting on their side against the British in 1812. After his death, Concomly’s skull—which had been subject to the “flattening” procedure whereby the infant’s skull was shaped while the bones were still soft—was sent to Britain, and regarded as a curiosity. However, it was returned to the U.S. in 1952. CONESTOGA HORSE Horses rapidly became invaluable to the Native Americans, used for traveling long distances, for hunting, and as pack animals. The Conestoga was a heavy horse, bred in Pennsylvania in the 18th century, which had the blood of a Flemish carthorse along with a British breed. Able to carry and drag heavy loads, the Conestoga was used for pulling wagons. CONESTOGA WAGON The wagon, typically seen in Wild West and cowboy movies, has a framework of hoops over which canvas is draped to give cover and provide accommodation to passengers and goods. These are the wagons that were regularly seen moving slowly along as wagon trains, and drawn either by cattle or by half a dozen Conestoga horses, for which the wagon was named. The Native Americans called the wagon the “tipi wagon.” CONFEDERACY Also called an allegiance or league, a confederacy was a union of two or more tribes, perhaps for military or political purposes. The Iroquois Confederacy is a good example of just how powerful strength in numbers, and a unified aim, can be. CORN SeeMaize (#litres_trial_promo) CORNPLANTER “It is my wish and the wishes of my people to live peaceably and quietly with you.” 1770s–1836 A renowned Seneca chief, Cornplanter was born to a Seneca mother and a Dutch father, a fur trader, in the Genesee River area of New York. Initially Cornplanter—whose name in Seneca approximated to “the planter” or “by which one plants”—did not know that his father was white; it was only after repeated teasing by other children that his mother told him the truth. His father, Johannes Abeel, was living in Albany, and so Cornplanter visited him. The visit was amicable, but Cornplanter came away empty-handed. Subsequently, fighting on the side of the British during the Revolutionary War, Cornplanter captured his father and wanted him to remain among the tribe, but Abeel refused. Cornplanter also had a half-brother named Handsome Lake. During the Revolutionary War, Cornplanter argued for neutrality, believing that the white men’s war should be fought by the white men and that the Iroquois should remain neutral. However, both sides tried to persuade the tribe to take their part, tempting them with money and goods. The tribe voted to fight on behalf of the British and, despite his leaning toward neutrality, Cornplanter respected the majority’s decision and became one of two war chiefs. When the British subsequently lost, Cornplanter, with his formidable skills of diplomacy and oratory, understood the sense in having friendly relations with the newly minted U.S. Government, which the Iroquois referred to as the “13 Fires.” Cornplanter helped mediate between the Government and several different tribes as well as his own people. He took part in meetings with President Washington and also with Thomas Jefferson. Throughout instances of Indian resistance he managed to retain neutrality for the Iroquois. In 1790 he traveled to Philadelphia to appeal to Governor Thomas Mifflin on behalf of his people; he left with a promise that Iroquois land would be protected. As a thanks for his help, Cornplanter was granted 1,500 acres of land in the western part of Pennsylvania. The deeds were handed over in 1796. He was also given a further 700 acres, the Cornplanter Grant, in Warren County. In later life, Cornplanter became disillusioned with the ways of the Americans. He saw his people descend into a despair born of hopelessness compounded with alcohol abuse; many of them had also lost touch with their traditional religious ceremonies, adopting the Christian faith of the white men. He felt that this further undermined his people’s sense of self. Cornplanter turned his back on the ways of the white men, burning his military uniform, destroying his medals and awards, and breaking his sword, although he did retain his respect for the Quaker faith. In 1836, Cornplanter died in Pennsylvania; he had asked that his grave remain unmarked, but some years after his death the spot was flooded when a reservoir was built there, and a monument was erected in his honor. CORNSTALK 1720(?)–1777 A Shawnee leader, Cornstalk’s Native name was Hokoleskwa, which translates, roughly, as “stalk of corn.” Born near Pennsylvania, he moved to Ohio along with other members of his tribe, forced from the Shawnee’s traditional lands by the incursion of the white settlers. It is indeterminate as to whether or not he fought in the French and Indian War, but what is certain is that he lobbied for peace. Cornstalk did, however, fight in Lord Dunmore’s War to try to block the invasion of Virginian settlers into Shawnee land in Ohio. Despite the fact that the Indians were beaten on this occasion by the settlers, his skills as a warrior and commander attracted the attention and respect of the white people. His skills as an orator, too, did not go unnoticed. During the Revolutionary War a position of neutrality was favored by Cornstalk; however, the overriding feeling among the Shawnee was that the British should be supported since then there would be a chance that the incursion of settlers would be stopped. The tribe were split into those that supported Cornstalk, and those that favored fighting on behalf of the British, led by Chief Blue Jacket. In 1777 Cornstalk was visiting Fort Randolph in West Virginia. However, despite the diplomacy of his visit, Cornstalk fell foul of the commander there, who had decided to capture any Shawnee and hold them hostage. Cornstalk, his son, and two other Shawnee were killed as a result of an unrelated incident when an American soldier was killed by an unknown Indian. With the death of Cornstalk the Americans were alarmed; with him had died what they thought was any chance of the Shawnee remaining neutral. He was buried where he died, at Fort Randolph, although in 1840 his remains were relocated to the Mason County Courthouse in Washington state. When the courthouse was demolished in 1954, Cornstalk’s remains were moved once again, and he was interred at Point Pleasant, Virginia. COUNCIL CIRCLE This is an archeological construction found in various ancient village sites, usually near the center of the settlement. It is likely that the circle would have had several functions: as a calendar, providing a way of observing the rites associated with key points of the year, such as the solstices; as a kind of fortification or defense; and also as a central meeting point where important matters were discussed and decided by a tribe. However, the Council Circle does not belong merely to the past; it also refers to a gathering at which all members are equally important, a democratic “talking circle” where a talking stick is passed around to make sure that everyone has a chance to speak and offer his or her opinion. COUNTING COUP This term referred to a piece of battle etiquette, and was a very important principle. The Assiniboin, for example, believed that “Killing an enemy counts for nothing unless that person is touched or struck.” Victory over an enemy was “certified” by the first touch of that enemy, be it with a stick, the hand, or a weapon, while he was still alive. This initial contact constituted the first “coup”. If the enemy was subsequently killed after this touch, then this was the second coup. If the enemy was then scalped to boot, this counted as three coups. Further, touching the tipi or home of the enemy counted as a coup, and any symbols painted on it could be appropriated by the victor. Stealing the enemy’s horse, too, counted as a further coup. The greatest honor, though, was that initial touch, that contact with the living enemy. This was considered to be even more important than the killing. Considering this logically, it takes more nerve to have physical contact with a foe than it does to kill him from a distance, say, with a bow and arrow, or with a bullet from a gun. Feathers or pelts were worn to indicate the number, and nature of, the coups. For example the Assiniboin warrior wore an eagle feather for each enemy that he had killed. A Crow warrior would attach wolf tails to the heels of his moccasins to indicate the same thing. COUP STICK A log stick, curved at one end and highly decorated, including with fur, which was used to “count coup” on an enemy. The coup stick was a highly valued object, especially if it had touched many enemies, and was passed down from father to son. See alsoCounting Coup (#ulink_e96c3e67-fc07-568a-b07c-6deda2ccf9ce) COUREUR DE BOIS A French phrase meaning “runner of the woods.” The term referred to the French fur traders who were independent of the larger fur-trading organizations and preferred to work as sole operators, often living for the majority of their time with the local Native peoples. COYOTE The coyote, or prairie wolf, also known as the barking wolf because of the sound it makes, was respected by Native Americans for its perceived wisdom. In common with many other sacred animals, the flesh of the coyote was rarely eaten; however, a division of the Apache known as the Coyoteros are said to have that name purely because they did elect to eat the flesh of the animal. Coyote skin was prized as a material for making the quivers that held arrows. CRADLEBOARD Still in use for many Native American peoples, the cradleboard is a traditional style of apache-carrier/protector, used before the infant is able to walk. The structure of the cradleboard is a firm base (against which the baby’s spine rests), a footboard, and a cover for the front of the child (often designed to be laced up to hold the child steady) as well as something to shade his or her head and to provide protection. Some cradleboards also incorporate dangling toys to amuse the child, or dreamcatchers. Cradleboards are made from different sorts of materials according to the tradition of the tribe; they may be woven (Apache), made of wood (Penobscot) or created by some other means. Inside the cradleboard is padding which sometimes doubles up as a disposable diaper. Materials used for this include down, moss, plant fibers, etc. Other lining materials act as insulation: the pelt of small mammals, especially rabbits, is warm and soft when the fur is placed next to the skin of the baby. The cradleboard is not a convenient structure for peoples living in subarctic conditions; mothers in these areas would wrap their babies in warm fabrics and furs and carry them underneath their outer garments. CRAZY HORSE “I was hostile to the white man … We preferred hunting to a life of idleness on our reservations. At times we did not get enough to eat and we were not allowed to hunt. All we wanted was peace and to be let alone. Soldiers came … in the winter … and destroyed our villages. Then Long Hair (Custer) came … They said we massacred him, but he would have done the same to us. Our first impulse was to escape … but we were so hemmed in we had to fight. After that I lived in peace, but the government would not let me alone. I was not allowed to remain quiet. I was tired of fighting … They tried to confine me … and a soldier ran his bayonet into me. I have spoken.” Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/adele-nozedar/the-element-encyclopedia-of-native-americans-an-a-to-z-of-tr/?lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.
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