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Laura Peers opens the Pitt Rivers Conference March 30, 2011

Subject: Conservation, Travel, Clothing and dress, Anthropology, Ethnology, Cultural property, Repatriation, Museums, Video recordings, Pitt Rivers Museum, Men's clothing

Transcript: At the end of March 2011 Laura Peers and Alison Brown organized a conference relating to the 'Blackfoot Shirts Project'. This conference was to be a wrap-up to the project before the book comes out. Laura and Alison invited a group of U.K. curators from various museums and a delegation from the four Blackfoot Tribes to attend the conference. The museum representatives and Blackfoot delegates were brought together to exchange information and ideas. The majority of the conference has been video recorded for use by the Blackfoot Digital Library and for the Pitt Rivers Archives. The conference spanned two days, the thirtieth and thirty-first of March twenty eleven. The conference was held at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England. The first video is of Laura Peer's opening the conference. The second video is of Laura Peer's presentation about the Blackfoot Shirts Project.

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A paper on the fur trade by Paul Raczka

Subject: Ethnology, Fur Trade, Elder, Beaver man, History, Raczka, Paul

Transcript: This paper was written by Paul Raczka from Choteau, Montana. Paul has worked with the Aamskaapii'piikunii (Blackfeet) in Montana for many years. Paul is a Beaver man and a well respected elder. Although Paul is not originally Blackfoot he has adopted the Blackfoot way of life and thus is accepted by the people as being Blackfoot.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, by George Bird Grinnell This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Subject: Ethnology, Folklore, Heavy Collar, Ghost Woman

Transcript: The Blood camp was on Old Man's River, where Fort McLeod now stands. A party of seven men started to war toward the Cypress Hills. Heavy Collar was the leader. They went around the Cypress Mountains, but found no enemies and started back toward their camp. On their homeward way, Heavy Collar used to take the lead. He would go out far ahead on the high hills, and look over the country, acting as scout for the party. At length they came to the south branch of the Saskatchewan River, above Seven Persons' Creek. In those days there were many war parties about, and this party travelled concealed as much as possible in the coul�es and low places. As they were following up the river, they saw at a distance three old bulls lying down close to a cut bank. Heavy Collar left his party, and went out to kill one of these bulls, and when he had come close to them, he shot one and killed it right there. He cut it up, and, as he was hungry, he went down into a ravine below him, to roast a piece of meat; for he had left his party a long way behind, and night was now coming on. As he was roasting the meat, he thought,--for he was very tired,--"It is a pity I did not bring one of my young men with me. He could go up on that hill and get some hair from that bull's head, and I could wipe out my gun." While he sat there thinking this, and talking to himself, a bunch of this hair came over him through the air, and fell on the ground right in front of him. When this happened, it frightened him a little; for he thought that perhaps some of his enemies were close by, and had thrown the bunch of hair at him. After a little while, he took the hair, and cleaned his gun and loaded it, and then sat and watched for a time. He was uneasy, and at length decided that he would go on further up the river, to see what he could discover. He went on, up the stream, until he came to the mouth of the St. Mary's River. It was now very late in the night, and he was very tired, so he crept into a large bunch of rye-grass to hide and sleep for the night. The summer before this, the Blackfeet _(Sik-si-kau)_ had been camped on this bottom, and a woman had been killed in this same patch of rye-grass where Heavy Collar had lain down to rest. He did not know this, but still he seemed to be troubled that night. He could not sleep. He could always hear something, but what it was he could not make out. He tried to go to sleep, but as soon as he dozed off he kept thinking he heard something in the distance. He spent the night there, and in the morning when it became light, there he saw right beside him the skeleton of the woman who had been killed the summer before. That morning he went on, following up the stream to Belly River. All day long as he was travelling, he kept thinking about his having slept by this woman's bones. It troubled him. He could not forget it. At the same time he was very tired, because he had walked so far and had slept so little. As night came on, he crossed over to an island, and determined to camp for the night. At the upper end of the island was a large tree that had drifted down and lodged, and in a fork of this tree he built his fire, and got in a crotch of one of the forks, and sat with his back to the fire, warming himself, but all the time he was thinking about the woman he had slept beside the night before. As he sat there, all at once he heard over beyond the tree, on the other side of the fire, a sound as if something were being dragged toward him along the ground. It sounded as if a piece of a lodge were being dragged over the grass. It came closer and closer. Heavy Collar was scared. He was afraid to turn his head and look back to see what it was that was coming. He heard the noise come up to the tree in which his fire was built, and then it stopped, and all at once he heard some one whistling a tune. He turned around and looked toward the sound, and there, sitting on the other fork of the tree, right opposite to him, was the pile of bones by which he had slept, only now all together in the shape of a skeleton. This ghost had on it a lodge covering. The string, which is tied to the pole, was fastened about the ghost's neck; the wings of the lodge stood out on either side of its head, and behind it the lodge could be seen, stretched out and fading away into the darkness. The ghost sat on the old dead limb and whistled its tune, and as it whistled, it swung its legs in time to the tune. When Heavy Collar saw this, his heart almost melted away. At length he mustered up courage, and said: "Oh ghost, go away, and do not trouble me. I am very tired; I want to rest." The ghost paid no attention to him, but kept on whistling, swinging its legs in time to the tune. Four times he prayed to her, saying: "Oh ghost, take pity on me! Go away and leave me alone. I am tired; I want to rest." The more he prayed, the more the ghost whistled and seemed pleased, swinging her legs, and turning her head from side to side, sometimes looking down at him, and sometimes up at the stars, and all the time whistling. When he saw that she took no notice of what he said, Heavy Collar got angry at heart, and said, "Well, ghost, you do not listen to my prayers, and I shall have to shoot you to drive you away." With that he seized his gun, and throwing it to his shoulder, shot right at the ghost. When he shot at her, she fell over backward into the darkness, screaming out: "Oh Heavy Collar, you have shot me, you have killed me! You dog, Heavy Collar! there is no place on this earth where you can go that I will not find you; no place where you can hide that I will not come." As she fell back and said this, Heavy Collar sprang to his feet, and ran away as fast as he could. She called after him: "I have been killed once, and now you are trying to kill me again. Oh Heavy Collar!" As he ran away, he could still hear her angry words following him, until at last they died away in the distance. He ran all night long, and whenever he stopped to breathe and listen, he seemed to hear in the distance the echoes of her voice. All he could hear was, "Oh Heavy Collar!" and then he would rush away again. He ran until he was all tired out, and by this time it was daylight. He was now quite a long way below Fort McLeod. He was very sleepy, but dared not lie down, for he remembered that the ghost had said that she would follow him. He kept walking on for some time, and then sat down to rest, and at once fell asleep. Before he had left his party, Heavy Collar had said to his young men: "Now remember, if any one of us should get separated from the party, let him always travel to the Belly River Buttes. There will be our meeting-place." When their leader did not return to them, the party started across the country and went toward the Belly River Buttes. Heavy Collar had followed the river up, and had gone a long distance out of his way; and when he awoke from his sleep he too started straight for the Belly River Buttes, as he had said he would. When his party reached the Buttes, one of them went up on top of the hill to watch. After a time, as he looked down the river, he saw two persons coming, and as they came nearer, he saw that one of them was Heavy Collar, and by his side was a woman. The watcher called up the rest of the party, and said to them: "Here comes our chief. He has had luck. He is bringing a woman with him. If he brings her into camp, we will take her away from him." And they all laughed. They supposed that he had captured her. They went down to the camp, and sat about the fire, looking at the two people coming, and laughing among themselves at the idea of their chief bringing in a woman. When the two persons had come close, they could see that Heavy Collar was walking fast, and the woman would walk by his side a little way, trying to keep up, and then would fall behind, and then trot along to catch up to him again. Just before the pair reached camp there was a deep ravine that they had to cross. They went down into this side by side, and then Heavy Collar came up out of it alone, and came on into the camp. When he got there, all the young men began to laugh at him and to call out, "Heavy Collar, where is your woman?" He looked at them for a moment, and then said: "Why, I have no woman. I do not understand what you are talking about." One of them said: "Oh, he has hidden her in that ravine. He was afraid to bring her into camp." Another said, "Where did you capture her, and what tribe does she belong to?" Heavy Collar looked from one to another, and said: "I think you are all crazy. I have taken no woman. What do you mean?" The young man said: "Why, that woman that you had with you just now: where did you get her, and where did you leave her? Is she down in the coul�e? We all saw her, and it is no use to deny that she was with you. Come now, where is she?" When they said this, Heavy Collar's heart grew very heavy, for he knew that it must have been the ghost woman; and he told them the story. Some of the young men could not believe this, and they ran down to the ravine, where they had last seen the woman. There they saw in the soft dirt the tracks made by Heavy Collar, when he went down into the ravine, but there were no other tracks near his, where they had seen the woman walking. When they found that it was a ghost that had come along with Heavy Collar, they resolved to go back to their main camp. The party had been out so long that their moccasins were all worn out, and some of them were footsore, so that they could not travel fast, but at last they came to the cut banks, and there found their camp--seven lodges. That night, after they had reached camp, they were inviting each other to feasts. It was getting pretty late in the night, and the moon was shining brightly, when one of the Bloods called out for Heavy Collar to come and eat with him. Heavy Collar shouted, "Yes, I will be there pretty soon." He got up and went out of the lodge, and went a little way from it, and sat down. While he was sitting there, a big bear walked out of the brush close to him. Heavy Collar felt around him for a stone to throw at the bear, so as to scare it away, for he thought it had not seen him. As he was feeling about, his hand came upon a piece of bone, and he threw this over at the bear, and hit it. Then the bear spoke, and said: "Well, well, well, Heavy Collar; you have killed me once, and now here you are hitting me. Where is there a place in this world where you can hide from me? I will find you, I don't care where you may go." When Heavy Collar heard this, he knew it was the ghost woman, and he jumped up and ran toward his lodge, calling out, "Run, run! a ghost bear is upon us!" All the people in the camp ran to his lodge, so that it was crowded full of people. There was a big fire in the lodge, and the wind was blowing hard from the west. Men, women, and children were huddled together in the lodge, and were very much afraid of the ghost. They could hear her walking toward the lodge, grumbling, and saying: "I will kill all these dogs. Not one of them shall get away." The sounds kept coming closer and closer, until they were right at the lodge door. Then she said, "I will smoke you to death." And as she said this, she moved the poles, so that the wings of the lodge turned toward the west, and the wind could blow in freely through the smoke hole. All this time she was threatening terrible things against them. The lodge began to get full of smoke, and the children were crying, and all were in great distress--almost suffocating. So they said, "Let us lift one man up here inside, and let him try to fix the ears, so that the lodge will get clear of smoke." They raised a man up, and he was standing on the shoulders of the others, and, blinded and half strangled by the smoke, was trying to turn the wings. While he was doing this, the ghost suddenly hit the lodge a blow, and said, "Un!" and this scared the people who were holding the man, and they jumped and let him go, and he fell down. Then the people were in despair, and said, "It is no use; she is resolved to smoke us to death." All the time the smoke was getting thicker in the lodge. Heavy Collar said: "Is it possible that she can destroy us? Is there no one here who has some strong dream power that can overcome this ghost?" His mother said: "I will try to do something. I am older than any of you, and I will see what I can do." So she got down her medicine bundle and painted herself, and got out a pipe and filled it and lighted it, and stuck the stem out through the lodge door, and sat there and began to pray to the ghost woman. She said: "Oh ghost, take pity on us, and go away. We have never wronged you, but you are troubling us and frightening our children. Accept what I offer you, and leave us alone." A voice came from behind the lodge and said: "No, no, no; you dogs, I will not listen to you. Every one of you must die." The old woman repeated her prayer: "Ghost, take pity on us. Accept this smoke and go away." Then the ghost said: "How can you expect me to smoke, when I am way back here? Bring that pipe out here. I have no long bill to reach round the lodge." So the old woman went out of the lodge door, and reached out the stem of the pipe as far as she could reach around toward the back of the lodge. The ghost said: "No, I do not wish to go around there to where you have that pipe. If you want me to smoke it, you must bring it here." The old woman went around the lodge toward her, and the ghost woman began to back away, and said, "No, I do not smoke that kind of a pipe." And when the ghost started away, the old woman followed her, and she could not help herself. She called out, "Oh my children, the ghost is carrying me off!" Heavy Collar rushed out, and called to the others, "Come, and help me take my mother from the ghost." He grasped his mother about the waist and held her, and another man took him by the waist, and another him, until they were all strung out, one behind the other, and all following the old woman, who was following the ghost woman, who was walking away. All at once the old woman let go of the pipe, and fell over dead. The ghost disappeared, and they were troubled no more by the ghost woman.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, by George Bird Grinnell This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Subject: Ethnology, Folklore

Transcript: I There was once a man who had but one wife. He was not a chief, but a very brave warrior. He was rich, too, so he could have had plenty of wives if he wished; but he loved his wife very much, and did not want any more. He was very good to this woman. She always wore the best clothes that could be found. If any other woman had a fine buckskin dress, or something very pretty, the man would buy it for her. It was summer. The berries were ripe, and the woman kept saying to her husband, "Let us go and pick some berries for winter." "No," replied the man. "It is dangerous now. The enemy is travelling all around." But still the woman kept teasing him to go. So one day he told her to get ready. Some other women went, too. They all went on horseback, for the berries were a long way from camp. When they got to the place, the man told the women to keep near their horses all the time. He would go up on a butte near by and watch. "Be careful," he said. "Keep by your horses, and if you see me signal, throw away your berries, get on your horses and ride towards camp as fast as you can." They had not picked many berries before the man saw a war party coming. He signalled the women, and got on his horse and rode towards them. It happened that this man and his wife both had good horses, but the others, all old women, rode slow old travois horses, and the enemy soon overtook and killed them. Many kept on after the two on good horses, and after a while the woman's horse began to get tired; so she asked her husband to let her ride on his horse with him. The woman got up behind him, and they went on again. The horse was a very powerful one, and for a while went very fast; but two persons make a heavy load, and soon the enemy began to gain on them. The man was now in a bad plight; the enemy were overtaking him, and the woman holding him bound his arms so that he could not use his bow. "Get off," he said to her. "The enemy will not kill you. You are too young and pretty. Some one of them will take you, and I will get a big party of our people and rescue you." "No, no," cried the woman; "let us die here together." "Why die?" cried the man. "We are yet young, and may live a long time together. If you don't get off, they will soon catch us and kill me, and then they will take you anyhow. Get off, and in only a short time I will get you back." "No, no," again cried the woman; "I will die here with you." "Crazy person!" cried the man, and with a quick jerk he threw the woman off. As he said, the enemy did not kill her. The first one who came up counted coup and took her. The man, now that his horse was lightened, easily ran away from the war party, and got safe to camp. II Then there was great mourning. The relatives of the old women who had been killed, cut their hair and cried. The man, too, cut off his hair and mourned. He knew that his wife was not killed, but he felt very badly because he was separated from her. He painted himself black, and walked all through the camp, crying. His wife had many relations, and some of them went to the man and said: "We pity you very much. We mourn, too, for our sister. But come. Take courage. We will go with you, and try to get her back." "It is good," replied the man. "I feel as if I should die, stopping uselessly here. Let us start soon." That evening they got ready, and at daylight started out on foot. There were seven of them in all. The husband, five middle-aged men, the woman's relations, and a young man, her own young brother. He was a very pretty boy. His hair was longer than any other person's in camp. They soon found the trail of the war party, and followed it for some days. At last they came to the Big River,[1] and there, on the other side, they saw many lodges. They crept down a coul�e into the valley, and hid in a small piece of timber just opposite the camp. Toward evening the man said: "Kyi, my brothers. To-night I will swim across and look all through the camp for my wife. If I do not find her, I will cache and look again to-morrow evening. But if I do not return before daylight of the second night, then you will know I am killed. Then you will do as you think best. Maybe you will want to take revenge. Maybe you will go right back home. That will be as your hearts feel." [Footnote 1: Missouri River.] As soon as it was dark, he swam across the river and went all about through the camp, peeping in through the doorways of the lodges, but he did not see his wife. Still, he knew she must be there. He had followed the trail of the party to this place. They had not killed her on the way. He kept looking in at the lodges until it was late, and the people let the fires go out and went to bed. Then the man went down to where the women got their water from the river. Everywhere along the stream was a cut bank, but in one place a path of steps had been made down to the water's edge. Near this path, he dug a hole in the bank and crawled into it, closing up the entrance, except one small hole, through which he could look, and watch the people who came to the river. As soon as it was daylight, the women began to come for water. _Tum, tum, tum, tum_, he could hear their footsteps as they came down the path, and he looked eagerly at every one. All day long the people came and went,--the young and old; and the children played about near him. He saw many strange people that day. It was now almost sunset, and he began to think that he would not see his wife there. _Tum, tum, tum, tum_, another woman came down the steps, and stopped at the water's edge. Her dress was strange, but he thought he knew the form. She turned her head and looked down the river, and he saw her face. It was his wife. He pushed away the dirt, crawled out, went to her and kissed her. "Kyi," he said, "hurry, and let us swim across the river. Five of your relations and your own young brother are waiting for us in that piece of timber." "Wait," replied his wife. "These people have given me a great many pretty things. Let me go back. When it is night I will gather them up, steal a horse, and cross over to you." "No, no," cried the man. "Let the pretty things go; come, let us cross at once." "Pity me," said the woman. "Let me go and get my things. I will surely come to-night. I speak the truth." "How do you speak the truth?"[1] asked her husband. [Footnote 1: Blackfoot--_Tsa-ki-an-ist-o-man-i?_ i.e., How you like truth?] "That my relations there across the river may be safe and live long, I speak the truth." "Go then," said the man, "and get your things. I will cross the river now." He went up on the bank and walked down the river, keeping his face hidden. No one noticed him, or if they did, they thought he belonged to the camp. As soon as he had passed the first bend, he swam across the river, and soon joined his relations. "I have seen my wife," he said to them. "She will come over as soon as it is dark. I let her go back to get some things that were given her." "You are crazy," said one of the men, "very crazy. She already loves this new man she has, or she would not have wanted to go back." "Stop that," said the husband; "do not talk bad of her. She will surely come." III The woman went back to her lodge with the water, and, sitting down near the fireplace, she began to act very strangely. She took up pieces of charred wood, dirt, and ashes in her hands and ate them, and made queer noises. "What is it?" asked the man who had taken her for a wife. "What is the matter with you?" He spoke in signs. The woman also spoke in signs. She answered him: "The Sun told me that there are seven persons across the river in that piece of timber. Five of them are middle-aged, another is a young boy with very long hair, another is a man who mourns. His hair is cut short." The Snake did not know what to do, so he called in some chiefs and old men to advise with him. They thought that the woman might be very strong medicine. At all events, it would be a good thing to go and look. So the news was shouted out, and in a short time all the warriors had mounted their best horses, and started across the river. It was then almost dark, so they surrounded the piece of timber, and waited for morning to begin the search. "Kyi," said one of the woman's relations to her husband. "Did I not speak the truth? You see now what that woman has done for us." At daylight the poor husband strung his bow, took a handful of arrows from his quiver, and said: "This is my fault. I have brought you to this. It is right that I should die first," and he started to go out of the timber. "Wait," said the eldest relative. "It shall not be so. I am the first to go. I cannot stay back to see my brother die. You shall go out last." So he jumped out of the brush, and began shooting his arrows, but was soon killed. "My brother is too far on the road alone,"[1] cried another relation, and he jumped out and fought, too. What use, one against so many? The Snakes soon had his scalp. [Footnote 1: Meaning that his brother's spirit, or shadow, was travelling alone the road to the Sand Hills, and that he must overtake him.] So they went out, one after another, and at last the husband was alone. He rushed out very brave, and shot his arrows as fast as he could. "Hold!" cried the Snake man to his people. "Do not kill him; catch him. This is the one my wife said to bring back alive. See! his hair is cut short." So, when the man had shot away all his arrows, they seized and tied him, and, taking the scalps of the others, returned to camp. They took the prisoner into the lodge where his wife was. His hands were tied behind his back, and they tied his feet, too. He could not move. As soon as the man saw his wife, he cried. He was not afraid. He did not care now how soon he died. He cried because he was thinking of all the trouble and death this woman had caused. "What have I done to you," he asked his wife, "that you should treat me this way? Did I not always use you well? I never struck you. I never made you work hard." "What does he say?" asked the Snake man. "He says," replied the woman, "that when you are done smoking, you must knock the ashes and fire out of your pipe on his breast." The Snake was not a bad-hearted man, but he thought now that this woman had strong medicine, that she had Sun power; so he thought that everything must be done as she said. When the man had finished smoking, he emptied the pipe on the Piegan's breast, and the fire burned him badly. Then the poor man cried again, not from the pain, but to think what a bad heart this woman had. Again he spoke to her. "You cannot be a person," he said. "I think you are some fearful animal, changed to look like a woman." "What is he saying now?" asked the Snake. "He wants some boiling water poured on his head," replied the woman. "It shall be as he says," said the Snake; and he had his women heat some water. When it was ready, one of them poured a little of it here and there on the captive's head and shoulders. Wherever the hot water touched, the hair came out and the skin peeled off. The pain was so bad that the Piegan nearly fainted. When he revived, he said to his wife: "Pity me. I have suffered enough. Let them kill me now. Let me hurry to join those who are already travelling to the Sand Hills." The woman turned to the Snake chief, and said, "The man says that he wants you to give him to the Sun." "It is good," said the Snake. "To-morrow we move camp. Before we leave here, we will give him to the Sun." There was an old woman in this camp who lived all alone, in a little lodge of her own. She had some friends and relations, but she said she liked to live by herself. She had heard that a Piegan had been captured, and went to the lodge where he was. When she saw them pour the boiling water on him, she cried and felt badly. This old woman had a very good heart. She went home and lay down by her dog, and kept crying, she felt so sorry for this poor man. Pretty soon she heard people shouting out the orders of the chief. They said: "Listen! listen! To-morrow we move camp. Get ready now and pack up everything. Before we go, the Piegan man will be given to the Sun." Then the old woman knew what to do. She tied a piece of buckskin around her dog's mouth, so he could not bark, and then she took him way out in the timber and tied him where he could not be seen. She also filled a small sack with pemmican, dried meat, and berries, and put it near the dog. In the morning the people rose early. They smoothed a cotton-wood tree, by taking off the bark, and painted it black. Then they stood the Piegan up against it, and fastened him there with a great many ropes. When they had tied him so he could not move, they painted his face black, and the chief Snake made a prayer, and gave him to the Sun. Every one was now busy getting ready to move camp. This old woman had lost her dog, and kept calling out for him and looking all around. "_Tsis'-i!_" she cried. "_Tsis'-i!_ Come here. Knock the dog on the head![1] Wait till I find him, and I'll break his neck." [Footnote 1: A Blackfoot curse.] The people were now all packed up, and some had already started on the trail. "Don't wait for me," the old woman said. "Go on, I'll look again for my dog, and catch up with you." When all were gone, the old woman went and untied her dog, and then, going up to where the Piegan was tied, she cut the ropes, and he was free. But already the man was very weak, and he fell down on the ground. She rubbed his limbs, and pretty soon he felt better. The old woman was so sorry for him that she cried again, and kissed him. Then the man cried, too. He was so glad that some one pitied him. By and by he ate some of the food the old woman had given him, and felt strong again. He said to her in signs: "I am not done. I shall go back home now, but I will come again. I will bring all the Piegans with me, and we will have revenge." "You say well," signed the old woman. "Help me," again said the man. "If, on the road you are travelling, this camp should separate, mark the trail my wife takes with a stick. You, too, follow the party she goes with, and always put your lodge at the far end of the village. When I return with my people, I will enter your lodge, and tell you what to do." "I take your speech," replied the old woman. "As you say, so it shall be." Then she kissed him again, and started on after her people. The man went to the river, swam across, and started for the North. IV Why are the people crying? Why is all this mourning? Ah! the poor man has returned home, and told how those who went with him were killed. He has told them the whole story. They are getting ready for war. Every one able to fight is going with this man back to the Snakes. Only a few will be left to guard the camp. The mother of that bad woman is going, too. She has sharpened her axe, and told what she will do when she sees her daughter. All are ready. The best horses have been caught up and saddled, and the war party has started,--hundreds and hundreds of warriors. They are strung out over the prairie as far as you can see. When they got to the Missouri River, the poor man showed them where the lodge in which they had tortured him had stood. He took them to see the tree, where he had been bound. The black paint was still on it. From here, they went slowly. Some young men were sent far ahead to scout. The second day, they came back to the main body, and said they had found a camping place just deserted, and that there the trail forked. The poor man then went ahead, and at the forks he found a willow twig stuck in the ground, pointing to the left hand trail. When the others came up, he said to them: "Take care of my horse now, and travel slowly. I will go ahead on foot and find the camp. It must be close. I will go and see that old woman, and find out how things are." Some men did not want him to do this; they said that the old woman might tell about him, and then they could not surprise the camp. "No," replied the man. "It will not be so. That old woman is almost the same as my mother. I know she will help us." He went ahead carefully, and near sunset saw the camp. When it was dark, he crept near it and entered the old woman's lodge. She had placed it behind, and a little way off from, the others. When he went in the old woman was asleep, but the fire was still burning a little. He touched her, and she jumped up and started to scream; but he put his hand on her mouth, and when she saw who it was she laughed and kissed him. "The Piegans have come," he told her. "We are going to have revenge on this camp to-night. Is my wife here?" "Still here," replied the old woman. "She is chief now. They think her medicine very strong." "Tell your friends and relations," said the Piegan, "that you have had a dream, and that they must move into the brush yonder. Have them stay there with you, and they will not be hurt. I am going now to get my people." It was very late in the night. Most of the Snakes were in bed and asleep. All at once the camp was surrounded with warriors, shouting the war cry and shooting, stabbing, and knocking people on the head as fast as they came out of the lodges. That Piegan woman cried out: "Don't hurt me. I am a Piegan. Are any of my people here?" "Many of your relations are here," some one said. "They will protect you." Some young men seized and tied her, as her husband had said to do. They had hard work to keep her mother from killing her. "Hai yah!" the old woman cried. "There is my Snake woman daughter. Let me split her head open." The fight was soon over. The Piegans killed the people almost as fast as they came out of their lodges. Some few escaped in the darkness. When the fight was over, the young warriors gathered up a great pile of lodge poles and brush, and set fire to it. Then the poor man tore the dress off his bad wife, tied the scalp of her dead Snake man around her neck, and told her to dance the scalp dance in the fire. She cried and hung back, calling out for pity. The people only laughed and pushed her into the fire. She would run through it, and then those on the other side would push her back. So they kept her running through the fire, until she fell down and died. The old Snake woman had come out of the brush with her relations. Because she had been so good, the Piegans gave her, and those with her, one-half of all the horses and valuable things they had taken. "_Kyi!_" said the Piegan chief. "That is all for you, because you helped this poor man. To-morrow morning we start back North. If your heart is that way, go too and live with us." So these Snakes joined the Piegans and lived with them until they died, and their children married with the Piegans, and at last they were no longer Snake people.[1] [Footnote 1: When the Hudson's Bay Company first established a fort at Edmonton, a daughter of one of these Snakes married a white employee of the company, named, in Blackfoot, _O-wai_, Egg.]

{"lat":"49.317961","long":"-113.170166"}

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, by George Bird Grinnell This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Subject: Ethnology, Folklore, Mik-a'pi, Red Old Man

Transcript: It was in the valley of "It fell on them"[1] Creek, near the mountains, that the Pik[)u]n'i were camped when Mik-a'pi went to war. It was far back, in the days of stone knives, long before the white people had come. This was the way it happened. [Footnote 1: Armells Creek in Northern Montana is called _Et-tsis-ki-ots-op_, "It fell on them." A longtime ago a number of Blackfeet women were digging in a bank near this creek for the red clay which they use for paint, when the bank gave way and fell on them, burying and killing them.] Early in the morning a band of buffalo were seen in the foot-hills of the mountains, and some hunters went out to get meat. Carefully they crawled along up the coul�es and drew near to the herd; and, when they had come close to them, they began to shoot, and their arrows pierced many fat cows. But even while they were thus shooting, they were surprised by a war party of Snakes, and they began to run back toward the camp. There was one hunter, named Fox-eye, who was very brave. He called to the others to stop, saying: "They are many and we are few, but the Snakes are not brave. Let us stop and fight them." But the other hunters would not listen. "We have no shields," they said, "nor our war medicine. There are many of the enemy. Why should we foolishly die?" They hurried on to camp, but Fox-eye would not turn back. He drew his arrows from the quiver, and prepared to fight. But, even as he placed an arrow, a Snake had crawled up by his side, unseen. In the still air, the Piegan heard the sharp twang of a bow string, but, before he could turn his head, the long, fine-pointed arrow pierced him through and through. The bow and arrows dropped from his hands, he swayed, and then fell forward on the grass, dead. But now the warriors came pouring from the camp to aid him. Too late! The Snakes quickly scalped their fallen enemy, scattered up the mountain, and were lost to sight. Now Fox-eye had two wives, and their father and mother and all their near relations were dead. All Fox-eye's relatives, too, had long since gone to the Sand Hills[1]. So these poor widows had no one to avenge them, and they mourned deeply for the husband so suddenly taken from them. Through the long days they sat on a near hill and mourned, and their mourning was very sad. [Footnote 1: Sand Hills: the shadow land; place of ghosts; the Blackfoot future world.] There was a young warrior named Mik-a'pi. Every morning he was awakened by the crying of these poor widows, and through the day his heart was touched by their wailing. Even when he went to rest, their mournful cries reached him through the darkness, and he could not sleep. So he sent his mother to them. "Tell them," he said, "that I wish to speak to them." When they had entered, they sat close by the door-way, and covered their heads. "_Kyi!"_ said Mik-a'pi. "For days and nights I have heard your mourning, and I too have silently mourned. My heart has been very sad. Your husband was my near friend, and now he is dead and no relations are left to avenge him. So now, I say, I will take the load from your hearts. I will avenge him. I will go to war and take many scalps, and when I return, they shall be yours. You shall paint your faces black, and we will all rejoice that Fox-eye is avenged." When the people heard that Mik-a'pi was going to war, many warriors wished to join him, but he refused them; and when he had taken a medicine sweat, and got a medicine-pipe man to make medicine for him during his absence, he started from the camp one evening, just after sunset. It is only the foolish warrior who travels in the day; for other war parties may be out, or some camp-watcher sitting on a hill may see him from far off, and lay plans to destroy him. Mik-a'pi was not one of these. He was brave but cautious, and he had strong medicine. Some say that he was related to the ghosts, and that they helped him. Having now started to war against the Snakes, he travelled in hidden places, and at sunrise would climb a hill and look carefully in all directions, and during the long day would lie there, and watch, and take short sleeps. Now, when Mik-a'pi had come to the Great Falls (of the Missouri), a heavy rain set in; and, seeing a hole in the rocks, he crawled in and lay down in the farther end to sleep. The rain did not cease, and when night came he could not travel because of the darkness and storm; so he lay down to sleep again. But soon he heard something coming into the cave toward him, and then he felt a hand laid on his breast, and he put out his hand and touched a person. Then Mik-a'pi put the palm of his hand on the person's breast and jerked it to and fro, and then he touched the person with the point of his finger, which, in the sign language, means, "Who are you?" The strange person then took Mik-a'pi's hand, and made him feel of his own right hand. The thumb and all the fingers were closed except the forefinger, which was extended; and when Mik-a'pi touched it the person moved his hand forward with a zigzag motion, which means "Snake." Then Mik-a'pi was glad. Here had come to him one of the tribe he was seeking. But he thought it best to wait for daylight before attacking him. So, when the Snake in signs asked him who he was, he replied, by making the sign for paddling a canoe, that he was a Pend d'Oreille, or River person. For he knew that the Snakes and the Pend d'Oreilles were at peace. Then they both lay down to sleep, but Mik-a'pi did not sleep. Through the long night he watched for the first dim light, so that he might kill his enemy. The Snake slept soundly; and just at daybreak Mik-a'pi quietly strung his bow, fitted an arrow, and, taking aim, sent the thin shaft through his enemy's heart. The Snake quivered, half rose up, and with a groan fell back dead. Then Mik-a'pi took his scalp and his bow and arrows, and also his bundle of moccasins; and as daylight had come, he went out of the cave and looked all about. No one was in sight. Probably the Snake, like himself, had gone alone to war. But, ever cautious, he travelled only a short distance, and waited for night before going on. The rain had ceased and the day was warm. He took a piece of dried meat and back fat from his pouch and ate them, and, after drinking from the river, he climbed up on a high rock wall and slept. Now in his dream he fought with a strange people, and was wounded. He felt blood trickling from his wounds, and when he awoke, he knew that he had been warned to turn back. The signs also were bad. He saw an eagle rising with a snake, which dropped from its claws and escaped. The setting sun, too, was painted[1],--a sure warning to people that danger is near. But, in spite of all these things, Mik-a'pi determined to go on. He thought of the poor widows mourning and waiting for revenge. He thought of the glad welcome of the people, if he should return with many scalps; and he thought also of two young sisters, whom he wanted to marry. Surely, if he could return and bring the proofs of brave deeds, their parents would be glad to give them to him. [Footnote 1: Sun dogs.] II It was nearly night. The sun had already disappeared behind the sharp-pointed gray peaks. In the fading light the far-stretching prairie was turning dark. In a valley, sparsely timbered with quaking aspens and cotton-woods, stood a large camp. For a long distance up and down the river rose the smoke of many lodges. Seated on a little hill overlooking the valley, was a single person. With his robe drawn tightly around him, he sat there motionless, looking down on the prairie and valley below. Slowly and silently something was crawling through the grass toward him. But he heard nothing. Still he gazed eastward, seeking to discover any enemy who might be approaching. Still the dark object crawled slowly onward. Now it was so close to him that it could almost touch him. The person thought he heard a sound, and started to turn round. Too late! Too late! A strong arm grasped him about the neck and covered his mouth. A long jagged knife was thrust into his breast again and again, and he died without a cry. Strange that in all that great camp no one should have seen him killed! Still extended on the ground, the dark figure removed the scalp. Slowly he crawled back down the hill, and was lost in the gathering darkness. It was Mik-a'pi, and he had another Snake scalp tied to his belt. His heart was glad, yet he was not satisfied. Some nights had passed since the bad signs had warned him, yet he had succeeded. "One more," he said. "One more scalp I must have, and then I will go back." So he went far up on the mountain, and hid in some thick pines and slept. When daylight came, he could see smoke rise as the women started their fires. He also saw many people rush up on the hill, where the dead watcher lay. He was too far off to hear their angry shouts and mournful cries, but he sung to himself a song of war and was happy. Once more the sun went to his lodge behind the mountains, and as darkness came Mik-a'pi slowly descended the mountain and approached the camp. This was the time of danger. Behind each bush, or hidden in a bunch of the tall rye grass, some person might be watching to warn the camp of an approaching enemy. Slowly and like a snake, he crawled around the outskirts of the camp, listening and looking. He heard a cough and saw a movement of a bush. There was a Snake. Could he kill him and yet escape? He was close to him now. So he sat and waited, considering how to act. For a long time he sat there waiting. The moon rose and travelled high in the sky. The Seven Persons[1] slowly swung around, and pointed downward. It was the middle of the night. Then the person in the bush stood up and stretched out his arms and yawned, for he was tired of watching, and thought that no danger was near; but as he stood thus, an arrow pierced his breast. He gave a loud yell and tried to run, but another arrow struck him and he fell. [Footnote 1: The constellation of the Great Bear.] At the sound the warriors rushed forth from the lodges and the outskirts of the camp; but as they came, Mik-a'pi tore the scalp from his fallen enemy, and started to run toward the river. Close behind him followed the Snakes. Arrows whizzed about him. One pierced his arm. He plucked it out. Another struck his leg, and he fell. Then a great shout arose from the Snakes. Their enemy was down. Now they would be revenged for two lately taken lives. But where Mik-a'pi fell was the verge of a high rock wall; below rushed the deep river, and even as they shouted, he rolled from the wall, and disappeared in the dark water far below. In vain they searched the shores and bars. They did not find him. Mik-a'pi had sunk deep in the water. The current was swift, and when at last he rose to the surface, he was far below his pursuers. The arrow in his leg pained him, and with difficulty he crawled out on a sand-bar. Luckily the arrow was lance-shaped instead of barbed, so he managed to draw it out. Near by on the bar was a dry pine log, lodged there by the high spring water. This he managed to roll into the stream; and, partly resting on it, he again drifted down with the current. All night he floated down the river, and when morning came he was far from the camp of the Snakes. Benumbed with cold and stiff from the arrow wounds, he was glad to crawl out on the bank, and lie down in the warm sunshine. Soon he slept. III The sun was already in the middle when he awoke. His wounds were swollen and painful; yet he hobbled on for a time, until the pain became so great he could go no further, and he sat down, tired and discouraged. "True the signs," he said. "How crazy I was to go against them! Useless now my bravery, for here I must stay and die. The widows will still mourn; and in their old age who will take care of my father and my mother? Pity me now, oh Sun! Help me, oh great Above Medicine Person! Look down on your wounded and suffering child. Help me to survive!" What was that crackling in the brush near by? Was it the Snakes on his trail? Mik-a'pi strung his bow and drew out his arrows. No; it was not a Snake. It was a bear. There he stood, a big grizzly bear, looking down at the wounded man. "What does my brother here?" he said. "Why does he pray to survive?" "Look at my leg," said Mik-a'pi, "swollen and sore. Look at my wounded arm. I can hardly draw the bow. Far the home of my people, and my strength is gone. Surely here I must die, for I cannot travel and I have no food." "Now courage, my brother," said the bear. "Now not faint heart, my brother, for I will help you, and you shall survive." When he had said this, he lifted Mik-a'pi and carried him to a place of thick mud; and here he took great handfuls[1] of the mud and plastered the wounds, and he sung a medicine song while putting on the mud. Then he carried Mik-a'pi to a place where were many sarvis berries, and broke off great branches of the fruit, and gave them to him, saying, "Eat, my brother, eat!" and he broke off more branches, full of large ripe berries, for him; but already Mik-a'pi was satisfied and could eat no more. Then said the bear, "Lie down, now, on my back, and hold tight by my hair, and we will travel on." And when Mik-a'pi had got on and was ready, he started off on a long swinging trot. [Footnote 1: The bear's paws are called _O-kits-iks,_ the term also for a person's hands. The animal itself is regarded as almost human.] All through the night he travelled on without stopping. When morning came, they rested awhile, and ate more berries; and again the bear plastered his wounds with mud. In this way they travelled on, until, on the fourth day, they came close to the lodges of the Pik[)u]n'i; and the people saw them coming and wondered. "Get off, my brother, get off," said the bear. "There are your people. I must leave you." And without another word, he turned and went off up the mountain. All the people came out to meet the warrior, and they carried him to the lodge of his father. He untied the three scalps from his belt and gave them to the widows, saying: "You are revenged. I wipe away your tears." And every one rejoiced. All his female relations went through the camp, shouting his name and singing, and every one prepared for the scalp dance. First came the widows. Their faces were painted black, and they carried the scalps tied on poles. Then came the medicine men, with their medicine pipes unwrapped; then the bands of the _I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi_, all dressed in war costume; then came the old men; and last the women and children. They all sang the war song and danced. They went all through the village in single file, stopping here and there to dance, and Mik-a'pi sat outside the lodge, and saw all the people dance by him. He forgot his pain and was proud, and although he could not dance, he sang with them. Soon they made the Medicine Lodge, and, first of all the warriors, Mik-a'pi was chosen to cut the raw-hide which binds the poles, and as he cut the strands, he counted the coups he had made. He told of the enemies he had killed, and all the people shouted his name and praised him. The father of those two young sisters gave them to him. He was glad to have such a son-in-law. Long lived Mik-a'pi. Of all the great chiefs who have lived and died, he was the greatest. He did many other great and daring things. It must be true, as the old men have said, that he was helped by the ghosts, for no one can do such things without help from those fearful and unknown persons.

{"lat":"48.451066","long":"-112.869140"}

The Project Gutenberg eBook, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, by George Bird Grinnell This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Subject: Ethnology, Folklore

Transcript: Once a camp of people stopped on the bank of a river. There were but a few lodges of them. One day the little children in the camp crossed the river to play on the other side. For some time they stayed near the bank, and then they went up over a little hill, and found a bed of sand and gravel; and there they played for a long time. There were eleven of these children. Two of them were daughters of the chief of the camp, and the smaller of these wanted the best of everything. If any child found a pretty stone, she would try to take it for herself. The other children did not like this, and they began to tease the little girl, and to take her things away from her. Then she got angry and began to cry, and the more she cried, the more the children teased her; so at last she and her sister left the others, and went back to the camp. When they got there, they told their father what the other children had done to them, and this made the chief very angry. He thought for a little while, and then got up and went out of the lodge, and called aloud, so that everybody might hear, saying: "Listen! listen! Your children have teased my child and made her cry. Now we will move away, and leave them behind. If they come back before we get started, they shall be killed. If they follow us and overtake the camp, they shall be killed. If the father and mother of any one of them take them into their lodge, I will kill that father and mother. Hurry now, hurry and pack up, so that we can go. Everybody tear down the lodges, as quickly as you can." When the people heard this, they felt very sorry, but they had to do as the chief said; so they tore down the lodges, and quickly packed the dog travois, and started off. They packed in such a hurry that they left many little things lying in camp,--knives and awls, bone needles and moccasins. The little children played about in the sand for a long time, but at last they began to get hungry; and one little girl said to the others, "I will go back to the camp, and get some dried meat and bring it here, so that we may eat." And she started to go to the camp. When she came to the top of the hill and looked across the river, she saw that there were no lodges there, and did not know what to think of it. She called down to the children, and said, "The camp has gone"; but they did not believe her, and went on playing. She kept on calling, and at last some of them came to her, and then all, and saw that it was as she had said. They went down to the river, and crossed it, and went to where the lodges had stood. When they got there, they saw on the ground the things that had been left out in packing; and as each child saw and knew something that had belonged to its own parents, it cried and sang a little song, saying: "Mother, here is your bone needle; why did you leave your children?" "Father, here is your arrow; why did you leave your children?" It was very mournful, and they all cried. There was among them a little girl who had on her back her baby brother, whom she loved dearly. He was very young, a nursing child, and already he was hungry and beginning to fret. This little girl said to the others: "We do not know why they have gone, but we know they have gone. We must follow the trail of the camp, and try to catch up with them." So the children started to follow the camp. They travelled on all day; and just at night they saw, near the trail, a little lodge. They had heard the people talk of a bad old woman who killed and ate persons, and some of the children thought that this old woman might live here; and they were afraid to go to the lodge. Others said: "Perhaps some person lives here who has a good heart. We are very tired and very hungry and have nothing to eat and no place to keep warm. Let us go to this lodge." They went to it; and when they went in, they saw sitting by the fire an old woman. She spoke kindly to them, and asked them where they were travelling; and they told her that the camp had moved on and left them, and that they were trying to find their people, that they had nothing to eat, and were tired and hungry. The old woman fed them, and told them to sleep here to-night, and to-morrow they could go on and find their people. "The camp," she said, "passed here to-day when the sun was low. They have not gone far. To-morrow you will overtake them." She spread some robes on the ground and said: "Now lie here and sleep. Lie side by side with your heads toward the fire, and when morning comes, you can go on your journey." The children lay down and soon slept. In the middle of the night, the old woman got up, and built a big fire, and put on it a big stone kettle, full of water. Then she took a big knife, and, commencing at one end of the row, began to cut off the heads of the children, and to throw them into the pot. The little girl with the baby brother lay at the other end of the row, and while the old woman was doing this, she awoke and saw what was taking place. When the old woman came near to her, she jumped up and began to beg that she would not kill her. "I am strong," she said. "I will work hard for you. I can bring your wood and water, and tan your skins. Do not kill my little brother and me. Take pity on us and save us alive. Everybody has left us, but do you have pity. You shall see how quickly I will work, how you will always have plenty of wood. I can work quickly and well." The old woman thought for a little while, then she said: "Well, I will let you live for a time, anyhow. You shall sleep safely to-night." The next day, early, the little girl took her brother on her back, and went out and gathered a big pile of wood, and brought it to the lodge before the old woman was awake. When she got up, she called to the girl, "Go to the river and get a bucket of water." The girl put her brother on her back, and took the bucket to go. The old woman said to her: "Why do you carry that child everywhere? Leave him here." The girl said: "Not so. He is always with me, and if I leave him he will cry and make a great noise, and you will not like that." The old woman grumbled, but the girl went on down to the river. When she got there, just as she was going to fill her bucket, she saw standing by her a great bull. It was a mountain buffalo, one of those who live in the timber; and the long hair of its head was all full of pine needles and sticks and branches, and matted together. (It was a _Su'ye-st[)u]'mik_, a water bull.) When the girl saw him, she prayed him to take her across the river, and so to save her and her little brother from the bad old woman. The bull said, "I will take you across, but first you must take some of the sticks out of my head." The girl begged him to start at once; but the bull said, "No, first take the sticks out of my head." The girl began to do it, but before she had done much, she heard the old woman calling to her to bring the water. The girl called back, "I am trying to get the water clear," and went on fixing the buffalo's head. The old woman called again, saying, "Hurry, hurry with that water." The girl answered, "Wait, I am washing my little brother." Pretty soon the old woman called out, "If you don't bring that water, I will kill you and your brother." By this time the girl had most of the sticks out of the bull's head, and he told her to get on his back, and went into the water and swam with her across the river. As he reached the other bank, the girl could see the old woman coming from her lodge down to the river with a big stick in her hand. When the bull reached the bank, the girl jumped off his back and started off on the trail of the camp. The bull swam back again to the other side of the river, and there stood the old woman. This bull was a sort of servant of the old woman. She said to him: "Why did you take those children across the river? Take me on your back now and carry me across quickly, so that I can catch them." The bull said, "First take these sticks out of my head." "No," said the old woman; "first take me across, then I will take the sticks out." The bull repeated, "First take the sticks out of my head, then I will take you across." This made the old woman very mad, and she hit him with the stick she had in her hand; but when she saw that he would not go, she began to pull the sticks out of his head very roughly, tearing out great handfuls of hair, and every moment ordering him to go, and threatening what she would do to him when she got back. At last the bull took her on his back, and began to swim across with her, but he did not swim fast enough to please her, so she began to pound him with her club to make him go faster; and when the bull got to the middle of the river, he rolled over on his side, and the old woman slipped off, and was carried down the river and drowned. The girl followed the trail of the camp for several days, feeding on berries and roots that she dug; and at last one night after dark she overtook the camp. She went into the lodge of an old woman, who was camped off at one side, and the old woman pitied her and gave her some food, and told her where her father's lodge was. The girl went to it, but when she went in, her parents would not receive her. She had tried to overtake them for the sake of her little brother, who was growing thin and weak because he had not nursed; and now her mother was afraid to have her stay with them. She even went and told the chief that her children had come back. Now when the chief heard that these two children had come back, he was angry; and he ordered that the next day they should be tied to a post in the camp, and that the people should move on and leave them here. "Then," he said, "they cannot follow us." The old woman who had pitied the children, when she heard what the chief had ordered, made up a bundle of dried meat, and hid it in the grass near the camp. Then she called her dog to her,--a little curly dog. She said to the dog:-- "Now listen. To-morrow when we are ready to start, I will call you to come to me, but you must pay no attention to what I say. Run off, and pretend to be chasing squirrels. I will try to catch you, and if I do so, I will pretend to whip you; but do not follow me. Stay behind, and when the camp has passed out of sight, chew off the strings that bind those children; and when you have done this, show them where I have hidden that food. Then you can follow the camp and catch up to us." The dog stood before the old woman, and listened to all that she said, turning his head from side to side, as if paying close attention. Next morning it was done as the chief had said. The children were tied to the tree with raw hide strings, and the people tore down all the lodges and moved off. The old woman called her dog to follow her, but he was digging at a gopher hole and would not come. Then she went up to him and struck at him hard with her whip, but he dodged and ran away, and then stood looking at her. Then the old woman got very mad and cursed him, but he paid no attention; and finally she left him, and followed the camp. When the people had all passed out of sight, the dog went to the children, and gnawed the strings which tied them, until he had bitten them through. So the children were free. Then the dog was glad, and danced about and barked and ran round and round. Pretty soon he came up to the little girl, and looked up in her face, and then started away, trotting. Every little while he would stop and look back. The girl thought he wanted her to follow him. She did so, and he took her to where the bundle of dried meat was, and showed it to her. Then, when he had done this, he jumped up on her, and licked the baby's face, and then started off, running as hard as he could along the trail of the camp, never stopping to look back. The girl did not follow him. She now knew that it was no use to go to the camp again. Their parents would not receive them, and the chief would perhaps order them to be killed. She went on her way, carrying her little brother and the bundle of dried meat. She travelled for many days, and at last came to a place where she thought she would stop. Here she built a little lodge of poles and brush, and stayed there. One night she had a dream, and an old woman came to her in the dream, and said to her, "To-morrow take your little brother, and tie him to one of the lodge poles, and the next day tie him to another, and so every day tie him to one of the poles, until you have gone all around the lodge and have tied him to each pole. Then you will be helped, and will no more have bad luck." When the girl awoke in the morning, she remembered what the dream had told her, and she bound her little brother to one of the lodge poles; and each day after this she tied him to one of the poles. Each day he grew larger, until, when she had gone all around the lodge, he was grown to be a fine young man. Now the girl was glad, and proud of her young brother who was so large and noble-looking. He was quiet, not speaking much, and sometimes for days he would not say anything. He seemed to be thinking all the time. One morning he told the girl that he had a dream and that he wished her to help him build a pis'kun. She was afraid to ask him about the dream, for she thought if she asked questions he might not like it. So she just said she was ready to do what he wished. They built the pis'kun, and when it was finished, the boy said to his sister: "The buffalo are to come to us, and you are not to see them. When the time comes, you are to cover your head and to hold your face close to the ground; and do not lift your head nor look, until I throw a piece of kidney to you." The girl said, "It shall be as you say." When the time came, the boy told her where to go; and she went to the place, a little way from the lodge, not far from the corral, and sat down on the ground, and covered her head, holding her face close to the earth. After she had sat there a little while, she heard the sound of animals running, and she was excited and curious, and raised her head to look; but all she saw was her brother, standing near, looking at her. Before he could speak, she said to him: "I thought I heard buffalo coming, and because I was anxious for food, I forgot my promise and looked. Forgive me this time, and I will try again." Again she bent her face to the ground, and covered her head. Soon she heard again the sound of animals running, at first a long way off, and then coming nearer and nearer, until at last they seemed close, and she thought they were going to run over her. She sprang up in fright and looked about, but there was nothing to be seen but her brother, looking sadly at her. She went close to him and said: "Pity me. I was afraid, for I thought the buffalo were going to run over me." He said: "This is the last time. If again you look, we will starve; but if you do not look, we will always have plenty, and will never be without meat." The girl looked at him, and said, "I will try hard this time, and even if those animals run right over me, I will not look until you throw the kidney to me." Again she covered her head, pressing her face against the earth and putting her hands against her ears, so that she might not hear. Suddenly, sooner than she thought, she felt the blow from the meat thrown at her, and, springing up, she seized the kidney and began to eat it. Not far away was her brother, bending over a fat cow; and, going up to him, she helped him with the butchering. After that was done, she kindled a fire and cooked the best parts of the meat, and they ate and were satisfied. The boy became a great hunter. He made fine arrows that went faster than a bird could fly, and when he was hunting, he watched all the animals and all the birds, and learned their ways, and how to imitate them when they called. While he was hunting, the girl dressed buffalo hides and the skins of deer and other animals. She made a fine new lodge, and the boy painted it with figures of all the birds and the animals he had killed. One day, when the girl was bringing water, she saw a little way off a person coming. When she went in the lodge, she told her brother, and he went out to meet the stranger. He found that he was friendly and was hunting, but had had bad luck and killed nothing. He was starving and in despair, when he saw this lone lodge and made up his mind to go to it. As he came near it, he began to be afraid, and to wonder if the people who lived there were enemies or ghosts; but he thought, "I may as well die here as starve," so he went boldly to it. The strange person was very much surprised to see this handsome young man with the kind face, who could speak his own language. The boy took him into the lodge, and the girl put food before him. After he had eaten, he told his story, saying that the game had left them, and that many of his people were dying of hunger. As he talked, the girl listened; and at last she remembered the man, and knew that he belonged to her camp. She asked him questions, and he talked about all the people in the camp, and even spoke of the old woman who owned the dog. The boy advised the stranger, after he had rested, to return to his camp, and tell the people to move up to this place, that here they would find plenty of game. After he had gone, the boy and his sister talked of these things. The girl had often told him what she had suffered, what the chief had said and done, and how their own parents had turned against her, and that the only person whose heart had been good to her was this old woman. As the young man heard all this again, he was angry at his parents and the chief, but he felt great kindness for the old woman and her dog. When he learned that those bad people were living, he made up his mind that they should suffer and die. When the strange person reached his own camp, he told the people how well he had been treated by these two persons, and that they wished him to bring the whole camp to where they were, and that there they should have plenty. This made great joy in the camp, and all got ready to move. When they reached the lost children's camp, they found everything as the stranger had said. The brother gave a feast; and to those whom he liked he gave many presents, but to the old woman and the dog he gave the best presents of all. To the chief nothing at all was given, and this made him very much ashamed. To the parents no food was given, but the boy tied a bone to the lodge poles above the fire, and told the parents to eat from it without touching it with their hands. They were very hungry, and tried to eat from this bone; and as they were stretching out their necks to reach it--for it was above them--the boy cut off their heads with his knife. This frightened all the people, the chief most of all; but the boy told them how it all was, and how he and his sister had survived. When he had finished speaking, the chief said he was sorry for what he had done, and he proposed to his people that this young man should be made their chief. They were glad to do this. The boy was made the chief, and lived long to rule the people in that camp.

{"lat":"49.676160","long":"-113.176758"}

A Project Gutenberg e-bool included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Subject: Ethnology, Folklore

Transcript: I A long time ago the Blackfeet were camped on Backfat Creek. There was in the camp a man who had but one wife, and he thought a great deal of her. He never wanted to have two wives. As time passed they had a child, a little girl. Along toward the end of the summer, this man's wife wanted to get some berries, and she asked her husband to take her to a certain place where berries grew, so that she could get some. The man said to his wife: "At this time of the year, I do not like to go to that place to pick berries. There are always Snake or Crow war parties travelling about there." The woman wanted very much to go, and she coaxed her husband about it a great deal; and at last he said he would go, and they started, and many women followed them. When they came to where the berries grew, the man said to his wife: "There are the berries down in that ravine. You may go down there and pick them, and I will go up on this hill and stand guard. If I see any one coming, I will call out to you, and you must all get on your horses and run." So the women went down to pick berries. The man went up on the hill and sat down and looked over the country. After a little time, he looked down into another ravine not far off, and saw that it was full of horsemen coming. They started to gallop up towards him, and he called out in a loud voice, "Run, run, the enemy is rushing on us." The women started to run, and he jumped on his horse and followed them. The enemy rushed after them, and he drew his bow and arrows, and got ready to fight and defend the women. After they had gone a little way, the enemy had gained so much that they were shooting at the Blackfeet with their arrows, and the man was riding back and forth behind the women, and whipping up the horses, now of one, now of another, to make them go faster. The enemy kept getting closer, and at last they were so near that they were beginning to thrust at him with their ances, and he was dodging them and throwing himself down, now on one side of his horse, and then on the other. At length he found that he could no longer defend all the women, so he made up his mind to leave those that had the slowest horses to the mercy of the enemy, while he would go on with those that had the faster ones. When he found that he must leave the women, he was excited and rode on ahead; but as he passed, he heard some one call out to him, "Don't leave me," and he looked to one side, and saw that he was leaving his wife. When he heard his wife call out thus to him, he said to her: "There is no life for me here. You are a fine-looking woman. They will not kill you, but there is no life for me." She answered: "No, take pity on me. Do not leave me. My horse is giving out. Let us both get on one horse and then, if we are caught, we will die together." When he heard this, his heart was touched and he said: "No, wife, I will not leave you. Run up beside my horse and jump on behind me." The enemy were now so near that they had killed or captured some of the women, and they had come up close enough to the man so that they got ready to hit at him with their war clubs. His horse was now wounded in places with arrows, but it was a good, strong, fast horse. His wife rode up close to him, and jumped on his horse behind him. When he started to run with her, the enemy had come up on either side of him, and some were behind him, but they were afraid to shoot their arrows for fear of hitting their own people, so they struck at the man with their war clubs. But they did not want to kill the woman, and they did not hurt him. They reached out with their hands to try to pull the woman off the horse; but she had put her arms around her husband and held on tight, and they could not get her off, but they tore her clothing off her. As she held her husband, he could not use his arrows, and could not fight to defend himself. His horse was now going very slowly, and all the enemy had caught up to them, and were all around them. The man said to his wife: "Never mind, let them take you: they will not kill you. You are too handsome a woman for them to kill you." His wife said, "No, it is no harm for us both to die together." When he saw that his wife would not get off the horse and that he could not fight, he said to her: "Here, look out! You are crowding me on to the neck of the horse. Sit further back." He began to edge himself back, and at last, when he got his wife pretty far back on the horse, he gave a great push and shoved her off behind. When she fell off, his horse had more speed and began to run away from the enemy, and he would shoot back his arrows; and now, when they would ride up to strike him with their hatchets, he would shoot them and kill them, and they began to be afraid of him, and to edge away from him. His horse was very long-winded; and now, as he was drawing away from the enemy, there were only two who were yet able to keep up with him. The rest were being left behind, and they stopped, and went back to where the others had killed or captured the women; and now only two men were pursuing. After a little while, the Blackfoot jumped off his horse to fight on foot, and the two enemies rode up on either side of him, but a long way off, and jumped off their horses. When he saw the two on either side of him, he took a sheaf of arrows in his hand and began to rush, first toward the one on the right, and then toward the one on the left. As he did this, he saw that one of the men, when he ran toward him and threatened to shoot, would draw away from him, while the other would stand still. Then he knew that one of them was a coward and the other a brave man. But all the time they were closing in on him. When he saw that they were closing in on him, he made a rush at the brave man. This one was shooting arrows all the time; but the Blackfoot did not shoot until he got close to him, and then he shot an arrow into him and ran up to him and hit him with his stone axe and killed him. Then he turned to the cowardly one and ran at him. The man turned to run, but the Blackfoot caught him and hit him with his axe and killed him. After he had killed them, he scalped them and took their arrows, their horses, and the stone knives that they had. Then he went home, and when he rode into the camp he was crying over the loss of his wife. When he came to his lodge and got off his horse, his friends went up to him and asked what was the matter. He told them how all the women had been killed, and how he had been pursued by two enemies, and had fought with them and killed them both, and he showed them the arrows and the horses and the scalps. He told the women's relations that they had all been killed; and all were in great sorrow, and crying over the loss of their friends. The next morning they held a council, and it was decided that a party should go out and see where the battle had been, and find out what had become of the women. When they got to the place, they found all the women there dead, except this man's wife. Her they could not find. They also found the two Indians that the man had said that he had killed, and, besides, many others that he had killed when he was running away. II When he got back to the camp, this Blackfoot picked up his child and put it on his back, and walked round the camp mourning and crying, and the child crying, for four days and four nights, until he was exhausted and worn out, and then he fell asleep. When the rest of the people saw him walking about mourning, and that he would not eat nor drink, their hearts were very sore, and they felt very sorry for him and for the child, for he was a man greatly thought of by the people. While he lay there asleep, the chief of the camp came to him and woke him, and said: "Well, friend, what have you decided on? What is your mind? What are you going to do?" The man answered: "My child is lonely. It will not eat. It is crying for its mother. It will not notice any one. I am going to look for my wife." The chief said, "I cannot say anything." He went about to all the lodges and told the people that this man was going away to seek his wife. Now there was in the camp a strong medicine man, who was not married and would not marry at all. He had said, "When I had my dream, it told me that I must never have a wife." The man who had lost his wife had a very beautiful sister, who had never married. She was very proud and very handsome. Many men had wanted to marry her, but she would not have anything to do with any man. The medicine man secretly loved this handsome girl, the sister of the poor man. When he heard of this poor man's misfortune, the medicine man was in great sorrow, and cried over it. He sent word to the poor man, saying: "Go and tell this man that I have promised never to take a wife, but that if he will give me his beautiful sister, he need not go to look for his wife. I will send my secret helper in search of her." When the young girl heard what this medicine man had said, she sent word to him, saying, "Yes, if you bring my brother's wife home, and I see her sitting here by his side, I will marry you, but not before." But she did not mean what she said. She intended to deceive him in some way, and not to marry him at all. When the girl sent this message to him, the medicine man sent for her and her brother to come to his lodge. When they had come, he spoke to the poor man and said, "If I bring your wife here, are you willing to give me your sister for my wife?" The poor man answered, "Yes." But the young girl kept quiet in his presence, and had nothing to say. Then the medicine man said to them: "Go. To-night in the middle of the night you will hear me sing." He sent everybody out of his lodge, and said to the people: "I will close the door of my lodge, and I do not want any one to come in to-night, nor to look through the door. A spirit will come to me to-night." He made the people know, by a sign put out before the door of his lodge, that no one must enter it, until such time as he was through making his medicine. Then he built a fire, and began to get out all his medicine. He unwrapped his bundle and took out his pipe and his rattles and his other things. After a time, the fire burned down until it was only coals and his lodge was dark, and on the fire he threw sweet-scented herbs, sweet grass, and sweet pine, so as to draw his dream-helper to him. Now in the middle of the night he was in the lodge singing, when suddenly the people heard a strange voice in the lodge say: "Well, my chief, I have come. What is it?" The medicine man said, "I want you to help me." The voice said, "Yes, I know it, and I know what you want me to do." The medicine man asked, "What is it?" The voice said, "You want me to go and get a woman." The medicine man answered: "That is what I want. I want you to go and get a woman--the lost woman." The voice said to him, "Did I not tell you never to call me, unless you were in great need of my help?" The medicine man answered, "Yes, but that girl that was never going to be married is going to be given to me through your help." Then the voice said, "Oh!" and it was silent for a little while. Then it went on and said: "Well, we have a good feeling for you, and you have been a long time not married; so we will help you to get that girl, and you will have her. Yes, we have great pity on you. We will go and look for this woman, and will try to find her, but I cannot promise you that we will bring her; but we will try. We will go, and in four nights I will be back here again at this same time, and I think that I can bring the woman; but I will not promise. While I am gone, I will let you know how I get on. Now I am going away." And then the people heard in the lodge a sound like a strong wind, and nothing more. He was gone. Some people went and told the sister what the medicine man and the voice had been saying, and the girl was very down-hearted, and cried over the idea that she must be married, and that she had been forced into it in this way. III When the dream person went away, he came late at night to the camp of the Snakes, the enemy. The woman who had been captured was always crying over the loss of her man and her child. She had another husband now. The man who had captured her had taken her for his wife. As she was lying there, in her husband's lodge, crying for sorrow for her loss, the dream person came to her. Her husband was asleep. The dream-helper touched her and pushed her a little, and she looked up and saw a person standing by her side; but she did not know who it was. The person whispered in her ear, "Get up, I want to take you home." She began to edge away from her husband, and at length got up, and all the time the person was moving toward the door. She followed him out, and saw him walk away from the lodge, and she went after. The person kept ahead, and the woman followed him, and they went away, travelling very fast. After they had travelled some distance, she called out to the dream person to stop, for she was getting tired. Then the person stopped, and when he saw the woman sitting, he would sit down, but he would not talk to her. As they travelled on, the woman, when she got tired, would sit down, and because she was very tired, she would fall asleep; and when she awoke and looked up, she always saw the person walking away from her, and she would get up and follow him. When day came, the shape would be far ahead of her, but at night it would keep closer. When she spoke to this person, the woman would call him "young man." At one time she said to him, "Young man, my moccasins are all worn out, and my feet are getting very sore, and I am very tired and hungry." When she had said this, she sat down and fell asleep, and as she was falling asleep, she saw the person going away from her. He went back to the lodge of the medicine man. During this night the camp heard the medicine man singing his song, and they knew that the dream person must be back again, or that his chief must be calling him. The medicine man had unwrapped his bundle, and had taken out all his things, and again had a fire of coals, on which he burned sweet pine and sweet grass. Those who were listening heard a voice say: "Well, my chief, I am back again, and I am here to tell you something. I am bringing the woman you sent me after. She is very hungry and has no moccasins. Get me those things, and I will take them back to her." The medicine man went out of the lodge, and called to the poor man, who was mourning for his wife, that he wanted to see him. The man came, carrying the child on his back, to hear what the medicine man had to say. He said to him: "Get some moccasins and something to eat for your wife. I want to send them to her. She is coming." The poor man went to his sister, and told her to give him some moccasins and some pemmican. She made a bundle of these things, and the man took them to the medicine man, who gave them to the dream person; and again he disappeared out of the lodge like a wind. IV When the woman awoke in the morning and started to get up, she hit her face against a bundle lying by her, and when she opened it, she found in it moccasins and some pemmican; and she put on the moccasins and ate, and while she was putting on the moccasins and eating, she looked over to where she had last seen the person, and he was sitting there with his back toward her. She could never see his face. When she had finished eating, he got up and went on, and she rose and followed. They went on, and the woman thought, "Now I have travelled two days and two nights with this young man, and I wonder what kind of a man he is. He seems to take no notice of me." So she made up her mind to walk fast and to try to overtake him, and see what ort of a man he was. She started to do so, but however fast she walked, it made no difference. She could not overtake him. Whether she walked fast, or whether she walked slow, he was always the same distance from her. They travelled on until night, and then she lay down again and fell asleep. She dreamed that the young man had left her again. The dream person had really left her, and had gone back to the medicine man's lodge, and said to him: "Well, my chief, I am back again. I am bringing the woman. You must tell this poor man to get on his horse, and ride back toward Milk River (the Teton). Let him go in among the high hills on this side of the Muddy, and let him wait there until daylight, and look toward the hills of Milk River; and after the sun is up a little way, he will see a band of antelope running toward him, along the trail that the Blackfeet travel. It will be his wife who has frightened these antelope. Let him wait there for a while, and he will see a person coming. This will be his wife. Then let him go to meet her, for she has no moccasins. She will be glad to see him, for she is crying all the time." The medicine man told the poor man this, and he got on his horse and started, as he had been told. He could not believe that it was true. But he went. At last he got to the place, and a little while after the sun had risen, as he was lying on a hill looking toward the hills of the Milk River, he saw a band of antelope running toward him, as he had been told he would see. He lay there for a long time, but saw nothing else come in sight; and finally he got angry and thought that what had been told him was a lie, and he got up to mount his horse and ride back. Just then he saw, away down, far off on the prairie, a small black speck, but he did not think it was moving, it was so far off,--barely to be seen. He thought maybe it was a rock. He lay down again and took sight on the speck by a straw of grass in front of him, and looked for a long time, and after a while he saw the speck pass the straw, and then he knew it was something. He got on his horse and started to ride up and find out what it was, riding way around it, through the hills and ravines, so that he would not be seen. He rode up in a ravine behind it, pretty near to it, and then he could see it was a person on foot. He got out his bow and arrows and held them ready to use, and then started to ride up to it. He rode toward the person, and at last he got near enough to see that it was his wife. When he saw this, he could not help crying; and as he rode up, the woman looked back, and knew first the horse, and then her husband, and she was so glad that she fell down and knew nothing. After she had come to herself and they had talked together, they got on the horse and rode off toward camp. When he came over the hill in sight of camp, all the people began to say, "Here comes the man"; and at last they could see from a distance that he had some one on the horse behind him, and they knew that it must be his wife, and they were glad to see him bringing her back, for he was a man thought a great deal of, and everybody liked him and liked his wife and the way he was kind to her. Then the handsome girl was given to the medicine man and became his wife.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, by George Bird Grinnell This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Subject: Snakes, Ethnology, Folklore, Owl Bear

Transcript: From: Blackfoot Lodge Tales, by George Bird Grinnell In those days there was a Piegan chief named Owl Bear. He was a great chief, very brave and generous. One night he had a dream: he saw many dead bodies of the enemy lying about, scalped, and he knew that he must go to war. So he called out for a feast, and after the people had eaten, he said:-- "I had a strong dream last night. I went to war against the Snakes, and killed many of their warriors. So the signs are good, and I feel that I must go. Let us have a big party now, and I will be the leader. We will start to-morrow night." Then he told two old men to go out in the camp and shout the news, so that all might know. A big party was made up. Two hundred men, they say, went with this chief to war. The first night they traveled only a little way, for they were not used to walking, and soon got tired. In the morning the chief got up early and went and made a sacrifice, and when he came back to the others, some said, "Come now, tell us your dream of this night." "I dreamed good," said Owl Bear. "I had a good dream. We will have good luck." But many others said they had bad dreams. They saw blood running from their bodies. Night came, and the party started on, traveling south, and keeping near the foot-hills; and when daylight came, they stopped in thick pine woods and built war lodges. They put up poles as for a lodge, and covered them very thick with pine boughs, so they could build fires and cook, and no one would see the light and smoke; and they all ate some of the food they carried, and then went to sleep. Again the chief had a good dream, but the others all had bad dreams, and some talked about turning back; but Owl Bear laughed at them, and when night came, all started on. So they traveled for some nights, and all kept dreaming bad except the chief. He always had good dreams. One day after a sleep, a person again asked Owl Bear if he dreamed good. "Yes," he replied. "I have again dreamed of good luck." "We still dream bad," the person said, "and now some of us are going to turn back. We will go no further, for bad luck is surely ahead." "Go back! go back!" said Owl Bear. "I think you are cowards; I want no cowards with me." They did not speak again. Many of them turned around, and started north, toward home. Two more days' travel. Owl Bear and his warriors went on, and then another party turned back, for they still had bad dreams. All the men now left with him were his relations. All the others had turned back. They traveled on, and travelled on, always having bad dreams, until they came close to the Elk River.[1] Then the oldest relation said, "Come, my chief, let us all turn back. We still have bad dreams. We cannot have good luck." [Footnote 1: Yellowstone River.] "No," replied Owl Bear, "I will not turn back." Then they were going to seize him and tie his hands, for they had talked of this before. They thought to tie him and make him go back with them. Then the chief got very angry. He put an arrow on his bow, and said: "Do not touch me. You are my relations; but if any of you try to tie me, I will kill you. Now I am ashamed. My relations are cowards and will turn back. I have told you I have always dreamed good, and that we would have good luck. Now I don't care; I am covered with shame. I am going now to the Snake camp and will give them my body. I am ashamed. Go! go! and when you get home put on women's dresses. You are no longer men." They said no more. They turned back homeward, and the chief was all alone. His heart was very sad as he travelled on, and he was much ashamed, for his relations had left him. Night was coming on. The sun had set and rain was beginning to fall. Owl Bear looked around for some place where he could sleep dry. Close by he saw a hole in the rocks. He got down on his hands and knees and crept in. Here it was very dark. He could see nothing, so he crept very slowly, feeling as he went. All at once his hand touched something strange. He felt of it. It was a person's foot, and there was a moccasin on it. He stopped, and sat still. Then he felt a little further. Yes, it was a person's leg. He could feel the cowskin legging. Now he did not know what to do. He thought perhaps it was a dead person; and again, he thought it might be one of his relations, who had become ashamed and turned back after him. Pretty soon he put his hand on the leg again and felt along up. He touched the person's belly. It was warm. He felt of the breast, and could feel it rise and fall as the breath came and went; and the heart was beating fast. Still the person did not move. Maybe he was afraid. Perhaps he thought that was a ghost feeling of him. Owl Bear now knew this person was not dead. He thought he would try if he could learn who the man was, for he was not afraid. His heart was sad. His people and his relations had left him, and he had made up his mind to give his body to the Snakes. So he began and felt all over the man,--of his face, hair, robe, leggings, belt, weapons; and by and by he stopped feeling of him. He could not tell whether it was one of his people or not. Pretty soon the strange person sat up and felt all over Owl Bear; and when he had finished, he took the Piegan's hand and opened it and held it up, waving it from side to side, saying by signs, "Who are you?" Owl Bear put his closed hand against the person's cheek and rubbed it; he said in signs, "Piegan!" and then he asked the person who he was. A finger was placed against his breast and moved across it zigzag. It was the sign for "Snake." "Hai yah!" thought Owl Bear, "a Snake, my enemy." For a long time he sat still, thinking. By and by he drew his knife from his belt and placed it in the Snake's hand, and signed, "Kill me!" He waited. He thought soon his heart would be cut. He wanted to die. Why live? His people had left him. Then the Snake took Owl Bear's hand and put a knife in it and motioned that Owl Bear should cut his heart, but the Piegan would not do it. He lay down, and the Snake lay down beside him. Maybe they slept. Likely not. So the night went and morning came. It was light, and they crawled out of the cave, and talked a long time together by signs. Owl Bear told the Snake where he had come from, how his party had dreamed bad and left him, and that he was going alone to give his body to the Snakes. Then the Snake said: "I was going to war, too. I was going against the Piegans. Now I am done. Are you a chief?" "I am the head chief," replied Owl Bear. "I lead. All the others follow." "I am the same as you," said the Snake. "I am the chief. I like you. You are brave. You gave me your knife to kill you with. How is your heart? Shall the Snakes and the Piegans make peace?" "Your words are good," replied Owl Bear. "I am glad." "How many nights will it take you to go home and come back here with your people?" asked the Snake. Owl Bear thought and counted. "In twenty-five nights," he replied, "the Piegans will camp down by that creek." "My trail," said the Snake, "goes across the mountains. I will try to be here in twenty-five nights, but I will camp with my people just behind that first mountain. When you get here with the Piegans, come with one of your wives and stay all night with me. In the morning the Snakes will move and put up their lodges beside the Piegans." "As you say," replied the chief, "so it shall be done." Then they built a fire and cooked some meat and ate together. "I am ashamed to go home," said Owl Bear. "I have taken no horses, no scalps. Let me cut off your side locks?" "Take them," said the Snake. Owl Bear cut off the chiefs braids close to his head, and then the Snake cut off the Piegan's braids. Then they exchanged clothes and weapons and started out, the Piegan north, the Snake south. "Owl Bear has come! Owl Bear has come!" the people were shouting. The warriors rushed to his lodge. Whish! how quickly it was filled! Hundreds stood outside, waiting to hear the news. For a long time the chief did not speak. He was still angry with his people. An old man was talking, telling the news of the camp. Owl Bear did not look at him. He ate some food and rested. Many were in the lodge who had started to war with him. They were now ashamed. They did not speak, either, but kept looking at the fire. After a long time the chief said: "I travelled on alone. I met a Snake. I took his scalp and clothes, and his weapons. See, here is his scalp!" And he held up the two braids of hair. No one spoke, but the chief saw them nudge each other and smile a little; and soon they went out and said to one another: "What a lie! That is not an enemy's scalp; there is no flesh on it He has robbed some dead person." Some one told the chief what they said, but he only laughed and replied:-- "I do not care. They were too much afraid even to go on and rob a dead person. They should wear women's dresses." Near sunset, Owl Bear called for a horse, and rode all through camp so every one could hear, shouting out: "Listen! listen! To-morrow we move camp. We travel south. The Piegans and Snakes are going to make peace. If any one refuses to go, I will kill him. All must go." Then an old medicine man came up to him and said: "Kyi, Owl Bear! listen to me. Why talk like this? You know we are not afraid of the Snakes. Have we not fought them and driven them out of this country? Do you think we are afraid to go and meet them? No. We will go and make peace with them as you say, and if they want to fight, we will fight. Now you are angry with those who started to war with you. Don't be angry. Dreams belong to the Sun. He gave them to us, so that we can see ahead and know what will happen. The Piegans are not cowards. Their dreams told them to turn back. So do not be angry with them any more." "There is truth in what you say, old man," replied Owl Bear; "I will take your words." In those days the Piegans were a great tribe. When they travelled, if you were with the head ones, you could not see the last ones, they were so far back. They had more horses than they could count, so they used fresh horses every day and travelled very fast. On the twenty-fourth day they reached the place where Owl Bear had told the Snake they would camp, and put up their lodges along the creek. Soon some young men came in, and said they had seen some fresh horse trails up toward the mountain. "It must be the Snakes," said the chief; "they have already arrived, although there is yet one night." So he called one of his wives, and getting on their horses they set out to find the Snake camp. They took the trail up over the mountain, and soon came in sight of the lodges. It was a big camp. Every open place in the valley was covered with lodges, and the hills were dotted with horses; for the Snakes had a great many more horses than the Piegans. Some of the Snakes saw the Piegans coming, and they ran to the chief, saying: "Two strangers are in sight, coming this way. What shall be done?" "Do not harm them," replied the chief. "They are friends of mine. I have been expecting them." Then the Snakes wondered, for the chief had told them nothing about his war trip. Now when Owl Bear had come to the camp, he asked in signs for the chiefs lodge, and they pointed him to one in the middle. It was small and old. The Piegan got off his horse, and the Snake chief came out and hugged him and kissed him, and said: "I am glad you have come to-day to my lodge. So are my people. You are tired. Enter my lodge and we will eat." So they went inside and many of the Snakes came in, and they had a great feast. Then the Snake chief told his people how he had met the Piegan, and how brave he was, and that now they were going to make a great peace; and he sent some men to tell the people, so that they would be ready to move camp in the morning. Evening came. Everywhere people were shouting out for feasts, and the chief took Owl Bear to them. It was very late when they returned. Then the Snake had one of his wives make a bed at the back of the lodge; and when it was ready he said: "Now, my friend, there is your bed. This is now your lodge; also the woman who made the bed, she is now your wife; also everything in this lodge is yours. The parfleches, saddles, food, robes, bowls, everything is yours. I give them to you because you are my friend and a brave man." "You give me too much," replied Owl Bear. "I am ashamed, but I take your words. I have nothing with me but one wife. She is yours." Next morning camp was broken early. The horses were driven in, and the Snake chief gave Owl Bear his whole band,--two hundred head, all large, powerful horses. All were now ready, and the chiefs started ahead. Close behind them were all the warriors, hundreds and hundreds, and last came the women and children, and the young men driving the loose horses. As they came in sight of the Piegan camp, all the warriors started out to meet them, dressed in their war costumes and singing the great war song. There was no wind, and the sound came across the valley and up the hill like the noise of thunder. Then the Snakes began to sing, and thus the two parties advanced. At last they met. The Piegans turned and rode beside them, and so they came to the camp. Then they got off their horses and kissed each other. Every Piegan asked a Snake into his lodge to eat and rest, and the Snake women put up their lodges beside the Piegan lodges. So the great peace was made. In Owl Bear's lodge there was a great feast, and when they had finished he said to his people: "Here is the man whose scalp I took. Did I say I killed him? No. I gave him my knife and told him to kill me. He would not do it; and he gave me his knife, but I would not kill him. So we talked together what we should do, and now we have made peace. And now (turning to the Snake) this is your lodge, also all the things in it. My horses, too, I give you. All are yours." So it was. The Piegan took the Snake's wife, lodge, and horses, and the Snake took the Piegan's, and they camped side by side. All the people camped together, and feasted each other and made presents. So the peace was made. For many days they camped side by side. The young men kept hunting, and the women were always busy drying meat and tanning robes and cowskins. Buffalo were always close, and after a while the people had all the meat and robes they could carry. Then, one day, the Snake chief said to Owl Bear: "Now, my friend, we have camped a long time together, and I am glad we have made peace. We have dug a hole in the ground, and in it we have put our anger and covered it up, so there is no more war between us. And now I think it time to go. To-morrow morning the Snakes break camp and go back south." "Your words are good," replied Owl Bear. "I too am glad we have made this peace. You say you must go south, and I feel lonesome. I would like you to go with us so we could camp together a long time, but as you say, so it shall be done. To-morrow you will start south. I too shall break camp, for I would be lonesome here without you; and the Piegans will start in the home direction." The lodges were being taken down and packed. The men sat about the fireplaces, taking a last smoke together. They were now great friends. Many Snakes had married Piegan women, and many Piegans had married Snake women. At last all was ready. The great chiefs mounted their horses and started out, and soon both parties were strung out on the trail. Some young men, however, stayed behind to gamble a while. It was yet early in the morning, and by riding fast it would not take them long to catch up with their camps. All day they kept playing; and sometimes the Piegans would win, and sometimes the Snakes. It was now almost sunset. "Let us have one horse race," they said, "and we will stop." Each side had a good horse, and they ran their best; but they came in so close together it could not be told who won. The Snakes claimed that their horse won, and the Piegans would not allow it. So they got angry and began to quarrel, and pretty soon they began to fight and to shoot at each other, and some were killed. Since that time the Snakes and Piegans have never been at peace.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, by George Bird Grinnell This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net

Subject: Ethnology, Folklore, Bull Turns Around

Transcript: I Once the camp moved, but one lodge stayed. It belonged to Wolf Tail; and Wolf Tail's younger brother, Bull Turns Round, lived with him. Now their father loved both his sons, but he loved the younger one most, and when he went away with the big camp, he said to Wolf Tail: "Take care of your young brother; he is not yet astrong person. Watch him that nothing befall him." One day Wolf Tail was out hunting, and Bull Turns Round sat in front of the lodge making arrows, and a beautiful strange bird lit on the ground before him. Then cried one of Wolf Tail's wives, "Oh, brother, shoot that little bird." "Don't bother me, sister," he replied, "I am making arrows." Again the woman said, "Oh, brother, shoot that bird for me." Then Bull Turns Round fitted an arrow to his bow and shot the bird, and the woman went and picked it up and stroked her face with it, and her face swelled up so big that her eyes and nose could not be seen. But when Bull Turns Round had shot the bird, he went off hunting and did not know what had happened to the woman's face. Now when Wolf Tail came home and saw his wife's face, he said, "What is the matter?" and his wife replied: "Your brother has pounded me so that I cannot see. Go now and kill him." But Wolf Tail said, "No, I love my brother; I cannot kill him." Then his wife cried and said: "I know you do not love me; you are glad your brother has beaten me. If you loved me, you would go and kill him." Then Wolf Tail went out and looked for his brother, and when he had found him, he said: "Come, let us get some feathers. I know where there is an eagle's nest;" and he took him to a high cliff, which overhung the river, and on the edge of this cliff was a dead tree, in the top of which the eagles had built their nest. Then said Wolf Tail, "Climb up, brother, and kill the eagles;" and when Bull Turns Round had climbed nearly to the top, Wolf Tail called out, "I am going to push the tree over the cliff, and you will be killed." "Oh, brother! oh, brother! pity me; do not kill me," said Bull Turns Round. "Why did you beat my wife's face so?" said Wolf Tail. "I didn't," cried the boy; "I don't know what you are talking about." "You lie," said Wolf Tail, and he pushed the tree over the cliff. He looked over and saw his brother fall into the water, and he did not come up again. Then Wolf Tail went home and took down his lodge, and went to the main camp. When his father saw him coming with only his wives, he said to him, "Where is your young brother?" And Wolf Tail replied: "He went hunting and did not come back. We waited four days for him. I think the bears must have killed him." II Now when Bull Turns Round fell into the river, he was stunned, and the water carried him a long way down the stream and finally lodged him on a sand shoal. Near this shoal was a lodge of Under Water People (_S[=u]'-y[=e]-t[)u]p'-pi_), an old man, his wife, and two daughters. This old man was very rich: he had great flocks of geese, swans, ducks, and other water-fowl, and a big herd of buffalo which were tame. These buffalo always fed near by, and the old man called them every evening to come and drink. But he and his family ate none of these. Their only food was the bloodsucker.[1] [Footnote 1: Blackfoot--_Est'-st[)u]k-ki_, suck-bite; from _Est-ah-tope_, suck, and _I-sik-st[)u]k-ki_, bite.] Now the old man's daughters were swimming about in the evening, and they found Bull Turns Round lying on the shoal, dead, and they went home and told their father, and begged him to bring the person to life, and give him to them for a husband. "Go, my daughters," he said, "and make four sweat lodges, and I will bring the person." He went and got Bull Turns Round, and when the sweat lodges were finished, the old man took him into one of them, and when he had sprinkled water on the hot rocks, he scraped a great quantity of sand off Bull Turns Round. Then he took him into another lodge and did the same thing, and when he had taken him into the fourth sweat lodge and scraped all the sand off him, Bull Turns Round came to life, and the old man led him out and gave him to his daughters. And the old man gave his son-in-law a new lodge and bows andarrows, and many good presents. Then the women cooked some bloodsuckers, and gave them to their husband, but when he smelled of them he could not eat, and he threw them in the fire. Then his wives asked him what he would eat. "Buffalo," he replied, "is the only meat for men." "Oh, father!" cried the girls, running to the old man's lodge, "our husband will not eat our food. He says buffalo is the only meat for men." "Go then, my daughters," said the old man, "and tell your husband to kill a buffalo, but do not take nor break any bones, for I will make it alive again." Then the old man called the buffalo to come and drink, and Bull Turns Round shot a fat cow and took all the meat. And when he had roasted the tongue, he gave each of his wives a small piece of it, and they liked it, and they roasted and ate plenty of the meat. III One day Bull Turns Round went to the old man and said, "I mourn for my father." "How did you come to be dead on the sand shoal?" asked the old man. Then Bull Turns Round told what his brother had done to him. "Take this piece of sinew," said the old man. "Go and see your father. When you throw this sinew on the fire, your brother and his wife will roll, and twist up and die." Then the old man gave him a herd of buffalo, and many dogs to pack the lodge, and other things; and Bull Turns Round took his wives, and went to find his father. One day, just after sunset, they came in sight of the big camp, and they went and pitched the lodge on the top of a very high butte; and the buffalo fed close by, and there were so many of them that they covered the whole hill. Now the people were starving, and some had died, for they had no buffalo. In the morning, early, a man arose whose son had starved to death, and when he went out and saw this lodge on the top of the hill, and all the buffalo feeding by it, he cried out in a loud voice; and the people all came out and looked at it, and they were afraid, for they thought it was _St[=o]n'-i-t[)a]p-i_.[1] Then said the man whose son had died: "I am no longer glad to live. I will go up to this lodge, and find out what this is." Now when he said this, all the men grasped their bows and arrows and followed him, and when they went up the hill, the buffalo just moved out of their path and kept on feeding; and just as they came to the lodge, Bull Turns Round came out, and all the people said, "Here is the one whom we thought the bears had killed." Wolf Tail ran up, and said, "Oh, brother, you are not dead. You went to get feathers, but we thought you had been killed." Then Bull Turns Round called his brother into the lodge, and he threw the sinew on the fire; and Wolf Tail, and his wife, who was standing outside, twisted up and died. [Footnote 1: There is no word in English which corresponds to this. It is used when speaking of things wonderful or supernatural.] Then Bull Turns Round told his father all that had happened to him; and when he learned that the people were starving, he filled his mouth with feathers and blew them out, and the buffalo ran off in every direction, and he said to the people, "There is food, go chase it." Then the people were very glad, and they came each one and gave him a present. They gave him war shirts, bows and arrows, shields, spears, white robes, and many curious things. Long ago, down where Two Medicine and Badger Creeks come together, there lived an old man. He had but one wife and two daughters. One day there came to his camp a young man who was very brave and a great hunter. The old man said: "Ah! I will have this young man to help me. I will give him my daughters for wives." So he gave him his daughters. He also gave this son-in-law all his wealth, keeping for himself only a little lodge, in which he lived with his old wife. The son-in-law lived in a lodge that was big and fine. At first the son-in-law was very good to the old people. Whenever he killed anything, he gave them part of the meat, and furnished plenty of robes and skins for their bedding and clothing. But after a while he began to be very mean to them. Now the son-in-law kept the buffalo hidden under a big log jam in the river. Whenever he wanted to kill anything, he would have the old man go to help him; and the old man would stamp on the log jam and frighten the buffalo, and when they ran out, the young man would shoot one or two, never killing wastefully. But often he gave the old people nothing to eat, and they were hungry all the time, and began to grow thin and weak. One morning, the young man called his father-in-law to go down to the log jam and hunt with him. They started, and the young man killed a fat buffalo cow. Then he said to the old man, "Hurry back now, and tell your children to get the dogs and carry this meat home, then you can have something to eat." And the old man did as he had been ordered, thinking to himself: "Now, at last, my son-in-law has taken pity on me. He will give me part of this meat." When he returned with the dogs, they skinned the cow, cut up the meat and packed it on the dog travois, and went home. Then the young man had his wives unload it, and told his father-in-law to go home. He did not give him even a piece of liver. Neither would the older daughter give her parents anything to eat, but the younger took pity on the old people and stole a piece of meat, and when she got a chance threw it into the lodge to the old people. The son-in-law told his wives not to give the old people anything to eat. The only way they got food was when the younger woman would throw them a piece of meat unseen by her husband and sister. Another morning, the son-in-law got up early, and went and kicked on the old man's lodge to wake him, and called him to get up and help him, to go and pound on the log jam to drive out the buffalo, so that he could kill some. When the old man pounded on the jam, a buffalo ran out, and the son-in-law shot it, but only wounded it. It ran away, but at last fell down and died. The old man followed it, and came to where it had lost a big clot of blood from its wound. When he came to where this clot of blood was lying on the ground, he stumbled and fell, and spilled his arrows out of his quiver; and while he was picking them up, he picked up also the clot of blood, and hid it in his quiver. "What are you picking up?" called out the son-in-law. "Nothing," said the old man; "I just fell down and spilled my arrows, and am putting them back." "Curse you, old man," said the son-in-law, "you are lazy and useless. Go back and tell your children to come with the dogs and get this dead buffalo." He also took away his bow and arrows from the old man. The old man went home and told his daughters, and then went over to his own lodge, and said to his wife: "Hurry now, and put the kettle on the fire. I have brought home something from the butchering." "Ah!" said the old woman, "has our son-in-law been generous, and given us something nice?" "No," answered the old man; "hurry up and put the kettle on." When the water began to boil, the old man tipped his quiver up over the kettle, and immediately there came from the pot a noise as of a child crying, as if it were being hurt, burnt or scalded. They looked in the kettle, and saw there a little boy, and they quickly took it out of the water. They were very much surprised. The old woman made a lashing to put the child in, and then they talked about it. They decided that if the son-in-law knew that it was a boy, he would kill it, so they resolved to tell their daughters that the baby was a girl. Then he would be glad, for he would think that after a while he would have it for a wife. They named the child K[)u]t-o'-yis (Clot of Blood). The son-in-law and his wives came home, and after a while he heard the child crying. He told his youngest wife to go and find out whether that baby was a boy or a girl; if it was a boy, to tell them to kill it. She came back and told them that it was a girl. He did not believe this, and sent his oldest wife to find out the truth of the matter. When she came back and told him the same thing, he believed that it was really a girl. Then he was glad, for he thought that when the child had grown up he would have another wife. He said to his youngest wife, "Take some pemmican over to your mother; not much, just enough so that there will be plenty of milk for the child." Now on the fourth day the child spoke, and said, "Lash me in turn to each one of these lodge poles, and when I get to the last one, I will fall out of my lashing and be grown up." The old woman did so, and as she lashed him to each lodge pole he could be seen to grow, and finally when they lashed him to the last pole, he was a man. After K[)u]t-o'-yis had looked about the inside of the lodge, he looked out through a hole in the lodge covering, and then, turning round, he said to the old people: "How is it there is nothing to eat in this lodge? I see plenty of food over by the other lodge." "Hush up," said the old woman, "you will be heard. That is our son-in-law. He does not give us anything at all to eat." "Well," said K[)u]t-o'-yis, "where is your pis'kun?" The old woman said, "It is down by the river. We pound on it and the buffalo come out." Then the old man told him how his son-in-law abused him. "He has taken my weapons from me, and even my dogs; and for many days we have had nothing to eat, except now and then a small piece of meat our daughter steals for us." "Father," said K[)u]t-o'-yis, "have you no arrows?" "No, my son," he replied; "but I have yet four stone points." "Go out then and get some wood," said K[)u]t-o'-yis. "We will make a bow and arrows. In the morning we will go down and kill something to eat." Early in the morning K[)u]t-o'-yis woke the old man, and said, "Come, we will go down now and kill when the buffalo come out." When they had reached the river, the old man said: "Here is the place to stand and shoot. I will go down and drive them out." As he pounded on the jam, a fat cow ran out, and K[)u]t-o'-yis killed it. Meantime the son-in-law had gone out, and as usual knocked on the old man's lodge, and called to him to get up and go down to help him kill. The old woman called to him that her husband had already gone down. This made the son-in-law very angry. He said: "I have a good mind to kill you right now, old woman. I guess I will by and by." The son-in-law went on down to the jam, and as he drew near, he saw the old man bending over, skinning a buffalo. "Old man," said he, "stand up and look all around you. Look well, for it will be your last look." Now when he had seen the son-in-law coming, K[)u]t-o'-yis had lain down and hidden himself behind the buffalo's carcass. He told the old man to say to his son-in-law, "You had better take your last look, for I am going to kill you, right now." The old man said this. "Ah!" said the son-in-law, "you make me angrier still, by talking back to me." He put an arrow to his bow and shot at the old man, but did not hit him. K[)u]t-o'-yis told the old man to pick up the arrow and shoot it back at him, and he did so. Now they shot at each other four times, and then the old man said to K[)u]t-o'-yis: "I am afraid now. Get up and help me." So K[)u]t-o'-yis got up on his feet and said: "Here, what are you doing? I think you have been badly treating this old man for a long time." Then the son-in-law smiled pleasantly, for he was afraid of K[)u]t-o'-yis. "Oh, no," he said, "no one thinks more of this old man than I do. I have always taken great pity on him." Then K[)u]t-o'-yis said: "You lie. I am going to kill you now." He shot him four times, and the man died. Then K[)u]t-o'-yis told the old man to go and bring down the daughter who had acted badly toward him. He did so, and K[)u]t-o'-yis killed her. Then he went up to the lodges and said to the younger woman, "Perhaps you loved your husband." "Yes," she said, "I love him." So he killed her, too. Then he said to the old people: "Go over there now, and live in that lodge. There is plenty there to eat, and when it is gone I will kill more. As for myself, I will make a journey around about. Where are there any people? In what direction?" "Well," said the old man, "up above here on Badger Creek and Two Medicine, where the pis'kun is, there are some people." K[)u]t-o'-yis went up to where the pis'kun was, and saw there many lodges of people. In the centre of the camp was a large lodge, with a figure of a bear painted on it. He did not go into this lodge, but went into a very small one near by, where two old women lived; and when he went in, he asked them for something to eat. They set before him some lean dried meat and some belly fat. "How is this?" he asked. "Here is a pis'kun with plenty of fat meat and back fat. Why do you not give me some of that?" "Hush," said the old women. "In that big lodge near by, lives a big bear and his wives and children. He takes all those nice things and leaves us nothing. He is the chief of this place." Early in the morning, K[)u]t-o'-yis told the old women to get their dog travois, and harness it, and go over to the pis'kun, and that he was going to kill for them some fat meat. He reached there just about the time the buffalo were being driven in, and shot a cow, which looked very scabby, but was really very fat. Then he helped the old women to butcher, and when they had taken the meat to camp, he said to them, "Now take all the choice fat pieces, and hang them up so that those who live in the bear lodge will notice them." They did this, and pretty soon the old chief bear said to his children: "Go out now, and look around. The people have finished killing by this time. See where the nicest pieces are, and bring in some nice back fat." A young bear went out of the lodge, stood up and looked around, and when it saw this meat close by, at the old women's lodge, it went over and began to pull it down. "Hold on there," said K[)u]t-o'-yis. "What are you doing here, taking the old women's meat?" and he hit him over the head with a stick that he had. The young bear ran home crying, and said to his father, "A young man has hit me on the head." Then all the bears, the father and mother, and uncles and aunts, and all the relations, were very angry, and all rushed out toward the old women's lodge. K[)u]t-o'-yis killed them all, except one little child bear, a female, which escaped. "Well," said K[)u]t-o'-yis, "you can go and breed bears, so there will be more." Then said K[)u]t-o'-yis to the old women: "Now, grand-mothers, where are there any more people? I want to travel around and see them." The old women said: "The nearest ones are at the point of rocks (on Sun River). There is a pis'kun there." So K[)u]t-o'-yis travelled off toward this place, and when he reached the camp, he entered an old woman's lodge. The old woman set before him a plate of bad food. "How is this?" he asked. "Have you nothing better than this to set before a stranger? You have a pis'kun down there, and must get plenty of fat meat. Give me some pemmican." "We cannot do that," the old woman replied, "because there is a big snake here, who is chief of the camp. He not only takes the best pieces, but often he eats a handsome young woman, when he sees one." When K[)u]t-o'-yis heard this he was angry, and went over and entered the snake's lodge. The women were cooking up some sarvis berries. He picked up the dish, and ate the berries, and threw the dish out of the door. Then he went over to where the snake was lying asleep, pricked him with his knife, and said: "Here, get up. I have come to see you." This made the snake angry. He partly raised himself up and began to rattle, when K[)u]t-o'-yis cut him into pieces with his knife. Then he turned around and killed all his wives and children, except one little female snake, which escaped by crawling into a crack in the rocks. "Oh, well," said K[)u]t-o'-yis, "you can go and breed young snakes, so there will be more. The people will not be afraid of little snakes." K[)u]t-o'-yis said to the old woman, "Now you go into this snake's lodge and take it for yourself, and everything that is in it." Then he asked them where there were some more people. They told him that there were some people down the river, and some up in the mountains. But they said: "Do not go there, for it is bad, because Ai-sin'-o-ko-ki (Wind Sucker) lives there. He will kill you." It pleased K[)u]t-o'-yis to know that there was such a person, and he went to the mountains. When he got to the place where Wind Sucker lived, he looked into his mouth, and could see many dead people there,--some skeletons and some just dead. He went in, and there he saw a fearful sight. The ground was white as snow with the bones of those who had died. There were bodies with flesh on them; some were just dead, and some still living. He spoke to a living person, and asked, "What is that hanging down above us?" The person answered that it was Wind Sucker's heart. Then said K[)u]t-o'-yis: "You who still draw a little breath, try to shake your heads (in time to the song), and those who are still able to move, get up and dance. Take courage now, we are going to have the ghost dance." So K[)u]t-o'-yis bound his knife, point upward, to the top of his head and began to dance, singing the ghost song, and all the others danced with him; and as he danced up and down, the point of the knife cut Wind Sucker's heart and killed him. K[)u]t-o'-yis took his knife and cut through Wind Sucker's ribs, and freed those who were able to crawl out, and said to those who could still travel to go and tell their people that they should come here for the ones who were still alive but unable to walk. Then he asked some of these people: "Where are there any other people? I want to visit all the people." They said to him: "There is a camp to the westward up the river, but you must not take the left-hand trail going up, because on that trail lives a woman, a handsome woman, who invites men to wrestle with her and then kills them. You must avoid her." This was what K[)u]t-o'-yis was looking for. This was his business in the world, to kill off all the bad things. So he asked the people just where this woman lived, and asked where it was best to go to avoid her. He did this, because he did not wish the people to know that he wanted to meet her. He started on his way, and at length saw this woman standing by the trail. She called out to him, "Come here, young man, come here; I want to wrestle with you." "No," replied the young man, "I am in a hurry. I cannot stop." But the woman called again, "No, no, come now and wrestle once with me." When she had called him four times, K[)u]t-o'-yis went up to her. Now on the ground, where this woman wrestled with people, she had placed many broken and sharp flints, partly hiding them by the grass. They seized each other, and began to wrestle over these broken flints, but K[)u]t-o'-yis looked at the ground and did not step on them. He watched his chance, and suddenly gave the woman a wrench, and threw her down on a large sharp flint, which cut her in two; and the parts of her body fell asunder. Then K[)u]t-o'-yis went on, and after a while came to where a woman kept a sliding place; and at the far end of it there was a rope, which would trip people up, and when they were tripped, they would fall over a high cliff into deep water, where a great fish would eat them. When this woman saw him coming, she cried out, "Come over here, young man, and slide with me." "No," he replied, "I am in a hurry." She kept calling him, and when she had called the fourth time, he went over to slide with her. "This sliding," said the woman, "is a very pleasant pastime." "Ah!" said K[)u]t-o'-yis, "I will look at it." He looked at the place, and, looking carefully, he saw the hidden rope. So he started to slide, and took out his knife, and when he reached the rope, which the woman had raised, he cut it, and when it parted, the woman fell over backward into the water, and was eaten up by the big fish. Again he went on, and after a while he came to a big camp. This was the place of a man-eater. K[)u]t-o'-yis called a little girl he saw near by, and said to her: "Child, I am going into that lodge to let that man-eater kill and eat me. Watch close, therefore, and when you can get hold of one of my bones, take it out and call all the dogs, and when they have all come up to you, throw it down and cry out, 'K[)u]t-o'-yis, the dogs are eating your bones!'" Then K[)u]t-o'-yis entered the lodge, and when the man-eater saw him, he cried out, "_O'ki, O'ki,"_ and seemed glad to see him, for he was a fat young man. The man-eater took a large knife, and went up to K[)u]t-o'-yis, and cut his throat, and put him into a great stone kettle to cook. When the meat was cooked, he drew the kettle from the fire, and ate the body, limb by limb, until it was all eaten up. Then the little girl, who was watching, came up to him, and said, "Pity me, man-eater, my mother is hungry and asks you for those bones." So the old man bunched them up together and handed them to her. She took them out, and called all the dogs to her, and threw the bones down to the dogs, crying out, "Look out, K[)u]t-o'-yis; the dogs are eating you!" and when she said that, K[)u]t-o'-yis arose from the pile of bones. Again he went into the lodge, and when the man-eater saw him, he cried out, "How, how, how! the fat young man has survived," and seemed surprised. Again he took his knife and cut K[)u]t-o'-yis' throat, and threw him into the kettle. Again, when the meat was cooked, he ate it up, and again the little girl asked for the bones, which he gave her; and, taking them out, she threw them to the dogs, crying, "K[)u]t-o'-yis, the dogs are eating you!" and K[)u]t-o'-yis again arose from the bones. When the man-eater had cooked him four times, he again went into the lodge, and, seizing the man-eater, he threw him into the boiling kettle, and his wives and children too, and boiled them to death. The man-eater was the seventh and last of the bad animals and people who were destroyed by K[)u]t-o'-yis.

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A paper on the fur trade by Paul Raczka

Subject: Ethnology, Fur Trade, Elder, Beaver man, History, Raczka, Paul

Transcript: This paper was written by Paul Raczka from Choteau, Montana. Paul has worked with the Aamskaapii'piikunii (Blackfeet) in Montana for many years. Paul is a Beaver man and a well respected elder. Although Paul is not originally Blackfoot he has adopted the Blackfoot way of life and thus is accepted by the people as being Blackfoot. POSTED: NO TRESPASSING: THE BLACKFOOT AND THE AMERICAN FUR TRAPPERS Paul M. Raczka First published in "Selected Papers of the 2010 Fur Trade Symposium at the Three Forks", Three Forks Area Historical Society, Three Forks, Montana. Until 1831 Blackfoot/American relations were strained at best and hostile at worst. American trapping expeditions into Blackfoot territory were met with plundering or outright elimination. These "Blackfeet marauders", these "treacherous savages" met every incursion into their territory by relieving the trappers of their goods and setting them afoot, or killing them on sight. Yet to the north, the Hudson Bay traders traveled and traded [and even trapped] in relative safety in Blackfoot territory. Why this dichotomy in dealing with non-Blackfoot? Most historical records deal with this conflict from the viewpoint of the American trappers. Here were men trying to make a living exploiting the natural resources of an untamed and "unclaimed" land, and perhaps, seeking their fortunes in the process. However, from the Blackfoot viewpoint they were arrogant poachers plundering their country without permission, and taking food from the mouths of their families. To understand this viewpoint it's necessary to understand the Blackfoot, and indeed Native American, concept of "ownership" and use, of the land. For this we go to the oral history of the people, and the cultural "marking" of their territory. It was a large territory that allowed for internal movement with utilization of the resources wherever and whenever they became available. Its boundaries were well marked, and recognized by surrounding tribes [but not unchallenged]. Figure 1 Blackfoot Marked Traditional Territory, Author's map IN THE BEGINNING Two very early stories have survived that tell of the arrival of people to Blackfoot country. At this time they were not yet "Blackfoot", but just "people". They tell of a family of human beings that came from across the mountains through a southern pass. "Very long ago there was a tribe of people living far to the south, on the other side of the mountains. Somehow game became very scarce there, and the people began to starve. In this tribe there was an old man who had three sons, all grown and married, and he felt very sad to see them and their little children starving and growing thinner every day�" The old man received a dream that told him of a plentiful land the other side of the mountains and the family decided to follow the advice of his dream. Traveling for days in a starving condition they thought they would never get out of the mountains. So one day they talked of giving up, they were so weak, when they suddenly saw that they had passed the last peak. Beyond was the great prairie, reaching to the end of the world. By sunset they reached it, and camped beside a little stream. Already they had seen plenty of game, great bands of buffalo, elk, and antelope. Early in the morning the sons started out to hunt, but they had bad luck. They could not get near enough game to kill it. But their father was a powerful person. He made a black medicine, a very wonderful medicine, and rubbed it on his oldest son's feet, and it enabled him to run so fast that he got right up beside a fat cow and killed her with one arrow. The old man gave his eldest son a new name. �Hereafter,' he said, �your name is Siks-i-kaho[Blackfoot] (Blackfeet, ed.). It shall be the name of your children, too,' "Now the other sons were jealous. They said, �Is our elder brother better than we? Why may we not have some of this black medicine, too?' "'Wait,' said their father. �You shall each have a new name. First go to war, and when you return I will give you new names for yourself and your children. Here we will found three tribes, and this shall be their country.' The young men soon got ready and started, one going south, the other east. "It was winter when the one who went east returned. He brought scalps with him, and also some weapons which he had taken from the enemy. His father named him Kai-nah [Bloods]. From him and his children this tribe started. "The other son did not return until the middle of the winter. He also brought scalps and weapons, and some wearing apparel of curious make; so the old man named him Pi-kun-I[Piegan]. He was the first of this tribe."[Crazy Dog, Blackfoot, told to J.W. Schultz, to Grinnell; Grinnell, 1892; 154-156] [A similar story was told to Clark Wissler in the early 1900's.] Two other very important events are also mentioned in these stories. The first is the second dream of the black root given the old man. In it he has reached accord with the animals of this new land. They have given him the new methods to hunt the animals of the Plains [persistence hunting]. It was the black root, and the ceremony that accompanied it, that allowed the people to be successful in hunting the large animals. It was the animals themselves that had given permission to be utilized, and had shown the method to do it in a spiritual and respectful way. Other spiritual gifts, like the Beaver Bundle, Sun Dance and Thunder Medicine Pipe, would be given with methods of contacting and using the animals and land, and the spiritual power that went with them. Physical locations where spiritual events occurred were the symbols of contracts between the spiritual realm and the people. In each of these the covenant and integration of the people with all the animals and spirits was established, and the possession of the land reinforced. And in the ceremony of each bundle it is repeated and renewed during every opening to the present day. Secondly, boundaries were marked by the sons with pictographs, markers and stone effigies which notified any other group of people the land was occupied. These markers also were a "spiritual gate" of sorts since they negated, or weakened, any spiritual power the intruding group might have. Blackfoot spiritual and pictographic markers are found at each pass coming from the west, and along their borders north, south and east as well. Figure 2 Sun River Pass markings at head of "Raising Dust Trail", author's photo Figure 3 Sun River markings 2, author's photo Each added to the power of the people and their claim to the land, and in effect, posted the land as belonging to the Blackfoot. The Blackfoot people completed their covenant with the Above People, Earth People and Underwater People, and this land was theirs. CONFUSION "Our tribes came southward out of the wooded country to the north of Bow River. We began to make short excursions to the south, and finding it a better game country and with much less snow, we kept coming farther and farther, and finally gave up altogether our old home. This happened before my grandfather's [Sistsawana, Bird Rattle, ed.] time. We call that former home �Ishtssohatsi' [�in the brush']. The Peigan led in this movement and were followed by the Bloods and later the Blackfeet [Siksikai, ed.].We all hunted in the plains between Milk River and the Yellowstone, the Peigan finally wintering on the Musselshell or the Upper Missouri, the Bloods on Belly River, south of the site of Fort Macleod, the Blackfeet on Bow River, or its tributary, High River. Of course, individual families and small bands of the Blackfeet would sometimes spend the winter among the Peigans."[Tearing Lodge, 1898] Figure 4 Tearing Lodge and his wife, Edward Curtis Photo "Tearing Lodge further states that Bird Rattle used to say that through the forest country ran a big river, which informant thinks was larger than the Missouri. After the Peigan had begun to make short trips into the prairies, they one winter returned to the big river, to find white men on the other side. These men traded with them, and as the people began to go further south the white men followed them with their goods. Later, when they returned to the big river, they found a fort built on the other side, which Tearing Lodge believes was Edmonton House." [Tearing Lodge, South Peigan-Blackfoot, 1898, at the age of ca. 68, to Edward Curtis, Curtis mss; Seaver Center for Western History, L.A.] From this information, and the opinion of George Bird Grinnell who was with him interviewing Tearing Lodge in 1898, Curtis formed the conclusion that the Blackfoot people originated and migrated from the north near Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, in fairly recent time, and the big river referred to was the Peace River. Both published that conclusion, and thereafter other researchers quoted their findings as fact. Grinnell tried to add to the strength of his conclusion that the Cree name for the Blackfoot was "Slave Indians". Slave Lake bears the same name therefore it must be the home of the Blackfoot. He adds that Henry's Cree guides stated that the "Knisteneaux" [Slave Indians] and Beaver Indians made their peace at Peace Point from which the river gets its name. [Henry-Thompson Journals, Vol. II, page 510, N.Y. 1897] However, he would not be the first to face confusion with Cree names for various other groups. David Smyth covers this name confusion thoroughly in his thesis, "The Niitsitapi Trade" [Smyth, 2001] and shows other tribes were also called "Slave Indians" and misidentified as Blackfoot. Both Curtis and Grinnell were stretching parts of the information to fit their theories. Going back to the original notes we find that the big river that Tearing Lodge refers to is actually Big River [Omakati, in Blackfoot], the Saskatchewan River. All other historical accounts of meetings with the Blackfoot place them along the Saskatchewan at various times. None show them near Lesser Slave Lake or the Peace River. Another clue given by Tearing Lodge is that when they went back north they found "a fort built on the other side" [of the river]. This would probably be Buckingham House built on the North Saskatchewan River in 1780. [Bull Plume winter count for 1791.] There is no historical record of a trading post being built on the north side of the Peace River above Blackfoot territory at that time. Some of this confusion can be due to the interpreter, and some can be interpretation of the story by researchers with preconceived theories. For example quoting from the Curtis manuscript again; Their genetic legend is so modernized that the creation is placed on the Teton River in Montana. The aged wiseman [Tearing Lodge, ed.] who gave the story of the creation on the Teton, the following day told how his paternal grandfather had discussed the life of the people when living at the lesser Slave Lake [Curtis and Grinnell's opinion as to the location, ed.] hundreds of miles north and generations before they moved south to Montana. When asked to reconcile his historical statement with the legend he merely smiled, shrugged his shoulders and said, "That is the way the people tell it". [Curtis Mss., Seaver Center for Western History, L.A.] To this we can add the story that after Napi created the Blackfoot people he rested on a butte where he made a stone image of himself. This stone outline, of Napi lying down, on the Teton River just west of Choteau, Montana, was recently destroyed by vandals. If we are to accept this story of the Blackfoot originally being in the south what would be the reason they were found along the North Saskatchewan River? One answer may come from the far southwest United States. We know as a fact that one of the smallpox epidemics that hit the Blackfoot people came through the Shoshone people to the south. [Bull Plume's 1764 winter count.] If an earlier [and possibly "first"] epidemic had hit the Blackfoot from the same source, they would have fled as far away from the source as possible. And that would be to the far northern border of their land. Is it possible such an event occurred? From the journals of fray Juan de Prada of 1638 we may find an answer, and source of this disease. As the Franciscan Commissary General of New Spain [New Mexico, etc.] he reported Pueblo Indian numbers declined due, "to that extent on account of the very active prevalence during these last years of smallpox and the sickness which the Mexicans called cocolitzli [typhus, ed.]" From 60,000 they were reduced to 40,000 people during the years 1636-1641. [Hackett, p109-111] This, along with forced slavery, and abuse by the Spanish, caused a great flight of Pueblo Indians from the Spanish country to the Plains Indians. Some fled to the Plains Apache country to the east, while others escaped to the Utes in the north. Since the Utes, as well as the Comanche and Apache to the east, were old trading partners among the pueblos, there would be a favorable welcome for them. Both the Comanche and Utes were related to the Shoshone and were frequent trading partners. It would take only one infected individual to spread the diseases among them and on to the Blackfoot southern border. The time-line would be right for the Blackfoot to have fled north, stayed until they were comfortable the disease to the south had run its course [one or two generations?], recovered their numbers and strength, and discovered enemy tribes [already recovered from the epidemic] were beginning to move into their original country. This would be about the time first contact with European traders placed them on the north boundary of their country and moving back to the south. Based on Blackfoot oral history [and Euro-historical documents] concerning wintering, war expeditions, and hunting camp sites, the area considered by the Blackfoot Confederacy to be theirs runs from where the North Saskatchewan River comes out of the mountains above Rocky Mountain house, south along the edge of the mountains to the Helena/ Three Rivers area; east to Livingston, then following the Yellowstone River to the Forsyth/Miles City area; north to Glasgow near the mouth of the Milk River and from there north into Saskatchewan, east of Swift Current, to North Battleford [passing east of the Eagle Hills, site of the first contact], to the North Saskatchewan River and following that to Rocky Mountain House. These borders were, of course, contested by enemy tribes and, as the Blackfoot became more horse orientated they shifted closer to the foothills where the environment was more conducive to wintering their horses. In later years the location of trading posts would also be a factor in the moves. Figure 5 Drawing, rock by rock, of the "Napi" creator figure. Probably erected by the Blackfeet Indians some 600 years ago. [1350, ed.] Drawing made by Professor Carling Malouf, University of Montana, 1958. Located on the Madison River bluffs west of Bozeman. This concept of ownership via a spiritual covenant [or contract, if you will] was common among other tribes on the northern plains, and recognized as a valid claim. It was a totally foreign and unknown concept of ownership to the intruding Euro-culture. The Hudson Bay Company had early, first hand experience with this when their company trappers were sent home naked and afoot from Blackfoot country. After several other attempts, with similar results, they realized the need to seek permission for their trappers to hunt in Blackfoot country. [Thompson, 1880] Once they were granted permission the depredations came to a halt by and large. It was a lesson the American fur companies were slow to learn. The punishment for this trespass varied from stripping the transgressors of all they had and sending them home naked as a warning, to outright killing them. "Permission to hunt" extended as well to other tribes seeking buffalo in the Blackfoot territory. The "Across-the-Mountains" tribes, such as the Flatheads, Kootenai and Pend d'Orreille were often granted access for their buffalo hunts. Of course, if they thought the Blackfoot were not anywhere in the vicinity they would try to hold a hunt and leave before being discovered. In these cases, if they were discovered, they were considered as "stealing" Blackfoot buffalo and an attack was imminent [Ksiem siso, Revenge Raid]. Figure 6 Ksiem siso, Revenge Raid, Night Shoot, South Peigan, Fort Macleod Museum, Alberta Another factor creating hostility between American trappers and the Blackfoot can be considered "guilt by association". By aligning themselves with tribes such as the Crow and Flathead, and providing them with guns, they in effect "became Crows and Flatheads", enemies of the Blackfoot. This view extended to encounters outside Blackfoot country as well. Not limited to the Americans alone, this led to the Hudson Bay Company and North West Company being blockaded from trading with the Kootenai and Flathead and providing them with arms and ammunition. [Thompson & Henry Journals; Coues, 673-675, 1897] In contrast, when Blackfeet traveling in the southwest met Josiah Gregg's 1831 caravan on the Santa Fe Trail a totally different outcome occurred. Five hundred lodges and 2-3,000 North Blackfeet [this, no doubt included some Gros Ventre] encountered Gregg's caravan on the Cimarron River with both parties uncertain of the other's intentions. With both lines of fighters facing each other Gregg, deciding to try and push the Blackfeet back in order to attain a more favorable fighting position, unknowingly averted hostilities. "Our company was therefore mustered and drawn up in line of battle; and accompanied by the sound of a drum and fife we marched towards the main group of the Indians. The later seemed far more delighted than frightened with this strange parade and music�". [Gregg, 1967; 65] For the Blackfeet this was the traditional procedure between strange tribes to initiate peace. Each group of warriors would face each other, and led by a Medicine Pipe owner carrying his pipe, would advance toward each other, stopping four times and singing their peace songs. Thus, peace was made between the Blackfeet and the Americans, albeit an uneasy one on the part of the Americans who knew of the conflicts in the north, and reputation of the Blackfeet. But in this case no enemy tribal members traveled with the Americans, nor were they supplying their enemies. This trip by North Blackfeet to the southwest is well known in Blackfoot oral history. Figure 7 Petroglyph, Writing On Stone Provincial Park, Alberta. Meeting of Medicine Pipe carriers from two tribes. Figure 8 "When the whites from the South & North met." pictograph from Bull Plume Winter Count, author's collection. It was 1830, when Jacques Berger, a former trader from the Hudson Bay Company who spoke fluent Blackfoot, convinced Kenneth McKenzie, superintendent of the Upper Missouri Outfit of the American Fur Company, he could establish trade with the Blackfoot. With four men and a trading outfit provided by the Company, he traveled to Blackfoot country on a mission many thought was suicidal. Meeting with several Piikani who recognized him, he was invited to the main camp and spent the next twenty-two days distributing liberal gifts and reciting prices the Company would pay for furs. He managed to convince ninety-two men and thirty-two women to return to Fort Union with him. There, after being treated royally by McKenzie, they invited him to establish a trading post in their country. Traders, who would be invited guests and protected, were welcome but poaching trappers would never be allowed. Figure 9 Father Nicolas Point Drawing, The Archives of the Jesuits in Canada, Montreal. Figure 10 American Fur Company Fort, drawing by Thunder Chief, Blackfoot Indian, Point Collection, Jesuit Archives, Montreal. Figure 11 Gifts of alcohol by traders to the chiefs on their arrival at the fort, Thunder Chief, Blackfoot Indian [Thunder Chief's name glyph is above him at lower left quadrant], Point Collection, Jesuit Archive, Montreal. Figure 12 Traders preparing the feast for the chiefs on their arrival at the fort. [Thunder Chief's partial name glyph is just above the traders at the bottom.] By this time the Company had determined that free trappers working the countryside was a losing proposition, and a more profitable solution was needed. If trade could be established, the Blackfoot could provide the furs, and company expenses would drop considerably. This proved to be the case when McKenzie sent James Kipp in the fall of 1831 to establish Fort Peigan along the Marias River in the heart of Blackfoot country. Paying 3-400 percent higher than the Hudson Bay Company, Kipp took in 6,450 pounds of beaver which yielded $46,000 for the American Fur Company that year. The American Fur Company had finally figured it out. Seeking permission to trade in Blackfoot lands, rather than forcing their way in, solved their problems. Blackfoot ownership of the land was recognized and their sovereignty respected � for a time. BIBLIOGAPHY Bradley, James H. Affairs at Fort Benton from 1831 to 1869, From Lieut. Bradley's Journal, Historical Society of Montana, vol.3, Helena, Montana, 1900 Coues, Elliott 1965 The Manuscript Journals of Alexander Henry and David Thompson; 1799-1814, Vols. I & II Ross & Haines, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Curtis, Edward & Grinnell, George Bird Manuscript, Seaver Center for Western History Research, Los Angeles, CA. Hackett, Charles Wilson, ed. Historical Documents Vol. 3; Carnegie Institute of Washington Raczka, Paul Winter Count; a History of the Blackfoot People, Old Man River Cultural Centre, Brocket, Alberta, Canada.1979 Smyth, David 2001 The Niitsitapi Trade: Euro-Americans and the Blackfoot-Speaking Peoples to the mid 1830'S, PhD. Thesis, Carlton Univ. Nov Tyrrell, J. B. ed. 1916 "David Thompson's Narrative of His Explorations in Western America", The Champlain Society, Toronto,

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