PUBLISHED BY THE CENTURY CO.
NEW YORK MCMVII
Copyright, 1877, 1878, 1879, by
Scribner & Co.
Copyright, 1884, 1888, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1896, 1899, 1900, 1904, by
The Century Co.
THE DEVINNE PRESS
This collection of Indian stories is the first in a
series of volumes of historic tales retold from "St.
The books do not pretend to give anything like
connected history, but by means of the story that
thrills and interests they impart the real spirit of
the times they depict in a way no youthful reader
will be likely to forget.
Most of the stories in this book a boy of eight or
nine can read for himself, and these are the years
of his school life when he is being taught something
of our colonial history and of the myths and
legends of primitive man. Thus these stories,
while delighting many children and tempting
them to read "out of hours," will serve a very useful
| || |
|Onatoga's Sacrifice|| John Dimitry|
|Waukewa's Eagle|| James Buckham|
|A Fourth of July Among the Indians|| W. P. Hooper|
|A Boy's Visit To Chief Joseph|| Erskine Wood|
|Little Moccasin's Ride on The Thunder-Horse|| Colonel Guido Ilges|
|The Little First Man and the Little First Woman|| William M. Cary|
|Fun Among the Red Boys|| Julian Ralph|
|The Children of Zuñi|| Maria Brace Kimball|
|The Indian Girl and Her Messenger-bird|| George W. Ranck|
|How the Stone-age Children Played|| Charles C. Abbott|
|Games and Sports of the Indian Boy|| Dr. Charles Alexander Eastman|
|An Old-time Thanksgiving|| M. Eloise Talbot|
|Some Indian Dolls|| Olive Thorne Miller|
|The Walking Purchase|| George Wheeler|
|The First Americans|| F. S. Dellenbaugh|
Sleep, sleep, my boy; the Chippewas
Are far away—are far away.
Sleep, sleep, my boy; prepare to meet
The foe by day—the foe by day!
The cowards will not dare to fight
Till morning break—till morning break.
Sleep, sleep, my child, while still 'tis night;
Then bravely wake—then bravely wake!
ONCE, in the long ago, before the white man
had heard of the continent on which we
live, red men, who were brave and knew not what
fear was in battle, trembled at the mention of a
great man-eating bird that had lived before the
time told of in the traditions known of their oldest
This bird, which, according to the Indian legends,
ate men, was known as the Piasau.
The favorite haunt of this terrible bird was a
bluff on the Mississippi River, a short distance
above the site of the present city of Alton, Illinois.
There it was said to lie in wait, and to keep watch
over the broad, open prairies. Whenever some
rash Indian ventured out alone to hunt upon this
fatal ground, he became the monster's prey. The
legend says that the bird, swooping down with the
fierce swiftness of a hawk, seized upon its victim
and bore him to a gloomy cave wherein it
made its horrid feasts. The monster must have
had an insatiable appetite or a prolonged existence,
for tradition declares that it depopulated
whole villages. Then it was that the wise men
began to see visions and to prophesy the speedy
extinction of the tribe. Years of its ravages followed
one upon another, until at length, according
to the legend, was lost all reckoning of the
time when first that strange, foul creature came to
scourge their sunny plains. The aged men, whose
youth was but a dim memory, could say only that
the bird was as it had always been. None like it
had ever been heard of save in vague traditions.
There was one, Onatoga, who began to ponder.
ONATOGA IN THE FOREST
Now, Onatoga was the great leader of the Illini;
one whose name was spoken with awe even in
the distant wigwams north of the Great Lake.
Long had he grieved and wondered over the will
of the Great Spirit; that he should look upon the
men of the Western prairies, not as warriors, but
as deer or bison, only fit to fill the maw of so pestilent
a thing as this monstrous bird! Before the
new moon began to grow upon the face of the sky,
Onatoga's resolve was taken. He would go to
some spot deep in the forest where by fasting and
prayer his spirit would become so pure that the
Great Master of Life would hear him and once
again be kind and turn His face back, in light,
upon the Illini.
Stealing away from his tribe in the night, he
plunged far into the trackless forest. Then,
blackening his face, for a whole moon he fasted.
The moon waxed full and then waned; but no
vision came to assure him that the Great Spirit
had heard his prayers. Only one more night remained.
Wearied and sorrow-worn, he closed his
eyes. But, through the deep sleep that fell upon
him, came the voice of the Great Spirit. And this
is the message that came to Onatoga, as he lay
sleeping in body but, in his soul, awake:
"Arise, Chief of the Illini! Thou shalt save
thy race. Choose thou twenty of thy warriors;
noble-hearted, strong-armed, eagle-eyed. Put in
each warrior's hand a bow. Give to each an
arrow dipped in the venom of the snake. Seek
then the man whose heart loveth the Great Spirit.
Let him not fear to look the Piasau in the face;
but see that the warriors, with ready bows, stand
near in the shadow of the trees."
Onatoga awoke; strong, though he had fasted
a month; happy, though he knew he was soon to
die! Who, but he, the Great Chief of the Illini,
should die for his people—for was it not death to
look on the face of the Piasau?
Binding his moccasins firmly upon his feet, he
washed the marks of grief from his face, and
painted it with the brightest vermilion and blue.
Thus, in the splendid colors of a triumphant warrior,
he returned homeward. All was silent in the
village when, in the gray light of early day, he
entered his lodge. Soon the joyful news was
known. From lodge to lodge it spread until the
last wigwam was reached. Onatoga's quest was
Then the warriors began to gather. Furtively,
even in their gladness, they sought his lodge, for
the fear of the Piasau was over all. A solemn
awe fell upon them as they gathered around the
chief, who, it was whispered, had heard the voice
of the Great Spirit. Without, on that high bluff,
they knew that the fiend-bird crouched, waiting
for the morning light to reveal its prey. Within,
in sorrowing silence, they heard how the people
could be saved; but the hearts of the warriors
were heavy. All knew the sacrifice demanded—their
bravest and their best!
"ONATOGA, NEVER CEASING HIS CHANT, FACED THE PIASAU FEARLESSLY"
Onatoga chose his twenty warriors and appointed
them their place, where the rolling prairie
was broken by the edge of the forest. Then, when
the sun shot its first long shafts of light across the
level grasses, the chief walked slowly forth and
stood alone upon the prairie. The world in the
morning light was beautiful to Onatoga's eyes.
The flowers beneath his feet seemed to smile, and
poured forth richest perfumes; the sun was glorious
in its golden breast-plate, to do him honor;
while the lark and the mock-bird sang his praise
in joyous songs.
He had not long to wait. Soon, afar off, the
dreaded Piasau was seen moving heavily through
the clear morning air. Onatoga, drawing himself
to the full measure of his lofty height, raised his
death-song. The dull flutter of huge wings came
nearer, and a great shadow came rushing over the
sunlit fields. Onatoga, never ceasing his chant,
faced the Piasau fearlessly. A sudden fierce
swoop downward! In that very moment, twenty
poisoned arrows, loosed by twenty faithful hands,
sped true to their aim. With a scream that the
bluffs sent rolling back in sharp and deafening
echoes, the foul monster dropped dead! The
Great Spirit loved the man who had been willing
to sacrifice his life for his people. In the very instant
when death seemed sure, he covered the
heart of Onatoga with a shield; and he suffered
not the wind to blow aside a single arrow from its
mark,—the body of the fated Piasau.
"CUNNING CARVERS CUT DEEP INTO THE ROCK THE FORM OF THE PIASAU"
Great were the rejoicings that followed and
rich were the feasts that were held in honor of
Onatoga. The Illini resolved that the story of the
great deliverance and of the courageous love of
Onatoga should not die, though they themselves
should pass away. The cunning carvers of the
tribe cut deep into the living rock of the bluff the
terrible form of the Piasau. And, in later years,
when young children asked the meaning of this
great figure, so unlike any of the birds that they
knew upon their rivers and their prairies, then the
fathers would tell them the story of the Piasau,
and how the Great Spirit had found, in Onatoga,
a warrior who loved his fellow-men better than he
loved his own life.
ONE day, when the Indian boy Waukewa was
hunting along the mountain-side, he found
a young eagle with a broken wing, lying at the
base of a cliff. The bird had fallen from an aery
on a ledge high above, and being too young to fly,
had fluttered down the cliff and injured itself so
severely that it was likely to die. When Waukewa
saw it he was about to drive one of his sharp
arrows through its body, for the passion of the
hunter was strong in him, and the eagle plunders
many a fine fish from the Indian's drying-frame.
But a gentler impulse came to him as he saw the
young bird quivering with pain and fright at his
feet, and he slowly unbent his bow, put the arrow
in his quiver, and stooped over the panting eaglet.
For fully a minute the wild eyes of the wounded
bird and the eyes of the Indian boy, growing gentler
and softer as he gazed, looked into one another.
Then the struggling and panting of the
young eagle ceased; the wild, frightened look
passed out of its eyes, and it suffered Waukewa to
pass his hand gently over its ruffled and draggled
feathers. The fierce instinct to fight, to defend its
threatened life, yielded to the charm of the tenderness
and pity expressed in the boy's eyes; and
from that moment Waukewa and the eagle were
Waukewa went slowly home to his father's
lodge, bearing the wounded eaglet in his arms.
He carried it so gently that the broken wing gave
no twinge of pain, and the bird lay perfectly still,
never offering to strike with its sharp beak the
hands that clasped it.
Warming some water over the fire at the lodge,
Waukewa bathed the broken wing of the eagle
and bound it up with soft strips of skin. Then
he made a nest of ferns and grass inside the lodge,
and laid the bird in it. The boy's mother looked
on with shining eyes. Her heart was very tender.
From girlhood she had loved all the creatures of
the woods, and it pleased her to see some of her
own gentle spirit waking in the boy.
When Waukewa's father returned from hunting,
he would have caught up the young eagle and
wrung its neck. But the boy pleaded with him so
eagerly, stooping over the captive and defending
it with his small hands, that the stern warrior
laughed and called him his "little squaw-heart."
"Keep it, then," he said, "and nurse it until it is
well. But then you must let it go, for we will not
raise up a thief in the lodges." So Waukewa
promised that when the eagle's wing was healed
and grown so that it could fly, he would carry it
forth and give it its freedom.
It was a month—or, as the Indians say, a moon—before
the young eagle's wing had fully mended
and the bird was old enough and strong enough
to fly. And in the meantime Waukewa cared for
it and fed it daily, and the friendship between the
boy and the bird grew very strong.
"THE YOUNG EAGLE ROSE TOWARD THE SKY"
But at last the time came when the willing captive
must be freed. So Waukewa carried it far
away from the Indian lodges, where none of the
young braves might see it hovering over and be
tempted to shoot their arrows at it, and there he
let it go. The young eagle rose toward the sky in
great circles, rejoicing in its freedom and its
strange, new power of flight. But when Waukewa
began to move away from the spot, it came
swooping down again; and all day long it followed
him through the woods as he hunted. At
dusk, when Waukewa shaped his course for the
Indian lodges, the eagle would have accompanied
him. But the boy suddenly slipped into a hollow
tree and hid, and after a long time the eagle
stopped sweeping about in search of him and flew
slowly and sadly away.
Summer passed, and then winter; and spring
came again, with its flowers and birds and swarming
fish in the lakes and streams. Then it was
that all the Indians, old and young, braves and
squaws, pushed their light canoes out from shore
and with spear and hook waged pleasant war
against the salmon and the red-spotted trout.
After winter's long imprisonment, it was such joy
to toss in the sunshine and the warm wind and
catch savory fish to take the place of dried meats
Above the great falls of the Apahoqui the
salmon sported in the cool, swinging current,
darting under the lee of the rocks and leaping full
length in the clear spring air. Nowhere else were
such salmon to be speared as those which lay
among the riffles at the head of the Apahoqui rapids.
But only the most daring braves ventured to
seek them there, for the current was strong, and
should a light canoe once pass the danger-point
and get caught in the rush of the rapids, nothing
could save it from going over the roaring falls.
Very early in the morning of a clear April day,
just as the sun was rising splendidly over the
mountains, Waukewa launched his canoe a half-mile
above the rapids of the Apahoqui, and floated
downward, spear in hand, among the salmon-riffles.
He was the only one of the Indian lads
who dared fish above the falls. But he had been
there often, and never yet had his watchful eye
and his strong paddle suffered the current to
carry his canoe beyond the danger-point. This
morning he was alone on the river, having risen
long before daylight to be first at the sport.
The riffles were full of salmon, big, lusty fellows,
who glided about the canoe on every side
in an endless silver stream. Waukewa plunged
his spear right and left, and tossed one glittering
victim after another into the bark canoe. So absorbed
in the sport was he that for once he did not
notice when the head of the rapids was reached
and the canoe began to glide more swiftly among
the rocks. But suddenly he looked up, caught his
paddle, and dipped it wildly in the swirling water.
The canoe swung sidewise, shivered, held its own
against the torrent, and then slowly, inch by inch,
began to creep upstream toward the shore. But
suddenly there was a loud, cruel snap, and the
paddle parted in the boy's hands, broken just
above the blade! Waukewa gave a cry of despairing
agony. Then he bent to the gunwale of
his canoe and with the shattered blade fought desperately
against the current. But it was useless.
The racing torrent swept him downward; the
hungry falls roared tauntingly in his ears.
Then the Indian boy knelt calmly upright in
the canoe, facing the mist of the falls, and folded
his arms. His young face was stern and lofty.
He had lived like a brave hitherto—now he would
die like one.
Faster and faster sped the doomed canoe toward
the great cataract. The black rocks glided
away on either side like phantoms. The roar of
the terrible waters became like thunder in the
boy's ears. But still he gazed calmly and sternly
ahead, facing his fate as a brave Indian should.
At last he began to chant the death-song, which
he had learned from the older braves. In a few
moments all would be over. But he would come
before the Great Spirit with a fearless hymn upon
Suddenly a shadow fell across the canoe.
Waukewa lifted his eyes and saw a great eagle
hovering over, with dangling legs, and a spread
of wings that blotted out the sun. Once more
the eyes of the Indian boy and the eagle met; and
now it was the eagle who was master!
"HE AND THE STRUGGLING EAGLE WERE FLOATING OUTWARD AND DOWNWARD"
With a glad cry the Indian boy stood up in his
canoe, and the eagle hovered lower. Now the
canoe tossed up on that great swelling wave that
climbs to the cataract's edge, and the boy lifted his
hands and caught the legs of the eagle. The next
moment he looked down into the awful gulf of
waters from its very verge. The canoe was
snatched from beneath him and plunged down the
black wall of the cataract; but he and the struggling
eagle were floating outward and downward
through the cloud of mist. The cataract roared
terribly, like a wild beast robbed of its prey. The
spray beat and blinded, the air rushed upward as
they fell. But the eagle struggled on with his
burden. He fought his way out of the mist and
the flying spray. His great wings threshed the
air with a whistling sound. Down, down they
sank, the boy and the eagle, but ever farther from
the precipice of water and the boiling whirlpool
below. At length, with a fluttering plunge, the
eagle dropped on a sand-bar below the whirlpool,
and he and the Indian boy lay there a minute,
breathless and exhausted. Then the eagle slowly
lifted himself, took the air under his free wings,
and soared away, while the Indian boy knelt on
the sand, with shining eyes following the great
bird till he faded into the gray of the cliffs.
A FOURTH OF JULY AMONG THE INDIANS
what we, like all
boys, wanted to
see; and this was
why, after leaving the railroad
on which we had been traveling
for several days and
nights, we found ourselves at
last in a big canvas-covered
wagon lumbering across the
We were on our way to see
a celebration of the Fourth of
July at a Dakota Indian agency.
It was late in the afternoon of a hot summer's
day. We had been riding since early morning,
and had not met a living creature—not even a
bird or a snake. Only those who have experienced
it know how wearying to the eyes it is to
gaze all day long, and see nothing but the sky and
However, an hour before sunset we did see
something. At first, it looked like a mere speck
against the sky; then it seemed like a bush or a
shrub; but it rapidly increased in size as we approached.
Then, with the aid of our field-glass,
we saw it was a man on horseback. No, not exactly
that, either; it was an Indian chief riding an
Indian pony. Now, I have seen Indians in the
East—"Dime Museum Indians." I have seen
the Indians who travel with the circus—yes, and
I have seen the untutored savages who sell bead-work
at Niagara Falls; but this one was different—he
was quite different. I felt sure that he was
a genuine Indian. He was unlike the Indians I
had seen in the East. The most striking difference
was that this one presented a grand unwashed
effect. It must have required years of
patient industry in avoiding the wash-bowl, and
great good luck in dodging the passing showers,
for him to acquire the rich effect of color which he
displayed. Though it was one of July's hottest
days, he had on his head an arrangement made of
fur, with head trimmings and four black-tipped
feathers; a long braid of his hair, wound with
strips of fur, hung down in front of each ear, and
strings of beads ornamented his neck. He wore
a calico shirt, with tin bands on his arms above
the elbow; a blanket was wrapped around his
waist; his leggings had strips of beautiful bright
bead-work, and his moccasins were ornamented
in the same style. But in his right hand he was
holding a most murderous-looking instrument.
It was a long wooden club, into one end of which
three sharp, shining steel knife-blades were set.
Though I had been complaining of the heat, still I
now felt chilly as I looked at the weapon, and saw
how well it matched the expression of his cruel
mouth and piercing eyes.
He passed on while we were trying to make a
sketch of him. However, the next day, an interpreter
brought him around, and, for a small piece
of tobacco, he was glad to pose while the sketch
was being finished. We learned his name was
"Can-h-des-ka-wan-ji-dan" (One Hoop).
"ONE HOOP" IN HIS SUMMER COSTUME
A few moments later, we passed an iron post set
firmly into the ground. It marked one of the
boundaries of the Indian Reservation. We were
now on a tract of land set aside by the United
States Government as the living-ground of sixteen
hundred "Santee" Sioux Indians. We soon
saw more Indians, who, like us, seemed to be moving
toward the little village at the Indian agency.
Each group had put their belongings into a big
bundle, and strapped it upon long poles, which
were fastened at one end to the back of a pony.
In this bundle the little papooses rode in great
comfort, looking like blackbirds peering from a
nest. In some cases, an older child would be riding
in great glee on the pony's back among the
poles. The family baggage seemed about equally
distributed between the pony and the squaw who
led him. She was preceded by her lord and master,
the noble red Indian, who carried no load except
his long pipe.
The next thing of interest was what is called a
Red River wagon. It was simply a cart with two
large wheels, the whole vehicle made of wood.
As the axles are never oiled, the Red River carry-all
keeps up a most terrible squeaking. This
charming music-box was drawn by one ox, and
contained an Indian, who was driving with a
whip. His wife and children were seated on the
bottom of this jolting and shrieking cart.
AN INDIAN ENCAMPMENT FOR THE NIGHT
As we neared the agency buildings, we passed
many Indians who had settled for the night.
They chose the wooded ravines, near streams, by
which to put up their tents, or "tepees," which
consisted of long poles covered with patched and
smoke-stained canvas, with two openings, one at
the top for a "smoke-hole" and the other for a
door, through which any one must crawl in order
to enter the domestic circle of the gentle savage.
We entered several tepees, making ourselves welcome
by gifts of tobacco to every member of the
family. That night, after reaching the agency
and retiring to our beds, we dreamed of smoking
great big pipes, with stems a mile long, which
were passed to us by horrible-looking black
witches. But morning came at last,—and such
That Fourth of July morning I shall never forget.
We were awakened by the most blood-curdling
yells that ever pierced the ears of three white
boys. It was the Indian war-whoop. I found
myself instinctively feeling for my back hair, and
regretting the distance to the railroad. We lingered
indoors in a rather terrified condition, until
we found out that this was simply the beginning
of the day's celebration. It was the "sham-fight,"
but it looked real enough when the Indians
came tearing by, their ponies seeming to enter
into the excitement as thoroughly as their riders.
There were some five hundred, in full frills and
war-paint, and all giving those terrible yells.
Their costumes were simple, but gay in color—paint,
feathers, and more paint, with an occasional
For weapons they carried guns, rifles, and long
spears. Bows and arrows seemed to be out of
style. A few had round shields on their left arms.
Most of the tepees had been collected together
and pitched so as to form a large circle, and their
wagons were placed outside this circle so as to
make a sort of protection for the defending party.
The attacking party, brandishing their weapons
in the air with increased yells, rushed their excited
and panting ponies up the slope toward the
tepees, where they were met by a rapid discharge
of blank cartridges and powder. Some of the ponies
became frightened and unmanageable, several
riders were unhorsed, and general confusion
prevailed. The intrenched party, in the meantime,
rushed out from behind their defenses,
climbing on top of their wagons, yelling and
dancing around like demons. Added to this, the
sight of several riderless ponies flying wildly from
the tumult made the sham-fight have a terribly
After the excitement was over, the regular
games which had been arranged for the day
In the foot-races, the costumes were so slight
that there was nothing to describe—simply paint
in fancy patterns, moccasins, and a girdle of red
flannel. But how they could run! I did not suppose
anything on two legs could go so fast. The
lacrosse costumes were bright and attractive.
The leader of one side wore a shirt of soft, tanned
buck-skin, bead-work and embroidery on the
front, long fringe on the shoulders, bands around
the arms, and deep fringe on the bottom of the
skirt. The legs were bare to the knee, and from
there down to the toes was one mass of fine glittering
bead-work. In the game, there were a
hundred Indians engaged on each side. The
game was long, but exciting, being skilfully
played. The grounds extended about a mile in
length. The ball was the size of a common baseball,
and felt almost as solid as a rock, the center
being of lead. The shape of the Indian lacrosse
stick is shown in the sketch.
SHA-KE-TO-PA, A YOUNG BRAVE
Then came games on horseback. But the most
interesting performance of the whole day, and one
in which they all manifested an absorbing interest,
was the dinner.
At 3 a.m. several oxen had been butchered, and
from that time till the dinner was served all the
old squaws had their hands
full. Fires were made in long
lines, poles placed over them,
and high black pots, kettles,
and zinc pails filled with a
combination of things, including
beef and water, were suspended
there and carefully
tended by ancient Indian ladies
in picturesque, witch-like
costumes, who gently stirred
the boiling bouillion with
pieces of wood, while other
seemingly more ancient and
brought great bundles of wood from the ravines,
tied up in blankets and swung over their shoulders.
Think of a dinner for sixteen hundred noble
chiefs and braves, stalwart head-men, young
bucks, old squaws, girls, and children! And such
queer-looking children—some dressed in full war
costume, some in the most approved dancing
"TAKING A SPOONFUL OF THE SOUP, HE POURED IT UPON THE GROUND."
One little boy, whose name was Sha-ke-to-pa
(Four Nails), had five feathers—big ones, too—in
his hair. His face was painted; he wore great
round ear-rings, and rows of beads and claws
around his neck; bands of beads on his little bare
brown arms; embroidered leggings and beautiful
moccasins, and a long piece of red cloth hanging
from his waist. In fact, he was as gaily dressed
as a grown-up Indian man, and he had a cunning
little war-club, all ornamented and painted.
When the dinner was nearly ready, the men began
to seat themselves in a long curved line.
Behind them, the women and children were gathered.
When everything was ready, a chief wearing
a long arrangement of feathers hanging from
his back hair and several bead pouches across his
shoulders, with a long staff in his
left hand, walked into the center
of the circle. Taking a spoonful
of the soup, he held it high
in the air, and then, turning
slowly around, chanting a song,
he poured the contents of the
spoon upon the ground. This,
an interpreter explained to us,
was done to appease the spirits
of the air. After this, the old squaws limped
nimbly around with the pails of soup and other
food, serving the men. After they were all
bountifully and repeatedly helped, the women and
children, who had been patiently waiting, were
allowed to gather about the fragments and half-empty
pots and finish the repast, which they did
with neatness and despatch.
Then the warriors lay around and smoked their
long-stem pipes, while the young men prepared
for the pony races.
The first of the races was "open to all," and
more than a hundred ponies and their riders were
arranged in a row. Some of the ponies were very
spirited, and seemed fully to realize what was
going to take place, and they would persist in
pushing ahead of the line. Then the other riders
would start their ponies; then the whole line
would have to be reformed. But finally they
were all started, and such shouting, and such
waving of whips in the air!—and how the little
ponies did jump! When the race was over, how
we all crowded around the winner, and how proud
the pony as well as the rider seemed to feel!
Now we had a better chance to examine the ponies
than ever before, and some were very handsome.
And such prices! Think of buying a beautiful
three-year-old cream-colored pony for twenty dollars!
But as the hour of sunset approached, the interest
in the races vanished, and so did most of
the braves. They sought the seclusion of their
bowers, to adorn themselves for the grand "grass
dance," which was to begin at sunset.
HOLIDAY CLOTHES AND EVERY-DAY CLOTHES
What a contrast between their every-day dress
and their dancing costumes! The former consists
of a blanket more or less tattered and torn, while
the gorgeousness of the latter discourages a description
in words; so I refer you to the pictures.
Of course, we were eager to purchase some of the
Indian finery, but it was
a bad time to trade successfully
with the Indians.
They were too much taken
up with the pleasures of the
day to care to turn an honest
penny by parting with
any of their ornaments.
However, we succeeded in
buying a big war-club set
with knives, some pipes
with carved stems a yard
long, a few knife-sheaths
and pouches, glittering with
beads, and several pairs of
of which now adorn a New
Soon the highly decorated
red men silently assembled
inside a large space inclosed by bushes
stuck into the ground. This was their dance-hall.
The squaws were again shut out, as, according to
Santee Sioux custom, they are not allowed to join
in the dances with the men. The Indians, as they
came in, sat quietly down around the sides of the
inclosure. The musicians were gathered around
a big drum, on which they pounded with short
sticks, while they sang a sort of wild, weird chant.
The effect, to an uneducated white man's ear, was
rather depressing, but it seemed very pleasing to
The ball was opened by an old chief, who, rising
slowly, beckoned the others to follow him. In
his right hand the leader carried a wooden gun,
ornamented with eagles' feathers; in the left he
held a short stick, with bells attached to it. He
wore a cap of otter skin, from which hung a long
train. His face was carefully painted in stripes
of blue and yellow.
At first, they all moved slowly, jumping twice
on each foot; then, as the musicians struck up a
more lively pounding and a more inspiring song,
the dancers moved with more rapidity, giving an
occasional shout and waving their arms in the air.
As they grew warmer and more excited, the musicians
redoubled their exertions on the drum and
changed their singing into prolonged howls; then
one of them, dropping his drumsticks, sprang to
his feet, and, waving his hands over his head, he
yelled till he was breathless, urging on the dancers.
This seemed to be the finishing touch. The
orchestra and dancers seemed to vie with each
other as to who should make the greater noise.
Their yells were deafening, and, brandishing
their knives and tomahawks, they sprang around
with wonderful agility. Of course, this intense
excitement could last but a short time; the voices
of the musicians began to fail, and, finally, with
one last grand effort, they all gave a terrible
shout, and then all was silence. The dancers
crawled back to their places around the inclosure,
and sank exhausted on the grass. But soon some
supple brave regained enough strength to rise.
The musicians slowly recommenced, other dancers
came forward, and the "mad dance" was
again in full blast. And thus the revels went on,
hour after hour, all night, and continued even
through the following day. But there was a curious
fascination about it, and, tired as we were
after the long day, we stood there looking on hour
after hour. Finally, after midnight had passed,
we gathered our Indian purchases about us, including
two beautiful ponies, and began our return
trip toward the railroad and civilization.
But the monotonous sound of the Indian drum
followed us mile after mile over the prairie; in
fact, it followed us much better than my new
My arm aches now, as I remember how that
pony hung back.
A BOY'S VISIT TO CHIEF JOSEPH
: The author of the sketch "A Boy's Visit to Chief Joseph"
was Erskine Wood, a boy thirteen years old. He was then
an expert shot with the rifle, and had brought down not only
small game, but bear, wolves, and deer. A true woodsman, he
was also a skilled archer and angler, having camped alone in
the woods, and lived upon the game secured by shooting and
When Chief Joseph, of the Nez Percé Indians, went to the
national capital, he met Erskine, and invited the young hunter to
visit his camp some summer. So in July, 1892, the boy started
alone from Portland, Oregon, carrying his guns, bows, rods, and
blanket, and made his own way to Chief Joseph's camp on the
The Indians received him hospitably, and he took part in their
annual fall hunt. He was even adopted into the tribe by the chief,
and, according to their custom, received an Indian name, Ishem-tux-il-pilp,—"Red Moon."
Chief Joseph's band was the remnant of the tribe which, under his
leadership, fought the United States army so gallantly in 1877;
they carried on a running fight of about eleven hundred miles in
When Erskine visited him, the chief was in every way most
kind and hospitable to his young guest.
C. E. S. Wood.]
I LEFT Portland on the third of July, 1892,
to visit Chief Joseph, who was chief of the
Nez Percé Indians. They lived on the Colville
Agency, two or three hundred miles north of the
city of Spokane, in the State of Washington.
I arrived at Davenport, Washington, on the
fourth of July. There was no stage, so I had to
stay all night. I left for Fort Spokane next day,
arriving at about seven in the evening. As we
did not start for Nespilem until the seventh, I
went and visited Colonel Cook, commanding officer
at the fort. I stayed all night, and next morning
I helped the soldiers load cartridges at the
magazine. That afternoon I watched the soldiers
shooting volleys at the target range. We started
for Nespilem in a wagon at three o'clock in the
The next day I went fishing in the morning,
and in the afternoon I went up the creek again,
fishing with Doctor Latham. He was doctor at
the Indian agency. The next day I went down to
Joseph's camp, where I stayed the rest of the time—about
five months—alone with the Indians.
The doctor and the teamster returned to the
agency. During my first day in the camp, I wrote
a letter to my mother, and bought a beaded leather
belt from one of the squaws. I stayed about camp
most of the first day; but in the afternoon I went
fishing, and caught a nice string of trout.
The Indian camp is usually in two or more long
rows of tepees. Sometimes two or three families
occupy one lodge. When they are hunting and
drying meat for their winter supply, several
lodges are put together, making one big lodge
about thirty feet long, in which are two or three
fires instead of one. They say that it dries the
When game gets scarce, camp is broken and
moved to a different place. The men and boys
catch the horses, and then the squaws have to put
on the pack-saddles (made of bone and covered
with untanned deer-hide) and pack them. The
men sit around smoking and talking. When all
is ready, the different families set out, driving
their spare horses and pack-horses in front of
them. The men generally hunt in the early morning;
they get up at about two o'clock, take a vapor
bath, get breakfast, and start to hunt at about
three. Sometimes they hunt on horseback, and
sometimes on foot. They come back at about ten
or eleven o'clock, and if they have been on foot
and have been successful they take a horse and
go and bring in the game. The meat is always
divided. If Chief Joseph is there, he divides it;
and if he is not there, somebody is chosen to fill
his place. They believe that if the heads or horns
of the slain deer are left on the ground, the other
deer feel insulted and will go away, and that
would spoil the hunting in that neighborhood. So
the heads and horns are hung up in trees. They
think, too, that when anybody dies, his spirit hovers
around the spot for several days afterward,
and so they always move the lodge. I was sitting
with Joseph in the tepee once, when a lizard
crawled in. I discovered it, and showed it to Joseph.
He was very solemn, and I asked him what
was the matter. "A medicine-man sent it here to
do me harm. You have very good eyes to discover
the tricks of the medicine-men." I was
going to throw it into the fire, but he stopped me,
saying: "If you burn it, it will make the medicine-men
angry. You must kill it some other way."
The Indians' calendars are little square sticks
of wood about eight inches long. Every day they
file a little notch, and on Sunday a little hole is
made. When any one dies, the notch is painted
red or black. When they are home at Nespilem,
they all meet out on the prairie on certain days,
and have horse-racing. They run for about two
miles. When they are on the home-stretch, about
half a mile from the goal, a lot of men get behind
them and fire pistols and whip the horses.
I was out grouse-hunting with Niky Mowitz,
my Indian companion, and we started a deer. We
were near the camp, and he proposed to run
around in front of the deer and head it for camp.
So we started, and the way he got over those rocks
was a wonder! If we had not had the dogs, we
might have succeeded; but as soon as they caught
sight of the deer, they went after it like mad, and
we did not see it again. Niky Mowitz is a nephew
and adopted son of Chief Joseph; his father was
killed in the Nez Percé war of 1877. In the fall
hunt the boys are not allowed to go grouse- or
pheasant-hunting without first getting permission
of the chief in command. And it is never granted
to them until the boys have driven the horses to
water and counted them to see if any are missing.
The game that the boys play most has to be
played out in open country, where there are no
sticks or underbrush. They get a little hoop, or
some of them have a little iron ring, about two
inches across. Then they range themselves in
rows, and one rolls the ring on the ground, and
the others try to throw spears through it. The
spears are straight sticks about three feet and a
half long, with two or three little branches cut
short at the end, to keep the spear from going
clear through the ring.
The Indians take "Turkish," or vapor, baths.
They have a little house in the shape of a half
globe, made of willow sticks, covered with sods
and dirt until it is about a foot thick and perfectly
tight. A hole is dug in the house and filled with
hot rocks. The Indians (usually about four)
crowd in, and then one pours hot water on the hot
rocks, making a lot of steam. They keep this up
until one's back commences to burn, and then he
gives a little yell, and somebody outside tilts up
the door (a blanket), and they all come out and
jump at once into the cold mountain-stream.
This bath is taken just before going hunting, as
they think that the deer cannot scent them after it.
Only the boys indulge in wrestling. They fold
their hands behind each other's backs, and try to
throw each other by force, or by bending the back
backward. Tripping is unfair, in their opinion.
The country is full of game, and we killed
many deer and a cinnamon bear. In the evening,
when they come home, they talk about the day's
hunt, and what they saw and did. The one that
killed the bear said that when he first saw the bear
it was about fifteen yards off, and coming for him
with open jaws, and growling and roaring like
everything. He fired and wounded it. It stopped
and stood on its hind legs, roaring worse than
ever. While this was going on, the Indian slipped
around and shot it through the heart. I cut off
the claws and made a necklace out of them. The
next day they dug a hole nine feet in diameter and
built a big fire in it, and piled rocks all over the fire
to heat them. In the meantime the squaws had
cut a lot of fir-boughs and brought the bear-meat.
When the fire had burned down, and the rocks
were red hot, all the coals and things that would
smoke were raked out, and sticks laid across the
hole (it was about three feet deep). Then the fir-boughs
were dipped in water and laid over the
sticks. And then meat was laid on, and then more
fir-boughs, and then the fat (the fat between the
hide and flesh of a bear is taken off whole) is laid
on, and then more fir-boughs dipped and sprinkled
with water. Then come two or three blankets,
and, last of all, the whole thing is covered with
earth until it is perfectly tight. After about two
hours everything is removed, and the water that
has been put on the boughs has steamed the meat
thoroughly. Then Chief Joseph comes and cuts
it up, and every family gets a portion. I helped
the squaws cook some wild carrots once (they
cook them just as they do the bear, except that
they let them cook all night), and Joseph said that
I must not do squaws' work: that a brave must
hunt, fish, fight, and take care of the horses; but
a squaw must put up the tepees, cook, sew, make
moccasins and clothes, tan the hides, and take care
of the household goods.
The boys take care of the horses. They catch
them and drive them to and from their watering-places;
and the rest of the time they hunt with
bows and arrows (the boys don't have guns), and
fish and play games. The Indian dogs are fine
grouse- and pheasant-hunters, scenting the game
from a long distance, and going and treeing them;
and they will stay there and bark until the men
come. The dogs are exactly like coyotes, except
that they are smaller.
ERSKINE WOOD—NAMED BY CHIEF JOSEPH "ISHEM-TUX-IL-PILP" OR "RED MOON"
Many people have said that the Indian is lazy.
In the summer he takes care of his horses, hunts
enough to keep fresh meat, fishes, and plays games.
But in the fall, when they are getting their winter
meat, they get up regularly every morning at two
o'clock and start to hunt. And if the Indian has
been successful, as he usually is, he seldom gets
home before five o'clock. And the next morning
it is the same thing, while hoar-frost is all over
the ground. In the Fall Hunt, I was out in the
mountains with them seventy-five miles from
Nespilem (where Joseph's camp was, and about
one hundred and fifty miles from the agency), and
it was about the 15th of November; and if I had
not gone home then, I would not have been able
to go until spring. So Niky Mowitz brought me
in to Nespilem, and we made the trip (seventy-six
miles) in one day. We started at about eight
o'clock in the morning, on our ponies. We had
not been gone more than an hour when the dogs
started a deer; we rode very fast, and tried to get
a sight of it, but we couldn't.
Chief Joseph did not go to the mountains with
us on this hunt, and we reached his tent in Nespilem
at about ten o'clock. When we got to the
tent, one of Joseph's squaws cooked us some supper;
and on the third day after that, I went to
Wilbur, a little town on the railroad, and from
there to Portland, where papa met me at the train.
LITTLE MOCCASIN'S RIDE ON THE THUNDER-HORSE
"LITTLE MOCCASIN" was, at the time we
speak of, fourteen years old, and about as
mischievous a boy as could be found anywhere in
the Big Horn mountains. Unlike his comrades
of the same age, who had already killed buffaloes
and stolen horses from the white men and the
Crow Indians, with whom Moccasin's tribe, the
Uncapapas, were at war, he preferred to lie under
a shady tree in the summer, or around the campfire
in winter, listening to the conversation of the
old men and women, instead of going upon expeditions
with the warriors and the hunters.
The Uncapapas are a very powerful and numerous
tribe of the great Sioux Nation, and before
Uncle Sam's soldiers captured and removed
them, and before the Northern Pacific Railroad
entered the territory of Montana, they occupied
the beautiful valleys of the Rosebud, Big and Little
Horn, Powder and Redstone rivers, all of
which empty into the grand Yellowstone Valley.
In those days, before the white man had set foot
upon these grounds, there was plenty of game,
such as buffalo, elk, antelope, deer, and bear; and,
as the Uncapapas were great hunters and good
shots, the camp of Indians to which Little Moccasin
belonged always had plenty of meat to eat
and plenty of robes and hides to sell and trade for
horses and guns, for powder and ball, for sugar
and coffee, and for paint and flour. Little Moccasin
showed more appetite than any other Indian
in camp. In fact, he was always hungry, and used
to eat at all hours, day and night. Buffalo meat
he liked the best, particularly the part taken from
the hump, which is so tender that it almost melts
in the mouth.
When Indian boys have had a hearty dinner of
good meat, they generally feel very happy and
very lively. When hungry, they are sad and dull.
This was probably the reason why Little Moccasin
was always so full of mischief, and always
inventing tricks to play upon the other boys. He
was a precocious and observing youngster, full of
quaint and original ideas—never at a loss for expedients.
But he was once made to feel very sorry for
having played a trick, and I must tell my young
readers how it happened.
"Running Antelope," one of the great warriors
and the most noted orator of the tribe, had returned
from a hunt, and Mrs. Antelope was frying
for him a nice buffalo steak—about as large
as two big fists—over the coals. Little Moccasin,
who lived in the next street of tents, smelled the
feast, and concluded that he would have some of
it. In the darkness of the night he slowly and
carefully crawled toward the spot where Mistress
Antelope sat holding in one hand a long stick, at
the end of which the steak was frying. Little
Moccasin watched her closely, and, seeing that
she frequently placed her other hand upon the
ground beside her and leaned upon it for support,
he soon formed a plan for making her drop the
He had once or twice in his life seen a pin, but
he had never owned one, and he could not have
known what use is sometimes made of them by
bad white boys. He had noticed, however, that
some of the leaves of the larger varieties of the
prickly-pear cactus-plant are covered with many
thorns, as long and as sharp as an ordinary pin.
So when Mrs. Antelope again sat down and
looked at the meat to see if it was done, he slyly
placed half-a-dozen of the cactus leaves upon the
very spot of ground upon which Mrs. Antelope
had before rested her left hand.
Then the young mischief crawled noiselessly
into the shade and waited for his opportunity,
which came immediately.
When the unsuspecting Mrs. Antelope again
leaned upon the ground, and felt the sharp points
of the cactus leaves, she uttered a scream, and
dropped from her other hand the stick and the
steak, thinking only of relief from the sharp pain.
Then, on the instant, the young rascal seized
the stick and tried to run away with it. But Running
Antelope caught him by his long hair, and
gave him a severe whipping, declaring that he
was a good-for-nothing boy, and calling him a
"coffee-cooler" and a "squaw."
The other boys, hearing the rumpus, came running
up to see the fun, and they laughed and
danced over poor Little Moccasin's distress.
Often afterward they called him "coffee-cooler";
which meant that he was cowardly and faint-hearted,
and that he preferred staying in camp
around the fire, drinking coffee, to taking part in
the manly sports of hunting and stealing expeditions.
The night after the whipping, Little Moccasin
could not sleep. The disgrace of the whipping
and the name applied to him were too much for
his vanity. He even lost his appetite, and refused
some very nice prairie-dog stew which his mother
He was thinking of something else. He must
do something brave—perform some great deed
which no other Indian had ever performed—in
order to remove this stain upon his character.
But what should it be? Should he go out alone
and kill a bear? He had never fired a gun, and
was afraid that the bear might eat him. Should
he attack the Crow camp single-handed? No, no—not
he; they would catch him and scalp him
All night long he was thinking and planning;
but when daylight came, he had reached no conclusion.
He must wait for the Great Spirit to
give him some ideas.
During the following day he refused all food
and kept drawing his belt tighter and tighter
around his waist every hour, till, by evening, he
had reached the last notch. This method of appeasing
the pangs of hunger, adopted by the Indians
when they have nothing to eat, is said to be
In a week's time Little Moccasin had grown
almost as thin as a bean-pole, but no inspiration
had yet revealed what he could do to redeem himself.
About this time a roving band of Cheyennes,
who had been down to the mouth of the Little
Missouri, and beyond, entered the camp upon a
friendly visit. Feasting and dancing were kept
up day and night, in honor of the guests; but
Little Moccasin lay hidden in the woods nearly all
During the night of the second day of their
stay, he quietly stole to the rear of the great council-tepee,
to listen to the pow-wow then going on.
Perhaps he would there learn some words of wisdom
which would give him an idea how to carry
out his great undertaking.
After "Black Catfish," the great Cheyenne
warrior, had related in the flowery language of
his tribe some reminiscences of his many fights
and brave deeds, "Strong Heart" spoke. Then
there was silence for many minutes, during which
the pipe of peace made the rounds, each warrior
taking two or three puffs, blowing the smoke
through the nose, pointing toward heaven, and
then handing the pipe to his left-hand neighbor.
"Strong Heart," "Crazy Dog," "Bow-String,"
"Dog-Fox," and "Smooth Elkhorn" spoke of the
country they had just passed through.
Then again the pipe of peace was handed
round, amid profound silence.
"Black Pipe," who was bent and withered with
the wear and exposure of seventy-nine winters,
and who trembled like some leafless tree shaken
by the wind, but who was sound in mind and
memory, then told the Uncapapas, for the first
time, of the approach of a great number of white
men, who were measuring the ground with long
chains, and who were being followed by "Thundering
Horses" and "Houses on Wheels." (He
was referring to the surveying parties of the
Northern Pacific Railway Company, who were
just then at work on the crossing of the Little
With heart beating wildly, Little Moccasin listened
to this strange story and then retired to his
own blankets in his father's tepee.
Now he had found the opportunity he so long
had sought! He would go across the mountains,
all by himself, look at the thundering horses and
the houses on wheels. He then would know more
than any one in the tribe, and return to the camp,—a
At early morn, having provided himself with a
bow and a quiver full of arrows, without informing
any one of his plan he stole out of camp, and,
running at full speed, crossed the nearest mountain
to the East.
Allowing himself little time for rest, pushing
forward by day and night, and after fording
many of the smaller mountain-streams, on the
evening of the third day of his travel he came
upon what he believed to be a well-traveled road.
But—how strange!—there were two endless iron
rails lying side by side upon the ground. Such a
curious sight he had never beheld. There were
also large poles, with glass caps, and connected
by wire, standing along the roadside. What
could all this mean?
Poor Little Moccasin's brain became so bewildered
that he hardly noticed the approach of a
freight-train drawn by the "Thundering Horse."
There was a shrill, long-drawn whistle, and immense
clouds of black smoke; and the Thundering
Horse was sniffing and snorting at a great
rate, emitting from its nostrils large streams of
steaming vapor. Besides all this, the earth, in the
neighborhood of where Little Moccasin stood,
shook and trembled as if in great fear; and to him
the terrible noises the horse made were perfectly
Gradually the snorts, and the puffing, and the
terrible noise lessened, until, all at once, they entirely
ceased. The train had come to a stand-still
at a watering tank, where the Thundering Horse
was given its drink.
The rear car, or "House on Wheels," as old
Black Pipe had called it, stood in close proximity
to Little Moccasin,—who, in his bewilderment
and fright at the sight of these strange moving
houses, had been unable to move a step.
But as no harm had come to him from the terrible
monster, Moccasin's heart, which had sunk
down to the region of his toes, began to rise
again; and the curiosity inherent in every Indian
boy mastered fear.
He moved up, and down, and around the great
House on Wheels; then he touched it in many
places, first with the tip-end of one finger, and
finally with both hands. If he could only detach
a small piece from the house to take back to camp
with him as a trophy and as a proof of his daring
achievement! But it was too solid, and all made
of heavy wood and iron.
At the rear end of the train there was a ladder,
which the now brave Little Moccasin ascended
with the quickness of a squirrel to see what there
was on top.
It was gradually growing dark, and suddenly
he saw (as he really believed) the full moon approaching
him. He did not know that it was
the headlight of a locomotive coming from the
Absorbed in this new and glorious sight, he did
not notice the starting of his own car, until it was
too late, for, while the car moved, he dared not let
go his hold upon the brake-wheel.
There he was, being carried with lightning
speed into a far-off, unknown country, over
bridges, by the sides of deep ravines, and along
the slopes of steep mountains.
But the Thundering Horse never tired nor
grew thirsty again during the entire night.
At last, soon after the break of day, there came
the same shrill whistle which had frightened him
so much on the previous day; and, soon after, the
train stopped at Miles City.
But, unfortunately for our little hero, there
were a great many white people in sight; and he
was compelled to lie flat upon the roof of his car,
in order to escape notice. He had heard so much
of the cruelty of the white men that he dared not
trust himself among them.
Soon they started again, and Little Moccasin
was compelled to proceed on his involuntary journey,
which took him away from home and into
At noon, the cars stopped on the open prairie to
let Thundering Horse drink again. Quickly, and
without being detected by any of the trainmen, he
dropped to the ground from his high and perilous
position. Then the train left him—all alone in
an unknown country.
Alone? Not exactly; for, within a few minutes,
half a dozen Crow Indians, mounted on
swift ponies, are by his side, and are lashing him
with whips and lassoes.
He has fallen into the hands of the deadliest
enemies of his tribe, and has been recognized by
the cut of his hair and the shape of his moccasins.
When they tired of their sport in beating poor
Little Moccasin so cruelly, they dismounted and
tied his hands behind his back.
Then they sat down upon the ground to have a
smoke and to deliberate about the treatment of
During the very severe whipping, and while
they were tying his hands, though it gave him
great pain, Little Moccasin never uttered a groan.
Indian-like, he had made up his mind to "die
game," and not to give his enemies the satisfaction
of gloating over his sufferings. This, as will
be seen, saved his life.
The leader of the Crows, "Iron Bull," was in
favor of burning the hated Uncapapa at a stake,
then and there; but "Spotted Eagle," "Blind
Owl," and "Hungry Wolf" called attention to
the youth and bravery of the captive, who had
endured the lashing without any sign of fear.
Then the two other Crows took the same view.
This decided poor Moccasin's fate; and he understood
it all, although he did not speak the Crow
language, for he was a great sign-talker, and had
watched them very closely during their council.
Blind Owl, who seemed the most kind-hearted
of the party, lifted the boy upon his pony, Blind
Owl himself getting up in front, and they rode at
full speed westward to their large encampment,
where they arrived after sunset.
Little Moccasin was then relieved of his bonds,
which had benumbed his hands during the long
ride, and a large dish of boiled meat was given
to him. This, in his famished condition, he relished
very much. An old squaw, one of the wives
of Blind Owl, and a Sioux captive, took pity on
him, and gave him a warm place with plenty of
blankets in her own tepee, where he enjoyed a
During his stay with the Crows, Little Moccasin
was made to do the work, which usually falls
to the lot of the squaws; and which was imposed
upon him as a punishment upon a brave enemy,
designed to break his proud spirit. He was
treated as a slave, made to haul wood and draw
water, do the cooking, and clean game. Many of
the Crow boys wanted to kill him, but his foster-mother,
"Old Looking-Glass," protected him;
and, besides, they feared that the soldiers of Fort
Custer might hear of it, if he was killed, and punish
Many weeks thus passed, and the poor little
captive grew more despondent and weaker in
body every day. Often his foster-mother would
talk to him in his own language, and tell him to
be of good cheer; but he was terribly homesick
and longed to get back to the mountains on the
Rosebud, to tell the story of his daring and become
the hero which he had started out to be.
One night, after everybody had gone to sleep
in camp, and the fires had gone out, Old Looking-Glass,
who had seemed to be soundly sleeping, approached
his bed and gently touched his face.
Looking up, he saw that she held a forefinger
pressed against her lips, intimating that he must
keep silence, and that she was beckoning him to
There she soon joined him; then, putting her
arm around his neck, she hastened out of the camp
and across the nearest hills.
When they had gone about five miles away
from camp, they came upon a pretty little mouse-colored
pony, which Old Looking-Glass had hidden
there for Little Moccasin on the previous day.
She made him mount the pony, which she called
"Blue Wing," and bade him fly toward the rising
sun, where he would find white people who would
protect and take care of him.
"THEY CAME UPON A PRETTY LITTLE MOUSE-COLORED PONY"
Old Looking-Glass then kissed Little Moccasin
upon both cheeks and the forehead, while the tears
ran down her wrinkled face; she also folded her
hands upon her breast and, looking up to the
heavens, said a prayer, in which she asked the
Great Spirit to protect and save the poor boy in
After she had whispered some indistinct words
into the ear of Blue Wing (who seemed to understand
her, for he nodded his head approvingly),
she bade Little Moccasin be off, and advised him
not to rest this side of the white man's settlement,
as the Crows would soon discover his absence,
and would follow him on their fleetest ponies.
"But Blue Wing will save you! He can outrun
These were her parting words, as he galloped
In a short time the sun rose over the nearest
hill, and Little Moccasin then knew that he was
going in the right direction. He felt very happy
to be free again, although sorry to leave behind
his kind-hearted foster-mother, Looking-Glass.
He made up his mind that after a few years, when
he had grown big and become a warrior, he would
go and capture her from the hated Crows and
take her to his own tepee.
He was so happy in this thought that he had
not noticed how swiftly time passed, and that already
the sun stood over his head; neither had he
urged Blue Wing to run his swiftest; but that
good little animal kept up a steady dog-trot, without,
as yet, showing the least sign of being tired.
But what was the sudden noise which was
heard behind him? Quickly he turned his head,
and, to his horror, he beheld about fifty mounted
Crows coming toward him at a run, and swinging
in their hands guns, pistols, clubs, and knives!
His old enemy, Iron Bull, was in advance, and
under his right arm he carried a long lance, with
which he intended to spear Little Moccasin.
Moccasin's heart stood still for a moment with
fear; he knew that this time they would surely
kill him if caught. He seemed to have lost all
power of action.
Nearer and nearer came Iron Bull, shouting at
the top of his voice.
But Blue Wing now seemed to understand the
danger of Moccasin's situation; he pricked up his
ears, snorted a few times, made several short
jumps, fully to arouse Moccasin, who remained
paralyzed with fear, and then, like a bird, fairly
flew over the prairie, as if his little hoofs were not
touching the ground.
Little Moccasin, too, was now awakened to his
peril, and he patted and encouraged Blue Wing;
while, from time to time, he looked back over his
shoulder to watch the approach of Iron Bull.
Thus they went, on and on; over ditches and
streams, rocks and hills, through gulches and
valleys. Blue Wing was doing nobly, but the
pace could not last forever.
Iron Bull was now only about five hundred
yards behind and gaining on him.
Little Moccasin felt the cold sweat pouring
down his face. He had no firearm, or he would
have stopped to shoot at Iron Bull.
Blue Wing's whole body seemed to tremble beneath
his young rider, as if the pony was making
a last desperate effort, before giving up from exhaustion.
Unfortunately, Little Moccasin did not know
how to pray, or he might have found some comfort
and help thereby; but in those moments, when
a terrible death was so near to him, he did the
next best thing: he thought of his mother and his
father, of his little sisters and brothers, and also
of Looking-Glass, his kind old foster-mother.
Then he felt better and was imbued with fresh
courage. He again looked back, gave one loud,
defiant yell at Iron Bull, and then went out of
sight over some high ground.
Ki-yi-yi-yi! There is the railroad station just
in front, only about three hundred yards away.
He sees white men around the buildings, who will
At this moment Blue Wing utters one deep
groan, stumbles, and falls to the ground. Fortunately,
though, Little Moccasin has received no
hurt. He jumps up, and runs toward the station
as fast as his weary legs can carry him.
At this very moment Iron Bull with several of
his braves came in sight again, and, realizing the
helpless condition of the boy, they all gave a shout
of joy, thinking that in a few minutes they would
capture and kill him.
But their shouting had been heard by some of
the white men, who at once concluded to protect
the boy, if he deserved aid.
Little Moccasin and Iron Bull reached the door
of the station-building at nearly the same moment;
but the former had time enough to dart inside
and hide under the table of the telegraph
When Iron Bull and several other Crows
rushed in to pull the boy from underneath the
table, the operator quickly took from the table
drawer a revolver, and with it drove the murderous
Crows from the premises.
Then the boy had to tell his story, and he was
believed. All took pity upon his forlorn condition,
and his brave flight made them his friends.
In the evening Blue Wing came up to where
Little Moccasin was resting and awaiting the arrival
of the next train, which was to take him back
to his own home.
Then they both were put aboard a lightning-express
train, which took them to within a short
distance of the old camp on the Rosebud.
When Little Moccasin arrived at his father's
tepee, riding beautiful Blue Wing, now rested and
frisky, the whole camp flocked around him; and
when he told them of his great daring, of his capture
and his escape, Running Antelope, the big
warrior of the Uncapapas and the most noted
orator of the tribe, proclaimed him a true hero,
and then and there begged his pardon for having
called him a "coffee-cooler." In the evening Little
Moccasin was honored by a great feast, and
the name of "Rushing Lightning," Wakee-wata-keepee,
was bestowed upon him—and by that
name he is known to this day.
THE LITTLE FIRST MAN AND THE LITTLE FIRST WOMAN
[This story has been told to the children of the Dacotah Indians
for very many years, having been handed down from generation
to generation; and it is now listened to by Indian children with as
much interest as it excited in the red-skinned boys and girls of a
thousand years ago.]
ON the bank of one of the many branches of
the Missouri River—or "Big Muddy," as
it is called by the Indians on account of the color
of its waters—there lived a little boy and a little
girl. These children were very small indeed,
being no bigger than a man's finger, but very
handsome, well formed, and also quite strong,
considering their size. There were no men and
women in the world at that time, and none of the
people who told the story knew how these two
small folk came to be living on the banks of the
river. Some persons thought that they might
have been little beavers, or little turtles, who were
so smart that they turned into a boy and a girl;
but nothing about this is known for certain.
These small people lived in a tiny lodge near the
river, feeding upon the berries that grew along
the shore. These were of great variety and many
delicious flavors. There were wild currants,
raspberries, gooseberries, service-berries, wild
plums and grapes; and of most of these, one was
sufficient to make a meal for both of the children.
The little girl was very fond of the boy, and
watched over and tended him with great care.
She made him a tiny bow from a blade of grass,
with arrows to match, and he hunted grasshoppers,
crickets, butterflies, and many other small
creatures. She then made him a hunting-shirt, or
coat, from the skin of a humming-bird, ornamented
with brilliant little stones and tiny shells
found in the sand. She loved him so dearly that
no work was too much when done for him.
TELLING THE STORY OF THE LITTLE FIRST MAN AND THE LITTLE FIRST WOMAN
"HE HUNTED GRASSHOPPERS"
One day he was out hunting on the prairie; and,
feeling tired from an unusually long tramp, he lay
down to rest and soon fell fast asleep. The wind
began to rise, after the heat of the day; but this
made him sleep the sounder, and he knew nothing
of the storm that was threatening. The clouds
rolled over from the northwestern horizon, like an
army of blankets torn and
ragged. With flashing lightning,
the thunder-god let
loose his powers, and peal
after peal went echoing
loudly through the cañons,
up over the hills, and down
into prairies where the quaking-asp
shivered, the willows
waved, and the tall
blue-grass rolled, as
the wind passed over, like a tempest-tossed sea.
Only the stubborn aloes, the Spanish-bayonet, and
the prickly-pears kept their position. But the
storm was as brief as it was violent; and, gradually
subsiding, it passed to the southeast, leaving
nothing but a bank of clouds behind the horizon.
Everything was drenched by the heavy rain. The
flowers hung their heads, or lay crushed from the
weight of water on their tender petals, vainly
struggling to rise and rejoice that the storm had
passed away. The sage-brush looked more silvery
than ever, clothed with myriads of rain-drops,
which beaded its tiny leaves. Through all
the storm our little hero slept, the feathers of his
hunting-coat wet and flattened by the rain. When
the sun came out again and shone upon him, it
dried and shriveled this little coat until it cracked
and fell off him like the shell of an egg from a
newly hatched chicken. He soon began to feel
uncomfortable, and woke up. Evening was fast
approaching; the blue-jay chattered, the prairie-chicken
was calling its young brood to rest under
its wings for the night, the cricket had at last
sung himself to sleep, and all nature seemed to be
getting ready for a long rest. Our boy, however,
had no thought of further sleep. His active mind
was thinking how he could revenge himself upon
the sun for his treatment of him, in thus ruining
his coat. The shadows on the plains deepened
into gloom and darkness, but still he thought and
planned out his revenge. Early in the morning
he started for home. The little girl had been anxiously
watching for him all night, and came out
to meet him, much rejoiced at his safe return; but
when she saw the condition of his coat, on which
she had labored with so much care and love, she
was very much grieved. Her tears only made
him more angry with the sun, and he set himself
to planning with greater determination by what
means he could annoy this enemy. At last
a bright idea struck him, and he at once told it to
the girl. She was delighted, and admired him the
more for his shrewdness. They soon put their
plans into practice, and began plaiting a rope of
This was a great undertaking, as the rope had
to be very long. Many moons came and went
before this rope was finished, and, when the task
was completed, the next thing to be considered
was, how they should carry or transport it to the
place where the sun rises in the morning. This
question puzzled them greatly, for the rope was
very large and heavy, and the distance was very
"AT HOME, UNDER AN IMMENSE FERN"
All the animals at that time were very small
tween compared to the field-mouse, which was
then the largest quadruped in the whole world,
twice the size of any buffalo. The horse, or, as
the Indians call it, "shungatonga," meaning elk-dog,
did not then exist. It was a long time before
the children could find a field-mouse to whom they
could appeal for aid. At last they found one at
home, sitting comfortably under an immense fern.
The little boy then went up to him, and, after
relating his troubles, asked if he would assist in
carrying the rope. Mountains had to be crossed,
rivers swum or forded, according to their depth,
wide expanses of prairie to be passed over, forests
skirted, swamps waded, and lakes circled before
the rope and its makers could reach the place
where the sun rises. The field-mouse, after much
consideration, agreed to help the pair, and they
began their preparations by winding the rope into
a great coil, which they packed on the back of the
field-mouse. On the top of this the boy and girl
seated themselves, and the journey began. When
they came to a river which must be crossed by
swimming, the rope was taken off the mouse
and unwound; then he would take one end in
his mouth, and swim to the other side, letting it
trail out after him as he swam. This performance
had to be repeated many times before
the whole rope was landed on the opposite bank.
When this was done, he had to swim across again
and fetch the little pair, seating them on his
ON THE JOURNEY
It was hard work for the mouse, but the little
boy encouraged him to his work by promises of
reward and compliments on his extraordinary
strength. The high mountains were crossed with
great toil, and while they were on the dry plains
the travelers suffered for want of water. The sun
had dried up everything, and it almost seemed as
if he understood their object, for he poured down
upon them his hottest rays. Several changes of
the seasons, and many moons, had come and gone
before they reached the dense forest from behind
which the sun was accustomed to rise. They
managed to arrive at this big forest at night, so
that the sun should not see them, and then they
screened themselves in the woods, resting there
for several days. When, at last, they felt rested
and refreshed, they began their work at nightfall,
and the first thing they did was to uncoil the
rope. The little boy then took one end of it in his
teeth, and climbed up one of the trees at the extreme
edge of the woods, where he spread it out
in the branches, making loops and slip-knots here
and there all over, from one tree to another, until
the rope looked like an immense net. Then the
mouse, finding his services no longer needed, left
them and wandered far away.
THE FIELD-MOUSE CARRYING THE LITTLE PAIR ACROSS A RIVER
As morning approached, the two children
quitted the wood, everything being in readiness,
and retired to a distance to watch the result of
their work. Soon they espied a pale light gleaming
behind the forest and gradually becoming
brighter and brighter. On came the sun, rolling
up in all his grandeur and fast approaching the
rope, while the two little hearts were beating
quickly down below. In a moment he had reached
the network of rope, and then, before he knew it,
he was entangled in its meshes, and found himself
thoroughly entrapped! What a proud moment
for our hero! He compared his own size with
that of the sun, and his delight seemed beyond
bounds as he and the little girl watched the sun
struggling to free himself, getting red with fury
and rage, and pouring out his burning heat on all
surrounding things. The leaves shriveled and
dropped from the trees, the branches could be
seen to smoke, the grass curled up and withered,
and at last the forest began to burn as the
heat became more intense. It seemed as if all nature
was on fire. The joy of the children now
turned into fear. The elk, deer, and buffalo came
rushing out of the woods. The birds circled,
shrieking and crying, and all living things seemed
wild with fear.
At last the field-mouse called the animals together
for a consultation as to what was best to
be done. They held a brief council, for no time
could be lost. The elk spoke up and said that as
the mouse had gone to so much trouble to carry
the rope to entrap the sun, he was the one who
ought to set him free from his entanglement.
This was generally agreed to, and, besides, the
field-mouse was the largest animal, and had such
sharp and strong teeth that it would be easy for
him to gnaw through any rope.
It was getting hotter and hotter: something
must be done quickly. The sun was blazing with
rage! The field-mouse finally yielded to the
wishes of his fellow-animals; and, rushing into
the wood, through the terrible heat and smoke, he
gnawed the rope, but in doing so was melted down
to his present size. The sun then rapidly arose,
and everything soon became all right again.
The fact of the little man trapping the sun and
causing so much mischief proved his superiority
over the other animals, and they have feared him
ever since. And, according to the Indian belief,
this little man and little woman were the father
and mother of all the tribes of men.
FUN AMONG THE RED BOYS
VARIOUS as are the customs of the Indians,
it is their savage, warlike natures that we
are most apt to remember. Few of us, in fact,
ever think of Indian children at all, except at the
sight of a picture of them. Little has been told or
written about the boy and girl red folk, and it
would puzzle most of my readers to say what they
suppose these children of nature look like, or do
to amuse themselves, or how they are brought up.
It will astonish most city people to hear that red
children are very like white children, just as a
lady who was out on the plains a few years ago
was astonished to find that they had skins as
smooth and soft as any lady's—no, smoother and
softer than that: as delicate and lovely as any dear
little baby's here in New York. This lady was
visiting the Blackfeet in my company, and she was
so surprised, when she happened to touch one little
red boy's bare arm, that she went about pinching
a dozen chubby-faced boys and girls to make
herself sure that all their skins were like the coats
of ripe peaches to the touch.
Whether the Indians really love their children,
or know what genuine love or affection is, I cannot
say; but they are so proud and careful of their
little ones that it amounts to the same thing so far
as the youngsters are concerned. Boy babies are
always most highly prized, because they will
grow up into warriors.
The little that is taught to Indian boys must
seem to them much more like fun than instruction.
They must hear the fairy stories and the gabble
of the medicine-men or conjurers, and the tales
of bloody fights and brave and cunning deeds
which make the histories of their tribes. They
learn not to take what does not belong to them
unless it belongs to an enemy. They learn not to
be impudent to any one stronger and bigger than
themselves; they learn how to track animals and
men, how to go without food when there is not
any, how to eat up all there is at once when any
food is to be had, how to ride and shoot and run
and paddle, and smoke very mild tobacco. As for
the rest, they "just grow," like Topsy, and are as
emotional and fanciful and wilful as any very
little white child ever was. They never get over
being so. The older they grow to be, the older
children they become, for they are all very much
like spoiled children as long as they live.
The first Indians I ever saw, outside of a show,
were boys at play. They were Onondagas, on
their reservation near Syracuse, New York.
They were big boys of from sixteen to twenty
years old, and the game they were playing was
"snow-snakes." The earth was covered with
snow, and by dragging a stout log through this
covering they had made a narrow gutter or
trough about 500 or 700 feet long. Each youth
had his snow-snake, which is a stick about eight
feet long, and shaped something like a spear. All
the snow-snakes were alike, less than an inch
wide, half an inch thick, flat on the under side,
rounded on top, and with a very slight turn upward
at the point to suggest a serpent's head.
The "snakes" were all smoothed and of heavy
hard wood. The game was to see who could send
his the farthest along the gutter in the snow. The
young men grasped their snakes at the very end,
ran a few steps, and shot the sticks along the
trough. As one after another sped along the
snow, the serpent-like heads kept bobbing up and
down over the rough surface of the gutter precisely
like so many snakes. I bought a snow-snake,
but, though I have tried again and again,
I cannot get the knack of throwing it.
ONONDAGA INDIAN BOYS PLAYING AT "SNOW-SNAKES"
But I have since seen Indian boys of many
tribes at play, and one time I saw more than a
hundred and fifty "let loose," as our own children
are in a country school-yard at recess. To be
sure, theirs is a perpetual recess, and they were at
home among the tents of their people, the Canada
Blackfeet, on the plains, within sight of the Rocky
Mountains. The smoke-browned tepees, crowned
with projecting pole-ends, and painted with figures
of animals and with gaudy patterns, were set
around in a great circle, and the children were
playing in the open, grassy space in the center.
Their fathers and mothers were as wild as any
Indians, except one or two tribes, on the continent,
but nothing of their savage natures showed
in these merry, lively, laughing, bright-faced little
ragamuffins. At their play they laughed and
screamed and hallooed. Some were running foot-races,
some were wrestling, some were on the
backs of scampering ponies; for they are sometimes
put on horseback when they are no more
than three years old. Such were their sports, for
Indian boys play games to make them sure of aim,
certain of foot, quick in motion, and supple in
body, so that they can shoot and fight and ride
and hunt and run well. To be able to run fast is
a necessary accomplishment for an Indian. What
they call "runners" are important men in every
tribe. They are the messenger men, and many a
one among them has run a hundred miles in a day.
They cultivate running by means of foot-races.
In war they agree with the poet who sang:
"For he who fights and runs away
May live to fight another day";
and afterward, if they were taken prisoners, they
had a chance for life, in the old days, if they could
run fast enough to escape their captors and the
spears and bullets of their pursuers.
A very popular game that attracted most of the
Blackfeet boys was the throwing of darts, or little
white hand-arrows, along the grass. The game
was to see who could throw his arrow farthest in
a straight line. At times the air was full of the
white missiles where the boys were playing, and
they fell like rain upon the grass.
In another part of the field were some larger
boys with rude bows with which to shoot these
same darts. These boys were playing a favorite
Blackfeet game. Each one had a disk or solid
wheel of sheet-iron or lead, and the game was to
see who could roll his disk the farthest, while all
the others shot at it to tip it over and bring it to a
stop. The boys made splendid shots at the swift-moving
little wheels, and from greater distances
than you would imagine.
They play with arrows so frequently that it is
no wonder they are good marksmen; yet you
would be surprised to see how frequently they
bring down the birds, rabbits, and gophers which
abound on the plains. The houses of these plump
little drab-colored creatures are holes in the turf,
and as you ride along the plains you will see them
everywhere around, sitting up on their haunches
with their tiny fore paws held idle and limp before
them, and their bead-like, bright eyes looking
at you most trustingly—until you come just so
near, when pop! suddenly down goes little Mr.
Gopher in his hole. You may be sure the Indian
boys find great sport in shooting at these comical
little creatures. But the boys take a mean advantage
of the fact that the restless gophers cannot
stay still in one place any great length of time.
When one pops into a hole it is only for a minute,
and during that minute the Indian boy softly and
deftly arranges a snare around the hole, so that
when the gopher pops up again the snare can be
jerked and the animal captured.
We gave the boys in the Blackfeet camp great
sport by standing at a distance of a hundred yards
from all of them and offering a silver quarter to
whichever boy got to us first. You should have
seen the stampede that followed the signal, "Go!"
Blankets were dropped, moccasins fell off, boys
stumbled and others fell atop of them, their black
locks flew in the breeze, and the air was noisy with
yelling and laughter.
These boys spin tops, but their "top-time" is
the winter, when snow is on the ground and is
crusted hard. Their tops are made of lead or
some other metal, and are mere little circular
plates which they cover with red flannel and ornament
with tiny knots or wisps of cord all around
the edges. These are spun with whips and look
very pretty on the icy white playgrounds. Nearly
all Indian boys play ball, but not as we do, for
their only idea of the game is the girlish one of
pitching and catching. All their games are the
simplest, and lack the rules which we lay down to
make our sports difficult and exciting.
The boys of the Papago tribe in the Southwest
have a game which the fellows in Harvard and
Yale would form rules about, if they played it,
until it became very lively indeed. These Indian
boys make dumb-bells of woven buckskin or rawhide.
They weave them tight and stiff, and then
soak them in a sort of red mud which sticks like
paint. They dry them, and then the queer toys
are ready for use. To play the game they mark
off goals, one for each band or "side" of players.
The object of each side is to send its dumb-bells
over to the goal of the enemy. The dumb-bells
are tossed with sticks that are thrust under them
as they lie on the ground. The perverse things
will not go straight or far, and a rod is a pretty
good throw for one. The sport quickly grows exciting,
and the players are soon battling in a heap,
almost as if they were playing at foot-ball.
"YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE STAMPEDE THAT FOLLOWED THE SIGNAL, 'GO!'"
These are games that will not wear out while
there are Indian boys to play them. On the oldest
reservations, where even the grandfathers of the
Indians now alive were shut up and fed by their
government, the boys still play the old games.
But wherever one travels to-day, even among the
wildest tribes, a new era is seen to have begun as
the result of the Indian schools, and Indian boys
are being taught things more useful than any they
ever knew before. The brightest boys in the various
tribes are selected to be sent to these schools,
and it is hoped that what they learn will make all
the others anxious to imitate white men's ways.
COPY IN BLACK AND WHITE OF A COLOR-DRAWING BY AN INDIAN BOY
THE CHILDREN OF ZUÑI
"Little Indian, Sioux or Crow,
Little frosty Eskimo,
Little Turk or Japanee,
Oh, don't you wish that you were me?"
SO says the well-fed, well-dressed, well-housed
little Scotchman in Robert Louis Stevenson's
rhyme. But I don't believe that the small
Indians of Zuñi would care at all to change
places with the little "me" of Edinburgh or New
York. In their village of mud and stone, on the
sunny plains of New Mexico, they have lived for
centuries in perfect contentment. Fine houses,
green parks, and merry streets would be nothing
to them; hats and parasols, candies and ice-cream
would make them stare; and mere cleanliness
would only astonish them. Indeed, if they saw us
washing our faces and brushing our hair every
day, they would probably one and all cry out in
"Oh, don't you wish that you were me?"
The little half-civilized children of Zuñi so
aroused our curiosity that we drove through forty
miles of sand and sage-brush, from the railroad
at Fort Wingate, to pay them a visit. As the Indians
do not provide for travelers, we took our
hotel with us—tents, beds, and food—and camped
just outside their village. The village looks like
a huge beehive made of clay and stuck fast to the
top of a sandy knoll. The hive is filled with a
mass of cells—three hundred single rooms, placed
side by side and piled in rows one on top of another.
In each of these rooms lives a Zuñi family.
There are no inside stairways leading from story
to story, but if the boys and girls living in one
row wish to pay a visit to a house above them,
they must go outdoors and climb a ladder. On
the slope between the village and the Zuñi River
are a number of small vegetable-gardens, each
one inclosed by a mud wall. Zuñi has no inns, no
shops, no saloons, not even proper streets, but
only narrow alleys that thread their way through
the strange town. As we walked through the village,
all the world came out to see us. Girls and
boys clustered on the roofs or sat on the ovens,—queer
little cones of mud which seem to grow up
out of the house-tops,—while fathers, mothers,
and babies peered out from dark doorways, to
stare at the visitors. When we had finished our
tour of the roofs and alleys, we were hospitably
invited indoors; even there the children followed
us, and as we glanced up to a hole in the ceiling
which served as a window, a girl's laughing face
filled the opening. We must have looked strange
enough in our hats and gloves and long skirts.
The Zuñi child spends his early days in a cradle.
But a cradle in Zuñi-land does not mean down pillows,
silken coverlets, and fluffy laces; it is only
a flat board, just the length of the baby, with a
hood like a doll's buggy-top over the head. Upon
this hard bed the baby is bound like a mummy—the
coverings wound round and round him until
the little fellow cannot move except to open his
mouth and eyes. Sometimes he is unrolled, and
looks out into the bare whitewashed room, blinks
at the fire burning on the hearth, and fixes his
eyes earnestly on the wolf and cougar skins that
serve as chairs and beds and carpets in the Zuñi
A ZUÑI FAMILY ON THE MARCH
By the time he is two or three years old, he has
grown into a plump little bronze creature, with
the straightest of coarse black hair and the biggest
and roundest of black eyes. He is now out
of the cradle, and trots about the house and the
village. When the weather is bad he wears a
small coarse shirt, and always a necklace of beads
As he grows older, he adds a pair of loose cotton
trousers to his costume, and, if anything more
is needed to keep him warm, he girds on his
blanket, just as his forefathers have done in all
the three hundred years since white men first
knew the Zuñis. His long hair, either flying
loosely in the wind or tied back with a band of
some red stuff, serves him both as hair and as hat.
His little sister, however, has a more elaborate
dress. Her mama weaves it for her, as she does
her own, in a rude loom. She makes two square
blankets of black cotton, finishes them neatly
across top and bottom, sews them together at the
sides with red yarn, and the dress is ready to try
on. It always fits perfectly, as the part which
forms the skirt is simply held in place by a sash,
and the waist is made by drawing two corners of
the blankets up over the left shoulder. The sash,
woven in gay colors, is also the work of Mama
Zuñi. A long, narrow piece of cotton cloth is
draped from the other shoulder, and swings easily
about, serving as pocket, shawl, or pinafore. In
cold weather, moccasins, leggings, and blankets
are also worn. These articles, too, are made at
home. While the mother is the dressmaker and
tailor, the father is the family shoemaker. A few
of the Zuñi girls have dresses like those of American
girls. These clothes have come to them
through the mission-school which adjoins the village.
The Zuñis have a language of their own—no
very easy one for boys and girls to learn, judging
from its many-syllabled, harsh-sounding words.
They also speak a little Spanish, as does nearly
everybody in New Mexico.
The little Zuñis amuse themselves with running,
wrestling, jumping, and playing at grown
folks, just as civilized children do. They have
their bows and arrows, their rag-dolls,—strapped
like real babies to cradles,—and their shinny
sticks and balls. The children also make themselves
useful at home. The older girls take care
of their younger brothers and sisters, and the
boys tend the goats. There are large herds of
goats belonging to the village, and they must be
taken every morning to graze on the plain, and
brought home at night to be shut up in the corrals,
or folds, safe from prowling wolves.
The little children often go with their mothers
to draw water from the village well, about a hundred
yards from the houses. At the top of a
flight of stone steps they wait, playing about in
the sand, while their mothers go down to the
spring. There the women fill the jars, then, poising
them on their heads, climb the hill and mount
the ladders to their homes. As all the water used
by the village has to be brought to it in these ollas
(water-jars), carried on the women's heads, it is
not surprising that the boys' clothes are grimy
and the girls have apparently never known what
it is to wash their faces.
The ollas, which answer the purpose of family
china and of kitchen-ware, are made by the Zuñi
women from the clay of the river-bank. The wet
earth is shaped by hand into jars of all sorts and
sizes; the jars are then painted with gay colors,
in queer patterns, and burned. It is a pretty
sight, of an evening, to see the fires of the kilns
dotted all over the terraces of the village. Each
piece of pottery is shut up inside a little wall of
chips, which are set on fire; when the chips are
burned up, the article is baked and ready for use.
The Zuñi mamas make not only the jars for family
use, but also clay toys for the children, curious
rattles, dolls' moccasins, owls, eagles, horses, and
other childish treasures.
ON THE WAY TO FORT WINGATE
The Zuñi has learned that American coffee and
tobacco are better than Indian herb tea and willow
bark. As he must have ready money in order
to buy such articles, he has contrived various
ways of earning a few reales (Spanish for shillings).
When spring comes and the snows have
melted, he collects the jars and bowls and trinkets
that have been made during the winter, ties them
up in the several corners of his blanket, and
trudges off to market at Fort Wingate, forty
miles away. Bows and arrows, and canes made
from a singular cactus which grows near Zuñi,
are also added to the stock in trade. If the Indian
is lucky enough to own a burro, he and one of the
boys mount the patient creature, while the family,
big and little, with some of the neighbors, complete
the party. Once in the garrison, the Zuñi
family need only walk up and down to advertise
their wares; the boys and girls help to carry the
jars, while the babies follow. The group, with its
bright blankets and gay pottery, soon attracts attention
and sales begin on the sidewalks and verandas.
Little is said by the Zuñi merchants, but
when the bargaining is finished, they stand silent,
waiting with a hungry look for the usual invitation
to the kitchen. There, seated in a circle on
the floor, they gratefully eat and drink whatever
is set before them. Their store of words does not
include "Thank you," but their faces brighten,
and the older people politely shake hands with a
"Bueno, bueno, señora" ("Good, good, madame"),
while the babies munch and crumble
their cake and cry for more, just as our own white
babies do. The thoughtful mamas do not forget
the miles of "home stretch" before the family,
and wisely tuck away in their blankets the last
bits of cheese and crackers.
When they have looked over the fort, tasted its
bread and coffee, and sold their cargo, they cheerfully
go home to their mud village and Indian
habits. Old and young, they all are children, easily
pleased, contented with things as they are, and
quite certain in their own minds that the Zuñi way
is the right way to live.
THE INDIAN GIRL AND HER MESSENGER-BIRD
ONCE upon a time, there was an Indian who
lived in a big wood on the banks of a beautiful
river, and he did nothing all day long but
catch fish and hunt wild deer. Well, this Indian
had two lovely little daughters, and he named one
Sunbeam, because she was so bright and cheerful,
and the other he called Starlight, because, he said,
her sweet eyes twinkled like the stars.
Sunbeam and Starlight were as gay as butterflies,
and as busy as bees, from morning till night.
They ran races under the shady trees, made bouquets
of wild flowers, swung on grape-vine
swings, turned berries and acorns into beads, and
dressed their glossy black hair with bright feathers
that beautiful birds had dropped. They
loved each other so much, and were so happy together,
that they never knew what trouble meant
until, one day, Starlight got very sick, and before
the big moon came over the tree-tops the sweet
Indian child had closed her starry eyes in death,
and rested for the last time upon her soft, little
deerskin bed. And now, for the first time, Sunbeam's
heart was full of grief. She could not
play, for Starlight was gone, she knew not where;
so she took the bright feathers out of her hair, and
sat down by the river and cried and cried for
Starlight to come back to her. But when her father
told her that Starlight was gone to the Spirit-land
of love and beauty, and would be happy for
ever and ever, Sunbeam was comforted.
"Now," said she, "I know where darling Starlight
is, and I can kiss her and talk to her again."
Sunbeam had heard her people say that the
birds were messengers from the Spirit-land. So
she hunted through the woods until she found a
little song-bird, that was too young to fly, fast
asleep in its nest. She carried it gently home, put
it into a cage, and watched over it and fed it tenderly
day after day until its wings grew strong
and it filled the woods with its music. Then she
carried it in her soft little hands to Starlight's
grave; and after she had loaded it with kisses and
messages of love for Starlight, she told it never to
cease its sweetest song or fold its shining wings
until it had flown to the Spirit-land. She let it go,
and the glad bird, as it rose above the tall green
trees, poured forth a song more joyful than any
that Sunbeam had ever heard. Higher and
higher it flew, and sweeter and sweeter grew its
song, until at last both its form and its music were
lost in the floating summer clouds.
Then Sunbeam ran swiftly over the soft grass
to her father, and told him, with a bright smile
and a light heart, that she had talked with dear
Starlight, and had kissed her sweet rosy mouth
again; and Sunbeam was once more her father's
bright and happy little Indian girl.
HOW THE STONE-AGE CHILDREN PLAYED
NOT long since I wandered along a pretty
brook that rippled through a narrow valley.
I was on the lookout for whatever birds might be
wandering that way, but saw nothing of special
interest. So, to while away the time, I commenced
geologizing; and, as I plodded along my
lonely way, I saw everywhere traces of an older
time, when the sparkling rivulet that now only
harbors pretty salamanders was a deep creek, tenanted
by many of our larger fishes.
How fast the earth from the valley's slopes may
have been loosened by frost and washed by
freshet, and carried down to fill up the old bed of
the stream, we will not stop to inquire; for other
traces of this older time were also met with here.
As I turned over the loose earth by the brook-side,
and gathered here and there a pretty pebble, I
chanced upon a little arrow-point.
Whoever has made a collection, be it of postage
stamps or birds' eggs, knows full well how securing
one coveted specimen but increases eagerness
for others; and so was it with me that pleasant
afternoon. Just one pretty arrow-point cured me
of my laziness, banished every trace of fatigue,
and filled me with the interest of eager search;
and I dug and sifted and washed the sandy soil for
yards along the brook-side, until I had gathered
at least a score of curious relics of the long-departed
red men, or rather of the games and sports
and pastimes of the red men's hardy and active
For centuries before Columbus discovered San
Salvador, the red men (or Indians, as they are
usually called) roamed over all the great continent
of North America, and having no knowledge
of iron as a metal, they were forced to make of
stone or bone all their weapons, hunting and
household implements. From this fact they are
called, when referring to those early times, a
stone-age people, and so, of course, the boys and
girls of that time were stone-age children.
But it is not to be supposed that, because the
children of savages, they were altogether unlike
the youngsters of to-day. In one respect, at least,
they were quite the same—they were very fond of
Their play, however, was not like the games of
to-day, as you may see by the pictures of their
toys. We might, perhaps, call the principal game
of the boys "Playing Man," for the little stone
implements, here pictured, are only miniatures of
the great stone axes and long spear-points of their
In one particular these old-time children were
really in advance of the youngsters of to-day; they
not only did, in play, what their parents did in earnest,
but they realized, in part, the results of their
playful labor. A good old Moravian missionary
says: "Little boys are frequently seen wading in
shallow brooks, shooting small fishes with their
bows and arrows." Going a-fishing, then, as now,
was good fun; but to shoot fishes with a bow and
arrow is not an easy thing to do, and this is one
way these stone-age children played, and played
to better advantage than most of my young readers
Among the stone-age children's toys that I
gathered that afternoon, were those of which we
have pictures. The first is a very pretty stone
hatchet, very carefully shaped, and still quite
sharp. It has been worked out from a porphyry
pebble, and in every way, except size, it is the
same as hundreds that still are to be found lying
about the fields.
No red man would ever deign to use such an
insignificant-looking ax, and so we must suppose
it to have been a toy hatchet for some little fellow
that chopped away at saplings, or, perhaps,
knocked over some poor squirrel or rabbit; for
our good old Moravian friend, the missionary,
also tells us that "the boys learn to climb trees
when very young, both to catch birds and to exercise
their sight, which, by this method, is rendered
so quick that in hunting they see objects at an
amazing distance." Their play, then, became an
excellent schooling for them; and if they did nothing
but play it was not a loss of time.
The five little arrow-points figured in the second
picture are among those I found in the valley.
The ax was not far away, and both it and they
may have belonged to the same bold and active
young hunter. All of these arrow-points are very
The same missionary tells us that these young
red men of the forest "exercise themselves very
early with bows and arrows, and in shooting at a
mark. As they grow up, they acquire a remarkable
dexterity in shooting birds, squirrels, and
Every boy remembers his first penknife, and,
whether it had one or three blades, was proud
enough of it; but how different the fortune of the
stone-age children, in this matter of a pocket-knife!
In the third picture is shown a piece of
flint that was doubtless chipped into this shape
that it might be used as a knife.
I have found scores of such knives in the fields
that extend along the little valley, and a few came
to light in my search that afternoon in the brook-side
sands and gravel. So, if this chipped flint is
a knife, then, as in modern times, the children
Of course, our boys nowadays would be puzzled
to cut a willow whistle or mend the baby's go-cart
with such a knife as this; but still, it will not do to
despise stone cutlery. The big canoe at the Centennial,
that took up so much room in the Government
Building,—a boat sixty feet long,—was
made in quite recent times, and only stone knives
and hatchets were used in the process.
I found too, in that afternoon walk, some curiously
shaped splinters of jasper, which at first did
not seem very well adapted to any purpose; and
yet, although mere fragments, they had every appearance
of having been purposely shaped, and
not of accidental resemblances to a hook or sickle
blade. When I got home, I read that perfect
specimens, mine being certainly pieces of the same
form, had been found away off in Norway; and
Professor Nilsson, who has carefully studied the
whole subject, says they are fish-hooks.
Instead of my broken ones, we have in the
fourth illustration some uninjured specimens of
these fish-hooks from Norway. Two are made of
flint, the largest one being bone; and hooks of exactly
the same patterns really have been found
within half a mile of the little valley I worked in
The fish-hooks shown in our picture have been
thought to be best adapted for, and really used in,
capturing cod-fish in salt water, and perch and
pike in inland lakes. The broken hooks I found
were fully as large; and so the little brook that
now ripples down the valley, when a large stream,
must have had a good many big fishes in it, or the
stone-age fishermen would not have brought their
fishing-hooks, and have lost them, along this remnant
of a larger stream.
But it must not be supposed that only children
in this bygone era did the fishing for their tribe.
Just as the men captured the larger game, so they
took the bigger fishes; but it is scarcely probable
that the boys who waded the little brooks with
bows and arrows would remain content with that,
and, long before they were men, doubtless they
were adepts in catching the more valuable fishes
that abounded, in Indian times, in all our rivers.
So, fishing, I think, was another way in which
the stone-age children played.
GAMES AND SPORTS OF THE INDIAN BOY
[These are actual recollections of the wild life. The Indian boy
whose experiences are described wrote them out himself many
years afterward when, having graduated at Dartmouth College
and the Boston University School of Medicine, he had become
an educated man, and a physician among his own people.]
THE Indian boy was a prince of the wilderness.
He had but very little work to do
during the period of his boyhood. His principal
occupation was the practising of a few simple but
rigid rules in the arts of warfare and the chase.
Aside from this, he was master of his time.
Whatever was required of us boys was quickly
performed; then the field was clear for our games
and plays. There was always keen competition
between us. We felt very much as our fathers did
in hunting and war—each one strove to excel all
the others. It is true that our savage life was a
precarious one, and full of dreadful catastrophes;
however, this never prevented us from enjoying
our sports to the fullest extent. As we left our
tepees in the morning, we were never sure that
our scalps would not dangle from a pole in the
afternoon! It was an uncertain life, to be sure.
Yet we observed that the fawns skipped and
played happily while the gray wolves might be
peeping forth from behind the hills, ready to tear
them limb from limb.
Our sports were molded by the life and customs
of our people—indeed, we practised only
what we expected to do when grown. Our games
were feats with the bow and arrow, foot and pony
races, wrestling, swimming, and imitations of the
customs and habits of our fathers. We had sham
fights with mud balls and willow wands, we
played lacrosse, made war upon bees, shot winter
arrows (which were used only in that season),
and coasted upon ribs of animals and buffalo-robes.
Our games with bow and arrow were usually
combined with hunting; but as I shall take hunting
for the subject of another letter, I will speak
only of such as were purely plays.
No sooner did the boys get together than they
divided into squads, and chose sides; then a leading
arrow was shot at random into the air. Before
it fell to the ground, a volley from the bows
of the participants followed. Each player was
quick to see the direction and speed of the leading
arrow, and he tried to send his own with the same
speed and at an equal height, so that when it fell
it would be closer than any of the others to the
It was considered out of place to shoot an arrow
by first sighting the object aimed at. This was
usually impracticable, because the object was almost
always in motion, while the hunter himself
was often on the back of a pony in full gallop.
Therefore, it was the offhand shot that the Indian
boy sought to master. There was another game
with arrows which was characterized by gambling,
and was generally confined to the men.
The races were an every-day occurrence. At
noon the boys were usually gathered by some
pleasant sheet of water, and as soon as the ponies
were watered, they were allowed to graze for an
hour or two, while the boys stripped for their
noonday sports. A boy might say, "I can't run,
but I challenge you for fifty paces," to some other
whom he considered his equal. A former hero,
when beaten, would often explain his defeat by
saying, "I had drunk too much water!" Boys of
all ages were paired for a "spin," and the little
red men cheered on their favorites with spirit!
As soon as this was ended, the pony races followed.
All the speedy ponies were picked out, and
riders chosen. If a boy said, "I cannot ride,"
what a shout went up! Such derision!
Last of all came the swimming. A little urchin
would hang to his pony's long tail, while the latter
held only his head above water and glided sportively
along. Finally the animals were driven
into a fine field of grass, and we turned our attention
to other games.
Lacrosse was an older game, and was confined
entirely to the Sisseton and Santee Sioux.
Shinny, such as is enjoyed by white boys on ice,
is now played by the western Sioux. The "moccasin-game,"
although sometimes played by the
boys, was intended mainly for adults.
The "mud-and-willow" fight was rather a
severe and dangerous sport. A lump of soft clay
was stuck on one end of a limber and springy willow
wand, to be thrown with considerable force—as
boys throw apples from sticks. When there
were fifty or a hundred on each side, the battle
became warm; but anything to arouse the bravery
of Indian boys seemed to them a good and wholesome
Wrestling was largely indulged in by all of us.
It may seem odd, but the wrestling was by a great
number of boys at once—from ten to any number
on a side. It was really a battle, but each one
chose his own opponent. The rule was that if a
boy sat down, he was let alone; but as long as he
remained standing within the field he was open
to an attack. No one struck with the hand, but
all manner of tripping with legs and feet and
hurting with the knees was allowed; altogether it
was an exhausting pastime—fully equal to the
American game of foot-ball. Only the boy who
was an athlete could really enjoy it.
One of our most curious sports was a war upon
the nests of wild bees. We imagined ourselves
about to make an attack upon the Chippewas or
some other tribal foe. We all painted and stole
cautiously upon the nest; then, with a rush and a
war-whoop, sprang upon the object of our attack
and endeavored to destroy it. But it seemed that
the bees were always on the alert, and never entirely
surprised; for they always raised quite as
many scalps as did their bold assailants! After
the onslaught upon the bees was ended, we usually
followed it by a pretended scalp-dance.
On the occasion of my first experience in this
mode of warfare, there were two other little boys
who also were novices. One of them, particularly,
was too young to indulge in such an exploit. As
it was the custom of the Indians, when they killed
or wounded an enemy on the battle-field, to announce
the act in a loud voice, we did the same.
My friend Little Wound (as I will call him, for I
do not remember his name), being quite small,
was unable to reach the nest until it had been well
trampled upon and broken, and the insects had
made a counter charge with such vigor as to repulse
and scatter our numbers in every direction.
However, he evidently did not want to retreat
without any honors; so he bravely jumped upon
the nest and yelled:
"I, brave Little Wound, to-day kill the only
Scarcely was the last word uttered when he
screamed as if stabbed to the heart. One of his
older companions shouted:
"Dive into the water! Run! Dive into the
water!" for there was a lake near by. This advice
INDIAN BOYS PLAYING "FOLLOW MY LEADER"
When we had reassembled and were indulging
in our mimic dance, Little Wound was not allowed
to dance. He was considered not to be in existence—he
had been "killed" by our enemies, the
Bee tribe. Poor little fellow! His tear-stained
face was sad and ashamed, as he sat on a fallen log
and watched the dance. Although he might well
have styled himself one of the noble dead who had
died for their country, yet he was not unmindful
that he had screamed, and that this weakness
would be apt to recur to him many times in the
We had some quiet plays which we alternated
with the more severe and warlike ones. Among
them were throwing wands and snow-arrows.
In the winter we coasted much. We had no
"double-rippers" nor toboggans, but six or seven
of the long ribs of a buffalo, fastened together at
the larger end, answered all practical purposes.
Sometimes a strip of bass-wood bark, four feet
long and half a foot wide, was used with much
skill. We stood on one end and held the other,
using the inside of the bark for the outside, and
thus coasted down long hills with remarkable
Sometimes we played "Medicine Dance." This
to us was almost what "playing church" is among
white children. Our people seem to think it an act
of irreverence to imitate these dances, but we
children thought otherwise; therefore we quite
frequently enjoyed in secret one of these performances.
We used to observe all the important
ceremonies and customs attending it, and it required
something of an actor to reproduce the
dramatic features of the dance. The real dances
usually occupied a day and a night, and the program
was long and varied, so that it was not easy
to execute all the details perfectly; but the Indian
children are born imitators.
I was often selected as choirmaster on these occasions,
for I had happened to learn many of the
medicine songs, and was quite an apt mimic. My
grandmother, who was a noted medicine woman,
on hearing of these sacrilegious acts (as she called
them), warned me that if any of the medicine men
should learn of my conduct, they would punish
me terribly by shriveling my limbs with slow
Occasionally we also played "white man." Our
knowledge of the pale-face was limited, but we
had learned that he brought goods whenever he
came, and that our people exchanged furs for his
merchandise. We also knew, somehow, that his
complexion was white, that he wore short hair
on his head and long hair on his face, and that
he had coat, trousers, and hat, and did not patronize
blankets in the daytime. This was the
picture we had formed of the white man. So we
painted two or three of our number with white
clay, and put on them birchen hats, which we
sewed up for the occasion, fastened a piece of fur
to their chins for a beard, and altered their costume
as much as lay within our power. The
white of the birch-bark was made to answer for
their white shirts. Their merchandise consisted
of sand for sugar, wild beans for coffee, dried
leaves for tea, pulverized earth for gunpowder,
pebbles for bullets, and clear water for dangerous
"fire-water." We traded for these goods with
skins of squirrels, rabbits, and small birds.
When we played "hunting buffalo" we would
send a few good runners off on the open prairie
with meat and other edibles; then start a few of
our swiftest runners to chase them and capture
the food. Once we were engaged in this sport when
a real hunt by the men was going on near by;
yet we did not realize that it was so close until,
in the midst of our play, an immense buffalo appeared,
coming at full speed directly toward us.
Our mimic buffalo hunt turned into a very real
"buffalo scare"! As it was near the edge of a
forest, we soon disappeared among the leaves like
a covey of young prairie-chickens, and some hid in
the bushes while others took refuge in tall trees.
In the water we always had fun. When we had
no ponies, we often had swimming-matches of
our own, and we sometimes made rafts with
which we crossed lakes and rivers. It was a common
thing to "duck" a young or timid boy, or to
carry him into deep water to struggle as best he
I remember a perilous ride with a companion
on an unmanageable log, when we both were less
than seven years old. The older boys had put
us on this uncertain bark and pushed us out into
the swift current of the river. I cannot speak
for my comrade in distress, but I can say now
that I would rather ride on a wild bronco any day
than try to stay on and steady a short log in a
river. I never knew how we managed to prevent
a shipwreck on that voyage, and to reach the
We had many curious wild pets. There were
young foxes, bears, wolves, fawns, raccoons, buffalo
calves, and birds of all kinds, tamed by various
boys. My pets were different at different
times, but I particularly remember one. I once
had a grizzly cub for a pet, and so far as he and
I were concerned our relations were charming
and very close. But I hardly know whether he
made more enemies for me or I for him. It was
his custom to treat unmercifully every boy who
injured me. He was despised for his conduct in
my interest, and I was hated on account of his
COPY IN BLACK AND WHITE OF A COLOR-DRAWING BY AN INDIAN BOY
AN OLD-TIME THANKSGIVING
LITTLE PRUDENCE stood by the window,
with her face pressed hard against it. She
was not looking out; she could not do that, for the
window-frame, instead of being filled with clear
panes of glass, had oiled paper stretched tightly
It was a very curious window, indeed, and it
transmitted a dull light into a very curious room.
The floor was of uncovered boards; the walls
were built of logs of wood with the bark still
clinging to them in places, and overhead were
great rafters from which hung suspended many
things—swords and corselets, coats, bundles of
dried herbs, pots and pans.
The furniture was very simple. In the center
of the room was a wooden table, scoured to whiteness,
stiff-backed chairs were ranged against the
wall, and a dresser, where pewter cups and platters
stood in shining rows, adorned the farther
corner. In a wide chimney-place a royal fire was
blazing, and before it stood Prudence's mother,
carefully stirring some mixture in an iron pot
which hung upon a crane. Within the circle of
the firelight, which played upon her yellow hair
and turned it to ruddy gold, Mehitable, Prudence's
sister, stepped rapidly to and fro, her spinning-wheel
making a humming accompaniment to
the crackling of the blaze.
Prudence turned to watch her, pushing farther
back a little white cap which pressed upon her
short curls; for she was a little Puritan maiden,
living in the town of Plymouth, and it was not the
present year of our Lord, but about two hundred
and eighty-four years ago. She was a very different
Prudence from what she would have been
if she had been living now, and it was a very different
Plymouth from the pleasant town we know
to-day, with its many houses climbing up the hill,
and the busy people in its streets. There were
only seven houses then, and they stood in one line
leading to the water, and there was but one building
besides—a square wooden affair with palisades,
which served as a church on Sundays, a
fort when enemies were feared, and a storehouse
all the time. Beyond these nothing could be seen
but woods—trackless, unknown forests—and,
away to the east, the ocean, where the waves were
booming with a lonesome sound.
It was not quite a year before that Prudence's
father had stood with the other brave colonists
on the deck of the Mayflower, and had looked with
eager eyes upon the shore of the New World. This
first year in Massachusetts had on the whole been
a happy one for Prudence. During the cold winter
which followed their landing, she had indeed
cast longing thoughts toward the home in Holland
which they had left; and especially did she
long for the Dutch home when she was hungry,
and the provisions which had been brought on
the ship were scanty; but she had forgotten all
such longings in the bounty given by the summer,
and now it seemed to her there was no more beautiful
place in the world than this New England.
It was Prudence's father who opened the door
and came in, carrying on his shoulder an ax with
which he had been felling trees for the winter's
fuel. Prudence never could get over the queer
feeling it gave her to see her father thus employed.
When they lived in Holland, he was always
writing and studying in books of many
languages, but here he did little else than work in
the fields, for it was only so that the early settlers
obtained their daily bread. He leaned his ax in a
corner, and came toward the fire, rubbing his
hands to get out the cold.
"I have news for you, dear heart, to-night," he
said to his wife. "I have just come from the
granary, and indeed there is goodly store laid up
of corn and rye, and game that has been shot in
the forest. The children's mouths will not hunger
"Praised be the Lord!" replied his wife, fervently.
"But what is your news?"
"The governor hath decided to hold a thanksgiving
for the bountiful harvest, and on the appointed
day is a great feast to be spread; and he
hath sent a messenger to bid Massasoit to break
bread with us."
"Massasoit the Indian?"
"Ay; but a friendly Indian. He will come, and
many of his braves with him. You will be kept
busy, my heart, with the other housewives to bake
sufficient food for this company."
"Oh, mother, may I go?" cried Prudence,
her eyes dancing with excitement, clutching at
her mother's skirts; but her father continued:
"How now, Mehitable? The news of a coming
feast does not seem to make you merry as it was
wont to do in Holland."
Mehitable was grave, and there was even a tear
in her eye.
"I know," cried Joel, who was two years older
than Prudence; "she is thinking of John Andrews,
who is across the sea."
But the father frowned, and the mother said,
"Peace, foolish children!" as she placed the porridge
on the table.
So Prudence and Joel drew up their benches,
and said no more. Chairs and conversation did
not belong to children in those days; they sat on
little stools and kept silence. That did not keep
them from thinking. A thanksgiving feast!
What could it be? The only thanksgiving they
knew about meant such long prayers in church
that the little people grew very tired before the
end—but a feast!—that would be something new
The feast was to be held on the following
Thursday; so, during all the days between, the
house was full of the stir of brewing and baking.
Prudence polished the apples, and Joel pounded
the corn, in eager anticipation; but when the day
arrived a disappointment awaited them, for their
father decreed that they should remain at home.
"You are over-young, my little Prudence, and
Joel is over-bold; besides which, he must stay and
care for you."
"And do neither of you leave the house while
your father and I are away," added the mother.
"I shall not have a moment's peace of mind, if I
think you are wandering outside alone."
"I will bring you back a Dutch cake, my little
sister," whispered Mehitable, who looked sweeter
than ever in her best attire of black silk and a lace
kerchief, which with an unwilling heart she had
put on in obedience to her mother's command.
But when the elders were gone the disappointment
and loneliness were too much for the children.
Prudence, being a girl, sat down in a
corner and cried; while Joel, being a boy, got angry,
and strode up and down the room with his
hands in his pockets.
"It is too bad!" he burst out suddenly. "The
greedy, grown-up people, I believe they want all
the food themselves! It's a downright shame to
keep us at home!"
"Joel!" gasped Prudence, horrified—"father
"Well, I know," admitted Joel, more mildly;
"but they need not have shut us up in the house
as if we were babies. Prudence, let's go out in
the yard and play, if we can't do anything else."
"But mother forbade us," said Prudence.
"I know. But then, of course, she only meant
we must not go into the woods for fear of wild
beasts. There is no danger here by the doorsteps,
and father won't care; he's not afraid!"
"I—don't—know," faltered Prudence.
"Well, I'm going, anyway," said Joel, resolutely,
taking his hat from the peg. "Ah, do
come too, Prudence!" he added persuasively.
So Prudence, though she knew in her heart it
was a naughty thing to do, took off her cap, and
tying her little Puritan bonnet under her chin, followed
Joel through the door.
Once outside, I am afraid their scruples were
soon forgotten. All the sunshine of the summer
and the sparkling air of the winter were fused together
to make a wonderful November day. The
children felt like colts just loosed, and ran and
shouted together till, if there had not been a good
deal of noise also at the stone house where the
feast was being spread, their shrill little voices
must surely have been heard there.
All at once Joel caught Prudence by the arm.
"Hush!" he exclaimed. "Look!"
A beautiful gray squirrel ran across the grass
in front of them. It stopped, poising its little head
and intently listening.
"I'm going to catch him," whispered Joel, excitedly.
"Father said if I could catch one, he
would make me a cage for it. Come along."
He tiptoed softly forward, but the squirrel
heard and was up and away in an instant. Joel
pursued, and Prudence ran after him. Such a
chase as the little creature gave them—up on the
fence, under the stones, across the fields, and
finally straight to the woods, with the children
panting and stumbling after, still keeping him in
sight. Breath and patience gave out at last; but
when they stopped, where were they? In the very
heart of the forest, where the dead leaves rustled,
and the sunlight slanted down upon them, and the
squirrel, safe in the top of a tree, chattered angrily.
"Never saw—anything run—so fast," panted
Joel in disgust. "I—give—him up. We had better
go back, Prudence. Why—but—I don't think
I know the way!"
Prudence's lip quivered, and her eyes filled.
"That's just like a girl!" said Joel, harshly,
"to go and cry the first thing."
"I don't care," cried Prudence, indignation
burning away her tears; "you brought me into
this, anyhow, Joel, and now you ought to get me
This was so obviously true that Joel had no
retort at hand. Besides, he did not like to see
Prudence unhappy. So, after a moment, he put
his arm around her.
"Never mind, Prue," he said; "I think if we
try together, we can find the way home."
But though they walked until their feet were
weary, they could find no familiar spot.
When they came out of the woods at last, it was
only to find themselves unexpectedly on the sandy
beach of the ocean. They sat down on two stones,
and looked at each other in silence. Joel began
to feel even his bravery giving way. All at once
they heard a sound of soft feet, and a low, sweet
"How do, English!"
A little Indian boy stood before them. He wore
a garment of skins, and a tiny bow and quiver
hung upon his back. His feet were bare, and he
walked so lightly that the children could hardly
hear his tread. Prudence, in fright, shrank close
to her brother; but Joel had seen many Indians
during their year in the New World, and the
stranger's eyes were so bright and soft that the
white boy returned the Indian's salutation. Then,
plunging his hand into his pocket, Joel brought
forth a handful of nut-meats, and held them out
for an offering.
"'HOW DO, ENGLISH!'"
The little Indian smiled delightedly, and politely
took a few—not all. Having munched the
kernels gravely, the new-comer began to dance.
It was a most remarkable dance. It was first
a stately measure, accompanied by many poisings
on his toes, and liftings of his head, from which
the wind blew back his straight black hair; but
gradually his motions grew faster and more furious,
his slow steps changed to running, he
turned, he twisted his lithe body into all possible
contorted shapes, he threw his arms high above
his head, waving them wildly, he took great leaps
into the air, and finally, when his dance had lasted
about fifteen minutes, several amazing somersaults
brought him breathless, but still smiling, to
the children's feet.
His spectators had been shouting with delight
during the whole performance, and now asked
him eager questions. What was his name? How
did he learn to dance? Could he not speak any
more English? But to all their inquiries he only
shook his head, and at last sat down beside them,
motionless now as any little bronze statue, and
looked steadily out to sea.
Prudence's head drooped upon her brother's
"I'm rather tired, Joel," she said wistfully;
"don't you think we could get to Plymouth pretty
"I don't know," said Joel, despondently.
At the words the Indian boy sprang to his feet.
He ran toward the woods, then stopped, and beckoned
them to follow.
"He is going in the wrong direction, I am
sure," said Joel, shaking his head.
The boy stamped on the ground with impatience,
and, running back, seized Prudence's hand,
and gently pulled her forward.
"Plymout'!" he said, in his strange accent.
The children looked at each other.
"We might as well try him," said Joel.
The boy clapped his hands together, and ran on
before them into the forest. It was a weary journey,
over bogs and fallen trees, and seemed three
times as long as when they had come. A wasp
once stung Prudence on the cheek, making her cry
out with pain; but quick as thought the little Indian
caught up a pellet of clay, and plastered it
upon the wound, and, marvelous to relate, before
many minutes the sharp pain had quite gone away.
The woods seemed gradually to grow a little
more open, and pretty soon they heard the distant
tinkle of a cow-bell. At last (Prudence held
her breath for fear it might not be true) they
emerged suddenly into the clearing, and home lay
They found they had made a complete circle
since they started.
Their little guide stooped and picked up a
gaudy-colored feather from the ground. He examined
it closely, and then he shouted aloud, and
began to run toward the storehouse as fast as his
sturdy legs could carry him.
"I want to see mother," said Prudence, half
crying with fatigue; so they ran all together
across the clearing.
All this while the feast had been progressing.
About noontime the great Massasoit, chief of the
Indian tribe called the Wampanoags, had emerged
from the forest with all his tallest braves in single
file behind him. They wore their best beaver-skins,
and their heads were gay with nodding
feathers. They were received at the door of the
storehouse by their English entertainers, who also
wore the bravest attire that Puritan custom allowed.
They gave the braves a hearty welcome.
Within, the long table fairly groaned with
abundance of good cheer; for the housewives had
vied with one another to provide the fattest game
and the daintiest dishes that Dutch or English
housewifery had taught them.
After asking a blessing, they all sat down, the
stalwart colonists and their fair-haired women
side by side with the taciturn Indians. The white
men felt that the best way to thank God for the
harvest was to share it with their dark-skinned
brethren, who had first taught them to plant
and raise the maize which now furnished the
Governor Bradford sat at the head of the table.
He hoped much from this feast; first, that it
might cement the friendship between the colonists
and their Indian neighbors, the Wampanoags;
and, second, that the news of it might induce the
neighboring tribes, which were still partly hostile,
to live in peace with the settlers. But though
food and talk passed blithely round among the
other guests, the governor saw, with growing dismay,
that the great Massasoit sat frowning and
depressed. The governor was not long in learning
the cause. The interpreter, observing the
governor's uneasiness, whispered in his ear that
in a recent war with the Narragansetts, Massasoit's
only child, a boy, was missed and was
thought to have been taken prisoner, and of
course put to death, after the cruel savage custom.
Toward the end of the feast, drink was served
to every guest. For the first time Massasoit
showed animation. He seized his cup, and lifted
it in the air, and cried aloud in his native tongue,
as he sprang to his feet:
"May plague and famine seize the Narragansetts!"
At that very moment the house-door opened,
and a pretty group appeared upon the threshold.
Two English children stood there, as fair and
rosy as the May-time, and between them a dark,
lithe little Indian with sparkling eyes.
Prudence ran straight to her mother.
Massasoit paused and trembled; then, as his
cup fell and shivered upon the ground, he crossed
the room in one stride, and caught the Indian boy
in his arms, looking at him as if he could never see
Governor Bradford knew in an instant that the
lost child had been restored, even without the Indian
warrior's shout of triumph, and Massasoit's
passionate exclamation: "Light of my eyes—staff
of my footsteps!—thou art come back to me—the
warmth of my heart, the sunlight of my
"'THOU ART COME BACK TO ME—THE WARMTH OF MY HEART, THE SUNLIGHT OF MY WIGWAM!' EXCLAIMED MASSASOIT"
The rejoicing was so great that no one thought
of chiding Joel and Prudence for their disobedience.
The governor himself gave Joel a large
slice of pudding, and Prudence told all her adventures,
throned upon her father's knee, wearing
around her neck a string of wampum which the
grateful Massasoit had hung there.
"And, oh!" she exclaimed, "while the Indian
boy was dancing for Joel and me, I looked out to
sea, and I saw such a wonderful bird—a great
white bird, flying along close to the water, and
rising up and down. It was many times greater
than the swans in Amsterdam!"
"Was it, my little maid?" said the good governor,
laying his hand on her head, and then he
exchanged a keen look with Prudence's father,
saying nothing more. But when the guests had
departed, bearing home the Indian boy in triumph,
none was so early as the governor to reach
the seashore; and it was his call that brought the
colonists to see the good ship Fortune (Prudence's
"great white bird") already rounding the
point, and making ready to cast anchor in Plymouth
Ah, then indeed the great guns rang out from
the shore to hail the ship, and the ship's cannon
boomed a quick reply, and the whole little town
was full and running over with glad welcome for
the second English vessel to land upon our Massachusetts
In the evening a happy circle gathered round
the fire in the house of Prudence's father, and
there was eager talk, for all had much to learn
and to tell.
"I know now," said Joel to Prudence, as they
sat side by side—"I know now what Thanksgiving
means. It means plenty to eat."
Prudence looked at the dear faces around her,
at Mehitable's sweet smile, and at the shining
eyes of John Andrews, for he had been a passenger
by the Fortune.
"Perhaps," she replied; "but I think, Joel, that
we have Thanksgiving because we are so glad to
be all together once more."
This first Thanksgiving happened long ago, but
out of it all our later ones have grown; and when
we think of the glad meetings of long-parted parents
and sons and daughters, of the merry frolics
with brothers and sisters and cousins, which come
upon Thanksgiving Day, in spite of our bountiful
dinner-tables we shall agree with Prudence that
it is the happy family party which makes the pleasure,
SOME INDIAN DOLLS
AMONG the wild Indians of our country is
surely the last place one would look for toys,
and travelers have said they had none; but a
closer look brings some to light. On the desk before
me sit two dear creatures, just arrived from
Dakota Territory. They were made by some loving
mother of the Gros Ventre tribe of Indians.
But the unfortunate little redskin girl for whom
they were intended never received them after all,
for they were bought by a white man, and sent to
New York to sit for their picture for you.
They are a queer-looking pair, dressed in the
most elegant Gros Ventre style. They are eighteen
inches tall, made of cloth, with their noses
sewed on, and their faces well colored; not only
made red, like the skin, but with painted features.
The Indian doll has a gentle expression, with mild
eyes, but the squaw has a wild look, as though she
were very much scared to find herself in a white
man's tepee. Both have long hair in a braid
over each ear, but the brave has also a quantity
hanging down his back, and a crest standing up
on top—perhaps as "scalp-lock."
DOLLS FROM DAKOTA TERRITORY
The dress of the lady resembles, in style and
material, a bathing-suit. It is of blue flannel,
trimmed with red braid, a long blouse and leggings
of the same. She has also moccasins, and a
string of blue beads around her neck, besides little
dots of beads all over her waist. The suit of the
warrior is similar in style, but the blouse is of unbleached
muslin, daubed with streaks of red paint,
and trimmed with braid, also red. Across his
breast he wears an elaborate ornament of white
beads, gorgeous to behold.
Beside these Gros Ventre dolls stand another
pair, from a Canada tribe; the squaw dragging a
six-inch-long toboggan loaded with tent and
poles, while the warrior carries his snow-shoes.
She is dressed in red and black flannel, with calico
blouse and cloth hood; tin bracelets are on her
arms, and her breast bears an ornament like a dinner-plate,
also of tin. Her lord and master wears
a dandyish suit of white canton-flannel, fuzzy side
out, a calico shirt, red necktie, and likewise a hood
and tin dinner-plate. They are made of wood,
with joints at hip and shoulder, and the faces are
carved and painted. Wild dolls are curious and
interesting. Let me tell you of a few others I
The little Moquis girls have wooden dolls of
different sizes and degrees. The best have arms
and legs, are dressed in one garment of coarse
cotton, and instead of hair have feathers sticking
out of their heads, like the ends of a feather
A lower grade of Moquis doll has no limbs, but
is gaily painted in stripes, and wears beads as big
as its fist would be, if it had one. This looks as
you would with a string of oranges around your
neck. The poorest of all, which has evidently
been loved by some poor little Indian girl, has in
place of a head a sprig of evergreen. How did
the white man get hold of a treasure like this? Is
the little owner grown up? Is she laid to sleep
under the daisies? Or was this doll left behind
in a hurried flight of the Moquis village before
It isn't an Edison doll; it can't talk,—so we
shall never know.
THE WALKING PURCHASE
IN the early twilight of a September morning,
more than one hundred and sixty years ago,
a remarkable company might have been seen
gathering about a large chestnut-tree at the
cross-roads near the Friends' meeting-house in
Wrightstown, Pennsylvania. It is doubtful whether
any one of us could have guessed what the
meeting meant. Most of the party were Quakers
in wide-brimmed hats and plain dress, and if it
had been First-day instead of Third-day, we
might have thought they were gathering under
the well-known tree for a neighborly chat before
"meeting." Nor was it a warlike rendezvous; for
the war-cry of the Lenni-Lenape had never yet
been raised against the "Children of Mignon"
(Elder Brother), as the followers of William
Penn were called; and in a little group somewhat
apart were a few athletic Indians in peaceful garb
and friendly attitude. But it evidently was an important
meeting, for here were several prominent
officials, including even so notable a person as
Proprietor Thomas Penn.
In 1686, fifty-one years before this, William
Penn bought from the Lenni-Lenape, or Delaware
Indians, a section bounded on the east by
the Delaware, on the west by the Neshaminy, and
extending to the north from his previous purchases
"as far as a man can go in a day and a
half." No effort was made to fix the northern
boundary until the Indians, becoming uneasy at
the encroachments of the settlers, asked to have
the line definitely marked. On August 25, 1737,
after several conferences between the Delawares
and William Penn's sons, John and Thomas, who,
after their father's death, became proprietors of
Pennsylvania, the treaty of 1686 was confirmed,
and a day was appointed for beginning the walk.
This explains why the crowd was gathering about
the old chestnut-tree in the early dawn of that
day, September 19, 1737.
"Ready!" called out Sheriff Smith.
"THE THREE MEN STEPPED FROM THE CROWD AND PLACED THEIR RIGHT HANDS UPON THE TREE"
At the word, James Yeates, a native of New
England, "tall, slim, of much ability and speed of
foot," Solomon Jennings, "a remarkably stout
and strong man," and Edward Marshall, a well-known
hunter, over six feet tall, and noted as a
walker, stepped from the crowd and placed their
right hands upon the tree.
Thomas Penn had promised five pounds in
money and five hundred acres of land to the
walker who covered the greatest distance; and
these three men were to contest for the prize.
Just as the edge of the sun showed above the horizon,
Sheriff Smith gave the word, and the race
Yeates quickly took up the lead, stepping
lightly. Then came Jennings, accompanied by
two Indians, who were there to see that the walking
was fairly done. Closely following them were
men on horseback, including the sheriff and the
surveyor-general. Thomas Penn himself followed
the party for some distance. Far in the
rear came Marshall, walking in a careless manner,
swinging a hatchet in one hand, "to balance
himself," and at intervals munching a dry biscuit,
of which he carried a small supply. He seemed
to have forgotten a resolution he had made to
"win the prize of five hundred acres of land, or
lose his life in the attempt."
Thomas Penn had secretly sent out a preliminary
party to blaze the trees along the line of the
walk for as great a distance as it was thought possible
for a man to walk in eighteen hours. So,
when the wilderness was reached, the walkers still
had the best and most direct course clearly
marked out for them. The Indians soon protested
against the speed, saying over and over: "That's
not fair. You run. You were to walk." But the
treaty said, "As far as a man can go," and the
walkers were following it in letter, if not in spirit,
as they hurried along. Their protests being disregarded,
the Indians endeavored to delay the progress
by stopping to rest; but the white men dismounted,
and allowed the Indians to ride, and
thus pushed on as rapidly as ever. At last the
Indians refused to go any farther, and left the
Before Lehigh River was reached Jennings
was exhausted, gave up the race, and lagged behind
in the company of followers. His health was
shattered, and he lived only a few years.
That night the party slept on the north side of
the Lehigh Mountains, half a mile from the Indian
village of Hokendauqua. Next morning,
while some of the party searched for the horses
which had strayed away during the night, others
went to the village to request Lappawinzoe, the
chief, to send other Indians to accompany the
walkers. He angrily replied: "You have all the
good land now, and you may as well take the bad,
too." One old Indian, indignant at the stories of
how the white men rushed along in their greed to
get as much land as possible, remarked in a tone
of deep disgust: "No sit down to smoke; no shoot
squirrel; but lun, lun, lun, all day long."
Scarcely had the last half-day's walk begun before
Yeates, who was a drinking man, was overcome
by the tremendous exertions and intemperance
of the previous day. He stumbled at the
edge of Big Creek, and rolled, helpless, down the
bank into the water. When rescued he was entirely
blind, and his death followed within three
Marshall still pressed on. Passing the last of
the blazed trees which had hitherto guided him,
he seized a compass offered by Surveyor-General
Eastburn, and by its aid still continued his onward
course. At last, Sheriff Smith, who for some time
had frequently looked at his watch, called,
"Halt!" Marshall instantly threw himself at
full length, and grasped a sapling. Here was the
starting-point for the northern boundary of the
purchase of 1686, sixty-eight miles from the old
chestnut-tree at Wrightstown, and very close to
where Mauch Chunk stands to-day. The walk
was twice as long as the Indians expected it to be.
Unfortunately for the Delawares, they knew
too little of legal technicalities to notice that the
deed did not state in what direction the northern
boundary was to be drawn. They naturally expected
it to be drawn to the nearest point on the
Delaware. But the surveyor-general, to please
Penn, decided that the line should run at right
angles to the direction of the walk, which was
almost exactly northwest. Draw a line from
Mauch Chunk to the Delaware so that if extended
it would pass through New York city, and another
to the point where New York, New Jersey,
and Pennsylvania meet. The first is the Indian's
idea of the just way to lay out the northern boundary;
the second is the line which Surveyor-General
Eastburn actually finished marking out in
four days after Marshall's walk ended.
And so the three hundred thousand acres which
the Indians would have given to the Penns as the
result of Marshall's walk were increased to half
a million by taking selfish advantage of a flaw in
"THE INDIANS PROTESTED AGAINST THE SPEED"
The Lenni-Lenape had loved and trusted William
Penn because he always dealt openly and
fairly with them. "We will live in love with
William Penn and his children," said they, "as
long as the sun and moon shall shine." But the
wrongs inflicted on them in the "walking purchase"
aroused the deepest indignation. "Next
May," said Lappawinzoe, "we will go to Philadelphia,
each one with a buckskin to repay the
presents and take back our land again." It was
too late, however, for this to be done.
At last, in 1741, the Indians determined to resort
to arms to secure justice. But the Iroquois,
to whom the Delawares had long been subject,
came to the aid of the Penns, and the last hope of
righting the wrong was gone forever.
There seems a sort of poetic justice in the later
experiences of the principal men in the affair.
Marshall never got his five hundred acres of land,
and his wife was killed in an attack by the Indians.
Eastburn was repudiated by Thomas
Penn, and his heirs were notified that they "need
not expect the least favor." Penn himself was
brought before the king and forced to disown
many of his acts and agents in a most humiliating
But all this did not repair the injury to the
Delawares, and they never again owned, as a
tribe, a single inch along the river from which
they took their name.
A small monument, erected by the Bucks
County Historical Society, marks the spot
where the old chestnut-tree formerly stood. In
order that this might not seem to condone an
unworthy deed, the monument was dedicated,
not to those who made or conducted the walk, but
to the Lenni-Lenape Indians—"not to the wrong,
but to the persons wronged."
The inscription on the stone reads:
TO THE MEMORY OF THE LENNI-LENAPE INDIANS,
ANCIENT OWNERS OF THIS REGION,
THESE STONES ARE PLACED AT
THIS SPOT, THE STARTING-POINT
September 19, 1737.
THE FIRST AMERICANS
IN the middle of the sixteenth century, when
the Spaniards who had followed Columbus
and Cortes to the New World worked their way
northward into the region that is now New Mexico
and Arizona, they found to their surprise a
people dwelling there in well-constructed, flat-roofed
houses of stone. They gave to these people
the name of Pueblos, or villagers, to distinguish
them from the wild tribes; and by this name they
have been known in general ever since, though
each village and cluster of villages has its distinctive
The Pueblos, instead of roaming about, subsisting
on chance game, cultivated Indian corn so
largely that they ordinarily were able to store a
supply to provide against the possibility of future
famine; and such is still their custom. Not only
had they made this progress in agriculture and architecture,
but they had also done something in
the way of manufacturing, especially in the
making of pottery and weaving of blankets.
Their pottery was varied in shape and ornamentation
and skilfully modeled without the aid of
a wheel. Of the potter's wheel they are ignorant
to this day, still following the practice of their
forefathers in this matter as in many others.
Their blankets of cotton were unique in their designs;
and these designs are perpetuated to-day
in woolen material, as well as in cotton, though
the latter is now used principally in the sacred
Those towns nearest to Santa Fé (which itself
was originally a Pueblo village and is, probably,
the oldest town inhabited by white people in the
United States) came most directly under the influence
of the Spaniards. They made Santa Fé
their seat of government, and gradually many
Spanish customs prevailed among the natives in
this part of the country. The Spanish priests, following
the army of invasion, soon made converts,
and eventually the barbarous rites of the people in
the towns near Santa Fé were abolished in favor
of Christianity. Churches of adobe, or sun-dried
brick, were erected, and the Christian religion
was in time accepted by numerous communities.
The towns at a distance were not so easy of access,
and hence longer maintained their independence,
supporting and favoring the smoldering
discontent of those in other localities whose
prejudices or patriotism resented the Spanish dominion.
These native patriots believed the salvation
of their country demanded the expulsion of
these domineering foreigners from their land.
We cannot blame them for thus regarding the
Spaniards, for we should certainly resent any
interference by foreign powers with our affairs,
and the Pueblos were, in many respects, a civilized
people and had governed themselves for centuries
before the Spaniards appeared in their territories.
Secretly, these patriots worked to arouse their
fellow-countrymen against the intruders, hoping
to succeed in a revolution which should annihilate
the Spanish power and restore the ancient rites
and customs. Several of these conspiracies were
discovered by the Spanish Governor-General, and
the conspirators paid for their patriotism with
their lives; but, in a few years, others took their
places, and while peace seemed to smile on all the
land, a volcano was seething under the very feet
of the invaders.
There had been so much internal dissension
among the Pueblos over religion and over water-privileges
(often a matter of the utmost importance
in those arid lands) before the arrival of the
Spaniards, that concerted action must have been
difficult to bring about; but at last, near the end
of the seventeenth century, there was a mighty
uprising, the foreigners were driven out of the
country, and retreated into Mexico, and those villages
which had been under the Spanish yoke revived
their native ceremonies, which had been in
disuse for a full century.
Meanwhile the Spaniards were not content to
let slip so easily this accession to their king's
domain. Collecting a stronger army, General
Vargas returned, and conquered village after village,
until the rebellion was extinguished for all
time. Never since that day have the Pueblos
shown a warlike spirit, having accepted their
subjugation as inevitable. They were made
citizens by Spain, but since their territory became
a portion of the United States they have
ranked politically with the other Indians. The
last locality to be brought under subjection
was the Province of Tusayan, the home of the
A PUEBLO INDIAN BESIDE AN EAGLE-CAGE
At that time this province was so difficult to
reach, that the horses of the Spanish general's
troops were completely demoralized, and he was
therefore obliged to omit a visit to Oraibi, the
largest and furthest removed of the villages. He
had, however, met with little resistance from
the inhabitants, and, doubtless, did not deem the
Mokis a warlike race. After the departure of
Vargas, the Mokis continued their old ways and
were seldom visited, so that even now, three and
a half centuries after the first visit of the Spaniards,
they remain nearly in their original condition.
Next to the Moki towns, the Pueblo of Zuñi
maintained its primitive customs to the greatest
extent, and from similar causes.
The illustration is from a photograph made in
Zuñi by Mr. Hillers, photographer of the Bureau
of Ethnology, and shows one of the natives,
dressed in the costume of to-day, beside an eagle-cage.
The costume is composed of simple materials,
the trousers being of unbleached cotton, the
shirt of calico, and the turban generally of some
soft red cloth. The Mokis wear their hair cut
straight across the eyebrows in a sort of "bang,"
then straight back even with the bottom of the
ear, the rest being made up into a knob behind.
All are particular about their ornaments, caring
little for any common sorts of beads, but treasuring
coral, turquoise, and silver.
The eagle is sacred among Pueblos who have
not abandoned their native religion, and the feathers
are used in religious ceremonies. For this
reason the eagle is protected and every feather
preserved. His nesting-places are carefully
watched, and often visited, so that a supply of feathers,
from little downy ones no larger than a
twenty-five cent piece to the stiff and long ones
from the wing and tail, are preserved in every
family,—the first, or downy ones, to breathe their
prayers upon; the larger ones for other sacred
uses. Sometimes several "prayers" are fastened
to one little twig that all may proceed together to
their destination. There is something very poetic
in this breathing of a prayer upon a feather from
the breast of an eagle—in flight the king of birds,
familiar with regions which man can know only
The Navajos have no reverence for the bird.
They make raids upon the nesting-places where
for centuries the Mokis have obtained feathers,
and these raids are a common source of trouble
between the two tribes.
None of the present buildings of the Pueblos
are equal in masonry to the ruins common
throughout the region. These were ruins even
when the Spaniards arrived, and, consequently, it
is supposed that a superior people once occupied
the country, who may, however, have been either
ancestors or kindred to the Pueblos. In time the
question may be solved through the numerous
legends illustrated in pottery decoration, for all
the decorations have a meaning, and the legends
are handed down by word of mouth from father
to son. Once when the legends were being discussed,
Pow-it-iwa, an old Moki, poetically remarked
to a friend of mine, "Many have passed
by the house of my fathers, and none has stopped
to ask where they have gone; but we of our family
live to-day to teach our children concerning the