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and a sort of little bag made of buffajoe hide, dressed white, with small shot or pebbles in it, and a bunch of hair tied to it. This produces a sort of rattling music, with which the party was annoyed by four musicians during the council this morning. August 31. In the morning, after breakfast, the chiefs met, and sat down in a row, with pipes of peace, highly ornamented, and all pointed towards the seats intended for Capts. Lewis and Clarke. When they arrived and were seated, the grand chief, whose Indian name, Weucha, is in English Shake-Hand, and in French is called Le Liberateur (the deliverer) rose, and spoke at some length, approving what we had said, and promising to follow our advice : “I see before me,” said he, “my great father’s two sons. You see me, and the rest of our chiefs and warriors. “. We are very poor; we have neither powder nor ball, nor knives ; and our women and children at the village have no clothes. I wish that, as my brothers have given me a flag and a medal, they would give something to those poor people, or let them stop and trade with the first boat which comes up the river. I will bring chiefs of the Pawnees and Mahas toge. ther, and make peace between them ; but it is better that I should do it than my great father’s sons, for they will listen to me more readily. I will also take some chiefs to your country in the spring; but before that time I cannot leave home. I went formerly to the English, and they gave me a medal and some clothes; when I went to the Spanish they gave me a medal, but nothing to keep it from my skin; but now you give me medal and clothes. But still we are poor; and I wish brothers you would give us something for our squaws.” When he sat down, Mahtoree, or White Crane, rose : “I have listened,” said he, “to what our father's words were yesterday; and I am to-day glad to see how you have dressed our old chief; I am a young man, and do not wish to talk much ; my fathers have made me a chief; I had much sense before, but now I think I have more than ever. What the old chief has declared I will confirm, and do whatever he and you please; but I wish that you would take pity on us, for we are very poor.”
Another chief, called Pawnawneahpahbe, then said: “I am a young man, and know but little; I cannot speak well ; but I have listened to what you have told the old chief, and will do whatever you agree.” The same sentiments were then repeated by A weawechache. We were surprised at finding that the first of these titles means “Struck by the Pawnee,” and was occasioned by some blow which the chief had received in battle from one of the Pawnee tribe. The second is in English “Half Man,” which seems a singular name for a warrior, till it was explained to have its origin, probably, in the modesty of the chief; who, on being told of his exploits, would say, “I am no warrior; I am only half a man.” The other chiefs spoke very little; but after they had finished one of the warriors delivered a speech, in which he declared he would support them. They promised to make peace with the Ottoes and Missouris, the only nations with whom they are at war. All these harangues concluded by describing the distress of the nation; they begged us to have pity on them; to send them traders ; that they wanted powder and ball ; and seemed anxious that we should supply them with some of their great father’s milk, the name by which they distinguish ardent spirits. We then gave some tobacco to each of the chiefs, and a certificate to two of the warriors who attended the chief. We prevailed on Mr. Durion to remain here, and accompany as many of the Sioux chiefs as he could collect down to the seat of government. We also gave his son a flag, some clothes, and provisions, with directions to bring about a peace between the surrounding tribes, and to convey some of their chiefs to see the president. In the evening they left us, and encamped on the opposite bank, accompanied by the two Durions. During the evening and
night we had much rain, and observed :
that the river rises a little. The Indians who have just left us are the Yanktons, a tribe of the great nation of Sioux. These Yanktons are about two hundred men in number, and inhabit the Jacques, Desmoines, and Sioux rivers. In person they are stout, well proportioned, and have a certain air of dignity and boldness. In their dress they differ nothing from
the other bands of the nation whom we saw, and will describe afterwards: they are fond of decorations, and use paint, and porcupine quills, and feathers. Some of them wore a kind of necklace of white bear’s claws, three inches long, and closely strung together round their necks. They have only a few fowling-pieces, being generally armed with bows and arrows, in which, however, they do not appear as expert as the more northern Indians. T H E TET ON INDIAN S. Captain Lewis went on shore and remained several hours, and, observing that their disposition was friendly, we resolved to remain during the night to a dance, which they were preparing for us. Captains Lewis and Clarke, who went on shore one after the other, were met on landing by ten welldressed young men, who took them up in a robe highly decorated, and carried them to a large council house, where they were placed on a dressed buffaloe skin by the side of the grand chief. The hall or council-room was in the shape of three quarters of a circle, cowered at the top and sides with skins well dressed and sewed together. Under this shelter sat about seventy men, forming a circle round the chief, before whom were placed a Spanish flag and the one we had given them yesterday. This left a vacant circle of about six feet diameter, in which the pipe of peace was raised on two forked sticks, about six or eight inches from the ground, and under it the down of the Swan was scattered : a large fire, in which they were cooking provisions, stood near, and in the centre about four hundred pounds of excellent buffaloe meat as a present for us. As soon as we were seated, an old man got up, and after approving what we had done, begged us to take pity on their unfortunate situation. To this we replied with assurances of protection. After he had ceased, the great chief rose and delivered an harangue to the same effect: then with great solemnity he took some of the most delicate parts of the dog, which was cooked for the festival, and held it to the flag by way of sacrifice: this done, he held up the pipe of peace, and first pointed it towards the heavens, then to the four quarters of the globe, and then to the earth, made a short speech, lighted the pipe, and presented it to us. We smoked, and he again harangued his people, after which the 3
strain, and dance to it.
Travels to the Sources of the Missouri River,
repast was served up to us. It consisted of the dog which they had just been cooking, this being a great dish among the Sioux, and used on all festivals; to this were added, permitigon, a dish made of buffaloe meat, dried or jerked, and then pounded and mixed raw with grease and a kind of ground potatoe, dressed like the preparation of Indian corn called hominy, to which it is little inferior. Of all these luxuries, which were placed before us in platters, with horn spoons, we took the pemitigon and the potatoe, which we found good, but we could as yet partake but sparingly of the dog. We ate and smoked for an hour, when it became dark: every thing was then cleared away for the dance, a large fire being made in the centre of the house, giving at once light and warmth to the ball-room. The orchestra was composed of about ten men, who played on a sort of tambourin, formed of skin stretched across a hoop ; and made a jingling noise with a long stick to which the hoofs of deer and goats were hung; the third instrument was a small skin bag with pebbles in it: these, with five or six young men for
the vocal part, made up the band.
The women then came forward highly decorated; some with poles in their hands, on which were hung the scalps of their enemies; others with guns, spears, or different trophies, taken in war by their husbands, brothers, or connexions. Having arranged themselves in two columns, one on each side of the fire, as soon as the music began they danced towards each other till they net in the centre, when the rattles were shaken, and they all shouted and returned back to their places. They have no step, but shuffle along the ground; nor does the music appear to be any thing more than a confusion of noises, distinguished only by hard or gentle blows upon the buffaloe skin: the song is perfectly extemporaneous. In the pauses of the dance, any man of the company comes forward and recites, in a sort of low gutteral tone, some little story or incident, which is either martial or ludicrous, or, as was the case this evening, voluptuous and indecent: this is taken up by the orchestra and the dancers, who repeat it in a higher Sometimes they alternate, the orchestra first performing, and, when it ceases, the wo. men raise their voices, and make a
music more agreeable, that is, less intolerable than that of the musicians. The dances of the men, which are always separate from the women, are conducted very nearly in the same way, except that the men jump up and down instead of shuffling; and in the war-dances the recitations are all of a military cast. The harmony of the entertainment had nearly been disturbed by one of the musicians, who, thinking he had not received a due share of the tobacco we had distributed during the evening, put himself into a passion, broke one of the drums, threw two of them into the fire, and left the band. They were taken out of the fire: a buffaloe robe held in one band and beaten with the other, by several of the company, supplied the place of the lost drum or tambourin, and no notice was taken of the offensive conduct of the man. We staid till twelve o’clock at night, when we informed the chiefs that they must be fatigued with all these attempts to amuse us, and retired accompanied by four chiefs, two of whom spent the night with us on board. THEIR D RESS AND MAN N E R S.
The men shave the hair off their heads, except a small tuft on the top, which they suffer to grow and wear in plaits over the shoulders; to this they seem much attached, as the loss of it is the usual sacrifice at the death of near relations. In full dress, the men of consideration wear a hawk’s feather, or calumet feather worked with porcupine quills, and fastened to the top of the head, from which it falls back. The face and body are generally painted with a mixture of grease and coal. Over the shoulders is a loose robe or mantle of buffaloe skin dressed white, adorned with porcupine quills loosely fixed so as to make a jingling noise when in motion, and painted with various uncouth figures unintelligible to us, but to them emblematic of military exploits, or any other incident; the hair of the robe is worn next the skin in fair weather, but when it rains the hairis put outside, and the robe is either thrown over the arm, or wrapped round the body, all of which it may cover. Under this in the winter season they wear a kind of shirt resembling ours, and made either of skin or cloth, and covering the arms and body. Round the middle is fixed a girdle of cloth, or
rocured dressed elk-skin, about an inch in width, and closely tied to the
body, to this is attached a piece of cloth, or blanket, or skin, about a foot wide, which passes between the legs, and is tucked under the girdle both before and behind ; from the hip to the ankle he is covered by leggings of dressed antelope skins, with seams at the sides two inches in width, and ornamented by little tufts cf hair, the produce of the scalps they have made in war, which are scattered down the leg. The winter moccasins are of dressed buffaloe skin, the hair being worn inwards, and soaled with thick elk-skin parchment ; those for summer are of deer or elk-skin, dressed without the hair, and with soals of elk-skin. On great occasions, or whenever they are in full dress, the young men drag after them the entire skin of a pole-cat, fixed to the heel of the moccasinAnother skin of the same animal is either tucked into the girdle or carried in the hand, and serves as a pouch for their tobacco, or what the French traders call the bois roule; this is the inner bark of a species of red willow, which being dried in the sun, or over the fire, is rubbed between the hands and broken into small pieces, and is used alone, or mixed with tobacca. The pipe is generally of red earth, the stem made of ash, about three or four feet long, and highly decorated with feathers, hair, and porcuping quills. The hair of the women is suffered to grow long, and parted from the forehead across the head, at the back of which it is either collected into a kind of bag, or hangs down over the shoulders. Their moccasins are like those of the men, as are also the leggings, which do not however reach be. yond the knee, where it is met by a long loose shift of skin, which reaches nearly to the ankles; this is fastened over the shoulders by a string, and has no sleeves, but a few pieces of the skin hang a short distance down the arm. Sometimes a girdle fastens this skin round the waist, and over all is thrown a robe like that worn by the men. They seem fond of dress. Their lodges are very neatly constructed, in the same form as those of the Yanktons ; they consist of about one hundred cabins, made of white buffala hide dressed, with a larger one in the centre for holding councils and dances. They are built round with poles about fifteen or twenty feet high, covered with white skins; these lodges may be taken 588 taken to pieces, packed off; and carried with the nation wherever they go, by dogs which bear great burdens. The women are chiefly employed in dressing buffalo skins; they seem perfectly well disposed, but are addicted to stealing any thing which they can take without being observed. This nation, although it makes so many rawages among its neighbours, is badly supplied with guns. The , water which they carry with them is contained chiefly in the paunches of deer and other animals, and they make use of wooden bowls. Some had their heads shaved, which we found was a species of mourning for relations. Another usage, on these occasions, is to run arrows through the flesh both above and below the elbow. W () NDH, R AT A NEGRO.
The object which appeared to astonish the Indians most was Captain Clarke’s servant York, a remarkable stout strong negro. They had never seen a being of that colour, and therefore flocked round him to examine the extraordinary monster. By way of amusement he told them that he had once been a wild animal, and caught and tamed by his master, and to convince them, showed them feats of strength, which, added to his looks, made him more terrible than we wished him to be.
NO RTHERN LIGHTS.
Late at night we were awaked by the sergeant on guard to see the beautiful phenomenon called the northern light: along the northern sky was a large space occupied by a light of a a pale but brilliant, white colour, which rising from the horizon extendeditself to nearly twenty degrees above it. After glittering for some time its colours would be overcast, and almost obscured, but again it would burst out with renewed beauty; the uniform colour was pale light, but its shapes were various and fantastic: at times the sky was lined with light-coloured streaks rising perpendicularly from the horizon, and gradually expanding into a body of light, in which we could trace the floating columns, sometimes advancing, sometimes retreating and shaping into infinite forms, the space in which they moved. It all faded away before the morning.
INDIAN NATION S.
The villages near which we are established are five in number, and are the residence of three distinct nations:
Travels to the Sources of the Missouri River,
the Mandans, the Ahnahaways, and the Minnetarees. The history of the Mandans, as we received it from our interpreters and from the chiefs themselves, and as it is attested by existing monuments, illustrates, more than that of any other nation, the unsteady movements and the tottering fortunes of the American nations. Within the recollection of living witnesses, the Mandans were settled forty years ago in nine villages, the ruins of which we passed about eighty miles below, and situated seven on the west and two on the east side of the Missouri. The two, finding themselves wasting away before the small-pox and the Sioux, united into one village, and moved up the river opposite to the Ricaras. The same causes reduced the remaining seven to five villages, till at length they emigrated in a body to the Ricara nation, where they formed themselves into two villages, and joined these of their countrymen who had gone before them. In their new residence they were still insecure, and at length the three villages ascended the Missouri to their present position. The two who had emigrated together still settled in the two villages on the northwest side of the Missouri, while the single village took a position on the south-east side. In this situation they were found by those who visited them in 1796, since which the two villages have united into one. THEIR RELIGIOUS Sur ER stri TIon. The whole religion of the Mandans consists in the belief of one great spirit presiding over their destinies. This being must be in the nature of a good genius, since it is associated with the healing art, and the great spirit is synonymous with great medicine, a name also applied to every thing which they do not understand. Each individual selects for himself the particular object of his devotion, which is termed his medicine, and is either some invisible being or more commonly some animal, which thenceforward becomes his protector or his intercessor with the great spirit; to propitiate whom eve attention is lavished, and every per; sonal consideration is sacrificed. **f was lately owner of seventeen horses,” said a Mandan to us one day, “but I. have offered them all up to my medi: cine, and am now poor.” He had in reality taken all his wealth, his horses, into the plain, and turning ; committed them to the care of his me. dicine,
the whole nation resolved
-buffaloe, and rich with every kind of
fruits; returning with the grapes they had gathered, their countrymen were so pleased with the taste of them that to leave their dull residence for the charms of the upper region: men, women, and children ascended by means of the vine; but when about half the nation had reached the surface of the earth, a corpulent woman who was clambering up the vine, broke it with her weight, and closed upon herself and the rest of the nation the light of the sun. Those who were left on earth made a village below where we saw the nine villages; and when the Man
dans die they expect to return to the
original seats of their forefathers; the good reaching the ancient village by means of the lake, which the burdens of the sins of the wicked will not enable them to cross. THE w EATHER, LAT. 47. Dec 8th.-The thermometer stood at twelve degrees below o, that is at forty-two degrees below the freezing point : the wind was from the northCaptain Lewis, with fifteen men, went out to hunt the buffaloe, great numbers of which darkened the prairies for a considerable distance:
they did not return till after dark,
having killed eight buffaloe and one The hunt was, however, very fatiguing, as they were obliged to make a circuit at the distance of more than seven miles: the cold too, was so ex
below o, and about eight o'clock it fell to 74° below freezing point. 18th. –The thermometer at sunrise was 32° below o. The Indians had invited us yesterday to join their chace to-day, but the seven men whom we sent returned in consequence of the cold, which was so severe last night that we were obliged to have the sentia nel relieved every half hour. The north-west traders, however, left us on their return home. 19th-Notwithstanding the extreme cold, we observe the Indians at the village engaged out in the open air at a game which resembled billiards more than any thing we had seen, and which we are inclined to suspect may have been acquired by ancient inter. course with the French of Canada. From the first to the second chief's lodge, a distance of about fifty yards, was covered with timber, smoothed and joined so as to be as level as the floor of one of our houses, with a battery at the end to stop the rings : these rings were of clay-stone, and flat like the chequers for drafts, and the sticks were about four feet long, with two short pieces at one end in the form of a mace, so fixed that the whole will slide along the board. Two men fix themselves at one end, each provided with a stick, and one of them with a ring; they then run along the board, and about half way slide the sticks after the ring. THE SIO U x INDIAN S. Almost the whole of that vast tract of country comprised between the Mississippi, the Red River of fake Winnepeg, the Saskaskawan, and the Missouri, is loosely occupied by a great nation whose primitive name is Darcota, but who are called Sioux by the French, Sues by the English. Their original seats were on the Mis. sissippi, but they have gradually spread themselves abroad, and become subdivided into numerous tribes. Of these, what may be considered as the Darcotas, are the Mindawarcarton, or Minowakanton, known to the French by the name of the Gens du Lac, or People of the Lake. Their residence is on both sides of the Mississippi, near the falls of St. Anthony, and the probable number of their warriors about three hundred. Above them, on the river St. Peter's, is the Wahpa. tone, a smaller band of nearly two hundred men; and still further up 3 G the