Camping With the Sioux: Fieldwork Diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher

 

October 13, 1881

On the morning of Thursday, October 13, 1881, all the Indians were in dress. Buffalo-chip put on his Indian dress, white shirt, blanket and ornaments, Mrs. Buffalo-chip painted her hair part and put on her large earrings and dress gay in color, and when the chief called, he too was in full dress, paint and feathers. One Indian woman, the daughter-in-law of Milk, came in with her children. She was painted first yellow, then red, the part red running across down the entire parting, dividing the head into two semispheres - a line across the forehead at the beginning of the part. Her hair in two braids hung down on either side. This is the only instance where I have seen the paint to be pretty. We breakfasted at the daughter's who is married to a half-breed and lives white fashion. Buffalo meat, coffee, bread and molasses. I ate the latter. The log cabin was divided into more than two rooms, 3, I think, the larger room where we were was lined with a set pattern of red calico - made a very attractive wall. Everything neat, clock and pictures from books. A tall comely woman, sewing machine.

Our host came in. It was from him we went to the agent's. Buffalo-chip came as interpreter.

After my return from the Agency, Asanpi came in and his wife and daughters and son presented me with a fine pouch and also a pair of moccasins. A very interesting visit -gave the blue jacket to Asanpi who gave it to his son, earrings to wife and necklace to daughter and cards to his children and grand-children.

We dined at "Cooks" - a white dinner, good bread, tomatoes, pie, coffee. I ate no buffalo meat. He gave me the picture of his little daughter, Grace, and of himself. He said that his little girl had been gone nearly three years. She went when she was ten and is now thirteen. She is learning well and when she comes back, I am going to try and build a house for her, that she may live as white folk.

He had lost his sons - this little girl all that is left. He is very fond of her - gave me her picture.

So cold in the afternoon that he moved us over to his son's log house where we found everything vacated and ready for us. We went to the house of the Missionary and I slept in a bed.


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