While we're on the subject of Little Big Man, I'll attach some notes:
One late appearance was at a Pine Ridge sundance in June 1881 – Little Big Man “while owning a scant five feet in height, had the breadth and depth of chest, and length and power of arms of a giant… some one had presented him, or perhaps, indeed, he had won in the Custer fight, a captain’s blouse, in very good condition, and just as we entered the lodge, Little Big Man proudly wearing this uniform coat, fell in behind us… Little Big Man squatted upon the ground beside them [Mrs. McGillycuddy and Mrs. Blanchard, the trader’s wife], evidently bent upon winning their admiration. Presently… he rose, unbuttoned and removed his blouse, and so stood beside them, completely naked to the waist, his broad breast and great, sinewy arms showing a dozen or more scars of deadly tussles… each scar emphasized by a dab of red paint streaming like blood beneath it… And then a funny thing happened. Scarely was he seated, when a tall, handsome young squaw stepped in front of him, bent quickly, and scooped up a double handful of sand and threw it in his face. Instantly he pulled a six-shooter and fired to kill her, but, blinded by the sand and his arm knocked up by another Indian, the ball flew high above the heads of all – and then for five minutes the lodge rang with such peals of derisive laughter that Little Big Man slunk away…” Louis Shangreau explained that her motive was “Little Big Man’s evil tongue;” he had “besmirched this young woman’s character…” [Edgar Beecher Bronson, Reminiscences of a Ranchman, 239]
For context: “Wi mana sai ch tepe. They have a large meeting and dig a hole about 18 inches deep and beside it place a knife and an arrow. Then the young women who have never had sexual intercourse with a man reach in the hole and then bite the knife. Then any young man who has never had sexual intercourse with a woman or has never touched the vagina of a woman (a custom among young men) goes up and reached in the hole and bites the arrow. If a young woman has had sexual intercourse and yet pretends that she has not, any man who knows that she is lying will go up and throw a hand full of dirt in her face or throw her dish away saying this is a feast for virgins and you are a woman, or perhaps he will drag her forcibly from the place. There is always a large crowd looking on.” [Richard Nines, Notes on the Dakota Indians; Pine Ridge, SD; American Museum of Natural History.]
Black Horse, age 25 in 1876, identified himself as a nephew of Little Big Man. He enlisted for three months as a scout 24 October 1876 at Camp Robinson, by Lt. Howe; then enlisted again 11 December 1876 at Camp Robinson, by Lt. Yeatman. Born c. 1857, son of Sioux Jim killed by American Horse, nephew of Little Big Man, replaced his father as a scout, says he was present when Crazy Horse was killed. Sioux Jim had enlisted as a scout in 1866. Black Horse's “Scout name Buffalo Chips.” [Undated news clip and handwritten letter, 26 June 1935, both mistakenly placed in pension file of Navajo Black Horse, National Archives, C. 2307680.] “My father’s name is Poor Bear. He worked for the government and our tribe of siouxs killed my father at Fort Robinson and when my father worked for the government they told him they would pay him good for helping the whites. And then after he was killed I took his place and was a scout then… When I was a scout my name was Buffalo Chips.” [Black Horse handwritten letter to General Hugh Scott, 24 February 1919, Scott papers, Library of Congress.]
I'm sure you're aware that the attribution of the shield to Crazy Horse is questionable. In the Smithsonian documentation card associated with the shield, it states: "This shield is said to have been used by Crazy Horse." Furthermore, the reference to Lawton is as follows: "(captured by Gen. ? Lawton) Crazy Horse fled from McKenzie &village was burned -- later surrendered to Gen. Miles. Lawton might have been attached to Miles' Command?"
Lt Henry Lawton, however, was serving with MacKenzie.
Candace Greene at the Smithsonian warned me that the collection that included the shield was undocumented when received and reckoned that only a few were tagged by the collector (in this case, a Victor Evans, a patent attorney who had provided legal aid to various Indian groups), who was enthusiastic rather than discriminating and who bought most of his stuff through dealers.
I'm sure I've read Colin Taylor casting doubt on the attributed ownership, but I can't find the reference at the moment. However, I seem to recall him discussing the parallel lines symbol at the side and saying it is associated with the Cheyenne, not the Lakota, as was the long breechclout worn by the standing figure at lower right.
There's a shield in the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico that has been attributed to the Kiowa Apache but also to the Mescalero (although in correspondence, the curator at the time I enquired had doubts about this too because of the presence of a scalp - Dine groups feared (fear?) contamination by dead bodies), that shares the same design at the foot of the shield and I've seen similar designs on Mescalero Apache shields.
Last Edit: Jan 12, 2007 2:32:57 GMT -5 by grahamew
Diane, thanks for the kind words about Diana -- I often wonder what she would have thought of the current world of terrorism.
Grahamew, I am aware of the controversy surrounding the Smithsonian's "Crazy Horse" shield and have corresponded with Candace Greene about it as well. In wrestling with controversial matters of this sort I always try to find the simplest explanation that will fit the known facts -- a kind of historian's version of Occam's Razor. In this case I take the known or agreed facts to be the buckskin shield cover itself with an inked note on the back of the rawhide shield -- "Shield used by Crazy Horse. Captured by Genl. Lawton." It was part of a large collection of objects acquired from the Washington lawyer victor Evans, who was active for a time in pursuing Black Hills claims for the Sioux and Cheyennes in the 1920s and 30s. The simplest explanation of these facts is that Lawton acquired the shield, and he believed it had belonged to Crazy Horse.
"General Lawton," who was killed during the Spanish American War (I think), had been Lieutenant Henry W. Lawton at Camp Robinson in May 1877, when Crazy Horse and Little Big Man and 898 other northern Indians surrendered. About 23 May Lawton left the post in command of a small detachment escorting the recently-surrendered Northern Cheyennes to join their southern relatives in Indian Territory -- they famously returned about 15 months later.
We already know that Little Big Man was giving, or perhaps selling, other "Crazy Horse" objects to military officers in May 1877. (Two years later in August 1879 Little Big Man gave, or sold, a tipi liner decorated with his own drawings to Carl Schurz, RBHayes' secretary of the Interior. The liner can now be found in the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, but it is in faded and fragile condition.) It is not unreasonable to think that Lawton may have acquired the shield in the same way and at the same time that Bourke acquired his shirt. Lawton's papers in the Library of Congress suggest no other window of opportunity I could find.
But what interests me most are the drawings on the shield cover -- on one side is a white man on a horse, carrying a rifle; on the other an Indian wearing a single trail, split horn warbonnet. The rancher Levi Powell was killed in March 1872 causing a big stir; it was debated with Red Cloud and the president next year in Washington -- a later account said Powell had come across some Indians taking a sweat bath. They filed out of the lodge and approached; he spoke no Lakota and they evidently spoke no English -- one gestured as if to see his rifle and Powell, for reasons unknown and unimaginable, simply haded it over. The rifle went around the circle and when it got to Little Big Man, he test aimed it, then pointed at Powell and shot him dead. There is much else to discuss here, especially about the single trail split horn headdress -- another time.
So where do these reflections leave us? -- Bourke tells us Little Big Man gave him a shirt, claiming it had belonged to Crazy Horse; a Little Big Man drawing seems to show him wearing a similar shirt; as Grahamew points out, the shirt itself seems to be small in the way Little Big Man was small. At roughly the same time (perhaps) somebody (perhaps Little Big Man) gives Lawton a shield that is said to have belonged to Crazy Horse, while the shield itself seems to tell a story that (perhaps) involved Little Big Man... what's the simplest explanation of all this? We are in a suggestive and suggestible realm. Fortunately, there is no hurry.
Interesting possibility. I have to admit, however, that to my eye, the artist who produced the shield is not the same artist of the ledger drawings in the SIRIS collection. Just look at the horses, for example. The bifurcated 'power' lines are associated with the Cheyenne and while the illustration I have could be clearer, there seems to be a southern plains style eagle feather fan next top the standing figure. The shield might just as well be something looted after the Mackenzie/Dull Knife fight. Of course, then there's that design at the bottom of the shield also found on that one I referred to earlier. I wonder if Lawton was with Mackenzie in the south.
Love to see those LBM drawings in Ohio, though.
Like you said, however: there is no hurry.
Last Edit: Jan 15, 2007 2:21:41 GMT -5 by grahamew
The mass grave at wounded knee is situated at Ogala, Little Big Man is buried in the episcopalian cemetery heading south as you depart Pine Ridge Res and heading towards white clay (2 miles from the border of the res). 5 other chiefs are also buried there.
Hello my name is Eamonn and I am a new member. Little Big Man definitely resided on the Pine Ridge Reservation and became a member of the Episcopalian church. We also know that he was a member of the Indian Police, jis head stone is marked Scout. He is buried in the Episcopalian Cememtry in Pine Ridge. Sorry I can be of no further assistance.
Post by theartistt on Jan 17, 2017 12:17:00 GMT -5
Little Big Man was my Great Great Grandmother Tocha Cesli's twin brother. Her son John Scissons was my Great Grandfather. His son Kenneth Scissons was my Grandfather. The family talks about how cranky the twins were. Hannah (Tocha Cesli) supposedly was unable to find a mate because of it (and small pox scars). I've been told she was given to the first person who would take her (a hefty bride price of furs was demanded). In our case my Great Great Grandfather John Cuthbert Scissons, who ran a dray line through Rosebud traded for her. He was also very cranky so they married and had 19 children. 18 survived to adulthood.