Collection: Villages of the Algonquian Siouan and Caddoan Tribes West of the Mississippi

Biography of Friedrich Kurz

Friedrich Kurz, born in Bern, Switzerland, 1818; died 1871. At the suggestion of his friend Karl Bodmer, he came to America in 1846, for the purpose of studying the native tribes, intending to prepare a well-illustrated account of his travels. He landed at New Orleans and reached St. Louis by way of the Mississippi. The trouble with Mexico had developed, and for that reason instead of going to the Southwest, to endeavor to accomplish among the tribes of that region what Bodmer had already done among the people of the Upper Missouri Valley, he decided to follow the route of the latter and ascend the Missouri to the Rocky Mountains. But although his plans were changed he did not become discouraged, and on October 28, 1851, entered in his journal ” My plan is still for the gallery, I shall have lots of correct drawings. Cholera raged along the upper Missouri in 1851, and for that reason Kurz was unable to remain at Fort Pierre. However, he reached Fort Berthold July 9, 1851. Later he continued to Fort Union at the mouth of the Yellowstone, where he remained until April 19, 1852. Returning, he reached St. Lois May 25, thus covering the distance from the mouth of the Yellowstone in five weeks and one day. He arrived in Bern during September of that year and was soon appointed drawing...

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Biographical Sketch of Seth Eastman

Seth Eastman, born in Brunswick, Maine, January 24, 1808; died in Washington, D. C., August 31, 1875. Was appointed to the Military Academy, West Point, at the age of 16, and was graduated June, 1829. Served at Fort Crawford and Fort Snelling, where he had ample opportunities for studying the Indians who frequented the posts. In November, 1831, he was detailed for duty at the Academy and retired from active service December, 1863. From 1850 to 1855 he was engaged in the preparation of the illustrations used in the work mentioned above, evidently under the supervision of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. View Dakotah Village, Dakotah...

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Biograhical Sketch of Frank Blackwell Mayer

Frank Blackwell Mayer, born in Baltimore, Maryland, December 27, 1827; died in 1908. Many of his paintings represented scenes in Indian life, and in 1886 he completed a canvas entitled The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, the treaty having been signed during the summer of 1851, about the time the sketch of Kaposia was...

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Biographical Sketch of Karl Bodmer

Karl Bodmer, born in Zurich, Switzerland, 1805; died 1894. Studied under Cornu. He accompanied Maximilian, Prince of Wied, on several journeys, including that up the Valley of the Missouri. Many of his original sketches made during that memorable trip are now in the Edward E. Ayer collection, Newberry Library, Chicago. His later works are chiefly of wooded landscapes, some being scenes in the valleys of the Missouri and Mississippi. Bodmer was a very close friend of the great artist Jean Francois Millet. De Cost Smith, in Century Magazine, May, 1910, discussing the close association of the two artists, and referring especially to their joint work, wrote: “The two men must have worked together from the pure joy of friendship, for it must be confessed that the work of neither was very greatly improved by the other’s additions. Bodmer would put a horse into one of Millet’s Indian pictures and add some vegetation in the foreground, Millet would return the favor by introducing figures into Bodmer’s landscapes. But this does not refer to the sketches made by Bodmer during his journey up the Missouri in...

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Biographical Sketch of Paul Kane

Paul Kane, born at York, the present city of Toronto, 1810; died 1871. After spending several years in the United States he went to Europe, where he studied in various art centers. Returned to Canada, and from early in 1845 until the autumn of 1848 traveled among the native tribes of the far west, making a large number of paintings of Indians and scenes in the Indian country. One hundred or more of his paintings are in the Museum at Toronto; others are in the Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa. Some of the sketches and paintings were reproduced in his work Wanderings of an Artist, London,...

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Biographical Sketch of Charles Ferdinand Wimar

Charles Ferdinand Wimar, usually known as Carl Wimar, was born in Germany, 1828; died in St. Louis, November, 1862. Came to America and settled in St. Louis during the year 1843. A few years later he met the French artist Leon de Pomarede, with whom he later studied and made several journeys up the Missouri for the purpose of sketching. Went to Europe and returned to St. Louis about 1857. His Buffalo Hunt, now reproduced, was painted in 1860, exhibited at the St. Louis Fair during the autumn of that year, when it was seen by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, for whom a replica was...

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Biographical Sketch of Ernest Henry Griset

Ernest Henry Griset, born in France, 1844; died March 22, 1907. Lived in England, where he did much of his work. In 1871 he exhibited at Suffolk Street. Some of his paintings are hung in the Victoria and Albert Museum. More than 30 examples of his work belong to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington. His reputation rests on his water-color studies of animals, for which he was awarded prizes in London. Two of his best-known works are Cachecache, and Travellers de la foret.” Drying Buffalo Meat is shown...

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Biographical Sketch of James M. Stanley

James M. Stanley was born in Canandaigua, New York, January 17, 1814; died April 10, 1872. He moved to Michigan in 1835 and became a portrait painter in Detroit; two years later removed to Chicago. About this time he visited the “Indian Country” in the vicinity of Fort Snelling, and there made many sketches. Returned to the eastern cities, where he spent several years, but in 1842 again went west and began his wanderings over the prairies far beyond the Mississippi, reaching Texas and New Mexico. His Buffalo Hunt on the Southwestern Prairies was made in 1845. From 1851 to 1863 Stanley lived in Washington, D. C., during which time he endeavored to have the Government purchase the many paintings which he had made of Indians and of scenes in the Indian country, but unfortunately he was not successful. His pictures were hanging in the Smithsonian Building, and on January 24, 1865, when a large part of the building was ruined by fire, only five of his pictures escaped destruction, they being in a different part of the structure. The five are now in the National Museum, including the large canvas shown in plate...

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Synonymy of Tribal Names

The following is a synonymy of tribal names used by the reference material quoted within this manuscript. When searching the original sources, if the “common” name of the tribe does not readily appear, try the variant given below. Accancea=Quapaw Ahnahaways=Amahami. Arkansa=Quapaw. Archithinue=Blackfeet. Aricaree, Arickarees. Arikkaras=Arikara. Arkansa=Quapaw. Arwacahwas=Amahami. Asinepoet. Assinneboins=Assiniboin. Assonis=Caddo. Awachawi=Amahami. Big-bellied Indians=Atsina. Big Bellys=Hidatsa. Canzee=Kansa. Cenis=Caddo. Chayennes=Cheyenne. Chepewyans=Chipewyan. Chippeway=Chippewa. Cristinaux=Cree. Dacotahs=Dakota. Fall Indians=Atsina. Grosventre Indians, Grosventres, Gros Ventres of the Missouri=Hidatsa. Gros Ventres of the Prairie=Atsina. Huecos=Waco. Kansas, Kanzas, Kaws=Kansa. Knistenaux, Knisteneaux=Cree. Konsee, Konza, Konzas=Kansa. Machigamea=Michigamea. Maha=Omaha. Manitaries, Minatarres, Minnetarees=Hidatsa. Minnetarees of Fort de Prairie=Atsina. Naudowessies=Dakota. Nehetheway=Cree Ogallallahs=Oglala. Ojibway=Chippewa. Omawhaw=Omaha. Osinipoilles=Assiniboin. Otoes, Ottoes=Oto. Ougapa=Quapaw. Pay-pans, Picaneaux, Piekann=Piegan., Poncara, Punca, Punka=Ponca. Quappa=Quapaw. Quivira =Wichita. Rapid Indians=Atsina. Ree, Ricaras, Riccaree. Rickarees, Rus=Arikara. Sak=Sauk. Sarsees=Sarsi. Saulteaux, Sautaux, Sauteaux, Sauteux=Chippewa. Sharha=Cheyenne. Shoe Indians=Amahami. Shoshonees=Shoshoni. Soulier Noir=Amahami. Stone Indians=Assiniboin. Sur-cees=Sarsi. Upsaroka=Crows. Waekoes. Wakos=Waco. Wattasoons=Amahami. Witchita=Wichita. Yanctonies=Yanktonai....

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Authorities Cited

Allen, Joel ASaph   (1) History of the American Bison, Bison americanus. In Ninth Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey, for the year 1875. Washington, 1877. Atkinson, Henry   (1) Expedition up the Missouri, 1825. Doe. 117, 19th Congress, 1st session, House of Rep. War Department. Washington, 1826. Bell, William A.   (1) New Tracks in North America. London, 1870. Brackenridge, H. M.   (1) Views of Louisiana; together with a Journal of a Voyage up the Missouri River, in 1811. Pittsburgh, 1814. Bradbury, John   (1) Travels in the Interior of America, in the years 1809, 1810, and 1811. Liverpool, 1817. Bushnell, D. I. Jr.   (1) Native Villages and Village Sites East of the Mississippi. 69, Bureau of American Ethnology. Washington, 1919.   (2) Ojibway Habitations and other Structures. In Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year ending June 30, 1917. Washington, 1919.   (3) Ethnographical Material from North America in Swiss Collections. In American Anthropologist, Vol. 10, No. 1, Jan.-Mar. 1908. Carver, Jonathan   (1) Travels through the Interior parts of North America, in the years 1766, 1767, and 1768. London, 1781. Reprint New York, 1838. Catlin, George   (1) Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs. and Conditions of the North American Indians. London, 1844. 2 vols. Cocking, Matthew   (1) Journal of . . . 1772-1773. In Proceedings and Transactions of...

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Houses of the Caddo Tribe

The “Caddo proper,” or Cenis as they were called by Joutel, early occupied the southwestern part of the present State of Arkansas, the Red River Valley, and adjacent region to the south and west. La Salle was murdered near the banks of the Trinity, in eastern Texas, March 20, 1687. Joutel and several others of the party pushed on, and nine days later, when traversing the valley of the Red River, arrived at a village of the Cenis. Fortunately a very good account of the people and their homes is preserved in Joutel’s narrative, and from it the following quotations are made: “The Indian that was with us conducting us to their Chief’s Cottage. By the Way, we saw many other Cottages, and the Elders coming to meet us in their Formalities, which consisted in some Goat Skins dress’d and painted of several Colors, which they wore on their Shoulders like Belts, and Plumes of Feathers of several Colours, on their Heads, like Coronets. All their Faces were daub’d with black or red. There were twelve Elders, who walk’d in the Middle, and the Youth and Warriors in Ranks, on the Sides of those old Men.” After remaining a short time with the chief ” They led us to a larger Cottage, a Quarter of a League from thence, being the Hut in which they have their public Rejoycings,...

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Houses of the Waco Tribe

On August 23, 1853, the expedition under command of Lieut. A. W. Whipple camped at, some point in the southwestern portion of the present McClain County, Oklahoma, and that evening were visited by two Indians, ” the one tall and straight, the other ill looking. Their dress consisted of a blue cotton blanket wrapped around the waist, a head-dress of eagles’ feathers, brass wire bracelets, and moccasins. The outer cartilages of their ears were cut through in various places, and short sticks inserted in place of rings. They were painted with vermilion, and carried bows of bois d’art three feet long, and cow-skin quivers filled with arrows. The latter were about twenty-six inches in length, with very sharp steel heads, tastefully and skillfully made. The feathers with which they were tipped, and the sinews which bound them, were prettily tinted with red, blue, and green. The shafts were colored red, and said to be poisoned.” 1Whipple, A. W., Itinerary. In Reports of Explorations and Surveys to, Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean … 1853-1854. Vol. III. Washington. 1856, p. 22. Unable to converse with the two strangers, the interpreter proceeded to interview them by signs. The graceful motions of the hands seemed to convey ideas faster than words could have done, and with the whole operation we...

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Houses of the Wichita Tribe

Like the other members of this linguistic family, whose villages have already been described, the Wichita had two forms of dwellings, which they occupied under different conditions. One served as the structure in their permanent villages, the other being of a more temporary nature. But, instead of the earth-covered lodges used farther north, their fixed villages were composed of groups of high circular structures, entirely thatched from bottom to top. Their movable camps, when away from home on war or hunting expeditions, consisted of the skin-covered tents of the plains. The peculiar thatched structures were first seen and described...

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Houses of the Arikara Tribe

When or where the Arikara separated from their kindred tribe, the Pawnee, may never be determined, but during the years which followed the separation they continued moving northward, leaving ruined villages to mark the line of their migration. Sixty years ago it was said: “That they migrated upward, along the Missouri, from their friends below is established by the remains of their dirt villages, which are yet seen along that river, though at this time mostly overgrown with grass. At what time they separated from the parent stock is not now correctly known, though some of their locations appear...

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Houses of the Pawnee Tribe

Soon after the transfer of Louisiana to the United States Government several expeditions were sent out to explore the newly acquired domains and to discover the native tribes who claimed and occupied parts of the vast territory. Of these parties, that led by Capts. Lewis and Clark was the most important, but of great interest was the second expedition under command of Lieut. Z. M. Pike, which traversed the country extending from the Mississippi to the Rocky Mountains, and reached the Pawnee villages near the North Platte during the month of September, 1806. How long the Pawnee had occupied...

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