|Pawnee buffalo hide, Indian City, Oklahoma.
|Sayndayn, The Legendary Hero, on the Changing World
Sayndayn was coming along, and as he came he saw that all his world had changed. Where the buffalo herds used to graze, he saw
white-faced cattle. The Washita River, which once ran bankful with clear water, was soggy with red mud. There were no deer or antelope
in the brush or skittering across the high plains. No white tipis rose proudly against the blue sky; settler's soddies dented the hillsides
and the creek banks.
My time has come, Sayndayn thought to himself. The world I lived in is dead. Soon the Kiowa people will be fenced like the white man's
cattle and they cannot break out the fences because the barbed wire will tear their flesh. I can't help my people any longer by staying
with them. My time has come, and I will have to go away from this changing world.
From American Indian Mythology by Alice Marriott and Carol K. Rachlin (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1968, 173-77), as excerpted in Our Hearts Fell to the Ground: Plains Indians Views of How the West
Was Lost, ed. by Colin G. Calloway (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1996), p.51.
|A view of the Tonkowa Massacre Site, near Andarko, Oklahoma. Before the Civil War, the Tonkawas had worked as scouts for the American
army, and were viewed with suspicion by American settlers (many of whom couldn't tell the difference between Indian tribes and alliances)
and with disdain by other tribes (who saw them as cannibals who colluded with enemies). In 1859, the Tonkawas were forced to leave their
Texas reservation on the Brazos River and moved to the Wichita Agency at Anadarko. In 1862, Delawares, Shawnees, and Osages ambushed
and massacred the Tonkawas, leaving them almost completely devastated. The tribe never recovered.
* I have been asked often about the strange "shadow" in the photograph. I do not know if this is lens glare or something else.
|Assimilation was standard curriculum in schools that served Indian children, like this one at Fort Sill.
|Questions or comments? E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org