Col. A. B. Welch Addressing White Horse Riders, Cannon Ball, June 3, 1932

 

I had been invited down there to make an address to the White Horse Riders, who were in a sort of ill-feeling toward each other, some being Democrats and some Republicans.

 

Went down with Bill Doty of Bismarck, one of the Mandan Indian Shriners.  Arrived about 11:30 am and, while waiting for the crowd to gather, we started to call on Tom Frosted (White Bear), who is dying.  We got nearly to the Porcupine river and had to return owing to the bad roads, wet.  There was a large crowd gathering, and we called at the lodges of Eagle Staff and Iron Roads and Two BullsMrs. Crow Ghost sung a song for me.  After a while we went out on the prairie and dressed in our dancing costumes and painted.  The dance was in the Round House, and we danced almost every dance, after the committee and special ones had been sung and danced for.  Among the dances, we both took part in the:

 Wounded Mans Dance

Cannon Ball Community Center

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They carefully selected seven for the outside circle, going with the sun.  Seven women were in the inner circle, going to meet the sun.  On the third time around, Bull Bear, who headed the war party, took down a war bonnet from a post as he went by.  Mrs. Frances Red Tomahawk, who headed the ‘home party,’ took another.  At the signal given to me by the leader, I fell, shot.  Old Two Bulls, who is somewhat of a Medicine Man, danced about me and finally lifted me to my feet  – and a fast war dance was then given.  Each on of the ‘war party’ held the bonnet and told a story of war and made a present to the fund of the Fourth of July Committee, and the dance was over.

Two Bulls, Custer fight surviror

 Raising Money for the Fourth of July

Young Bear, the Command of Richard Blue Earth American Legion Post, made a speech and held a flag in his hand.  Anyone could claim of “Opape,” or “Joining.”  Of course, paying some little present at the time for the privilege.  I gave $1.00.

 An Indian comedian makes a speech

At one point in the evening, an Indian arose and made a speech.  He kept the women and men convulsed with laughter all the time.  He told them how to cook wild animals, and it must have been funny.  I could not get much of what he said as he used the Teton dialect.  But I knew he told them about how a turtle, during the process of boiling, always keeps his feet moving and his muscles twitching; to cook a deer, you must first get your deer, and this was the same for the rabbit….etc.

 Song of the Tears

This was a new one to me and very effective and wild.  All the singers gave the sound of crying at the end of it, and during its rendition, the wailing women in the audience, or circle, made it savage and quite real.

 

There were about 300 present, and a few whites. Returned to Mandan at 3:30 am, Saturday the 4th.

 

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