FORT BERTHOLD, DAKOTA TERRITORY, 1872, Arikara, Mandan and Hidatsa Warrior Photos acquired by Col. A. B. Welch

FORT BERTHOLD, DAKOTA TERRITORY, 1872, Arikara, Mandan and Hidatsa Warrior Photos

 

W.C.Badger Photo Collection of Arikara, Mandan and Gros Ventre warriors, their Dwellings and Medicine Lodges, developed, in 1926, from ‘ lost’ Stereopticon Views

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Views No. 20, 21, 22,  Composite View of the Three Villages, Fort Berthold, 1872 

View No. 20, Arikara Section of Fort Berthold, 1872 

View No. 21, Gros Ventre (Hidatsa) Section of Fort Berthold, 1872 

View No. 22, Mandan Section of Fort Berthold, 1872 

View No. 23, Red River Cart, 1872 

View No 24, Bull Boat (Coracle), 1872 

View No. 25, Section of Gros Ventre (Hidatsa) Village, 1872 

View No. 26, Medicine Lodge of the Arikara, 1872 

View No. 27, Part of Arikara Section of Village, 1872

View No. 28, Issuing Annuities at Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 30, Gros Ventre (Hidatsa) Lodge at Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 31, Important Warriors, Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 32, Section of Mandan Village, Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 40, Crows Breast and Poor Wolf, Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 41, Sioux Dog and Cherry Mouth, Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 42, Crazy Bull and Prairie Chicken, Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 43, Porcupine and Antelope, Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 44, The Marauder and Son of Crow Breast, Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 45, Gros Ventre Warriors (no names), Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 46, Red Cow and Bad Gun, Fort Berthold, 1872

View No. 47, Son of Red Cow and Little Bull, Fort Berthold, 1872

Comments from Indians who had “been there”

Ho Washte.  Dr. Clarence Hall’s description of life in Berthold villages 1876

 

Views No. 20, 21, 22,  Composite View of the Three Villages, Fort Berthold, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo:

This is a composite picture of three of Captain Badger’s Ft. Berthold views of 1872.

The left third he numbered 22 and marked “Mandan Village.”  The middle section he numbered 21 and called it “Gros Ventre Village,” while the right section was numbered 20 and named “Arickaree Village.”  Together, they are a photo of Fort Berthold which was occupied by these three named tribes, each living in its own section.

The untidy appearance is caused by the dry poles of the drying platforms.  The Missouri river is at the left a short distance, where at that time it made a great bend, flowing east and then south.

Red Bear and others have identified this as the village and say that the sections are named correctly.

A  buffalo hide hangs at left center and several prayer poles may be seen.  A smoke cover is seen to extreme left.  The log house in center foreground is a trader’s post or fort.  The trader’s name was Gerome.  Fortified by log palisade.  Paper notice on the door or gate.  Travois with basket tops may be seen on trader’s dirt roof; a blanket of corn on drying platform in back center; right center three white buffalo heads or medicine skulls; right, some owner of a lodge has marked his ground with stones.  This village just west of the present graveyard where over 100 Indian scouts are buried.

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View No. 20, Arikara Section of Fort Berthold, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo: This is the left hand side of a set of three views which take in much of the old village at that time.  It has been identified by Red Bear.  He said his own earth lodge does not show.  The right hand part of the Trader’s Store shows with something which was probably a hay rack on the dirt roof.  A blanket of corn is drying from the platform in center back, and to the left may be seen three white buffalo heads or medicine skulls.  To the right, a lodge owner has marked off a lot with stones.  The Arikara moved to this village in 1862.  Views 20, 21 and 22 are directly west of the present graveyard where over 100 old Indian Scouts of the U.S. Army are buried.  The so-called hay rack might, perhaps, be travois with sun shelters on them.  House of Chief Bull Head at right.  He was a white-haired Arikara Chief (Yellow Bear says).

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Welch note on back of photo: Dirt lodges and crude log cabins and drying platforms prevail.  Log houses have no windows, it will be noticed.  Entrance to the stockade of the trader’s house with gate, upon which are two paper notices.  Red Bear said that the trader who ran this place was called ‘Germone’ by the few white people there.  The trader had two windows in his log house.  Center part was the trading room, and the small yard was protected by a stockade of upright logs.

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View No. 21, Gros Ventre (Hidatsa) Section of Fort Berthold, 1872

Welch note on back of photo: Identity as that portion of village occupied by the Mandans confirmed by Red Bear

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View No. 22, Mandan Section of Fort Berthold, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo: This the left picture of a set of three views taken by Badger, from nearly the same spot.  The untidy appearance is caused by the white dry poles of the drying platforms.  The Missouri to the left in the distance.    Identified by Red Bear and others as that part of the village occupied by the Mandans.  A buffalo hide hangs on platform at left and several ‘prayer poles’ are shown.  A cover to the smoke hole is seen on tope of one of the lodges.  The log house in immediate foreground is a part of a trader’s store or fort.  (Identified by Foolish Woman as the log house of Poor Wolf and made from the stockade logs…see No. 40).

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View No. 23, Red River Cart, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo:  Red River Cart, taken by Capt. Badger at Fort Berthold in 1872.  This one has iron tires.  Note the crude log cabin and the man on extreme right wearing a buffalo robe.  Regular earth lodge in center background.

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View No 24, Bull Boat (Coracle), 1872

Welch notes on back of photo:  Taken by Badger in 1872.  By him called “Bull Boat used by the savages.”  A Mandan bull boat (or Coracle) on the Missouri, called Tahupa Wata by the Sioux.

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View No. 25, Section of Gros Ventre (Hidatsa) Village, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo:  Not named by Badger.  Identified by Red Bear .. Earth Lodge in center was home of ‘Many Deers.”  In the Sioux this would be ‘Tahca nupa tipi tawa.’  Several earth lodges shown in rear.  Note shadowy figure of blanketed Indian at lower right corner under the scaffolds.  The ladder shown was probably part of wreckage from some river steamer as the Indians did not make such finished articles then, but used notched logs.

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View No. 26, Medicine Lodge of the Arikara, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo:  This is very interesting.  Shows Arikara Medicine Lodge, which Badger said always faces east.  The Sacred Stone and Mother Cedar Tree are shown.  This identical stone is now before the Dead Grass Societies Dance hall on the Elbowoods Reservation.  It mysteriously appeared there after it had been hidden for many years after the desertion of Fort Berthold.  Note band of paint on stone and tree, and fluffy feather at top of tree.  Only picture of such a lodge in existence.  Identified by Red Bear, 11-20-22.  Identified by Star, Arikara, 1926.

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The Story of the Sacred Stone of the Arikara … from Welch Notes:

The Arikara have a stone which they call the ‘Dead Grass Stone,’ which appears to have been in their possession for a great many years.  Old men have told the writer that it was brought with them from the Grand River country after they made a peace treaty with the Mandans and had finally removed from the South Dakota regions to live close to the Mandans and the Gros Ventre, the better to protect themselves from their enemies, the Sioux.

This removal was sometime after the Leavenworth punitive expedition (1823) had destroyed their villages above the mouth of the Grand river.  After that fight in which the U.S.Army troops were assisted by Major Pilcher with some 700 Sioux allies, many of the Arikara fled to their relatives, the Pawnee (Nebraska region), and remained with these people for several years.

The final and complete removal into Mandan territory probably took place in 1830, at which time it is said that the stone had been recovered from the ruins of their burned villages and brought to the Knife river country where it was once more erected in the ceremonial dancing rounds in the center of their village, south of the Medicine Lodge.  Here it remained until the Arikaras fled across the Missouri and once again asked for protection from their long-suffering friends, the Mandans.

At the new village of Fort Berthold the stone was set up again in the Arikara quarter of the village, where it remained until the desertion of that village upon the occasion of the allotment of lands, when it mysteriously disappeared.

Nothing more was heard of the sacred stone until 1921, when it appeared as mysteriously as it had been lost.  The occasion of its reappearance was the dedication of an Indian Dance Hall upon the river bank about three miles from the old villages at Fort Berthold.  This hall is eight or twelve sided, built of logs in much the same form as the old traditional lodges of the Arikara, with the exception that the walls were entirely of logs and the roof is of shingles.  The writer was invited guest as that ceremony.

Upon the morning of the festivities the sacred rock was found standing at the south of the lodge and there was great rejoicing among the people.  the rock is a granite boulder about 24 inches tall, ten inches wide and about 6 inches thick.  It shows no “marks” (i.e. wakan secret scratches, etc.) as far as it was seen, for it was covered with cloth from about the middle part to the ground.  It stands upon its largest end and has a line of red paint around it, parallel to the ground, just above the middle part.  The writer was told that a medicine man had secretly gone back to the Fort Berthold village, after its desertion, and had taken the stone away from that place and secreted it near his own lodge, where it remained for many years until a suitable place had been found for it.

Today  (c.1924)the sacred stone stands before the lodge of the Dead Grass Society and the significant ceremonies of the Arikara are still performed in its presence, and it is treated with respect and reverence by that people.  It is believed to be the original stone which has stood in the ceremonial space of their principal village since the time when they first occupied the Grand river sites over 125 years ago (1790’s).

View No. 27, Part of Arikara Section of Village, 1872

Red Bear, 70 years old, 11-20-22, says ‘that is Arikara. The places in the shade are braided willows and very neat.’

Note: Indicates about the first effort of the Indians to erect log houses, getting away from a distinctively earth lodge of the past.  Note the natural branched ladder to roof.  There is a bull boat upon one of the scaffolds.  These scaffolds were made for sun shelters and also used for drying corn, pumpkins, squashes, etc.  The entrance to an earth lodge is on the extreme left of the picture.  See strings of corn or tipsina and part of a blanket hanging by the bull boat.  Notice that no windows show in the house.  They did not have glass yet.

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View No. 28, Issuing Annuities at Fort Berthold, 1872

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View No. 30, Gros Ventre (Hidatsa) Lodge at Fort Berthold, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo:  Identified by Red Bear (11-20-22) as correct.  Note notched ladder by entrance of lodge, leading to the roof, also two other notched ladders; the wheels of a Red River cart at left through shadows of drying scaffold; Bull boat by the door of lodge, overturned; the cloth and fur tied at top of prayer poles, and note the blanket at foot of one, as an offering to the ‘Holy Ones.’ these are taken down when war party is raised, and carried along in a ‘Holy Bundle.’  The Sioux call these poles Can Woahi – literraly, a bringing … a prayer or petition to the Holy Ones for something – for a bringing of meat or joy.

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Not part of Badger’s Views…But…not very often photographed and this bundle might be old enough to have been in ‘use’ in 1872 at Fort Berthold:

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View No. 31, Important Warriors, Fort Berthold, 1872

Welch notes:  This is taken between two earth lodges.  One may be seen in the background and sharp shadows indicate the one nearer the photographer.  This is a very interesting picture of several well known and historical men of the Arikara.  Big men of their time and place.

Red Bear (11-20-22) identified them with the same names as Capt. Badger gave them, but with additional translations.  Crow Ghost also identified Stab and Sitting Bear.

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Left: “Strikes the Knife” or “He Struck with a Knife,” Called by “Stab” Mrs. Red Bear… Crow Ghost also called him “Stab.”  He was known to the Whites by “Stab.”

Right:  The tall man in uniform and sword in hand is “Bob Tail Bull,” or “Short Bull,” and he was killed by the Sioux at the Little Big Horn on left of Major Reno’s 1st line.

Enlarged Left Side of View No. 31

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Left: Man with pipe in hands is “Yellow Wolf.”  He was the grandfather of a soldier of mine in France in 1918, “Young Hawk,” who lost a left leg in the Argonne and died when he returned.

Right:  The man with the long head dress is “Sitting Bear,” the last great Chief of the Arikara.

Enlarged Right Side of View No. 31

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Welch Note 9/21/1930: I carried this picture with me to obtain correct identification.  I asked the old men to look at it and tell me the names of the men.  They were Stabbed, then the man in uniform was Bob Tail Bull, killed with Custer, then Yellow Wolf .. and the man on the right with the long headdress, was Strikes Two (Badger, who took the picture in 1872, had the notation that this man was Sitting Bear, and evidently he was wrong).

 

View No. 32, Section of Mandan Village, Fort Berthold, 1872

 Welch notes on back of photo:  Capt. Badger’s view of Fort Berthold.  His notation calls it ‘Section of Mandan Quarters in same village.’  Identified by Red Bear, an Arikara, as Mandan part of village, because ‘This is Mandan, for the scaffolds are not nice.  The Arikara always made theirs very neat.  These are slovenly.’  Note notched ladder to drying scaffold also entrance to earth lodge in center behind Indian with sword.

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View No. 40, Crows Breast and Poor Wolf, Fort Berthold, 1872

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View No. 41, Sioux Dog and Cherry Mouth, Fort Berthold, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo:  Red Bear (11-20-22) called them Sioux Horse and Crow Wing. Foolish Woman identified them as Enemy Dog and Cherries in the Mouth.

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View No. 42, Crazy Bull and Prairie Chicken, Fort Berthold, 1872

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View No. 43, Porcupine and Antelope, Fort Berthold, 1872

Red Bear (11-20-22) identified as Fine Porcupine and Plenty Antelope – Gros Ventre Indians

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View No. 44, The Marauder and Son of Crow Breast, Fort Berthold, 1872

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View No. 45, Gros Ventre Warriors (no names), Fort Berthold, 1872

 Welch notes on back of photo: Red Star did not know them.  Crow Ghost said ‘Hohe’ (Assiniboine).  Note the blanket coat of one indicates trade with Hudson’s Bay Co.  Both have trade guns.  Moccasins look like those of the timber people.  The man with the ‘Three Wars’ feathers has his hair braided straight like a Sioux.  The other has four braids.  The Assiniboine were an offshoot from the Sioux.  They are probably Assiniboine or Chippewa.

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Man with Hat is “Sitting Elk”, father of “Medicine Stone” .. info furnished by his great-granddaughter, 5/9/12

 

View No. 46, Red Cow and Bad Gun, Fort Berthold, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo:  Identified by Red Bear as ‘Bad Buffalo (Cow)’ and ‘Bad Gun’ or ‘Rushing Eagle,’ 1st and 2nd chiefs of the Mandans.  This man, Bad Gun, is famous for being a direct descendant of the Great Mandan Chief ‘Mato Topa’ (Four Bears) who treated the members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the winter of 1804-05 so well and is much spoken about by George Catlin and Maximilion in 1833-34.  Bad Gun was an uncle of Mrs. Red Bear.  He also was the blood father of Mrs. James Red Star and uncle to Little Sioux.  Star, 1926, identifies man on left as grandfather of Sam Packineau.  Feathers indicate two arrow wounds.  One the right: feathers indicate many wars…leggins show ‘four enemies killed.’

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View No. 47, Son of Red Cow and Little Bull, Fort Berthold, 1872

Welch notes on back of photo:  Red Bear calls them Son of Red Buffalo (Cow) and Little Short Bull.  The black spots on cheeks and chins caused by red paint. Arthur Mandan (1926) said man on left was his father.

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Comments from Indians who had “been there”

These photos were found by William Badger, the son of Captain W. O. Badger of Fort Rice, in a box of things which had not been unpacked for many years.  They were in the form of old time stereopticon pictures…two on a card.  We sent them to a firm in California where new plates were made from them and prints taken.

The ‘views’ were probably taken in October 1872, for on the description as given by him on a sheet of paper, the date in his hand is written “October 20, 1872.  Fort Berthold, D.T.”

Comments from people who ‘had been there:’

Nov. 20th , 1922, Mandan, N.D., conversation with Red Bear:

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Red Bear is the son of Red Man who had another name, also Red Bear.  Red Bear the elder was killed by the Sioux at Fort Lincoln, close to the stone by the road side.  The son, whose early name was Pretty  Elk,  took his father’s name in a great Sun Dance and went as a scout with Custer avenge his father’s death.  He is now 70 years old and nearly blind.  His face lit up with joy as he saw these old pictures.  His wife who talks good English was interpreter.  Red Bear’s comments are set out photo by photo.

Talk with Red Fish, Cannonball, N.D., February 9th, 1923:

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When I showed him pictures of the Arikara and Mandan villages, taken fifty years ago, he said: “These are village people.  I went with a friendly number of visitors there one time long ago.  This is their Holy Tipi.  We went into that lodge. They had a ceremony.  It was a medicine ceremony.  A woman covered with a white buffalo hide with horns on it.  The medicine man cut her arm off at the elbow with a knife and threw the arm and hand away, on a pile of old buffalo feet and legs.  He covered her again and when he took the robe off, she had her arm again.  All right.  Then he shot another woman through her body.  Just above her hips.  The blood shot out of the two wounds and her nose and mouth.  She died then.  He breathed into her mouth.  The blood shot out again.  She got all right then.  He had a hot iron from a wagon.  He passed it clear through his head from one ear through the other.  It did not hurt him.  He chopped a man’s arm off against a post.  It did not hurt him.  He put it back on again.  He was a very Holy Man.  He talked with the Spirits all the time.”

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 Ho Washte.  Dr. Clarence Hall’s description of life in Berthold villages 1876

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