Origin of Crow Owners Society, Aug. 20, 1921 meeting with Iron Eyes

Iron Eyes (Ista Maza), Sihasapa, talks to Welch August 20th, 1921, ….”“This society of Crow Owners came from this first grape vine man image for buffalo.”


Lewis Halsey, Interpreter:

“A long time ago, before they had many horses, there were just a few ponies among them then.  A man took a grapevine and twisted it up in the shape of a man. It was life-size.  The people hung the best clothes on it.  They put a buffalo blanket on it with a belt, too.  Moccasins, leggings and everything to wear.  They tied a bow and arrows in a bag to it.  When they got it all ready they called it “Ciwacilose.”  I don’t know what that means.  That’s what they call him.

“They took it out in a place and made it stand up there.  They prayed to it as a spirit or wakon and make offerings to it.  Then they went away.  At the camp they danced and the members of this society smoked and had a good time.  They had two long lances wrapped with otter skin and on the ends they put some arrow heads.  They had songs to sing about it.  The man who organized the society had two ribs of buffaloes.  Where he put his wrist in the loop, he had fox hide there.  On his head he had a headdress made out of magpie skins.  In the middle he had two eagle feathers standing up straight.  He took two other men and they were dressed just like he was.

“After a while the buffaloes came to this Ciwacilose and became very tame.  They got them to camp that way.  They killed many of them.

“This society of Crow Owners came from this first grape vine man image for buffalo.  When they were ready they put a blue blanket with marks around the edge, on a pole. They put it awayt out ahead some place where there were buffaloes.  The buffaloes came that far and stopped then.  We called that Blanket Pole, the Wacoiumpe.  It was a present to the buffalo.  Then after they wre tame we made a surround and killed.  After than man died, it would not work any more.  My father knew all about it.  He was 84 winters.  He died.

“That place where they did that was near Mowbridge at a place where there was a little town which moved to Mowbridge after.  All the old people call that place “Blue Blanket There Place,” yet.

“It is a joke now when you see a  man stand for a long time in one place to call him Ciwacilose.