Extraordinary Speech by Elk at the Adoption of the Religious Head of the Moslems, Fargo, ND, January 18, 1933, initiated by Col. A. B. Welch

Adoption Ceremony of the Religious Head of Muslims, Fargo, ND, January 18,1933.


At the request of Alfred G. Arvold, I selected the following Sioux to go down and carry out the ceremony.  The old warrior, Elk, headed the group; Little Crow, Thunder Hawk, Mrs. Iron Road, Mrs. Thunder Hawk, Mrs. Bull Bear, the little son of Thunder Hawk, and the little baby, about one year old.  They were dressed very nicely in native buckskin costume and made a splendid appearance.

The Maulana and his English wife were received at the entrance of  Arvold’s Little Theatre “Log Cabin,” and escorted to a position  – the lady upon a stool and Mrs. Bull Bear spread my painted skin upon the floor the Maulana to stand upon, and I explained to him, after introduction to the Indians, the object and purport of the ceremony.

Elk, headed the Group, standing next to the Maulana, with Col. Welch on his left, and with the Maulana’s Wife sat holding the little son of Thunder Hawk


Elk then made him a very fine speech, in which he said:

 “You are very big man in body and you must be just as great in mind to be able to be selected for that important place among those people.  I want to tell you this.  Do not forget what I say: Let those people live on their land.  Do not take it away from them.  It belongs to them.  It is their parent.  They were born there.  Their fathers are buried there.  Never take it away from them or they will become even as we are today.  We are poor when we were once rich.  We are hungry when we once had buffalo meat to eat.  We are weak when we once were strong.  We fear to speak now when we once said what was in our hearts.  Let them keep their lands; they will be happy and contented then.  They will uphold you then and you all will be strong and happy….”

Translation was made by myself.  The Indians then sung a song in his honor and Elk lit the pipe, handed it to me, and I presented it to the Maulana, after Elk had made the presentation to the four quarters of the earth, the earth spirits and to Wakantonka.  The Maulana smoked as instructed.  I then made an address and, at the close, named him Thunder Hawk (Cetan Wahkiyan).  He responded with a very interesting talk  – the east and west united.  I then presented to him a head band and eagle’s feather which he continued to wear during the banquet and evening’s entertainment.  He was greatly pleased and insisted upon my sitting beside him at the banquet, inviting me to visit him in India for a tiger hunt and entertainment.

I accompanied him to the train and, upon parting, I gave the Arabic salutation “Salaam aliekum,” and he instantly responded with “Aliekum es Salaam.”  (God be with you … depart with God).

Maulana Chaucat Ali is the head of 80,000,000 Moslems and his residence is at Khilafat House, Love Lance, Bombay, India.  He represented the Moslem people at the Indian National Congress at Madras, and at the London Conference in 1931.  In London his younger brother died during the Congress, and was buried in the Mosque of Omar at Jerusalem, with 300,000 Arabs in attendance at the funeral.