Feast at Fort Yates, Sept. 9, 1915. The Indian Agent had just forbidden ‘Dancing’ at Celebrations, much to the distaste of the Tribal Members


Feast at Fort Yates,

September 9, 1915


 We drove across the camp circle to the Wakpallas, where a feast circle of interlaced boughs had been erected in front of two ceremonial tipis.  An invitation to a dance had been made by the Herald but when the dance was started it was stopped by the Indian Police on order from Major Covey, the Agent.

There were at least twenty police there, led by Captain Tom Frosted (Mato Ska).

After the excitement had subsided a herald called all the Oglala women to the center and a Wakpalla presented each of them with a new blanket or quilt, as they sat in the inner circle.

The outer circle was given meat or bread by some young men helpers.  A herald then sung a song about Mato Ska and his woman, inviting all to a present of meat the next day.

The Chiefs and Head Men were in council in the ceremonial tipi, talking the stopping of the dance.  They were much wrought up over it.

It was very dark and the feasters got up and left in different directions, so noiselessly and suddenly that the circle was deserted almost before we knew it.