Iron Teeth was a 95 year old Northern Cheyenne woman who was interviewed by Thomas B Marquis in 1929.
She was a veteran of the famous trek by the Cheyennes back north from Indian Territory in 1878.
I have a couple of queries relating to Iron Teeth and would appreciate any thoughts on them.
Firstly, it occured to me that she could be "Old Cheyenne Woman" whom Mari Sandoz quotes as a source for some of the information in Cheyenne Autumn. Does this seem likely?
Secondly, in Marquis' original article about her, she is described as the widow of "Red Ripe". I have always assumed that this was a misprint for Red Pipe. I have never heard of a Red Ripe. Can anyone shed any light on this point?
Thanks for that. So "Red Ripe" is a spelling mistake.
She was a remarkable woman. She was born in about 1834 and lived until 1928 (the date in my first post was wrong. I've just checked the notes in "The Cheyennes of Montana". The interview took place in 1926 and was published in 1929).
Iron Teeth was therefore born at about the time that the Northern and Southern Cheyennes divided and Bent's Fort was founded. She would have lived through all of the momentous events of Cheyenne history on the plains, from the capture of the Sacred Arrows by the Pawnees, Sand Creek, the Bozeman Trail fighting, the Washita, the Little Big Horn, Dull Knife's trek etc, right up to, and beyond, the settlement of the Northern Cheyennes on the Tongue River Reservation.
I am sure that I have seen the photos, but they would certainly enliven the thread!
By the way, any thoughts on the "Old Cheyenne Woman" query?
She would have been the right age and in the right place.
Sandoz was born in 1896 and would have had plenty of time to have discussed events with Iron Teeth.
Having said that, there would have been plenty of other older Cheyenne women that she could have spoken to, who would have been familiar with the events of the 1860s-70s, even if they were not as old as Iron Teeth.
oh yes, Iron Teeth was a remarkable woman. She was the wife of Red Pipe. Her husband was killed in the battle at Red Fork ( 25. November 1876 ) in Wyoming. Iron Teeth, her Cheyenne – name was Mah-i-ti-wo-nee-ni , survived the battle with her three daughters and two sons. Iron Teeth has given an interview to Thomas B. Marquis. Please, see the link, below. In this link is mentioned the spelling mistake – Red Ripe.
Above is a Question: Was Iron Teeth the “Old Cheyenne Woman” in the book by Mary Sandoz – Cheyenne Autumn ?
My answer is no, it was not Iron Teeth. Why no ? Here is my opinion.
In her book , Sandoz wrote :
“First of all I am indebted to Old Cheyenne Woman, who was one of those pulled wounded and bereaved from the Last Hole below Hat Creek bluffs”
….”when the sun eased the old wounds received at Sand Creek, the Sappa, and above Robinson” .
The battle at Antelope Creek or Last Hole, took place on January, 22, in 1879. Iron Teeth was captured by soldiers on 17. or 18. January, together with her youngest daughter and an old man. Iron Teeth was not a participant of the battle of Antelope Creek.
The battle at Sappa Creek took place on April 23. in 1875 , in Kansas, this was the last major conflict in the so called Red River War. There is no mention of Sappa Creek in the interview of Iron Teeth. The north was the favored home country of Iron Teeth. This was a basic for their participation back into the north.
Probably Mari Sandoz`s “Old Cheyenne Woman” was a summary of several interviewed old Cheyenne women
At first, in my recent posting was a little historical confusion. After the outbreak at Fort Robinson, Iron Teeth was not captured with her youngest daughter, but with her second youngest daughter. The youngest daughter of Iron Teeth was on the flight with her brother. The name of this brother, the son of Iron Teeth, was Gathering His Medicine. I will soon write about it.
Since I didn´t get that link to work, you may try "redpipesrecollection" in the search machine. Then you should get the right result and link.
Comment on Mackenzie´s attack on Chief Dull Knife´s Camp (Nov. 25,1876)
"They killed our men, women and children, whichever ones might be hit by their bullets. My husband was walking, leading his horse, and stopping at times to shoot. Suddenly, I saw him fall. The last time I ever saw Red Pipe, he was lying there dead in the snow. From the hilltops we Cheyennes saw our lodges and everything in them burned." (Iron Teeth, Thomas B. Marquis, They Cheyennes of Montana)
Another comment of her:
"This hide scraper I have is made from the horn of an elk my husband killed, just after we were married... The Indian men of the old times commonly made this kind of present to their young wives. Throughout 72 years it has always been a part of my most prescious pack. There were times when I had not much else. I was carrying it in my hands when my husband was killed on upper Powder River (Mackanzie´s attack on Dull Knife´s camp). It was tied to my saddle while we were in flight from Oklahoma. It was in my little pack when we broke out from Fort Robinson prison. It never has been lost. Different white people have offered me money for it. I am very poor, but such mney does not tempt me. When I die, this gift from my husband will be buried with me". (Iron Teeth, Thomas B. Marquis, The Cheyennes of Montana)
On the outbreak of For Robinson:
"I tell you now the name of my son who was killed: we call him . . . Gathering his Medicine. Lots of times, as I sit here alone on the floor with my blanket wrapped about me, I lean forward and close my eyes and thin of him standing up out of the pit and fighting the soldiers, knowing that he would be killed, but doing this so that his little sister might get away to safety. Don´t you think he was a brave young man ?" (Iron Teeth, Thomas B. Marquis, The Cheyennes of Montana)
These are really moving words of a remarkable woman. Thru her words we might get at least a little idea how much Cheyennes did suffer at that time. As well as did people of other tribes also, who had their own stories to tell. Unfortunately many had to endure hard times.
Iron Teeth`s mother was a Sioux ( means Lakota ) woman. That is mentioned in her interview, given to Dr. Marquis.
I was thinking : When Iron Teeth`s mother was a Lakota woman, I must try to find out, if Iron Teeth had Lakota relatives or descendants. I did so. In that way, I found a book by Walter Littlemoon, a Lakota author.Walter Littlemoon, born in 1942, was raised in Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. His father was a full blood Lakota, and his mother, a Northern Cheyenne.
Title: They Called Me Uncivilized: The Memoir of an Everyday Lakota Man from Wounded Knee published 2009
This book contains more information ( chapter One and Chapter Two ) about Iron Teeth`s children and descendants. I also found the Indian name by Red Pipe.
Post by miller7513 on May 17, 2012 19:19:20 GMT -5
Reply to Gary Iron Teeth b 1817 Jun 1886 Pine Ridgecensus pg 17 with her son White Buffalo Robe b 1861-daughter Brave Woman b 1865-daughter? Lying Medicine b 1867 1887 Pine Ridge pg 1 same children 1 Jul 1890 Pine Ridge pg 34 same children LaDeane