not that I'm doubting about your sincerity and good faith, but who are these "people at Sinte Gleska"? As far as I know, the only descendant of Chief Spotted Tail working there now would be Ms. Cheryl Spotted Tail, as Ms. Neola Spotted Tail, who was a well-known and respected teacher and educatore, passed away last April. It's also interesting how oral histories can change from individual to individual - I remember my grandmother, her cousin and her sister had three different stories about how our family came to the city we're living now. They had no reason of lying, but obviously, the original story was receieved in three different ways. Also, we when look at a marble statue, it is hard to guess the shape of the original stone.
I will be going out to the rez in a few weeks and will have an update on the Crazy Horse trial as there is another session taking place very soon. On the Spotted Tail front a good Lakota kola (he'll remain unnamed as I know many on this board know him from somewhere else) who has never steered me wrong thus far is going to put me in contact with another member of the Spotted Tail family in Rapid City. If he verifies the info from Rosebud then the story needs to be told.
Just got back from spending time on the rez. On the Crazy Horse front, the trial was postponed August 22 for Sept. It is the third straight postponement. The appellate case can take a year and a year is up in January. I think the case will take a year. Since Seth Big Crow took all the money out of the account and spent it before he died, his lawyer is on the hook...so his lawyer is in no hurry. If they rule against Big Crow then he must come up with thye $150,000 plus he will be sued in an effort to make him lose his license to practice in South Dakota. So this is why it moves so slow.
Still pursuing the Spotted Tail relative. He moved so I just have to keep getting the word out until I locate him. So no movement yet.
According to the Clown family the probate that explains everything is Red Leggins probate (Waglula's youngest wife who died on the Cheyenne River rez).
On the Crazy Horse court down on Rosebud, there have been no dates since last post. Each group had to pick an elder to explain whether the the culture was paternal or maternal. Seth Big Crow's choice was thrown out as he turned out to be a Native minister which disqualified him from actually practicing the culture. So they have to pick a new one. It seems to be a lot of foot dragging. The attorney for Big Crow is in big trouble if he loses and the Big Crows really have no shot in my opinion. I expect this to drag out at least another year.
Thought I would catch up on this thread. There still are no dates on the resumption of the trial but there is news.
The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council on Pine Ridge passed a resolution and sent it to the Little Bighorn National Monument to erase any reference to Crazy Horse being Minicojou which is actually a challenge to the Clown family. In response, the Clown family sent a letter to the Little Bighorn National Monument telling of the trial at the Rosebud Court. So the Little Bighorn National Monument has decided to wait until the final resolution of the trial.
In further response the Clown family then sent a letter asking to address the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council to answer any questions in reference to their claim. The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council sent a letter back acknowledging that the Clowns are the family along with a proclamation that they have decided to make the Clown family new members of the Oglala Tribe. They did not enclose an invitation to speak as the family requested. The Clown family plans to address the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council anyway, maybe when they call for new business at one of their upcoming meetings. When they do I can continue the thread.
But at least there is activity. From my understanding in what has just happened, the fight now doesn't seem to be about whether they are or aren't. The fight seems to be more about the history.
It's a question of who knows best. Government entities and historians or the family. I think both have something to bring to the table. History is three dimensional...there is nothing one dimensional about it. I know from covering the Clown family for so long that I really understand their point of view. To put myself in their shoes, if government entities and outsiders told me things about my family that I knew or deemed untrue, I'd be riled also. So they need to be heard.
Post by ftpeckpabaksa on Jan 31, 2010 16:35:29 GMT -5
Hello. I just read up on this, didn't know much really about this case althought I heard about it. But I think this is a good thing. I feel, that the descendants should stand up and claim these rights. Because it is their right. What happened all those years ago, to today. People forget there was a middle part, when NO one wanted to be Sioux, Indian or Native American. So, we tend to try and forgive or accept the notion that everything is ok. But, those hard times when NO ONE wanted to be Indian is what we need to remember and step up and stop people from using the image, name or anything the references our ancestors without the families consent. This is a way of reclaiming our families, which, like I mentioned is a good thing.
In today's time, we are dealing with correcting our history. What I mean by this is. During the time I mentioned when nobody wanted to be Sioux or associate with Sioux people. There were historians or writers who used our peoples history to enhance their status among their education system and became experts in telling a Sioux what a Sioux is or was. From that time, like a time clock pendulum too far to one side. We come to today, where we have our own people claiming soo much, like one tree I saw that connects a man to Crazy Horse, by being descended from a sister to CH father. Than, to Black Moon, the Hunkapapa leader, and finally, Big Foot and the Wounded Knee survivors. So, the pendulum has swung too far the other direction in some respect. As some Sioux historians, make it like this by claiming soo much without any proof to back up their claims. Other, claim, or should I say, not try to bring honor or recognition to their own ancestors by claiming others families stories. I feel we as Lakota, Dakota and Nakota peoples, all have stories to tell because of the very rough last 150 years. Our War, never resulted in the rebuilding of our economy, restoration of our rights. Like our country has done and is doing.
But, thats just my two cents worth. I think this is a good step, and I feel all families should do this for their ancestors.
You wrote: "It's a question of who knows best. Government entities and historians or the family. I think both have something to bring to the table." I agree with your statement completely! Oral history is a vital element is understanding Lakota history.
I think the challenge in this particular case however is not between the Clown family and "government entities and historians." Rather, this is a case of two conflicting oral history traditions among the Lakota themselves. There is one oral history at Pine Ridge and Rosebud that says Worm (the father of Crazy Horse) died at Rosebud about 1879-81. Then there is the newly shared oral history tradition of the Clown family that says Worm faked his death and moved to Cheyenne River where he lived under the name Woman's Breast.
In visiting with various individuals at Pine Ridge, I have found a number of people who strongly disagree with the Clown oral history tradition. Admittedly, they have not been as vocal. The Clown family has done a great job in sharing their story -- including through the DVD series, speaking to curators at various museums/parks and appearing at several conferences.
I think the challenge is to critically examine BOTH oral history traditions. And here is where I think that historical documents can help. Can these documents relfect anything about either oral history tradition?
Last Edit: Feb 11, 2010 19:47:14 GMT -5 by ephriam
Actually I'm in the middle of translating their oral history into book form right now and getting into the cracks of the details. But I know who you're talking about and I was there at the Crazy Horse Estate hearings when Harvey Whitewoman was still alive. He stated at that time the reason he was challenging was to keep Crazy Horse Oglala. He brought Doug Bissonette who claimed to have a tie to Waglula through a brother of Waglula named Little Hawk. At least this is the tree he presented at his initial hearing.
The Clown family indeed had two relatives name Little Hawk. Corn had a brother named Little Hawk who died at the same Crow raid in about 1844 as his wife Iron Between Eyes. So he took Little Hawk's wife and family as his own and gave his own daughters to Waglula. Little Hawk had four children, three daughters and a toddler son who was given his father's name, Little Hawk. They joined Waglula's tiospaye and Little Hawk and Crazy Horse became very, very close.
But to my eyes and ears there was one huge difference at that meeting between the Clowns and Bissonette. When asked where the family members like Waglula were buried Bissonette had no idea. Waglula died in the rez system. He is buried within 100 miles of where Bissonette lives. And yet he knows the date he died but not where the body went? Sounds suspect for oral history.
To put it in just a human way, even non-Lakota families living in the same rural three county setting for say 150 years are a pretty sure bet to know where their relatives are buried. Even myself, I'm not quite sure what year my great grandparents died...but I know where they're buried.
But for a Lakota to know the year Waglula died and not be able to account for their grandfather's bones tells me that either someone in the family got taken away to a boarding school at a young age or it came from a book.
I have seen the graves of both Waglula and Rattling Blanket Woman around the year 2002. At the time I wasn't very hot to see them. Graves never impressed me so I was kind of humoring them. But now that I got deeper into the culture I understand the connection much better.
The new DVD does talk about Waglula taking the name Kills Enemy. There was actually more than one Kills Enemy at different locations so that the real Kills Enemy could 'visit' his relatives and draw rations but in reality they each drew from one of the locations. When Kills Enemy died and they worried about the suspicion of being discovered he changed his name to Breast. The interpreters added Breast of Female and Woman's Breast but they were all the same. But I think we went over this last time. But since that time I've come to discover that the government records are interesting but not overly accurate. Just because their old doesn't mean they've aged like a fine wine. Even in today's world we can't keep a bomber off an airplane over our space with mountains of security and government paperwork kept on computers. This stuff was kept by hand. Back in those days the Lakota double dipped, gave false names, had numerous locations to pick up rations so they could visit relatives, and really I don't blame them. Their freedom was taken, so why should they respect the system.
And as far as the DVD making a big difference...I don't think so. It's really for their children and unborn and is sold to ameliorate the costs. The judge has never seen it and from my perspective if it had so much influence where is the call from the big TV producers ;-). The phone never rings (lol). If anything it's the content that gives it legs. But now I have to translate it in a way that I hope people understand so I have to concentrate on that right now...debates mess with my concentration. After all the Clown case has been laid out for quite some time. Maybe in the interim you could lay out the other case.
I have a little more info on the court case. The Clown family's tree as it sits in court includes the additional trees of Touch The Cloud, Hump, and Little Hawk among others through affidavits signed by the family members that are able to get the probates (since only proven family can get them). The only families that have not become documents of the court from the tree as represented in our Crazy Horse series videos are Frog who they could not locate any of his relatives, Wolf, and Spotted Elk. The Brings White family signed off on Touch The Cloud and the Merribones family signed off on Little Hawk. Merribones is derived from the elder Little Hawk's four children that he left behind. His eldest daughter became Elisabeth Merribones (the Little Hawk that became close to Crazy Horse was her brother), they don't know her original Lakota name however her original married name was Marrow Bones of the Buffalo but of course like so many names, it got Christianized as the family calls it. This is via probate info. I didn't ask who signed off on Hump's or Standing Elks, etc. We talked for 2 1/2 hours and we were both getting tired (lol). The key probate, and I'm pretty sure I said this before, is Red Leggins who died May 22, 1905.
And so we call it the Clown case but in reality it is nearly all the families on both the mother and father's side.
One thing I might add, Big Crow who was claiming from Rosebud before he died claimed that Waglula was buried down in the Little Crow cemetery under the name Wagmeza. But Wagmeza actually means Corn. There is or at least was a small, crude cement cross with Wagmeza written on it. The reason Big Crow thought this is because the neighboring grave, once again written in Lakota says, 'Iron Between Horns, wife of Crazy Horse'. The Clown family says that Iron Between Horns was indeed Crazy Horse's wife, it just happened to be old man Crazy Horse. Corn was her father and it was her wish to lay next to her father. The Little Crow cemetery was named after Little Crow who was Hump's eldest son. It is all consistent with their oral history..The family tree sits in Rosebud court as I have stated quite often.
On the Doug Bissonette front, it so happened that Doug War Eagle had his aunt as his boss when he worked in the medical field. The Bissonette family tells Doug War Eagle that Doug Bissonette was adopted and his original last name was White Shield. I believe the only thing holding the process of a final declaration by the court is politics.
One interesting tidbit that came out of one of the stories is that when one of Crazy Horse's younger brother named High Horse traveled to the Two Kettle head man Kills the Enemy's camp located at a place called Black Horse Butte half way between Broadus and Ekalaka, Mt near the Powder River, he was bringing a message from Lone Horn asking at which location would he like to pick up his rations from because the Wascius were in the process of setting it up. High Horse had an ulterior motive as he wanted to make Kills the Enemy's daughter, Bluebird Woman his woman. So Lone Horn gave him an excuse to go. Just interesting as to how it played out on the Lakota end as far as where to go for rations.
Although the probate wasn't in front of him, Doug War Eagle gave me a little info off Red Leggins probate which is the key probate for the family in the Crazy Horse Estate decision. This is just some of it...not all. Father was Corn born 1798 married Indian custom to Iron Between Eyes in 1819, she died in 1844, he died in 1884. Her brother Bull Head was born in 1820, died 1844. Her Sister Iron Between Horns was born in 1824 and married indian custom to Crazy Horse (Old Man) and died in 1884. Her sister Kills Enemy was born in 1826 and married indian custom to Crazy Horse (Old Man) and died in 1877. Red Leggins born in 1829 married Indian custom to Breast and died May 22, 1905.
I asked him why it said she was married to Breast and her sisters to Waglula when the contention is she was married to Waglula also and he said it was listed like that because that was how she was listed for rations and allotments but they took it from her anyway. I know it's a long probate and there is definitely more on it so when I can, I will. I know it'll be listed in their oral history book along with several other trees and probates according to Doug.