These are great pictures! To answer your question, no, there is no connection to the Lakota Knife Chief. The Knife Chief of the Pawnee that is in the first picture is the Grandfather of the Knife Chief that traveled with Buffalo Bills Wild West Show. His father was Petalesharo or Man Chief. He was known in Pawnee as Old Man Knife Chief. He is my great great grandfather.
Yes, you are correct -- the first Knife Chief to make our attention was a chief of the Skidi band. He was one of the Pawness who held council with Zebulon Pike. His later fame came when he and his son, Petalesharo, put an end to the sacrificial Morning Star ritual. However, that sacrificial rite did continue sporadically into the 1830s. When Petalesharo was taken to Washington DC in 1821-22 his reputation preceded him and he was welcomed like a rock-star would be today. His portrait was painted by Charles Bird King, and that portrait is on display in the White House Library along with a few other of King's portraits, which includes the Kaw Chief "White Plume". The portraits are shown on the website linked below. www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/photogallery/library
Dietmar, The top portrait is indeed that of Petalesharo. His portrait was supposedly the first sketched image of a plains Indian wearing a feathered headdress. I'll write some more about him later. The second portrait you posted isn't White Plume -- it is the Oto Chief, L'Ietan "Prairie Wolf". He was a colorful character. I'll tell some of his history later as well. I'll post links to all of the others in awhile too. They are the Pawnee, Sharitarish "Wicked Chief" and tge Kaw Chief White Plume. The portraits of Petalesharo, L'Ietan, Wicked Chief and White Plume have been on display on each side of a doorway in the Whitehouse Library for several decades. Another of King's portraits in the library is of Haynes Hudjihini "Eagle of Delight, L'Ietan's wife.
Dietmar I see the problem-- two of the pictures were mislabeled. The Whitehouse history website used to offer larger and more distinct images of the artwork. They must have messed up when they redesigned their website. Here's a corrected list. The portraits of the men flank the east door to the library, and Eagle of Delight's portrait is above the library's entrance to the corridor.
The Skidi Pawnee Morning Star sacrificial ritual was a long drawn out ceremony. Pierre de Smet learned of it from two traders (Papin and Dougherty) who had been traders among the Pawnee in the early part of the 1800s. Dougherty lived among them for several years, so he would have most likely witnessed several of these events.
Life, letters and travels of Father Pierre-Jean de Smet, S.J., 1801-1873 By Pierre-Jean de Smet Philadelphia, April 6, 1847. Mr. J. D. Bryant (The account of human sacrifice among the Pawnees was published as Letters XXVI, Oregon Missions, XXVIII, Missions de I'Oregon. It is dated as above in both, but addressed in French to a Father. The English, which seems to be a translation from the French, is here followed.) In their religious ceremonies they dance, sing and pray before a bird stuffed with all kinds of roots and herbs used in their superstition. They have a fabulous tradition, which teaches them that the morning star sent this bird to their ancestors, as its representative, with orders to invoke it on all important occasions and to exhibit it in times of sacrifice. . .They are firmly persuaded that human sacrifices are most agreeable to the Great Spirit. Hence, when the Pawnee takes a prisoner and wishes to render himself acceptable to heaven, he devotes it to the morning star. At the time of sacrifice, he delivers the prisoner over into the hands of the jugglers . . . The victim in this horrid transaction was a young Sioux or Dakota girl, aged fifteen years, who had been taken prisoner by the Pawnees about six months previous to her immolation. . . and everywhere was treated, in appearance at least, rather as a fond friend than as a prisoner. It is the custom thus to prepare the victim, in order to conceal their infernal design. The rest of the story books.google.com/books?id=h9dYAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA978&lpg=PA978#v=onepage&q&f=true
The Pawnee Indians by George E. Hyde "The Skidi had kidnapped a Ietan girl to sacrifice at planting time. Knife Chief tried to have her released after she had already been tied to a scaffold. It was then that Petalesharo, who had a reputation for courage, came to her rescue. None of the warriors attempted to stop him, when he cut her free, put her on his horse and delivered her to safety."
I paraphrased much of the following from Hyde's book. But the next year, 1818, a Skidi warrior captured a young Spanish boy from New Mexican hunters, and they intended to use him for their spring sacrifice. When he and his party arrived home at their village, Knife Chief and Petalesharo failed to free the boy. Knife Chief then enlisted help from other Skidi chiefs, and the French trader, Papin, in an attempt to buy the boy from the warrior, and according to Hyde, Papin's offer was generous but the warrior refused, which caused Knife Chief "to spring at him with a war club", but at the last second, he withheld his blow, and instead of using violence, he offered selected items of his own personal property for a ransom payment, and the warrior agreed.
This excerpt is from an account from Major Long's expedition in 1819-20. This particular event happened when they were heading west up the Platte in 1820. Dr Say's detachment had already been attacked by Pawnees seven miles north of the Kaw Villiage (at the mouth of the Blue Earth River) the year before (1819). They weren't harmed, but they were robbed of their provisions and were reportedly "humiliated" which might mean they were stripped naked. John Dougherty was with Say, but was out hunting when they were attacked by war party, so he wasn't aware of it until later. Long's party spent the winter at Cantonment Engineer (Council Bluffs area) on the Missouri River and then continued their expedition up the Platte River to the Rockies the following spring. Dougherty, who spoke Caddoan and Siouan languages (as well as other Indian languages) managed to get the Pawnees to return the stolen goods. As they progressed along: "Towards evening, Sharetarish arrived with his dancers, thirty or forty in number, who were all accoutred and painted for the occasion." And the following morning: "After waiting a short time, we observed, at the distance of a mile before us, a great number of mounted Indians emerging suddenly, apparently from the plain itself, for we could not then see a ravine that had previously concealed them from our view. They immediately began to ride in various directions, and to perform numerous evolutions, until the whole were arranged in a widely-extended line. These rapid movements, which attracted our attention from other objects, having ceased, we perceived a small body of men in front, whose movements were independent of the others, and who were advancing at a moderate pace. When all were formed, they set forwards, slowly at first, but gradually increasing their speed as they approached, until they surrounded us at a full charge. It is impossible by description to do justice to the scene of savage magnificence that was now displayed. Between three and four hundred mounted Indians, dressed in their richest habiliments of war, were rushing around us in every direction, with streaming feathers, war weapons, and with loud shouts and yells. The few whom we had observed in advance of the main body, and whom, as they came near, we recognized to be the chief men, presented a perfect contrast to the others in their slow movements, and simplicity of dress. Courtesy obliged us to shake hands with each individual, as they came to us in succession for that purpose, nor was a single soldier of our train forgotten on this occasion by any one of them. They expressed great satisfaction on account of our visit, rubbing their breasts in token of the sincerity of this pleasure. Many remarked that the nation had been mourning for their grievous losses in a recent battle with an enemy, but that now grief should give place to rejoicing. Major O'Fallon addressed the Indians as usual, after which we again moved on towards the village. Latelesha, the grand chief, perceiving that the division of his warriors that were on our left, raised some dust on the march, ordered them all to leeward, that we might not be incommoded. Almost from the beginning of this interesting fete, our attention had been attracted to to a young man who seemed to be the leader or partizan of the warriors. He was about twenty-three years of age, of the finest form, tall, muscular, exceedingly graceful, and of a most prepossessing countenance. His head dress of war eagles' feathers, descended in a double series upon his back like wings, to his saddle croup; his shield was highly decorated, and his long lance was ornamented by a plaited casing of red and blue cloth. On inquiring of the interpreter, our admiration was augmented by learning that he was no other than Petalesharoo, with whose name and character we were already familiar."
The earliest Pawnee called "Knife Chief" that I know of was one of the head chiefs who held council with Zebulon Pike on September 25, 1806. Petalesharo was his son. Subsequently, there were other Pawnees named Knife Chief and Petalesharo. The Knife Chief who met with Pike was described by Hyde: The Pawnee Indians By George E. Hyde books.google.com/books?id=xA9Tt5LxS2sC&pg=PA160#v=onepage&q&f=true "Knife Chief (Lachelesharo) was opposed to holding the sacrifice, which he knew the whites regarded with abhorrence, but the people listened to his talks coldly, for they believed if Morning Star were not propitiated by sacrifices, their crops would fail and the men would have no success in the hunt or in war. This chief, a tall, fine looking elderly man with hair graying at the sides of his head, had been to St. Louis to visit the Indian Superintendent, William Clark, and had come home with his views concerning some of the ancient customs of his tribe greatly altered. He had a son Pitalesharo (Man Chief) born in 1795 or 1797, a tall, handsome youth, who was regarded by all as the bravest warrior in the tribe."