Can someone help with information about the counting coup war ritual, by Sioux in particular. Did coup give the warrior anything more than honour, eg a right to the victims property, or decision over how the victim or victoms body is to be treated?
Many customs of the plains Indians were similar despite differences in language, architecture and nomadic habits.
ACCOUNT OF AN EXPEDITION FROM PITTSBURGH TO THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS PERFORMED IN THE YEARS 1819, 1820 (Major Long's expedition) It is not the mere shooting down of an enemy that confers great honor upon a warrior: this, the Indians say, can be done by any person, however cowardly he may be. But high distinction is due to the gallant soul, that advances upon the field of battle, and captures an enemy, or who first strikes, or even touches the body of a fallen enemy, in presence of the friends of the deceased, who are generally watching their opportunity to revenge his death. This is, indeed, an extraordinary proof of courage, and as the act is not to be accomplished without the greatest hazard of life; the adventurer is obliged to expose himself, often, to a great number of assailants, besides the danger of falling into ambush, in attempting to strike the decoy. It is this striking, that is numbered amongst their war feats by warriors, at their dances. The capture of a prisoner confers the highest honor on the captor. Striking an enemy, whilst active, appears to be second in rank, of their great martial achievements. Striking his dead, or disabled body, confers the third honour. Capturing a horse may be regarded as the fourth; presenting a horse to any person, the fifth, and shooting, or otherwise killing an enemy, by a missile, is the sixth in point of rank of military deeds, in estimation of the Omawhaws. The taking of a scalp is merely evidence of what has been done, and, of itself, seems to confer no honor.
King donated his own copy of Ietan to the White House, and it is one of the four Indian portraits by King that flanks the doorway inside the White House Library.
The following narration of Ietan's martial acts is also from "Account of an Expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains" (1819-20) books.google.com/books?id=te0MAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA232&lpg=PA232#v=onepage&q&f=true After lashing the post and making his threat, Ietan went on to narrate his martial exploits. He had stolen horses seven or eight times from the Konzas (Kaws); he had first struck the bodies of three of that nation slain in battle, and had struck one of their dead. He had stolen horses from the Ietan (Comanche) nation, and had struck one of their dead. He had stolen horses from the Pawnees, and struck the body of one Pawnee Loup. He had stolen horses several times from the Omawhaws, and once from the Puncas. He had struck the bodies of two Sioux. On a war party, in company with the Pawnees, he had attacked the Spaniards and penetrated into one of their camps; the Spaniards, excepting a man and boy, fled; himself being at a distance before his party, he was shot at and missed by the man, whom he immediately shot down and struck. "This, my father", said he, "is the only martial act of my life that I am ashamed of."