Title: Our Sioux Swells

Periodical: The Daily Inter Ocean

Date: March 21, 1892

More metadata


Buffalo Bill's Braves Leading the Fashions.


Kicking Bear, Esquire, Outshining Ward McAllister.

Indian Dudes with Canes, Rings, Cigarettes, and Real Parisian Pride.


Tatanka Ptecelan and Mato Wanartaka, accompanied by a retinue of twenty-two members of their household, arrived in town yesterday over the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and were taken at once to the Cafe Gambrius of Herr Kannhaus, on Kinzie street, where the party were entertained at luncheon previous to resuming their journey.

The distinguished party of travelers were in charge of Colonel "Bill" Cody's lieutenant, George A. Crager, and four United States soldiers, but no one would ever have guessed it from the stoical demeanor of the delegation and the huge wads of dignity in which they wrapped themselves up and ignored the rest of the world.

Mr. Tatanka Ptecelan and Mr. Mato Wanartaka, which is long for Short Bull and Kicking Bear, refused to be interviewed, and taking the cue from them, every member of the party pretended to be ignorant of any language but Sioux, but Interpreter Crager told all about them and considerable more.

In the party were Mrs. Medicine Horse, Mrs. Her Blanket and Mrs. Plenty Blanket. These ladies wore their hair decollete and had fashionable red and black horse blankets, cut in the latest Pine Ridge style, hung over their shoulders


They were so uncommunicative and so bashful that when addressed in superior Wells-street vernacular they turned their backs on their interrogator and exclaimed "Makwaka," which was translated by Mr. Crager as meaning: "The pale-face is impertinent and talks through his hat."

The complete roster of the travelers comprises Short Bull, a Sioux chief, and a leader in the Messiah craze at Pine Ridge agency a year ago; Kicking Bear, a Sioux warrior, who was one of the most desperate fighters in the same revolt, and the following braves: Lone Bull, One Star, Revenge, Bring the White, High Eagle, Standing Bear, Know His Voice, Brave, Wounded with Arrows, Both Sides White, White Horse, Bear Lies Down, Charging Thunder, Has No Horses, Holy Bird, Kills Crow, Pull Him Out, Short Man, and Shooting.

Short Bull and Kicking Bear, together with Mrs. Medicine Horse and nine braves, go to Fort Sheridan, being still prisoners of war, and the other twelve go to Pine Ridge agency. They have been on a tour of Europe for a year as part of "Buffalo Bill's" Wild West show, and their furlough being up they were returned to the United States Government.


of the Indian in their appearance was the straight black hair braided with bright beads and ribbons, and wide-rimmed sombreros with gilt and leather bands around the crown. Otherwise these sons of the plains showed the effects of civilization and travel in the old world. They wore good clothes of modern cut and material. They even discarded moccasins and had on boots with laces and buttons. Every one of them had a on collar. Think of it? Indians that a year ago were eagerly seeking blood with naked breasts and feathers in their hair, now wearing collars and neckties, with diamonds in their shirt fronts. The only feather in the party was in the hat of old Short Bull, and it was a very bedraggled and scrawny feather at that.

Several of the young bucks wore gaudy-colored scarfs about their necks and Bear Who Lies Down carried a light bamboo cane with an onyx head. He had a diamond brooch in his scarf, that had not less than six stones in it, and most of the young men had rings on their fingers set with diamonds or some bright stones.


of too much association with European swelldom was exhibited after the elaborate lunch of pork and beans, dill pickles and stewed beef had been disposed of. Young White Horse, Kills Crow and Lone Bull pulled out small silver boxes, struck matches on the soles of their boots and lit cigarettes.

An Indian with a bamboo cane, a diamond-bedecked shirt, smoking a cigarette!

What more need be said of the enervating and soul-destroying effects of hobnobbing with princes and being made much of by duchesses in the effete monarchies of the old world? Even an American Indian can be spoiled.

"What you see is nothing to the stuff they have in their trunks," said Interpreter Crager.


"That's what I said. Every one of them has from two to four trunks filled with things that took their fancy over in Europe. They have a large assortment of blankets, which they treasure most of all, for each one means a horse when they arrive at the agency, and two blankets


They loaded up on blankets and there will be great trading among the tribes when the bucks reach home."

"Have they saved any money?"

"Lots of it. That is, for an Indian. Hardly a man of the party but has from $200 to $400 in his inside pocket, and Short Bull has $600. I paid the last installment of their pay this morning, and Kicking Bear told me he had $750. They were paid from $25 to $75 per month and had no traveling or living expenses to pay. The Indians that go to Pine Ridge are heads of families, and will receive a share of the money paid for their lands by the government, and this will make them well off, with what they have saved from the trip."

Mr. Crager said that in his opinion the tour had been a wise move on the part of the government. The Indians had become fully impressed with the power and importance of the white race.


to take them to several of the most famous centers of European thought and culture. They had traveled through France, Germany, and Italy, and had visited Heidelberg University and the museums of Berlin, Munich, and London. They had also seen the great fortifications and factories, the armies and the ships and ship-yards. They displayed great interest in all these things, and asked many questions. One of the things that had most impressed them was the launching of a big Atlantic liner. In fact, they had received an education in civilization which would enable them to convince their people that the white man was too strong for them to resist."

"Did the Indians get on a jamboree and create a row during the trip?"

"We watched them pretty closely and they had no chance to get much whisky, which is about the only thing that makes an Indian want to kill somebody. They are not allowed a drop of liquor in this country, and they don't seem to care much about it."


at the moment of the conversation by Pull Him Out, who approached the bar and demanded a "brown soda," drank it with apparent satisfaction, laid his nickel down, and returned to his seat as unconcerned as any American citizen.

"How about rifles and revolvers. Did they try to buy arms?"

"They did indeed, at every opportunity, but that was strictly forbidden, and a regular search of their clothes and belongings was made at intervals. I recently found a beautiful revolver on Charging Thunder, that he had paid $25 for at Liverpool, and it broke his heart to have to give it up."

At the train to meet his father, Standing Bear, was Henry Mato Najin, or Bear That Stands Up, who is a resident of Chicago and is studying law. He is a young man and speaks English fluently. At 3 o'clock the Fort Sheridan party were taken in charge by Sergeant Peterson and three privates, and went to their destination over the Northwestern Railroad. The others left for Pine Ridge at 7 o'clock p.m.

Colonel "Bill" Cody will collect a band of sixty Indians and twenty cowboys for his Wild West show and return to London with them in time to open May 7 at Earl's Court Pavilion.