Title: "Buffalo Bill's" Pictures

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The Indian war pictures that are running this week in Omaha are something unique. They are much more nearly true to actual occurrences than the public had been led to believe from the newspaper accounts printed during their preparation. There are persons in Omaha who were present at the battle of Wounded Knee and they express the opinion that the occurrences are presented as faithfully as it is possible by moving pictures. The Indians who took part in that fight were poor, half-starved creatures, but they appear in the pictures as dressed in the costly and full regalia of Indian chiefs. Those who took the pictures say that they did their utmost to prevent that, but the Indians who took part, now all prosperous, insisted on "dressing up" for the occasion to the limit of their means. Aside from that defect, the pictures are so realistic that the scenes were quickly recognized by those who saw the actual fight. There was not one moving picture actor employed in creating the scenes, and for that reason they are far more valuable than the western scenes that have been put out by any of the film companies.

It was a happy inspiration to close the show with pictures of Indian schools and industries and Indian life of the present day. There is nothing to be learned from the pictures as to the causes of these Indian wars, but they will likely lead many to search the historical records to find out the causes. There they will learn that about 25,000 Indians, who had no knowledge of agriculture, were herded on reservations, mostly in the semi-arid regions, and told they must make a living farming, when not one in a hundred had ever seen a plow. They were given scant rations for a while and then there suddenly came from Washington an order to cut down the rations one-half. If 25,000 white men, having no knowledge of farming, had been placed in the same condition, they too would have been reduced to starvation, and they, too, might have gone to war, however desperate the chances.

Title: "Buffalo Bill's" Pictures

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, OS Box 50, page 36

Topics: Buffalo Bill on Film

Places: Omaha (Neb.) Wounded Knee (S. D.) Washington (D.C.)

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