Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, January 02, 1910, HALF-TONE, Page 2, Image 18

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Traditions of the Home Life and Training of Omaha Indian Children
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HKKK I a quaint folk-lore tale
told umong tli Oinuhn Indltm
nbout the origin of fire and Hie
comoquent founding of a home,
ever since which time, the tale
corn on in relate, the nnurlsli-
meni and well being of Immunity, a well
as order have exinted an the result of 'the
e.rtabHt hmcnt of that first flres:de.
An open fire I always conducive to re
flection we know. To me It call op a
Mrlea of vivid mental pictures of the home
life of the Indian, of the family circle,
gathered around the csmpflre In the tent,
and bj a child, I received here, striking
and undying impressions of the Intense love
tho Indian has for his children.
The strong love of home Is found In
every race, In none Is It stronger than in
tho Indian. We find In him the same hu
man nature we find In the white man, the
same rardinal sins, the mint cardinal vir
tue. and I have been able to find only one
difference. Sometimes you may find the
Indian treacherous to his own Interest",
tiio white man, never!
From an Indian's puir.t of view exceed
ingly unfortunate and deserving of pity is
that home that has no children In It.
An Indian has three names, ono for child
hood, one for youth and one for man
hood. A baby receive! Its childhood nam
when 4 days old, being named after some
animal or something In nature. His name
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Hou3crf Nebraska Haltowel, An Omaha Indian
everything in nalure,
so that the little one
may have atl the
blessings of heaven
and eBrth to make him
a good and grent man.
We hae the beauti
ful and wonderful Cal
umet dance, In which
every bit of decora
tion, of feather, paint
on pipes, gourds, and
decoration of child
and dancers Is ayiu-
I'olleal. In which the
ear of corn from the
pluntliiR of the seed to
Ub harvesting repre
sents the little hu
man life, from birth
Housp of MinniP Hdmilton.Oinaha Indian
to manhood, warriors after large game, until he became
the whole ceremony forming ono beau- accUHtonied to the use of bow and arrow
tifui, fubiime prayer fur the biensiig iiuil gun. He was taught to cultivate hi-
la changed again when a youth and again Aimignty, tnat throughout lite the physical nature so lie might oe aoie 10
in manhood, this tlmo the namo denoting
some 8 re nt achievement he, as a man, has
A child is considered of so much im
portance .that all through babyhood and
childhood we find tribal ceremonies conse-
child may receive protection from tha core with nature in all Its moods.
Great One, the ceremony taking four days a girl was taught to prepare the food,
for Its performance. to help In the tunning and preparation of
There are ceremonies connected with the skins for, clothing, to sew moccasins, to
putting on of the first moccasins, with the get water and wood, to be self-reliant and
first cutting of the hair, etc., and a boy Is Independent of man's help in all these
crated to the children. Some of tfiege are K!ven lessons In bravery from his earliest preparations, for often the man had to be
rr.ysilcal and very beautiful. "Th Turn- childhood days, while a girl receives les- away for days, hunting for food In all
Ins of the Child," where the medicine man,
takes tho child and turning It to the four
points of the compass, Invokes first the
aid of tho Great Spirit in blessing the child,
sons. In the domestic arts.
Before he was 14 a boy was taught to ac
custom himself to exposure, to eat raw
meat, so if left on the prairies In a bliz-
appeallng in turn to the four winds of the rard with his bow and arrow he could sus- squashes and beans, all the work being
earth to blow upon him and make hiin tain life; he was taught to shoot small done by the women. The corn was
great, then Invoking the aid of tho clouds, game, then to go out with the rest of the pounded between two stones or In a wooden
kinds of weather.
When these hills were all prairie, I re
member the cultivating of patches of
ground for the planting of Indian corn,
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1 Chief "Rabbit MorriT
mortar and pulverized with a pestle, and
made into cakes and baked by an open
fire. The Eiiuashea were cut Into "trip
and dried by the sun In open air and put
away for winter use. It always had a
good flavor and was sjwect. The women
gathered wild grapes 'and raspberries and
dried them for winter use, wild cherries
were pounded, Heeds and all, made Into
cakes and dried and eaten mixed wltn
the corn meal. In the fall the wild sweet
potato was dug by the women (it has a
riavor and color not unlike the cultivated
sweet potato), and formed a welcome ad
dition to our menu. The wild beans were
eagerly sought after. They taste like the
lima bean, only sweeter, with little bulk
We had no dyspepsia In those days; now
that the tin can Is in evidence, we have
house of Cruy 5tdblr, Omha Indian
WoodficK, OmAhA
r v -it- 'vf t - s
r. 'flaw ' 'I'm mtt tftfisUM
house of Elwood Harlan, Omaha Indian
much, as the prescription blank book can
The Omahas were a peace-loving thrifty
psopl. and tauirht their children accord
ingly. A child was given strict lessons in
etiquette, to treat all old people with deep
respect; never to Interrupt a speaker; to
give strict obedience to father and mother,
and never to eat with hands and faces un
washed. Marriage was considered as binding as
among the white people arid there were no always sent back a like quantity of gifts
sister, and a love had to be
very watchful and skilled In
eluding the chaperon and get
ting an uninterrupted inter
view with the mulden. These
Interviews usually took place
at the spring where the girl
went to get water, and I
knew of one young man who
raid he laid in wait in the
tall grass and fchrubbery all
one hot day in summer,
without dinner or rupper, only
to go home disappointed, for
every time the girl appeared
her chaperon accompanied
lur. The young man always
took his bride to his home
ll was always an elopement,
and a few weeks later she
was sent back to her family with gifts
from his family.
The white people have received an errone
ous idea of the selling and buying of wives
among the Indians. If a young man or his
family desired a certain young woman for
his wife he gave or sent to her family a
certain number or gifts, of horses, goods,
etc.. and if his suit was rejected these were
sent back. If accepted, when marriage
took place the young woniHii'w family
separitiotis without cause. (Since we have
advanced (?) Into civilization we have suits
for alienation of affections.) There was
no marriage ceremony. A young girl re
ceived strict chaperonage from the age of
10 years, never' being without the presence
of a grandmother, an aunt or a married
to signify that the t'o families were now
one. It was no commercial barter or trade.
The child's moral nature received careful
cultivation. He, was taught ownership and
possession, the property rights of others
to be honorable In all his dealings with his
fellowmen and to be truthful. One who
took things that did not belong to him. or
who told what was not so, became tho
butt of ridicule and was given name sug
gesting his shsjy transactions, and he una
made to feel that he was held In odium by
his fellowmen.
The Indians are very proud of their chil
dren, and are now sending them to school
not on the reservation, but to O'liou.
Neb.; Haskell, Lawrence, Kan., and to
Carlisle, r., and Hampton, Va., and are
taking n great deal of pride and interest
in Uielr standing and accomplishments ai
these schools. They Bre building good,
comfortable hounes all over the reservation.
Some are modern as to the convenlencei..
not only for their own comfort, but because
they want these children who arc away i
have a good homo to come to. They nil
hfcve a desire for a good home. It leads to
the cultivation of thrift and saving and U
a most encouraging Indication of then
willingness to adopt the new customs of th"
white people It will in time develop civic
There are many good houses such as you
see In the pictured. The Omahas are work
ing far better than for twenty years pasl,
and are building commodious barns and
corn-cribs and buying machinery to work
their farms.
With the establishment of good homes
hik1 r. II that means in organised society,
and work with all Its Incentives to thrift
and morality, with education for their chil
dren, the Omahas are beginning to solve
their problem, and as they are a part of
our state, the white people must do their
part by encouraging and protecting them
as far as possible whenever possible.
Sweet Singers of Nebraska Who Are Making a Fine Public Record
. COMMON Idea of a glee club I
that It is an aggregation of
voices who s'riff a few simple
eongs us occasion demands,
but tho Teru club Is a fully
equipped and efficient musical
organization of a much higher order. The
club, with its present org juration and
equipment, dates from the beginning of
last year, when It was organized, with Dr.
H .lib as Its director, and had a member
ship of twenty-eight students of musical
pr milse and ability.
The club began its work by having fre
quent rehearsals und built up un elaborate
repertoire. It gave a local concert In
Peru and concerts at Nebraska City and
other neighboring points before Christmas,
t'urlnf the spring vacation the club made
a tour of southwestern Nebraska, ending
with un engagement at the Houthwestern
Teachers" association meeting at McCook.
The personnel of the club ut the begin
ning of this year insured an enviable,
yeur's work. Ross House, at present a
private voice teacher In Peru and formerly
a member of the famous Adelphlan quit
Id. which was known to tho public In this
section of tho country as one of the rarst
lecture course number, added very muC.
to tho tenor end of the organization. Dr.
It. C. House was also a member of this
well-known quartet. The work of the year
was begun early and pushed hard. An ex
ceptional repertoire was built up within
a few weeks. The club sung at the Ne
braska Plate Teachers' association and
was repeatedly encored. Concerts have al
ready been given In a number of north-
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tif college glte clubs. The work of ths
club is chaructt-rized by fire, dash and
precision. Its repertoire Is varied, includ
ing standard part sours and many llrht
pieces Imbued with college spirit and life.
Music critics who have heard the club
at Its concerts regard It as the best
'equipped end best trained musical organi
zation in this section of the country.
The members of the club are shown In the picture as follows: Upper Row (reading from left to right) Lee Roberts,
Charles Moulten, Jacob Scholt. Ward McDowell. Arthur Johnson. Samuel Galthers, Oren Lincoln. A. P. Hclioll, Joseph
Goldstein. Harold Humphrey and Carl Crook. Middle ffrbw Ross House, Hex Trueman, Floyd Ralston. L. V. Gurey, Audubon
Neff, Arthur Vance. W. 8. Bostder, George K. Campbell and Harry Sanders. Lower Row Roy Ralston, Russell v Whitfield.
Klugsley House, Harry Johnson and Dale Whitfield.
eastern Nebraska towns, among which was now being arranged through central and given much individual coaching ill tone
the on given Thanksgiving day at Ne- western Nebraska. production to the members of the club,
biaska City under the auspices of the Otoe Dr. House, the director, who is the head making possible the mellow effects of
county corn show. An extended tour is of the music work in the Normal, has tone coloring so seldom seen in the work
Getting Down to Hard Pan
At the annual convention of tho National
Good Roacty association held at TopeUa,
Km., December 14 and 15, I. S. TU't'n.
freight claim agent of the Missouri Pacific,
delivered an address on "Roads and Rnll
rreds," and said in part:
"People usually think of the operation
of American railroads in terms of bllll ins
of tons and millions o doMars. fl3urea of
suclr Ftartllns magnitude that the average
Individual seldom connects himself in hie
daily thought and living with til? factor
of commerce that finds expression in our
transportation agercles. statement
that carriers administer largely to the
necessities, comforts and luxuries of liti
reaches the human mind with many other
economic propositions without making due
Impression of the extent to which this is
tine, and to the further extent that things
I hat were formerly luxuries urc now In
dally use In modest homes.
"To Illustrate this proposition I l.nlts
you to a review of the commonplace sub
ject of my breakfast In Kansas City thle
morning, consisting of half a Florida grnpj
fruit, in the center of which was l cherry
frf.m Oregon, colored red by cochineal from
Mexico. Whltefish which a few rtnys b -fore
had been swimming In Lake .Superior
appeared on the breakfast table garnished
with a lemon from California. Coffee was
from Brazil and the sugar may have come
from far away Hawaii.
"Arriving In Topeka, I bought for ll)
cents three times as n.uny dates us a
hungry mai would care to eat. These dates
were grown In Arabia, carried on cam' 1
back to the Persian gulf, then by sea.
canal, ocean and rail to tho Kansas capi
tal. The farmer to whom fishing has
grown to be an art niny take in quest ot
his sport a Japanese pole, an Irish linen
or oriental silk line and a supply of Eng
lish hooks, carrying as a product of Amer
ica a can of worms, with so-r.e doub". on
the ancestry of the can. It would be Inler
esting to figure on the freight oust of this
fishing outfit, but the amount would b so
Infinitesimal that wo must take our bear
ings on something o greater bulk."
Mr. Tustln then gave an inventory of tho
clothes that he wore to the cnnvi ir.loitf' in
cluding each article from shoes to overooat,
with their cost value, and naid if thsa
garments had been purchased in Trp ki
from stock bought In New, York the freight
cl arge would be less than one-half of 1 per
cent of the amount.
As a contrast with other inland trans
portation, he said, that in connection with
a neighbor he bought a car of Arkansas
coal for domestic use paying for the rail
haul of approximately BOO miles less than
2.W per ton, for the wagon Haul of a mile
and a halt from the sv.itcli track to his
Jiome 7D cents per ton, and to the wheel
barrow men from the gutter to his cellar
window, n distance of sixty feet, 16 cents
per ton. adding faeetlous'y that If the en
gine hud earned as much as the wheel
barrow In proportion to distance the rail
road tariff would have exceeded $200,000,
and If the wheelbarrow had been paid on
the engine basis, the cost of carriage for
the carload of twenty tons from gutter to
cellar would have been about one-ninth
of a cent.
"How much work would a farmer per
form for a cent? How far would he haul a
ton of freight, or do any labor connected
with It, for that price? A child buys a
penny stick of candy In a moment of pass
ing fancy, yet the American railways re
ceive for the carriage of the average ton
of freight per mile, about three-quarters
of the retail price of the child's purchase,
a cent with a substantial segment removed,
yet laws are passed and agitation encour
aged to muke the removed segment larger
andthe mutilated penny to the rail car
rier smaller.
"If "the Missouri Pacific had averaged
the retail price of a penny stick of candy
for hauling each tun of freight ono mile
during the last fiscal year, millions of
dollars would have been added to Its treas
ury, labor would have continued without
Interruption und the public business would
have felt the Impetus both from the pur
chase of supplies and from a more ample
service to commerce and this without ap
preciable tax to the ultimate consumer
who pays the freight. Can the human
mind think of a service so colossal for a
reward so meagre? A copper cent Is the
actual standard of railway finance in lieu
of dollars by the millions."
Christmas Reunion of the Cope Family Made a Most Joyous Occasion
ORTY members of one family
helped Mr. and Mis. C. C. Cope
of 914 Hickory street celebrate
on Christmas day the fortieth
anniversary of thulr marriage.
-iTiMr A family dinner was perved at
the home, where, for the first time, the sa
tire family, consisting of grandfather,
srundinother. sons, daughters and grand
children had assembled.
Mr. and Mrs. Cope have been the pnrenls
of fourteen children, seven sons and seven
daughters, eleven of whom are now living.
There are eighteen grandchildren.
Mr. Cope Is a veteran of the civil war. a
survivor of forty battles or skirmishes und
Is a veteran employe of the Union Pacific
railroad. Fur many years he has been
passenger director ut I'uion station, where
Ills Hon, C. C. Cope, jr., is his assistant.
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