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RAMBLIN WAYN -- ART
Music- Poetry- Paintings LIVIN' IS AN ART - VIRTUAL GALERY
CHEYENNE LIFE IN THE OLD TIME as told by CHIEF HIAMOVI (HIGH CHIEF)
In the beginning our Father made the earth and gave to us all things. We had no so much clothes as now, nor had we any metals. We wore the skins of beasts, for the Father gave to us the buffalo and all kinds of animals to meet our wants. The bow we made ourselves, and arrows, too, pointed with sharp stone. When we had made the bow and arrow we began to hunt, and when we saw the buffalo we would creep up to him on hands and knees, softly, until within a hundred paces of him. Then we would rise on one knee and shoot him dead. We had knives made of the ribs of the buffalo or of sharpened stones, and with these we skinned the buffalo and cut off the meat and carried it home on our backs. The women sliced the meat and then set up long poles supported on notched sticks, and on these poles they hung the meat to dry. They dried the hides, too, and then scraped them with sharp stones until they grew soft, and of these they made shirts and leggings. We had no horses, but used big, shaggy dogs. When we journeyed we packed the dried meat in satchels of painted hide. These were carried by the dogs. The poles were bound together by a strip of hide and fastened to the neck of the dog, and the bundles were tied upon the poles. Each family had its own dogs. Sometimes on a long journey the dogs would grow tired and began to droop and flag. Then the people would call the dogs, "'Hiya, go on, go on!" But no matter how we called, the dogs would hang there tongues and lag slower and slower. Then some one would cry, "Buffalo ahead; fresh meat in plenty!" and then the dogs would bound forward as though they had just set out. When we came to a camping-ground the women untied the bundles and put the meat in pots to boil. These pots were made of fine earth hardened in the fire. When any one wanted to kindle a fire he would hold a piece of dry, rotten wood against a stone, and then strike the stone with flint so that the sparks would light up upon the dry wood. Or he would take the stalk of the soapweed plant and rest one end in a socket bored stone. Then he would twirl the stalk between his hands, and twirl and twirl till at last smoke and fire came at the end. All this was long ago, before our people ever had seen the white man. But one time a man was far away in Texas and there he saw a horse. He was frightened at first because he thought it must be a creature that would kill him men and devour them. But he caught the horse and tied him fast and patted him, and when he found the horse did not bite he was glad and tried to tame him. When he had tamed him he harnessed him with poles, like a dog, and put his children on the horse's back and seated himself on the poles behind. Afterwards the people found other horses, and these had colts. So we came to have many horses. Only the old people tell of it. My mother told me all these things. She is over a hundred years old, and she learned these stories from her grandmother. This was the way we lived in the old, old time when all that we had was given to us by the Father or made by us ourselves.