• I. Hadakah, “The Pitiful Last”

  • Ohiyesa

    WHAT boy would not be an Indian for a while when he thinks of the freest life in the world?

    Profile Picture of Ohiyesa in Indian Boyhood
  • This life was mine.

  • Every day there was a real hunt.

  • There was real game.

  • Occasionally there was a medicine dance away off in the woods where no one could disturb us, in which the boys impersonated their elders, Brave Bull, Standing Elk, High Hawk, Medicine Bear, and the rest.

  • They painted and imitated their fathers and grandfathers to the minutest detail, and accurately too, because they had seen the real thing all their lives.

  • Ohiyesa

    We were not only good mimics but we were close students of nature.

    Profile Picture of Ohiyesa in Indian Boyhood
  • We studied the habits of animals just as you study your books.

  • We watched the men of our people and represented them in our play;

  • then learned to emulate them in our lives.

  • No people have a better use of their five senses than the children of the wilderness.

  • We could smell as well as hear and see.

  • Ohiyesa

    We could feel and taste as well as we could see and hear.

    Profile Picture of Ohiyesa in Indian Boyhood
  • Nowhere has the memory been more fully developed than in the wild life, and I can still see wherein I owe much to my early training.

  • Of course I myself do not remember when I first saw the day, but my brothers have often recalled the event with much mirth;

  • for it was a custom of the Sioux that when a boy was born his brother must plunge into the water, or roll in the snow naked if it was winter time;

  • and if he was not big enough to do either of these himself, water was thrown on him.

  • If the new-born had a sister, she must be immersed.