May 29, 2008

No spoils, said Sitting Bull

Little Big Horn museum collecting Sitting Bull exhibitThen in his 40s and past his warrior days, Sitting Bull offered 50 pieces of flesh from each arm before he began the grueling ritual of dance and prayers. On the second day, a vision came. Soldiers were falling into camp, upside down, with no ears, LaPointe said.

“These dead soldiers who are coming are the gifts of God,” Sitting Bull told his people. “Kill them, but do not take their guns or horses. Do not touch the spoils. If you set your hearts upon the goods of the white man, it will prove a curse to this nation.”

They did not heed his words, LaPointe said.

When six companies of the 7th Cavalry under the command of Lt. Col. George Custer were annihilated at the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876, victorious Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho took horses, guns, scalps, uniforms and anything that could be useful on their nomadic journeys.
Comment:  For more on Indian museums, see The Feel-Good National Museum.

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