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tv   [untitled]    May 6, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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and while they were there. they had fairly amicable relationship in the area. and during one of those hunts, he had an accident and that was the how it's described in our records and before he was mustered out of service at the end of the war and sent home, he had found out there was a yankton family that depicted his accident on their tepee. and so over here on the backside of the tepee is colonel clark knocked off of his horse. this was the whole story of his accident.
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the people depicted on here, the clothing, the color of the horse, the shield designed, it's something very specific to a person. a lot of times, you can look at a photograph of them and you're actually able to see the guy in the photograph is this person in it. a man by the name of montonampa, which is two bears. and this is the man that owned the tepee. he basically matches a photograph taken of him by andrew gardner. >> what were the images drawn on the tepee? >> the one you're looking at there was probably actually done with ink. now, the pigments could be
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anything from artist pigments that were traded to the tribe or mineral pigments that were made by tribal members, you know, in the area. some of the black is ash. the red, however, is not vermilion. vermilion that was traded at the time is a mercury oxide and we tested this red to see if it had mercury in it because it's a toxin. and it's not. even though it's a very brilliant color, it's not vermilion. >> what is the material that the tepee is made out of? >> this is a bison hide tepee. there's 14 hides on here. it's all sinew-sewn. some of the splotchy areas like you see here is from conversation that was done to the tepee in the early 1980s. this is actually commercial tin deer hide that's been made to adhere for loss and then kind of distressed to blend into the original hide. so it's a little rough for wear,
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but considering it may have been made as early as 1855 originally it's in pretty good shape for something that old. we actually have three tepees. one of them is just pretty much plain. it doesn't have anything on it. it was just somebody's house. the other one is -- i believe it's this cabinet. is very significant to the kiowa nation. it has a tradition that dates back to 1833 with the tribe. this tepee, you can see some of the paint on here, this is faded from use, but you have yellow stripes and alternating black stripes on one half of the tepee. and then if you can see, we're looking at the interior of the tepee, these designs here as the other half of the tepee is covered with pictographs, pretty much like what we were seeing on
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the bison hide except this is kiowa. this tepee has -- is called the tepee with battle pictures by the kiowa. it was pretty much handed down in one family by the time it came to the tribe, the initial design came to the tribe about 1835, 1840. and it would be -- now, those early tepees were buffalo hide just like the one we looked at. and it would be renewed every so often as one wore out, they would make a new one. and each time they did the man of -- the head of the family would invite his friends and fellow warriors in the tribe to come and depict something significant from their own personal history to put it onto the tepee. so this goes on and on and on and on. and the tepee we're looking at was actually made in 1916. and a little community called redstone that's southwest of anadarko, oklahoma. the rights to this tepee were
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owned by a kiowa man named oltoint, which in english he's always called charlie buffalo. he was the brother to a kiowa man named silverhorn. silverhorn figures prominently in the history of indian art. he's kind of like the grandfather of all indian art. hunguwa and altoint had a nephew that they invited him to depict some of the history of the older members of the tribe. and so because he had artistic talent, he came and he put drawings on this. and his name was steven mopope. now, steven mopope, he was 16 at the time. when he grows up, he goes to the university of oklahoma, takes art classes there, and becomes
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one of the kiowa five, which is very famous in american indian art. they have paintings in washington, d.c. at the n.a.m.i. here the cowboy hall of fame. the list of institutions where they have paintings would be hard to read out. this tepee pretty much everyone thought that it was destroyed in a house fire in 1924 or 1925, and it has as far as the world knew, never -- it ceased to exist. so it was really kind of a surprise when i found this tepee about two years ago in our collections. a friend of mine who's kiowa asked if we had any new artifacts that had come into the museum he hadn't seen. and i say, well, i come across where we're supposed to have this tepee in the collections but i had no idea what it looked
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like because i never had enough room to unload it. we're standing in a big room, and i pretty much had to clear this room. and i unrolled it, and as i'm unrolling it i couldn't believe what i was seeing. because i'd actually become familiar with this tepee by looking at stills from a silent movie that the historical society discovered maybe five or six years ago. and this tepee actually figures into a silent film. it's got all -- mostly kiowa with some comanche cast members, but all indian cast. and i had seen it in that film. and so i could not believe that i was looking at the same thing. and it actually took me three days of me looking at stills from the film and then looking at what was on the floor to
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convince myself that yes, i am seeing what i'm seeing. and then once i did, the first people that i actually told about it were the descendants of the family that made this tepee. and like i said, they thought it had been long gone so, they were ecstatic. it's almost like it's too good to be true. the silent film had been rumored for years that this existed. and there were photographs from it that nobody knew where the film was. and through a series of events o.h.s. was offered the film was an artifact that we had to purchase it. and we finally raised enough funds, we purchased it, we raised more funds and preserved it. but then to turn it right around over several years and to actually find not only a piece of material culture that was in the film but something that's significant to the kiowa nation as this tepee. and to put it all together is just unimaginable.
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and hopefully, here in about a year, we'll have an exhibit that will feature this and that family and artistic tradition. over here in another cabinet are some other significant artifacts, not only to indian history but to american history. this letter and then this friendship certificate were carried by lewis and clark when they traveled up the missouri. and the first tribe that they encountered or met were the oto missouri nation, just a little bit north of present day omaha. thomas jefferson, his signature here. he wrote this out. or maybe his secretary did. but it's written in french because the oto and the missouri both had several hundred years of contact with french traders by the time the united states came along. so there were people in the tribe that could read french extremely fluently. speak it, read it, whatever.
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so the letters that he sent out, he sent them in that language because it was pretty much a universal language at the time. the otos and the missouris were kind of a small tribe in that they had a lot of he enemies and so they were always looking for allies and resources. so when they came along, lewis and clark saw this as them notifying that the united states now owns this territory and you're under our control or whatever. the otos saw that as a very important and potentially powerful ally against their enemies. so this was important to them. and that's probably why they kept it. lewis and clark, they met with several oto leaders at that time. one was big ax and one was big horse. now, this is the certificate of friendship that was given to big
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ax. and you can see his name right here. >> what does this say? >> it basically just says that the man named big ax is a friend of the nation of the united states. and anybody that sees this certificate should acknowledge that, take it into consideration. >> how many of these exist today? >> i have heard that there is one other one, but i have no earthly idea what institution owns it. they were delivering these to every tribe, or they were supposed to deliver them to every tribe they ran into on their way to the pacific. now, i don't know if they actually were able to give out that many certificates. if they did, it's even more phenomenal that this is the only
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one perhaps that's left. i see the importance of collecting these things and trying to care and maintain them to illustrate that, you know, there's a long, long history here in this area and with tribes that dates back to even before the beginning of the united states. a lot of times folks forget that when you're talking about tribes you're essentially talking about a nation unto itself. you know, we had our own governments, our own nations, our own customs, our own religion. and a lot of that was eradicated, or they tried to eradicate it. i guess in one way it's a way of demonstrating our perseverance. especially in oklahoma it becomes a way of demonstrating that oklahoma history started before 1889 with the land run. stay tuned all weekend long all weekend long, american
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history tv joins our cox communications cable partners in oklahoma city. to showcase the history in literary culture. settled in 1889, oklahoma city is the largest city in oklahoma. it has a population of about 600,000 people. and is the center state's capital. you are watching american history tv on c-span 3. >> i said my name is blue clark. and i said hello, ladies and gentlemen. hodelga -- i said that my clan is the winn clan and my church.
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i come out of the town. you are viewing behind me the point for the american indian culture center in oklahoma city. it is one of those monuments in my mind that happens once in a lifetime. when completed, this will be the focus of children's and grandchildren's understanding of who american indians are. non-indian, whomever passes through here. this will advertise the state of oklahoma. this will advertise the united states. this will advertise a major portion of american history which is indigenous. and on this continent, the vast majority of that history is pre-history for hundreds of thousands of years if not
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millenia. native people have been in this area for a very, very long time. over time they had moved with drought or buffalo herds or other reasons. and then other american-indian groups came through by force called removal into this region. some came voluntarily into this area from the southeastern united states to avoid the expanding frontier. some were buffalo hunters, some were mixed blood traders with spanish, german fur traders. spanish settlers. french, a few english, other indians long before any kind of forced removal. and then in the indian removal act enacted by congress in 1830 that allowed the president to institute policies that would move into this area, east
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indians who occupy the eastern woodlands of the united states to free that area up for settlement and pioneer settlement. it took a while to obtain the louisiana purchase in 1803, and then in congress the following year authorized the federal government to encourage indian peoples to enter into this area west of the mississippi. >> why oklahoma? >> this was called indian territory and was established once the louisiana purchase territory was acquired. this was considered to be unoccupied, considered to be buffalo country, indian country, and unclaimed by only a tiniest handful of non-indian settlers. it was in a sense wide open. it was already occupied by numerous indians but that barely entered into thinking of the
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federal government. and in georgia gold was discovered in the late 1820s and pressure really jacked up to remove cherokee and other indians. georgia, alabama, mississippi. various tribes underwent trails of tears. the most famous is the cherokee trail of tears in the late 1830s. here into northeastern oklahoma. but many, many tribes have ended up in oklahoma. and then after the american civil war out on the plains, other tribes were persuaded to come to western oklahoma for reservations. so you get a great diverse collection of native peoples here in oklahoma. removal varied depending upon the wealth of the tribal members depending upon the time of year, depending on who came first, who
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came last. as an experience. who is in control of the removal. it has many layers of complexity. certainly there was terrible suffering for those who came walking through winter storms, through ice, who were stopped by bureaucratic ineptitude, lack of food, no medicine, lack of tents. and you had to cross the mississippi at some point. lack of steam boats, lack of barges, had to wait a month, two months, floods, prevented the shipping to move people. so terrible experiences. the usual figures about quarter about a fourth of many of the five tribes perished as a result
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of removal. and once you were here, lack of shelter, had to start all over again. continued hard times. in my own family, i grew up with stories of the creek trail of tears. my great grandmother was carried as a child over the creek trail of tears. we were lower creeks, the hometown who signed the treaty of indian springs which first began creek removal pressure. and when she was carried, i do not know exactly whether it was in very late 1820s or later in the 1830s. i do not know. no one was certain of her age because there was no birth certificate, obviously.
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but there are many, many family stories i grew up with of the creek trail of tears. and then trying to reestablish vice, trying to reestablish themselves in territory and creek country as lower creek, we were located in the so-called arkansas district. she survived. had off spring, and here i am today. i would summarize indian removal by trying to place it in a larger perspective, and that is by nonindians that want equality in the united states, wrapping themselves in the flag. and native peoples were here first and survival, the fact that they've survived as separate cultures uniquely on the planet as american indians is to me the most noteworthy. they have not melded into the mainstream. by and large, tribes are still
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operating. some in better shape than others. some are larger, some smaller. some suffered more, some suffered slightly less, but they're still here. and if i wanted to change one thing, i would like the mainstream of america to realize that american indians as tribes and tribal people are still here, still a vibrant part of the economy, part of the culture, part of the arts, literature, music, heritage. this is, after all, oklahoma is after all an american indian state at its start. and american indians haven't disappeared or vanished into the mainstream, with dinosaurs, as some people are prone to ask me sometimes. all weekend long, american history tv joins our cox communications cable partners in oklahoma city, to show case its history and literary culture.
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it is the largest city in oklahoma, it has a population of 600,000 people, and is the sooner state's capital. you're watching american history tv on cspan 3. at high noon, guns fired, cannons go off, 50,000 people rush for free land. the land run was a unique way of opening public lands. since the 1860s, congress had a policy on the books called the homestead act. that said that anyone that would move to the frontier on public domain and stay for five years and make improvements, satisfy all those conditions, they would receive title to the land. it was basically free land to encourage settlement. the west was virtually settled, the high plains, southern plains, through kansas, into new mexico, through arkansas. all of the land around us is settled in the 1860s, 1870s and
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into the 1880s. all this time, oklahoma is withheld from settlement as the indian territory. starting in 18-teens, congress and the president starred started moving tribes out of the southeast, midwest and moving them to oklahoma until we had 39 tribes here. all of these indian tribes are sent here. it is one vast reservation as other reservations are abolished. here is one last island of land that can be farmed and ranched that's valuable and everyone wants it. in 1889, there are no more tribes to bring into the territory. yet there's one parcel in the middle of the indian territory that's unassigned. so it gets its name, the unassigned lands. today it goes from still water, oklahoma to norman on the south,
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where osu and ou are today. it is about six counties of oklahoma. not owned or settled by indian, other indian tribe. so congress decides we are going to open this under the homestead act, let people claim the land. well, how do you do it? it is a small parcel of land. lot of people wanting the land. so if you take the political philosophy of the time, laissez faire government, government needs to step back into the shadows, keep your hands off daily life, let the free enterprise system work. secondly, a social philosophy, darwinism, evolution, survival of the fittest, the theory that the fastest and the smartest will survive. the dumbest and slowest won't. let's open it by land run, keep the government out of it, let people run for it. the first to get to 160 acres of rural land or a town lot in one of the town claims it, defends
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it, stays on it five years, gets it for free. congress sets a date for the first land run, april 22nd, 1889, high noon. on that day, 50,000 people line on the borders of the territory. at high noon, cannons go off, flags go down, variety of means, 50,000 people rush for free land. half go to 160 acre farms. the other half go to towns such as stillwater and norman and guthrie, which will be the territorial capital. this little bend on the north canadian river. that night, every part and parcel of unassigned lands is claimed by somebody. these were towns, born and grown in one day. oklahoma city had 10,000 people that night. that morning, only a hand. . guthrie, 10,000 people. so the land run was this experiment and way to settle the american west. was there cheating? yes. were there people that came in
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early? yes. were the united states deputy marshalls who took advantage of the opportunity? yes. were there court cases? yes. they would dragon almost a decade. the laissez faire didn't work well, social darwinism didn't work right. the mustangs, knew the territory, they had been driving cattle across the land, farmers that may have been the pillars of their communities, if they were in a wagon, had a family, encumbered by lack of knowledge, maybe they did not get land. so both of those philosophies of government and social evolution were only partially true. nevertheless, that day part of the american west was settled. after 1889, other parts of the indian territory were taken away from indian tribes and put into the public domain. they call it the allotment process.
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so the federal government would negotiate with them. and the other tribes are picked off one at a time. some big parcels, 1893, the biggest of the land runs, the cherokee outlet in northern oklahoma, just on the kansas border, was opened by land run. 100,000 people made that run. 1901, the southwestern part of the state, all of this was opened and won by lottery. everyone that wants land put the name on the paper. pull it out. fifth homestead goes to john smith. they all celebrate, then they get their land. well, with the five civilized tribes, there are so many members of tribes generally, the land is divided, the indian people get their individual lands. by 1906, that process is completed. 1907, oklahoma becomes a state.
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this is a land of contrast, of diversity, and for a historian like me, i have been studying oklahoma history for 32 years, 18 books. i never cease to be amazed at the pieces of the puzzle that fit together in odd ways that make oklahoma unlike any other state in the union. all weekend long, we join cox cable partners in oklahoma city to show case its rich history. to learn more about local content vehicles and the 2012 tour, visit we continue with a look at oklahoma city. this is american history tv on cspan 3. >> these films depict.
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liberation, love of self, love of community. what these films depict is what white society never saw for the most part. and if they saw elements of it, they surely did not talk about that amongst themselves. what these films depict is an america that one man, reverend jones, had the foresight to say this is worth investing in and this is worth telling.


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