Contributions to Fox Ethnology

Contributions to Fox Ethnology

Contributions to Fox Ethnology

Contributions to Fox Ethnology

Excerpt

This sacred pack (pls. 1 and 2) was purchased by me for the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, many years ago; and my thanks are due to that institution for the fine spirit of cooperation it has shown on every occasion.

A variety of circumstances have combined to prevent me from publishing the information appurtenant to this sacred pack until the present time, among them the desire of the last native owner (Jim Peters, now deceased) that it be not disclosed for some time, in order that he might not suffer socially nor politically for having disposed of his sacred pack.

This sacred pack is called "Sauk and Fox," which requires an explanation in view of the fact that on more than one occasion I have pointed out that the Sauk and Fox are ethnologically and linguistically distinct, and Skinner has recently confirmed this. The Peters family are Sauk by descent; KwīyAmäʽAʽ was born in 1833 and Jim Peters, his son, in 1866 (see pp. 201, 204 of Iowa Journal of History and Politics, vol. 4). KWīyAmäʽAʽ used this pack in the war with the Comanches (in Kansas, 1854), but for more than half a century this pack has been in possession of KwīyAmäʽAʽ and his son Jim Peters at Tama, Iowa, for KWīyAmäʽAʽ was among the Sauk who joined the Fox owing to dissatisfaction with the governmental policy then pursued. Hence it is that the designation "Sauk and Fox" is justified in the present instance.

This paper contains two accounts of the sacred pack written in the Fox dialect on two separate occasions by Sam Peters (born in 1885; son of Jim Peters; his mother is a Fox) in the current syllabary, but phonetically restored by me. The first is restored according to the phonetics of Thomas Scott, the second according to those of Harry Lincoln. These two accounts are more or less supplementary, though also slightly contradictory in some details. The English translation is by myself, though I have received some assistance from George Young Bear. The plates are based on photographs kindly furnished by Mr. W. C. Orchard, of the Museum of the American Indian.

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