Well, listen everybody
To what I got to say,
There’s hope for tomorrow
Ooh, we’re working on today.
Well, it happened long ago
In the new, magic land.
The Indian and the buffalo
They existed hand in hand.
The Indian needed food,
He needed skins for a roof
But he only took what they needed, baby
Millions of buffalo were the proof.
Yeah, it’s all right.
But then came the white man
With his thick and empty head.
He couldn’t see past the billfold
He wanted all the buffalo dead.
It was sad. It was sad.
It happened a long time ago, baby
In the new magic land.
See, the Indian and the buffalo
They existed hand in hand.
The Indians, they needed some food
And some skins for a roof,
They only took what they needed, baby
Millions of buffalo were the proof, yeah.
But then came the white dogs
With their thick and empty heads.
They couldn’t see past the billfold
They wanted all the buffalo dead.
Everything was so sad.
When I looked above the canyon wall
Some strong eyes did I see,
I think it’s somebody coming around
To save my ass, baby.
I think- I think he’s coming around
To save you and me.
I said above the canyon wall
Strong eyes did glow,
It was the leader of the land, baby.
Oh, my God
The great white buffalo!
Look out! Look out!
Well, he got the battered herd,
He led them across the land,
With the great white buffalo
They gonna make a final stand.
The great white buffalo
Coming around to make a final stand.
Well, look out here he comes!
The great white buffalo, baby.
The great white buffalo.
Look out, here he comes!
He’s doing all right,
Making everything all right.
The Apache are a predominantly southern people connected with Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico. But historical evidence suggests they once inhabited the Great Plains, Southern Colorado, and Northern Mexico regions too.
Anthropological finds suggest they migrated from the north, sometime between AD 1200-1500.
There were originally six major branches, independent of each other, who sometimes came into conflict.
They are closely connected to the Navajo.
Their language is related to the Athabaskan family.
The Apache are noted for their warfare skills – fierce braves and clever leadership.
They traditionally lived a nomadic life following the buffalo herds, incorporating regional practices into their own culture as they passed through.
They hunted animals, gathered plants, grew domestic food, and traded with neighboring tribes.
The villagers lived in tents, and moved their possessions on travois pulled by dogs.
They traded with – and raided from – the Spanish.
Plains Apaches used portable tipis. Highland groups lived in a type of wood-framed hut covered with brush called a wickiup. And in Mexico they built cool, earthen homes known as hogans.
Women were responsible for constructing and maintaining these homes. And as well as the daily domestic chores, they also gathered food for cooking and plants for medicine.
Men were the hunters. They prayed and fasted before setting out, and took part in medicine rituals.
Their most important weapon was the bow and arrow. A successful hunt or battle often depended on cunning strategy.
They followed their tribal leader by choice. A good chief was industrious, impartial, generous, forgiving, conscientious, and eloquent.
Their clothes were traditionally made from buckskin and decorated with colorful beads.
Eating “bad animals” animals was taboo (including bears, snakes, owls, and coyotes). Fish were also avoided because they resembled snakes.
Some villagers drank deer-blood for good health.
After they acquired horses and guns, the Apache became a formidable force throughout the southern states.
In 1835, Mexico put a bounty on their scalps.
An influx of white prospectors into the Santa Rita Mountains triggered the Apache Wars of the 1850s.
In 1875 the U.S. military forced an estimated 1,500 Apaches onto a reservation 180 miles away, where they were held in internment for 25 years.
Apache children were taken away from their families, and adopted by white Americans, as part of the government’s assimilation program.
Their most famous warrior is Geronimo. His band of 30-50 people surrendered in 1886, finally defeated by an army of 5,000 U.S. troops.
Sand painting has always been an important sacred ceremony in many communities.
November 12, 2019
The North American Buffalo (Bison) was the single most important resource for the Plains Indians because it provided:
From the skin:
tipi covers, leather clothing and goods, bedding, straps and belts, bags and pouches, drums, rattles, horse tack, water flasks
And the skull of this sacred animal was used in religious ceremonies!
November 11, 2019
William “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917)
William Cody – born in Iowa Territory, 1846 – was raised in Canada and Kansas Territory.
At the age of 14 he became a Pony Express Rider after his father died and the family fell on hard times.
From 17 – 19 years old he served as a Union soldier in the American Civil War.
At 20 he married Louisa Frederici, with whom he had 4 children. Only 2 reached adulthood.
During the Plains War he returned to the army as Chief of Scouts for the 3rd U.S. Cavalry. Although he fought in 16 battles and was awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry, he spent a lot of time hunting bison to feed the army and workers on the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Having killed 4,288 animals in 18 months he earned the nickname Buffalo Bill.
When he was 26, Cody led a famous hunting expedition with Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia.
He called his rifle Lucretia Borgia, and his two favorite horses were Brigham and Buckskin Joe.
Buffalo Bill became a celebrity when Ned Buntline began publishing stories based on Cody’s adventures.
At the age of 27 he turned to acting and starred in The Scout of the Prairie, which later became The Scouts of the Plains when his friend Wild Bill Hickok joined the troupe.
10 years later the showman developed a huge, outdoor, circus-like rodeo event called Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.
As the show expanded it featured many famous Wild West figures including Annie Oakley, Calamity Jane, and Sitting Bull.
Cody performed in England by royal command of Queen Victoria and he also met Pope Leo XII.
When he was 55 years old his Wild West show was involved in a serious train accident that injured Annie Oakley and led to the deaths of 110 horses. This disruption in touring signaled the demise of his performing career. But by this time Cody was an international superstar.
Buffalo Bill then turned to other business ventures. He founded the town of Cody (Wyoming), which was incorporated in 1901.
He owned several hotels and a large property on the Shoshone River called the TE Ranch.
In 1879, Cody published his autobiography called The Life and Adventures of Buffalo Bill. By then he had become a supporter of regulated hunting seasons, the rights of women, and Native American civil liberties. He died in 1917.
At the turn of the 20th Century “Cody was the most recognizable celebrity on earth” (Larry McMurty and R.L. Wilson).
Corn starch to thicken (or Bisto Gravy powder / granules)
Heat the olive oil in a large cooktop pan. Add the steak. Sear and stir until brown.
Add the garlic, onion, carrots, potatoes, celery, and mushrooms. Stir until softened and slightly brown.
Pour in the wine, beef stock, bouillon, Worcestershire Sauce, mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil.
Add the tomatoes. Stir well. Reduce heat and simmer on low.
Cover the pan with a lid. Cook for approximately 1-2 hours, until the meat is tender.
Thicken with gravy mix, or melt the corn starch with water in a small bowl and add through a sieve to avoid lumping.
Stir to desired thickness.
Serve with corn, peas, or fresh crusty bread and butter.
November 07, 2019
“The Great Spirit is our Father,
but the earth is our Mother.
She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground
she returns to us.”
Big Thunder (Wabanaki Algonquin)
November 06, 2019
Kit’s Crit: Deadwood (TV Series)
(Photo: David Milch)
Of the many portrayals of life in the old Wild West, the TV Series Deadwood remains my favorite. This three-season show – the brainchild of David Milch – is based around the newspapers, diaries, and real characters who inhabited the pioneer gold town in South Dakota during the 1870s.
The series charts the tenuous progress of order emerging from chaos as the original gold camp struggles to become a lively town. It remains so today. Legendary characters such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane (who are both buried there) move through life toward their historic destinies, with other fictional representative characters weaving in and out of the drama.
Most impressive is the historical accuracy. But Deadwood is also extremely well-written and compelling, if at times rather base and violent. Only the profanity has been modernized – to capture the shocking language of frontier society – but the muddy clothes remain filthy as the characters move from one deplorable act to another in their struggle for wealth and survival.
The series is headed up by excellent Ian McShane (the crass owner of the Gem Saloon), and Timothy Olyphant (Sheriff Seth Bullock), alongside a stellar cast of actors who authentically recreate this by-gone period. I particularly love Robin Weigert’s portrayal of the good-hearted (but foul-mouthed) Calamity Jane, who emerges as a far cry from the traditional romantic Hollywood heroine!
Not recommended for a squeamish audience, but the best Western series to date.
November 05, 2019
“She had some horses she loved.
She had some horses she hated.
These were the same horses.”
from She Had Some Horses (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1997)
November 04, 2019
Cowboy Wisdom #26
“If you’ve lived to be 29 –
and have made no enemies –
you’re a failure!”
November 01, 2019
Neil Young’s POCAHONTAS
The icy sky at night,
Paddles cut the water
In a long and hurried flight.
From the white man to the fields of green
And the homeland we’ve never seen.
They killed us in our tepee,
And they cut our women down.
They might have left some babies
Crying on the ground.
But the fire sticks and the wagons come
And the night falls on the setting sun.
They massacred the buffalo,
Kitty corner from the bank,
The taxis run across my feet
And my eyes have turned to blanks.
In my little box at the top of the stairs,
With my Indian rug and a pipe to share.
I wish I was a trapper,
I would give thousand pelts
To sleep with Pocahontas
And find out how she felt.
In the morning, on the fields of green
In the homeland we’ve never seen.
And maybe Marlon Brando
Will be there by the fire.
We’ll sit and talk about Hollywood
And the good things there for hire.
Like the Astrodome and the first tepee.