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Title: Indian Child Life
Author: Deming, Edwin Willard, 1860-1942, Deming, Therese O.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Indian Child Life" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.















[Transcriber's note: Extensive research did not uncover any evidence
that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.]


Once, after an ARICKARA Indian mother had finished all her packing, as
they were going to move camp, she fixed a travois on her big dog and
placed her baby in the basket. Then all was ready and they were about to
start, when a great, ugly black dog came along, and the two dogs began
to fight.

The squaw whipped them apart, and after she had quieted her poor little
baby boy, who had been very much frightened, she put him back into his
little carriage, and soon the Indians started.


The squaw walked beside the dog to guide him and, also, to amuse her
baby. Indian babies play with little dolls made of buckskin, with long
buckskin fringe for hair. If a feather is placed in the dolly's hair the
babies think it is beautifully dressed.

The baby of our story was having a lovely time with his dolly and so his
mother thought she would just drop back and have a little chat with
another Indian mother while the baby was good.

She had hardly turned around, when that naughty dog saw a great big jack
rabbit, just ahead, and thought it would make a delicious dinner. Off he
started. He jumped right through the rough sage brush, and the poor baby
rolled out. His mother was afraid he would be badly hurt, but he was
only frightened. When the squaw caught the naughty dog again, she tied a
rope around his neck and kept tight hold of it, so he couldn't play
another trick on her.

When the Indians stopped and camped, the little boy picked up a stick
and whipped that dog as hard as he could for treating him so badly
during the day's traveling.




Once there was a little PUEBLO Indian boy and his father was one of the
best hunters in the village. One morning he went out into the mountains
to shoot deer, the meat of which was to be dried for the winter supply.

He was walking very carefully, as he would have frightened the game away
if he had made a noise.

Suddenly he heard a sound as if a mama bear were scolding a cub for
being selfish. He looked, and there, indeed, was an old she-bear turning
over stones and trying to find some grubs for her babies.


The Indian shot the mama bear and one of the cubs scampered off as fast
as he could go, but the hunter caught the other little bear and tied a
horse-hair rope tight around the little fellow's neck, so he could drag
him home to his little TAN-TSI-DAY.

The two became very good friends, and when TAN-TSI-DAY'S mother brought
a bowl of porridge to her baby, she always put in enough for the baby
bear too.

One day the baby bear was naughty, and when TAN-TSI-DAY'S mother had
gone into the house, he took the bowl and ate all the porridge himself,
and didn't give his little playfellow any.

The baby was very much surprised, and called his Indian mother.

Do you know how she punished the selfish little bear? When the next
meal-time came, she just brought enough of the good porridge for her
TAN-TSI-DAY, and made that naughty bear eat with the puppies. I think
baby bear won't be such a greedy little fellow when allowed to eat with
his little companion again.




The naughty bear had been kept away from his playfellow for some time,
and as the two loved one another so much, it made them both feel very

One day the Indian mother went out to visit, and baby bear saw her go.
"Now," thought he, "I will see my little friend, and, if I am a very
good little bear, perhaps his mother will let us play together again."

Baby bear crept along very carefully, and when he thought the mother was
not looking he hid behind a bake oven and almost had his first accident,
for TAN-TSI-DAY'S mother had left one of her best jars standing there
with herbs to dry.

[Illustration: HE HID BEHIND A BAKE OVEN.]

When the mother had got out of sight the baby bear marched into the
adobe home of his friend, and then the two companions were glad.

But baby bear and TAN-TSI-DAY saw the jars with all the good things in
them, and then they forgot to try to be good.

They ate the dried berries and sweet roots; tipped the jars and baskets
to see if any goodies were in them; and when they had eaten all they
wanted, sat just as close to each other as possible and went fast

After a while the mother came home, and when she saw those two fast
asleep, the jars broken, and all her good things spilled over the floor,
she became very angry and started to whip them.

Baby bear wakened up and ran as fast as his clumsy little legs would let
him; but he didn't reach the top of his pole before the Indian mother
had given him a good switching.

[Illustration: REACH THE TOP OF HIS POLE.]



Little CHIPPEWAY Indian boys have lots of good times. In the spring they
help their fathers and big brothers to make maple sugar. They watch the
birch-bark troughs and, when one is full of sap, carry and empty it into
a big kettle over a fire to boil down.

Often the bears find the sap during the night, and, as they like sweets
very much, drink it all; and the little boys are disappointed in the
morning, when they go around with their birch-bark buckets, to find it
all gone. Sometimes the bears try to steal the boiling syrup, and then
they get their paws badly burned for trying to be thieves.

[Illustration: THE BEARS FIND THE SAP.]

In summer, the boys love to swim and play in the little lakes that are
so numerous in the region of their home. One afternoon a number of boys
got into a canoe and paddled, and as many other boys waded out into one
of the shallow lakes to have some fun. The boys in the water were to try
and take the canoe away from the boys that were inside. Oh, how hard the
two sides worked, one to keep the boat right side up, and the other
side to capture it; for if they tipped the canoe and spilled all the
boys out they gained the victory, and would get in and see if they could
hold it. They splashed the water in all directions, and when one boy
fell or was pulled out of the boat, didn't he get a good ducking! The
little dog helped all he could by barking very loud and trying to
frighten the boys in the water.

They played until it was so dark they had to stop and go home.

Their houses, canoes, baskets, buckets and various other things, are
made out of the bark of the birch tree.

Whenever any of the CHIPPEWAY Indians want to go visiting, they always
go in canoes when possible, for they are canoe Indians and almost live
in their boats. They seldom go visiting on horseback as most other
tribes do.




The little ASSINIBOIN Indian boys had a great deal of snow in winter,
and, as they have no sleds as white boys have, they took buffalo ribs
and slid down hill on them.

A little boy was walking over the snow one day, on his snow-shoes, when
he thought what fun it would be, if the boys would all go over on the
hill and slide. He walked through the village, playing he was the town
crier, and called all the little boys out on the hill to slide.

They all took their buffalo ribs and went out, and the little
girls--some who had babies on their backs, and some who were only
playing--and even the mothers and grandmothers went along to see how
much fun the boys were going to have.


Some of the boys fastened the buffalo ribs on their feet, while others
made little sleds by fastening the ribs together and making cross pieces
of wood. Then they started at the top of the hill and came down, one
after the other, shouting and laughing while other boys threw snow at

Several times they went down the hill without any accident, and they
were beginning to think nothing could throw them. They all ran up the
hill for another long slide, the first one up was to be the first to
start. One started right after the other, and as the first one was
nearly at the bottom of the hill he lost his balance and over he went.
The other boys were close behind him, and as each one came he went over,
and the boys and girls, who were watching thought that was more fun for
them than the sliding had been. Even the three companions who had been
throwing sticks over the snow to see which could make them slide
farthest, stopped their game to see how the boys were piled on top of
one another.




One bright, sunny day, Mr. and Mrs. Antelope took little Baby Antelope
out for a run. They knew where to find a lovely feeding-ground, so that
their baby could have a good dinner of nice young grass.

Mr. and Mrs. Antelope were walking along very quietly; but the baby was
so pleased to get out, that she gamboled far away, and frisked about.

Pretty soon she came running back very much frightened and said, "Oh
Mamma and Papa Antelope, do come with me! I have seen some of the
queerest little animals over near that tree, and I don't know what they


Mr. and Mrs. Antelope became very much worried, because they thought
perhaps their little one had seen one of those animals that walk on two
legs and carry a long iron stick that can hit and kill them from afar.
As Mr. and Mrs. Antelope are very curious people, they wanted to see
what their baby meant. Can you guess what they saw? Leaning against the
tree were two queer little animals. Mr. and Mrs. Antelope thought hard
and looked very keenly; but they had never seen such animals before.

Weren't Mr. and Mrs. Antelope funny? They didn't know that if they
stayed much longer, a SIOUX Indian mother would come out from the bushes
where she was picking berries and frighten them away from her little
baby and then she would have to scold her daughter TOM-BE for falling
asleep and not taking better care of her baby brother.




A long time ago, before the white people came to live here, the COCHITI
Indians used to live in houses made by hollowing deep holes into the
north side of the deep cañons. They built their houses to face the
south, because it was warmer in winter when the fierce north wind came
over the mountains to see what damage he could do. Instead of finding
houses to go into, he could only blow against the mountains.

The little boys used to climb down the sides of the cliffs from their
homes, and play in the warm sunshine with their tame foxes and make them
jump for dried meat.


Sometimes they took their bows and arrows and went out to hunt wild
turkeys in the arroyos, or deep gullies around their homes.

At night the foxes found a warm place in some house that had been
deserted, perhaps because the opening had grown too large and the sand
had drifted in, or perhaps because it was not sheltered enough from the
snow in winter. The boys would climb to their own houses.

In those days, the men and boys had to watch from high places to warn
the people of the approach of any of their enemies, because the NAVAJO
and APACHE Indians troubled the PUEBLO Indians a great deal in olden

As long as the watchers could see no enemy, the women used to carry
water from the river--which was quite far away--gather wood and till
little patches of ground, but as soon as the enemy came down upon them,
they looked for water in wells dug into the rock to hold the rain when
it fell. This water was always saved for cases of this kind.




TOM-O-PING was a little PUEBLO Indian boy and one day his father said
to him, "TOM-O-PING take my big black burro over to the cañon to
feed." TOM-O-PING didn't say, "wait a minute" to his father, but
jumped right on his burro.

As he was going through the pueblo, he met his three companions,
A-GO-YA, TO-A and BO-PING. TOM-O-PING did not like to go alone, so
he asked two of his little friends to jump on behind him while the third
ran along as best he could, and they would all get their own burros and
have a race. The boys did not have to be asked twice, so they jumped on
behind TOM-O-PING and then, as they were anxious to get to racing,
they all tried to hurry the poor old burro along by kicking him in the
ribs while BO-PING'S dog barked at his heels. Mr. Burro was tired and
wouldn't endure that long: so in a moment he was standing on his
fore-legs and the three boys were turning somersaults over his head,
while the dog was kicked high in the air. The boys jumped upon his back
again and this time were more patient, so they finally reached the cañon
where the donkeys were feeding in safety.


The three waited for their friend to come and then each boy caught his
own little animal, and as TO-A was the eldest boy he gave the signal
to start. ONE! TWO!! THREE!!! and off they went over fields and prairie,
down the old trail and through the sage brush, shouting and laughing and
urging their little steeds along. First BO-PING was a little ahead, and
then he was glad, for he had been telling how well his little donkey
could go. Then the others whipped their small animals a little harder
for none wanted to be beaten. How they did go! You never saw four little
donkeys go faster. At last the race came to an end, and the little
children, who had gathered to see the finish, clapped their hands and
laughed as TO-A, who was a favorite with them all, came in just a
little ahead of his companions.




Indian fathers are just as proud of their little sons as white fathers
are of theirs.

One day, a CROW Indian chief came in from the mountains, where he had
been hunting and said to his little son: "Now, my little warrior, you
are getting to be a big boy, you must grow up to be a big chief of your
tribe. You must learn to shoot and be brave so that when you grow up,
you will earn a name, and your people will love you."

The father gave his little son a tiny bow and some arrows, and taking
him by the hand, called his little dog and went out to see what they
could find to shoot at. Just outside of the tepees, were some bushes
where the magpies had gathered and were chattering together, enjoying
the beautiful sunshine.

Magpies are very inquisitive birds, and when they saw the little hunter,
come along with his dog and his father, one of the little birds jumped
down from the bush and hopped over to see what they were going to do.
The father thought this was a good chance for his boy, so he got down on
the ground to instruct him. The little fellow shot, and do you know he
killed one of those birds!


Then the father was just as proud as his little boy. The little fellow
picked up the bird, and then off he started for home. His mother was
sitting in the tepee making her little son a new pair of moccasins, and
when he came in and threw the bird over for her to see, she was as much
pleased as her boy, for soon he would be able to shoot rabbits and other
game for her to cook for his dinner.

[Illustration: ABLE TO SHOOT RABBITS.]



Little bird was a little NAVAJO boy, whose papa had given him a dear
little pony, because he took such good care of the sheep.

When LITTLE BIRD went out with his papa's flock of sheep, he always took
some goats along to help keep the flock together and drive off wolves or
bears. LITTLE BIRD, on his pony's back, would watch, and the goats would
climb on the rocks where they could see a long distance. One day, while
they were watching, LITTLE BIRD fell asleep, on his pony's back. He
didn't think there were any wolves or bears about; but soon he was
dreaming that he heard the sheep making a great noise, and when he
awoke, he saw that they were very much frightened and that the goats
were marching toward the cañon.



What do you think he saw? A great, black bear holding a dear little lamb
in his arms.



One day as LITTLE BEAVER was playing on the prairie before his mother's
tepee, he saw his father coming across an arroyo from a hunting trip he
had taken. LITTLE BEAVER looked very intently, for on top of one of the
pack horses, he saw two black things flapping their wings.

As soon as his father had got home and the things were unpacked, he
said, "Come, my little warrior, I want to tell you a story." As soon as
his little boy was on his knees he said: "While I was riding through the
woods, I heard something say, 'Caw, Caw.' At first, I didn't see where
it was and then I wished I had my little bright-eyed boy, for he could
see. By and by it said 'Caw, Caw,' again and then, looking up, I saw an
old mother crow standing on a limb, with a little crow on each side of
her. I shot the mother and then climbed the tree and captured these two
little crows and brought them home to my boy."

LITTLE BEAVER was very much pleased, and he used to play a great deal
with these two new pets.


Not long after, when the crows had grown quite big and mischievous,
LITTLE BEAVER sat outside of the tepee on the ground, to eat some
dinner. The crows saw him and came running over to him. While LITTLE
BEAVER tried to frighten one away the other would try to steal his meat
and they kept it up quite a while until the little boy whipped them
away. Then the crows felt very mournful to think they had been beaten,
and walked away with their heads drooping, as if they knew enough to be
ashamed of what they had tried to do.




Indian boys have very queer pets; they capture bear cubs, puma or
mountain lion kittens, and various other young animals of the forest and
tame them. The boys like to play with these strange pets, as much as
little white boys love to play with puppies or kittens.

Some Indian boys, just like the white boys, enjoy teasing their pets,
which is very wrong as it makes the animals very angry, and often the
boys are punished beyond their expectation for their naughtiness.

BRIGHT-EYES was a little PAWNEE boy, who had two pretty little puma
kittens, of which he was very proud, and when he did not tease or make
them angry they would let him fondle and caress them just as you would a


One day BRIGHT-EYES was sitting on a blanket under a tree playing with
his kittens, when two of his friends came along. He asked them to stop
and they did, because BRIGHT-EYES seemed to be having such a good time
with his pets.

The other boys did not play as gently as BRIGHT-EYES had done, and began
teasing the kittens. They became very angry and wild. They scratched at
the boys and tried to bite them, and if BRIGHT-EYES had been alone he
would have fared very badly because he could not have beaten his wild
pets off, but the other boys were older and they succeeded in quieting
them enough to lead them away and tie them up.

The kittens never trusted BRIGHT-EYES again as they did before, and the
little fellow felt very sad. His father did not trust him with his pets
either, and after that always kept the kittens tied even though
BRIGHT-EYES promised not to make them angry any more.




I will tell you of a little red boy going visiting, and perhaps you can
fancy why he liked it so much.

One day a CROW Indian mother called her little boy, HODGSKA, and told
him to get dressed and she would take him to see his grandfather.
HODGSKA was delighted. He came running in, and his mother put a pretty
red breech-clout on him, braided his hair neatly, and then painted the
part in his hair red, and HODGSKA was ready to start.


The horses were all ready, too. The mother's saddle was all decorated
with bright colored flannel and pretty bead work, and HODGSKA had a
bright blanket thrown over his horse's back. The mother rode in front
because she had to lead the way. They followed an old trail for awhile,
and HODGSKA was disappointed because he didn't think that was fun. Then
off in the distance he saw a river, and oh how he wished they would have
to cross it!

HODGSKA was delighted when they really started to cross. In splashed the
horses, and the water kept getting deeper and deeper until it came so
high that the little boy had to pull up his feet to keep his moccasins

After the river had been forded they had to climb over a mountain, and
HODGSKA was glad he had brought his bow and arrows because he might be
able to shoot something to take to his grandfather. They rode very
quietly, and little HODGSKA tried to ride especially quiet because he
knew if he made much noise he would frighten the game. Soon he heard a
little noise in the brush and looking over he saw two pretty deer, but
they saw him, too, and ran off just as fast as they could.

HODGSKA heard the little birds chattering and calling to one another and
he saw a bear, but he found nothing he could shoot; so he had to meet
his grandfather without being able to show what a hunter he had become.

[Illustration: HE SAW TWO PRETTY DEER.]



Once there were two little PIEGAN Indian girls and they had been playing
in a little play tepee for a long time. They had their baby brothers
with them, and the babies had been playing out in the warm sunshine with
their dogs, while the little girls played with their Indian dollies.

The little brothers were good for a long time, and then they became
tired of playing in one place, just as little white children get tired,
so the sisters thought they would play at moving house.

They fastened two long poles to the sides of the dog and made a travois,
then they put a basket between the poles and laid their dollies in this
play carriage. Then the little girls started to take down their tepee.


All of a sudden the most awful accident happened! The puppy caught one
of the dollies in his mouth and ran off as hard as he could run. The
poor little mamma was almost frantic. She ran after the naughty puppy
and caught him just as he was about to chew that poor dolly up!

After the poor dolly had been petted and loved, it was put back into the
travois, and after all the packing had been finished the little girls
took their baby brothers on their backs and started to move.

Just as they were passing their homes their mothers came to the door and
called them in to their dinner. They didn't say "In a minute," as little
white children very often do, but went right away.




I fancy that little white children don't know that their red brothers
like to dress up in grown-up people's things just as much as they do.

One day several little SIOUX Indian boys decided to have a war dance.
They braided each other's hair, and one little boy was so vain that,
while his companion was braiding his hair, he kept admiring himself in a
little piece of looking-glass that he held in his hand. After all had
their hair finished, they put on the dance costumes just as they had
seen their fathers do. Each wore the roach on his head, beads around his
neck, and the belt; then each took his little bow and they started to
have the dance.

When the girls heard their little brothers playing outside, they went to
the doors of their lodges to watch them. Then the boys had to do their
best, of course, to show the girls what brave warriors they were going
to be.


An old grandfather was sitting out-of-doors sunning himself; so the boys
brought a tom-tom, and asked him to make music for them. Then they
danced the war dance in earnest--a true imitation of their fathers. They
danced for several hours, until they were so tired they could dance no
longer; then they retired to a tepee, which they made believe was their
council house, and in council they decided that the little girls would
surely have much more respect for them in the future.




Out in the real wild West, where the PONCA Indians live when they are at
home, there are bears, mountain lions, wolves, foxes, and many other
wild animals, always roaming about in quest of food.

Every evening, when it begins to get dark, the little boys have to go
out and gather together all the horses, drive them to the village, and
picket them for the night where the men can watch and keep them safe,
not only from wild animals, but from Indians belonging to hostile
tribes, out on horse-stealing expeditions.

[Illustration: THE WOLF.]

After the horses are safely picketed around camp, the small boys can
play and have a good time; but they have to go to bed early because they
have to be up very early in the morning. When the boys are all through
with their breakfasts they drive the horses first to water for a drink,
and then over to the cañons where some of them are hobbled and allowed
to feed all day. When the boys hobble their horses they tie their front
legs together down near the hoofs, so that the horses can only take
short steps, and cannot run or wander off very far.

While the little boys are out herding they keep their bright little eyes
wide open to see everything. Sometimes they shoot at the little prairie
dogs with their bows and arrows; but the prairie dogs have very bright
eyes, too, and down they go into their little holes before the arrows
can hurt them.

The wise little owls live with the prairie dogs and they come out and
sit near the holes watching for mice. The little boys shoot birds,
rabbits, and various other small animals while they are out tending the

Sometimes when Indian mothers are very busy or want to visit, they
hobble their little ones by tying their feet together, so that they can
take short steps only. Then the babies can play out-of-doors, and the
mothers are sure they cannot get very far away from home.

[Illustration: THE WISE LITTLE OWLS.]



One day two WINNEBAGO Indian mothers took their little baby boys and put
them on a blanket to play together. They were two happy little children,
and after they had finished the bowl of dinner their mothers had given
them, they didn't cry, but started playing with their little fingers and
toes, and trying to catch the little stray rays of sunshine.

They were sitting in the shade of a little sapling, and suddenly they
heard a little "tap! tap!" against the tree. The babies looked all
around, but they couldn't see anything. Then they heard another, "tap!
tap!" just like the first one. This time they looked at the tree, and,
can you tell what they saw? Two great, big woodpeckers, with great red
heads. The babies thought they were such pretty birds, but they did not
know what to say to them, and so were a little bashful; while the
woodpeckers were very curious to know what new kind of animal they had


You see there were no nice fat little worms in the young tree, and so
the birds may have thought that the children had a bowl full of their
favorite food, and they had themselves come too late.

Little Indian children learn to know wild animals very early. Sometimes
the badgers come out of their holes to look at them, and then the
children are very much frightened because badgers are wise animals and
play many tricks on people.

At night, when they lie awake in their little beds, the children hear
the wild geese talking to one another as they fly over the village. Then
the mother tells them what bird is making the noise, and she also tells
them, that when the geese fly south it will be too cold before very long
for their babies to sit out of doors and when they fly toward the north,
Spring is on the way with its beautiful sunshine.




Little Indian children, like their white brothers, have to be in bed
early or their mothers tell them that the Indian bugaboo, which is a
water spirit, will come after them.

Sometimes the PUEBLO children, just like their white brothers, too,
think their mothers are only trying to frighten them, when she reminds
them of the time and tells them stories of how children are taken away,
if they stay up late.

One day some little boys were talking the bugaboo stories over, and they
decided to try and see if their mothers were telling them true stories;
so, after they had been sent to bed, they were very quiet for awhile,
but when their mothers weren't watching, they slipped out.

[Illustration: IT WAS A LOVELY NIGHT.]

It was a lovely night and they thought they would go behind the houses
and play awhile. The boys were running along, thinking of how they never
again would be afraid of the water spirit, when, they all stopped short.
For a moment they were so frightened, they could scarcely move. What do
you think they saw? There, coming out of a doorway, straight ahead of
them, was one of those terrible water spirits their mothers had been
telling them about. It was coming right after them, shaking a rattle. I
tell you those boys ran!

Several very much frightened boys reached their homes, and, after that,
they were very glad to go to bed when it was time, for they never again
wanted to be chased by another water spirit.

But I will tell you a secret. There are no water spirits; and these
small Indian boys were surprised by a PUEBLO man who had seen them steal
away from their homes and had decided to frighten them. So he dressed up
to look like the Indians' pictures of a terrible water spirit from the
Rio Grande river, and ran after the boys.


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Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.