August 15th, 1833

15 August: Morning bright and clear. At 7:30, 71°F [21.7°C]. Day very hot. Early in the morning we had in our room the chief of the Gros Ventres des Prairies named Mexkemáuastan. M14(‘áua’—all letters separated.) They themselves never
like to state their names.
He has already been mentioned as a very bad, deceitful Indian. He was naked above the waist, a strong, well-built man, [5 feet] 10 inches in height [Prussian measure]. His reddish brown buffalo robe left his right shoulder and arm free; on his back, bow and arrow in their sheaths; in his hand, a short gun with leather cover; leather leggins; his hair tied together in front in a thick, protruding knot. Face [painted] vermilion and blue-violet with mineral color.

Two hunters had been sent out this morning with a six-to-eight-man escort to get buffalo meat; they are expected back tomorrow evening. Today the large oars of our keelboat were sawed into pieces; they were of hickory and were made into axe handles because there is no usable wood here. Dreidoppel returned from hunting and had shot a kingbird and a young yellow troupial. The arrival of a band of Piegans was announced; there were gunshots on the other side of the river that confirmed this report. Trade with individual Indians was continued privately. Very hot at noon. Several times Indians were reported, including Little Robe’s band, but only individuals arrived. Of the fifteen to twenty [tipis] that still stood around the fort, several moved away. Our quarters were besieged all day by Indians, who were attracted by the drawing and writing. Whenever Mr. Bodmer produced an accurate portrait of a face, they said, “He can write very correctly. ”

In the evening we went onto the prairie to the Indians’ tipis. There we saw many an interesting sight—among others, naked little children, one of whom wore wide leather leggins, which hung about his legs like big boots. We saw at least six women whose noses had been cut off; in this hideous disfigurement, the Piegans and Blackfoot punish their women for infidelity. A Blood Indian, a bad fellow, who last year in the gateway thrust his loaded gun into the face of a man from the fort, had visited us every day and always sat near us with his wife. This evening we were called into his [tipi], which was new, clean, and roomy. He himself sat on a buffalo hide and leaned back on a mat of willow branches, set at an angle, which was covered with buffalo hide.[Page 2:230] The small fire in the center of the lodge sent out great heat. Dried berries (poires) were placed in front of us; we ate several of them. Isidor Sandoval, M15From Santa Fe. [marginal note]. a Spaniard and hunter here in the fort, served as interpreter. These people had no children, [although] the husband had a little brother; therefore, the lodge was empty and very clean. The evening was very pleasant.

Date: 
Thursday, August 15, 1833
XML Encoder: 
Corey Taylor (Automatically Generated)
Zachary Joyce
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