Spotted the image at top of Lizzie Long Wolf via a link on Hania’s Facebook page today. Long Wolf image surfaced in further browsing. Struck by the lower photo, too, of a Kiowa girl in 1892. Grim to recall what their peoples had been through – and still faced.
The photo of Lizzie Long Wolf brought to mind a happier memory from 1977, when I went to visit the Hammersmith Registrar of Birth & Deaths, to record Gaia’s birth.
He was intrigued by her third name, Onawa, which I explained was Choctaw. He said that he could recall only one other Native American Indian (or maybe First Peoples) name in the register. Long Wolf.
The Sioux leader and his daughter had been travelling with Buffalo Bill’s Travelling Circus when he died in Hammersmith, also in 1892. The story of his death, long stay in a London cemetery and then repatriation to the Plains is told here.
Long Wolf’s body was apparently covered in battle scars. He was said to have been at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. And earlier this week I had seen and tweeted a link to this extraordinary account of the destruction of Custer’s command based on accounts from some of those who were there, on the other side. It has the ring of truth to it.
One aspect of the encounter that I hadn’t heard of before was the role played by the Suicide Boys in Custer’s troopers falling back to join Major Reno’s force – which would largely survive the battle.