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Frenemies: 1900s

Frenemies: 1900s

Washington, D.C., ca. 1900s. "Flatmouth, Chief, group." Chief Flatmouth, the formidable-looking gent seated at right, is wearing a medal that reads REDMEN'S CONVENTION, WALKER MINN., Aug. 12th 1901. The bald fellow and the Chief's lieutenants await identification. Harris & Ewing photo. View full size.


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If I may....

With the exception of the Bureau of Indian Affairs [BIA], bureaucrat [the bald gentleman], these Ojibwe [Chippewa], men belonged to the Pilager Band of Ojibwe on the Leach Lake Reservation in Minnesota. The headman, seated on the right, is Niigaaniibines, son of Eshkibagikoonzhe who was a prominent Ojibwe in the first half of the 19th century in Minnesota territory. The French fur traders pinned the nickname "gueule platte" meaning "flatmouth" on Eshkibagikoonzhe because they were unable to pronounce his Ojibwe name. There is a sculptured bust likeness of him in Washington DC when sketches of him were done while he was on official business there in 1855. That trip also included other Ojibwe headmen from the midwest resulting in a treaty that ceded some 10 million acres of virgin pine land including the headwaters of the Mississippi River. That did not sit well with many Ojibwe people and the elder Flatmouth soon died after. Niigaaniibines "inherited" his father's nickname and then became known by the same name to early settlers in northern Minnesota. The younger Flatmouth died in July of 1906. Some of his personal Indian regalia is on display at Northwestern U. in Evanston, Ill.
The young man standing in the button coat, 4th from left, was the official interpreter for this group. The tall man wearing the brim hat, 3rd from left, is Dave Boyd. He was 6'6" and lived on Buck Lake on the Leach Lake Reservation. He served as a Leach Lake Reservation police officer. A granddaughter of Dave Boyd worked as my assistant back in the 1970's.
No, the stems on those pipes are not made from rifle barrels nor from stone. They are always made from wood while the pipe heads are most often made of red stone quarried at Pipestone, MN although some pipe heads are made from a certain black stone found in river beds.

I think it *is* Ethan Allen Hitchcock

Not the General Ethan Allen Hitchcock who died in 1870, this is his nephew. Fellow in this picture looks like the Wiki of the nephew.

[Two different people. - Dave]

William Atkinson Jones

Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

[Noop. - Dave]

Made in Minnesota

Probably made from the pipestone found at the Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota.

As for boring the hole? I guess it could be done with simple tools.

The bald fellow

Ethan Allen Hitchcock. The Sec'y of interior in 1901.

[Interesting guess, but I don't think so. -Dave]

Peace pipes

Wonder who made those finely crafted pipes. They look like metal, or possibly recycled gun barrels that were melded together and shaped. Part flintlock, part rifle? And would native Indians have had the means to bore a hole down the length of those long pipe handles? Could these have been provided by our government as gifts?

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