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MS 2016-a Daniel Little Chief drawings of Cheyenne ceremonial customs and implements, with explanations by Albert Gatschet

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Catalog Data

Little Chief, Daniel, d. 1906.  Search this
Gatschet, Albert S. (Albert Samuel), 1832-1907  Search this
1 Item (disbound volume (65 pages) of 29 drawings and 34 pages of typescript.)
Northern Tsitsistas (Northern Cheyenne)  Search this
Tsitsistas/Suhtai (Cheyenne)  Search this
Indians of North America -- Great Plains  Search this
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Ledger drawings
1891 February
Scope and Contents:
29 drawings and 34 pages of typed explanatory text, formerly bound together, now disbound, plus an identifying title page handwritten by Albert Gatschet and one drawing on ruled paper. The explanatory text was transcribed from Gatschet's notebook, No. 2016-b, with corrections by Gatschet. T.p. inscribed: "Crayon Pictures of Cheyenne Ceremonial Customs and Implements. Drawn by Wuxpais or Daniel Littlechief, son of the present headchief of the Cheyenne Indians of South Dakota, at the Pine Ridge Agency. Explained by notes obtained from the same Indian by Albert S. Gatschet." The last drawing in the volume is signed "T.D. Little Chief," but cannot be identified as a drawing by Daniel Little Chief. Subjects include ceremonial items, name glyphs, painted tipis, and illustrations of Cheyenne customs. A nearly identical set of drawings by Daniel Little Chief is located at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Information provided by Candace Greene.
Biographical / Historical:
Daniel Little Chief, a.k.a. Wuxpais (?-1906), was a Northern Cheyenne warrior whose band of Cheyenne were sent south to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Reservation in Indian Territory after their surrender, traveling there between 1878-1879. In 1881 this band moved north to the Pine Ridge Agency in South Dakota. In 1891 Daniel Littlechief inherited the role of head chief from his father and remained in South Dakota until his death in 1906. For more information see "American Indian Painters: A Biographical Dictionary" by Jeanne Snodgrass 1968, New York: Museum of the American Indian.
Albert S. Gatschet (1832-1907) was educated in his native Switzerland and in Germany (University of Bern [Ph.D., 1892]); University of Berlin. Early in his career, he pursued antiquarian research in European museums and wrote scientific articles. Among his interests was the etymology of Swiss place names. After coming to the United States in 1869, he worked on the American Indian vocabularies collected by Oscar Loew, of the United States Geological Survey West of the 100th Meridian (Wheeler Survey). Eventually John Wesley Powell employed him as an ethnologist with the United States Geographical and Geological Survey of the Rocky Mountain Regions. When it was founded in 1879, he joined the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology and continued there until he retired in 1905. For the Powell Survey, Gatschet researched the ethnography of the Klamath in Oregon and the Modoc in Oklahoma. He also collected Native American material objects and investigated special problems for Powell's classification of the American Indian languages north of Mexico, working on languages of the Southeast, including groups forcibly settled in the southern Plains. He not only visited well known tribes but also searched out small groups, including the Biloxi and Tunica. He also worked with the Natchez, Tonkawa, Chitimacha, and Atakapa in the United States and Comecrudo and several other small groups in northern Mexico. Through library research, he studied the Timucua, Karankara, and the Beothuk. During the later part of his career, Gatschet was assigned comparative work on all the Algonquian languages. Although the project was never completed, he collected much about many of the languages, especially Peoria, Miami, and Shawnee. In addition, he worked with members of diverse tribes of the eastern United States. For more information, see NAA finding aid located at
Local Numbers:
NAA MS 2016-a
Varying Form of Title:
Crayon pictures of Cheyenne ceremonial customs and implements / drawn by Wuxpais or Daniel Littlechief ... ; explained by notes from the same Indian by Albert S. Gatschet
United States South Dakota Pine Ridge Agency.
United States South Dakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Album Information:
MS 2016a 001
Habitations -- Cheyenne  Search this
Sweatbaths -- Cheyenne  Search this
Music -- Cheyenne  Search this
Married people's tipi -- Cheyenne  Search this
Weapons -- Cheyenne  Search this
Pipe -- Cheyenne  Search this
Amulets and fetishes -- Cheyenne  Search this
Medicine -- Cheyenne  Search this
Mortuary customs -- Cheyenne  Search this
Names, Personal -- Cheyenne  Search this
Medicine tent -- Cheyenne  Search this
Sun Dance -- Cheyenne  Search this
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Ledger drawings
Manuscript 2016-a, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
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MS 2016-a Daniel Little Chief drawings of Cheyenne ceremonial customs and implements, with explanations by Albert Gatschet
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives