The collection consists of a volume, now disbound, of twenty-nine (29) drawings by Daniel Little Chief together with thirty-four (34) pages of typescript pages explanatory notes by Albert Gatschet. The volume also includes an identifying title page handwritten by Albert Gatschet and one drawing on ruled paper by an unidentified Cheyenne artist. The explanatory text was transcribed from Gatschet's notebook, also in the collection, with corrections by Gatschet. The collection also contains a drawing which was found in Gatschet's notebook which does not appear to be directly associated with the works by Daniel Littlechief. Subjects of the drawings include ceremonial items, name glyphs, painted tipis, and illustrations of Cheyenne customs.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Daniel Little Chief, also known as Daniel Littlechief and 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 Little Chief inherited the role of head chief from his father and remained in South Dakota until his death in 1906.
Albert S. Gatschet (1832-1907) was educated in his native Switzerland (University of Bern, Ph.D., 1892) and in Germany (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. He joined the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology at its founding in 1879, 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.
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.
In 1994 the volume was disbound in order to be photographed and because the binding structure was causing damage to the drawings. A full conservation report is available in the NAA files.
A nearly identical set of drawings by Daniel Little Chief is located held by The Newberry Library in Chicago, see [Cheyenne Ledger Book, Crayon pictures of Cheyenne ceremonial customs and implements by Wuxpais].
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Works of art
MS 2016 Daniel Little Chief drawings of Cheyenne ceremonial customs and implements, with explanations by Albert Gatschet, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution