The History of the Butterfly, Part 77: Keokuck

To quote from Marston in Morse, 1822:

“The males of each nation of the Sauks and Foxes, are separated into two grand divisions, called Kish-co-quah and Osh-kosh:  to each there is a head, called War chief.  As soon as the first male child of a family is born, he is arranged in the first band; and when a second is born, the second band, and so on.

The name of the Chief of the first band of the Sauks, is Ke-o-kuck.  When they go to war, and on all public occasions, his band is always painted white, with pipe clay.  The name of the second ware Chief is Na-cola-quoick.  His band is painted black.  Each of these chiefs is entitled to one or two aids-de-camp, selected by themselves from among the braves of their nation, who generally accompany them on all public occasions, and whenever they go abroad.  These two chiefs were raised to their present rank, in consequence of their success in opposing the wishes of a majority of the nation, to flee from their villages, on the approach of a body of American troops, during the late war;  they finally persuaded their nation to remain, on the condition of their engaging to take the command, and sustain their position.  Our troops, from some cause or other, did not attack them, and they, of course, remained unmolested.”

This painting of Keokuk was by George Catlin, and it was painted about a decade after Marston’s comments.

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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