Black Elk (Lakota, 1863-1950), a holy man famous for his book Black Elk Speaks, was one of many Native Americans who shared his cultural heritage. Photo by W. Ben Hunt, Black Hills, South Dakota, ca. 1939. Marquette University Libraries, Bureau of Catholic Indian Missions Records, Negative No. 0860.
On September 25, 1982, Sioux Chief Frank Fools Crow traveled to the University of Illinois with fellow Sioux elders Anthony Whirlwind Horse and Joe American Horse. During a halftime ceremony at Memorial Stadium, Fools Crow presented the University with the regalia currently worn by Chief Illiniwek.
The nephew of Black Elk, Fools Crow is considered by many to be the greatest Native American spiritual leader of the past century.
The regalia that Fools Crow presented was his own personal regalia, hand-crafted by his wife Katie. It is said that Fools Crow was very proud to make this presentation to the University as his work would be seen by so many people.
Fools Crow passed away in 1989.
Fools Crow with Chief Illiniwek at
Memorial Stadium in 1982.
Tracking the Salford SiouxIt's hard to imagine 100 native Americans living in 19th century Salford. But it happened when Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show came to town. So what did they do here? And could you be a distant relation? One man is on the trail of the Salford Sioux:
To the people of Manchester and Salford in Victorian Britain, it must have seemed the Greatest Show on Earth: Buffalo Bill's Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World Show (to give it its full name) was exotic, exciting and entertainment on a vast scale.
Led by the legendary American army scout Buffalo Bill, a 200-strong travelling company comprising 97 native Americans, 180 broncos and 18 buffalo set up camp on the freezing banks of the River Irwell in November 1887.
And performing nightly to packed crowds in what was the biggest indoor arena ever constructed in Western Europe, Sioux warriors and their cowboy counterparts would recreate classic gunslinging scenes from the Wild West, or performing daring acts of horsemanship.
It all took place in what is now Salford Quays - two years before the canals were even built! - and was so popular the show stayed for five whole months before rolling out of town on its European tour.
The warriors were Lakota (northern) Indians from the Oglala tribe of the Sioux Nation - who counted Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse among their numbers. (It was Oglala Sioux Indians who were depicted in the 1990 film Dances With Wolves.)
One of Manchester's Sioux visitors was the Oglala medicine man Black Elk who spoke of his stay in a book called 'Black Elk Speaks'.
Black Elk also talks about how he was left behind - a story which has fascinated Steve Coen from Higher Broughton, a trade unionist who works for Whitbread.
"I remember reading how Black Elk and some others got lost in Manchester and had to find their own way back home to South Dakota. Basically, the show left town without them. And it got me thinking: what were five Lakota Indians doing in Manchester on their own wandering the streets?"
He also believes that there may be people living in Salford today who can claim a distant Sioux ancestry: "It's very possible there are descendants here today, as they were here for such a long time, and they were certainly friendly with the locals!"
If you have an old family story of the Sioux in Salford - or believe you may have distant Sioux ancestry: email: email@example.com
Steve has unearthed many interesting stories and facts including:
Steve is now making final preparations for a visit to the home of the Oglala tribe in America where he hopes to meet descendants of the warriors who came to Manchester and set up an exchange scheme for Sioux and Salford youngsters.
After exchanging e-mails with Garvard Goodplume, one of the 'head men' of the Oglala tribe, Steve has been invited to a huge annual 'Powwow and Rodeo' on the Pine Lodge reservation in South Dakota which is attended by dozens of tribes including Aztecs from Central America.
Steve says he'll be staying in a teepee - and it's even possible he may be asked to sit in a 'sweat lodge' - a steam filled teepee with intoxicating herbs placed on hot stones.
"It's not just a sauna with blokes talking about football. It's a religious ceremony and you have to be invited by the spiritual leader who decides if you can take part."
So on Sunday July 31, he will fly to Chicago bearing gifts from Salford Council (commemorative plaques and mugs), Manchester City Council (T-shirts and baseball caps) and 28 Manchester United shirts from the Old Trafford club.
"Apparently, it's also good custom and practice to give tobacco to the head men. So I'll be taking cigarettes. Oh yes and some tea bags too - a taste of Salford like!"
|last updated: 23/08/05|
16. Benjamin5 Black Elk (Nicholas4, 3, 2, 1)(1) (#878) was born 5/17/1889. Benjamin died 2/22/1973 at 83 years of age. His body was interred 2/26/1973 in Manderson, Shannon Co, SD, St. Agnes Cemetery. He married Angelique Bissonette CA 1919. (Angelique Bissonette is #8541.) Angelique was born CA 1890. Benjamin became the father of Olivia Black Elk CA 1910. Benjamin became the father of Henry Black Elk CA 1910. Benjamin became the father of Katherine Black Elk CA 1910. Benjamin became the father of Esther Black Elk CA 1910. Benjamin became the father of Grace Black Elk CA 1910. Benjamin was adopted on Wounded Knee Creek, Shannon Co., SD., USA, AFT 1950. When Oliver was an adult he returned the honor Black Elk gave him and adopted Black Elk's son Ben, from that day on their siblings called each other brother or sister.
Benjamin Black Elk and Angelique Bissonette had the following children:
+ 32 i. Olivia6 Black Elk (still alive).
+ 33 ii. Henry Black Elk (living status unknown).
+ 34 iii. Katherine Black Elk was born CA 1910.
+ 35 iv. Esther Black Elk (living status unknown).
+ 36 v. Grace Black Elk (living status unknown).