DescriptionFAMILY OF SITTING BULL
c. 1891 Family of Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa, posed in the dooryard where the chief had been killed several weeks earlier. Photo by D.F. Barry, at Grand River, S.D., Spring, 1891. Albumen cabinet card.
Sitting Bull's senior wife Four Robes is at center, left, with her daughter White Buffalo Cow Walking, also called Her Lodge Appearing, beside her. Her sister Seen by the Nation, the junior wife, is at center, right, with her daughter Standing Holy at far right. They are posed against the wall of their former home, the log cabin where Sitting Bull and his son Crowfoot, son of Four Robes, had been murdered in the early hours of Dec 15, 1890. The family abandoned the structure immediately thereafter, and were at this time living in a small, canvas tipi, which Barry also photographed. Soon afterward the cabin was bought by a consortium of White speculators who dismantled the structure and transported it to Chicago, where it was reassembled and used as an "attraction" during the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893-94.
This photograph documents Lakota mourning traditions. The haggard women had hacked their hair short and would have been eating very little since the murders. What cannot be seen here, but is abundantly documented in ethnographic records, is that their grief would also have involved slashing their arms and legs with knives. By the following year they had all moved to the Pine Ridge Reservation, S.D. After the death of Seen by the Nation in 1897, Four Robes returned to live with their brother Grey Eagle, at Grand River, where she died in 1929. Standing Holy married Urban Spotted Horse at Pine Ridge and spent the remainder of her life there, far from the tragic scenes of her childhood. They had five daughters. Standing Holy died in 1927.
Dimensions: image 5 ¼ x 4 inches
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