Little Bear, Southern Cheyenne, by John K. Hillers at Okmulgee, Indian Territory, May 10, 1875. Mounted on heavy paper mat with ink inscription, probably in the photographer's hand: "Na-ku-has-kit." The standardized Cheyenne spelling for the name Little Bear is Nako Ezce, (Petter, 1915: 99 & 662).
At this date, Little Bear was one of the leading Southern Cheyenne warriors. Eleven years earlier, when Colorado Volunteer Cavalry under Major John Chivington had attacked and destroyed the peaceful village of Black Kettle at Sand Creek, mounted soldiers chased Little Bear, who was on foot, for three miles along the river, firing at him with rifles the whole distance. Little Bear later recalled that he had been wearing an eagle feather headdress, and every single feather had been shot out of the cap, but he was untouched by any of the bullets. By the mid-1880s, he was one of the three leading chiefs among the Cheyennes' governing Council of Forty-four. Note the Sun Dance scars on his chest. His weapon is an 1866-model Winchester carbine, which the Cheyenne called a "yellow boy," after its brass side-plate.
For correctly identified (and inscribed in the plate) comparison portraits of Little Bear, see the 1880s photos by Charles M. Bell, NAA #06647701 & #06647702.
Dimensions: image, 6 ¾ x 9 inches; mount, 13 x 15 inches
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