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He Dog




Two of photos of He Dog in 1877:

Photo taken in September/October 1877 in Washington D.C. by Charles Bell






Taken by D. S. Mitchell in the fall of 1877, probably at the Red Cloud Agency.



In 1877, standing at the left of this delegation photo (you can see the shirt worn by the man sitting at the farthest left):

Photo by Mathew Brady. There are several other known delegation photographs from this trip in which He Dog appears.

He Dog in the late 1880s-91 (probably from the 1891 delegation to Washington):

At Plenty Horses' Trial (he's the one sitting at the left):

All photos above contributed by Grahame Wood.

One of two 1928 images of He Dog. As I recall, they were part of a survey conducted by the Office of Indian Affairs to determine the economic status of the Lakota on the reservations. It is on the Oglala Lakota College website and was published in Donovin Sprague's book of photographs from Pine Ridge Reservation, published by Arcadia Press.
— Ephriam Dickson

By G.G. McBride, Fort Robinson, Nebraska (standing 2nd from right - He Dog) Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

Above is a photograph by McBride, from Crawford, Nebraska, taken at the old Red Cloud Agency site. I do not have much on McBride, except that he first appears in the Nebraska Gazeteer as a photographer in Crawford, Nebraska, in 1894. He was gone by the time the next edition came out in 1902. — Ephriam Dickson

The man to the right looks like the Spotted Elk on the 1891 Oglala delegation photo. — Grahame Wood

I would guess that it was made around 1890, judging from the faces of He Dog and Spotted Elk, who don´t look much older or younger than in 1891. Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

Here is the complete picture:

I believe the man on the far left with the cross is the Oglala, Iron Hawk. I made a comparison with a photo from the "iPhoto Central" web site.

Also a comparison with a SIRIS photo of the Oglala Spotted Elk:

Comparisons made by Bob / buffaloman.

Just an observation on the photograph taken near the site of Red Cloud Agency No. 2. He Dog's younger brother Grant Short Bull and their nephew (they would have called him their 'son') Amos Bad Heart Bull were both enlisted as scouts and based at Ft Robinson in the early 1890s: could they be included in this photo? With both He Dog and Iron Hawk present, the correlation with the memebership of the Sore-Backs sub-band seems very strong.

According to John Colhoff, in one of his letters to Joseph Balmer, the two Short Bulls - He Dog's brother and the Brule Ghost Dance leader - were cousins. — Kingsley Bray

I am not aware of any identified photographs of Short Bull (He Dog's brother). I have been recently in contact with the great-grandson of Short Bull and they do not have any photographs either. Unfortunately, Short Bull and much of his family were killed in a tragic car accident in 1935 so much of the family oral history was lost.

Kingsley may be right that Short Bull and his nephew Amos Bad Heart Bull could be in the photograph, though I am not certain how we can demonstrate that without another identified photograph. Amos did serve a sixth month stint as an Indian scout at Fort Robinson beginning in March 1894 (under the name Eagle Lance), joining his uncle Short Bull who was by then serving his seventh enlistment including several years at Fort Robinson. The timing would be right for them to be in the photograph.

Finally, someone asked about the meaning of the silver crosses visible in a number of Cheyenne and Lakota portraits. I recently wrote an article, "German Silver Crosses in Lakota Attire: Personal Adornment or Symbols of Tribal Leadership?" in the March/April 2005 issues of Whispering Winds that looked at these interesting items. I listed every known image or surviving example of these crosses (I have since located additional ones) and tried to argue that they may represent some office or leadership role among the Lakota. Here is the concluding paragraph:

"In summary, the available evidence suggests that the Great Plains metal crosses originated within the southwestern silverwork industry and then spread successively northward, first to the Apache, Comanche and Kiowa, and then to the Southern Cheyenne and Northern Cheyenne by the 1860's and the Lakota by the 1870's. These ornaments declined in popularity during the two decades that followed. The Big Road Roster suggests that rather than just ornamentation, the German silver crosses worn by the Lakota during the 1870's may have had some cultural significance, the meaning of which has unfortunately become lost. The evidence is admittedly far from conclusive, but perhaps one day, additional sources will be found that may shed light on the meaning of these intriguing elements of Lakota material culture."
— Ephriam Dickson

The McBride photo was first (I guess) published in 1976, without any identification, by the Nebraska State Historical Society, illustrating their fascinating "Oglala Sources On The Life Of Crazy Horse", the Eleanor Hinman interviews. But it became soon clear that this was a portrait of He Dog and his family and followers. I am convinced that the small man in the suit (second from left) is indeed He Dog's brother, Grant Short Bull. I have two other portraits of him for comparison (both Nebraska State Historical Society). The first, taken ca.1920, depicts him standing in full Indian attire together with an old friend of the Red Cloud family, Captain James H. Cook. The second image is a 1933 group photo of the Red Cloud family and friends. Short Bull is identified as the small man holding a large beaded tobacco bag, standing quite in the middle between James Red Cloud and Lone Man (eighth person from the left).

What about the young man standing right behind He Dog, sporting a cowboy hat and a large bandana? I always loved to think that this was He Dog's artist nephew/son, Amos Bad Heart Bull. Of course I can't offer any proof. But didn't he portray himself much like this in his drawings? — Hans Karkheck

Here is the name list of the above photo, as published by the Nebraska State Historical Society (left to right): Pine Ridge Supt. McGregor, John Kills Above, Susie Kills Above, Silas Fills The Pipe, Delia Red Cloud, Agnes Red Cloud, James Red Cloud, Short Bull, Lone Man, Fast Whirlwind, Stanley Red Feather, Samuel Rock, Amos Afraid Of His Horses, Emil Afraid Of Hawk, Oliver Jumping Eagle, Herbert Bissonette, Robert Fast Horse, Captain Luther H. North.

The Short Bull & James H. Cook photo was published in NEBRASKA HISTORY, Vol.22, No.1, 1941. It had actually been taken in September 1934, a year before Short Bull was killed in a car accident near Oglala, South Dakota.

This is what Cook had to say about the picture: "The photograph was taken at Fort Robinson by an artist unknown to me, at the time (September 4-5, 1934) when cenotaphs were dedicated to Lieutenant Levi Robinson (in whose honor the fort was named) and to Crazy Horse, brave Indian and leading Sioux warrior. Short Bull who stands beside me was a brother of He Dog. Both participated in the fight with General Custer when his command was wiped out" (NH 22:1, 1941, 74).
— Hans Karkheck

If the individual in the McBride photograph (second from left) is actually Grant Short Bull, then I suspect the boy standing next to him is his son Charles Short Bull, who would have been about 8 or 10 years old when the image was made. Grant also had a daughter, but she was not born until 1895. Perhaps one of the women standing to the right is his wife, Good Hawk.

The photograph of Captain Cook and Short Bull was indeed taken in 1934 at the dedication of the two stone pyramids at Fort Robinson, one dedicated to Crazy Horse and the other to Lieut. Robinson killed in 1874. They are both standing in front of the Post Headquarters, today the Fort Robinson Museum. — Ephriam Dickson

Photographs from the Morris County (New Jersey) Museum:

The three photos above were taken by HistoryNut1876.



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