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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the commissioner of Indian affairs, for the year 1905
Part I ([1905])

Reports concerning Indians in California,   pp. 180-195 PDF (7.8 MB)


Page 180

180     REPORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR. 
aho, Hopi, and Paiute. The Hopi occupy one village, Moencopi, and number
about 150. There are about 300 Paiutes in the northern part of the reservation.
With the exception of the Hopi, who lived so many years in such close prox-
imity to the Mormon settlers, these Indians are, perhaps, as primitive in
their 
manners and customs and have been as little influenced by the white man's
civilization as any Indians under the control of the Government. They have
no 
code of morals and no laws. Child marriages and polygamy are so common 
that they cause no comment, even from white people who know these Indians.
The women and girls own the sheep; each girl gets control of her part of
the 
flock when she marries. The son-in-law lives with his wife's people, as the
girl's 
mother does not wish to divide the flock, and as she does not wish to support
any more sons in-law than are necessary, it frequently happens that the same
man marries all the daughters in one family. 
The Navaho are inveterate gamblers. It is very difficult to bring them to
see any harm in it, as several of their gods were gamblers. The Navaho, like
most Indians, seems to have an inherent craving for whisky, but these Indians
are not given to drinking. The Navaho on this reservation knows but little
about a higher life, and he cares less. I am told that no child has been
put in 
school if his people could support him at home. Those who have attended 
school are either orphans or the children of very poor parents. Schools are
not 
popular with the wealthy class. These Indians are and always have been self-
supporting, but the women contribute fully 97 per cent of the support of
the 
family. 
Missions.-Up to the present time but very little missionary work has been
done among these Indians. The National Indian Association has done pioneer
work for some years. This association has now assigned its stations to regular
church organizations, and a new force of workers will soon be placed in the
field. 
Farming land.-The Government acquired about 800 acres of arable land 
from the white settlers, but it has been so neglected that less than one-half
of it 
is capable of being cultivated to-day. Much of what was once farms can not
now be distinguished from the surrounding desert. The Indians expected to
be given possession of the settlers' homes as soon as they were-vacated,
and 
great dissatisfaction prevails among them because this was not done. The
land and the locality are admirably adapted to fruit raising, and all of
the land 
that can be supplied with water should be devoted to this industry. 
Live stock.-These Indiang have just passed through a period of drought that
must have rivaled the seven dry years in Egypt. While thousands of sheep
died, the drought was not an unmixed evil, for it strewed the desert with
the 
carcasses of thousands of worthless ponies. The standard of wealth has been
transferred from the cayuse to the sheep. During the struggle for existence
a prejudice sprang up against ponies that nothing else could have created.
The precipitation during the past year was unusually heavy, but through lack
of storage facilities the Indians have not derived much benefit from it.
All 
the feed was killed out for miles around the permanent water, and it will
require years to restore the ranges to a normal condition, even under the
most 
improved methods. 
Through many years of inbreeding the Navaho sheep has greatly deteriorated
in wool-bearing qualities. This should be remedied by introducing improved
bucks. The flesh of the -Navaho sheep resembles that of the antelope rather
than that of the eastern sheep, and if once introduced among epicures it
would 
soon be as much in demand as the famous Navaho blanket. 
Allotments.-No allotments of land have been made on this reservation, but
sixteen patents were issued to that number of Indians, who had made applica-
tion for them before the reservation included their lands. 
MATTHEW M. MURPHY, 
Superintendent and Special Disbursing Agent. 
REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN CALIFORNIA. 
REPORT OF FARMER IN CHARGE OF DIGGER INDIANS. 
JACKSON, CAL., August 7, 1905. 
As Congress failed to make an appropriation for the Digger Indians for the
fiscal year of 1905, I have been somewhat handicapped and have not got along


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