United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1892
Reports of superintendents of schools, pp. 647-708 PDF (30.2 MB)
REPORTS OF SUPERINTENDENTS OF SCHOOLS. 651 substitutes within easy reach. As to clothing, I consider them very well supplied. They make buckskin clothing and sell to the Navajoes. They have blankets to sell and buckskins to sell. As to shelter, they have no houses. They live in little wickies or willow huts. It isnever very cold and very little rain, so they do not suffer for shelter. Moral condition of these people seems to be good. There seems to be no depravity and very little polygamy. Condition of land.-The land is a rich sandy loam. I should judge at one time or times 200 acres have been under cultivation, but only about 15 acres were cultivated last year. The rest had been given up to weeds and willows. Difficulties.-I experienced many difficulties in getting them to work for supplies "as in- structed." They had been so instructed by unscrupulous whites, that they had come in pos- session of the idea that when I should come all earthly wants would be fully gratified from an inexhaustible supply which the United States Government had on hand for all Indians, and they expected me to deal out to all their various wants for no recompense on their part. But I have labored to convince them that I wished to be just, to deal by them as fairly as they would by me. exchange work with them and pay them honestly for what they did. As to prices on their work. I will recount. For a day's lazy work they want me to give them from one to three sacks of flour. For bringing a sack of flour from the hill top they want me to give it to them and throw in a can of baking powder and a little sugar and coffee. But I have labored to impress on them as far as possible the equity of values, and think in a measure I have accomplished this. There are 47 families, about 200, or posssibly 250, souls in all. So far I have been unable to get a correct census of them. I am satisfied I have done them real good, although if the work should drop with this fiscal year no permanent good would result from present outlay. They have land enough and water enough so their acreage could be greatly increased. All they need, in my judgment, is about two or three small plows and as many sets cheap harness. They are very well supplied with hoes and shovels. 1 think it would be wise for the Department to fur- nish them with seed wheat and rye. Also about 100 pounds alfalfa seed. There is plenty of water to run a mill which would grind their meal and flour. They raise good corn. I think this an excellent fruit country. Their trees are in very poor condition for fruit raising, as they are in a thicket growth. I think if some of the more intelligent ones were taken to California and shown the proper way of planting and caring for trees, it would help to advance their ideas very much. They have a desire to raise stock; sheep and goats would do well there. It might be well to give them a small start in these lines. They detest the name of a school, but an institution under any other name would do well. The goal of their ambition is to write; they are great imitators and will sit for hours and work with a pencil on a written copy. My wife has shown them how to cut and fit dresses; they take wonderful interest in it. I would encourage the building of a schoolhouse on the reservation. I think it could be built out of stone at a very small cost to the Government. They are very muchopposed togoing away to schoolon account of having been so prejudiced by unscrupulous men for the purpose of accomplishing other ends. I am,-very respectfully, yours, JOHN F. GADD£s. S. M. McCowAN. Superintendent Indian Schools, Fort Mojave, Ariz. SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT ON YAVA-SUPAI INDIANS. FORT MOJAVE, ARIZ., JTuly 20, 1892. SIR: So little seems to be known of these Indians, and so many false reports have been sent to the Indian Office regarding them, that I desire to make a, complete a report as possible, based upon actual and personal knowledge of them, their home, habits, resources, etc. Upon orders from your office I have person- ally, in the past two years, visited them in their wonderful and almost inaccessi- ble cafion home, and my report is based upon what my own eyes perceived. Their origin is somewhat clouded. Judge Sanford, of Williams, Ariz., believes them to be a blending of the Mojave andApache tribes. Others incline to the belief that they were persecuted outcasts from the Hualapai tribe, whose lan- guage is very similar. Their villages are in Cataract Caion, about 75 miles north of Williams. This caiion ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 feet in depth and ranks next to the Grand Caflon in natural beauty and grandeur. Their homes are not more than 8 or 10 miles from where the Cataract Caflon joins the Grand Cation, and in this distance the depth of the canon is increased many hundred feet by a series of magnificent cascades and waterfalls. Nowhere in the world has nature been more lavish in her demonstrations of power and exquisite beauty. It hardly seems possible that a race of people, however savage, could live for even one generation where the Book of Nature is always invitingly open before them without imbibing at least a few of its primary lessons. But I can not see that these Indians have learned any of its teachings. I saw them two years ago, when the Messiah craze was at its height. and they were dancing day and night for the coming of their Savior. To make these dances more impressive to the uninitiated, certain members would pretend to receive messages from the Messiah, and. suddenly breaking away from the cir- cling dancers, would rush into the center of the circle, throw themselves upon the ground, writhing, shrieking, moaning until utterly exhausted. Their su- perstition is wonderfully dense, their every act being guided by signs and sym- bols.
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