LITTLE COOK, BIG SNAKE, NO EAR, BIG SNAKE
Creth stands here in front of the house
built by the federal government. Her father, Sam, grieved because he
signed away relinquishment papers to great lands in the Black Hills. In
exchange they were given a one hundred sixty acre allotments in Oklahoma.
There was nothing else he could do and no one of the tribal members ever
held him accountable for what he did. There was nothing else he could do.
They signed treaties that gave them houses, medical provisions, and food
for "as long as the grass shall grow, and the rivers shall
flow." The government didn't take into account that the people would
never really believe the Native Americans did own the land even though
there was no doubt in his mind. Maybe because the Natives didn't put down
stakes, fences, markers to show a particular area as their own.
Nevertheless, the land was theirs. The phrase was not used as to said to
be owned. It was a much closer feeling and was spoken of as an entity as
close to them as their own mother. With the loss of their land they said,
"we are pitiful, we have no mother."
The Poncas were farmers and the crops they
grew were of developed strains of corn, pumpkin, squash, potatoes, along
with wild plants. Sam's allotment was well cared for with an orchard,
watermelon crop, corn, and a small meadow with hay for the stock. There
were two houses built on the two allotments of his and Esther's.
Wah-Kohn-Dah was their great spirit. The
Rainmakers, were thought to have an opportunity to appeal to Wah-Kohn-Dah
for rain, that is if they remained true to their "Straight
Path." Stories are told about how they did appeal for rain and within
hours it would rain. When the rainmakers died it always rained on the
funeral. There had to be a container of water placed on their grave to
stop the rain, it is told.