Long Hair


A letter from Scott Leavitt to his friend Frank B. Linderman.
(complete article contributed by gunter.jentzsch from Germany) Thanks Gunter.
On the 22nd of September, 1930, Major General Hugh L. Scott and myself were guests of Plenty Coups at his home near Pryor.

We had taken part the day before in the dedication of marker at the old fort near Hardin and had been informed then that Plenty Coups desired us to come to his home. As you know, the old chief has an upper chamber in his home in which he keeps the things sacred to himself, such as his medicine bundle.

He received us there. There were two Crow women, a blind Indian, and Max Big Man, a Crow, besides General Scott and myself who witnessed an took part in the ceremony of purification performed by Plenty Coups before the opening of the medicine bundle ant the unwrapping of the lock of hair. The Old chief uttered a ceremonial prayer, washed his hands in the smoke of pine needles and rubbed them with beaver musk.

With the smoke he also purified his breast and arms. The beaver musk was passed around the circle for use on all of our hands before we were privileged to touch the lock of hair.

Finally Plenty Coups unrolled the bundle and removed the wrappings from the lock of hair. It was rolled in an open circle, wrapped in many colours of cloth and finally with buckskin, all of which he very reverently removed and then began to unwind the lock of hair. As the hair was unrolled it was passed from hand to hand around the circle until its entire length was displayed, and Max Big Man measured it with his hands, placing one after the other. The lock of hair measured seventy-six hands and the width of one
of Big Manīs fingers. This would prove it to be over twenty-five feet long. There was no evidence of any joining together of various locks. The reverence with which it was handled and regarded by Plenty Coups, whose deep sincerity is so well known to yourself, was further and conclusive proof to me that the lock is genuine.

I have never felt more greatly honoured than when Plenty Coups told us through Max Big Man that General Scott  
and myself were the first White men ever to be shown and allowed to touch this lock of hair. I regret a little delay in making final reply, entirely due to my desire to check up on my memory as to the exact length of the lock of hair. With sincerest personal regards and well wishes, very truly yours, Scott Leavitt.”

It was not said, which kind the medicine bundle was. I think it was a war bundle, because Plenty Coups was in his early years a great warrior. The lock of hair belonged probably to Chief Long Hair, who live in the first half of 19th century.

The Crow know a story of Long Hair, in which he short before his dead allowed the other chiefs to cut locks from his hair and use it to long life, health and prosperity of their families.
There is a connection between Chief Long Hair and the Heart Mountain. (complete article contributed by gunter.jentzsch from Germany) Thanks Gunter.

This is a copy of a painting of Chief Long Hair on a deer skin, Contributed by Linda Renne

This picture is at 100% thanks so much Linda!


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