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range of

count of the naming of the valley and the nate with some historical fact or fanciful

tradition, this title of Sin-yal-min is pass

ing into disuse, having been superceded by Sin-yal-min, The Surrounded.the very commonplace and meaningless Once in a glade by a little stream upon

name of the “Mission” Mountains and the mountain side, a hunting party sur

Valley. In their religious zeal and pious rounded and killed a herd of elk. Not

desire to destroy every trace of that long thereafter in the same vicinity a paganism which it was their aim to kill, band of the Selish did battle with their root and branch, the early Jesuit fathers enemies, the Blackfeet, and by the strategy supplanted the old names with others of surrounding them, won the day. From symbolical of the Catholic faith. The loss these two incidents the mountains and the

of sentiment and fitness has been great, valley became known as Sin-yal-min, the and before it is too late, the ancient desigsurrounded.

nations, with their wealth of suggestion,

should be restored. Happily, some of the Unfortunately, like most of the names

Indian names, such as Missoula, a corwhich bind the places which they desig- ruption of In-Mis-Sou-Let-ka, remain,

and to each of them is attached a story replete with tradition and poetical imagery. Of all the many myths of the Selish there is none more touching nor spiritual than that of the sacred pine which runs thus:

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The Sacred Pine. Upon the hills of the Jocko stands a venerable pine tree. It has been there past the memory of the great-grandfathers of the present generation, and from time inmemorial it has been held sacred by the Selish tribe. High upon its branches hangs the horn of a big horn sheep, fixed there so firmly by an unknown hand that the blizzard has not been strong enough to wrest it from its place nor the corroding frost to gnaw it away. No one knows whence the sheep's horn came, nor what it signifies, but the tree is held in reverence, and the Indians believe that it possesses supernatural powers. Offerings are made to it of moccasins, beads, weasel skins (ermine), and such little treasures of wearing apparel or handiwork as the givers most esteem, and at certain seasons, beneath the cool, sweet shadow of its spreading boughs, the simple worshipers assemble to dance with religious fervor around its bole upon the green, thus doing honor to the old, beloved object of their devotion, in the primitive, pagan way.

Last summer at the time when the sun reached his greatest strength, according to ancient custom the Selish gathered to

A patriarch of the Flathead Tribe


Round-up of the Allard-Pablo herd of Buffalo, Flathead Reservation gether to dance. In this celebration is em- and cheeks, were braves. One of these. bodied the spirit of the tribe, their pride, seated a trifle higher than his companions, their hates and loves. But this dance had who leaned indolently over the tom-tom, a peculiar significance. It was, perhaps, plying his sticks with careless grace, posthe last that the people would hold. An- sessed a peculiar magnetism which marked other year the white man will occupy the him a leader. land, and the free, roving life and its hab- Of all that gathering, this Michel Kaiser its will be gone.

was the one perfect full-blood specimen of It was a scene never to be forgotten. a brave. It was he who, with suppressed Sharply outlined against the intense blue energy, flung back his head as he gave the above and the tender green below, silent shrill cry and quickened the beat of the figures on horseback, gay with buckskin, tom-tom until louder and louder, faster beads and blankets, rode out of the filmy and faster swelled the chant: distance into the setting sun and took their places around the musicians on the Come O! ye people! Come and dance !". grass. There were among them the most distinguished men of the tribe. Joe La Suddenly a brave, painted grotesquely, Mousse, a descendant of Ignace, the Iro- dressed in splendid colors, with a curious quois, grown to an honored old age, contrivance fastened about his waist, and watched the younger generation with the standing out behind like a tail, bounded simple dignity which became one of his into the ring, his hurrying feet beating to years and rank. He possessed the richest the tintinnabulation of sleigh bells atwar dress of all, strung with elks' teeth tached to his legs. Michel Kaiser and the and resplendent with the feathers of the young man who sat beside him at the tomwar eagle. He, with Charlot, met the Nez tom, gave up their places to others, and Perces and repudiated their bloody cam- after disappearing for a moment came paign. Francois and Kai-Kai-She, the forth freed from encumbering blankets, judge, both patriarchs, and Chief Antoine transformed with paint and ornament. A Moise, Callup-Squal-She, “Crane with a fourth dancer joined them, and the awering around his neck,” who followed begetting war dance began. The moveCharlot to Washington on his mission of ment was one of restrained force. With protest, moved and mingled in the bright bent heads and bodies inclined forward, patch-work of groups upon the green. one arm hanging limp and the other restBut towering above the rest of the assem- ing easily at the back, they tripped along bly, regal to the point of austerity, was until a war-whoop like an electric shock a man, aged but still erect, as though his sent them springing into the air with faces strength of pride would never

never let his turned upward and clenched fists lifted shoulders stoop beneath the conquering toward the sky. years. He wore his blanket folded closely This war dance explained many things. around him, and fanned himself with an It was a portrayal of the glorious deeds of eagle's wing, the emblem of the warrior. the warriors, a recitation of victorious One eye was hidden beneath a white film achievement, a picture of battle, of strikwhich shut out its sight forever, but the ing the body of a fallen enemy-one of other, coal-black and piercing, met the the greatest tests of valor. The act of stranger gaze for gaze, never flinching, striking was considered a far more gallant never turning aside. It Charlor. feat' than the taking of a scalp. After a Though an exile, his head was still unbent, foe was shot and had fallen, a brave seekhis pride unbroken.

ing distinction, dashed forth from his own Beneath a clump of cottonwood trees, band into the open field, and under the around the tom-tom, a drum made of deer deadly rain of the enemy's arrows, struck hide stretched over a hollowed section of with his hand the body of the dead or green tree, sat the four musicians, beating wounded warrior. In doing this he not the time of the chant with sticks bound in only courted the desperate danger of that strips of cloth. Of these players one was present moment, but brought upon his blind, another aged, and the remaining head the relentless vengeance of the famtwo, in holiday attire, with painted lips ily, the followers and the tribe of the


fallen foevengeance of a kind that can when the ghostly voices of warrior ances-
wait for years without growing cold. By tors, of forest dwellers and huntsmen,
such inspiring examples, the young men came echoing out of the past? Their
were stirred to emulation. The dance spirit was aroused and the festival would
showed, too, how in the past the storm last until the passion was quenched and
clouds of war gathered slowly until, with their veins were cooled.
lightning flash and thunder blast, the The next dance was started by a squaw.
warriors lashed themselves to the white It was called the "choosing dance," froin
heat of frenzy at which they mocked the fact that either a man or a woman
death. The whole thing seemed to be a chose a partner for the figure. The cere-
marshaling of the passions, a blood-fire as mony of invitation was simple. The one
irresistible and sweeping as those floods of who desired to invite another, grasped the
flame that lay the forests low.

individual's arm and said briefly:

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The warriors ceased their mad career. “Dance!” The sweat streamed from their brows The couples formed two circles around and down their cheeks as they sat beneath the tom-tom, one within the other, then the shade trees in repose. Still the tom- slowly the two rings moved 'round and tom beat and the chant continued. 'round, with a kind of short, springing

“Come, O! ye people! Come and step, droning the never-varying chant. At dance !”

the end of the dance the one who had 'They needed no urging now. What chosen his partner, presented him with a did they care for vespers and sermons gift. In some a horse or a COW


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