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A Cayuse-Nez Percé Sketchbook

The Red Cones

Pages 17-18

[Image: 33.jpg]Page 17 (left). Two men, bearing guns, ride double. One has stained his hair red, or wears red flannel strips in it (Josephy, 1965:514),and the has painted his brow in the same hue. Both wear decorated trade cloth leggings, red full capotes, and the long fur bandolier sash. In the war parade, telaqi.n, that circled within the ring of tipis, such tandem riders brought up the rear. In retreat, theirs was the point of honor: one man or both held off a pursuing enemy to permit their fellows to escape; then at the last moment, they mounted and rode off to rejoin their party.

[Image: 20.jpg]Taken together with the rider on page 18 (right), similarly armed and clad, there can be little doubt that the tandem riders are of the three Red Cones of the Nez Percé War, who stained their capotes in this conspicuous hue in defiance of the soldiers (McWhorter, 1952:249). Those riding double were two youths, Wahlities (Shore Crossing) and his first cousin, Sarpsis Ilpilp (Red Moccasin Tops). They were riding thus in parade when their mount trod on roots spread to dry; whereupon the husband of the woman whose work they had spoiled reproved them for sporting instead of avenging the death of Wahlitits' father, slain by a White. Their revenge was the act thee precipitated hostilities. The third Red Coat rider (page 18) is Tipyahlahnah Kapskaps (Bold Eagle).

Next: The Shield Bearer

Last revision: 8/8/03 by N. Helmer
Created by Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries
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