Friday, May 17, 2013

Osage Sioux - Hopewell Indian Legends of the Woolly Mammoth

Osage Sioux Hopewell Indian Legends of the Woolly Mammoth

Osage Sioux -Hopewell Indian mound builders platform pipe from Iowa.

     A remarkable story, alleged in support of the coexistence of the Indian, and the mammoth's great contemporary the mastodon, regarded by most scientists with distrust, though defended by some, was that of Dr. Albert Koch, collector of curiosities, who in 1839 disinterred the skeleton of a mastodon in a clay bed near the Bourboise River, Gasconade County, Missouri. Associated with the bones Koch claimed to have discovered, in the presence of a number of witnesses, a layer of wood-ashes, numerous fragments of rock, "some arrowheads, a stone spearpoint, and several stone axes," evidencing he claimed, that the huge animal had met its untimely end at the hands of savages, who, armed with rude weapons of stone and boulders brought from the bed of the neighboring river, had attacked it, while helplessly mired in the soft clay, and finally effected its destruction by fire.

Koch also published with his statement and in connection with another skeleton, that of the Mastodon giganteus discovered by him in Benton County, Missouri, a tradition of the Osage Indians, in whose former territory the bones were found, and which he says led him to the discovery. It states, says Koch, "that there was a time when the Indians paddled their canoes over the now extensive prairies of Missouri and encamped or hunted on the bluffs. That at a certain period many large and monstrous animals came from the eastward along and up the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, upon which the animals that had previously occupied the country became very angry, and at last so enraged and infuriated by reason of these intrusions, that the red man durst not venture out to hunt anymore, and was consequently reduced to great distress. At this time a large number of these huge monsters assembled here, when a terrible battle ensued, in which many on both sides were killed, and the remnant resumed their march toward the setting sun. Near the bluffs which are at present known by the name of the Rocky Ridge one of the greatest of these battles was fought. Immediately after the battle the Indians gathered together many of the slaughtered animals and offered them up on the spot as a burnt sacrifice to the Great Spirit. The remainder were buried by the Great Spirit himself, in the Pomme de Terre River, which from this time took the name of the Big Bone River, as well as the Osage, of which the Pomme de Terre is a branch. From this time the Indians brought their yearly sacrifice to this place, and offered it up to the Great Spirit, as a thank-offering for their great deliverance, and more latterly, they have offered their sacrifice on the table rock above-mentioned (a curious rock near the spot of the discovery), which was held in great veneration and considered holy ground."