By David Fridtjof Halaas
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Additional info for Halfbreed: The Remarkable True Story Of George Bent - Caught Between The Worlds Of The Indian And The White Man
Mary—Ho-ka, or "Little Woman"—the oldest, was born in 1838, three years after William and Owl Woman married. Robert—Octavi-wee-his, or "Bird"—came in 1841, and Julia— Um-ah, or "Talking Woman"—in 1847. Sometime in the mid-1840s, William took two of Owl Woman's younger sisters, Island and Yellow Woman, into his lodge, a common practice among Cheyennes, especially when a husband possessed wealth and status. Yellow Woman bore him another son, Charley—Pe-ki-ree, or "White Hat"—in 1845. 2 I George was raised Cheyenne.
60 Again, blood had stained the Sacred Arrows. The alliance between White Thunder and Porcupine Bear, once so full of promise, had been 30 Worlds Apart smashed in an instant of drunken violence. Who would carry the war pipe for White Thunder? Who would lead the movement of the Arrows against the Kiowas? Old Little Wolf, the oldest surviving Bowstring, stepped forward. 61 The great war of revenge would go forward—White Thunder really had no choice— but its outcome was now in doubt. Porcupine Bear and the Dog Men were disgraced, and White Thunder no longer controlled the war's course.
49 William was not the first white man to contemplate marriage with an Indian woman. In fact, in the fur trade, there was a long tradition of Indian-white unions. Mountain men typically took Indian wives but abandoned them once they returned to white society. Indian women and their families, likewise, saw these liaisons as opportunities for short-term economic gain. Trappers and traders could supply them with the trade goods they coveted and that only white men could provide. True, their hairy faces offended Cheyenne sensibilities—the women knew them as "dog-faced men"—and their lousy clothing and dirty appearance made them less than perfect companions.