Interview with Ouray, Part 7

New-York Tribune (New York, N.Y.) October 08, 1874, page 4


Views among the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Camp scene. Sketching. Dr. Hayden and Walter Paris. Colorado. 1874. (Stereoscopic view)

The noises which strike your ear are equally varied, running all the way from the squealing of a poor little papoose strapped in its coffin-like cradle, or the really melodious laughter of a squaw to the hoarse whinnies of a hundred horses and the ringing report of a revolver.
          The one sound though which will attract your attention, and which you will never fail to hear, is the monotonous droning drama in the medicine man’s tent, generally accompanied by the more monotonous chanting of a series of notes in the minor key which is neither song nor howl nor chant, and which could go on endlessly if it wasn’t occasionally stopped by a yelp from the leader. The young bucks enjoy this singing and swing their bodies in time with a seriousness of countenance that is very funny to a white man.
          I have seen two different drums among them: one nothing more than buckskin tied tightly over the mouth of a jar, and the other made of raw hide stretched very tense over a broad hoop, so that the shape was that of a sieve.

This article was written by an unidentified member of the Hayden Survey team based on his August 27, 1874 interview with Ouray.

Photo courtesy the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library with desciption as written by a Hayden photographer.

Published in: on April 23, 2012 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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