Thanksgiving Pony Smoke

Indian poniesOn November 24, 1901 The New York Times ran a front page article about Thanksgiving Day celebrations on Indian Reservations. Following is an excerpt.

The Apaches and Cheyennes are in the habit of holding a pony smoke: often the Osages indulge in this expensive festival.
          A pony smoke is a friendly meeting of two tribes and is especially appropriate for the occasion. The tribe giving the smoke is supposed to bear all of the expenses. They provide the best game and vegetables in the market for their guests.
          At the end of the first day’s meeting they present a good pony to the head of each family visiting them. As a tribe consists of from 300-500 families, the expenses soon mount high.
          The Osages, being the richest reservation Indians there are to-day, can better afford to hold pony smokes…Combined with their feast day, they generally invite several hundred guests from the Poncas, Tonkawas, and surrounding tribes. Those accepting the ponies are supposed to return the gift with equally expensive ones later on, but few of them can do so.

Published in: on November 24, 2014 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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