Four Guns

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Four Guns was an Oglala Lakota chief. In 1891, he and two fellow chiefs, Pine Tree and Running Wolf were invited to dine with Clark Wissler, an anthropologist. After the dinner, he stated the following:

"I have visited the Great Father in Washington. I have attended dinners among white people. Their ways are not our ways. We eat in silence, quietly smoke a pipe, and depart. Thus our host is honored. This is not the way of the white man. After his food has been eaten, one is expected to say foolish things. Then the host feels honored. Many of the white man's ways are past our understanding, but now that we have eaten at the White Man's table, it is fitting that we honor our host according to the ways of his people.
Our host has filled many notebooks with the sayings of our fathers as they came down to us. This is the way of his people; they put great store upon writing; always there is a paper. But we have learned that there are many papers in Washington upon which are written promises to pay us for our lands; no white man seems to remember them.
The Indian needs no writings; words that are true sink deep into his heart where they remain in silence; he never forgets them."

Source[edit]

  • Armstrong, Virginia Irving. (1971). I Have Spoken. Sage Books, The Swallow Press Inc.