Talk:Owl Woman

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Verbiage to review[edit]

Here's the verbiage for Owl Woman that I updated: what was in the original article and what was in the source. Is the change that I already made to the article sufficient, Sitush?

Owl Woman

Bent provided gifts to everyone in the village, which included horses, saddles and bridles; blankets and cloth; guns, kettles, beads and silver ornaments.[6]

Source: page 165- 166

William's task as groom was to distribute gifts ... He gave horses, guns, kettles, silver ornaments, beads, cloth blankets, saddles and bridles

Thanks!--CaroleHenson (talk) 00:36, 27 June 2011 (UTC) Yes check.svg Done==CaroleHenson (talk) 16:06, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Next steps[edit]

Then what would you recommend as next steps, have me: - go through the rest of the article to see if there are issues? - go to another one of TK's examples, another non-Van Gogh article? Thanks!--CaroleHenson (talk) 00:38, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I will attempt to go through the entire thing tomorrow (Mon). Do not panic. - Sitush (talk) 00:40, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok, thanks! When working with you I don't panic (it's calm, methodical and productive) was just thinking ahead. I'll wait til I see updates. Thanks, Sitush!!!--CaroleHenson (talk) 00:49, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Can you see the footnote for the Abert quote (#50, on p. 24 of Halaas)? If so, does it give any indication of when he described her?
No, but I've seen the information somewhere else - that had the date. I'll take a quick spin before I hop into bed and see if I can find out where. And, I think I've also seen the description somewhere else.--CaroleHenson (talk) 07:17, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Found a little bit about when Abert was there. I believe the description of OW and painting was made in 1845: "One of the most notable guests was Lieutenant James Abert, a topographical engineer surveying the west with a U.S. Army expedition. In 1845, Abert described peace talks between the Cheyenne and the Delaware, and sympathized with the changes forced on the Indians by white settlers. As a naturalist, he sketched and studied the plants and animals of the area. While recouperating from an illness in 1846, he drew plans of the Fort, which provided architects with the necessary information to rebuild it in 1976." on page 4. If I cannot find more in the next 15 minutes, I'll resume looking in the a.m.--CaroleHenson (talk) 07:35, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, description taken and painting made in 1845. Now will see if I can find another source for the description. --CaroleHenson (talk) 07:38, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Another source for the description: --CaroleHenson (talk) 07:44, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I have removed a close paraphrase. This is one of those situations where there really isn't any other way to say things, except to alter the order of intelligence, beauty and grace as you did. Happen that with the extensive Abert quote it was simpler just to bin the sentence, which in any event related to the Cheyenne in general rather than the subject of the article in particular. My other edits have so far been minor fiddling about, although since I could not sleep you will be pleased to know that I have read Halaas and the CHS PDF already. - Sitush (talk) 07:07, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I liked that part - because it spoke to the character of Cheyenne women, but c'est le vie (sp might be off).--CaroleHenson (talk) 07:19, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Sp is fine, but the gender is wrong - la vie. - Sitush (talk) 07:21, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done by S--CaroleHenson (talk) 16:06, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Citation: Tail Woman[edit]

I didn't want to cause an edit conflict for you: Here's the citation for Tail Woman: <ref name=Halaas39>Halaas, Masich, 39.</ref>. There's another reference below in the article also for page 39, but no ref name. I'll check in the a.m.--CaroleHenson (talk) 08:10, 27 June 2011 (UTC) Yes check.svg Done--CaroleHenson (talk) 16:06, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

Nelson: Bridging Two Cultures[edit]

As far as is practicable, I would like to reduce the reliance on the Nelson "Bridging Two Cultures" source used in this article. It is a short potted history and I feel that it amounts to being a tertiary source. The footnotes to Nelson's document almost certainly account for practically (or, even, actually) everything that she says. So, if anyone can reduce the reliance by providing the alternate sources as noted by her then I would be grateful. - Sitush (talk) 23:32, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

There are five uses of Nelson - many, if not all, of which I can pull from other sources already in this article. I understand that it's not desired to use a PDF often, but I thought that something published by the state historical society was have some weight.
So that I understand better for the future, I got a little lost on:
  • "It is a short potted history"
  • "The footnotes to Nelson's document almost certainly account for practically (or, even, actually) everything that she says."--CaroleHenson (talk) 01:36, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
The problem is tertiary source. If something relies more or less entirely on the content of other works, as this appears to do, then we should ideally be using the sources upon which it relies. It is for this reason that, for example, other encyclopedias are usually deemed to be tertiary sources: they just pull together information published elsewhere, and often may not reflect the full story because their purpose is to summarise. WP is an encyclopedia, so if WP relies on other tertiary sources then we are moving further and further away from the "real" source, becoming a summary of a summary. This applies as much to, say, Encyclopedia Britannica as the Colorado State Hisory Society. The fact that this one happens to be in a PDF format is not relevant.
Tertiary sources should not be dispensed with out of hand but, as you point out, it looks likely that we can in this instance fairly easily find most of the info using the secondary sources referred to by it. - Sitush (talk) 01:43, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
WP:PSTS explains, if you can wade through it. - Sitush (talk) 01:45, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Ok, that helps. Ironically, when I've exhausted books and look on the web, I look for referenced material - thinking that if they provide credible references, that helps ensure that they're not copying it from a less than credible source. Hmmm. I'll look through the link you provided once I finish making headway with Owl Woman.--CaroleHenson (talk) 01:58, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Replaced four uses of Nelson entirely. Added a "back-up" ref for the one remaining Nelson cite that is helpful to keep.
Yes check.svg Done Read the link about tertiary sources - and that helps. And, it seems that if I am looking for something on the web, and fit a situation where a tertiary source is useful and reliable, it's still a good idea to look for references or source comments if it doesn't seem to be a second-teir source of info.--CaroleHenson (talk) 04:35, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Occupation of land by Cheyenne and Arkansas[edit]

The original sentence about the location of Bent Fort was correct: It was located not far from La Junta, in country occupied by both the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes, and became an important center of trade, principally in furs but also in numerous other goods.

There are multiple tribes in the area - but Bent specifically put the Fort on the north side of the Arkansas River, the lands of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes. The other tribes were on the south side of the Arkansas. It's not a huge deal for this article, but it is historically relevant. See the map at the bottom of this page.

Slip it in somewhere. I think p 214 or 219 of Hyde deal with it. Hyde is not yet published in the UK but I could well be ordering a copy when it is! - Sitush (talk) 10:03, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I saw your comment about a grammar issue with the paragraph that starts out: Both the Cheyenne and the Arapahoe had also been moving into the southern plains area around this time.
I think part of it may be a misunderstanding of the extent to which the Arapahoe and Cheyenne stayed north of the Arkansas River and the Cheyennes and a few other tribes south of it -- and the confusion when other tribes (who had not considered that part their land or hunting grounds) started coming to the area. The map helps understand the situation. I've become familiar with that in writing about Pueblo people from Taos, Utes, and the Anasazi. Do you want help with that?--CaroleHenson (talk) 16:16, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
For instance, I wouldn't have worded the first sentence that way.--CaroleHenson (talk) 16:16, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
All I know is that the comment about the two tribes moving into the area is cited. If it is wrong then we'll have to show two points of view. No big deal about that: we have had to do it a few times already, and there are some more to come (eg: Wm married Island, not Yellow Woman, according to Hyde). I think the first step is to check whether I have correctly interpreted the cited source. - Sitush (talk) 16:26, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Obviously, even though I wouldn't have worded it the same way, it wasn't enough of an issue for me to reword it when I read it. I've got to run out for a bit, here's a suggestion to run by you for next steps when I get back:
  • I'll go through the paragraph and review it, and any edits would likely bring in other sources
  • It may be that the best thing is to stay away from "marriage" for both Yellow Woman and Island. Island is the woman who took care of William and Owl Woman's children for years - so I can see that might be so, but George Bent in his glowing portrayal of Island never mentions her marrying his father (that I saw anyway). And, information about Yellow Woman is contradictory. So, my suggestion is that if we have something in there about Yellow Woman marrying William, we remove it. There could be a difference between what we'd consider a legal marriage - and what might have been considered a marriage from a tribal perspective.
Thoughts about that suggestion?--CaroleHenson (talk) 16:38, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
We cannot cherry-pick sources. Hyde says there was a marriage to Island. Another article had Bent marrying Yellow Woman. This one sort of sits on the fence. It needs to be dealt with. Bent's own work is, of course, not wonderfully reliable because it is a self-published source (& a hagiographic one, by the sound of things). We should be safe to assume that Hyde has read it, given she is published by a university press. However, no rush about this (or about the other issue you mention). - Sitush (talk) 16:44, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
I think you're a little grouchy today <g>. I'm not trying to cherry-pick sources - my point was to provide a fuller more accurate depiction of the issues - one notable example is the use of land south and north of the Arkansas River. How is getting a fuller explanation of the issue cherry picking? I am now happy to drop this part of the conversation. If I really want to get into the inter-tribal land use issues, I could write another article and just put a link in here (and other relevant articles).
Regarding the marriage issue. I think the key issue here is that there may be different definitions of "marriage" - and I would think that ommission of a marriage by the man raised by Island might be compelling. I just think it's very odd that George didn't mention Island being his step-mother. Here I'm trying to add a little common sense to picture. Of course, if you feel it is important to track it down and resolve it to your satisfaction - go for it.--CaroleHenson (talk) 17:00, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
My reference to cherry-picking was with regard to the marriage issue, not the settlement bit. Hyde says he married Island. If we do not put it in then I'll bet someone else does in the future, and unless they have identified the problem that I have identified then the article will be misleading. So we need to head the issue off at the pass: are there in fact alternate views (as the other article - Wm Bent or Bent's Fort - intimates). And can we rely on Owl Woman's son to write anything useful at all from a Wikipedia point of view. WP:SPS determines that last bit. You appeared to be suggesting that we ignore the second marriage altogether but that is cherry-picking, IMO, given that we do refer to both Island and Yellow Woman as being involved with Wm. OK, maybe it is cherry-picking by omission (picking no cherries?!) but it is an avoidance of what amounts to a responsibility on our part. It can be resolved, given some time. It is not our position to speculate on what form a marriage might have taken/what constitutes a marriage, interesting although that may be.
Marriage rituals have actually driven me up the wall recently, due to rows about the rather unusual ones of the Nair caste. However, those are cited and therefore not speculation.
Whatever you want to do. If you want to deal with the differences in respect to who married Wm. Bent, like I said go for it. I was just trying to explain that there might be cultural differences that have allowed for the different portrayals of who married Wm. Bent (YW or Island or noone from a legal, common perspective). If I took out the reference for Yellow Woman marrying Wm, I can find it for you. If we put in everything we find in a source, we'd have books rather than articles. For me, what has been important for the story is 1) background about OW and her family and marriage, 2) her role at Bent Fort, 3) the nature of the NA tribal disputes. I would think the points about subsequent marriages are best suited to the William Bent article. It really is the contributors and copy editors who figure who what information is essential for telling the story, with guidance from guidelines, etc. about selecting essential, salient info, etc. But this is all personal opinion - we don't always see things the same way, and that's perfectly ok. I'll say it again, go for it! For now, I'm going to go back to the self-review of Frances Wisebart Jacobs.--CaroleHenson (talk) 18:03, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
Seeing that you're working on the relationship info for Wm. Bent, here's a bit more:
  • Halaas says that both Island and Yellow Women were Bent's stepmothers: pages 42, 65, 122, 355 - Although George never considered Yellow Woman his stepmother p. 62. Although there was an account that Yellow Woman did little for the children p.65, 122, it seems as if Island and Yellow Women both traveled, had experiences and raised the Bent Children, Halaas p. 52-53, 96, 192. And, then Island and Yellow Woman left Wm. and George had another stepmother, Adaline 249.--CaroleHenson (talk) 04:38, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Referring to Wm. Bent: "His first wife was Owl Woman. After her death in 1847, he married another Indian woman named Yellow Woman. -- George Bird Grinnell, "Bent's Old Fort and Its Builders," Kansas Historical Collections, v. XV, pp. 46, 47.
  • At, p. 130 Owl Woman died at the fort in 1847 in giving birth to Julia, and her husband afterward married her sister. Yellow Woman.--CaroleHenson (talk) 05:02, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Also saw Adaline's name as "Adalena Harvey"--CaroleHenson (talk) 04:49, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Like I said, I have no particular opinion of the settlement bit. It is cited but (a) if there is doubt then someone needs to check my interpretation of the cite and (b) even if my interpretation is right then there is nothing wrong with showing two differing viewpoints from reliable sources etc. Simples! - Sitush (talk) 17:17, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Of the four sources mentioned above for the possible situation with re-marriage, two of them are the same author (Grinnell) making the same statement - the problem here is that it is a footnote and there is no context, eg: he could then have married Island also. We would need the original book/article. I really do not think that the biography of C. M. Russell is worth much at all as it appears to be anecdotal from stories of childhood told by the father to the son. Halaas is, of course, ok.

It's a bit of a shame about the Russell book as it contains a little nugget re: who they stayed with in St Louis (an aunt). Might be able to finagle that in there somewhere if we can find some support that does not use CMR as a source, although it is not a major point. It is certainly highly specific, assuming that it has survived both the childhood memory of the father and the subsequent memory of his son.- Sitush (talk) 16:59, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Grinnell's oriignal article is here. - Sitush (talk) 17:04, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Curious quote[edit]

Varnell says that Owl Woman was described as "a most estimable good woman of much influence in the tribe" and this is repeated in the article. Varnell has footnoted the quote, which then takes us to Lavender's Bent's Fort book. So, we're none the wiser regarding who actually said this: was it a contemporary quote, or one made perhaps by George, or one in fact made by Lavender. Would be interesting to find out. - Sitush (talk) 20:21, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

Comments and a source[edit]

Pardon the intrusion but I'd left this watched because I know a little about it. Margaret Coel is a fairly well-known author and researcher from Boulder; writes a series of mysteries about the Arapaho indians; and in her history of the Arapaho has written this about Owl Woman, p. 25. She's a very good source; the best person researching this material at the moment - spends a lot of time at the Wind River Reservation. Also, Owl Woman was important because she helped keep the peace. The peace was necessary because Fort Bent was a necessary and notable stopping place on the Oregon Trail. Sourcing that will be difficult however. Anyway, hope you guys don't mind. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 03:25, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, TK.--CaroleHenson (talk) 04:02, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Don't mind in the slightest. In fact, I was hoping that you were watching, TK, because I would appreciate your input on a couple of things when the current flurry of edits settle.
  1. are the numerous expansions becoming unfocussed; and
  2. do you consider the close paraphrasing to be resolved for this one
It is disheartening that you, too, seem to agree with me that there may be issues with nailing the reason for her HoF induction. That, after all, is the thing that her WP:N ultimately hangs on. I'm not finished yet, obviously, but your comment does not make me hopeful that this particular issue will be resolved. - Sitush (talk) 09:34, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
I haven't really been following the edits or looked closely at the text, but I think if you attribute to authors and use direct quotations in areas that might be dicey, you'll be fine. As for notability - a rambling response here. In a sense she was Colorado's Sacajawea - who, in many ways, made the Lewis and Clark Expedition possible. Similarly, Owl Woman made the Santa Fe Trail safe (sorry, I mentioned the wrong trail above). The Fort was vital because of its location, see this [1], it made trade possible, it anchored the routes through to the west which were being actively explored under Manifest Destiny, etc, etc. None of this would have been possible without Bent's brilliant marriage to Owl Woman, her status, and her diplomacy. Without her, trade would have stopped, threatening manifest destiny. Those few decades were vital, so I think she is very notable. The problem is, like so many of these stories, most of the documentation is from the side of victors. The Cheyenne and Arapaho were wiped out or moved within decades and the only way to get at the stories is through the tribal oral histories - many of which are quickly being lost. I linked Coel because she's a journalist, now writer, who interviews the tribal elders and her work is good. For the importance of the Fort read Hyde, page 162. To establish her importance, you might want to set up a background section explaining why she was important, but as I said finding a sources that pulls all this together will be hard. If we didn't have to follow the sources it would be a different story, but because we have to avoid WP:SYNTH and WP:OR, it's a tricky situation. I'll have a look at the text and respond re focussed. I don't know whether this helps, but perhaps provides context. 12:48, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
It helps and it supports with perhaps a little more detail exactly what Carole has been saying. I'm always happy to have input from people who actually know about these sort of things. I am often working purely off sources and while that is A Good Thing in a Wikipedia sense (NPOV, difficult to introduce OR etc), sometimes I struggle with context and I simply do not have the time to follow every single byway regarding a subject. If you do have the time to read this thing once it has settled down then I for one would appreciate it. One thing I am finding useful in various places re: the synth issue is to try to phrase things in such a way that the reader is invited subliminally to do their own synthesis. That trick might work here. - Sitush (talk) 13:02, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Hyde actually has more background on page 160 and 161. There's a nice picture on p. 161 too, that I think could be used. The problem is staying focussed on Owl Woman herself, but the background helps to anchor her notability. Judicious linking helps too - for trappers, link to Mountain man which also gives context. This section is a bit dodgy. I'd do something like this: Anne Hyde writes in Empires, Nations and Families that "Bent's Fort was the one spot on the Santa Fe trail where exchanges with indians were welcomed and encouraged .... archeological evidence tells us that people sat in the courtyard together and smoked—a lot". Then you don't have to worry about rewording and you're establishing a reliable and expert source in the text. When I can't think of how to reword I just lift the full quote, and sometimes when I come back to the text in a few days it's easy to paraphrase - sometimes not, and the quote stays. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 13:34, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the section is dodgy. You might have noticed that it is the bit which I am working on at present. There is some probably further iffy-ness below that, since I started at the top and am working through more or less chronologically. I've read Hyde but will re-read the pages you refer to. I have probably forgotten something that I read, which will not have been helped by the fact that I relied on memory & a couple of night's sleep rather than notes. It is a wonder that I have not accidentally included Nair or Paravar or something similar in here as one of the tribes, since those are the type of Indians people I have been dealing with a lot of late. - Sitush (talk) 13:44, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I noticed the picture, too, and would assume that it is ok to use. I would much rather use a contemporary picture than those of the restored fort, although there is probably room for both. Would have to screen grab the pic unless someone has the book (it is not yet published here in the UK). - Sitush (talk) 13:46, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

Reading down to page 169 a large peace gathering between tribes is described. These truly were unusual, at this time, in this place, so that could be used too, to show the fort was a place of safety. I'd do a screen-print of the image. I think up a little from 169 there's a description of the "melange" of cultures, and a contemporary description of Owl Woman as an indian squaw - one of two women living in the fort - which is probably useful to show that whites didn't really approve of Owl Woman, Bent, the fort, the indians, etc. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 13:53, 2 July 2011 (UTC)
Good summary here. The editor is Deverell, the essay written by Hyde. I think it's a little more accessible. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 14:16, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

General note[edit]

I think this is looking very good. I haven't read all the way through, but a quick scan shows a nice page. I do have a question about calling Bent an "Anglo-American" in the lead - a couple of sources seemed to show he was a Mestizo, so that might need some teasing out.

As a note, some of the most difficult and rewarding pages I've worked on were biographies of people who were no more than footnotes in books (see Edmund Evans for example). The nice thing about wikipedia is that these people don't aren't forgotten. So that's my general note of encouragement. I think it's best for me to unwatch for a little while because my fingers tend to get a bit itchy. Ping me if you have questions. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 20:23, 2 July 2011 (UTC)

I also need to tease out the mention in the lead of Owl Woman being a princess. Yes, it is said by one source but so far I have found no other that uses the word. Furthermore, I used the word "totemic", which Carole then linked. Having read the totem article, I am not sure whether I was sufficiently judicious in my selection of word - "symbolic" might be better, as I am not qualified to say that the arrows were totems.
You will be pinged. - Sitush (talk) 20:56, 2 July 2011 (UTC)


Here's the image from Hyde, page 161 for you guys to decide where it should go. File:Bent's Fort 1848.png. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:43, 3 July 2011 (UTC)

Year of marriage[edit]

I was already aware that there are some issues with dates and, indeed, have added a footnote for this. However, Hyde p. 164 says the marriage was in 1835 but on p. 355 says it was in 1838. This is ridiculous, especially since I recall Varnell admitting uncertainty by saying that it was some time between 1835 and 1837. I am not very happy with this self-contradiction in Hyde. What to do? - Sitush (talk) 22:56, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

It's entirely possible that it's a typo in the book. One thing to do would be to qualify the information - i.e Owl Woman "likely" married in 1835; or she "may have been married" in 1835. An alternative would be to point out the discrepancy, explaining the Hyde shows dates of 1835 and 1838, and Varnell a date range, then use all the page numbers and bundle them into a single ref. I'll start watching this again so you don't have to ping with questions. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:43, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I am loathe to draw attention to an apparent contradiction in Hyde's book, typo or otherwise. I can see the sense in being explicit but if it were to turn out to be a typo then I would feel pretty bad about it. I rather favoured your first option even before starting this section but thought it best to draw the issue to the attention of a wider audience (all three of us!). I seem to recall that "likely" is kinda how Varnell put it. I have been through most (& perhaps al) of the sources mentioned in previous threads above but need to revisit the Halaas stuff. CH kindly sent that through to me, I read it and now need to re-read before further edits. Then there is a general search to be done, regarding which I have probably only touched the tip of the iceberg & am severely constricted by availability.
Obviously, I need to be looking at other issues elsewhere, in which you and CH both have been involved. However, I think that with a fair bit of pruning. reorganising and tidying up etc this one could actually end up being somewhere close to a GA. Which is somewhat more than I originally intended. Alas, it is likely to take a back seat for a while due to the more pressing matters. You have a lot of experience in the Ga/FA area and also with relevant sources for this particular article, so your input on the article page itself would be nice. Even without the pretty little star, this article can be darn decent. Don't look back, look forward? Appreciate your involvement so far. - Sitush (talk) 23:42, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
I once was forced to draw attention to a discrepancy, or rather a situation about which little was known during a FAC review (or course that bombed badly, but nonethesless .... ). If you don't mind letting me play around with it a bit, without having read more than Hyde and Varnell, I might come up with a sentence that satisfies. As for GA - I think it's very much in the GA range. I'd be happy to plow through with a copyedit, and when you and Carole are satisfied I'd suggest sending it to GAN. As for the long run, what I tend to do is let pages sit - for months sometimes. I think of it as slow cooking. I gather bits and bobs of sources, poke around a bit during that period, and then come back for further expansion and full polish before doing a FAC run. That's my pattern, many people work differently, so it's entirely up to you guys how to go about doing it. Anyway, I do think that the collaborative nature of Wikipedia, which can often be uncomfortable and drama-inducing, also works toward bringing together a variety of perspectives that can, and in this case has, created a very nice page. For whatever all that's worth. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 00:15, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Comments - Bent, Living Arrangements[edit]

Hi, just a couple of comments:

The article has come along very well - great information here!

I think that there are a couple of areas for clarification:

  1. There were more to the turmoil in the area than the Mexican War of Independence: there were also conflict about land use among the tribes. I'll take a peak at that. I put a note in "edit" mode as a placeholder.
  2. I think more is being made of the living arrangements than is needed: fort, lodge outside the fort and Big Timbers and I can work on that. (Note to my recent edits: I thought it was Varnell that mentioned that Yellow Woman stayed at the fort when Owl Woman did - but I see that Varnell (maybe to avoid confusion in a short article) stays away from Owl Woman having her own lodge. I'll work on that.)
  3. I'll also try to tease out the "Big Timbers" bit a little more clearly - it might be helpful to think of it as a seasonal home for hunting and food gathering (these were more like hunter and gathers, than Pueblo people who stayed in one place year-around).
  4. I took a stab at reorganizing a bit for flow, does that help?
  5. I have a little bit of a concern that there's so much emphasis on Bent, that it waters down Owl Woman's role, especially since there's not a lot of great detail in many of the sources about her role. I kind of stepped away for a bit for the great effort of expansion, but it may be that the Owl Woman book might be good to go and get. (It's at my downtown library) It also might be good to think about moving (or copying/rewording) some of the information to the William Bent article. Thoughts about that?

GREAT job, though!!!--CaroleHenson (talk) 03:55, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Changed from bullets to numbers.--CaroleHenson (talk) 13:58, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
2. Updated this section to be more reflective of their brand of nomadic lifestyle. Still working on one remaining item under living arrangements: Yellow Woman joining Owl Woman in the fort Yes check.svg Done
3. Updated the information about Big Timbers. Yes check.svg Done
4. The article was reorganized to distinct background and biography section, and generally within chronological order within those sections. Yes check.svg Done
5. I'm less concerned about emphasis being taken away from Owl Woman now that there's a separate biograhy section - and don't think it's necessary now to move any information to the William Bent article, but it may be helpful to introduce some of the key points to the Bent and/or Bent's Fort article. Bent's article, for instance is quite short in comparison.
More to come.--CaroleHenson (talk) 14:14, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Added "dones" above.--CaroleHenson (talk) 15:27, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Will look into the items I have as note placeholders <!-- --> in the Owl Woman article itself:
  1. Tribal tensions (not just Mexican War of Independence that caused tension)Yes check.svg Done
  2. Expand a bit who would be at the fort (woman/women), settlers, Spanish / Mexicans, etc. Yes check.svg Done
  3. Find information about African American slaves who lived at the fort until release by Wm. Bent following a battle/raid. Yes check.svg Done
  4. Expand Owl Woman's role, for instance I'm not seeing any longer the part about her working at the fort, managing caravans, and more is needed to be found about her role in inter-tribal negotiations Yes check.svg Done with what I can find online
  5. Children's education in St. Louis - I think while at the home of an aunt and uncle Yes check.svg Done I couldn't find useable sources to prove that Robert also went to school in St. Louis \ Westport. Nor any mention of the other children's schooling, other than Bent's intention that they receive an education in Missouri and Robert Campbell appointed as guardian to oversee their education - in snippet-like view.
--CaroleHenson (talk) 15:27, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Added "done" to #8 above.--CaroleHenson (talk) 16:32, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
More updates for #7 and 9.--CaroleHenson (talk) 07:09, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
and #10--CaroleHenson (talk) 07:31, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
added last done for #6.--CaroleHenson (talk) 18:22, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Nelson - Colorado Historical Society[edit]

I added back the Nelson source (that I removed when I saw there were no citations), a tertiary source, from the Colorado Historical Society. I understand the guidelines tertiary sources are not the optimal source of information, and should not be used for a main portion of an article. Since there is little information about Owl Woman's role, can we resolve the "dubious" question about this source for the one item that is helpful to the article to explain what she did at the fort?--CaroleHenson (talk) 17:06, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

added parenthetical after: "I added back the Nelson source"--CaroleHenson (talk) 17:53, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Not in my opinion. It is a poor source, period. More of a guidebook. If the working in the fort and managing wagon trains did happen then they must be somewhere in the sources Nelson cites herself, if she has any integrity. If we can't find them in those cited sources then I really wouldn't trust Nelson. - Sitush (talk) 22:10, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I disagree on several counts. I've removed everything from Nelson except this item, which is a lead in to the sentence about her leading a caravan (mirror reference). For what it's worth, I read somewhere that she was fluent in several languages and taught languages to Mexican, European and native Americans - but since it had inaccurate info (she was said to have married Charles) ignored it. It seems to be that this fits a situation for tertiary sources, but of course, that's just my opinion.--CaroleHenson (talk) 22:25, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that no-one else seems to say this stuff, at least in so far as I have read. I would have thought that if she travelled on the trains etc then Grinnell, who deals with such matters extensively, would have mentioned it. I cannot recall if I have now read all of the sources which she cites but if I have then that statement has no place in this article. Furthermore, there is absolutely nothing to demonstrate that Nelson has been peer-reviewed as it is quite clearly just a history society information sheet (and a poorly compiled one, at that). It acts as a lead for a statement from Varnell, who is another source I have my doubts about, and sort of contradicts the quote from Abert (who says that OW did not work and that is why her hands were in such good shape; I do appreciate that this could be a relative term and not an indication that she visited Ye Olde Nail Parlor on a weekly basis).
Quite where Varnell gets her mirror-flashing story from is beyond me, and it does not feel right to me. But what do I know? Bearing in mind that Varnell is actually a journalist I think that we do have to be aware of the possibility that "color" may have been inserted. She, too, seems not to be published by a heavyweight outfit and her tone is extremely chatty, which makes for a pleasant read but is not common in this field!
I wonder if these two bits of info have come from George's writing? I will have a think. - Sitush (talk) 01:14, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
For what it's worth, when I look at material from a given source I look to see if the information that they present is consistent with what is being quoted from other sources - and if so, anything new has a degree of credibility. So, like the point I mentioned about Owl Woman knowing and teaching languages to Mexican, Native Americans and Europeans I did not use the reference because the article said that OW was married to Charles Bent. Again, just my opinion but trying to give insight into one of the ways I try to validate whether it seems to be a credible source. Does that make sense?--CaroleHenson (talk) 14:15, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Deverell, p. 313[edit]

The article says "In contrast to other marriages of the two cultures, Bent and Owl Woman's partnership represented the constructive melding of two different cultures that "resulted in children, wealth and power."

This is not what Hyde says in the Deverell book. She does not mention any contrasts of marriages between the two cultures anywhere in her chapter that I can recall. All she says is that many American observers (& she is vague about whether they are contemporaries or latter day) "snootily" saw such marriages as being of convenience. At best, this means that some outsiders looked down on the marriages. That some were marriages of convenience certainly was already covered in the article before today, and I rather think that the general point - kids, wealth, power - may also already have been made (I haven't read through it properly yet). As I recall, there were other "successful" US-NA marriages involving people involved in the fort enterprise, as well as two brothers marrying two Mexican sisters. - Sitush (talk) 22:07, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

I think there's a point that it's not stated outright but is inferred. And yes, I had debated about mentioning the two sisters-in-law, but since we were focusing on the marriage of OW and Bent left it out. I'm trying to bridge the previous sentence in the article about most marriages to Native American women by mountain men, etc. were casual and would end when the men no longer had a need for the women, which was not the case here. Let me work on rewording the sentence.--CaroleHenson (talk) 22:20, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done removed the part about "In contrast to other marriages of the two cultures," - and inserted a mid-sentence "however". Cool?--CaroleHenson (talk) 22:30, 10 July 2011 (UTC)


Are there page numbers for: "Grinnell has commented extensively on how the fort was usually relatively empty during the summer months and that during that period Bent would often be riding the six month journey on the 500 miles (800 km) long trail to and from Westport, Missouri in order to trade the goods gathered over the previous winter and replenish the stocks of the fort for the forthcoming hunting season." I went there to confirm at the Grinnel (1923) link that both uses of "Westport" were Missouri - and while I could find a spot referencing "Westport, Kansas City" which is in the state of Missouri, I couldn't find the material referenced in the article.--CaroleHenson (talk) 23:55, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Examples are pp. 24-27 and p. 57. - Sitush (talk) 00:00, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Above pages are for the bulk of the stuff about being absent/distance etc. For Westport being Kansas City in Mo., see p. 19. - Sitush (talk) 00:03, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I think there's a misunderstanding.
1) I agree that Westport is Westport, Kansas City. There had been two links in the article one of which was to Westport, Kansas (in the state of Kansas) which I corrected after checking out Hyde and Grinnell to "Westport, Missouri". So, we're totally good there.
2) But, I wasn't sure where the following is located. The reference is "Grinnell (1923)" with no pages for: "Grinnell has commented extensively on how the fort was usually relatively empty during the summer months and that during that period Bent would often be riding the six month journey on the 500 miles (800 km) long trail to and from Westport, Missouri in order to trade the goods gathered over the previous winter and replenish the stocks of the fort for the forthcoming hunting season." --CaroleHenson (talk) 01:44, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
i.e., what should be the page numbers for #46: "Grinnell (1923)"?--CaroleHenson (talk) 01:56, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah! And argh! And perhaps GRRRRR! I guess I left the pages out because of the word "extensively", by which I meant in many parts of the source. 24-27 should be enough, though. Have you spotted the contradiction yet? I spotted it a few hours ago when you changed the summer/winter thing. If Bent was on the trail for 6 months from spring, and since the hunting season is the winter months, if OW and he were at Big Timbers in the winter then they would be away from the fort and its most busy period. Which seems very odd to me and will need some explaining away. - Sitush (talk) 02:40, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I've noticed the contraditions around timing / seasons. I think that it's also likely that we'll not be able to sort it out because notations for a season may not necessarily mean an entire season - nor all the time. There are some statements made that seem to indicate a pattern, but it may have been a pattern for a window of time, if that makes sense.
Just trying to narrow things in from a 64 page document. I'm getting that you're saying that it's page 24-27 for that specific bit in the article, so I updated the article accordingly, feel free to update if I missed something. A bit of an arghhh back.<g>--CaroleHenson (talk) 02:54, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. My point regarding the contradictions is that we have to deal with them, not sweep them under the carpet. It was only when you did your stuff today that I realised the problem existed regarding the seasonal issue (you will recall I was going to re-read Halaas). This is a major difference in the sources and, not being a hunter of plains animals, I have no idea which is more likely to be correct. As such, I really cannot even demote discussion of the difference to a footnote. It would have to be explained in the body of the article. While I understand the "not entire season" argument, there is quite a difference between winter and summer, which is roughly how the article is dividing things.
My guess would be that the hunting season is the winter months because (a) the animals will be fatter; (b) their fur will be thicker/more luxurious; (c) their reactions will likely be slower. To me, it makes sense that OW would be away from the fort when her husband was away from it: she may as well go visit her family and get a bit of cheap baby-sitting etc. Obviously, that is OR/SYNTH! I am afraid that this is another one that needs some pondering & perhaps some more reading around. - Sitush (talk) 03:08, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Sitush, maybe a deep breath would be good - we'll get there!
The problem is that for the most part the source material divides things by summer and winter - fall and spring, not so much. I made my comments about it might be hard to figure out because I've been trying to tighten it up - which is how I caught the winter/summer typo.
Taking your example regarding buffalo: There was something I read in a source that made me believe that there was buffalo hunting in the winter at Big Timbers. Since it was the main source of food for the tribe I don't think it's realistic to assume that they hunted for all the meat that they needed in the summer and were able to store for the entire year. I think it's also reasonable (based upon other things I've worked on recently) to assume that the entire village did not need to move for all of the buffalo hunting.
I think it's fair to say that we both want the article to be accurate and reflect what occurred as closely as we can. I hope that's clear. I think we just have different ways of going about that. For instance, the "Living arrangements" edits I made reflect additional information and reframing that clarify that the Cheyenne are a nomadic tribe, and as such didn't have permanent dwellings. This was a change from making it seem as if the authors disagreed about where they dwelled. Does that make sense?
I keep digging as I'm working on the children section (which has me reading a LOT of material over a span of time) to try and sort out the seasonal nomadic cycles.--CaroleHenson (talk) 04:14, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
There is more clarifying information about the travels for the family from April to fall in the "Living Arragements" section starting out "In April". This also fits with info about the carpenter and blacksmith who had to work to have the gear in good condition for the trains leaving in April.--CaroleHenson (talk) 18:25, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Women, how many people at the fort[edit]

How would you like to resolve this: "Due to the transitory nature of visits to the fort on the Santa Fe trail, there are differences in opinion regarding how many women lived at the fort. According to Hyde, Owl Woman was one of four who did so, whereas Grinnell believes that it was "plentifully peopled with women and children as well as men."<ref name=Hyde167>Hyde (2011), p. 167.</ref><ref>Grinnell (1923) p. 25</ref>"

A couple of thoughts:

  • I have read that permanent women at the fort included Charlotte Green, Chipita, other wives of employees and at times Owl Women and her sister(s).
  • The number of men and women varied upon the time of year - and whether travellers are counted or not.
  • Cheyenne men, women and children often lived near the fort and were welcome there, but left at nighttime

I've added more information about who was at the fort, why they were there, etc. in the Living at the fort section.

How would you like to proceed with the two sentences? Feel free to make edits as an answer.--CaroleHenson (talk) 05:12, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Added strike out and minor edit in bold.--CaroleHenson (talk) 19:26, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Information about the children[edit]

Here's some additional information, that may be interesting for the article

Any thoughts about that?--CaroleHenson (talk) 19:05, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to put these in the William Bent article.--CaroleHenson (talk) 01:33, 14 July 2011 (UTC)