In Sammy’s bronze depiction, the old man’s left hand holds a “coup stick” which depicts his own heroic deeds when he was a young brave—each feather represents one such “kill”, or act of touching a fallen enemy with his stick. On his right side sits his medicine bag from which he took symbols and totems to show to the youngsters at his feet.  On his head he proudly wears a cap of bison horns, representing the tribe’s totem animal. 

“Each tribe had its historians who considered it their sacred duty to instruct selected young men carefully in the traditions of the nation, just as their own teachers had taught them.  The boys would gather in the lodges, and the storyteller would repeat in words and actions the captivating tales again and again until, at last, they were committed to memory.”(From The Mystic Warriors of the Plains.)


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