The project “Stories – Told at the Fire” should start with the contribution of Sherman Chaddlesone:
When I had reported Sherman Chaddlesone in a mail of the plan which the teacher Joachim Burghardt planned, he reacted spontaneously and highly motivated: – – – He immediately made me a report and a picture to download on his homepage. – – – As a remark he still informed me in his mail that he had been about 11 -12 years old as he had read this story the first time. It had not aroused horror in him but aroused his interest in historical connections. I can say that him this interest actually accompanies from the time over all the years and his engagement determines. – The title of this report was: “The Winter they dragged the Head”.
I sat quite dumbfounded now there.
Joachim Burkhardt had had prepared “seats” in the tepee before so that we would be able to sit on the tree sections in a round on the agreed day, the project beginning. He had already lovingly introduced the “Indian” topic in his class of approx. 10-year-old pupils weeks ago: – – – Every child was allowed to think up an Indian name of its own. For example “Warm Summer Day”, “White Star”, “Bright Spring”, “Early Sun”, “Blue Eagle”, “Fast Runner”. … – – – In the musical lessons he had arranged several songs which sang the children with enthusiasm to his guitar companion: “The river flows on now”, for example, an originally Indian song processed and translated by Margarete Jehn. The children also had got to know quite a number of examples of Indian sign language. And they lived carried by the ideas of values of original Indian cultures at this time: Therefore at those times, in which Indians could still be happy in their country, with their animals, with their families, with their tribe community.… – – – Yes and there had been still Jochen Richter who wanted to import the children into Indian rituals with creative ideas.
The situation for the class looked that way. Should I report this story now there? – The children confront with the terrible reality in which the Indians had been meanwhile?
It was clear to me: Of course they also must get to know this reality! – – – However, what let me hesitate? – – – I had to discover this! And I arrived at the conclusion that I would like to put value on “understanding”. Therefore it was important to me that it gets understandable for the children, the settlers from Europe out of which motives have acted so – and just out of which motives are the reactions of the Indians to understand.…
I had noticed that the talk was at the end of the story of “The Winter they dragged the Head” of a little German boy who had become a witness to this occurrence.
About this I wanted to know more! And I have asked Sherman Chaddlesone by mail to give me information to this. – – – The facts which I have got from him formed now the basis for me to “The Story of Boin Edal”. I have written the text in a child-oriented language so that the children could understand the events and the motives of the people as well. I have integrated the story of the winter 1837/38 into my story of “Boin Edal”. In arrangement with Sherman Chaddlesone, I have left two sentences out and paraphrased the contents with other words. – – – Renate Hugel
Remark: – – – I have left the description of the “decapitation” out because this cruel idea would employ the children so that it would be in the foreground. However, I wanted to see this in the focus of the attention of the children: the “understanding”. – – – The complete version of the original Indian story is published at the end of this contribution.
Im November 2011: First meeting in the Tepee during „Stories – Told at the Fire“ – – – Participants: Pupils of a 4th class, Joachim Burkhardt (class teacher / guitar) – like also Jochen Richter + Renate Hugel (not on the left photo) – – – Right photo: Jochen Richter is just telling the legend of the wood: „The stationary people“(After Renate Hugel having reported „The Story of Boin – Edal“.)
Stories – Told at the Fire: The Fire in the Tepee
The Story of Boin – Edal
Boin – Edal was a little boy with fair hair. No-one knows what his original name was. Because: He had been taken captive by Kiowa Indians one day. What one knows is only that he had been a child of German immigrants. The Indians had taken revenge! Why?
It was the time at 1830, therefore approximately 180 years ago. Many people left their native country, such as France, Holland, Germany or England, at that time. They wanted to immigrate to America and hoped to get rich there. When they had finally arrived – after an arduous ship journey – in America, they had to recognize that they were not alone there. Other people with another culture lived there: the Indians. They nevertheless did not want to give up their dreams and did everything to acquire land and live there. And they took this country away from the Indians who of course defended themselves.
In addition, the immigrants from it were convinced that it would be the very best for the Indians to turn them to Christians. So they wanted to missionize all Indians. The Indians only were not the slightest interested to give up their own faith. This is why the immigrants came around it on the idea of kidnapping as many Indian children as possible. These children were then educated by missionaries: They had been introduced into the Christian faith and had also learned to read and to write within later years.
For the Indians, of course it had been a terrible experience that their children were taken away from them. It only remained for them often to be helpless witnesses.
And so it came that those Indians whom a child had been abducted took revenge by the fact that they kidnapped a child of the immigrants.
Boin – Edal also had been captured exactly for this reason: He had been taken captive as a 10-year-old boy because an Indian child had disappeared before.
Boin – Edal had lovingly been included in his new Indian family. They gave him a name from their Kiowa – language and called him Boin – Edal. This name means “The tall one with fair hair and complexion”. He had been clothed like a real Kiowa boy and had been allowed to join in all rituals such as the sun dance. The contemporary Kiowa artist Sherman Chaddlesone has formed a picture in which it can be seen how integrated the little German boy has been with the Indians. He is good to recognize (on the original) because Sherman Chaddlesone has painted him with fair hair. (I have unfortunately only an out print of a small format.)
On the other hand Boin – Edal had to see also very closely, however, how they had been attacked by the immigrants again and again and had to flee with their tents, goods and hers.
Not only had the Kiowa Indians been forced to flee, also other Indians tribes! – – – And this has led to the reaction that the Indian tribes had got angry with each other in case that they had looked for a refuge in the same area. – – – Therefore for instance it came to such events:
* In the winter of 1837 – 38 three Comanches, two men and a woman, were camped on night on the A’sese P’a (Wooden Arrowpoint River) which is now known as the Clear Fork of the Brazos River in the state of Texas. One of the Comanches noticed somebody raise the door – flap of the tepee then quickly drop it again. He told the others and as quickly and silently as possible they ran out and jumped over a steep bank of the creek and hid themselves just before their enemies returned and fired into the vacated tepee. From their hiding place the Comanches returned fire then made their way to near – by Kiowa camp.
In the morning a group of Kiowa warriors returned to the spot with the Comanches to retrieve their tepee and belongings and found a dead enemy lying where he had been shot by the Comanches. Noticing that a large group of enemy were observing them from a distance, the Kiowas… (reacted in a flash with a threatening gesture.)
The German capative Boin – Edal, who was then a young boy, had been with the Kiowas for about two years, witnessed this barbarous spectacle and remembered the thrill of horror which it sent through him.*
(* Later, it could be never found out of which tribe these attackers had been.)
Boin – Edal grew up as Kiowa; one day it had been clear for everyone that he has become a young adult. Then they had said to Boin – Edal that he can go back to the German settlers if he wants. But Boin – Edal had refused a return because he did not remember his German family and culture. He felt as an Indian. And so he led an Indian life furthermore and married an Indian woman one day.
Boin – Edal’s name had been registered of the U. S. government at a national census under the Kiowas as “Boyiddle” inadvertently later. Boin – Edal (since the national census: “Boyiddle”) had several children who are called descendants. These descendants had descendants and so on again, too.
The deceased famous Kiowa artist, Parker Boyiddle, was a descendant of this person: His father was Kiowa Indian, the father of his father (that is Parker Boyiddle’s grandpa) as well, how also the grandpa of his father (Boyiddle’s great-grandpa). The father of this great-grandpa (that is Boyiddle’s great – great-grandpa) had been that little fair-haired German boy “Boin – Edal”.
There are quite a number of other descendants of Boin – Edal today who live in and around Anadarko. Anadarko is a little town in the State of Oklahoma and has approx. 7,000 inhabitants. More than half of Anadarko’s population is of Indian descent. And some carry in addition the genetic make-up of the little German boy Boin – Edal in them. Therefore it can always happen with these descendants that parents, both of typically Indian look, are having a fair-haired fair-skinned baby.
Almost 200 years ago not only those people had come from Europe to acquire there land and build themselves there an existence, however. The missionaries who wanted to missionize and educate the Indians also came. But then, there even had been people, who came to America because they had been interested in the Indian natives. They wanted to find out how the Indians live and which ideas they have.
Since, at that time, the photography had not invented yet, artists also came to America. They accompanied the Indians and painted them, their tents and animals like also the landscape in which they lived. The Indians of 180 years ago were fascinated by these artists. They had never seen such paintings before. And they also did not know as this should be possible to captivate the reality on a substance (on the canvas). For the Indians of those days these artists and painters had been magicians.
You can imagine that it had got round fast that there is a fair-haired Indian there who lives like the right Indians. And an artist came to Boin – Edal one day and painted him.
The contemporary Kiowa artist Sherman Chaddlesone has mailed a photo of this oil painting to me. You can see now how the adult Boin – Edal (later called Boyiddle) has looked. – – – Renate Hugel
Remarks from Renate Hugel:
1) This is the remark of Sherman Chaddlesone in the original wording: This is a true story and includes a young German boy who was approximately 10 years of age when he witnessed the event. I first heard the story when I was 11 – 12 years of age and thought it was more curiosity than frightening. – – – The Kiowa translation of the name of the young boy, Boin – ale*, describes someone who is large and of light complexion. – – – His name was later mistakenly recorded as Boyiddle by U. S. Government census takers among the Kiowas and the late famous Kiowa artist, Parker Boyiddle, is a descendent of this individual. Boin ale grew up as a Kiowa and refused repatriation in later life because he did not remember any of his German family or culture. He has several descendents living here in and around Anadarko. – – – I included Boin ale in the image near the center, dressed as a young Kiowa boy, and he is the only one with blond hair.” – – – Sherman Chaddlesone
* To this Renate Hugel: Sherman Chaddlesone had used both wordings (Boin – ale and Boin – Edal); in the original text of the “winter” is written “Boin – edal.
2) I have written down this story after the facts which had transmitted Sherman Chaddlesone to me by mail. Sherman Chaddlesone had (together with his print of the same name) put on his homepage this text “The Winter They Dragged the Head”. So I could print out both, the story and his print.
3) In arrangement with Sherman Chaddlesone I have left out two sentences and paraphrased the contents with following words: … “reacted in a flash with a threatening gesture “. And I have integrated this text into my story from * to *.
4) “Boin – Edal (Boyiddle) was captured by the Kiowas in what is now the Galveston Bay area in the state of Texas when he was approximately 10 years of age”. (This is the original wording of Sherman Chaddlesone when he had answered my questions in a further mail.) – – – Renate Hugel, Bremen, in November 2011
Left photo: The out print of the photo “Boin Edal – Portrait* painted into oil” looked and passed on in the round. – – – * The original is a historical oil painting. – – – Right photo: Parker Boyiddle (July, 21st 1947 – December, 4th 2007), Descendent of Boin – Edal (later: Boyiddle): The children also look at an out print of Parker Boyiddle* interestedly. – – – * Descendent of Boin Edal – – – Also see: Homepage of Parker Boyiddle: under: “Links”. The children look at the work of art of Sherman Chaddlesone here: “The Winter They Dragged the Head.” – – – Remark: The scene of “dragging” can be seen on the original in the foreground.
Left photo: Renate Hugel: In a round with a further 4th class in the classroom. (A teaching profession candidate had to prepare for her examination hour. She had asked me to be allowed to use the story of Boin – Edal for it.) Photo: Preparation hour for her examination.) – – – Right photo: Scene during the lesson-conversation after having listened to Renate Hugel while reading: „The Story of Boin – Edal“.
The Original Version:
The Winter They Dragged The Head
In the winter of 1837 – 38 three Comanches, two men and a woman, were camped on night on the A’sese P’a (Wooden Arrowpoint River) which is now known as the Clear Fork of the Brazos River in the state of Texas. One of the Comanches noticed somebody raise the door – flap of the tepee then quickly drop it again. He told the others and as quickly and silently as possible they ran out and jumped over a steep bank of the creek and hid themselves just before their enemies returned and fired into the vacated tepee. From their hiding place the Comanches returned fire then made their way to near – by Kiowa camp.
In the morning a group of Kiowa warriors returned to the spot with the Comanches to retrieve their tepee and belongings and found a dead enemy lying where he had been shot by the Comanches. Noticing that a large group of enemy were observing them from a distance, the Kiowas scalped and beheaded the dead enemy and, as warning, dragged the head toward the enemy force who then quickly withdrew from the area. The Kiowas then dragged the enemy head back into their own camp while displaying the scalp fastened to the tip of a pole.
The German capative Boin – edal, who was then a young boy, had been with the Kiowas for about two years, witnessed this barbarous spectacle and remembered the thrill of horror which it sent through him.
Source: The homepage of Sherman Chaddlesone