Compiled from Brudvig, Jon L. Ph.D. Hampton Normal & Agricultural Institutes American Indian Students, 1878-1923 /
Compiled and edited from American Indian student files held in the archives of Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia.. c1994, 1996. Original location: http://www.umary.edu/~jlbrud/Hampton/HUINDBIO.htm
First Person Accounts
as written by American Indian Students
at Hampton Institute, 1878-1923
Compiled and edited by Jon L. Brudvig, Ph.D. ©1994 and 1996 All rights reserved.
Stella, or Stanaha (Buffalo Woman), arrived at Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in October 1898. She was an Arikara Indian from the Fort Berthold Agency in North Dakota. Stella returned home in 1903 and married James Eagle. Not much is known about Stella's life after returning home because her student file is missing from the Hampton University Archives.
One beautiful evening, a party of Indian maids were playing near the edge of the woods, when suddenly a peculiar looking man sprang out of the woods, and giving one loud war whoop ran where the girls were and said in angry tones, "Many years ago, your people and my people had a fight. Many lives were lost on both sides and I was in the fray".
As he said this, he removed the fox fur that was around his head and, touching his head, he asked them if they noticed anything. The youngest of the girls spoke up and said, "I see your scalplock is gone". By this time the girls were trembling with fear. "Yes," he said, "It was taken by one of your people and now I am going to have my revenge".
When he said this, the girls scattered in different directions. Following after the frightened girls he soon overtook a pretty girl. Alas' It was the chief's only child. Instead of killing the girl, he stuck his fist into the girl's mouth to keep her cries from being heard and then carried her into a cave, which was on a side of a high cliff.
The girls ran back to the camp and told what had happened. Soon everything was in confusion. The young braves mounted their horses and were soon speeding towards the place where the girls had been. The women, and even children, were wailing and all that night not a soul slept save the little children.
Early in the morning the men returned from their hunt but had failed to find any trace of the girl.
Day after day the chief looked for his daughter but without success. He then gave up all hopes of ever finding her.
It was ten years then since the disappearance of the girl and the people moved away from that place to a new hunting place. In the fall when the people were on their way back to the old place where the girl was lost, they stopped at a beautiful ravine and camped there for the night.
That night when the camp fires had gone out and the people had gone to bed, a strange weird singing was heard near by. The men got up and watched, but saw nothing, and all believed that it was some dead person's spirit that haunted the ravine.
The next day the people were not able to go on with their journey for the horses needed a rest, so all agreed to remain there another night.
The evening, when the sun had gone down, two figures were seen creeping through the tall prairie-grass and the people noticed that one was a young woman. Two men armed with bows and arrows went through the ravine and came up on the other side of the ravine and cautiously crept up to the two figures who were hiding in the grass.
All at once, one of the men shouted, saying, "Chief, Son of the Star, your daughter is found'" The people ran and when they saw the girl they cried with joy and brought her to the camp. The person that was with her disappeared as soon as the two men approached them. It was the man who had taken her away many years ago and had brought the girl back only to see her tribe once more, for that night she passed into the happy hunting ground above.
(P.S. This is one of grandma's tales. Please excuse all mistakes. I know I make a lot. Stella)