Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Etiquette and Sioux Hospitality

Native Americans took kindly to European cooking utensils and aids to comfort...

Sioux Etiquette ln Frying-Pans 

"There is a very peculiar custom among the Sioux Indians," said Emanuel French of Bismarck, N. D., who was at the Lindell yesterday. "The Indians take kindly to European cooking utensils and aids to comfort, and it is quite common for an exploring or picnic party to trade off kettles, frying-pans and the like for skins or curiosities. 

A cooking utensil thus acquired becomes practically the common property of the tribe, on the general understanding, however, that whoever borrows it shall pay for the use by leaving in it a portion of the food cooked. As the Indians seldom waste any time in washing or cleaning eating or cooking vessels, this practice has some conveniences from a red man's point of view, and often a saucepan is returned with quite a large quantity of meat or potatoes clinging to the bottom, and perhaps covering up some of the remains of a preceding and entirely different preparation. 

It is not long since that an exploring party I was out with lost its kettle, which had evidently jolted out of the wagon on the bad road. After considerable hesitation one was borrowed from a friendly squaw, and, after water had been boiled in it three or four times and it had been well scoured out with sand, it answered its purpose admirably. 

When we were through with the kettle, we thoroughly cleaned it and returned it, and it was not until an Indian guide explained the custom that we understood the look of supreme contempt which came over the red lady's face when on looking into the inside of the kettle she saw that it contained no relic whatever of our evening feast." — St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 1894