"You see that your pupils are not lazy."

This week's HELPER leads with a lesson on the usefulness of "Pluck."

pluck n.
"an act or instance of plucking or pulling."
"the heart, liver, lungs, and windpipe of a slaughtered animal esp. as an item of food."
"courageous readiness to fight or continue against odds: dogged resolution."
pluck v.
"to move or separate forcibly." "to remove (a person) from one situation in life and transfer him to another."

Example: Children were plucked from their homes and families, placed on trains and sent away to boarding school. It's ironic that the reality of pluck as the verb was lost in the fantasy of pluck as the noun.

Later in the issue, Otto Wells (Comanche student) reveals the pluck that Josh Given (Kiowa student) has shown in securing a contract with the U.S. for haying in Anadarko. Some friendly competition between the Kiowas and Comanches shows up in this letter to Carlisle. Luther Standing Bear (Sioux student) wrote about trying to organize returned Sioux students in an effort to fortify them with "pluck." It would be interesting to discover on what other rez's returned Carlisle students were organizing. We know from Frank Engler's pages that the Cheyennes established their own society of returned students in order to preserve the "Carlisle" model.

Angel DeCora and Lucy Trudell show real ingenuity (pluck?) in their pie-making endeavor at Hampton as reported in Talks and Thoughts. Alhtough they weren't Carlisle girls, they were living a similar existence at the Hampton School. The Carlisle publications frequently included articles from the newspapers of other schools.

The HELPER reports that Reuben Quick Bear (Sioux student) regrets not having stayed at Carlisle longer than 3 years. This kind of subtle chastising strikes me as particularly mean-spirited because the POLICY at the time of Quick Bear's enrollment was to contract students for a period of three years. Later, this time was extended to five years.

News of a parent visiting his children at Carlisle surfaces in this issue of the HELPER.
It was unusual for students to be able to spend time with visiting parents or family members unless the visitor was a tribal leader. That was the case with the (Stockbridge) Miller children whose father came through Carlisle, most likely on his way to Washington DC for business. A higher profile visitor, Chief Joseph came to see his relatives at Carlisle in 1904 and spoke to the assembled students in his own language. Tom Porter, of Kanetsioharake told me a story his grandfather told him, about a "big chief" visiting Carlisle and towering over the children, touched them on their heads as he walked among them. He told them with tears in his eyes, "You, my children - you are the original, the red, the white, and the blue."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John Kerry used the word, "Pluck" debating "W."
He really did.