Arapaho War Dancer

Artist: Carl Sweezy

Only warriors who had earned the right could wear feathered headdresses. Carl Sweezy described these as “rows of eagle feathers tipped at the end with a little tassel of dyed horsehair, it was a fine piece of handiwork.”

Carl Sweezy’s given name was Wattan, but he adopted the name Sweezy after his oldest brother began attending the Mennonite Mission School in Halstead, Kansas. Sweezy was the name of the railway agent there and all the children in his family were given that surname. In his memoir, Sweezy said he never knew the date of his birth because his parents “knew nothing about dates and had no way of recording them.” Most of the Arapaho tribe were still living in tipis at the time.