Siouan Arrows, Nebraska and Dakota
FIG. 1. SHAFT, of osier. The shaftment is decorated with alternate bands of red, blue, and yellow. The shaftment is cut away at the outer end so as to leave the nock a projecting cylinder and give a better grip to the fingers in discharging the arrow. Notch, U-shaped. The head, a slender blade of iron let into a "saw cut" in the end of the shaft, the two lips of this cut being shaved down neatly so as to form no impediment to the progress of the arrow. This is a very delicate and effective weapon. The iron blade is slightly barbed at the base. Length of shaft, 26 inches.
Cat. No. 76831, U. S. N. M. Sioux Indians, Nebraska. Collected by Governor Furness.
FIG. 2. SHAFT, of hard wood. Shaftment ornamented with yellow and red bands. Feathers, seized with sinew, held on spirally, and glued to the shaftment. It is difficult to say whether this spiral arrangement was designed to make the arrow spin through the air. Authorities differ on this point, and the object of direct flight at close range would be more than canceled by the disadvantage of untangling a revolving arrowhead in the hair of the buffalo or deer. The nock is bulbous; notch, angular. Head, a diamond-shaped blade of sheet iron, inserted into the end of the shaft, and seized with sinew. Length of feathers, 7 1/2 inches; total length of shaft, 26 inches.
Cat. No. 131356, U. S. N. M. Collected by Mrs. A. C. Jackson.
FIG. 3. SHAFT, of hard wood ; point of iron, long triangle, inserted into the saw cut in the head and seized with sinew. Feathers, three, glued on, seized at the ends with sinew and trimmed down. The shaftment is ornamented with a blue band. The, nock is fish-tail pattern. Shaft streaks sinuous. Other arrows from this same tribe have different colored bands in the shaftment. Length of shaft, 2 feet 3 inches.
Cat. No. 8418, U. S. N. M. Gros Ventres, Siouan stock. Collected by Dr. Matthews, U. S. Army.
FIG. 4. Blood streaks, quite straight. Feathers, three, glued to the shaft, and seized with sinew. The strips of sinew with which the Sioux Indians lash their featherings are much broader than those used by the West Coast Indians, and very often are laid on like an open spiral or coil. The feathers are shorn. Nock, spreading; notch, shallow. Head, diamond-shaped, the mar gins of the inner half being filed like a saw. The head is inserted in the end of the shaft and seized with sinew. Total length of shaft, 25 inches.
Cat. No. 23736, U. S. N. M. Sioux Indians, Devil's Lake. Collected by Paul Beck-. with.
FIG. 5. Example of arrows from the Sioux Indians by the U. S. Weather Bureau. . This large number of arrows promiscuously gathered affords an excellent opportunity for studying the lines within which the bands and tribes of the same family vary their arrows. The shafts are all slender, made of hard wood. Some have shaft streaks, others none. They vary also in the number of streaks on the shaft and their form, whether straight, sinuous, or zigzag. These arrows differ also in the length and form of the points, in the length, attachment, and ornamentation of the feather, but all have the wide fish-tail nock, and this seems to be an unvarying quality in Sioux arrows.
Cat. No. 154016, U. S. N. M. Sioux Indians, Siouan stock. Collected by M. M. Hazen.