Buffalo Bill & His “Blood-Thirsty” Indians

The hardest-fighting tribe of the American West devoured European audiences alive…with eloquence and wit!

“Heap-big Injun likum Paris?” asked The New York Times reporter.

Chief Daniel Black Horn replied, “I think it might facilitate matters for you if I refer you to our interpreter, Sam Lone Bear.”

At that point, the reporter asked Lone Bear in English if he spoke French. His reply was, “Oh yes, and I also speak German.”

Lone Bear then pointed out that he made it a point to learn English, French and German, and that he had visited Paris several times. This 1935 trip through Paris on his way to the Exposition Universelle in Brussels was his eighth trip to Europe.

The trip was Black Horn’s fifth to the continent and the seventh for his friend White Buffalo Man. Like Lone Bear, they first visited Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. So had Luther Standing Bear, who wrote about his visit to London with the Wild West: “I was sorry to leave this city, because I had been given a chance to see many wonderful sights and visit many interesting places.”

These Lakotas had discovered something…they liked performing, and they liked Europe. They were a logical choice for the arena. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West featured performers from other tribes—such as Arapahos, Pawnees and Crows—but the Lakotas had held out the longest against the encroachment of the U.S. Army, settlers and American culture.


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