JL: You said earlier on in the interview that you believe Andrew Dupree passed Martha’s Canunpa to Fools Crow.
So several days after my experience in the home of Martha Bad warrior, Andrew (Dupree)and his wife came to me asking if they could use my car for the evening. This request I granted them immediately. I asked no questions, they offered no reason for the request. I trusted Andrew completely as he had proven himself trustworthy as a kinsman aught, Just as did the Larrabies, Elk heads, Iron Lightening, Fielder and others. I often thought of how often these friendships started. There was one explanation, it seemed: The part I played in running down information in family trees on the reservation and in supervising the distribution of food and clothing during the drought.
It was late at night when Andrew and his wife brought back and awoke me on the arrival of it. They said they had gone to Martha Bad Warrior at her home in Green Grass. It was a meeting by appointment, they told me. Now, the surprise of a life time. They brought forth an object wrapped in a piece of calico striping. As they unraveled it, they were exposing tome the original sacred calf pipe. for it ha the exact makings described to me by Martha and the beautiful lady from the sun. I asked Andrew to fill me in with the details.
Andre said to me than Martha placed the pipe in his hands, he and his wife went out together to a high hill near Marthas home and paid homage to God in prayer, saluting him in the four corners of the earth and universe and directing the pipe to the north, the east, the south and the west. Afterwards bowing in great reverence to the greatness of God, they turned and went to the car. From there they drove to where I was at the Cheyenne river agency.
“Wilbur” said Andrew rest assured I will leave the pipe in the hands of a trusted one. He is an Indian and known by many as a true friend of the Indians.
JL: Is this “trusted one” who you have interpreted as being Frank Fools Crow. If so, how did you come to this conclusion?
LBW :I believe Andrew was speaking of Fools Crow. Fools Crow was recognized very young for his ceremonial abilities, he would’ve been 46 years old or so, when Andrew would’ve passed it to him, not a kid. He was at Turtle Mountain in the 1930-1940’s…. Fools Crow was 100 in 1989 when he died, he’d have been born about the time of the first Wounded Knee. It makes sense it would go to the nephew of Nicolas Black Elk….when, at the same time Black Elk came out with the first book on Black Elk and the Sacred Pipe, and Seven Sacred Ceremonies/teachings.
JL: When you said Fools Crow gave your father his ceremonial sun dance pipe because he had the proper vision. Do you see Fools Crow ceremonial sun dance pipe as a substitute for Martha’s pipe, since no one knows where that is?
LBW: Yes, this is what I believe, and why I do, is to what lengths the Lakota went to, to do this series of ceremonies 1970-1975, despite the Freedom of Religion Act did not happen until 1978, which means…they, the Lakota participating, were in defiance of the Governments law outlawing the Lakota from conducting these ceremonies….the punishment to do so was harsh.
And, what certain individuals have done to prevent people from actually seeing women participating in these ceremonies with the men, since we’ve posted the photos on my site. Two important things were done in 1971, during these ceremonies. The passing of Fools Crow’s Sun Dance Cannunpa to my Father, and the passing of the “Staff” of power back to the women. The fact that in 1994 when my Father died, Lakota Traditionals went into his coffin looking for this Cannunpa Wakan, after his funeral at the Dupris cemetery. No one has come forward with who did this. My Lakota cousin, Lisa told me in 2000, that they were looking for this Cannunpa Wakan.
JL: Do you know if Fools Crow ever spoke of being given Martha’s pipe, or of anyone else knowing for certain he had this? LBW: There are some distinctions that need to be made here It is important here to realize that over the course of these past years of researching which Canunpa Martha Bad Warrior had and which one Chief Fools Crow had – the question arises as to the whereabouts of the Sacred Buffalo Canunpa that was made for use by the Ceremonial Chief during ceremonies at a Nation-wide level. This Sacred Canunpa – with the Standing Buffalo and other special markings – would be the only Canupa that the Ceremonial Chief would have used and we can clearly see this in the hands of our most “Sacred and Holy men and women ” of our Nation. This is especially true since the passing of the Religious Rights and Freedom Act finally permitted our Nation to conduct our Sacred Ceremonies in public. The first public ceremony was the Sundance and WBCPWC – which Chief Fools Crow permitted to be documented and photographed. This is the only time to my knowledge that this permission had been given. (The photographs I have provided you are from this very ceremony.)
Chief Frank Fools Crow was the Ceremonial Chief of our Nation until his passing. He had many Canupas in his possession. What is most important is the relationship between the Ceremonial Chief and the Keeper of the “Sacred Canupa”. When the Ceremonial Chief was called upon to perform Ceremony for the Nation – such as the annual Sundance and WBCPW – Canupa Ceremony – he would call for the “Sacred Canupa” – not the original Canupa from White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman (it had deteriorated many years ago) – but the Sacred Buffalo Canupa that was to always sit with the original Sacred Canupa. The very first Canupa Wakan – has long since gone and quite understandably could not be used for the special annual Nationwide Lakota ceremonies.
The Buffalo Canupa that was passed from Chief Fools Crow to my father, was the very Canupa that was to only be used for Ceremony for the Nation by the Cermonial Chief and is not to be interpreted as Chief Fool’s Crows personal Sundance Canupa. Remember what I said above – his personal Canupa was very distinctive and different from the Standing Buffalo Canupa. I am familiar with this Canupa and design – and due to privacy and respect to whom it was passed and for their own safety I will not describe Chief Fools Crows personal Canupa; besides that is not the issue nor anyone else’s business — at this time.