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  • Coleen Graybill

BIG Ox, Biśhéīfśidi-saśh – Apsaroke

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

BIG Ox, Biśhéīfśidi-saśh – Apsaroke 1908, by Edward S Curtis

Born about 1830. River Crow; Not Mixed clan; Fox organization. He had led ten successful war-parties and was rising rapidly when about 1877 his private enemy, White Thigh, made medicine against him and “he went under,” losing all his property and influence. He has since then been known by all the Apsaroke as “the man whose arm has been taken.” On a high mountain called Thunder Nest he went too fast and on the fourth day beheld a black cloud coming swiftly from the west. Birds scattered before it and trees bent low; many fell torn from the earth. Big Ox crept under a rock; the roaring deafened him and the lightning blinded him. He seemed to sleep; he awoke in the lodge of Thunderbird, who said: “Look below. See if you can find your enemy.” On the plain below he saw White Thigh utterly naked walking over the prairie. When Big Ox returned he asked the people to bring him a living jack-rabbit and some long cactus thorns. When these were given to him he thrust a thorn into each eye of the rabbit, saying, as he turned it loose, “Here goes White Thigh!” That day, it is asserted, White Thigh lost his sight, and he became so poor that he had not even a loin-cloth to cover his nakedness. Every Apsaroke knows the story of Big Ox and White Thigh, and many are to be found who swear that they were eye-witnesses of the revenge upon the latter. As a Thunder medicine-man Big Ox is feared by his tribesmen, lest if his displeasure be incurred he may cause Thunder to strike the unlucky one.

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