Harvard Independent
December 8, 1910

[No other artist in the country has enjoyed the opportunities experienced by Mr. E. A. Burbank, now a resident of Los Angeles - the painter of Indian portraits, to meet face to face, and on their own ground, the once noted Indian chiefs America, now so rapidly passing away. For the last twenty years Mr. Burbank has journeyed from camp to camp among the aborigines of the northwest and southwest, painting successively all the great warriors whose past prowess has made their names famous in frontier history. It is, therefore, with considerable pride that The Graphic calls attention to a series of articles from Mr. Burbank?s pen, describing his personal interviews with these once-powerful war chiefs, and illustrated by portraits from life, re-drawn in pencil especially for the Graphic, from his original studies.? First in this notable galaxy was a picture and story of Red Cloud, the famous Ogallalla (sic) Sioux, succeeded by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perces and Chief Blue Hoese of the Sioux tribe.] Editor.

Famous War Chiefs I Have Known and Painted

by E. A. Burbank

Gi-aum-e Hone-o-me-tah

Gi-aum-e is a princess among the Kiowa Indians at Fort Sill, Okla. Her relatives on both her father's and mother's sides were influential chiefs. She is considered the belle of the Kiowas, and rightly so, as when she was sixteen years old she was a pretty girl and as bright and smart as pretty.

When she had been to the Indian school but two years; the teacher selected Gi-aum-e to assist her in teaching the little Indian children, and she was a patient little teacher. She never lost her temper with them, nor scolded them, as she said they were so young and little they did not know better. It took me a good deal of coaxing to induce her to pose for me for a portrait, as she was both modest and shy, but one day she came to my studio and said she would sit for me and I painted several portraits of her, both full length and bust pictures.

Her mother was an expert in making Indian buckskin clothes, and especially so in her head work: the moccasins she made were much sought for. She took my measure and made me a beautiful pair.

Gi-aum-e lived with her parents in an old fashioned Indian tepee. She had beautiful Indian clothes that her mother had made for her. She had bags, girdles and, trimmings wrought in the true medicine color; her leather skirt was painted in streaks and bands of scarlet green and blue. From the bands fell fringes of horse hair, dyed bright yellow, and the shoulders of her jacket were studded with elks? teeth.

At every Fourth of July celebration Gi-aum-e would appear on horseback with her horse gaily decorated in Indian fashion, and she herself richly dressed in her Indian clothes -with a bright red parasol in her hand.

When she came to pose for me her Indian girl friend, Ton-had-dle, always accompanied her, as she said it was not proper for her to come alone. They seemed quite devoted to each other and as soon as they became better acquainted with me they were very talkative, and would sing Indian songs for me, Ton-had-dle did not understand my English, so Gi-aum-e was the interpreter.

The officers at the post gave a dance, one evening, and as Gi-aum-e and Ton-had-dle were anxious to go, I invited them to accompany me. It was the first time they had ever witnessed a white man's dance, and they were greatly amused. They could not understand why one officer would dance with so many partners. They thought he should dance with but one the entire evening.

While Gi-aum-e was sitting for me, my life-size lay figure arrived from Chicago. I told the Indian trader that I had sent for it, and he seemed a little dubious how the Indians would take to it.

On day as I as walking down to the store, I saw a bunch of Indians talking earnestly. I pushed my way through the crowd and there was my lay figure, crated instead of boxed, as I bad given positive instructions to have it sent. I finally got it to my studio and the Indians, when they understood what it really was for, were much amused. The men would take it from the pedestal and dance around the room with it, but Gi-aum-e and Ton-had-dle had the most fun with it. They would dress it up in Gi-aum-e?s Indian clothes and paint the face and place it on a chair before a window and then go outside and look up and laugh at it. They would hold it in their laps and make believe it was a big doll, etc.

Chasequah, a Comanche Indian boy, son of old Chief Lone Wolf, was desperately in love with Gi-aum-e. He was greatly handicapped, as he could not make love to her in his own language, since, be did not understand Kiowa, but he understood a little English and Gi-aum-e understood some Comanche, so they managed to get along.

Chasequah would come to me with his troubles; he said that Gi-aum-e cared nothing for him, that she would not pay any attention to him, not even caring to answer his love letters, and would scarcely listen to him when he told her of his great love for her. He said it was breaking his heart. He seemed to think I had wonderful and great medicine powers, and he asked me one day if I would make him some medicine, so that when he took it Gi-aum-e would love him. He was very much in earnest, and I felt sorry for him.

It seems Gi-aum-e had a sweetheart in a Kiowa Indian boy. His name was E-i-tie, and a fine looking youth he was, the son of a chief. It was several weeks before Gi-aum-e told me about E-i-tie, and then it was because I had talked with her so much about Chasequah. One Saturday Gi-aum-e asked me if she could not go home earlier than usual, as she wanted to see E-i-tie, who lived fifty miles away, and she was going to ride over to his place on horseback.

Just as she was leaving the room I asked her if E-i-tie did not think he had the best little Indian girl of all the Kiowa nation. She gave no reply, but waited until she got outside, and then she reached, back, so I could just see her hand, and the modest little puss had bent the fore finger, which means "yes" in the sign language.

She was an independent little girl, and she came to sit for me just when it suited her convenience. If I scolded her for bring late, she would not come the next day.

The Kiowas, both men and women, pull the hair out from their eyebrows, and Gi-aum-e was no exception to this practice. One day I noticed that she had a bad cut over one of her eyes. I inquired the cause of it, and she said she had tried to shave her eyebrows off with a razor and had cut herself.

After I left Ft. Sill, Gi-aum-e corresponded for several years with me. Whether she ever married E-i-tie I have not learned.