Archive Finding Aids

Here are detailed file-by-file descriptions of the contents of specific fonds and/or links to scanned documents.

R.N. Wilson on horseback, [ca. 1895]
R.N. Wilson on horseback, [ca. 1895]

R.N. Wilson fonds

To view brief biography and summary of contents click here.

Table of Contents

indicates that the series includes scanned documents.

Series 1 Scanned Document Ethnological material re Blackfoot, Blood and Peigan. -- 1890-1897
Series 2 Photographs. -- 1886-1902


Series 1 The R.N. Wilson papers. -- 1890-1897. -- 2 volumes. -- The series consists of Wilson's ethnological writings about the Blackfoot, Blood and Peigan people of southern Alberta.

The R.N. Wilson papers - Overview. -- [ca. 1890-1897]. -- Consists of the table of contents for two volumes of R.N. Wilson papers, an introduction written by Phillip H. Godsell, who edited the papers for the Glenbow Foundation in 1958, and a detailed alphabetical index to the contents. The volumes have been illustrated with historical photographs chosen by Godsell .

Scanned Document View table of contents and introduction.
Scanned Document View alphabetical index.


The R.N. Wilson papers, vol.1, pages 1-20. -- [ca. 1890-1897]. -- Consists of general observations on the Blood, primarily about medicine pipes, pipe bundles, and their ceremonies and transfer.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol.1, pages 21-112. -- [ca. 1890-1897]. -- Consists of myths and legends: Napi (the Old Man) stories about: buffalo, death, berries and roots, the Great Wedding, elk and deer, night hawks, gophers, bull berries, mice, Big Arrow, Lost His Eyes, Rich Young Man(Coyote), beaver and muskrats, dead woman on the prairie, murder of Pretty Girl, old women and babies, weather, buffalo hole, fancy leggings, gamblers, geese, white and silk buffalo robes, and horses. Also consists of these stories told by Eagle Ribs: Sweet Grass, Napi and the Hunter and Foundling, Scar Face (Scarface), Poor Boy, Jealous Man, Red Head, Bunch of Stars (little dipper), Seven Stars (big dipper), The Pound, Buffalo Wife, Wolf Story, The Woman and the Star, Thunder Bird, and The Faithless Squaw.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol.1, pages 113-137. -- [ca. 1890-1897. -- Consists of information supplied by Red Arrow about taboos and customs related to: weather, position of bands in camps, marriage (courtship, divorce, number of wives), children (infanticide, twins, adoption), cannibalism, war (scouts, sighting the foe, victory, defeat, scalps), an mortuary.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol.1, pages 138-237. -- December 1891. -- Consists of "The Life and Adventures of Chief Red Crow", as related to Wilson by Red Crow himself, beginning with his birth at Fort Whoop-up about 1830.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol. 2, pages 238-252. -- February 1892. -- Consists of the Moon Dance as seen performed by Running Wolf and Owl Child.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol. 2, pages 253-264. -- [ca. 1890-1897]. -- Consists of a description of the Horn Society and its ceremonies.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol. 2, pages 265-318. -- 1893. -- Consists of a description of Sun Dance rites and ceremonies, including the sweat lodge, building the Sun Dance lodge, sacrifices, All Smoke ceremony, songs, consecration of tongues, taboos, and the feast.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol. 2, pages 319-325. -- 1893. -- Consists of "Further Observations" including miscellaneous notes about Brotherhoods or Societies, mortuary, wit, pipe superstitions, and Red Crow's Wolf story.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol. 2, pages 326-333. -- [ca. 1890-1897]. -- Consists of information from Running Wolf regarding a feast, songs of Scar Face (Scarface), and face painting.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol. 2, pages 334-352. -- 1893. -- Consists of information from Scalp Roller about his life, Persons Hand, Bull Society, Horn Society, Braves, Catchers, buffalo stones (Iniskim), Sun Dance, Bull Society, and mortuary.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol. 2, pages 353-366. -- 1897. -- Consists of descriptions of the Sacrificial Ceremony, one held at One Spot's Lodge and the other in an ordinary canvas lodge.

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The R.N. Wilson papers, vol. 2, pages 367-377. -- [ca. 1890-1897]. -- Consists of Bad Head's winter count, recording significant events for the Blood tribe for every year from 1810 to 1889. (Bad Head was also known as Father of Many Children.)

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R.N. Wilson's article, "Blackfoot Marriage Customs. -- [ca. 1897]

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R.N. Wilson's article, "Ethnographical Notes on the Blackfoot Sun Dance". -- March 29, 1897

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R.N. Wilson's article, "Scarface". -- [ca. 1897]. -- Consists of a recounting of the Blackfoot story about Scarface (also spelled Scar Face), collected while underaking ethnograhpic research among the Blackfoot of southern Alberta.

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Series 2 Photographs. -- 1886-1902. -- 132 photographs.

Most of these photographs have been scanned. View now.

PA-706 Views of Writing-on-Stone and the North-West Mounted Police detachment there. -- [ca. 1897]. -- 4 photographs. -- Also includes several unnumbered photographs of unidentified people.
NA-668 Views of the Blood and Peigan. -- 1891-1897. -- 69 photographs. -- Includes views of Red Crow, Blood tipis, Peigan reserve, Anglican mission, Sun Dance lodge and Old Women's Society lodge being erected, and Grass Dance ceremonies.
NA-2075 Sweat bath on Blackfoot reserve. -- n.d. -- 1 photograph
NA-4461 Views of the Blood and Peigan reserves; Cochrane Ranche round-up; rock slide on railway tracks; and Billy Cochrane with first car in Allberta. -- 1886-1902. -- 34 photographs
ND-34 Views of Writing-on-Stone and Engine 154 at Medicine Hat. -- [ca. 1880s-1890s]. -- 19 glass plate negatives.
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