A sense of honor pervades all aspects
of Indian life.
Orphans and the aged are invariably
cared for, not only by their next of kin,
but by the whole clan. The man who is
a skillful hunter, and whose wife is alive
to her opportunities, makes many feasts,
to which he is careful to invite the older men
of his clan. He recognizes that they have
outlived their period of greatest activity,
and now love nothing so well as to eat
in good company and live over their past.
He sets no price upon either his property
or his labor. His generosity is limited only
by his strength. He regards it as an honor
to be selected for a difficult or dangerous
service, and would think it a shame to ask
for any other reward, saying rather:
"Let those I serve express their thanks
according to their own upbringing and
sense of honor."
He is always ready to undertake the
impossible, or to impoverish himself
for the sake of a friend.
Where the other person is regarded
more than the self, duty is sweeter and
more inspiring, patriotism more sacred,
and friendship is a pure and eternal bond.
Charles Alexander Eastman
(Ohiyesa) Santee Sioux
The Soul of the Indian, 1911