State archaeologist to visit East Hartford Historical Society
By East Hartford Historical Society
East Hartford - posted Thu., Mar. 14, 2013
While performing with Buffalo Bill Cody’s “Wild West Show,” a handsome, long-haired Lakota Sioux Indian died suddenly in Danbury, Conn., in June of 1900. This is all according to a diary entry in the 1900 Route Book of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Exhibition. His tribal name was “Albert Afraid of Hawk.”
He was buried in an unmarked grave in a local Danbury cemetery and remained there until records were discovered in 2008 documenting the location of his grave. With several members of his tribe, he had left his reservation in South Dakota in the late 1800s to perform in the showbiz extravaganza that brought cowboys and Indians east to be viewed by throngs of the curious and city-bound.
Dr. Nicholas Bellantoni, Connecticut’s state archaeologist and an adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Connecticut, will visit the Historical Society of East Hartford on March 21 to recount the life and untimely death of “Albert Afraid of Hawk” in the story of the Lakota people.
Family members requested that Albert’s body be returned to Pine Ridge Reservation, in South Dakota, for burial according to Lakota traditions. Bellantoni brings a PowerPoint presentation documenting the exhumation and the repatriation of Albert’s remains and his part in that process. He will also examine some of the local Indian artifacts donated to the Historical Society of East Hartford over the years and offer his comments and suggestions for their display.
This presentation will be held at the Selden Brewer House, 167 Main St., in East Hartford, on Thursday evening, March 21, at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served following a short business meeting. The public is invited to attend.
For more information, contact Historical Society Vice-President /Program Chair Bette M. Daraskevich at 860-568-5188.