Interview # 10107
Field Worker: Maurice R. Anderson
Name: Mrs. Lola Dunigan
Residence: Pauls Valley, Oklahoma
Date of Birth: April 2, 1876
Place of Birth: Tishomingo, Oklahoma
Father: John Byfield
I was born 4 miles northeast of Tishomingo, Oklahoma. My
father wouldn't let me go to ball games or dances as my mother died when I was very small
and as I grew up I had to take care of our home. I was eighteen years old when I
married. Then I went to lots of Indian dances and ball games. I have seen them play
ball and they would wind up in a big fight and would hit one another over the head with
their ball sticks.
I was 22 years old the first sick dance I went to. I was visiting my
uncle at Pontiac, south of Stonewall, Oklahoma in 1898. There was an Indian woman
sick and they had a big fire out in the yard and betwee the fire and the house they had
two sticks driven down in the ground about 3 feet apart and one stick had a red ribbon
tied on it and the other had a yellow ribbon tied on it. There were the Chickasaw
Indians and their belief was if anyone walked between the two ribbons the one that was
sick would die. That is if they didn't catch the one that walked between the two
ribbons and duck their heads in the medicine. They had a brass kettle full of medicine.
It was made of some kind of roots. Before I thought I walked between the two
ribbons and two men grabbed me and ducked my head in the medicine. The woman who was
sick got well in about two weeks after this happened.
My father had 8 ponies he kept in the lot and around close to the house.
They were his buggy ponies and saddle ponies. At that time it was open range.
I don't know the number of ponies he had on the range. His ponies were
branded L.M.. I think that was my mother's name.
One of my father's friends died and I went to the funeral. They sang in
the Chickasaw language and an Indian preacher preached in the Chickasaw language.
When he was through preaching, they took the corpse to the cemetery and buried him. After
they filled his grave in they put his saddle on top of his grave and built a little house
over the grave about the size of a dog house.
We lived in and around Tishomingo until 1907 when my father died.
Then my husband, our children and I moved on our place 3 1/2 miles south of Wayne,
Oklahoma, McClain County.
I now live in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, Garvin County.
I was married to Mr. John Dunigan, white man, in 1894.