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Ah​-​hi​-​e Ah​-​hi​-​e

from Songs of Lewis & Clark by Sara Bouchard



Lewis: Tuesday August 13th 1805.

The road was dusty
and appeared to have been much traveled lately.
We had not continued our rout more than a mile
when we were so fortunate as to meet with three female savages.

The short and steep ravines which we passed
concealed us from each other untill we arrived within 30 paces.
a young woman immediately took to flight,
an Elderly woman and a girl of about 12 years old remained.

I instantly laid by my gun and advanced towards them.
they appeared much allarmed
but saw that we were to near for them to escape by flight.
They therefore seated themselves on the ground,
holding down their heads as if reconciled to die

I took the elderly woman by the hand
and raised her up
repeated the word tab-ba-bone
and strip[ped] up my shirt sleve to s[h]ew her my skin.
They appeared instantly reconciled.

I gave [them] some beads a few mockerson awls
some pewter looking-glasses and a little paint.
I now painted their tawny cheeks with some vermillion
which with this nation is emblematic of peace.

After they had become composed
I informed them by signs
that I wished them to conduct us to their camp.
They readily obeyed and we set out,
still pursuing the road down the river.

We had marched about 2 miles
when we met a party of 60 warriors.
When they arrived I advanced towards them with the flag
leaving my gun with the party.
The women informed them who we were
and exultingly shewed the presents which [we] had given them.

These men then advanced
and embraced me very affectionately in their way
which is by puting their left arm over you wright sholder
clasping your back, while they apply their left cheek to yours
and frequently vociforate the word
âh-hi'-e, âh-hi'-e
that is, I am much pleased, I am much rejoiced.

Bothe parties now advanced
and we wer all carresed and besmeared with their grease and paint
till I was heartily tired of the national hug.


from Songs of Lewis & Clark, released November 8, 2008


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Sara Bouchard Richmond, Virginia

I am a multi-disciplinary artist and songwriter with a strong foothold in American roots. As an artist, I investigate ways to interact with and represent the American landscape through song. As a musician, I perform original and traditional tunes - drawn from bluegrass, old-time, jazz, country and blues - with my band SALT PARADE. ... more

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