In 1878 approximately three hundred Northern Cheyennes under the leadership of Dull Knife and Little Wolf fled shameful conditions on an Indian Territory reservation in present-day Oklahoma. Settled there against their will, they were making a peaceful attempt to return to their homeland in the Tongue River country of Montana. Despite earlier promises that the Cheyennes could choose to leave the reservation, government officials declared them renegades and sent thousands of soldiers in pursuit.
In 1995 Alan Boye set out on foot to follow Dull Knife’s thousand-mile flight through the sparsely populated wilderness of America’s high plains. Along the way he was joined by descendents of Dull Knife. Holding Stone Hands is the tale of two journeys. Boye provides a vivid, moving account of the Cheyenne’s struggle to return to Montana. At the same time, he details the trek he and his Cheyenne companions made through four states and his growing understanding of why the Cheyenne’s longing for their homeland was stronger than their desire to live.
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