top of page

Risarusiritiriku (Baptiste Bayhylle)

Risarusiritiriku (Baptiste Bayhylle) The Chief They All Look To.

Bayhalle's Pawnee name has been recorded both as Lasharasereterrek, "One Whom the Great Spirit Smiles Upon," and Risarusiritiriku, "The Chief They All Look To." He was the translator during the Pawnee summer 1872 buffalo hunt led by Texas Jack.

This portrait, taken some time between 1870 and 1872, shows four Kitkehaki Pawnee men and Baptiste Bayhaylle, a Pawnee interpreter of mixed heritage. Baptiste and the other men pictured here were likely on the hunt and well known to Texas Jack as well. They are, from left to right: Raruraresarukus (Man That Left His Enemy in the Water), Raruraktawihurasaru (His Pipe Amongst Others with Great Pride), Tectasakariku (Curly Chief), Tirawahutresaru (Sky Chief). Raruraresarukus is pictured holding a rifle while the others brandish tomahawks.

Baptiste Bayhylle seated in front of a wooden building, holding an eagle feather fan and wearing a blanket.
Baptiste Bayhylle seated in front of a wooden building, holding an eagle feather fan and wearing a blanket.

Baptiste Bayhylle lead a life torn between the world of his Skidi Pawnee mother and his French fur-trading father, and spent his youth in both Nebraska and St. Louis. Baptiste and his half-brother, Frank Deteyr, appear in an account of the founding of the Pawnee Reservation in 1859. They served as interpreters for the Pawnees, and when Frank was killed by the Sioux in 1861, Baptiste took on more responsibility as an interpreter.

Baptiste Bayhylle and his son, Louis Bayhylle at the Carlisle Indian School. Louis is wearing his school uniform.

Baptiste enlisted as a Pawnee Scout in 1867 and served as a sergeant in Company C, the Skidi company. He scouted under Frank North and at one point under George Custer. One of his exploits during his scouting days is recounted by George Bird Grinnell, who met him on Texas Jack's summer hunt in 1872, in his book Blackfoot Lodge Tales.

A portrait of Baptiste Bayhylle and Andrew Murray, Pawnee scouts, with their rifles. Both were scouts under Major North in 1868.

Baptiste Bayhaylle was one of the last Pawnee to leave Nebraska for the new reservation in Oklahoma, escorting a group of young men as herders and old women who had previously refused to leave their ancestral lands. Bayhaylle died on October 25, 1897. A large number of Pawnees can trace their lineage back to this fascinating man.

374 views0 comments


bottom of page