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Title: Siouan Sociology
Author: Dorsey, James Owen, 1848-1895
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Siouan Sociology

A Posthumous Paper - Fifteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to
the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1893-1894, Government
Printing Office, Washington, 1897, pages 205-244

by James Owen Dorsey

Edition 1, (October 10, 2006)

In 1871, at the age of 23, James Owen Dorsey, previously a student of
divinity with a predilection for science, was ordained a deacon of the
Protestant Episcopal church by the bishop of Virginia; and in May of that
year he was sent to Dakota Territory as a missionary among the Ponka
Indians. Characterized by an amiability that quickly won the confidence of
the Indians, possessed of unbounded enthusiasm, and gifted with remarkable
aptitude in discriminating and imitating vocal sounds, he at once took up
the study of the native language, and, during the ensuing two years,
familiarized himself with the Ponka and cognate dialects; at the same time
he obtained a rich fund of information concerning the arts, institutions,
traditions, and beliefs of the Indians with whom he was brought into daily
contact. In August, 1873, his field work was interrupted by illness, and
he returned to his home in Maryland and assumed parish work, meantime
continuing his linguistic studies. In July, 1878, he was induced by Major
Powell to resume field researches among the aborigines, and repaired to
the Omaha reservation, in Nebraska, under the auspices of the Smithsonian
Institution, where he greatly increased his stock of linguistic and other
material. When the Bureau of Ethnology was instituted in 1879, his
services were at once enlisted, and the remainder of his life was devoted
to the collection and publication of ethnologic material, chiefly
linguistic. Although most of his energies were devoted to the Siouan
stock, he studied also the Athapascan, Kusan, Takilman, and Yakonan
stocks; and while his researches were primarily linguistic, his
collections relating to other subjects, especially institutions and
beliefs, were remarkably rich. His publications were many, yet the greater
part of the material amassed during his years of labor remains for
elaboration by others. The memoir on "Siouan Sociology," which was
substantially ready for the press, is the only one of his many manuscripts
left in condition for publication. He died in Washington, February 4,
1895, of typhoid fever, at the early age of 47.



a, as in _father_.

’a, an initially exploded a.

ă, as in _what_, or as _o_ in _not_.

’ă, an initially exploded ă.

ä, as in _hat_.

c, as _sh_ in _she_. See ṡ.

ɔ, a medial _sh_, a sonant-surd

ć (Dakota letter), as _ch_ in _church_.

ç, as _th_ in _thin_.

ɔ́, a medial ç, sonant-surd.

¢, as _th_ in _the_.

e, as in _they_.

’e, an initially exploded e.

ĕ, as in _get_.

’ĕ, an initially exploded ĕ.

g, as in _go_.

ġ (in Dakota), _gh_. See x.

ɥ (in Osage), an h after a pure or nasalized vowel, expelled through the
mouth with the lips wide apart.

ḣ (in Dakota), _kh_, etc. See q.

i, as in _machine_.

’i, an initially exploded i.

ĭ, as in _pin_.

j, as _z_ in _azure_, or as _j_ in the French _Jacques_.

ʞ, a medial k, a sonant-surd,

k’, an exploded k. See next letter.

ḳ (in Dakota), an exploded k.

ɯ (in Kansa), a medial m, a sound between m and b.

ɳ (in Dakota), after a vowel has the sound of _n_ in the French _bon_. See

ñ, as _ng_ in _sing_.

hn, its initial sound is expelled from the nostrils and is scarcely heard.

o, as in _no_.

’o, an initially exploded o.

*d*, a medial b or p, a sonant-surd.

p’, an exploded p.

q, as German _ch_ in _ach_. See ḣ.

*s*, a medial z or s, a sonant-surd.

ṡ (in Dakota), as _sh_ in _she_. See c.

ʇ, a medial d or t, a sonant-surd.

t’, an exploded t.

u, as _oo_ in _tool_.

’u, an initially exploded u.

ŭ, as _oo_ in _foot_.

u̱, a sound between o and u.

ü, as in German _kühl_, _süss_.

x, _gh_, or nearly the Arabic _ghain_. See ġ.

ź (in Dakota), as _z_ in _azure_. See j.

dj, as _j_ in _judge_.

tc, as _ch_ in _church_. See ć.

tc’, an exploded tc.

ʇɔ, a medial tc, a sonant-surd.

ts’, an exploded ts.

ʇs, a medial ts, a sonant-surd.

ai, as in _aisle_.

au, as _ow_ in _how_.

yu, as _u_ in _tune_, or _ew_ in _few_.

The following have the ordinary English sounds: b, d, h, k, l, m, n, p, r,
s, t, w, y, and z. A superior n (n) after a vowel (compare the Dakota ɳ)
has the sound of the French n in _bon_, _vin_, etc. A plus sign (+) after
any letter prolongs it.

The vowels ’a, ’e, ’i, ’o, ’u, and their modifications are styled
initially exploded vowels for want of a better appellation, there being in
each case an initial explosion. These vowels are approximately or
partially pectoral sounds found in the Siouan languages and also in some
of the languages of western Oregon and in the language of the Hawaiian




FIG. 30.—Sisseton and Wahpeton camping circle.
FIG. 31.—Sisseton camping circle.
FIG. 32.—Sitcanxu camping circle.
FIG. 33.—Oglala camping circle.
FIG. 34.—Omaha camping circle.
FIG. 35.—Iñke-sabĕ gentile assembly. A, The Wa¢igije, Maze or Whorl, or
Wagnbe-gaxe-aka, He-who-acts-mysteriously. B, The Watanzi-jide-¢atajĭ,
FIG. 36.—Ponka camping circle.
FIG. 37.—Kansa camping circle.
FIG. 38.—Osage camping circle.




In the study of the organization of societies, units of different orders
are discovered. Among the tribes of the Siouan family the primary unit is
the clan or gens, which is composed of a number of consanguinei, claiming
descent from a common ancestor and having common taboos; the term clan
implying descent in the female line, while gens implies descent in the
male line. Among the Dakota, as among the ¢egiha and other groups, the man
is the head of the family.

Several of the Siouan tribes are divided into two, and one (the Osage) is
divided into three subtribes. Other tribes are composed of phratries, and
each subtribe or phratry comprises a number of gentes. In some tribes each
gens is made up of subgentes, and these in turn of a lower order of
groups, which are provisionally termed sections for want of a better
designation. The existence of these minor groups among the Omaha has been
disputed by some, though other members of the tribe claim that they are
real units of the lowest order. Among the Teton many groups which were
originally sections have become gentes, for the marriage laws do not
affect the original phratries, gentes, and subgentes.

The state, as existing among the Siouan tribes, may be termed a kinship
state, in that the governmental functions are performed by men whose
offices are determined by kinship, and in that the rules relating to
kinship and reproduction constitute the main body of the recognized law.
By this law marriage and the mutual rights and duties of the several
members of each body of kindred are regulated. Individuals are held
responsible, chiefly to their kindred; and certain groups of kindred are
in some cases held responsible to other groups of kindred. When other
conduct, such as the distribution of game taken in the forest or fish from
the waters, is regulated, the rules or laws pertaining thereto involve, to
a certain extent, the considerations of kinship.

The legislative, executive, and judicative functions have not been
differentiated in Indian society as found among the Siouan groups. Two
tendencies or processes of opposite character have been observed among the
tribes, viz, consolidation and segregation. The effects of consolidation
are conspicuous among the Omaha, Kansa, Osage, and Oto, while segregation
has affected the social organization among the Kansa, Ponka, and Teton.
There have been instances of emigration from one tribe to another of the
same linguistic family; and among the Dakota new gentes have been formed
by the adoption into the tribe of foreigners, i.e., those of a different

Two classes of organization are found in the constitution of the state,
viz, (1) major organizations, which relate directly to government, and (2)
minor organizations, which relate only indirectly to government. The
former embraces the state functionaries, the latter comprises

Although the state functionaries are not clearly differentiated, three
classes of such men have been recognized: chiefs, policemen or soldiers,
and young men or "the common people." The chiefs are the civil and
religious leaders of the masses; the policemen are the servants of the
chiefs; the young men are such as have not distinguished themselves in war
or in any other way. These last have no voice in the assembly, which is
composed of the chiefs alone. Among the Omaha there is no military class,
yet there is a war element which is regulated by the Elk gens. The ¢ixida
gens and part of the Nika*d*aɔna gens of the Ponka tribe are considered to
be the warriors of the tribe, though members of other gentes have
participated in war. In the Kansa tribe two gentes, the Large Hañga and
the Small Hañga, form the phratry connected with war, though warriors did
not necessarily belong to those gentes alone. In the Osage camping circle
all the gentes on the right side are war gentes, but the first and second,
reckoning from the van, are the soldiers or policemen; while all the
gentes camping on the left are associated with peace, though their first
and second gentes, reckoning from the van, are policemen or soldiers.
Among the Omaha both officers and warriors must be taken from the class of
"young men," as the chiefs are afraid to act as leaders in war; and among
both the Omaha and the Ponka the chiefs, being the civil and religious
leaders of the people, can not serve as captains, or even as members, of
an ordinary war party, though they may fight when the whole tribe engages
in war. Among the Dakota, however, chiefs have led in time of war.

Corporations among the Siouan tribes are minor organizations, indirectly
related to the government, though they do not constitute a part of it. The
Omaha, for instance, and perhaps other tribes of the family, are organized
into certain societies for religious, industrial, and other ends. There
are two kinds of societies, the brotherhoods and the feasting
organizations. The former are the dancing societies, to some of which the
physicians belong.

Social classes are undifferentiated. Any man can win a name and rank in
the section, gens, phratry, tribe, or nation by bravery in war or by
generosity in the bestowal of presents and the frequent giving of feasts.
While there are no slaves among the Siouan tribes, there are several kinds
of servants in civil, military, and religious affairs.



The Dakota call themselves Otceti cakowin (Oćeti śakowiɳ(1)), The Seven
Fireplaces or Council-fires. This designation refers to their original
gentes, the Mdewakantonwan (Mdewakaɳ-toɳwaɳ), Waqpekute (Waḣpe-kute),
Waqpe-tonwan (Waḣpetoɳwaɳ), Sisitonwan (Sisitoɳwaɳ), Ihañk-tonwan
(Ihaɳktoɳwaɳ), Ihañk-tonwanna (Ihaɳktoɳwaɳna), and Titonwan (Titoɳwaɳ).
They camped in two sets of concentric circles, one of four circles,
consisting probably of the Mdewakantonwan, Waqpe-kute, Waqpe-tonwan and
Sisitonwan; and the other of three circles, including the Ihañktonwan,
Ihañktonwanna, and Titonwan, as shown by the dialectal resemblances and
variations as well as by the relative positions of their former habitats.


The Mdewakantonwan were so called from their former habitat, Mdewakan, or
Mysterious lake, commonly called Spirit lake, one of the Mille Lacs in
Minnesota. The whole name means Mysterious Lake village, and the term was
used by De l’Isle as early as 1703. The Mdewakantonwan were the original
Santee, but the white people, following the usage of the Ihañktonwan,
Ihañktonwanna, and Titonwan, now extend that name to the Waqpekute,
Waqpetonwan, and Sisitonwan. The gentes of the Mdewakantonwan are as

1. Kiyuksa, Breakers (of the law or custom); so called because members of
this gens disregarded the marriage law by taking wives within the gens.

2. Qe-mini-tcan (Ḣe-mini-ćaɳ) or Qemnitca (Ḣemnića), literally,
"Mountain-water-wood;" so called from a hill covered with timber that
appears to rise out of the water. This was the gens of Red Wing, whose
village was a short distance from Lake Pepin, Minnesota.

3. Kap’oja (Kap̣oźa), Not encumbered-with-much-baggage; "Light Infantry."
"Kaposia, or Little Crow’s village," in Minnesota, in 1852.

4. Maxa-yute-cni (Maġa-yute-’sni), Eats-no-geese.

5. Qeyata-otonwe (Ḣeyata-otoɳwe), of-its-chief-Hake-wacte (Hake waṡte);
Qeyata-tonwan (Ḣeyata-toɳwaɳ) of Reverend A.L. Riggs,

6. Oyate-citca (Oyate ṡića), Bad nation.

7. Tinta-otonwe (Tiɳta-otorɳwe), of Hake-wacte, or Tinta tonwan
(Tiɳtatoɳwaɳ) of A.L. Riggs, Village on-the-prairie (tiɳta).

These seven gentes still exist, or did exist as late as 1880.


The name waqpe-kute is derived from waqpe (waḣpe), leaf, and kute, to
shoot at, and signifies Shooters-among-the-leaves, i.e., among the
deciduous trees, as distinguished from Wazi-kute,
Shooters-at-or-among-the-pines. The gentes exist, but their names have not
been recorded.


The name of this people signifies Yillage-among-the-leaves (of deciduous
trees), the gens being known to the whites as Leaf Village or Wahpeton.
The gentes of this people, as given in 1884 by Reverend Edward Ashley, are
the following:

    [Illustration: FIG. 30.—Sisseton and Wahpeton camping circle.]

            FIG. 30.—Sisseton and Wahpeton camping circle.

13. Inyan-tceyaka-atonwan (Iɳyaɳ-ćeyaka-atoɳwaɳ),

14. Takapsin-tonwanna (Takapsin-toɳwaɳna), Village-at-the-shinny-ground.

15. Wiyaka-otina, Dwellers-on-the-sand (wiyaka).

16. Oteqi-atonwan (Oteḣi-atoɳwaɳ),Village-in-the-thicket (oteḣi).

17. Wita-otina, Dwellers-on-the-island (wita).

18. Wakpa-atonwan (Wakpa-atoɳwaɳ), Village-on-the-river.

19. Tcan-kaxa-otina (Ćan-kaġa-otina), Dwellers-in-log (-huts?).

The numbers prefixed to the names of these gentes denote their respective
places in the camping circle of the Sisseton and Wahpeton, as shown in
figure 30.


It is evident that the Sisseton were formerly in seven divisions, the
Wita-waziyata-otina and the Ohdihe being counted as one; the Basdetce-cni
and Itokaq-tina as another; the Kaqmi-atonwan, Maniti, and Keze as a
third, and the Tizaptan and Okopeya as a fifth. When only a part of the
tribe journeyed together, the people camped in the following manner: The
Amdo-wapuskiyapi pitched their tents between the west and north, the
Wita-waziyata-otina between the north and east, the Itokaq-tina between
the east and south, and the Kap’oja between the south and west. The
following are the Sisseton gentes (figure 31):

1. Wita-waziyata-otina, Village-at-the-north-island.

2. Ohdihe (from ohdihan, to fall into an object endwise). This gens is an
offshoot of the Wita-waziyata-otina.

3. Basdetce-cni (Basdeće-ṡni), Do-not-split (the body of a
buffalo)-with-a-knife (but cut it up as they please).

4. Itokaq-tina (Itokali-tina), Dwellers-at-the-south (itokaġa). These are
an offshoot of the Basdetce-cni.

5. Kaqmi-atonwan (Kalimi-atoɳwaɳ), Village-at-the-bend (kalimin).

6. Mani-ti, Those-who-camp (ti)-away-from-the-village. An offshoot of the

7. Keze, Barbed-like-a-fishhook. An offshoot of the Kaqmi-atonwan.

8. Tcan-kute (Ćaɳ kute), Shoot-in-the-woods (among the deciduous trees); a
name of derision. These people, according to Ashley, resemble the Keze,
whom he styles a "cross clan."

9. Ti-zaptan (Ti-zaptaɳ), Five-lodges.

10. Okopeya, In-danger. An offshoot of the Ti-zaptan.

11. Kap’oja (Kapoźa), Those-who-travel-with-light-burdens. (See number 3
of the Mdewakantonwan.)

12. Amdo-wapuskiyapi, Those-who-lay-meat-on-their-shoulders
(amdo)-to-dry-it (wapuskiya)-during-the-hunt.

          [Illustration: FIG. 31.—Sisseton camping circle.]

                  FIG. 31.—Sisseton camping circle.


The Yankton and Yanktonai speak the Yankton dialect, which has many words
in common with the Teton.

In 1878 Walking Elk wrote the names of the Yankton gentes in the following
order: 1, Tcan-kute (Ćaɳ kute), Shoot-in-the-woods; 2, Tcaxu (Ćaġu),
Lights or lungs; 3, Wakmuha-oin (Wakmuha oiɳ),Pumpkin-rind-earring; 4,
Ihaisdaye, Mouth-greasers; 5, Watceunpa (Waćeuɳpa), Roasters; 6, Ikmun
(Ikmuɳ), An animal of the cat kind (lynx, panther, or wildcat); 7,
Oyate-citca (Oyate-ṡiċa), Bad-nation; 8, Wacitcun-tcintca (Waṡićaɳ-ćiɳċa)
(a modern addition), Sons-of-white-men, the "Half-blood band." But in 1891
Reverend Joseph W. Cook, who has been missionary to the Yankton since
1870, obtained from several men the following order of gentes (ignoring
the half-bloods): On the right side of the circle were, 1, Iha isdaye; 2,
Wakmuha-oin; 3, Ikmun. On the left side of the circle were, 4, Watceunpa;
5, Tcan-kute; 6, Oyate-citca; and, 7, Tcaxu.


The Yanktonai are divided into the Upper and Lower Yanktonai, the latter
being known as the Huñkpatina, Those-camping-at-one-end (or

The Upper Yanktonai geutes are as follows: 1, Tcan-ona (Ćaɳ ona),
Shoot-at-trees, or Wazi-kute, Shooters-among-the-pines; from these the
Ho-he or Asiniboin have sprung. 2, Takini, Improved-in-condition (as a
lean animal or a poor man). 3, Cikcitcena (Ṡikṡićena),
Bad-ones-of-different-sorts. 4, Bakihon (Bakihoɳ),
Gash-themselves-with-knives. 5, Kiyuksa, Breakers (of the law or custom);
see Mdewakantonwan gens number 1. 6, Pa-baksa, Cut-heads; some of these
are on Devils Lake reservation, North Dakota. 7, Name forgotten.

The following are the gentes of the Lower Yanktonai, or Huñkpatina: 1,
Pute-temini, Sweat-lips; the gens of Maxa-bomdu or Drifting Goose. 2,
Gŭn-iktceka (Ṡuɳ ikćeka), Common dogs. 3, Taquha-yuta (Taḣuha-yuta),
Eat-the-scrapings-of-hides. 4, San-ona (Saɳ-ona),
Shot-at-some-white-object; this name originated from killing an albino
buffalo; a Huñkpapa chief said that refugees or strangers from another
tribe were so called. 5, Iha-ca (Iha-ṡa), Red-lips. 6, Ite-xu (Ite-ġu),
Burned-face. 7, Pte-yute-cni (Pte-yute-ṡni), Eat-no-buffalo-cows.



The Teton are divided into seven tribes, which were formerly gentes. These
are the Sitcanxu (Sićanġu), Itaziptco (Itazipćo), Siha-sapa, Minikooju
(Minikooźu), Oohe-nonpa (Oohe-noɳpa), Oglala, and Huñkpapa.


The Sitcanxu, Bois Brulés or Burned Thighs, are divided locally into (1)
Qeyata-witcaca (Ḣeyata wićaṡa), People-away-from-the-river, the Highland
or Upper Brulé, and (2) the Kud (Kuta or Kunta)-witcaca, the Lowland or
Lower Brulé. The Sitcanxu are divided socially into gentes, of which the
number has increased in recent years. The following names of their gentes
were given to the author in 1880 by Tatañka-wakan, Mysterious
Buffalo-bull: 1, Iyak’oza (Iyaḳoza), Lump (or wart)-on-a-horse’s-leg. 2,
Tcoka-towela (Ćoka-towela), Blue-spot-in-the-middle. 3, Ciyo-tañka
(Ṡiyo-taɳka), Large grouse or prairie chicken. 4, Ho-mna, Fish-smellers.
5, Ciyo-subula (Ṡiyo-subula), Sharp-tail grouse. 6, Kanxi-yuha
(Kaɳġi-yuha), Raven keepers. 7, Pispiza-witcaca (Pispiza-wićaṡa),
Prairie-dog people. 8, Walexa-un-wohan (Waleġa uɳ wohaɳ),
Boil-food-with-the-paunch-skin (waleġa). 9, Watceunpa (Waćeuɳpa),
Roasters. 10, Cawala (Ṡawala), Shawnee; the descendants of a Shawnee chief
adopted into the tribe. 11, Ihañktonwan (Ihaɳktoɳwaɳ), Yankton, so called
from their mothers, Yankton women; not an original Sitcanxu gens. 12,
Naqpaqpa (Naḣpaḣpa), Take-down (their)-leggings (after returning from
war). 13, Apewan-tañka (Apewaɳ taɳka), Big manes (of horses).

In 1884 Reverend W.J. Cleveland sent the author the accompanying diagram
(figure 32) and the following list of Sitcanxu gentes, containing names
which he said were of very recent origin; 1, Sitcanxu proper. 2, Kak’exa
(Kakeġa),Making-a-grating-sound. 3a, Hinhan-cŭn-wapa (Hiɳhaɳ-ṡun-wapa),
Toward-the-owl-feather. 3b, Cŭñikaha-napin (Ṡuɳkaha napiɳ),
Wears-a-dogskin-around-the-neek, 4, Hi-ha kanhanhan win (Hi-ha kaɳhaɳhaɳ
wiɳ), Woman (wiɳ) -the-skin (ha) -of-whose-teeth (hi) -dangles
(kaɳhaɳhaɳ). 5, Hŭñku-wanitca (Huɳku-wanića), Without-a-mother. 6,
Miniskuya-kitc’un (Miniskuya kićuɳ), Wears salt. 7a, Kiyuksa,
Breaks-or-cuts-in-two-his-own (custom, etc; probably referring to the
marriage law; see Mdewakantonwan gens number 1). 7b, Ti-glabu,
Drums-iu-his-own-lodge. 8, Watceŭnpa (Waćeuɳpa), Boasters. 9, Wagluqe
(Wagluḣe), Followers, commonly called loafers; A.L. Riggs thinks the word
means "in-breeders." 10, Isanyati (Isaɳyati), Santee (probably derived
from the Mdewakantonwan). 11, Wagmeza-yuha, Has corn. 12a, Walexa-on-wohan
(Waleġa-oɳ-wohaɳ), Boils-with-the-paunch-skin. 12b, Waqna (Waḣna), Snorts.
13, Oglala-itc’itcaxa (Oglala-ićićaġa), Makes-himself-an-Oglala. 14,
Tiyotcesli (Tiyoćesli), Dungs-in-the-lodge. 15, Wajaja (Waźaźa), Osage
(?). 16, Ieska-tcintca (Ieska-ćiɳća), Interpreter’s sons; "half-bloods."
17, Ohe-nonpa (Ohe-noɳpa), Two boilings or kettles. 18, Okaxa-witcaca
(Okaġa-wićaṡa), Man-of-the-south.

          [Illustration: FIG. 32.—Sitcanxu camping circle.]

                  FIG. 32.—Sitcanxu camping circle.


The Itaziptco (Itazipćo), in full, Itazipa-tcodan (Itazipa-ćodaɳ),
Without-bows or Sans Arcs, had seven gentes, according to Waanatan or
Charger, in 1880 and 1884: 1, Itaziptco-qtca (Itazipćo-ḣća), Real
Itaziptco, also called Mini-cala (Mini-ṡala), Red water. 2, Cina-luta-oin
(Ṡina-luta-oiɳ), Scarlet-cloth-earring. 3, Woluta-yuta, Eat-dried-venison
(or buffalo meat) -from-the-hind-quarter. 4, Maz-peg-naka, Wear
(pieces-of) -metal-in-the-hair. 5, Tatañka-tcesli (Tataɳka-ćesli),
Dung-of-a-buffalo-bull. 6, Cikcitcela (Ṡikṡićela),
Bad-ones-of-different-kinds. 7, Tiyopa-otcannunpa (Tiyopa-oćaɳnuɳpa),


The following are the gentes of the Siha-sapa or Blackfeet as given by
Peji or John Grass, in 1880: 1, Siha-sapa-qtca, Real Blackfeet. 2,
Kanxi-cŭn-pegnaka (Kaɳġi-ṡuɳ-pegnaka), Wears-raven-feathers-in-the-hair.
3, Glagla-hetca (Glagla-heća), Untidy, slovenly ("Too lazy to tie their
moccasins"). 4, Wajaje (Waźaźe; Kill Eagle’s band; named affcer Kill
Eagle’s father, who was a Wajaje of the Oglala tribe). 5, Hohe, Asiniboin.
6, Wamnuxa-oin (Wamnuġa-oiɳ), Shell-ear-pendant. In 1884 Reverend H. Swift
obtained the following from Waanatan or Charger as the true list of
Siha-sapa gentes: 1, Ti-zaptan (Ti-zaptaɳ), Five lodges. 2,
Siha-sapa-qtca, Heal Blackfeet. 3, Hohe, Asiniboin. 4, Kanxi-cŭn-pegnaka
(as above). 5, Wajaje (as above). 6, Wamnuxa-oin (as above). Mr Swift
stated that there was no Siha-sapa division called Glagla-hetca.


In 1880 Tatañka-wanbli, or Buffalo-bull Eagle, gave the author the names
of numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of the following list of the Minikooju
(Minikooźu), Minikanye-woju (Minikaɳye-woźu), or Minneconjou gentes. These
were given in 1884, with numbers 4 and 9, to Reverend H. Swift by No Heart
(Ćaɳte-wanića): 1, Ŭñktce-yuta (Uɳkće-yuta), Eat-dung. 2, Glagla-hetca
(Glagla-heća), Slovenly. 3, Cuñka-yute-cni (Ṡuɳka yute-ṡni), Eat-no-dogs.
4, Nixe-tañka (Niġe-taɳka), Big-belly. 5, Wakpokinyan (Wakpokiɳyaɳ),
Flies-along-the-creek (wakpa). 6, Inyan-ha-oin (Iɳyan-h-oiɳ),
Musselshell-earring. 7, Cikcitcela (Ṡikṡićela),
Bad-ones-of-different-sorts. 8, Wagleza-oin, Watersnake-earring. 9,
Wan-nawexa (Waɳ-naweġa), Broken-arrows. The Wannawexa are nearly extinct.


Of the Oohe-nonpa (Oohe-nonpa), Two Boilings or Two Kettles, Charger knew
the names of only two gentes, which he gave to Reverend H. Swift in 1884,
as follows: 1, Oohe-nonpa, Two-boilings. 2, Ma-waqota (Ma-waḣota),


The first list of Oglala gentes was obtained in 1879 from Reverend John
Robinson and confirmed in 1880 by a member of the tribe. These gentes are
as follows: 1, Payabya, Pushed-aside. 2, Tapicletca (Tapiṡleća), Spleen
(of an animal). 3, Kiyuksa, Breaks-his-own (marriage custom). 4, Wajaja
(Waźaźa. See the Siha-sapa list of gentes). 5, Ite-citca (Ite-ṡića),
Bad-face, or Oglala-qtca (Oglala-ḣća), Real Oglala. 6, Oyuqpe (Oyuḣpe);
identical with Oiyuqpe of the next list. 7, Wagluqe (Wagluḣe). Followers
or Loafers. These were probably the earlier divisions of the Oglala, but
by 1884 considerable segregation had been accomplished, as shown by the
following list furnished by Reverend W.J. Cleveland: 1, Ite-citca
(Ite-ṡića), Bad-face, under Maqpiya-luta, Scarlet Cloud ("Red Cloud"). 2,
Payabyeya, Pushed-aside (under Taṡuɳka-kokipapi, They-fear-even-his-horse;
wrongly rendered Man-afraid-of-his-horses). 3, Oyuqpe (Oyuḣpe), Thrown
down or unloaded. 4, Tapicletca, Spleen (of an animal). 5, Pe-cla
(Pe-ṡla), Baldhead. 6, Tceq-huha-ton (Ćeḣ-huha-toɳ), Kettle-with-legs. 7,
Wablenitca (Wablenića), Orphans. 8, Pe-cla-ptcetcela (Pe-ṡla-ptećela),
Short-baldhead. 9, Tacnahetca (Taṡnaheća), Gopher. 10, I-wayusota,
Uses-up-by-begging-for, "Uses-up-with-the-mouth." 11, Wakan (Wakaɳ),
Mysterious. 12a, Iglaka-teqila (Iglaka-teḣila), Refuses-to-move-camp. 12b,
Ite-citca, Bad-face (as number 1). 13, Ite-citca-etanhan
(Ite-ṡića-etaɳhaɳ), "From-bad-face," Part-of-bad-face. 14, Zuzetca-kiyaksa
(Zuzeća kiyaksa), Bit-the-snake-in-two. 15, Watceonpa (Waće-oɳpa),
Boasters. 16, Watcape (Waćape), Stabber. 17, Tiyotcesli (Tiyoćesli),
Dungs-in-the-lodge. 18 and 19, Wagluqe, Followers or Loafers. 20, Oglala,
Scattered-her-own. 21, Ieska-tcintca (Ieska-ćinca), Interpreter’s sous,

According to Mr Cleveland the whole Oglala tribe had two other names,
Oyuqpe, Thrown-down or unloaded, and Kiyaksa, Bit-it-in-two.


The name Huñkpapa (sometimes corrupted into Uncpapa, Oncpapa, etc), should
be compared with the Yanktonai name Huñkpatina; both refer to the huñkpa
or ends of a tribal circle. A Huñkpapa man in 1880 gave the following as
the names of the gentes: 1, Tcañka-oqan (Ćaɳka-oḣaɳ) Sore-backs (of
horses), not the original name. 2, Tce-oqba (Će-oḣba), in which tce (će)
has either a vulgar meaning or is a contraction of tceya (ćeya), to weep,
and oqba (oḣba), sleepy. 3, Tinazipe-citca (Tinazipe-ṡića), Bad-bows. 4,
Talo-nap’in (Talo-napiɳ), Fresh-meat-necklace. 5, Kiglacka (Kiglaṡka),
Ties-his-own. 6, Tcegnake-okisela (Ćegnake-okisela), Half-a-breechcloth.
7, Cikcitcela (Ṡikṡićela), Bad-ones-of-different-sorts. 8, Wakan (Wakaɳ),
Mysterious. 9, Hŭnska-tcantojuha (Huɳska-ćaɳtoźuha),

           [Illustration: FIG. 33.—Oglala camping circle.]

                   FIG. 33.—Oglala camping circle.

The real foundation for the totemic system exists among the Dakota, as
well as among the other Siouan tribes and the Iroquois, in the names of
men often being taken from mythical animals, but, in the opinion of Dr
S.R. Riggs, the system was never carried to perfection.


Among the eastern Dakota the phratry was never a permanent organization,
but it was resorted to on special occasions and for various purposes, such
as war or the buffalo hunt. The exponent of the phratry was the tiyotipi
or "soldiers’ lodge," which has been described at length by Dr Riggs.(3)

While no political organization has been known to exist within the
historic period over the whole Dakota nation, the traditional alliance of
the "Seven Council-fires" is perpetuated in the common name Dakota,
signifying allied, friendly.

Among the Dakota it is customary for the rank and title of chief to
descend from father to son, unless some other near relative is ambitious
and influential enough to obtain the place. The same is claimed also in
regard to the rank of brave or soldier, but this position is more
dependent on personal bravery. While among the Omaha and Ponka a chief can
not lead in war, there is a different custom among the Dakota. The
Sisseton chief Standing Buffalo told Little Crow, the leader of the
hostile Santee in the Minnesota outbreak of 1862, that, having commenced
hostilities with the whites, he must fight it out without help from him,
and that, failing to make himself master of the situation, he should not
flee through the country of the Sisseton.

Regarding chieftainship among the Dakota, Philander Prescott(4) says:

    The chieftainship is of modern date, there being no chiefs hefore
    the whites came. The chiefs have little power. The chief’s band is
    almost always a kin totem which helps to sustain him. The chiefs
    have no votes in council; there the majority rules and the voice
    of the chief is not decisive till then.

    On the death of a chief, the nearest kinsman in the right line is
    eligible. If there are no kin, the council of the band can make a
    chief. Civil chiefs scarcely ever make a war party.

The Dakota woman owns the tipi. If a man has more wives than one, they
have separate tipis, or they arrange to occupy different sides of one.
Sometimes the young man goes to live with his wife’s kindred, but in such
matters there is no fixed rule. To purchase a wife was regarded the most
honorable form of marriage, though elopement was sometimes resorted to.


The Asiniboin were originally part of the Wazi-kute gens of the Yanktonai
(Ihañktonwanna) Dakota. According to the report of E.T. Denig to Governor
I.I. Stevens,(5) "the Asiniboin call themselves Dakota, meaning Our
people." The Dakota style them Hohe, "rebels," but Denig says the term
signifies "fish eaters," and that they may have been so called from the
fact that they subsisted principally on fish while in British territory.

Lists of the gentes of this people have been recorded by Denig,
Maximilian, and Hayden, but in the opinion of the present writer they need

                            _Asiniboin gentes_

_Denig_                  _Maximilian_        _Hayden_
We-che-ap-pe-nah,        Itschcabinè, Les    Wi-ić-ap-i-naḣ,
60 lodges, under         gens des filles.    Girls’ band.
Les Yeux Gris
E-an-to-ah, Stone        Jatonabinè, Les     I’-an-to’-an.
Indians, the             gens des roches,    Either Inyan
original                 the Stone Indians   tonwan, Stone
appellation for          of the English.     Village or
the whole nation;        Call themselves     Ihanktonwan, End
50 lodges, under         "Eascab."           village or
Premier qui Voile.                           Yankton. J.O.D.)
Wah-to-pan-ah,           Otaopabinè, Les     Waḣ-to’-pap-i-naḣ
Canoe Indians, 100       gens des canots.
lodges, under
Wah-to-pah-han-da-toh,   Watópachnato, Les   Waḣ-to’-paḣ-an-da-to,
Old Gauché’s gens,       gens de l’age.      Gens du Gauché or
i.e., Those who                              Left Hand.
row in canoes; 100
lodges, under
Trembling Hand.
Wah-ze-ah we-chas-ta,    O-see-gah (of       Waḣ-zi-ah, or
Northern People (so      Lewis and Clark,    To-kum-pi, Gens du
called because they      Discoveries, p.     Nord.
came from the north in   43, 1806).
1839); 60 lodges,
under Le Robe de Vent.

The following gentes have not been collated: Of Maximilian’s list,
Otopachgnato, les gens du large, possibly a duplication, by mistake, of
Watopachnato, les gens de l’age; Tschantoga, les gens des bois;
Tanin-tauei, les gens des osayes; Chábin, les gens des montagnes. Of
Hayden’s list, Min’-i-shi-nak’-a-to, gens du lac.

The correct form in the Yankton dialect of the first name is Witcinyanpina
(Wićiɳyaɳpina), girls; of the second, probably Inyantonwan (Iɳyaɳ toɳwaɳ);
the third and fourth gentes derive their names from the verb watopa, to
paddle a canoe; the fifth is Waziya witcacta (Waziya wićaṡta). Tschan in
Tschantoga is the German notation of the Dakota tcan (ćaɳ), tree, wood.
Cha in Chábin is the German notation of the Dakota word ḣe, a high ridge
of hills, a mountain.

In his report to Governor Stevens, from which the following information
respecting the Asiniboin is condensed, Denig used the term "band" to
denote a gens of the tribe, and "clans" instead of corporations, under
which latter term are included the feasting and dancing societies and the
orders of doctors, shamans, or theurgists.

These bands are distinct and occupy different parts of the country,
although they readily combine when required by circumstances, such as
scarcity of game or an attack by a large body of the enemy.

The roving tribes call no general council with other nations; indeed, they
are suspicious even of those with whom they have been at peace for many
years, so that they seldom act together in a large body. With the
exception of the Hidatsa, Mandau, and Arikara, who are stationary and live
in a manner together, the neighboring tribes are quite ignorant of one
another’s government, rarely knowing even the names of the principal
chiefs and warriors.

In all these tribes there is no such thing as hereditary rank. If a son of
a chief is wanting in bravery, generosity, or other desirable qualities,
he is regarded merely as an ordinary individual; at the same time it is
true that one qualification for the position of chief consists in having a
large number of kindred in the tribe or gens. Should there be two or more
candidates, equally capable and socially well connected, the question
would be decided on the day of the first removal of the camp, or else in
council by the principal men. In the former case, each man would follow
the leader whom he liked best, and the smaller body of Indians would soon
adhere to the majority.

Women are never acknowledged as chiefs, nor have they anything to say in
the council. A chief would be deposed for any conduct causing general
disgust or dissatisfaction, such as incest (marrying within his gens) or
lack of generosity. Though crime in the abstract would not tend to create
dissatisfaction with a chief, yet if he murdered, without sufficient
cause, one whose kindred were numerous, a fight between the two bodies of
kindred would result and an immediate separation of his former adherents
would ensue; but should the murdered person be without friends, there
would be no attempt to avenge the crime, and the people would fear the
chief only the more. To preserve his popularity a chief must give away all
his property, and he is consequently always the poorest man in the band;
but he takes care to distribute his possessions to his own kindred or to
the rich, from whom he might draw in times of need.

The duties of a leading chief are to study the welfare of his people, by
whom he is regarded as a father, and whom he addresses as his children. He
must determine where the camp should be placed and when it should be
moved; when war parties are advisable and of whom they should be
composed—a custom radically different from that of the Omaha and
Ponka,—and all other matters of like character. Power is tacitly committed
to the leading chief, to be held so long as he governs to general
satisfaction, subject, however, to the advice of the soldiers. Age,
debility, or any other natural defect, or incapacity to act, advise, or
command, would lead a chief to resign in favor of a younger man.

When war is deemed necessary, any chief, soldier, or brave warrior has the
privilege of raising and leading a war party, provided he can get
followers. The powers of a warrior and civil chief may be united in one
person, thus differing from the Omaha and Ponka custom. The leading chief
may and often does lead the whole band to war; in fact, it devolves on him
to lead any general expedition.

The Akitcita (Akićita), soldiers or guards (policemen), form an important
body among the Asiniboin as they do among the other Siouan tribes. These
soldiers, who are chosen from the band on account of their bravery, are
from 25 to 45 years of age, steady, resolute, and respected; and in them
is vested the power of executing the decisions of the council. In a camp
of 200 lodges these soldiers would number from 50 to 60 men; their lodge
is pitched in the center of the camp and is occupied by some of them all
the time, though the whole body is called together only when the chief
wishes a public meeting or when their hunting regulations are to be
decided. In their lodge all tribal and intertribal business is transacted,
and all strangers, both white men and Indians, are domiciled. The young
men, women, and children are not allowed to enter the soldiers’ lodge
during the time that tribal matters are being considered, and, indeed,
they are seldom, if ever, seen there. All the choicest parts of meat and
the tongues of animals killed in hunting are reserved for the soldiers’
lodge, and are furnished by the young men from time to time. A tax is
levied on the camp for the tobacco smoked there, which is no small
quantity, and the women are obliged to furnish wood and water daily. This
lodge corresponds in some degree to the two sacred lodges of the Hañga
gens of the Omaha.

Judging from the meager information which we possess concerning the
Asiniboin kinship system, the latter closely resembles that of the Dakota
tribes, descent being in the male line. After the smallpox epidemic of
1838, only 400 thinly populated lodges out of 1,000 remained, relationship
was nearly annihilated, property lost, and but few, the very young and
very old, were left to mourn the loss. Remnants of bands had to be
collected and property acquired, and several years elapsed ere the young
people were old enough to marry.

The names of the wife’s parents are never pronounced by the husband; to do
so would excite the ridicule of the whole camp. The husband and the
father-in-law never look on each other if they can avoid it, nor do they
enter the same lodge. In like manner the wife never addresses her

A plurality of wives is required by a good hunter, since in the labors of
the chase women are of great service to their husbands. An Indian with one
wife can not amass property, as she is constantly occupied in household
labors, and has no time for preparing skins for trading. The first wife
and the last are generally the favorites, all others being regarded as
servants. The right of divorce lies altogether with the husband; if he has
children by his wife, he seldom puts her away. Should they separate, all
the larger children—those who require no further care—remain with the
father, the smaller ones departing with the mother. When the women have no
children they are divorced without scruple.

After one gets acquainted with Indians the very opposite of taciturnity
exists. The evenings are devoted to jests and amusing stories and the days
to gambling. The soldiers’ lodge, when the soldiers are not in session, is
a very theater of amusement; all sorts of jokes are made and obscene
stories are told, scarcely a woman in the camp escaping the ribaldry; but
when business is in order decorum must prevail.

The personal property of these tribes consists chiefly of horses.
Possession of an article of small value is a right seldom disputed, if the
article has been honestly obtained; but the possession of horses being
almost the principal object in life of an Indian of the plains, the
retention of them is a matter of great uncertainty, if he has not the
large force necessary to defend them. Rights to property are based on the
method of acquirement, as (1) articles found; (2) those made by themselves
(the sole and undisputed property of the makers); (3) those stolen from
enemies, and (4) those given or bought. Nothing is given except with a
view to a gift in return. Property obtained by gambling is held by a very
indefinite tenure.

Murder is generally avenged by the kindred of the deceased, as among the
Omaha and Ponka. Goods, horses, etc, may be offered to expiate the crime,
when the murderer’s friends are rich in these things, and sometimes they
are accepted; but sooner or later the kindred of the murdered man will try
to avenge him. Everything except loss of life or personal chastisement can
be compensated among these Indians. Rape is nearly unknown, not that the
crime is considered morally wrong, but the punishment would be death, as
the price of the woman would be depreciated and the chances of marriage
lessened. Besides, it would be an insult to her kindred, as implying
contempt of their feelings and their power of protection. Marriage within
the gens is regarded as incest and is a serious offense.


The gentes keeping the sacred pipes and those having the sacred tents are
designated among the Omaha by appropriate designs. The sacred tent of the
Wejincte was the tent of war, those of the Hañga were the tents associated
with the buffalo hunt and the cultivation of the soil. The diameter of the
circle (figure 34) represents the road traveled by the tribe when going on
the buffalo hunt, numbers 1 and 10 being the gentes which were always in
the van. The tribe was divided into half tribes, each half tribe
consisting of five gentes. The sacred tents of the Omaha and all the
objects that were kept in them are now in the Peabody Museum of
Archaeology and Ethnology at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

            [Illustration: FIG. 34.—Omaha camping circle.]

                    FIG. 34.—Omaha camping circle.

The two groups of gentes forming the half tribes or phratries, sometimes
composed of subgentes or sections, are as follows:

_Hañgacenu gentes_—1, Wejincte, Elk. 2, Iñke-sabĕ, Black shoulder, a
Buffalo gens; the custodian of the real pipes of peace. 3, Hañga or
Ancestral, a Buffalo gens; the regulator of all the so-called pipes of
peace and keeper of two sacred tents. 4, ¢atada, meaning uncertain; in
four subgentes: _a_, Wasabe hit‘ajĭ, Touch-not-the-skin-of-a-black-bear;
_b_, Wajiñga ¢atajĭ, Eat-no-small-birds; Bird people; _c_, ʇe-*d*a it‘ajĭ,
Touch-no-buffalo-head; Eagle people; _d_, ʞe-‘in,
Carry-a-turtle-on-the-back; Turtle people. 5, ʞanze, Wind people.

_Ictasanda gentes_—6, Man¢iñka-gaxe, Earth-lodge-makers; coyote and wolf
people. 7, ʇe-sĭnde, Buffalo-tail; a Buffalo-calf people. 8, ʇa-*d*a,
Deer-head; Deer people. 9, Iñg¢e-jide, Red dung; a Buffalo-calf gens. 10,
Icta-sanda, meaning uncertain ("gray eyes"?), said to refer to the effect
of lightning on the eyes. This last gens consists of Thunder and Reptile

The Iñke-sabĕ formerly consisted of four subgentes. When the gens met as a
whole, the order of sitting was that shown in figure 35. In the tribal
circle the Wa¢igije camped next to the Hañga gens, and the other Iñke-sabĕ
people came next to the Wejincte; but in the gentile "council fire" the
first became last and the last first.

The Ieki¢ĕ or Criers.

The Naq¢eit‘a-bajĭ, Those-who-touch-no-charcoal.

The three subgentes here named sat on the same side of fireplace.

The Hañga formerly had four subgeutes, but two of them, the Wa¢iitan or
Workers, and the Ha-ʇu-it‘ajĭ, Touches-no-green(-corn)-husks, are extinct,
the few survivors having joined the other subgentes. The remaining
subgentes are each called by several names: 1, ʇcsanha-ʇa¢ican, pertaining
to the sacred skin of an albino buffalo cow, or Wacabe, Dark buffalo; or
Hañga-qti, real Hañga; or ʇe-¢eze-¢atajĭ, Do-not-eat-buffalo-tongues. 2,
Janha-ʇa¢ican, pertaining to the sacred (cottonwood) bark; or
Waq¢exe-a¢in, Keeps-the-"spotted-object" (the sacred pole); or
Jan-waqube-a¢in, Keeps-the-sacred-or-mysterious-wood (pole); or
ʇa-waqube-¢atajĭ, Does-not-eat-the-sacred (mysterious)-buffalo-sides; or
Minxa-san-¢atajĭ-kĭ *P*etan-¢atajĭ, Eat-no-geese-or-swans-or-cranes.

 [Illustration: FIG. 35.—Iñke-sabĕ gentile assembly. A, The Wa¢igije,
 Maze or Whorl, or Wagnbe-gaxe-aka, He-who-acts-mysteriously. B, The
           Watanzi-jide-¢atajĭ, Those-who-eat-no-red-corn.]

 FIG. 35.—Iñke-sabĕ gentile assembly. A, The Wa¢igije, Maze or Whorl,
         or Wagnbe-gaxe-aka, He-who-acts-mysteriously. B, The
           Watanzi-jide-¢atajĭ, Those-who-eat-no-red-corn.

In the tribal circle the Wacabe camped next to the Iñke-sabĕ, and the
Waqe¢xe-acin were next to the Wasabe-hit‘ajĭ subgens of the ¢atada; but in
the Hañga gentile assembly the positions were reversed, the Wacabe sitting
on the right side of the fire and the Waq¢exe-a¢in on the left.

The Wasabe-hit‘ajĭ subgens of the ¢atada was divided into four sections:
Black-bear, Raccoon, Grizzly-bear, and Porcupine. The only survivors are
the Black-bear and Raccoon (Singers).

The Wajiñga ¢atajĭ subgens was divided into four sections: 1, Hawk people,
under the chief Standing Hawk (now dead). 2, Blackbird people, under the
chief Wajina-gahiga. B, Starling or Thunder people. 4, Owl and Magpie

The ʞanze gens was divided into at least two subgentes, the Keepers of the
pipe and the Wind people. Lion, of the Deer-head gens, said that there
were four subgentes, but this was denied in 1882 by Two Crows of the Hañga

The Man¢iñka-gaxe subgentes, as given by Lion, were: 1, Coyote and Wolf
people. 2, In‘ĕ-waqube-a¢in, Keepers-of-the-mysterious-stones. 3,
Niniba-t‘an, Keepers-of-the-pipe. 4, Minxa-san-wet‘ajĭ.
Touch(es)-not-swans. Cañge-skă, White Horse, chief of the Man¢iñ-ka-gaxe
(in 1878-1880) named three subgentes, thus: 1, Qube, Mysterious person, a
modern name (probably including the Miʞasi and In‘ĕ-waqube-a¢in, and
certainly consisting of the descendants of the chief Wa-jiñga-sabe or
Blackbird). 2, Niniba-t‘an. 3, Minxa-san-wet‘ajĭ.

The ʇa-*d*a were divided into four parts: 1, Niniba-t‘an,
Keepers-of-the-pipe, under Lion. 2, Naq¢e-it‘ajĭ, Touches-no-charcoal,
under Boy Chief. 3, Thunder-people, under Pawnee Chief. 4, Deer-people,
under Sinde-xanxan (Deer’s-)tail-shows-red-at-intervals

The Ictasanda gens also was in four parts: 1, Niniba-t‘an,
Keepers-of-the-pipe. 2, Real Ictasanda people, (Numbers 1 and 2 were
consolidated prior to 1880.) 3, Wacetan or Reptile people, sometimes
called Keepers-of-the-claws-of-a-wildcat. 4, Real Thunder people, or
Those-who-do-not-touch-a-clamshell, or

The social organization of the Omaha has been treated at length by the
author in his paper on Omaha Sociology.(6)


The Ponka tribal circle was divided equally between the Tcinju and Wajaje
half-tribes. To the former belonged two phratries of two gentes each,
i.e., numbers 1 to 4, inclusive, and to the latter two similar phratries,
including gentes 5 to 8.

            [Illustration: FIG. 36.—Ponka camping circle.]

                    FIG. 36.—Ponka camping circle.

Tcinju half-tribe—Thunder or Fire phratry: Gens 1, Hisada,
Legs-stretched-ont-stiff (refers to a dead quadruped); Thunder people.
Gens 2, Touch-not-the-skin-of-a-black-bear. Wind-makers or War phratry:
Gens 3, ¢ixida, Wildcat (in two subgentes: 1, Sinde-ag¢ĕ, Wears-tails,
i.e., locks of hair; Naq¢e-it‘ajĭ, Does-not-touch-charcoal; and
Wascʇu-it‘ajĭ, Does-not-tonch-verdigris. 2, Wami-it‘ajĭ,
Does-not-touch-blood). Gens 4, Nika-*d*a-ɔna, "Bald human-head;" Elk
people (in at least three subgentes: 1, ʇe-sĭnde-it‘ajĭ,
Does-not-touch-a-buffalo-tail; 2, ʇe ¢eze ¢atajĭ,
Does-not-eat-buffalo-tongues; 3, ʇaqti kĭ Anpan ¢atajĭ,

Wajaje half-tribe—Earth phratry: Gens 5, Maʞan, Medicine, a buffalo gens,
also called ʇe-sĭnde it‘ajĭ, Does-not-touch-buffalo-tails (in two
subgentes: 1, Real Ponka, Keepers-of-a-sacred-pipe; 2, Gray Ponka). Gens
6, Wacabe, Dark buffalo (in two subgentes: 1, Buffalo tail, or,ʇe-¢eze
¢atajĭ, Does-not-eat-buffalo-tongues, or ʇe-jiñga ¢atajĭ,
Does-not-eat-a-very-young-buffalo-calf; 2, ʇe-*d*a it‘ajĭ,
Does-not-touch-a-buffalo-head or skull). Water phratry (?): Gens 7,
Wajaje, Osage (in two subgentes at present: 1, Dark Osage,
Keepers-of-a-sacred-pipe, or Waseʇu-it‘ajĭ, Does-not-touch-verdigris, or
Naq¢e-it‘ajĭ, Does-not-touch-charcoal; 2, Gray Osage, or Wĕs‘ă wet‘ajĭ,
Does-not-touch-serpents; 3, Necta, an Owl subgens, now extinct). Gens 8,
Nuqe, Reddish-yellow buffalo (miscalled Nuxe, Ice). Subgentes uncertain,
but there are four taboo names: Does-not-touch-a-Buffalo-head (or skull),
Does-not-touch-the-yellow-hide-of-a-buffalo-calf, and


When the Kwapa were discovered by the French they dwelt in five villages,
described by the early chroniclers as the Imaha (Imaham, Imahao), Capaha,
Toriman, Tonginga (Doginga, Topinga), and Southois (Atotchasi,
Ossouteouez). Three of these village names are known to all the tribe: 1,
Uʞa’qpa-qti, Real Kwapa; 2, Ti’-u-a’-d¢i-man (Toriman), Ti’-u-a-d¢i’ man
(of Mrs Stafford); 3, U-zu’-ti-u’-wĕ (Southois, etc). The fourth was
Tan’wan ji’ʞa, Small village. Judging from analogy and the fact that the
fifth village, Imaha, was the farthest up Arkansas river, that village
name must have meant, as did the term Omaha, the upstream people.

The following names of Kwapa gentes were obtained chiefly from Alphonsus
Vallière, a full-blood Kwapa, who assisted the author at Washington, from
December, 1890, to March, 1891:

Nan’panta, a Deer gens; Onphŭn enikaciʞa, the Elk gens; Qid¢ e’nikaci’ʞa,
the Eagle gens; Wajiñ’ʞa enikaci’ʞa, the Small-bird gens; Hañ’ʞa
e’nikaci’ʞa, the Hañ’ʞa or Ancestral gens; Wasa’ e’nikaci’ʞa, the
Black-bear gens; Mantu’ e’nikaci’ʞa, the Grizzly-bear (?) gens; Te
e’nikaci’ʞa, the Buffalo gens (the ordinary buffalo); Tuqe’-nikaci’ʞa, the
Reddish-yellow Buffalo gens (answering to Nuqe of the Ponka, Yuqe of the
Kansa, ¢uqe of the Osage); Jawe’ nikaci’ʞa, the Beaver gens; Hu
i’nikaci’ʞa, the Fish gens; Mika’q‘e ni’kaci’ʞa, the Star gens; Pe’tan
e’nikaci’ʞa, the Crane gens; Cañʞe’-nikaci’ʞa, the Dog (or Wolf?) gens;
Wakan’ʇă e’nikaci’ʞa, the Thunder-being gens; Tand¢an’ e’nikaci’ʞa or
Tan’d¢an tañ’ʞa e’nikaci’ʞa, the Panther or Mountain-lion gens;
Ke-ni’kaci’ʞa, the Turtle gens; Wĕs‘ă e’nikaci’ʞa, the Serpent gens; Mi
e’nikaci’ʞa, the Sun gens. Vallière was unable to say on which side of the
tribal circle each gens camped, but he gave the personal names of some
members of most of the gentes.

On visiting the Kwapa, in the northeastern corner of Indian Territory, in
January, 1894, the author recorded the following, with the assistance of
Mrs Stafford, a full-blood Kwapa of about 90 years of age: Among the Hañka
gentes are the Hañ’ʞa tañʞa, Large Hañʞa or Mancka’ e’nikaci’ʞa, Crawfish
people; Wajiñʞa e’nikaci’ʞa, Small-bird people; Jiñ’ʞa e’nikaci’ʞa,
Small-bird people; Te ni’kaci’ʞa, Buffalo people, or Hañ’ʞa ji’ʞa, Small
Hañʞa; An’pan e’nikaci’ʞa, Elk people; Qid¢a’ e’nikaci’ʞa, Eagle people;
Tuqe’-nikaci’ʞa, Reddish-yellow Buffalo people; and Cañʞe’-nikaci’ʞa, Dog
(or Wolf?) people. Mrs Stafford knew that five gentes were not on the
Hañʞa side, three of them, Hu i´’nikaci’ʞa, Fish people, Ni’kia’ta
(meaning unknown), and Ke-ni’kaci’ʞa, Turtle people, being on the same
side; Mantu’ e’nikaci’ʞa, Lion people; and Ti’ju (answering to the Osage
Tsiɔu, the Kansa Tciju, and the Ponka Tcinju), meaning not obtained, which
last is extinct. Mrs Stafford could not tell on which side camped any of
the following gentes given by Vallière: Maqe, Wĕs‘ă, Wasa, Jawe, Mikaq‘e,
Mi, etc. The only persons capable of giving the needed information are
among those Kwapa who reside on Osage reservation. According to George
Redeagle and Buffalo Calf, two full-blood Quapaw, the Maqe-nikaci’ʞa,
Upper World people, were identical with the Wakanʇa e’nikaci’ʞa,
Thunder-being people, of Vallière. These two men said, also, that there
was no single gens known as the Hañʞa, that name belonging to a major
division, probably a half-tribe.


            [Illustration: FIG. 37.—Kansa camping circle.]

                    FIG. 37.—Kansa camping circle.

Among the Omaha the Yata people are those who camp on the yata or left
side of the tribal circle; the Ictŭñga people, those who camp on the
Ictŭñga or right side. The tribe is divided into seven phratries, or, as
the Kansa style each, wayunmindan, (i.e., those who sing together), as

_Phratries_   _Gentes_                               _Subgentes_
I             1. Manyiñka,                           _a_, Manyinka
              Earth, or                              tañga, Large
              Earth-lodge-makers.                    earth. _b_,
                                                     jiñga, Small
II            2. Ta, Deer, or                        _a_, Taqtci, Real
              Wajaje, Osage.                         deer. _b_, Ta
                                                     Eats-no-deer, or
                                                     Ta ts’eyĕ,
                                                     Kills-deer, or
                                                     Wadjüta ts’eyĕ,
III           3. Pañka, Ponka                        _a_, Pañk
                                                     unikacinga, Ponka
                                                     people. _b_,
III           4. Kanze, Kansa, or                    _a_, Tadje unikacinga,
              Tci hacin,                             Wind people, or Ak’a
              Lodge-in-the-rear;                     unikacinga, South-wind
              Last-lodge.                            people, or Tci hacinqtci,
                                                     Real Tci hacin,
                                                     Camp-behind-all. _b_,
                                                     Tadje jiñga, Small-wind,
                                                     or Mannanhind-je, Makes-a
III           5. Wasabe, Black                       _a_, Wasabĕqtci, Real
              bear.                                  Black-bear, or Sakŭn
                                                     wayatce, Eats-raw
                                                     (-food). _b_, Sindjalĕ,
                                                     Wears-tails (locks of
                                                     hair) -on-the-head.
I             6. Wanaxe, Ghost                       Not learned.
IV            7. Ke k’in,                            Not learned.
V             8. Min k’in,                           Not learned.
I             9. Ṵpan, Elk                           _a_, Ṵpan-qtci, Real elk,
                                                     or Mansanha, referring to
                                                     the color of the fur.
                                                     _b_, Sanhange, meaning
VI            10. Qüya, White eagle                  _a_, Hüsada,
                                                     White-eagle people. _b_,
                                                     Wabin ijupye,
                                                     Wade-in-blood; Wabin
                                                     unikacinga, Blood people.
VI            11. Han, Night                         _a_, Han nikacinga, Night
                                                     people. _b_, Dakan
                                                     manyin, Walks-shining
                                                     (Star people?)
VII           12. Ibatc‘ĕ,                           _a_, Qüyego jiñga,
              Holds-the-firebrand-to-sacred-pipes,   Hawk-that-has-a-tail-like-a-"king-eagle;"
              or Hañga jiñga, small Hañga.           "Little-one-like-an-eagle."
                                                     _b_, Mika unikacinga,
                                                     Raccoon people, or Mika
                                                     qla jiñga, Small lean
VII           13. Hañga tañga, Large Hañga; Hañga    A black eagle with spots. Subgentes not
              utanandji,                             recorded.
              Hañga-apart-from-the-rest, or Ta
              sindje qaga, Stiff-deer-tail.
II            14. Tcedŭñga, Buffalo (bull), or       _a_, Tcedŭñga, Buffalo with dark hair.
              Sitañga, Big feet.                     _b_, Yuqe, Reddish-yellow Buffalo. (See
                                                     Ponka Nuqe, Osage ¢uqe, Kwapa Tuqe.)
V             15. Tci ju wactage, Tci-ju             (Red-hawk people?). Subgentes not
              peacemaker.                            recorded.
II            16. Lṵ nikacinga, Thunder-being        Subgentes not recorded.
              people; Ledan unikacinga, Gray-hawk

Great changes have occurred among the Kansa since they have come in
contact with the white race; but when Say visited them in the early part
of the present century they still observed their aboriginal marriage laws.
No Kansa could take a wife from a gens on his side of the tribal circle,
nor could he marry any kinswoman, however remote the relationship might
be. There are certain gentes that exchange personal names (jaje kik’übe
au), as among the Osage. Civil and military distinctions were based on
bravery and generosity. Say informs us that the Kansa had been at peace
with the Osage since 1806; that they had intermarried freely with them, so
that "in stature, features, and customs they are more and more closely
approaching that people." He states also that the head chief of the Kansa
was Gahinge Wadayiñga, Saucy Chief (which he renders "Fool Chief"), and
that the ten or twelve underchiefs did not seem to have the respect of the

Unmarried females labored in the fields, served their parents, carried
wood and water, and cooked. When the eldest daughter married she
controlled the lodge, her mother, and all the sisters; the latter were
always the wives of the same man. Presents were exchanged when a youth
took his first wife. On the death of the husband the widow scarified
herself, rubbed her person with clay, and became careless about her dress
for a year. Then the eldest brother of the deceased married her without
any ceremony, regarding her children as his own. When the deceased left no
brother (real or potential) the widow was free to select her next husband.
Fellowhood (as in cases of Damon and Pythias, David and Jonathan) often
continues through life.

The Kansa had two kinds of criers or heralds: 1, the wadji’panyin or
village crier; 2, the ie’kiye’(Omaha and Ponka i’ĕki’¢ĕ. In 1882, Sansile
(a woman) was hereditary wadji’panyin of the Kansa, having succeeded her
father, Pezihi, the last male crier. At the time of an issue (about 1882)
Sansile’s son-in-law died, so she, being a mourner, could not act as
crier; hence her office devolved on K’axe of the Taqtci subgens. In that
year one of the Ta yatcajĭ subgens (of the Taqtci or Deer gens) was iekiye
number 1. Iekiye number 2 belonged to the Tadje or Kanze (Wind) gens.


In the Osage nation there are three primary divisions, which are tribes in
the original acceptation of that term. These are known as the Tsiɔu utse
pe¢ŭn*d*a, the Seven Tsiɔu fireplaces, Hañʞa utsse pe¢ŭ*d*a, the Seven
Hañʞa fireplaces, and Waɔaɔe utse pe¢ŭ*d*a, the Seven Osage fireplaces.
Each "fireplace" is a gens, so that there are twenty-one gentes in the
Osage nation. The Seven Hañʞa fireplaces were the last to join the nation,
according to the tradition of the Tsiɔu wactaʞe people. When this
occurred, the seven Hañʞa gentes were reckoned as five, and the seven
Osage gentes as two, in order to have not more than seven gentes on the
right side of the tribal circle.

At first the Hañʞa uta¢antse gens had seven pipes, and the Waɔaɔe had as
many. The Waɔaɔe gave their seventh pipe to the Tsiɔu, with the right to
make seven pipes from it, so now the Waɔaɔe people have but six pipes,
though they retain the ceremonies pertaining to the seventh.

            [Illustration: FIG. 38.—Osage camping circle.]

                    FIG. 38.—Osage camping circle.

When there is sickness among the children on the Waɔaɔe or right (war)
side of the circle, their parents apply to the Tsiɔu (Tsiɔu wactaʞe?) for
food for them. In like manner, when the children on the left or Tsiɔu side
are ill, their parents apply to the Panhka (wactaqe?), on the other side,
in order to get food for them.

The Seven Tsiɔu fireplaces occupy the left or peace side of the circle.
Their names are:

1. Tsiɔu Sĭntsaʞ¢e, Tsiɔu-wearing-a-tail (of hair)-on-the-head; also
called Tsiɔu Wanŭn’, Elder Tsiɔu; in two subgentes, Sintsaʞ¢ĕ, Sun and
Comet people, and Cŭñʞe i’nik‘ăcin’a, Wolf people.

2. Tse ʇṵ’ʞa intse’, Buffalo-bull face; in two subgentes, of which the
second is Tse’ ¢añka’ or Min’paha’, Hide-with-the-hair-on. The policemen
or soldiers on the left side belong to these two gentes.

3. Min k’in’, Sun carriers, i.e., Carry-the-snn (or Buffalo
hides)-on-their-backs. These have two subgentes, _a_, Mini’niɥk‘acin’a,
Sun people; _b_, Minxa’ ska i’niɥk‘ăcin’a, Swan people,

4. Tsi’ɔu wacta’ʞe, Tsiɔu peacemaker, or Tan’wanʞa’xe, Village-maker, or,
Ni’wa¢ĕ, Giver of life. These have two subgentes, _a_, Wapin it‘a’ɔi,
Touches-no-blood, or Qü¢a’ ɔü’tse, Red-eagle (really a hawk); _b_, Qü¢a’
pa san’, Bald-eagle, or Ɔansan’u’niɥk‘ăcin’a, Sycamore people, the leading
gens on the left side of the circle.

5. Han i’niɥk‘ăcin’a, Night people, or Tsi’ɔu we’haʞi¢e, the
Tsiɔu-at-the-end, or Tse’¢añka’. Their two subgentes are: _a_, Night
people proper; _b_, Wasa’*d*e, Black-bear people.

6. Tse ʇṵ’ʞa, Buffalo bull. In two subgentes, _a_, Tse ʇṵ’ʞa, Buffalo
bull; _b_, ¢u’qe, Reddish-yellow buffalo (corresponding to the Nuqe of the
Ponka, Tuqe of the Quapaw, and Yuqe of the Kansa).

7. ʞ¢ŭn, Thunder-being, or Tsi’hacin, Camp-last, or Ma’xe, Upper-world
people, or Niɥ’ka wakan’ʇaʞi, Mysterious-male-being. Subgentes not

On the right (Hañʞa or Waɔaɔe) side of the circle are the following:

8. Waɔa’ɔe Wanŭn’, Elder Osage, composed of six of the seven Osage
fireplaces, as follows: _a_, Waɔa’ɔe ska’, White Osage; _b_, Ke k’in’,
Turtle-carriers; _c_, Wake’¢e ste’tse, Tall-flags(?), Ehnan’ min’tse tŭn’,
They-alone-have-bows, or Minke’¢e ste’tse, Tall-flags; _d_, Ta ¢a’xü,
Deer-lights, or Ta i’niɥk’ăcin’a, Deer people; _e_, Hu i’niqk‘ăcin’a, Fish
people; _f_, Nan’panta, a deer gens, called by some Ke ʞa’tsü,
Turtle-with-a-serrated-crest-along-the-shell (probably a water monster, as
there is no such species of turtle).

9. Hañ’ʞa uta’¢antsi, Hañʞa-apart-from-the-rest, or Qü¢a’qtsi
i’niɥ-k‘ăcin’a, Real eagle people—the War eagle gens, and one of the
original Hañʞa fireplaces. The soldiers or policemen from the right side
are chosen from the eighth and ninth gentes.

10. The leading gens on the right side of the circle, and one of the
original seven Osage fireplaces. Panɥ’ka wacta’ʞe, Ponka peace-maker,
according to a Tsiɔu man; in two subgentes, _a_, Tse’wa¢ĕ, Pond-lily, and
_b_, Waca’*d*e, Dark-buffalo; but according to Panɥ’ka waʇa’yinʞa, a
member of the gens, his people have three subgentes, _a_, Wake’¢e, Flags;
_b_, Wa’tsetsi, meaning, perhaps, Has-come hither
(tsi)-after-touching-the-foe (watse); _c_, Qŭntse’, Red cedar.

11. Hañ’ʞa a’hü tŭn’, Hañʞa-having-wings, or Hü’saʇa,
Limbs-stretched-stiff, or Qü¢ i’niɥk‘ăcin’a, White-eagle people, in two
subgentes, which were two of the original Hañʞa fireplaces: _a_, Hü’saʇa
Wanŭn’, Elder Hüsaʇa; _b_, Hü’saʇa, those wearing four locks of hair
resembling those worn by the second division of the Wasape tun.

12. Wasa’*d*e tŭn, Having-black-bears. In two parts, which were originally
two of the Hañʞa fireplaces: A, Sĭntsaʞ¢sĕ, Wearing-a-tail- (or
lock)-of-hair-on-the-head; in two subgentes, (_a_) Wasa*d*e, Black bear,
or Hañ’ʞa Wa’ts‘ekawa’ (meaning not learned); (_b_) Iñʞ¢ŭñ’ʞa ɔiũ’ʞa,
Small cat. B, Wasa’*d*e tŭn, Wearing-four-locks-of-hair, in two subgentes,
(_a_) Minxa’ska, Swan; (_b_) Tse’wa¢ĕ qe’ʞa, Dried pond-lily.

13. Ṵ’pqan, Elk, one of the seven Hañʞa fireplaces.

14. Kan’se, Kansa, or I’*d*ats‘ĕ,
Holds-a-firebrand-to-the-sacred-pipes-in-order-to-light-them, or A’k‘a
i’niɥak‘ăcin’a, South-wind people, or Tatse’ i’niɥk‘ăcin’a, Wind people,
or Pe’tse i’niɥk‘ăcin’a, Fire people. One of the seven Hañʞa fireplaces.

The following social divisions cannot be identified: Ɔa’*d*e
i‘niɥk‘ăcin’a, Beaver people, said to be a subgens of the Waɔaɔe, no gens
specified; Pe’tqan i’niɥk‘ăcin’a, Crane people, said to be a subgens of
the Hañʞa(?) sĭntsaʞ¢ĕ; Wapŭñ’ʞa i’niɥk‘ăcin’a, Owl people; Manyiñ’ʞa
i’niɥk‘ăcin’a, Earth people; *d*aqpü’ i’niɥk‘ăcin’a, meaning not recorded.

There is some uncertainty respecting the true positions of a few subgentes
in the camping circle. For instance, Alvin Wood said that the Tsewa¢e qeʞa
formed the fourth subgens of the Tse ʇṵ’ʞa intse; but this was denied by
ʞahiʞe waʇayiñʞa, of the Tsi’ɔu wacta’ʞe, who said that it belonged to the
Panɥka wactaʞe prior to the extinction of the subgens. Tsepa ʞaxe of the
Wasape gens said that it formed the fourth subgens of his own people. Some
make the Tsiɔu wactaʞe the third gens on the left, instead of the fourth.
According to ʞahiʞe waʇayiñʞa, "All the Waɔaɔe gentes claim to have come
from the water, so they have ceremonies referring to beavers, because
those animals swim in the water." The same authority said in 1883 that
there were seven men who acted as wactaʞe, as follows: 1, Kaɥiʞe wactaʞe,
of the Tsiɔu wactaʞe subgens, who had acted for eight years; 2, Pahü-ska,
of the Bald-eagle or Qü¢a pa san subgens; 3, ʞ¢eman, Clermont, of the
ki*d*anan of the Tsiɔu wehaki¢ĕ or Night gens; 6, Panɥka waʇayiñʞa, Saucy
Ponka, of the Wa’tsetsi or Ponka gens; 7, Niɥka waɔin tana, of the same

On the death of the head chief among the Osage the leading men call a
council. At this council four men are named as candidates for the office,
and it is asked, "Which one shall be appointed?" At this council a cuka of
the Watsetsi (Ponka gens, or else from some other gens on the right)
carries his pipe around the circle of councilors from right to left, while
a Tsiɔu cuka (one of the Tsiɔu wactaʞe gens, or else one from some other
gens on the left) carries the other pipe around from left to right. The
ceremonies resemble the Ponka ceremonies for making chiefs. When the
chiefs assemble in council a member of the Kanse or I*d*ats‘ĕ gens (one on
the right) lights the pipes. The criers are chosen from the Kanse, Ṵpqan,
and Min k’in gentes. The Tsiɔu Sĭntsaʞ¢ĕ and Tse ʇṵʞa intse gentes furnish
the soldiers or policemen for the Tsiɔu wactaʞe. A similar function is
performed for the Panɥka wactaʞe by the Waɔaɔe wanŭn and Hañʞa uʇa¢antsi
gentes. The Sĭntsaʞ¢ĕ and Hañʞa uʇa¢autsi are "akiʇa watañʞa," chiefs of
the soldiers; the Tseʇṵʞa intse and Waɔaɔe Wanŭn being ordinary soldiers,
i.e., subordinate to the others. The Waɔaɔe Ke k’in are the moccasin
makers for the tribe. It is said that in the olden days the members of
this gens used turtle shells instead of moccasins, with leeches for
strings. The makers of the war-standards and war-pipes must belong to the
Waɔaɔe ska.

Saucy Chief is the authority for the following: "Should all the Osage wish
to dwell very near another tribe, or in case two or three families of us
wish to remove to another part of the reservation, we let the others know
our desire to live near them. We make up prizes for them—a pony, a
blanket, strouding, etc—and we ask them to race for them. The fastest
horse takes the first prize, and so on. We take along a pipe and some
sticks—one stick for each member of the party that is removing. The other
people meet us and race with us back to their home. They make us sit in a
row; then one of their men or children brings a pipe to one of our party
to whom he intends giving a horse. The pipe is handed to the rest of the
party. The newcomers are invited to feasts, all of which they are obliged
to attend." When the Osage go on the hunt the Tsiɔu wactaʞe (chief) tells
the Sĭntsaʞ¢ĕ and Tse ʇṵʞa intse where the people must camp. The following
evening the Panɥka wactaʞe (chief) tells the soldiers on his side (the
Waɔaɔe and Hañʞa uʇa¢antsi) where the camp must be on the following day.
The members of the four gentes of soldiers or policemen meet in council
and decide on the time for departure. They consult the Tsiɔu wactaʞe and
Hañʞa (Panɥka wactaʞe?) who attend the council. The crier is generally a
man of either the Ṵpqan or Kanse gens, but sometimes a Min k’in man acts.
The four leaders of the soldier gentes call on the crier to proclaim the
next camping place, etc, which he does thus:

"Ha+! | han’*d*a | ʞasin’|ʇan | awahe’ɔún   | tatsi’ | a’pinʇau+!  | Ha+!
| (Niɔü’tse | masin’ta)

Halloo! | day        | tomorrow  |on      | you make up in packs | shall
| they really say | Halloo! | Missouri river     | on the other side

tci’     | i’he¢a’e             | ta’tsi | a’*d*intau+!"

tent {?} | you place in a line {?} | shall  | they really say.

which is to say, "Halloo! tomorrow morning you shall pack your goods
(strike camp). Halloo! you shall lay them down, after reaching (the other
side of Missouri river)!"

Then the four leaders of the soldier gentes choose a’kiʇa (policemen) who
have a ʇuʇan’hañʞa or captain, who then acts as crier in giving orders,

"Ha+!   | ni’kawasa’e! | Ha+!    | ʞahi’ʞe | waʇa’yiñʞa | ni’kawasa’e! |
a’¢aki’ʇa | tatsi’

Halloo! | O warrior!   | Halloo, | Chief       | Saucy!         | O
warrior!   | you guard   | shall

a*d*intau’    | ni’kawasa’e!"

they say really | O warrior!

which means, "Halloo, O warrior! Halloo, O warrior, Saucy Chief! They have
really said that you shall act as policeman or guard, O warrior!"

These a’kiʇa have to punish any persons who violate the laws of the hunt.
But there is another grade of men; the four leaders of the soldier gentes
tell the captain to call certain men wa’paʞ¢a’ɔi utsin’, and they are
expected to punish any a’kiʇa who fail to do their duty. Supposing Min
k’in waʇayiñʞa was selected, the crier would say:

"Ha+! ni’kawasa’e! Ha+, Min k’in’ waʇa’yiñʞa n’ikawasa’e! Ha+! u¢a’tsin
tatsi’ a’*d*intau’, ni’kawasa’e!"

"Halloo, O warrior! Halloo, O warrior, Saucy Sun Carrier! Halloo, it has
been really said that you shall strike the offenders without hesitation, O

The four headmen direct a captain to order a Hañʞa uʇa¢antsi man to lead
the scouts, and subsequently to call on a Sĭntsaʞ¢ĕ man for that purpose,
alternating between the two sides of the camping circle. There are thus
three grades of men engaged in the hunt—the ordinary members of the
soldier gentes, the akiʇa, and the wapaʞ¢aɔi utsin.

Should the Osage be warring against the Kansa or any other tribe, and one
of the foe slip into the Osage camp and beg for protection of the Tsiɔu
wactaʞe (chief), the latter is obliged to help the suppliant. He must send
for the Sĭntsaʞ¢ĕ and Tse ʇṵʞa intse (leaders), whom he would thus
address: "I have a man whom I wish to live. I desire you to act as my
soldiers." At the same time the Tsiɔu wactaʞe would send word to the
Panɥka wactaʞe, who would summon a Waɔaɔe and a Hañʞa uta¢antsi to act as
his soldiers or policemen. Meantime the kettle of the Tsiɔu wactaʞe was
hung over the fire as soon as possible and food was cooked and given to
the fugitive. When he had eaten (a mouthful) he was safe. He could then go
through the camp with impunity. This condition of affairs lasted as long
as he remained with the tribe, but it terminated when he returned to his
home. After food had been given to the fugitive by the Tsiɔu wactaʞe any
prominent man of the tribe could invite the fugitive to a feast.

The privilege of taking care of the children was given to the Tsiɔu
wactaʞe and the Panɥka wactaʞe, according to Saucy Chief. When a child (on
the Tsiɔu side) is named, a certain old man is required to sing songs
outside of the camp, dropping some tobacco from his pipe down on the toes
of his left foot as he sings each song. On the first day the old man of
the Tsiɔu (wactaʞe?) takes four grains of corn, one grain being black,
another red, a third blue, and a fourth white, answering to the four kinds
of corn dropped by the four buffalo, as mentioned in the tradition of the
Osage. After chewing the four grains and mixing them with his saliva, he
passes them between the lips of the child to be named. Four stones are put
into a fire, one stone toward each of the four quarters. The Tsiɔu old man
orders some cedar and a few blades of a certain kind of grass that does
not die in winter, to be put aside for his use on the second day. On the
second day, before sunrise, the Tsiɔu old man speaks of the cedar tree and
its branches, saying, "It shall be for the children." Then he mentions the
river, the deep holes in it, and its branches, which he declares shall be
medicine in future for the children. He takes the four heated stones,
places them in a pile, on which he puts the grass and cedar. Over this he
pours water, making steam, over which the child is held. Then four names
are given by the headman of the gens to the father, who selects one of
them as the name for the child. Meantime men of different gentes bring
cedar, stones, etc, and perform their respective ceremonies. The headman
(Tsiɔu wactaʞe?) takes some of the water (into which he puts some cedar),
giving four sips to the child. Then he dips his own left hand into the
water and rubs the child down the left side, from the top of the head to
the feet; next he rubs it in front, then down the right side, and finally
down the back. He invites all the women of his gens who wish to be blessed
to come forward, and he treats them as he did the infant. At the same time
the women of the other gentes are blessed in like manner by the headmen of
their respective gentes.


The Iowa camping circle was divided into two half-circles, occupied by two
phratries of four gentes each. The first phratry regulated the hunt and
other tribal affairs during the autumn and winter; the second phratry took
the lead during the spring and summer. The author is indebted to the late
Reverend William Hamilton for a list of the Iowa gentes, obtained in 1880
during a visit to the tribe. Since then the author has recorded the
following list of gentes and subgentes, with the aid of a delegation of
the Iowa who visited Washington:

                             _First phratry_

_Gentes_                    _Subgentes_
1. Tu’-nan-p’in, Black      1. Ta’po-çka, a large
bear. Tohin and Çiʞre       black bear with a white
wonañe were chiefs of       spot on the chest.
this gens in 1880.  Tohin   2. Pŭn’-xa çka, a black
kept the sacred pipe.       bear with a red nose;
                            literally, Nose White.
                            3. Mŭn-tci’-nye, Young
                            black bear, a short black
                            4. Ki’-ro-ko’-qo-tce, a
                            small reddish black bear,
                            motherless; it has little
                            hair and runs swiftly.
2. Mi-tci’-ra-tce, Wolf.    1. Cŭn’-tan çka,
Ma’-hin was a chief of      White-wolf.
this gens.                  2. Cŭn’-tan çe-we,
                            3. Cŭn’-tan qo’-ʇɔe,
                            4. Ma-nyi’-ka-qçi’,
3. Tce’-xi-ta, Eagle and    1. Na’ tci-tce’, i.e.
Thunder-being gens.         Qra’-qtci, Real or Golden
                            2. Qra’ hŭñ’-e, Ancestral
                            or Gray eagle.
                            3. Qra’ ʞre’-ye,
                            4. Qra’ pa çan;
4. Qo’-ta-tci, Elk; now     1. Ŭn’-pe-xa qan’-ye,
extinct. The Elk gens       Big-elk.
funished the soldiers or    2. Ŭn’-pe-xa yiñ’-e,
policemen.                  Young-elk (?).
                            3. Ŭn’-pe-xa ɔ́re’-ʇɔe
                            4. Ho’-ma yiñ’-e, Young
                            elk (?). The difference
                            between Ŭn’pexa and Homa
                            is unknown.  The former
                            may be the archaic name
                            for "elk."
5. Pa’-qça, Beaver.         1. Ra-we’ qan’ye,
Probably the archaic        Big-Beaver.
name, as beaver is now      2. Ra-ɔ́ro’-ʇɔe, meaning
ra-we. The survivors of     unknown.
this gens have joined the   3. Ra-we’ yiñ’-e,
Pa-ça or Beaver gens of     Young-beaver.
the Oto tribe.              4. Ni’wan-ci’-ke,

                             _Second phratry_

6. Ru’-tce, Pigeon      1. Min-ke’ qan’-ye,
                        2. Min-ke’yiñ’-e,
                        3. Ru’-tce yiñ’-e,
                        4. Ɔo’-ke,
                        Prairie-chicken, grouse.
7. A’-ru-qwa, Buffalo   1. Tce-ʇo qan’-ye,
                        2. Tce-ʇo yiñ’-o,
                        3. Tce-p’o’-cke yiñ’-e,
                        4. Tce-yiñ’-ye,
8. Wa-kan’, Snake. An   1. Wa-kan’ ɔ́i, Yellow-snake, i.e.,
extinct gens.           Rattlesnake.
                        2. Wa-kan’-qtci, Real-snake, (named
                        after a species shorter than the
                        3. Ce’-ke yiñ’-e, Small or young
                        ceke, the copperhead snake (?).
                        4. Wa-kan’ qo’-ʇɔe, Gray-snake (a
                        long snake, which the Omaha call
                        swift blue snake).
9. Mañ’-ko-ke, Owl.     The names of the subgentes have been
Extinct.                forgotten.

An account of the mythical origin of each Iowa gens, first recorded by the
Reverend William Hamilton, has been published in the Journal of American

The visiting and marriage customs of the Iowa did not differ from those of
the cognate tribes, nor did their management of the children differ from
that of the Dakota, the Omaha, and others.

Murder was often punished with death, by the nearest of kin or by some
friend of the murdered person. Sometimes, however, the murderer made
presents to the avengers of blood, and was permitted to live.


The author has not yet learned the exact camping order of the Oto and
Missouri tribes, though he has recorded lists of their gentes (subject to
future revision), with the aid of Ke-ʞreɔ́e, an Oto, Ckaʇɔoinye, a
Missouri, and Battiste Deroin, the interpreter for the two tribes. These
gentes are as follows: 1, Pa-ça’, Beaver; 2, Tunan’-p’in, Black bear, or
Mn-tci’-ra-tce, Wolf; 3, A-ru’-qwa, Buffalo; 4, Ru’-qtca, Pigeon; 5,
Ma-ka’-tce, Owl; 6, Tce’-xi-ta, Eagle, Thunderbird, etc; 7, Wa-kan’,


This tribe, which for many years has been consolidated with the Oto, has
at least three gentes. It may have had more, but their names have not yet
been recorded. 1, Tu-nan’-p’in, Black bear; 2, Tce-xi’-ta, Eagle,
Thunderbird, etc, in four subgentes: (_a_) Wa-kan’-ta, Thunderbird; (_b_)
Qra, Eagle; (_c_) ʞre’-tan, Hawk; (_d_) Mo’-mi, A-people-who
eat-no-small-birds-which-have-been-killed-by-larger-ones (a recent
addition to this gens, probably from another tribe): 3, Ho-ma’ or
Ho-ta’-tci, Elk.


The Winnebago call themselves Ho-tcañ’-ga-ră’, "First or parent speech."
While they have gentes, they have no camping circle, as their priscan
habitat was in a forest region. The following names were obtained from
James Alexander, a full-blood of the Wolf gens, and from other members of
the tribe:

1. _Wolf gens_—Common name, Cŭñk i-ki’-ka-ra’-tca-da, or
Those-calling-themselves-after-the-dog-or-wolf; archaic name,
¢e-go’-ni-na, meaning not recorded.

2. _Black-bear gens_—Common name, Honte’ i-ki’-ka-ra’-tca-da,
They-call-themselves-after-the-black-bear; archaic name, Tco’-na-ke-ră,,
meaning not recorded.

3. _Elk gens_—Common name, Hu-wan’-i-ki’-ka-ra’-tca-da,
They-callthemselves-after-the-elk; archaic name not recorded.

4. Snake gens—Common name, Wa-kan’ i-ki’-ka-ra’-tca-da,
They-call-themselves-after-a-snake; archaic name not recorded.

5. _Bird gens_—Common name, Wa-ni¢k’ i-ki’-ka-ra’-tca-da,
They-call-themselves-after-a-bird; archaic name not recorded. This gens is
composed of four subgentes, as follows: (_a_) Hi-tca-qce-pa-ră, or Eagle;
(_b_) Ru-tcke, or Pigeon; (c) Ke-re-tcŭn, probably Hawk; (d)
Wa-kan’-tca-ră, or Thunderbird. The archaic names of the subgentes were
not recorded.

6. _Buffalo gens_—Common name, Tce’ i-ki’-ka-ra’-tca-da,
They-call-themselves-after-a-buffalo; archaic name not recorded.

7. _Deer gens_—Common name, Tca’ i-ki’-ka-ra’-tca-da,
They-call-themselves-after-a-deer; archaic name not recorded.

8. _Water-monster gens_—Common name, Wa-ktce’-qi i-ki’-ka-ra’-tca-da,
They-call-themselves-after-a-water-monster; archaic name not recorded.

Some of the Winnebago say that there is an Omaha gens among the Winnebago
of Wisconsin, but James Alexander knew nothing about it. It is very
probable that each Winnebago gens was composed of four subgentes; thus, in
the tradition of the Winnebago Wolf gens, there is an account of four
kinds of wolves, as in the corresponding Iowa tradition.

The Winnebago lodges were always built with the entrances facing the east.
When the warriors returned from a fight they circumambulated the lodge
four times, sunwise, stopping at the east just before entering.


The Mandan tribe has not been visited by the author, who must content
himself with giving the list of gentes furnished by Morgan, in his
"Ancient Society." This author’s system of spelling is preserved:

1. Wolf gens, Ho-ra-ta’-mŭ-make (Qa-ra-ta’ nu-mañ’-ke?).

2. Bear gens, Mä-to’-no-mäke (Ma-to’ nu-mañ’-ke).

3. Prairie-chicken gens, See-poosh’-kä (Si-pu’-cka nu-mañ’-ke).

4. Good-knife gens, Tä-na-tsŭ’-kä (Ta-ne-tsu’-ka nu-mañ’-ke?).

5. Eagle gens, Ki-tä’-ne-mäke (Qi-ta’ nu-mañ’-ke?).

6. Flat-head gens, E-stä-pa’ (Hi-sta pe’ nu-mañ’-ke?).

7. High-village gens, Me-te-ah’-ke.

All that follows concerning the Mandan was recorded by Prince Maximilian
in 1833. Polygamy was everywhere practiced, the number of wives differing,
there being seldom more than four, and in general only one. The Mandan
marriage customs resemble those of the Dakota and other cognate peoples.

When a child is born a person is paid to give it the name chosen by the
parents and kindred. The child is held up, then turned to all sides of the
heavens, in the direction of the course of the sun, and its name is
proclaimed. A Mandan cradle consists of a leather bag suspended by a strap
to a crossbeam in the hut.

There are traces of descent in the female line; for example, sisters have
great privileges; all the horses that a young man steals or captures in
war are brought by him to his sister. He can demand from his sister any
object in her possession, even the clothing which she is wearing, and he
receives it immediately. The mother-in-law never speaks to her son-in-law,
unless on his return from war he bring her the scalp and gun of a slain
foe, in which event she is at liberty from that moment to converse with
him. This custom is found, says Maximilian, among the Hidatsa, but not
among the Crow and Arikara. While the Dakota, Omaha, and other tribes
visited by the author have the custom of "bashfulness," which forbids the
mother-in-law and son-in-law to speak to each other, no allowable
relaxation of the prohibition has been recorded.


Our chief authority for the names of the Hidatsa gentes is Morgan’s
"Ancient Society." Dr Washington Matthews could have furnished a corrected
list from his own notes had they not unfortunately been destroyed by fire.
All that can now be done is to give Morgan’s list, using his system of

1. Knife, Mit-che-ro’-ka.

2. Water, Min-ne pä’-ta.

3. Lodge, Bä-ho-hä’-ta.

4. Prairie chicken, Scech-ka-be-ruh-pä’-ka (Tsi-tska’ do-ḣpa’-ka of
Matthews; Tsi-tska’ d¢o-qpa’-ka in the Bureau alphabet).

5. Hill people, E-tish-sho’-ka.

6. Unknown animal, Aḣ-naḣ-ha-nä’-me-te.

7. Bonnet, E-ku’-pä-be-ka.

The Hidatsa have been studied by Prince Maximilian (1833), Hayden, and
Matthews, the work of the last writer(8) being the latest one treating of
them; and from it the following is taken:

Marriage among the Hidatsa is usually made formal by the distribution of
gifts on the part of the man to the woman’s kindred. Afterward presents of
equal value are commonly returned by the wife’s relations, if they have
the means of so doing and are satisfied with the conduct of the husband.
Some travelers have represented that the "marriage by purchase" among the
Indians is a mere sale of the woman to the highest bidder, whose slave she
becomes. Matthews regards this a misrepresentation so far as it concerns
the Hidatsa, the wedding gift being a pledge to the parents for the proper
treatment of their daughter, as well as an evidence of the wealth of the
suitor and his kindred. Matthews has known many cases where large marriage
presents were refused from one person, and gifts of much less value
accepted from another, simply because the girl showed a preference for the
poorer lover. Marriages by elopement are considered undignified, and
different terms are applied to a marriage by elopement and one by parental
consent. Polygamy is practiced, but usually with certain restrictions. The
husband of the eldest of several sisters has a claim to each of the others
as she grows up, and in most cases the man takes such a potential wife
unless she form another attachment. A man usually marries his brother’s
widow, unless she object, and he may adopt the orphans as his own
children. Divorce is easily effected, but is rare among the better class
of people in the tribe. The unions of such people often last for life; but
among persons of a different character divorces are common. Their social
discipline is not very severe. Punishments by law, administered by the
"soldier band," are only for serious offenses against the regulations of
the camp. He who simply violates social customs in the tribe often
subjects himself to no worse punishment than an occasional sneer or
taunting remark; but for grave transgressions he may lose the regard of
his friends. With the Hidatsa, as with other western tribes, it is
improper for a man to hold a direct conversation with his mother-in-law;
but this custom seems to be falling into disuse.

The kinship system of the Hidatsa does not differ materially from that of
any of the cognate tribes. When they wish to distinguish between the
actual father and a father’s real or potential brothers, or between the
actual mother and the mother’s real or potential sisters, they use the
adjective ka’ti (kaɥtɔi), real, true, after the kinship term when the
actual parent is meant.


As this tribe belongs to the Hidatsa linguistic substock, it is very
probable that the social laws and customs of the one people are identical
with those of the other, as there has been nothing to cause extensive

It is not known whether the Hidatsa and Crow tribes ever camped in a
circle. Morgan’s list of the Crow gentes is given, with his peculiar
notation, as follows:

1. Prairie Dog gens, A-che-pä-be’-cha.

2. Bad Leggings, E-sach’-ka-buk.

3. Skunk, Ho-ka-rut’-cha.

4. Treacherous Lodges, Ash-bot-chee-ah.

5. Lost Lodges, Ah-shin’-nä de’-ah (possibly intended for Last Lodges,
those who camped in the rear).

6. Bad Honors, Ese-kep-kä’-buk.

7. Butchers. Oo-sä-bot’-see.

8. Moving Lodges, Ah-hä-chick.

9. Bear-paw Mountain, Ship-tet’-zä.

10. Blackfoot Lodges, Ash-kane’-na.

11. Fish Catchers, Boo-a-dă’-sha.

12. Antelope, O-hot-du-sha.

13. Raven, Pet-chale-ruh-pä’-ka.


The tribal organization of this people has disappeared. When the few
survivors were visited by the author at Lecompte, Louisiana, in 1892 and
1893, they gave him the names of three of the clans of the Biloxi, descent
being reckoned in the female line. These clans are: 1, Ita anyadi, Deer
people; 2, Onʇi anyadi, Bear people; 3, Naqotod¢a anyadi, Alligator
people. Most of the survivors belong to the Deer clan. The kinship system
of the Biloxi is more complicated than that of any other tribe of the
stock; in fact, more than that of any of the tribes visited by the author.
The names of 53 kinship groups are still remembered, but there are at
least a dozen others whose names have been forgotten. Where the ¢egiha
language, for example, has but one term for grandchild, and one grandchild
group, the Biloxi has at least fourteen. In the ascending series the
Dakota and ¢egiha do not have any terms beyond grandfather and
grandmother. But for each sex the Biloxi has terms for at least three
degrees beyond the grandparent. The ¢egiha has but one term for father’s
sister and one for mother’s brother, father’s brother being "father," and
mother’s sister "mother." But the Biloxi has distinct terms (and groups)
for father’s elder sister, father’s younger sister, father’s elder
brother, father’s younger brother, and so on for the mother’s elder and
younger brothers and sisters. The Biloxi distinguishes between an elder
sister’s son and the son of a younger sister, and so between the daughter
of an elder sister and a younger sister’s daughter. A Biloxi man may not
marry his wife’s brother’s daughter, nor his wife’s father’s sister,
differing in this respect from a Dakota, an Omaha, a Ponka, etc; but he
can marry his deceased wife’s sister. A Biloxi woman may marry the brother
of her deceased husband. Judging from the analogy furnished by the Kansa
tribe it was very probably the rule before the advent of the white race
that a Biloxi man could not marry a woman of his own clan.


It is impossible to learn whether the Tutelo ever camped in a circle. The
author obtained the following clan names (descent being in the female
line) from John Key, an Indian, on Grand River reservation, Ontario,
Canada, in September, 1882: On "one side of the fire" were the Bear and
Deer clans, the Wolf and Turtle being on the other side. John Key’s
mother, maternal grandmother, and Mrs Christine Buck were members of the
Deer clan. There were no taboos. The Tutelo names of the clans have been


Dr A. S. Gatschet, of the Bureau of Ethnology, visited the Catawba tribe
prior to March, 1882, when he obtained an extensive vocabulary of the
Catawba language, but he did not record any information respecting the
social organization of the people.

For further information regarding the Siouan tribes formerly inhabiting
the Atlantic coast region, see "Siouan Tribes of the East," by James
Mooney, published as a bulletin of the Bureau of Ethnology.


    1 Wherever in this paper there is a double notation of a Dakota name
      the former is expressed in the alphabet of the Bureau of Ethnology
      and the latter in that of Dr S.R. Riggs, author of the memoirs in
      Contributions to North American Ethnology, vols. VII and IX.

    2 S.R. Riggs, in Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, vol. IV, p.
      xvi, 1852, and in Contributions to North American Ethnology, vol.

    3 Contributions to North American Ethnology, vol. ix, pp. 195-202.

    4 Schoolcraft, Indian Tribes, vol. II, 182, Philadelphia. 1852.

    5 Manuscript in the archives of the Bureau of Ethnology.

    6 Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1881-82.

    7 Vol. IV, No. 15, pp. 333-340, 1891.

    8 Ethnography and Philology of the Hidatsa Indians; U.S. Geological
      and Geographical Survey, miscellaneous publications No. 7,
      Washington, 1877.

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