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Title: Omaha sociology (1884 N 03 / 1881-1882 (pages 205-370))
Author: Dorsey, James Owen
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Omaha sociology (1884 N 03 / 1881-1882 (pages 205-370))" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Internet Archive (American Libraries), Wayne Hammond and
generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale
de France (BnF/Gallica) at http://gallica.bnf.fr)

[Transcriber's Note:

The letters a-i, upper case and lower case, enclosed in square brackets
are script font. All other letters enclosed in square brackets are
rotated 180 degrees.

Letters preceded by a caret are superscript.

Characters enclosed by curly braces and underscore are subscript.

Italics delimited by underscores.

Bold delimited with equal signs.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]




Third Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of
the Smithsonian Institution, 1881-82, Government Printing Office,
Washington, 1884, pages 205-370.


[This is given to explain the pronunciation of the Indian words in the
following paper]

  a, as in _father_.
  `a, an initially exploded a.
  ă, as in _what_.
  `ă, an initially exploded ă.
  ä, as in _hat_.
  c, as sh in _she_. See ś.
  ᴐ, a medial _sh_, a sonant-surd.
  ¢ (Dakota letter), as _ch_ in _church_.
  ç, as _th_ in _thin_.
  [ç], a medial ç, sonant-surd.
  ¢, as _th_ in _the_.
  e, as in _they_.
  `e, an initially exploded e.
  ě, as in _get_.
  `ě, an initially exploded ě.
  g, as in _go_.
  ġ (in Dakota), _gh_. See x.
  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 French _Jacques_.
  ʞ, a medial k, a sonant-surd.
  k', an exploded k.
  ñ, as _ng_ in _sing_.
  hn, its initial sound is expelled from the nostrils, and is scarcely
  o, as in _no_.
  `o, an initially exploded o.
  [p], a medial b (or p), a sonant-surd.
  p', an exploded p.
  q, as German _ch_ in _ach_. See ḣ.
  [s], a medial s (or z), a sonant-surd.
  ś (in Dakota), as _sh_ in _she_. See c.
  ʇ, a medial t, a sonant-surd.
  t', an exploded t.
  u, as _oo_ in _tool_.
  `u, an initially exploded u.
  ŭ, as _oo_ in _foot_.
  ṵ, a sound between o and u.
  ü, as in German _kühl_.
  x, _gh_, or nearly the Arabic _ghain_. See ġ.
  dj, as _j_ in _judge_.
  tc, as _ch_ in _church_. See ć.
  tc', an exploded tc.
  ʇᴐ, a medial tᴐ, a sonant-surd.
  ʇ[s], a medial ts, a sonant-surd.
  ts', an exploded ts.
  ź (in Dakota), as _z_ in _azure_, etc. See j.
  ai, as in _aisle_.
  au, as _ow_ in _cow_.
  yu, as _u_ in _tune_.

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 nasalizes it. A
plus sign (+) after any letter prolongs it.

With the exception of the five letters taken from Riggs' Dakota
Dictionary, and used only in the Dakota words in this paper, the above
letters belong to the alphabet adopted by the Bureau of Ethnology.



  CHAPTER I.--INTRODUCTION                                         211
    Early migrations of the ₵egiha tribes                          211
    Subsequent migrations of the Omahas                            213
    Present state of the Omahas                                    214

  CHAPTER II.--THE STATE                                           215
    Differentiation of organs in the State                         216
    State classes                                                  216
      Servants                                                     217
    Corporations                                                   218

  CHAPTER III.--THE GENTILE SYSTEM                                 219
    Tribal circles                                                 219
    The Omaha tribal circle                                        219
      Rules for pitching the tents                                 220
    The sacred tents                                               221
    The sacred pipes                                               221
      Gahige's account of the tradition of the pipes               222
      A^n-ba-hebe's account of the same                            222
    Law of membership                                              225
    The Weji^n cte or Elk gens                                     225
    The Iñke-sabe or Black shoulder gens                           228
    The Hañga gens                                                 233
    The ₵atada gens                                                236
      The Wasabe-hit`ajĭ subgens                                   236
      The Wajiñga-¢atajĭ subgens                                   238
      The [T]eda-it`ajĭ subgens                                    239
      The [K]eï^n subgens                                          240
    The Ka^nze gens                                                241
    The Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe gens                                        242
    The [T]e-sinde gens                                            244
    The [T]a-[p]a or Deer-head gens                                245
    The Iñg¢e-jide gens                                            247
    The Ictasanda gens                                             248

    Classes of kinship                                             252
      Consanguineous kinship                                       253
      Affinities                                                   255
    Marriage laws                                                  255
      Whom a man or woman cannot marry                             256
      Whom a man or woman can marry                                257
      Importance of the subgentes                                  258
      Remarriage                                                   258

  CHAPTER V.--DOMESTIC LIFE                                        259
    Courtship and marriage customs                                 259
    Domestic etiquette--bashfulness                                262
    Pregnancy                                                      263
    Children                                                       265
    Standing of women in society                                   266
    Catamenia                                                      267
    Widows and widowers                                            267
    Rights of parents and others                                   268
    Personal habits, politeness, etc.                              269
    Meals, etc.                                                    271

  CHAPTER VI.--VISITING CUSTOMS                                    276
    The_calumet_dance                                              276

  CHAPTER VII.--INDUSTRIAL OCCUPATIONS                             283
    Hunting customs                                                283
    Fishing customs                                                301
    Cultivation of the ground                                      302

    Food and its preparation                                       303
    Clothing and its preparation                                   310

  CHAPTER IX.--PROTECTIVE INDUSTRIES                               312
    War customs                                                    312
      Defensive warfare                                            312
      Offensive warfare                                            315

  CHAPTER X.--AMUSEMENTS AND CORPORATIONS                          334
    Games                                                          334
    Corporations                                                   342
      Feasting societies                                           342
      Dancing societies                                            342

  CHAPTER XI.--REGULATIVE INDUSTRIES                               356
    The government                                                 356
    Religion                                                       363

  CHAPTER XII.--THE LAW                                            364
    Personal law                                                   364
    Property law                                                   366
    Corporation law                                                367
    Government law                                                 367
    International law                                              368
    Military law                                                   368
    Religious law                                                  368



  PLATE XXX.--Map showing the migrations of the Omahas
         and cognate tribes                                        212
       XXXI.--Tent of Agaha-wacuce                                 237
      XXXII.--Omaha system of consanguinities                      253
     XXXIII.--Omaha system of affinities                           255

  FIG. 12.--The Omaha tribal circle                                220
       13.--Places of the chiefs, &c., in the tribal assembly      224
       14.--Iñke-sabe tent                                         230
       15.--Iñke-sabe style of wearing the hair                    230
       16.--Iñke-sabe Gentile assembly                             231
       17.--The sacred pole                                        234
       18.--Wasabe-hit`ajĭ style of wearing the hair                237
       19.--[T]e-sinde style of wearing the hair                   244
       20.--The weawa^n or calumet pipe                            277
       21.--Rattles used in the pipe dance                         278
       22.--The Dakota style of tobacco pouch used by the Omahas
           in the pipe dance                                       278
       23.--The position of the pipes, the ear of corn, &c.        279
       24.--Decoration of child's face                             280
       25.--Showing positions of the long tent, the pole, and rows
           of "ʇa" within the tribal circle                        295
       26.--Figures of pumpkins                                    306
       27.--The Webajabe                                           310
       28.--The Weubaja^n                                          311
       29.--Front view of the iron                                 311
       30.--Old Ponka fort                                         314
       31.--Diagram showing places of the guests, messengers, etc. 315
       32.--The banañge                                            336
       33.--The sticks                                             336
       34.--Na^na^n au hă                                          336
       35.--₵ab¢i^n au hă                                          337
       36.--Diagram of the play-ground                             337
       37.--The stick used in playing [P]a¢i^n-jahe                338
       38.--The wa¢igije                                           338
       39.--The stick used in playing I^nti^n-buʇa                 341
       40.--The waq¢eq¢e `a^nsa                                    352
       41.--The Ponka style of hañga-ʞi`a^nze                      359
       42.--The Omaha style of hañga-ʞi`a^nze                      361





§ 1. The Omaha Indians belong to the ₵egiha group of the Siouan family.
The ₵egiha group may be divided into the Omaha-₵egiha and the
Kwapa-₵egiha. In the former are four tribes, speaking three dialects,
while the latter consists of one tribe, the Kwapas. The dialects are as
follows: Pañka, spoken by the Ponkas and Omahas; Waᴐaᴐe, the Osage
dialect; [K]a^nze, that of the Kansas or Kaws, closely related to the
Waᴐaᴐe; and Ugaqpa, or Kwapa.

§ 2. ₵egiha means, "Belonging to the people of this land," and answers
to the Oto "[T]ᴐiwere," and the Iowa "[T]ᴐeʞiwere." Mr. Joseph La
Flèche, who was formerly a head chief of the Omahas, also said that
₵egiha was about equivalent to "Dakota." When an Omaha was challenged in
the dark, when on his own land, he generally replied, "I am a ₵egiha."
So did a Ponka reply, under similar circumstances, when on his own land.
But when challenged in the dark, when away from home, he was obliged to
give the name of his tribe, saying, "I am an Omaha," or, "I am a Ponka,"
as the case might be.

§ 3. The real name of the Omahas is "Uma^nha^n." It is explained by a
tradition obtained from a few members of the tribe. When the ancestors
of the Omahas, Ponkas, Osages, and several other cognate tribes traveled
down the Ohio to its mouth, they separated on reaching the Mississippi.
Some went up the river, hence the name Uma^nha^n, from ʞíma^nha^n, "to
go against the wind or stream." The rest went down the river, hence the
name Ugáqpa or Kwápa, from ugáqpa or ugáha, "to float down the stream."


The tribes that went up the Mississippi were the Omahas, Ponkas, Osages,
and Kansas. Some of the Omahas remember a tradition that their ancestors
once dwelt at the place where Saint Louis now stands; and the Osages and
Kansas say that they were all one people, inhabiting an extensive
peninsula, on the Missouri River.

On this peninsula was a high mountain, which the Kansas called
Ma^n-daqpaye and Tce-dŭñga-ajabe; the corresponding Osage name being

Subsequently, these tribes ranged through a territory, including Osage,
Gasconade, and other adjacent counties of the State of Missouri, perhaps
most of the country lying between the Mississippi and the Osage Rivers.
The Iowas were near them; but the Omahas say that the Otos and Missouris
were not known to them. The Iowa chiefs, however, have a tradition that
the Otos were their kindred, and that both tribes, as well as the Omahas
and Ponkas, were originally Winnebagos. A recent study of the dialects
of the Osages, Kansas, and Kwapas discloses remarkable similarities
which strengthen the supposition that the Iowas and Otos, as well as the
Missouris, were of one stock.

At the mouth of the Osage River the final separation occurred. The
Omahas and Ponkas crossed the Missouri and, accompanied by the Iowas,
proceeded by degrees through Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota, till they
reached the neighborhood of the Red Pipestone quarry. This must have
taken many years, as their course was marked by a succession of
villages, consisting of earth lodges.

Thence they journeyed towards the Big Sioux River, where they made a
fort. They remained in that country a long time, making earth lodges and
cultivating fields. Game abounded. At that time the Yanktons dwelt in a
densely wooded country near the head of the Mississippi; hence the
Omahas called them, in those days, "Ja^n´aʇa ni´kaci^nga, The people
who dwelt in the woods." After that the Yanktons removed and became
known as Yanktons. By and by the Dakotas made war on the three tribes,
and many Omahas were killed by them. So at last the three tribes went
west and southwest to a lake near the head of Choteau Creek, Dakota
Territory, now known as Lake Andes (?). There they cut the sacred pole
(see §§ 36 and 153), and assigned to each gens and subgens its peculiar
customs, such as the sacred pipe, sacred tents, and the taboos. There
were a great many gentes in each tribe at that time, far more than they
have at present; and these gentes were in existence long before they cut
the sacred pole.

After leaving the lake, known as "Waq¢éxe gasai´ ¢a^n, Where they cut
the sacred pole," they traveled up the Missouri River till they arrived
at Ni-úgacúde, White Earth River. They crossed the Missouri, above
this stream, and occupied the country between the Missouri and the Black
Hills, though they did not go to the Black Hills.[2] After awhile, they
turned down stream, and kept together till they reached the mouth of the
Niobrara, where the Ponkas stopped. The Omahas and Iowas continued their
journey till they reached Bow Creek, Nebraska, where the Omahas made
their village, the Iowas going beyond till they reached Ionia Creek,
where they made a village on the east bank of the stream, near its
mouth, and not far from the site of the present town of Ponca.

[1] The writer was told by an Osage that Ma^nʇaqpa¢ě was at Fire
Prairie, Missouri, where the first treaty with the Osages was made by
the United States. But that place is on a creek of the same name, which
empties into the Missouri River on the south, in T. 50 N., R. 28 W., at
the town of Napoleon, Jackson County, Missouri. This could not have been
the original Ma^nʇaqpa¢ě. Several local names have been duplicated by
the Kansas in the course of their wanderings, and there are traces of
similar duplications among the Osages. Besides this, the Omahas and
Ponkas never accompanied the Kansas and Osages beyond the mouth of the
Osage River; and the Kansas did not reach the neighborhood of Napoleon,
Missouri, for some time after the separation at the mouth of the Osage



  1. Winnebago habitat.
  2. Iowa habitat.
  3. Arkansas habitat.
  4. Kwapa habitat, after the separation from the Omahas, etc.
  5. Route of the Omahas, Ponkas, Kansas, and Osages.
  6. Their habitat at the mouth of the Missouri River.
  7. Their course along that river.
  8. Their habitat at the month of Osage River.
  9. Subsequent course of the Osages.
  10. Subsequent course of the Kansas.
  11. Course of the Omahas and Ponkas, according to some.
  12. Their course, according to others.
  13. Where they met the Iowas.
  14. Course of the three tribes.
  15. Pipestone quarry.
  16. Cliffs 100 feet high on each bank.
  17. Fort built by the three tribes.
  18. Lake Andes.
  19. Mouth of White River.
  20. Mouth of the Niobrara River.
  22. Omaha village on Bow Creek.
  23. Iowa village on Ionia Creek.
  24. Omaha village [T]iʇañga jiñga and Zande buʇa.
  25. Omaha village at Omadi.
  26. Omaha village on Bell Creek.
  27. Probable course of the Iowas.
  28. Omaha habitat on Salt Creek.
  30. Omaha habitat at Ane nat'ai ¢a^n.
  31. Omaha habitat on Shell Creek.
  33. Omaha habitat on the Elkhorn River.
  35. Omaha habitat on Logan Creek.
  37. Omaha habitat near Bellevue.]

By and by the Omahas removed to a place near Covington, Nebr., nearly
opposite the present Sioux City. The remains of this village are now
known as "[T]i-ʇañ´ga-jiñ´ga," and the lake near by is called
"₵íxucpa^n-úg¢e," because of the willow trees found along its banks.

In the course of time the Iowas passed the Omahas again, and made a new
village near the place where Florence now stands. After that they
continued their course southward to their present reservation.

The Otos did not accompany the Ponkas, Omahas, and Iowas, when they
crossed the Missouri, and left the Osages and others. The Otos were
first met on the Platte River, in comparatively modern times, according
to Mr. La Flèche.


§ 4. After leaving [T]i-ʇañga-jiñga, where the lodges were made of
wood, they dwelt at Zandé búʇa.

2. Ta^n´wa^n-ʇañ´ga, The Large Village, is a place near the town of
Omadi, Nebr. The stream was crossed, and the village made, after a

3. On the west side of Bell Creek, Nebraska.

4. Thence south to Salt Creek, above the site of Lincoln.

5. Then back to Ta^nwa^n-ʇañga. While the people were there, A^nba-hebe,
the tribal historian was born. This was over eighty years ago.

6. Thence they went to Áne-nát'ai ¢a^n, a hill on the west bank of the
Elkhorn River, above West Point, and near Bismarck.

7. After five years they camped on the east bank of Shell Creek.

8. Then back to Ta^nwa^n-ʇañga, on Omaha Creek.

9. Then on the Elkhorn, near Wisner, for ten years. While there,
A^nba-hebe married.

10. About the year 1832-'3, they returned to Ta^nwa^n-ʇañga, on Omaha

11. In 1841 they went to Ta^n´wa^n-jiñgá ¢a^n, The Little Village, at
the mouth of Logan Creek, and on the east side.

12. In 1843, they returned to Ta^nwa^n-ʇañga.

13. In 1845 they went to a plateau west of Bellevue. On the top of the
plateau they built their earth lodges, while the agency was at Bellevue.

14. They removed to their present reserve in 1855.

[2] A Ponka chief, Buffalo Chips, said that his tribe left the rest at
White Earth River and went as far as the Little Missouri River and the
region of the Black Hills. Finally, they returned to their kindred, who
then began their journey down the Missouri River. Other Ponkas have told
about going to the Black Hills.


§ 5. Their reservation was about 30 miles in extent from east to west,
and 18 or 20 from north to south. It formed Black Bird County. The
northern part of it containing some of the best of the timber lands, was
ceded to the Winnebagos, when that tribe was settled in Nebraska, and is
now in Dakota County. The southern part, the present Omaha reservation,
is in Burt County. The Omahas have not decreased in population during
the past twenty-five years. In 1876 they numbered 1,076. In 1882 there
are about 1,100. Most of the men have been farmers since 1869; but some
of them, under Mr. La Flèche, began to work for themselves as far back
as 1855. Each man resides on his claim, for which he holds a patent
given him by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Many live in frame houses,
the most of which were built at the expense of their occupants.



§ 6. "A state," said Maj. J. W. Powell, in his presidential address to
the Anthropological Society of Washington, in 1882, "is a body politic,
an organized group of men with an established government, and a body of
determined law. In the organization of societies units of different
orders are discovered." Among the Omahas and other tribes of the Siouan
family, the primary unit is the gens or clan, which is composed of a
number of consanguinei, claiming descent from a common ancestor, and
having a common taboo or taboos. But starting from the tribe or state as
a whole, we find among the Omahas two half-tribes of five gentes each,
the first called "Hañga-cenu," and the second, "Ictasanda." (See § 10.)
These half-tribes do not seem to be phratries, as they do not possess
the rights of the latter as stated by Morgan: the Hañga-cenu gentes
never meet by themselves apart from the Ictasanda gentes.

Next to the half-tribes are the gentes, of which the Omahas have ten.
Each gens in turn is divided into "uʞig¢a[s]ne," or subgentes. The
number of the latter varies, at present, according to the particular
gens; though the writer has found traces of the existence of four
subgentes in each gens in former days. The subgentes seem to be composed
of a number of groups of a still lower order, which are provisionally
termed "sections." The existence of sections among the Omahas had been
disputed by some, though other members of the tribe claim that they are
real units of the lowest order. We find among the Tito^n-wa^n Dakotas,
many of these groups, which were originally sections, but which have at
length become gentes, as the marriage laws do not affect the higher
groups, the original phratries, gentes, and subgentes.

The Ponka chiefs who were in Washington in 1880, claimed that in their
tribe there used to be eight gentes, one of which has become extinct;
and that now there are ten, three subgentes having become gentes in
recent times. According to Mr. Joseph La Flèche, a Ponka by birth, who
spent his boyhood with the tribe, there are but seven gentes, one having
become extinct; while the Wajaje and Nuqe, which are now the sixth and
seventh gentes, were originally one. For a fuller discussion of the
gentes see the next chapter.

The state, as existing among the Omahas and cognate tribes, may be
termed a kinship state, that is, one in which "governmental functions
are performed by men whose positions in the government are determined by
kinship, and rules relating to kinship and the reproduction of the
species constitute the larger body of the law. The law regulates
marriage and the rights and duties of the several members of a body of
kindred to each other. Individuals are held responsible," chiefly "to
their kindred; and certain groups of kindred are held responsible," in
some cases, "to other groups of kindred. When other conduct, such as the
distribution of game taken from the forest or fish from the sea, is
regulated, the rules or laws pertaining thereto involve the
considerations of kinship," to a certain extent. (See Chapter XII, §


§ 7. The legislative, executive, and judicial functions have not been
differentiated. (See Government, Chapter XI.)

Whether the second mode of differentiation has taken place among the
Omahas, and just in the order described by Major Powell, is an open
question. This mode is thus stated: "Second, by the multiplication of
the orders of units and the specialization of the subordinate units so
that subordinate organizations perform special functions. Thus cities
may be divided into wards, counties into towns." Subgentes, as well as
gentes, were necessary among the Omahas for marriage purposes, as is
shown in §§ 57, 78, etc. The recent tendency has been to centralization
or consolidation, whereas there are strong reasons for believing that
each gens had four subgentes at the first; several subgentes having
become few in number of persons have been united to the remaining and
more powerful subgentes of their respective gentes.

The third mode of differentiations of organs in the State is "by
multiplication of corporations for specific purposes." The writer has
not yet been able to find any traces of this mode among the Omahas and
cognate tribes.

§ 8. Two classes of organization are found in the constitution of the
State, "those relating directly to the government, called major
organizations, and those relating indirectly to the government, called
minor organizations." The former embraces the State classes, the latter,


These have not been clearly differentiated. Three classes of men have
been recognized: Níkagáhi, wanáce, and cénujiñ´ga.

In civil affairs, the nikagahi are the chiefs, exercising legislative,
executive, and judicial functions. They alone have a voice in the tribal
assembly, which is composed of them. The wanace, policemen, or braves,
are the servants or messengers of the chiefs, and during the
surrounding of a herd of buffalo, they have extraordinary powers
conferred on them. (See §§ 140 and 297.)

The cenujiñga, or young men, are the "common people," such as have not
distinguished themselves, either in war or in any other way. They have
no voice in the assembly, and during the buffalo hunt they must obey the
chiefs and wanace.

In religious affairs, which are closely associated with civil ones, we
find the chiefs having a prominent part. Besides the chiefs proper are
the seven keepers of the sacred pipes, or pipes of peace (see §§ 14-19,
287, 296), and the keepers of the three sacred tents (see §§ 13, 22-24,
36, 295). The functions of these keepers of the sacred tents, especially
those of the two Hañga men, appear to be both religious and civil. Of
these two men, [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ said: "The two old men,
Waka^n´-ma^n¢i^n and [T]e-ha^n´ma^n¢i^n, are the real governors of
the tribe, and are counted as gods. They are reverenced by all, and men
frequently give them presents. They mark the tattooed women." Frank La
Flèche denied this, saying that these two old men are the servants of
the Hañga chief, being only the keepers of the sacred tents of his gens.
J. La Flèche and Two Crows said that while there were some
"níkaci^n´ga qubé," sacred or mysterious men, among the Omahas, they
did not know who they were. Some of the chiefs and people respect them,
but others despise them. It is probable that by níkaci^n´ga qube, they
meant exorcists or conjurers, rather than priests, as the former pretend
to be "qube," mysterious, and to have supernatural communications.

There is no military class or gens among the Omahas, though the Ponka
₵ixida gens, and part of the Nika[p]aᴐna gens are said to be warriors.
Among the Omahas, both the captains and warriors must be taken from the
class of cenujiñga, as the chiefs are afraid to undertake the work of
the captains. The chiefs, being the civil and religious leaders of the
people, cannot serve as captains or even as subordinate officers of a
war party. Nor can they join such a party unless it be a large one.
Their influence is exerted on the side of peace (see §§ 191, 292), and
they try to save the lives of murderers. (See § 310.) They conduct peace
negotiations between contending tribes. (See §§ 220, 292.)

All the members of a war party, including the captains, lieutenants, and
wanace, as well the warriors, are promoted to the grade or class of
(civil) wanace on their return from battle. (See § 216.)


There are no slaves; but there are several kinds of servants called
wagáq¢a^n. In civil and religious affairs, the following are wagáq¢a^n.
The two keepers of the Hañga sacred tents are the servants of the Hañga
chief. (See above, § 295, etc.) One of these old men is always the
servant of the other though they exchange places. (See § 151.) The
keepers of the sacred pipes are the servants of the chiefs. (See §§
17-19). The ₵atada Quʞa man is the servant of the keepers of the
sacred tents. (See § 143.) Some of the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ men are servants
of the Weji^ncte gens, acting as such in the sacred tent. (See §§ 23,
24.) Some of the Iñke-sabě men are the servants of the Hañga when they
act as criers (see §§ 130, 136, etc.), and so is a [K]a^nze man (§ 152).
The wanace are the servants of the chiefs. The wag¢a or messengers
acting as criers for a feast are the servants of the giver of the feast
for the time being.

In military affairs, the following are servants: The men who act as
wag¢a for the preliminary feast; the men who carry the baggage of the
captains and wait on them; the bearer of the kettle; the bearers of the
sacred bags when there is a large party; the special followers of each
captain, including his lieutenant, the followers or warriors being about
equally divided between the captains; and the wanace or policemen. (See
War Customs, Chapter IX.)

Social classes are undifferentiated. Any man can win a name and rank in
the state by becoming "wacuce," or brave, either in war or by the
bestowal of gifts and the frequent giving of feasts. (See § 224.)


Corporations are minor organizations, which are indirectly related to
the government, though they do not constitute a part of it.

The Omahas are organized into certain societies for religious,
industrial, and other ends. There are two kinds, the Ikágekí¢ě or
brother-hoods, and the Úkikune¢ě, or feasting organizations. The former
are the dancing societies, to some of which the doctors belong. A fuller
description of them will be found in Chapter X.

The industrial organization of the state will be discussed in Chapters
VII, VIII, IX, X, and XI.




§ 9. In former days, whenever a large camping-ground could not be found,
the Ponkas used to encamp in three concentric circles; while the Omahas,
who were a smaller tribe, pitched their tents in two similar circles.
This custom gave rise to the name "Oyate yamni," The Three Nations, as
the Ponkas were styled by the Dakotas, and the Omahas became known as
the Two Nations. But the usual order of encampment has been to pitch all
the tents in one large circle or horseshoe, called "hú¢uga" by the
Indians. In this circle the gentes took their regular places,
disregarding their gentile circles, and pitching the tents, one after
another, within the area necessary for each gens. This circle was not
made by measurement, nor did any one give directions where each tent
should be placed; that was left to the women.

When the people built a village of earth-lodges, and dwelt in it, they
did not observe this order of camping. Each man caused his lodge to be
built wherever he wished to have it, generally near those of his
kindred. But whenever the whole tribe migrated with the skin tents, as
when they went after the buffaloes, they observed this order. (See §

Sometimes the tribe divided into two parties, some going in one
direction, some in another. On such occasions the regular order of
camping was not observed; each man encamped near his kindred, whether
they were maternal or paternal consanguinities.

The crier used to tell the people to what place they were to go, and
when they reached it the women began to pitch the tents.


§ 10. The road along which they passed divided the tribal circle into
two equal parts; five gentes camped on the right of it and five pitched
their tents on its left. Those on the right were called the Hañgacenu,
and the others were known as the Ictasanda. The Hañgacenu gentes are
as follows: Wéji^ncte, Iñké-sábě, Hañ´ga, ₵átada, and [K]a^n´ze.
The Ictasanda gentes are as follows: Ma^n`¢iñka-gáxe, [T]e-sĭn´de,
[T]a-[p]á, Iñg¢é-jide, and Ictásanda.

According to Waha^n-¢iñge, the chief of the [T]e-sĭnde gens, there used
to be one hundred and thirty-three tents pitched by the Hañgacenu, and
one hundred and forty-seven by the Ictasanda. This was probably the case
when they went on the hunt the last time, in 1871 or 1872.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--The Omaha tribal circle.



  A. Weji^ncte, or Elk.
  B. Iñke-sabě.
  C. Hañga.
  D. ₵atada:
    _a._ Wasanbe-hit`ajĭ.
    _b._ Wajiñga-¢atajĭ.
    _c._ [T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ.
    _d._ [K]e-`i^n.
  E. [K]a^nze.


  F. Mañ¢iñka-gaxe.
  G. [T]e-sĭnde.
  H. [T]a-[p]a.
  I. Iñg¢e-jide.
  K. Ictasanda.

The sacred tents of the Weji^ncte and Hañga gentes are designated by
appropriate figures; so also are the seven gentes which keep the sacred
pipes. The diameter of the circle represents the road traveled by the
tribe, A and K forming the gentes in the van.]


§ 11. Though they did not measure the distances, each woman knew where
to pitch her tent. Thus a [K]a^nze woman who saw a Weji^ncte tent set
up, knew that her tent must be pitched at a certain distance from that
part of the circle, and at or near the opposite end of the road or
diameter of the circle. When two tents were pitched too far apart one
woman said to the other, "Pitch the tent a little closer." Or, if they
were too close, she said, "Pitch the tent further away." So also if the
tents of neighboring gentes were too far apart or too close together. In
the first case the women of one gens might say, "Move along a little,
and give us more room." In the other they might say, "Come back a
little, as there is too much space between us." When the end gentes,
Weji^ncte and Ictasanda, were too far apart there was sometimes danger
of attacks of enemies. On one occasion the Dakotas made a dash into the
very midst of the circle and did much damage, because the space between
these two gentes was too great. But at other times, when there is no
fear of an attack, and when the women wish to dress hides, etc., the
crier said: "Halloo! Make ye them over a large tract of land." This is
the only occasion when the command is given _how_ to pitch the tents.

When the tribe returned from the hunt the gentes encamped in reverse
order, the Weji^ncte and Ictasanda gentes having their tents at the end
of the circle nearest home.

There appear indications that there were special areas, not only for
the gentes, but even for the subgentes, all members of any subgens
having their lodges set up in the same area. Thus, in the Iñke-sabě
gens, there are some that camped next the Weji^ncte, and others next
the Hañga; some of the Hañga camped next the Iñke-sabě, and others next
the ₵atada, and so on. (See § 73.)

§ 12. Within the circle were placed the horses, as a precaution against
attacks from enemies. When a man had many horses and wished to have them
near him, he generally camped within the circle, apart from his gens,
but this custom was of modern origin, and was the exception to the rule.


§ 13. The three sacred tents were pitched within the circle and near
their respective gentes: that of the Weji^ncte is the war tent, and it
was placed not more than 50 yards from its gens; those of the Hañga gens
are connected with the regulation of the buffalo hunt, etc.; or, we may
say that the former had to do with the protection of life and the latter
with the sustenance of life, as they used to depend mainly on the hunt
for food, clothing, and means of shelter.


§ 14. All the sacred pipes belong to the Hañga gens, though Hañga, in
ancient times, appointed the Iñke-sabě gens as the custodian of them.
(J. La Flèche and Two Crows.) The Iñke-sabě gens, however, claims
through its chief, Gahige, to have been the first owner of the pipes;
but this is doubtful. There are at present but two sacred pipes in
existence among the Omahas, though there are seven gentes which are said
to possess sacred pipes. These seven are as follows: Three of the
Hañgacenu, the Iñke-sabě, ₵atada, and [K]a^nze, and four of the
Ictasanda, the Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe, [T]e-sĭnde, [T]a-[p]a, and Ictasanda.
The two sacred pipes still in existence are kept by the Iñke-sabě gens.
These pipes are called "Niniba waqube," Sacred Pipes, or "Niniba jide,"
Red Pipes. They are made of the red pipestone which is found in the
famous red pipestone quarry. The stems are nearly flat and are worked
near the mouth-piece with porcupine quills.


§ 15. Gahige, of the Iñke-sabě gens, said that his gens had the seven
pipes at the first, and caused them to be distributed among the other
gentes. He named as the seven gentes who had the pipes, the following:
1. Iñke-sabě; 2. [T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ sub-gens of the ₵atada; 3.
Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe; 4. [T]a-[p]a; 5. [T]e-sĭnde; 6. Ictasanda; 7. Hañga
(_sic_). In order to reach the Hañga again the seven old men had to go
partly around the circle a second time. These are the gentes that had
pipes and chiefs at the first. The chiefs of the three remaining gentes,
the Weji^ncte, [K]a^nze, and Iñg¢e-jide, were not made for years
afterward. He also said that the buffalo skull given to the
[T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ was regarded as equivalent to a sacred pipe.

The writer is inclined to think that there is some truth in what Gahige
has said, though he cannot accept all of his statement. Gahige gives one
pipe to the Hañga gens; Two Crows intimated that his gens was the
virtual keeper of a pipe. But A^nba-hebe's story shows that it was not a
real pipe, but the firebrand for lighting the pipes. In like manner,
[T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ has not a real pipe, but the buffalo skull, which is
considered as a pipe. Hence, it may be that the men who are called
"keepers of the pipes" in the [K]a^nze, Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe, [T]a-[p]a,
[T]e-sĭnde, and Ictasanda gentes never had real pipes but certain
objects which are held sacred, and have some connection with the two
pipes kept by the Iñke-sabě.


§ 16. The following is the tradition of the sacred pipes, according to
A^nba-hebe, the aged historian of the Omahas:

    The old men made seven pipes and carried them around the tribal
    circle. They first reached Weji^ncte, who sat there as a male elk,
    and was frightful to behold, so the old men did not give him a pipe.
    Passing on to the Iñke-sabě, they gave the first pipe to the head of
    that gens. Next they came to Hañga, to whom they handed a firebrand,
    saying, "Do thou keep the firebrand," _i. e._, "You are to thrust it
    into the pipe-bowls." Therefore it is the duty of Hañga to light the
    pipes for the chiefs (_sic_). When they reached the Bear people they
    feared them because they sat there with the sacred bag of black
    bear-skin, so they did not give them a pipe. The Blackbird people
    received no pipe because they sat with the sacred bag of bird-skins
    and feathers. And the old men feared the Turtle people, who had made
    a big turtle on the ground, so they passed them by. But when they
    saw the Eagle people they gave them a pipe because they did not fear
    them, and the buffalo was good. (Others say that the Eagle people
    had started off in anger when they found themselves slighted, but
    the old men pursued them, and on overtaking them they handed them a
    bladder filled with tobacco, and also a buffalo skull, saying, "Keep
    this skull as a sacred thing." This appeased them, and they
    rejoined the tribe.) Next the old men saw the [K]a^nze, part of whom
    were good, and part were bad. To the good ones they gave a pipe. The
    Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe people were the next gens. They, too, were divided,
    half being bad. These bad ones had some stones at the front of their
    lodge, and they colored these stones, as well as their hair,
    orange-red. They wore plumes (hi^nqpe) in their hair (and a branch
    of cedar wrapped around their heads.--La Flèche), and were awful to
    behold. So the old men passed on to the good ones, to whom they gave
    the fourth pipe. Then they reached the [T]e-sĭnde, half of whom made
    sacred a buffalo, and are known as those who eat not the lowest rib.
    Half of these were good, and they received the fifth pipe. All of
    the [T]a-[p]a (A^nba-hebe's own gens!) were good, and they obtained
    the sixth pipe. The Iñg¢e-jide took one whole side of a buffalo, and
    stuck it up, leaving the red body but partially buried in the
    ground, after making a tent of the skin. They who carried the pipes
    around were afraid of them, so they did not give them one. Last of
    all they came to the Ictasanda. These people were disobedient,
    destitute of food, and averse to staying long in one place. As the
    men who had the pipes wished to stop this, they gave the seventh
    pipe to the fourth subgens of the Ictasanda, and since then the
    members of this gens have behaved themselves.

J. La Flèche and Two Crows say that "Weji^ncte loved his waqube, the
miʞasi, or coyote, and so he did not wish a pipe" which pertained to
peace. "Hañga does not light the pipes for the chiefs", that is, he does
not _always_ light the pipes.

§ 17. The true division of labor appears to be as follows: Hañga was
the source of the sacred pipes, and has a right to all, as that gens
had the first authority. Hañga is therefore called "I¢ig¢a^n´qti aké,"
as he does what he pleases with the pipes. Hañga told Íñke-sabě to
carry the pipes around the tribal circle; so that is why the seven old
men did so. And as Hañga directed it to be done, Iñke-sabě is called
"A¢i^n´ aké," The Keeper. Ictasanda fills the pipes. When the Ictasanda
man who attends to this duty does not come to the council the pipes
cannot be smoked, as no one else can fill them. This man, who knows
the ritual, sends all the others out of the lodge, as they must not
hear the ancient words. He utters some words when he cleans out the
pipe-bowl, others when he fills the pipe, etc. He does not always
require the same amount of time to perform this duty. Then all return
to the lodge. Hañga, or rather a member of that gens, lights the pipes,
except at the time of the greasing of the sacred pole, when he, not
Ictasanda, fills the pipes, and some one else lights them for him. (See
§ 152.) These three gentes, Hañga, Iñke-sabě, and Ictasanda, are the
only rulers among the keepers of the sacred pipes. The other keepers
are inferior; though said to be keepers of sacred pipes, the pipes are
not manifest.

These seven niniba waqube are peace pipes, but the niniba waqube of the
Weji^ncte is the war pipe.

§ 18. The two sacred pipes kept by Iñke-sabě are used on various
ceremonial occasions. When the chiefs assemble and wish to make a
decision for the regulation of tribal affairs, Ictasanda fills both
pipes and lays them down before the two head chiefs. Then the Iñke-sabě
keeper takes one and the [T]e-[p]a it`ajĭ keeper the other. Iñke-sabě
precedes, starting from the head chief sitting on the right and passing
around half of the circle till he reaches an old man seated opposite
the head chief. This old man (one of the Hañga wag¢a) and the head chief
are the only ones who smoke the pipe; those sitting between them do not
smoke it when Iñke-sabě goes around. When the old man has finished
smoking Iñke-sabě takes the pipe again and continues around the circle
to the starting-point, but he gives it to each man to smoke. When he
reaches the head chief on the left he gives it to him, and after
receiving it from him he returns it to the place on the ground before
the head chiefs.

When Iñke-sabě reaches the old man referred to [T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ starts
from the head chiefs with the other pipe, which he hands to each one,
including those sitting between the second head chief and the old man.
[T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ always keeps behind Iñke-sabě just half the
circumference of the circle, and when he receives the pipe from the head
chief on the left he returns it to its place beside the other. Then,
after the smoking is over, Ictasanda takes the pipes, overturns them to
empty out the ashes, and cleans the bowls by thrusting in a stick. (See
§§ 111, 130, 296, etc.)

In smoking they blew the smoke upwards, saying, "Here, Wakanda, is the
smoke." This was done because they say that Wakanda gave them the pipes,
and He rules over them.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--Places of the chiefs, etc., in the tribal

    A.--The first head chief, on the left. B.--The second head chief, on
    the right. C.--The two Hañga wag¢a, one being the old man whom
    Iñke-sabě causes to smoke the pipe. D.--The place where the two
    pipes are laid. The chiefs sit around in a circle. E.--The giver of
    the feast.]

§ 19. Frank La Flèche told the following:

    The sacred pipes are not shown to the common people. When my father
    was about to be installed a head chief, Mahi^n-zi, whose duty it was
    to fill the pipes, let one of them fall to the ground, violating a
    law, and so preventing the continuation of the ceremony. So my
    father was not fully initiated. When the later fall was partly gone
    Mahi^n-zi died.

    Wacuce, my father-in-law, was the Iñke-sabě keeper of the pipes.
    When the Otos visited the Omahas (in the summer of 1878), the chiefs
    wished the pipes to be taken out of the coverings, so they ordered
    Wacuce to undo the bag. This was unlawful, as the ritual prescribed
    certain words to be said by the chiefs to the keeper of the pipes
    previous to the opening of the bag. But none of the seven chiefs
    know the formula. Wacuce was unwilling to break the law; but the
    chiefs insisted, and he yielded. Then Two Crows told all the Omahas
    present not to smoke the small pipe. This he had a right to do, as
    he was a Hañga. Wacuce soon died, and in a short time he was
    followed by his daughter and his eldest son.

    It takes four days to make any one understand all about the laws of
    the sacred pipes; and it costs many horses. A bad man, _i. e._, one
    who is saucy, quarrelsome stingy, etc., cannot be told such things.
    This was the reason why the seven chiefs did not know their part of
    the ritual.


§ 20. A child belongs to its father's gens, as "father-right" has
succeeded "mother-right." But children of white or black men are
assigned to the gentes of their mothers, and they cannot marry any women
of those gentes. A stranger cannot belong to any gens of the tribe,
there being no ceremony of adoption into a gens.


§ 21. This gens occupies the first place in the tribal circles, pitching
its tents at one of the horns or extremities, not far from the Ictasanda
gens, which camps at the other end. When the ancient chieftainship was
abolished in 1880, Mahi^n-¢iñge was the chief of this gens, having
succeeded Joseph La Flèche in 1865.

The word "Weji^ncte" cannot be translated, as the meaning of this
archaic word has been forgotten. It may have some connection with
"waji^n´cte," _to be in a bad humor_, but we have no means of
ascertaining this.

La Flèche and Two Crows said that there were no subgentes in this gens.
But it seems probable that in former days there were subgentes in each
gens, while in the course of time changes occurred, owing to decrease in
numbers and the advent of the white men.

_Taboo._--The members of this gens are afraid to touch any part of the
male elk, or to eat its flesh; and they cannot eat the flesh of the male
deer. Should they accidentally violate this custom they say that they
are sure to break out in boils and white spots on different parts of the
body. But when a member of this gens dies he is buried in moccasins
made of deer skin.

_Style of wearing the hair._--The writer noticed that Bi^nze-tig¢e, a
boy of this gens, had his hair next the forehead standing erect, and
that back of it was brushed forward till it projected beyond the former.
A tuft of hair at the back extended about 3 inches below the head. This
style of wearing the hair prevails only among the smaller children as a
rule; men and women do not observe it.

Some say that `A^n-wega^n¢a is the head of those who join in the
worship of the thunder, but his younger brother, Qaga-ma^n¢i^n, being
a more active man, is allowed to have the custody of the Iñg¢a^n¢ě
and the Iñg¢a^nhañgac`a. J. La Flèche and Two Crows said that this
might be so; but they did not know about it. Nor could they or my
other informants tell the meaning of Iñg¢a^n¢ě and Iñg¢a^nhañgac`a.
Perhaps they refer either to the wild-cat (iñg¢añga), or to the thunder
(iñg¢a^n). Compare the Ictasanda "keepers of the claws of a wild-cat."

§ 22. _The sacred tent._--The sacred tent of the Elk gens is consecrated
to war, and scalps are given to it, but are not fastened to it, as some
have asserted. B¢a^nti used to be the keeper of it, but he has resigned
the charge of it to the ex-chief, Mahi^n-¢iñge.

The place of this sacred tent is within the tribal circle, and near the
camping place of the gens. This tent contains one of the wa¢íxabe, a
sacred bag, made of the feathers and skin of a bird, and consecrated to
war. (See § 196.) There is also another sacred bag in this tent, that
which holds the sacred ʇíhaba or clam shell, the bladder of a male elk
filled with tobacco, and the sacred pipe of the gens, the tribal
war-pipe, which is made of red pipe-stone. The ʇihaba is about nine
inches in diameter, and about four inches thick. It is kept in a bag of
buffalo hide which is never placed on the ground. In ancient days it was
carried on the back of a youth, but in modern times, when a man could
not be induced to carry it, it was put with its buffalo-skin bag into
the skin of a coyote, and a woman took it on her back. When the tribe is
not in motion the bag is hung on a cedar stick about five feet high,
which had been planted in the ground. The bag is fastened with some of
the sinew of a male elk, and cannot be opened except by a member of the
Wasabe-hit`ajĭ sub-gens of the ₵atada. (See § 45, etc.)

§ 23. _Service of the scouts._--When a man walks in dread of some unseen
danger, or when there was an alarm in the camp, a crier went around the
tribal circle, saying, "Maja^n´ i¢égasañga té wí á¢i^nhe+!" _I who
move am he who will know what is the matter with the land!_ (_i. e._, I
will ascertain the cause of the alarm.) Then the chiefs assembled in the
war tent, and about fifty or sixty young men went thither. The chiefs
directed the Elk people to make the young men smoke the sacred pipe of
the Elk gens four times, as those who smoked it were compelled to tell
the truth. Then one of the servants of the Elk gens took out the pipe
and the elk bladder, after untying the elk sinew, removed some of the
tobacco from the pouch (elk bladder), which the Elk men dare not touch,
and handed the pipe with the tobacco to the Elk man, who filled it and
lighted it. They did not smoke with this pipe to the four winds, nor to
the sky and ground. The Elk man gave the pipe to one of the bravest of
the young men, whom he wished to be the leader of the scouts. After all
had smoked the scouts departed. They ran around the tribal circle, and
then left the camp. When they had gone about 20 miles they sat down, and
the leader selected a number to act as policemen, saying, "I make you
policemen. Keep the men in order. Do not desire them to go aside." If
there were many scouts, about eight were made policemen. Sometimes there
were two, three, or four leaders of the scouts, and occasionally they
sent some scouts in advance to distant bluffs. The leaders followed with
the main body. When they reached home the young men scattered, but the
leaders went to the Elk tent and reported what they had ascertained.
They made a _detour_, in order to avoid encountering the foe, and
sometimes they were obliged to flee to reach home. This service of the
young men was considered as equivalent to going on the war path.

§ 24. _Worship of the thunder in the spring._--When the first thunder
is heard in the spring of the year the Elk people call to their
servants, the Bear people, who proceed to the sacred tent of the
Elk gens. When the Bear people arrive one of them opens the sacred
bag, and, after removing the sacred pipe, hands it to one of the
Elk men, with some of the tobacco from the elk bladder. Before the
pipe is smoked it is held toward the sky, and the thunder god is
addressed. Joseph La Flèche and Two Crows do not know the formula,
but they said that the following one, given me by a member of the
Ponka Hisada (Wasabe-hit`ajĭ) gens, may be correct. The thunder god is
thus addressed by the Ponkas: "Well, venerable man, by your striking
(with your club) you are frightening us, your grandchildren, who
are here. Depart on high. According to [P]á¢i^nna^npájĭ, one of the
Wasabe-hit`ajĭ, who has acted as a servant for the Elk people, "At the
conclusion of this ceremony the rain always ceases, and the Bear people
return to their homes." But this is denied by Joseph La Flèche and Two
Crows, who say, "How is it possible for them to stop the rain?"

While the Elk gens is associated with the war path, and the worship of
the thunder god, who is invoked by war chiefs, those war chiefs are not
always members of this gens, but when the warriors return, the keeper of
the sacred bag of this gens compels them to speak the truth about their
deeds. (See § 214.)

§ 25. _Birth names of boys._--The following are the birth names of boys
in the Elk gens. These are sacred or nikie names, and sons used to
be so named in former days according to the order of their births. For
example, the first-born son was called the Soft Horn (of the young elk
at its first appearance). The second, Yellow Horn (of the young elk
when a little older). The next, the Branching Horns (of an elk three
years old). The fourth, the Four Horns (of an elk four years old). The
fifth, the Large Pronged Horns (of an elk six or seven years old). The
sixth, the Dark Horns (of a grown elk in summer). The seventh, the
Standing White Horns, in the distance (_i. e._, those of a grown elk in

[3] Nikie names are those referring to a mythical ancestor, to some part
of his body, to some of his acts, or to some ancient rite which may have
been established by him. Nikie names are of several kinds, (_a._) The
seven birth names for each sex. (_b._) Other nikie names, not birth
names, but peculiar to a single gens. (_c._) Names common to two or more
gentes. There are two explanations of the last case. All the gentes
using the same name may have had a common mythical ancestor or a
mythical ancestor of the same species or genus. Among the Osages and
Kansas there are gentes that exchange names; and it is probable that the
custom has existed among the Omahas. Some of these gentes that exchange
names are those which have the same sacred songs.

The following law about nikie names has been observed by the Omahas:

There must never be more than one person in a gens bearing any
particular male name.

For instance, when, in any household, a child is named Wasabe-jiñga,
that name cannot be given to any new-born child of that gens. But when
the first bearer of the name changes his name or dies, another boy can
receive the name Wasabe-jiñga. As that is one of the seven birth names
of the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ it suggests a reason for having extra nikie names
in the gens. This second kind of nikie names may have been birth names,
resorted to because the original birth names were already used. This law
applies in some degree to girls' names, if parents know that a girl in
the gens has a certain name they cannot give that name to their
daughter. But should that name be chosen through ignorance, the two
girls must be distinguished by adding to their own names those of their
respective fathers.]

_Other proper names._--The following are the other nikie[3] names of
the Elk gens: Elk. Young Elk. Standing Elk. White Elk (near by). Big
Elk. `A^n-wega^n¢a (meaning uncertain). B¢a^n-ti, The odor of the dung
or urine of the elk is wafted by the wind (said of any place where the
elk may have been). (A young elk) Cries Suddenly. Hidaha (said to mean
Treads on the ground in walking, or, Passes over what is at the bottom).
Iron Eyes (of an elk). Bullet-shaped Dung (of an elk). (Elk) Is coming
back--fleeing from a man whom he met. Muscle of an elk's leg. Elk comes
back suddenly (meeting the hunter face to face). (Elk) Turns round and
round. No Knife or No Stone (probably referring to the tradition of the
discovery of four kinds of stone). Dark Breast (of an elk). Deer lifts
its head to browse. Yellow Rump (of an elk). Walking Full-grown Elk.
(Elk) Walks, making long strides, swaying from side to side. Stumpy Tail
(of an elk). Forked Horn (of a deer). Water-monster. The Brave Weji^ncte
(named after his gens). _Women's names._--Female Elk. Tail Female. Black
Moose(?) Female. Big Second-daughter (any gens can have it). Sacred
Third-daughter (Elk and Iñke-sabě gentes). Iron-eyed Female (Elk and
Hañga gentes). Land Female (Elk and ₵atada gentes). Moon that
Is-traveling (Elk, Iñke-sabě, Hañga, ₵atada, and [K]a^nze gentes);
Na^n-ze-i^n-ze, meaning uncertain (Elk, ₵atada, and Deer gentes).
Ninda-wi^n (Elk, ₵atada, and Ictasanda gentes). _Names of
ridicule._--Dog. Crazed by exposure to heat. Good Buffalo.

§ 26. According to [T]e-da-u¢iqaga, the chief A^npa^n-ʇañga, the
younger, had a boat and flag painted on the outside of his skin tent.
These were made "qube," sacred, but were not nikie, because they were
not transmitted from a mythical ancestor.

§ 27. This gens has furnished several head chiefs since the death of the
famous Black Bird. Among these were A^npa^n-skă (head chief after 1800),
A^npa^n-ʇañga, the elder, the celebrated Big Elk, mentioned by Long and
other early travelers, and A^npa^n-ʇañga, the younger. On the death of
the last, about A.D. 1853, Joseph La Flèche succeeded him as a head


§ 28. This is a Buffalo gens, and its place in the tribal circle is next
to that of the Elk gens. The head chiefs of this gens in 1880 were
Gahige (who died in 1882), and Duba-ma^n¢i^n, who "sat on opposite
sides of the gentile _fire-place_." Gahige's predecessor was
Gahige-jiñga or Icka-dabi.

_Creation myth_, told by Gahige.--The first men created were seven in
number. They were all made at one time. Afterwards seven women were made
for them. At that time there were no gentes; all the people were as one
gens. (Joseph La Flèche and Two Crows never heard this, and the
following was new to them:)

_Mythical origin_ of the Iñke-sabě, as related by Gahige.--The
Iñke-sabě were buffaloes, and dwelt under the surface of the water.
When they came to the surface they jumped about in the water, making
it muddy; hence the birth-name for the first son, Ni-gaqude. Having
reached the land they snuffed at the four winds and prayed to them. The
north and west winds were good, but the south and east winds were bad.

§ 29. _Ceremony at the death of a member of the gens._--In former days,
when any member of the gens was near death, he was wrapped in a buffalo
robe, with the hair out, and his face was painted with the privileged
decoration. Then the dying person was addressed thus: "You are going to
the animals (the buffaloes). You are going to rejoin your ancestors.
(Ániʇa dúbaha hné. Wackañ´-gă, i. e.) You are going, or, Your four
souls are going, to the four winds. Be strong!" All the members of this
gens, whether male or female, were thus attired and spoken to when they
were dying. (La Flèche and Two Crows say that nothing is said about four
souls, and that "Wackañ-gă" is not said; but all the rest may be true.
See § 35 for a similar custom.) The "hañga-ʞi`a^nze," or privileged
decoration, referred to above and elsewhere in this monograph, is made
among the Omahas by painting two parallel lines across the forehead, two
on each cheek and two under the nose, one being above the upper lip and
the other between the lower lip and the chin.

§ 30. When the tribe went on the buffalo hunt and could get skins for
tents it was customary to decorate the outside of the principal
Iñke-sabě tent, as follows, according to [T]e-[p]a-u¢iqaga: Three
circles were painted, one on each side of the entrance to the tent, and
one at the back, opposite the entrance. Inside each of these was painted
a buffalo-head. Above each circle was a pipe, ornamented with eagle

Frank La Flèche's sketch is of the regular peace pipe; but his father
drew the calumet pipe, from which the duck's head had been taken and the
pipe-bowl substituted, as during the dancing of the Hedewatci. (See §§
49 and 153.)

A model of the principal [T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ tent, decorated by a native
artist, was exhibited by Miss Alice C. Fletcher, at the session of the
American Association at Montreal in 1882. It is now at the Peabody

_Iñke-sabě style of wearing the hair._--The smaller boys have their hair
cut in this style. A A, the horns of the buffalo, being two locks of
hair about two inches long. B is a fringe of hair all around the head.
It is about two inches long. The rest of the head is shaved bare.

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--Frank La Flèche's sketch of the Iñke-sabě tent,
as he saw it when he went on the buffalo hunt.]

[Illustration: FIG. 15.--Iñke-sabě style of wearing the hair.]

§ 31. _Subgentes and Taboos._--There has evidently been a change
in the subgentes since the advent of the white man. In 1878, the
writer was told by several, including La Flèche, that there were then
three subgentes in existence, Wa¢ígije, Wata^n´zi-jíde ¢atájĭ, and
Naq¢é-it`abájĭ; the fourth, or Íekí¢ě, having become extinct. Now
(1882), La Flèche and Two Crows give the three subgentes as follows: 1.
Wa¢ígije; 2. Niníba t`a^n; 3. (a part of 2) Íekí¢ě. The second subgens
is now called by them "Wata^n´zi-ji´de ¢atájĭ and Naq¢é ít`abájĭ."
"[T]a^n¢i^n-na^nba and Nágu or Wa¢ánase are the only survivors of the
real Niniba-t`a^n, Keepers of the Sacred Pipes." (Are not these the
true Naq¢é-ít`ábájĭ, _They who cannot touch charcoal_? _I. e._, it is
not their place to touch a fire-brand or the ashes left in the sacred
pipes after they have been used.) "The Sacred Pipes were taken from
the ancestors of these two and were given into the charge of Ickadabi,
the paternal grandfather of Gahige." Yet these men are still called
Niniba-t`a^n, while "Gahige belongs to the Wata^nzi-jide ¢atajĭ and
Naq¢e-it`abajĭ, and he is one of those from whom the Iekí¢ě could be

In 1878 La Flèche also gave the divisions and taboos of the Iñke-sabě as
follows: "1. Niniba-t`a^n; 2. Wata^nzi-jide ¢atajĭ; 3. [T]e-hé-sábě
it`ájĭ; 4. [T]e-¢éze¢atájĭ;" but he did not state whether these were
distinct subgentes. The [T]e-he-sabě it`ajĭ, Those who touch not black
horns (of buffaloes), appear to be the same as the [T]e-¢eze ¢atajĭ, i.
e., the Wa¢ígije. The following is their camping order: In the tribal
circle, the Wa¢ígije camp next to the Hañga gens, of which the Wacabe
people are the neighbors of the Wa¢igije, having almost the same taboo.
The other Iñke-sabě people camp next to the Weji^ncte gens. But in the
gentile "council-fire" a different order is observed; the first becomes
last, the Wa¢igije having their seats on the left of the fire and the
door, and the others on the right.

[Illustration: FIG. 16.--The Iñke-sabě Gentile Assembly.A.--The
Wa¢igije, or Waqúbe gáxe aká, under Duba-ma^n¢i^n. B.--The Wata^nzi-jide
¢atajĭ; the Ieki¢ě, and the Naq¢e-it`abajĭ. These were under Gahige.]

The Wa¢igije cannot eat buffalo tongues, and they are not allowed to
touch a buffalo head. (See §§ 37, 49, and 59.) The name of their subgens
is that of the hooped rope, with which the game of "[P]a¢i^n-jahe" is
played. Gahige told the following, which is doubted by La Flèche and Two
Crows: "One day, when the principal man of the Wa¢igije was fasting and
praying to the sun-god, he saw the ghost of a buffalo, visible from the
flank up, arising out of a spring. Since then the members of his subgens
have abstained from buffalo tongues and heads."

Gahige's subgens, the Wata^nzi-jide ¢atajĭ, do not eat red corn. They
were the first to find the red corn, but they were afraid of it, and
would not eat it. Should they eat it now, they would have running sores
all around their mouths. Another tradition is that the first man of this
subgens emerged from the water with an ear of red corn in his hand.

The Ieki¢ě are, or were, the Criers, who went around the tribal circle
proclaiming the decisions of the chiefs, etc.

Prior to 1878, Wacuce, Gahige's brother, was the keeper of the two
sacred pipes. At his death, in that year, his young son succeeded him as
keeper; but, as he was very young, he went to the house of his father's
brother, Gahige, who subsequently kept the pipes himself.

§ 32. Gahige said that his subgens had a series of Eagle birth-names, as
well as the Buffalo birth-names common to the whole gens. This was owing
to the possession of the sacred pipes. While these names may have
denoted the order of birth some time ago, they are now bestowed without
regard to that, according to La Flèche and Two Crows.

_Buffalo birth-names._--The first son was called "He who stirs up or
muddies the water by jumping in it," referring to a buffalo that lies
down in the water or paws in the shallow water, making it spread out in
circles. The second son was "Buffaloes swimming in large numbers across
a stream." The third was [S]i-ʞa^n-qega, referring to a buffalo calf,
the hair on whose legs changes from a black to a withered or dead hue
in February. The fourth was "Knobby Horns (of a young buffalo bull)".
The fifth was "He (_i. e._, a buffalo bull) walks well, without fear
of falling." The sixth was "He (a buffalo bull) walks slowly (because
he is getting old)." The seventh was called Gaqaʇa-naji^n, explained
by the clause, "ʇenúga-wi^náqtci, júg¢e ¢iñgé, a single buffalo bull,
without a companion." It means a very old bull, who stands off at one
side apart from the herd.

_The Eagle birth-names_ (see § 64), given by Gahige, are as follows:
Qi¢á-i^n[4] (meaning unknown to La Flèche and Two Crows; word doubted by
them). Eagle Neck. Waji^n-hañga, He who leads in disposition.
Ki^nka-ʇañga, the first bird heard in the spring when the grass comes up
(the marbled godwit?). Blue Neck (denied by La Flèche and Two Crows).
Rabbit (La Flèche and Two Crows said that this name belonged to the
Hañga gens). Ash tree (doubted by La Flèche and Two Crows). A birth-name
of this series could be used instead of the corresponding one of the
gentile series, _e. g._, Gahige could have named his son, Uka^nadig¢a^n,
either Siʞa^n-qega or Waji^n-hañga. There were similar series of
birth-names for girls, but they have been forgotten.

§ 33. _Principal_ Iñke-sabě _names_.--I. _Men._--(Buffalo that) Walks
Last in the herd. (Buffalo) Runs Among (the people when chased by the
hunters). Four (buffaloes) Walking. Black Tongue (of a buffalo). The
Chief. Real Chief. Young Chief. Walking Hawk. Without any one to teach
him (_i. e._, He knows things of his own accord). (Buffalo) Makes his
own manure miry by treading in it. Horns alone visible (there being no
hair on the young buffalo bull's head). Little (buffalo) with
Yellowish-red hair. He who practices conjuring. Thick Shoulder (of a
buffalo). (Buffalo) Comes suddenly (over the hill) meeting the hunters
face to face. Swift Rabbit. Rabbit (also in Hañga gens). He who talks
like a chief; referring to the sacred pipes. Big Breast (of a buffalo).
Seven (some say it refers to the seven sacred pipes). (He who) Walks
Before (the other keepers of the sacred pipes). Badger. Four legs of an
animal, when cut off. Bent Tail. Double or Cloven Hoofs (of a buffalo).
Yonder Stands (a buffalo that) Has come back to you. Buffalo runs till
he gets out of range of the wind. Little Horn (of a buffalo). Two (young
men) Running (with the sacred pipes during the Hede-watci). Skittish
Buffalo Calf. Foremost White Buffalo in the distance. Looking around.
(Buffalo?) Walks Around it. (Buffalo) Scattering in different
directions. Big Boiler (a generous man, who put two kettles on the
fire). (Buffalo) Sits apart from the rest. He who makes one Stagger by
pushing against him. He who speaks saucily. Difficult Disposition or
Temper (of a growing buffalo calf). The Shooter. He who fears no seen
danger. Young Turkey.

II. _Women._--Sacred Third-daughter. She by Whom they were made Human
beings (see Osage tradition of the Female Red Bird). Moon in Motion
during the Day. Moon that Is traveling. Moon Has come back Visible.
Foremost or Ancestral Moon (first quarter?). Visible Moon. White Ponka
(female) in the distance. Precious Female. Visible one that has
Returned, and is in a Horizontal attitude. Precious Buffalo
Human-female. Buffalo Woman.

[4] Probably Qi¢a-hi^n, as the Osages have Qü¢a-hi^n, Eagle Feathers.


§ 34. Hañga seems to mean, "foremost," or "ancestral." Among the Omahas
this gens is a buffalo gens; but among the Kansas and Osages it refers
to other gentes. In the Omaha tribal circle, the Hañga people camp next
to the Iñkě-sabe. Their two chiefs are Two Crows and Icta-basude,
elected in 1880. The latter was elected as the successor of his father,
"Yellow Smoke," or "Two Grizzly Bears."

_Mythical origin of the gens._--According to Yellow Smoke, the first
Hañga people were buffaloes and dwelt beneath the water. When they were
there they used to move along with their heads bowed and their eyes
closed. By and by they opened their eyes in the water; hence their first
birth-name, Niadi-icta-ugab¢a. Emerging from the water, they lifted
their heads and saw the blue sky for the first time. So they assumed the
name of [K]e¢a-gaxe, or "Clear sky makers." (La Flèche, in 1879, doubted
whether this was a genuine tradition of the gens; and he said that the
name Niadi-icta-ugab¢a was not found in the Hañga gens; it was probably
intended for Niadi-ctagabi. This referred to a buffalo that had fallen
into mud and water, which had spoiled its flesh for food, so that men
could use nothing but the hide. Two Crows said that Niadi-ctagabi was an
ancient name.)

§ 35. _Ceremony at the death of a member of the gens._--In former days,
when any member of the gens was near death he was wrapped in a buffalo
robe, with the hair out, and his face was painted with the
"hañga-ʞi`a^nze." Then the dying person was thus addressed by one of
his gens: "You came hither from the animals. And you are going back
thither. Do not face this way again. When you go, continue walking."
(See § 29.)

§ 36. _The sacred tents._--There are two sacred tents belonging to this
gens. When the tribal circle is formed these are pitched within it,
about 50 yards from the tents of the gens. Hence the proper name,
U¢uci-naji^n. A straight line drawn from one to the other would bisect
the road of the tribe at right angles.

The sacred tents are always together. They pertain to the buffalo hunt,
and are also "wéwaspe," having a share in the regulative system of the
tribe, as they contain two objects which have been regarded as "Wakañda
éga^n," partaking of the nature of deities.

These objects are the sacred pole or "waq¢éxe," and the "ʇe-sa^n´-ha."
The decoration of the outside of each sacred tent is as follows: A
cornstalk on each side of the entrance and one on the back of the tent,
opposite the entrance. (Compare the ear of corn in the calumet dance.
See §§ 123 and 163.)

_Tradition of the sacred pole._--The "waq¢exe," "ja^n´ waqúbe," or
sacred pole, is very old, having been cut more than two hundred years
ago, before the separation of the Omahas, Ponkas, and Iowas. The Ponkas
still claim a share in it, and have a tradition about it, which is
denied by La Flèche and Two Crows. The Ponkas say that the tree from
which the pole was cut was first found by a Ponka of the Hisada gens,
and that in the race which ensued a Ponka of the Maka^n gens was the
first to reach the tree. The Omahas tell the following:

    At the first there were no chiefs in the gentes, and the people did
    not prosper. So a council was held, and they asked one another,
    "What shall we do to improve our condition?" Then the young men were
    sent out. They found many cotton-wood trees beside a lake, but one
    of these was better than the rest. They returned and reported the
    tree, speaking of it as if it was a person. All rushed to the
    attack. They struck it and felled it as if it had been a foe. They
    then put hair on its head, making a person of it. Then were the
    sacred tents made, the first chiefs were selected, and the sacred
    pipes were distributed.

The sacred pole was originally longer than it is now, but the lower part
having worn out, a piece of ash-wood, about 18 inches long, has been
fastened to the cotton-wood with a soft piece of cord made of a buffalo
hide. The ash-wood forms the bottom of the pole, and is the part which
is stuck in the ground at certain times. The cotton-wood is about 8 feet

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--The sacred pole.

A.--The place where the two pieces of wood are joined.

B.--The aqande-pa or hi^n-qpe-i¢iba^n, made of the down of the mi^nxa (a
swan. See the Ma^n¢iñka gaxe gens.)

C.--The scalp, fastened to the top, whence the proper name, Nik'umi^nje,
Indian-man's (scalp) couch.]

Two Crows said that the pole rested on the scalp when it was in the
lodge. The proper name, Mi^n-wasa^n, referring to the mi^nxasa^n or
swan, and also to the aqande-pa (B). The proper name, "Yellow Smoke"
(rather), "Smoked Yellow," or Cude-nazi, also refers to the pole, which
has become yellow from smoke. Though a scalp is fastened to the top, the
pole has nothing to do with war. But when the Omahas encounter enemies,
any brave man who gets a scalp may decide to present it to the sacred
pole. The middle of the pole has swan's down wrapped around it, and the
swan's down is covered with cotton-wood bark, over which is a piece of
ʇéha (buffalo hide) about 18 inches square. All the ʇeha and cord is
made of the hide of a hermaphrodite buffalo. This pole used to be
greased every year when they were about to return home from the summer
hunt. The people were afraid to neglect this ceremony lest there should
be a deep snow when they traveled on the next hunt.

When Joseph La Flèche lost his leg, the old men told the people that
this was a punishment which he suffered because he had opposed the
greasing of the sacred pole. As the Omahas have not been on the hunt for
about seven years, the sacred tents are kept near the house of
Waka^n-ma^n₵i^n. (See § 295.)

The other sacred tent, which is kept at present by Waka^n-ma^n₵i^n,
contains the sacred "ʇe-sa^n´-ha," the skin of a white buffalo cow,
wrapped in a buffalo hide that is without hair.

Joseph La Flèche had two horses that ran away and knocked over the
sacred tents of the Hañga gens. The two old men caught them and rubbed
them all over with wild sage, saying to Frank La Flèche, "If you let
them do that again the buffaloes shall gore them."

§ 37. _Subgentes_ and Taboos.--There are two great divisions of the
gens, answering to the number of the sacred tents: The Keepers of the
Sacred Pole and The Keepers of the [T]e-sa^n-ha. Some said that there
were originally four subgentes, but two have become altogether or nearly
extinct, and the few survivors have joined the larger subgentes.

There are several names for each subgens. The first which is sometimes
spoken of as being "Ja^n´ha-aʇá¢ica^n," pertaining to the sacred
cotton-wood bark, is the "Waq¢éxe a¢i^n´" or the "Ja^n´ waqúbe a¢i^n´,"
Keepers of the Sacred Pole. When its members are described by their
taboos, they are called the "[T]á waqúbe ¢atájĭ," those who do not eat
the "ʇa" or buffalo sides; and "Mi^nxa-sa^n ¢atájĭ" and "[P]éta^n
¢atájĭ," those who do not eat geese, swans, and cranes. These can eat
the buffalo tongues. The second subgens, which is often referred to as
being "[T]e-sa^n´-ha-ʇá¢ica^n," pertaining to the sacred skin of the
white buffalo cow, consists of the Wacábe or Hañ´gaqti, the Real Hañga
people. When reference is made to their taboo, they are called the
"[T]e¢éze ¢atájĭ," as they cannot eat buffalo tongues; but they are at
liberty to eat the "ʇa," which the other Hañga cannot eat. In the tribal
circle the Wacabe people camp next to the Iñke-sabě gens; and the
Waq¢éxe a¢i^n have the Quʞa of the ₵atada] gens next to them, as he is
their servant and is counted as one of their kindred. But, in the
gentile circle, the Waq¢éxe a¢i^n occupy the left side of the
"council-fire," and the Wacabe sit on the opposite side.

§ 38. _Style of wearing the hair._--The Hañga style of wearing the hair
is called "ʇe-nañ´ka-báxe," referring originally to the back of a
buffalo. It is a crest of hair, about 2 inches long, standing erect, and
extending from one ear to the other. The ends of the hair are a little
below the ears.

§ 39. _Birth-names of boys_, according to [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ. The first
is Niadi ctagabi; the second, Ja^n-gáp'uje, referring to the Sacred
Pole. It may be equivalent to the Dakota Tca^n-kap'oja (Ćaŋ-kapoźa),
meaning that it must be carried by one unencumbered with much baggage.
The third is named Ma^n pějĭ, Bad Arrow, _i. e._, Sacred Arrow, because
the arrow has grown black from age! (Two Crows gave this explanation. It
is probable that the arrow is kept in or with the "ʇe-sa^n-ha.")

The fourth is Fat covering the outside of a buffalo's stomach. The fifth
is Buffalo bull. The sixth, Dangerous buffalo bull; and the seventh is
Buffalo bull rolls again in the place where he rolled formerly.

§ 40. _Principal_ Hañga _names._ I. _Men._--(Buffalo) Makes a Dust by
rolling. Smoked Yellow ("Yellow Smoke"). (Buffalo) WalksinaCrowd. He who
makes no impression by Striking. Real Hañga. Short Horns (of a buffalo
about two years old). (Buffalo calf) Sheds its hair next to the eyes.
Two Crows. Flying Crow. He who gives back blow for blow, or, He who gets
the better of a foe. Grizzly bear makes the sound "ʇide" by walking.
Grizzly bear's Head. Standing Swan. He (a buffalo?) who is Standing.
(Buffalo?) That does not run. (Buffalo) That runs by the Shore of a
Lake. Seven (buffalo bulls) In the Water. Pursuer of the attacking foe.
Scalp Couch. Pointed Rump (of a buffalo?). Artichoke. Buffalo Walks at
Night. A Buffalo Bellows. Odor of Buffalo Dung. Buffalo Bellows in the
distance. (Sacred tent) Stands in the Middle (of the circle). Seeks Fat
meat. Walking Sacred one. Corn. He who Attacks.

II. _Women._--Iron-eyed Female. Moon that is Traveling. White
Human-female Buffalo in the distance.


§ 41. This gen occupies the fourth place in the tribal circle, being
between the Hañga and the [K]a^nze. But, unlike the other gentes, its
subgentes have separate camping areas. Were it not for the marriage law,
we should say that the ₵atada was a phratry, and its subgentes were
gentes. The present leaders of the gens are [P]edegahi of the
Wajiñga-¢atajĭ and Cyu-jiñga of the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ. When on the hunt the
four subgentes pitch their tents in the following order in the tribal
circle: 1. Wasabe-hit`ajĭ; 2. Wajiñga ¢atajĭ; 3. [T]e-da-it`ajĭ; 4.
[K]e-`i^n. The Wasabe-hit`ajĭ are related to the Hañga on the one hand
and to the Wajiñga-¢atajĭ on the other. The latter in turn, are related
to the [T]e-da-itajĭ; these are related to the [K]e-`i^n; and the
[K]e-`i^n and [K]a^nze are related.


§ 42. The name of this subgens is derived from three words: wasabe, _a
black bear_; ha, _a skin_; and it`ajĭ, _not to touch_; meaning "Those
who do not touch the skin of a black bear." The writer was told in
1879, that the uju, or principal man of this subgens, was Icta-duba, but
La Flèche and Two Crows, in 1882, asserted that they never heard of an
"uju" of a gens.

[Illustration: TENT OF AGAHA-WACUCE.]

_Taboo._--The members of this subgens are prohibited from touching the
hide of a black bear and from eating its flesh.

_Mythical origin._--They say that their ancestors were made under the
ground and that they afterwards came to the surface.

§ 43. Plate II is a sketch of a tent which belonged to Agaha-wacuce, the
father of [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ. Hupe¢a's father, Hupe¢a II, owned it before
Agaha-wacuce obtained it. The circle at the top representing a bear's
cave, is sometimes painted blue. Below the zigzag lines (representing
the different kinds of thunders?) are the prints of bear's paws. This
painting was not a nikie but the personal "qube" or sacred thing of the
owner. The lower part of the tent was blackened with ashes or charcoal.

§ 44. _Style of wearing the hair._--Four short locks are left on the
head, as in the following diagram. They are about 2 inches long.

[Illustration: FIG. 18.--Wasabe-hit`ajĭ style of wearing the hair.]

_Birth-names of boys._--[P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ gave the following: The first
son is called Young Black bear. The second, Black bear. The third, Four
Eyes, including the true eyes and the two spots like eyes that are above
the eyes of a black bear. The fourth, Gray Foot. The fifth, Cries like a
Raccoon. (La Flèche said that this is a Ponka name, but the Omahas now
have it.) The sixth, Nídaha^n, Progressing toward maturity (_sic_). The
seventh, He turns round and round suddenly (said of both kinds of

§ 45. _Sections of the subgens._--The Wasabe-hit`ajĭ people are divided
into sections. [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ and others told the writer that they
consisted of four divisions: Black bear, Raccoon, Grizzly bear, and
Porcupine people. The Black bear and Raccoon people are called brothers.
And when a man kills a black bear he says, "I have killed a raccoon."
The young black bear is said to cry like a raccoon, hence the birth-name
Miʞa-xage. The writer is inclined to think that there is some
foundation for these statements, though La Flèche and Two Crows seemed
to doubt them. They gave but two divisions of the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ; and it
may be that these two are the only ones now in existence, while there
were four in ancient times. The two sections which are not doubted are
the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ proper, and the Quʞa, _i. e._, the Raccoon people.

When they meet as a subgens, they sit thus in their circle: The
Wasabe-hit`ajĭ people sit on the right of the entrance, and the Quʞa
have their places on the left. But in the tribal circle the Quʞa
people camp next to the Hañga Keepers of the Sacred Pole, as the former
are the servants of the Hañga. The leader of the Quʞa or Singers was
himself the only one who acted as quʞa, when called on to serve the
Hañga. [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ's half-brother, Hupe¢a, commonly styled
[T]e-da-u¢iqaga, used to be the leader. Since the Omahas have abandoned
the hunt, to which this office pertained, no one has acted as quʞa;
but if it were still in existence, the three brothers, Dangerous,
Gihajĭ, and Ma^n-¢i`u-ke, are the only ones from whom the quʞa could
be chosen.

Quʞa men.--Dried Buffalo Skull. Dangerous. Gihajĭ. Black bear. Paws
the Ground as he Reclines. Young (black bear) Runs. Mandan. Hupe¢a.
Laugher. Maqpiya-qaga. [T]añga-gaxe. Crow's Head. Gray Foot. J. La
Flèche said that Hupe¢a, Laugher, Maqpiya-qaga, and [T]añga-gaxe were
servants of the Elk gens; but [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ, their fellow-gentile,
places them among the Quʞa. (See § 143.)

In the tribal circle the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ proper camp next to the
Wajiñga-¢atajĭ. These Wasabe-hit`ajĭ are the servants of the Elk people,
whom they assist in the worship of the thunder-god. When this ceremony
takes place there are a few of the Quʞa people who accompany the
Wasabe-hit`ajĭ and act as servants. These are probably the four men
referred to above. Though all of the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ proper are reckoned
as servants of the Weji^ncte, only two of them, [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ and
Sida-ma^n¢i^n, take a prominent part in the ceremonies described in §§
23, 24. Should these men die or refuse to act, other members of their
Section must take their places.

Wasabe-hit`ajĭ men.--He who fears not the sight of a Pawnee. White Earth
River. Four Eyes (of a black bear). Without Gall. Progressing toward
maturity. Visible (object?). Gaxekati¢a.

Quʞa and Wasabe-hit`ajĭ women.--Da^nabi. Da^nama. Land Female.
Mi^nhupeg¢e. Mi^n-ʇa^ni^nge. She who is Coming back in sight. Weta^nne.
Wete wi^n.


§ 46. This name means, "They who do not eat (small) birds." They can eat
wild turkeys, all birds of the mi^nxa or goose genus, including ducks
and cranes. When sick, they are allowed to eat prairie chickens. When
members of this subgens go on the warpath, the only sacred things which
they have are the g¢eda^n (hawk) and nickucku (martin). (See § 196.)

_Style of wearing the hair._--They leave a little hair in front, over
the forehead, for a bill, and some at the back of the head, for the
bird's tail, with much over each ear, for the wings. La Flèche and Two
Crows do not deny this; but they know nothing about it.

_Curious custom during harvest._--These Wajiñga-¢atajĭ call themselves
"The Blackbird people." In harvest time, when the birds used to eat the
corn, the men of this subgens proceeded thus: They took some corn, which
they chewed and spit around over the field. They thought that such a
procedure would deter the birds from making further inroads upon the

Wacka^n-ma^n¢i^n of this subgens keeps one of the great wa¢ixabe, or
sacred bags, used when a warrior's word is doubted. (See § 196.)

§ 47. _Sections and subsections of the subgens._--Waniʇa-waqě of the
[T]a-da gens told me that the following were the divisions of the
Wajiñga-¢atajĭ; but La Flèche and Two Crows deny it. It may be that
these minor divisions no longer exist, or that they were not known to
the two men.

    I.--Hawk people, under Standing Hawk.

    II.--Mañg¢iqta, or Blackbird people, under Waji^na-gahige.
    Subsections: (_a_) White heads. (_b_) Red heads. (_c_) Yellow heads.
    (_d_) Red wings.

    III.--Mañg¢iqta-qude, Gray Blackbird (the common starling), or
    Thunder people, under Wa¢idaxe. Subsections: (_a_) Gray Blackbirds.
    (_b_) Meadow larks. (_c_) Prairie-chickens; and, judging from the
    analogy of the Ponka Hisada, (_d_) Martins.

    IV.--Three subsections of the Owl and Magpie people are (_a_) Great
    Owls. (_b_) Small Owls. (_c_) Magpies.

§ 48. _Birth-names of boys._--The first son was called, Mañg¢iqta,
Blackbird. The second, Red feathers on the base of the wings. The third,
White-eyed Blackbird. The fourth, Dried Wing. The fifth, Hawk (denied by
La Flèche). The sixth, Gray Hawk. The seventh, White Wings. This last is
a Ponka name, according to La Flèche and Two Crows.

Wajiñga-¢atajĭ _men_.--Red Wings. Chief who Watches over (any thing).
Becomes Suddenly Motionless. Poor man. Standing Hawk. He from whom they
flee. Rustling Horns. Scabby Horns. The one Moving towards the Dew (?).
White or Jack Rabbit. Gray Blackbird. White Blackbird. Four Hands (or
Paws). Ni-¢actage. Yellow Head (of a blackbird). Fire Chief. Coyote's
Foot. Buffalo bull Talks like a chief. Bad temper of a Buffalo bull.
White Buffalo in the distance. Hominy (a name of ridicule). He who
continues Trying (commonly translated, "Hard Walker"). He who makes the
crackling sound "Gh+!" in thundering. Bird Chief.

Wajiñga-¢atajĭ _women_.--(Female eagle) Is Moving On high. Moon in
motion during the Day. Turning Moon Female. Mi^ndaca^n-¢i^n. Mi^ntena.
Visible one that Has returned, and is in a Horizontal attitude.


§ 49. These are the Eagle people, and they are not allowed to touch a
buffalo head. (See Iñke-sabě gens, §§ 30, 32.) The writer was told that
their uju or head man in 1879 was Mañge-zi.

He who is the head of the Niniba t`a^n, Keepers of a (Sacred) Pipe, has
duties to perform whenever the chiefs assemble in council. (See Sacred
Pipes, § 18.)

The decoration of the tents in this subgens resemble those of the

§ 50. _Birth names of boys._--The first was called Dried Eagle.
[P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ said that this really meant "Dried buffalo skull;" but
La Flèche and Two Crows denied this, giving another meaning, "Dried
Eagle skin." The second was Pipe. The third, Eaglet. The fourth, Real
Bald Eagle. The sixth, Standing Bald Eagle. The seventh, He (an eagle)
makes the ground Shake suddenly by Alighting on it.

§ 51. _Sections of the Subgens._--Lion gave the following, which were
doubted by La Flèche and Two Crows. I. _Keepers of the Pipe_, or
_Workers_, under Eaglet. II. _Under The-Only_-Hañga are Pidaiga,
Wadjepa, and Ma^nze-guhe. III. _Under Real Eagle_ are his son, Eagle
makes a Crackling sound by alighting on a limb of a tree, Wasaapa,
Gakie-ma^n¢i^n, and Tcaza-¢iñge. IV. To the _Bald Eagle section_ belong
Yellow Breast and Small Hill. The Omahas reckon three kinds of eagles,
the white eagle, the young white eagle, and the spotted eagle. To these
they add the bald eagle, which they say is not a real eagle. These
probably correspond with the sections of the [T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ.


§ 52. This subgens camps between the [T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ and the [K]a^nze,
in the tribal circle. Its head man in 1879 was said to be
[T]enuga-ja^n-¢iñke. [K]e`i^n means "to carry a turtle on one's back."
The members of this subgens are allowed to touch or carry a turtle, but
they cannot eat one.

_Style of wearing the hair._--They cut off all the hair from a boy's
head, except six locks; two are left on each side, one over the
forehead, and one hanging down the back, in imitation of the legs, head,
and tail of a turtle. La Flèche and Two Crows did not know about this,
but they said that it might be true.

_Decoration of the tents._--The figures of turtles were painted on the
outside of the tents. (See the Iñke-sabě decorations, §§ 30-32.)

_Curious custom during a fog._--In the time of a fog the men of this
subgens drew the figure of a turtle on the ground with its face to the
south. On the head, tail, middle of the back, and on each leg were
placed small pieces of a (red) breech-cloth with some tobacco. This they
imagined would make the fog disappear very soon.

§ 53. _Birth names of boys._--The first son was called He who Passed by
here on his way back to the Water; the second, He who runs very swiftly
to get back to the Water; the third, He who floats down the stream; the
fourth, Red Breast; the fifth, Big Turtle; the sixth, Young one who
carries a turtle on his back; the seventh, Turtle that kicks out his
legs and paws the ground when a person takes hold of him.

_Sections of the subgens._--Lion gave the following as sections of the
[K]e-`i^n, though the statement was denied by La Flèche and Two Crows.
"The first section is Big Turtle, under [P]ahe-ʇa[p]`ě, in 1878. The
second is Turtle that does not flee, under Cage-skă or Nistu-ma^n¢i^n.
The third is Red-breasted Turtle, under [T]enuga-ja^n-¢iñke. The fourth
is Spotted Turtle with Red Eyes, under Ehna^n-juwag¢e."

_Turtle men._--Heat makes (a turtle) Emerge from the mud. (Turtle) Walks
Backward. He Walks (or continues) Seeking something. Ancestral Turtle.
Turtle that Flees not. (Turtle that) Has gone into the Lodge (or Shell).
He alone is with them. He Continues to Tread on them. Turtle Maker.
Spotted Turtle with Red Eyes. Young Turtle-carrier. Buzzard. He who
Starts up a Turtle.

One of the women is Egg Female.


§ 54. The place of the [K]a^nze or Kansas gens is between the [K]e-`i^n
and the Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe in the tribal circle. The head man of the gens
who was recognized as such in 1879 was Za^nzi-mande.

_Taboo._--The [K]a^nze people cannot touch verdigris, which they call
"wase-ʇu," green clay, or "wase-ʇu-qude," gray-green clay.

Being Wind people, they flap their blankets to start a breeze which will
drive off the musquitoes.

_Subgentes._--La Flèche and Two Crows recognize but two of these:
Keepers of a Pipe and Wind People. They assign to the former
Maja^nha¢i^n, Maja^n-kide, &c., and to the latter Waji^n-¢icage,
Za^nzi-mandě, and their near kindred. But Lion said that there were four
subgentes, and that Maja^nha¢i^n was the head man of the first, or
Niniba t`a^n, which has another name, Those who Make the Sacred tent. He
gave Waji^n-¢icage as the head man of the Wind people, Za^nzi-mandě as
the head of the third subgens, and Maja^n-kide of the fourth; but he
could not give the exact order in which they sat in their gentile

A member of the gens told the writer that Four Peaks, whom Lion assigned
to Za^nzi-mandě's subgens, was the owner of the sacred tent; but he did
not say to what sacred tent he referred.

Some say that Maja^nha¢i^n was the keeper of the sacred pipe of his gens
till his death in 1879. Others, including Frank La Flèche, say that Four
Peaks was then, and still is, the keeper of the pipe.

According to La Flèche and Two Crows, a member of this gens was chosen
as crier when the brave young men were ordered to take part in the sham
fight. (See § 152.) "This was Maja^nha-¢i^n" (_Frank La Flèche_).

§ 55. _Names of Kansas men._--Thick Hoofs. Something Wanting. Not worn
from long use. He only is great in his own estimation. Boy who talks
like a chief. Young one that Flies [?]. He Lay down On the way. Young
Beaver. Two Thighs. Brave Boy. Kansas Chief. Young Kansas. Making a
Hollow sound. Gray Cottonwood. The one Moving toward the Land. He who
shot at the Land. Young Grizzly bear. White Grizzly bear near at hand.
He started suddenly to his feet. Heartless. Chief. Four Peaks. Hair on
the legs (of a buffalo calf takes) a withered appearance. Swift Wind.
Wind pulls to pieces. He Walks In the Wind. Buffalo that has become Lean
again. Lies at the end. Young animal Feeding with the herd. He who makes
an object Fall to pieces by Punching it. Blood. He who makes them weep.
Bow-wood Bow.

_Names of Kansas women._--Kansas Female. Moon that Is traveling.
Ancestral or Foremost Moon. Moon Moving On high. Last [?] Wind. Wind
Female. Coming back Gray.


§ 56. This gens, which is the first of the Ictasanda gentes, camps next
to the [K]a^nze, but on the opposite side of the road.

The chief of the gens is Cañge-skă, or White Horse, a grandson of the
celebrated Black Bird.

The name Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe means "the earth-lodge makers," but the members
of this gens call themselves the Wolf (and Prairie Wolf) People.

_Tradition._--The principal nikie of the Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe are the coyote,
the wolf, and the sacred stones. La Flèche and Two Crows say that these
are all together. Some say that there are two sacred stones, one of
which is red, the other black; others say that both stones have been
reddened. (See § 16.) La Flèche and Two Crows have heard that there were
four of these stones; one being black, one red, one yellow, and one
blue. (See the colors of the lightning on the tent of Agaha-wacuce, §
43.) One tradition is that the stones were made by the Coyote in ancient
days to be used for conjuring enemies. The Osage tradition mentions four
stones of different colors, white, black, red, and blue.

_Style of wearing the hair._--Boys have two locks of hair left on their
heads, one over the forehead and another at the parting of the hair on
the crown. Female children have four locks left, one at the front, one
at the back, and one over each ear. La Flèche and Two Crows do not know
this, but they say that it may be true.

§ 57. _Subgentes._--La Flèche and Two Crows gave but two of these:
Keepers of the Pipe and Sacred Persons. This is evidently the
classification for marriage purposes, referred to in § 78; and the
writer is confident that La Flèche and Two Crows always mean this when
they speak of the divisions of each gens. This should be borne in mind,
as it will be helpful in solving certain seeming contradictions. That
these two are not the only divisions of the gens will appear from the
statements of Lion and Cañge-skă, the latter being the chief of the
gens. Cañge-skă said that there were three subgentes, as follows: 1.
Qube (including the Wolf people?). 2. Niniba t`a^n. 3. Mi^n´xa-sa^n
wet`ájĭ. Lion gave the following: 1. Mi´ʞasi (Coyote and Wolf people).
2. I^n´`ě waqúbe, Keepers of the Sacred Stones. 3. Niníba t`a^n. 4.
Mi^n´xa-sa^n wet`ájĭ. According to Cañge-skă, Qube was the name given to
his part of the gens after the death of Black Bird; therefore it is a
modern name, not a hundred years old. But I^n´`ě-waqúbe points to the
mythical origin of the gens; hence the writer is inclined to accept the
fourfold division as the ancient one. The present head of the Coyote
people is [T]aqie-tig¢e, whose predecessor was Hu-¢agebe. Cañge-skă, of
the second subgens, is the successor of his father, who bore the same
name. Uckadajĭ is the rightful keeper of the Sacred Pipe, but as he is
very old Ca^nta^n-jiñga has superseded him, according to
[P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ. Mi^nxa-skă was the head of the Mi^nxa-sa^n wet`ajĭ,
but Mañga`ajĭ has succeeded him. The name of this last subgens means
"Those who do not touch swans," but this is only a name, not a taboo,
according to some of the Omahas.

Among the Kansas Indians, the Ma^nyiñka-gaxe people used to include the
Elk gens, and part of the latter is called, Mi^n´xa únikaci^nga, Swan
people. As these were originally a subgens of the Kansas Ma^nyiñka-gaxe,
it furnishes another reason for accepting the statement of Lion about
the Omaha Mi^nxa-sa^n-wet`ajĭ.

§ 58. _Birth-names of boys._--[P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ gave the following, but
he did not know their exact order: He who Continues to Travel (denied by
the La Flèche and Two Crows). Little Tail (of a coyote). Sudden
Crunching sound (made by a coyote or wolf when gnawing bones). (Coyote)
Wheels around suddenly. (Coyote) Stands erect very suddenly. Surly Wolf.

_Names of men._ I. _Wolf subgens._--Sudden crunching sound. Wacicka.
Continues Running. Wheels around suddenly. The Standing one who is
Traveling. (Wolf) Makes a sudden Crackling sound (by alighting on twigs
or branches). Ghost of a Grizzly bear. Stands erect Very suddenly.
Little Tail. Young Traveler. He who Continues to Travel, or Standing
Traveler. Standing Elk. Young animal Feeding or grazing with a herd. II.
I^n`ě-waqube _subgens_.--White Horse. Ancestral Kansas. Thunder-god.
Village-maker. Brave Second-son. Black Bird (_not_ Blackbird). Big Black
bear. White Swan. Night Walker. He whom they Reverence. Big Chief.
Walking Stone. Red Stone. [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ said that the last two names
were birth-names in this subgens. III. Niniba-t`a^n _subgens_.--He who
Rushes into battle. Young Wolf. Saucy Chief. IV. _Swan subgens._--He
whom an Arrow Fails to wound. Willing to be employed. A member of this
gens, Tailless Grizzly bear, has been with the Ponkas for many years.
His name is not an Omaha name.

_Names of women._--Hawk-Female. New Hawk-Female. Miacte-cta^n, or
Miate-cta^n. Mi^n-miʇega. Visible Moon. (Wolf) Stands erect. White Ponka
in the distance. Ponka Female. She who is Ever Coming back Visible.
Eagle Circling around. Wate wi^n.


§ 59. The [T]e-sĭnde, or Buffalo-tail gens, camps between the
Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe and the [T]a-[p]a gentes in the tribal circle. Its
present chief is Waha^n-¢iñge, son of Takunaki¢abi.

_Taboos._--The members of this gens cannot eat a calf while it is red,
but they can do so when it becomes black. This applies to the calf of
the domestic cow, as well as to that of the buffalo. They cannot touch a
buffalo head.--_Frank La Flèche._ (See §§ 31, 37, and 49.) They cannot
eat the meat on the lowest rib, ʇe¢iʇ-ucag¢e, because the head of the
calf before birth touches the mother near that rib.

[Illustration: FIG. 19.--[T]e-sĭnde style of wearing the hair.]

_Style of wearing the hair._--It is called "[T]áihi^n-múxa-gáxai," _Mane
made muxa_, _i. e._, to stand up and hang over a little on each side. La
Flèche and Two Crows do not know this style.

§ 60. _Birth-names of boys._--[P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ was uncertain about
them. He thought that six of them were as follows: Gray Horns (of a
buffalo). Uma-abi, refers to cutting up a buffalo. (A buffalo that is
almost grown) Raises his Tail in the air. Dark Eyes (A buffalo calf when
it sheds its reddish-yellow hair, has a coat of black, which commences
at the eyes). (Buffalo Calf) Unable to Run. Little one (buffalo calf)
with reddish-yellow hair.

§ 61. _Subgentes._--For marriage purposes, the gens is undivided,
according to La Flèche and Two Crows; but they admitted that there were
at present two parts of the gens, one of which was The Keepers of the
Pipe. Lion said that he knew of but two subgentes, which were The
Keepers of the Pipe, or, Those who do not Eat the Lowest buffalo rib,
under Wild sage; and Those who Touch no Calves, or, Keepers of the Sweet
Medicine, under Orphan. J. La Flèche said that all of the [T]e-sĭnde had
the sweet medicine, and that none were allowed to eat calves.

§ 62. _Names of men._--Wild Sage. Stands in a High and marshy place.
Smoke Coming back Regularly. Big ax. (Buffalo) Bristling with Arrows.
Ancestral Feather. Orphan, or, (Buffalo bull) Raises a Dust by Pawing
the Ground. Unable to run. (Body of a buffalo) Divided with a knife.
Playful (?) or Skittish Buffalo. Little one with reddish-yellow hair.
Dark Eyes. Lies Bottom-upwards. Stands on a Level. Young Buffalo bull.
Raises his Tail in the air. Lover. Crow Necklace. Big Mane. Buffalo
Head. He who is to be blamed for evil.

_Names of women._--Mi^n-akanda. Sacred Moon. White Buffalo-Female in the
distance. Walks in order to Seek (for something).


§ 63. The place of this gens in the tribal circle is after that of the
[T]e-sĭnde. The chief of the gens is Sĭnde-xa^nxa^n.

_Taboo._--The members of this gens cannot touch the skin of any animal
of the deer family; they cannot use moccasins of deer-skin; nor can they
use the fat of the deer for hair-oil, as the other Omahas can do; but
they can eat the flesh of the deer.

_Subgentes._--La Flèche and Two Crows recognized three divisions of the
gens for marriage purposes, and said that the Keepers of the Sacred Pipe
were "uʞa^nha jiñga," _a little apart from the rest_. Waniʇa-waqě, who
is himself the keeper of the Sacred Pipe of this gens, gave four
subgentes. These sat in the gentile circle in the following order: On
the first or left side of the "fire-place" were the Niniba t`a^n,
_Keepers of the Pipe_, and Jiñga-gahige's subgens. On the other side
were the Thunder people and the real Deer people. The Keepers of the
Pipe and Jiñga-gahige's subgens seem to form one of the three divisions
recognized by La Flèche. Waniʇa-waqě said that his own subgens were
Eagle people, and that they had a special taboo, being forbidden to
touch verdigris (see [K]a^nze gens), charcoal, and the skin of the
wild-cat. He said that the members of the second subgens could not touch
charcoal, in addition to the general taboo of the gens. But La Flèche
and Two Crows said that none of the [T]a-[p]a could touch charcoal.

The head of the Niniba t`a^n took the name Waniʇa-waqě, The Animal that
excels others, or Lion, after a visit to the East; but his real Omaha
name is Disobedient. [P]a¢i^n-gahige is the head of the Thunder subgens,
and Sĭnde-xa^nxa^n, of the Deer subgens.

§ 64. _Birth-names for boys._--Lion said that the following were some of
the Eagle birth-names of his subgens (see Iñke-sabě birth-names, § 32):
The thunder-god makes the sound "ʇide" as he walks. Eagle who is a chief
(keeping a Sacred Pipe). Eagle that excels. White Eagle (Golden Eagle).
Akida-gahige, Chief who Watches over something (being the keeper of a
Sacred Pipe).

He gave the following as the Deer birth-names: He who Wags his Tail. The
Black Hair on the Abdomen of a Buck. Horns like phalanges. Deer Paws the
Ground, making parallel or diverging indentations. Deer in the distance
Shows its Tail White Suddenly. Little Hoof of a deer. Dark Chin of a

§ 65. _Ceremony on the fifth day after a birth._--According to Lion,
there is a peculiar ceremony observed in his gens when an infant is
named. All the members of the gens assemble on the fifth day after the
birth of a child. Those belonging to the subgens of the infant cannot
eat anything cooked for the feast, but the men of the other subgentes
are at liberty to partake of the food. The infant is placed within the
gentile circle and the privileged decoration is made on the face of the
child with "wase-jide-nika," or Indian red. Then with the tips of the
index, middle, and the next finger, are red spots made down the child's
back, at short intervals, in imitation of a fawn. The child's
breech-cloth (_sic_) is also marked in a similar way. With the tips of
three fingers are rubbed stripes as long as a hand on the arms and chest
of the infant. All the [T]a-[p]a people, even the servants, decorate
themselves. Rubbing the rest of the Indian red on the palms of their
hands, they pass their hands backwards over their hair; and they finally
make red spots on their chests, about the size of a hand. The members of
the Pipe subgens, and those persons in the other subgentes who are
related to the infant's father through the calumet dance, are the only
ones who are allowed to use the privileged decoration, and to wear
hi^nqpe (_down_) in their hair. If the infant belongs to the Pipe
subgens, charcoal, verdigris, and the skin of a wild-cat are placed
beside him, as the articles not to be touched by him in after-life. Then
he is addressed thus: "This you must not touch; this, too, you must not
touch; and this you must not touch." The verdigris symbolizes the blue

La Flèche and Two Crows said that the custom is different from the
above. When a child is named on the fifth day after birth, all of the
gentiles are not invited, the only person who is called is an old man
who belongs to the subgens of the infant.[5] He puts the spots on the
child, and gives it its name; but there is no breech-cloth.

§ 66. _Names of men._ I. _Pipe subgens._--Chief that Watches over
something. Eagle Chief. Eagle that excels, or Eagle-maker (?). Wags his
Tail. Standing Moose or Deer. (Lightning) Dazzles the Eyes, making them
Blink. Shows Iron. Horns Pulled around (?). Forked Horns. (Fawn that)
Does not Flee to a place of refuge. (Deer) Alights, making the sound
"stapi." Pawnee Tempter, a war name. White Tail. Gray Face. Like a
Buffalo Horn (?). Walks Near. Not ashamed to ask for anything. (Fawn) Is
not Shot at (by the hunter). White Breast. Goes to the Hill. Elk.

II._ Boy Chief's subgens._--Human-male Eagle (a Dakota name, J. La
Flèche). Heart Bone (of a deer; some say it refers to the thunder; J. La
Flèche says that it has been recently brought from the Kansas). Fawn
gives a sudden cry. Small Hoofs. Dark Chin. Forked Horns. (Deer) Leaps
and raises a sudden Dust by Alighting on the ground. He who Wishes to be
Sacred (or a doctor). Flees not. Forked Horns of a Fawn.

III. _Thunder subgens._--Spotted Back (of a fawn). Small Hoofs. Like a
Buffalo Horn. Wet Moccasins (that is, the feet of a deer. A female name
among the Osages, etc.). Young Male-animal. White Tail. Dazzles the
Eyes. Spoken to (by the thunder-god). Young Thunder-god. Dark Chin.
Forked Horns. Distant Sitting one with White Horns. Fawn. Paws the
Ground, making parallel or diverging indentations. Black Hair on a
buck's Abdomen. Two Buffalo bulls. Red Leaf (a Dakota name). Skittish.
Black Crow. Weasel. Young Elk. Pawnee Chief.

IV. _Deer subgens._--(Deer's) Tail shows red, now and then, in the
distance. White-horned animal Walking Near by. White Neck. Tail Shows
White Suddenly in the distance. (Deer) Stands Red. (Deer) Starts up,
beginning to move. Big Deer Walks. (Deer that) Excels others as he
stands, or, Stands ahead of others. Small Forked Horns (of a fawn). Four
Deer. Back drawn up (as of an enraged deer or buffalo), making the hair
stand erect. Four Hoofs. He who Carves an animal. Shows a Turtle. Runs
in the Trail (of the female). (Fawn) Despised (by the hunter, who
prefers to shoot the full-grown deer). Feared when not seen. White Elk.

Lion said that White Neck was the only servant in his gens at present.
When the gens assembled in its circle, the servants had to sit by the
door, as it was their place to bring in wood and water, and to wait on
the guests. La Flèche and Two Crows said that there were no servants of
this sort in any of the gentes.

Yet, among the Osages and Kansas, there are still two kinds of servants,
kettle-tenders and water-bringers. But these can be promoted to the rank
of brave men.

_Names of women in the gens._--Eᴐna-maha. Habitual-Hawk Female. Hawk
Female. Precious Hawk Female. Horn used for cutting or chopping (?). Ax
Female. Moon-Hawk Female. Moon that is Flying. Moon that Is moving On
high. Na^nzéi^nze. White Ponka in the distance. Ponka Female.

[5] This agrees substantially with the Osage custom.


§ 67. The meaning of this name has been explained in several ways. In
Dougherty's Account of the Omahas (_Long's Expedition to the Rocky
Mountains_, I, 327) we read that "This name is said to have originated
from the circumstance of this band having formerly quarreled and
separated themselves from the nation, until, being nearly starved, they
were compelled to eat the fruit of the wild cherry tree, until their
excrement became red". (They must have eaten buffalo berries, not wild
cherries. La Flèche.) A^nba-hebe did not know the exact meaning of the
name, but said that it referred to the bloody body of the buffalo seen
when the seven old men visited this gens with the sacred pipes. (See §
16). Two Crows said that the Iñg¢ejide men give the following
explanation: "[T]éjiñga ídai tědi, iñg¢é zí-jide éga^n": _i. e._, "When
a buffalo calf is born, its dung is a yellowish red."

The place of the Iñg¢e-jide in the tribal circle is next to that of the
[T]a-[p]a. Their head man is He-mu[s]nade.

_Taboo._--They do not eat a buffalo calf. (See [T]e-sĭnde gens.) It
appears that the two Ictasanda buffalo gentes are buffalo calf gentes,
and that the two Hañgacenu buffalo gentes are connected with the grown

_Decoration of skin tents._--This consists of a circle painted on each
side of the entrance, within which is sketched the body of a buffalo
calf, visible from the flanks up. A similar sketch is made on the back
of the tent.

§ 68. _Birth names of boys._--These are as follows, but their exact
order has not been gained: Buffalo calf. Seeks its Mother. Stands at the
End. Horn Erect with the sharp end toward the spectator. Buffalo (calf?)
Rolls over. Made dark by heat very suddenly. Ma^nzeda^n, meaning

_Subgentes._--The Iñg¢e-jide are not divided for marriage purposes.
Lion, however, gave four subgentes; but he could not give the names and
taboos. He said that _Horn Erect_ was the head of the first. The present
head of the second is _Little Star_. _Rolls over_ is the head of the
third; and _Singer_ of the fourth.

_Names of men._--Walking Buffalo. Buffalo Walks a little. (Buffaloes)
Continue Approaching. Tent-poles stuck Obliquely in the ground. Becomes
Cold suddenly. Hawk Temper. Bad Buffalo. (Buffalo calf) Seeks its
Mother. (Buffalo bull) Rolls over. Stands at the End. Singer. Crow Skin.
Small Bank. Kansas Head. Rapid (as a river). Sacred Crow that speaks in
Visions. White Feather. Walks at the End.

_Names of women._--Moon-Hawk Female. Moon Horn Female. (Buffaloes) Make
the ground Striped as they run. Walks, seeking her own.


§ 69. The meaning of "Ictasanda" is uncertain; though Say was told by
Dougherty that it signifies "gray eyes." It probably has some reference
to the effect of lightning on the eyes. The place of the Ictasanda is at
the end of the tribal circle, after the Iñg¢e-jide, and opposite to the
Weji^ncte. The head of the gens is Ibaha^nbi, son of Wanuʞige, and
grandson of Wacka^nhi.

_Taboo._--The Ictasanda people do not touch worms, snakes, toads, frogs,
or any other kinds of reptiles. Hence they are sometimes called the
"Wag¢ícka níkaci^n´ga," or Reptile people. But there are occasions when
they seem to violate this custom. If worms trouble the corn after it has
been planted, these people catch some of them. They pound them up with a
small quantity of grains of corn that have been heated. They make a soup
of the mixture and eat it, thinking that the corn will not be troubled
again--at least for the remainder of that season.

§ 70. _Birth names of boys._--Ibaha^nbi said that the first son was
called Gaagig¢e-hna^n, which probably refers to thunder that is passing
by. The second is, The Thunder-god is Roaring as he Stands. The third,
Big Shoulder. The fourth, Walking Forked-lightning. The fifth, The
thunder-god Walks Roaring. The sixth, Sheet-lightning Makes a Glare
inside the Lodge. The seventh, The Thunder-god that Walks After others
at the close of a storm.

_Birth names of girls._--The first is called The Visible (Moon) in
Motion. The second, The Visible one that has Come back and is in a
Horizontal attitude. The third, Zizika-wate, meaning uncertain; refers
to wild turkeys. The fourth, Female (thunder?) who Roars. The fifth, She
who is Ever Coming back Visibly (referring to the moon?). The sixth,
White Eyed Female in the distance. The seventh, Visible ones in
different places.

§ 71. _Subgentes._--For marriage purposes the gens is divided into three
parts, according to La Flèche and Two Crows. I. Niniba-t`a^n, Keepers of
the Pipe, and Real Ictasanda, of which [T]e-uʞa^nha, [K]awaha,
Waji^n-a^nba, and Si-¢ede-jiñga are the only survivors. II. Waceta^n, or
Reptile people, under Ibaha^nbi. III. Ing¢a^n, Thunder people, among who
are Ui¢a^nbe-a^nsa and Wanace-jiñga.

Lion divided the gens into four parts. I. Niniba-t`a^n, under
[T]e-uʞa^nha. II. Real Ictasanda people, under Waji^n-a^nba. III.
Waceta^n (referring to the thunder, according to Lion, but denied by Two
Crows), Reptile people, under Ibaha^nbi. These are sometimes called
Keepers of the Claws of the Wild-cat, because they bind these claws to
the waist of a new-born infant, putting them on the left side. IV. The
Real Thunder people are called, Those who do not touch the Clam shell,
or, Keepers of the Clam shell, or, Keepers of the Clam shell and the
Tooth of a Black bear. These bind a clam shell to the waist of a child
belonging to this subgens, when he is forward in learning to walk. (See
§§ 24, 43, 45, and 63.)

At the time that Waniʇa-waqě gave this information, March, 1880, he said
that there were but two men left in the Niniba-t`a^n, [T]e-uʞa^nha,
and [K]awaha. Now it appears that they have united with Waji^n-a^nba and
Si¢ede-jiñga, the survivors of the Ictasandaqti. [T]e-uʞa^nha, being
the keeper of the Ictasanda sacred pipe, holds what was a very important
office, that of being the person who has the right to fill the sacred
pipes for the chiefs. (See §§ 17 and 18.) [T]e-uʞa^nha, does not,
however, know the sacred words used on such occasions, as his father,
Mahi^nzi, died without communicating them to him.

But some say that there is another duty devolving on this keeper. There
has been a custom in the tribe not to cut the hair of children when they
were small, even after they began to walk. But before a child reached
the age of four years, it was necessary for it to be taken, with such
other children as had not had their hair cut, to the man who filled the
sacred pipes. Two or three old men of the Ictasanda gens sat together on
that occasion. They sent a crier around the camp or village, saying,
"You who wish to have your children's hair cut bring them." Then the
father, or else the mother, would take the child, with a pair of good
moccasins for the child to put on, also a present for the keeper of the
sacred pipe, which might consist of a pair of moccasins, some arrows, or
a dress, etc. When the parents had arrived with their children each one
addressed the keeper of the pipe, saying, "Venerable man, you will
please cut my child's hair," handing him the present at the same time.
Then the old man would take a child, cut off one lock about the length
of a finger, tie it up, and put it with the rest in a sacred buffalo
hide. Then the old man put the little moccasins on the child, who had
not worn any previously, and after turning him around four times he
addressed him thus: "[T]ucpáha, Wakan´da ¢a`é¢i¢é-de ʞáci ma^n¢iñ´ka
si á¢ag¢é taté--_Grandchild, may Wakanda pity you, and may your feet
rest for a long time on the ground!_" Another form of the address was
this: "Wakan´da ¢a`é¢i¢e taté! Ma^n¢iñ´ka si á¢ag¢é taté. Gúdihéga^n hné
taté!--_May Wakanda pity you! May your feet tread the ground! May you go
ahead_ (_i. e._, may you live hereafter)!" At the conclusion of the
ceremony the parent took the child home, and on arriving there the
father cut off the rest of the child's hair, according to the style of
the gens. La Flèche told the following, in 1879: "If it was desired,
horns were left, and a circle of hair around the head, with one lock at
each side, over the ear. Some say that they cut off more of the hair,
leaving none on top and only a circle around the head." But the writer
has not been able to ascertain whether this referred to any particular
gens, as the Ictasanda or to the whole tribe. "It is the duty of
Waji^n-a^nba, of the Real Ictasanda, to cut the children's hair. The
Keepers of the Pipe and the Real Ictasanda were distinct subgentes, each
having special duties." (_Frank La Flèche._)

§ 72. _Names of men._--[T]e-uʞa^nha (Sentinel Buffalo Apart from the
herd) and his brother, [K]awaha, are the only survivors of the _Keepers
of the Pipe_. Hañga-cenu and Mahi^n-zi (Yellow Rock) are dead.

II. _Real Ictasanda people._--Waji^n-a^nba and Small Heel are the only
survivors. The following used to belong to this subgens: Reptile
Catcher. (Thunder-god) Threatens to strike. Wishes to Love. Frog.
(Thunder) Makes a Roar as it Passes along. Night Walker. Runs (on) the
Land. Sacred Mouth. Soles of (gophers') Paws turned Outward. The
Reclining Beaver. Snake. Touched the distant foe. Rusty-yellow Corn-husk
(an Oto name). Young Black bear. He who Boiled a Little (a nickname for
a stingy man). Small Fireplace. He who Hesitates about asking a favor.
Maker of a Lowland forest. Stomach Fat.

III. Waceta^n _subgens_.--Roar of approaching thunder. He who made the
foe stir. He who tried to anticipate the rest in reaching the body of a
foe. Cedar Shooter. Flat Water (the Platte or Nebraska). He is Known.
(Thunder-god) Roars as he Stands. Sharp Stone. (Thunder that) Walks
after the others at the close of a storm. Big Shoulder. (Thunder) Walks
On high. Wace-jiñga (Small Reptile?) Wace-ta^n (Standing Reptile?).
Wace-ta^n-jiñga (Small Standing Reptile?). (Snake) Makes himself Round.
Sheet-lightning Flashes Suddenly. Forked-lightning Walks. Thunder makes
the sound "z+!" Black cloud in the horizon. Walks during the Night.
White Disposition (or, Sensible). Sole of the foot. He got the better of
the Lodges (of the foe by stealing their horses). Ibaha^nbi (He is
Known) gave the following as names of Ictasanda men, but J. La Flèche
and Two Crows doubt them. Large Spotted Snake. (Snake) Makes (a frog)
Cry out (by biting him).[6] Small Snake.[6] (Snake) Lies Stiff. Big
Mouth. Black Rattlesnake. (Snake that) Puffs up itself.

IV. _Thunder subgens._--Sheet-lightning Flashes inside the Lodge. Swift
at Running up a hill. Young Policeman. Cloud. He Walks with them. He who
Is envied because he has a pretty wife, a good horse, etc., though he is
poor or homely.

_Names of women._--Da^nama. She Alone is Visible. Skin Dress. She who Is
returning Roaring or Bellowing. She who is made Muddy as she Moves. Moon
has Returned Visible. Moon is Moving On high.[7]

[6] These names are found in the corresponding Ponka gens, the Wajaje or
Osage, a reptile gens.

[7] Many names have been omitted because an exact translation could not
be given, though the references to certain animals or mythical ancestors
are apparent. It is the wish of the writer to publish hereafter a
comparative list of personal names of the cognate tribes, Omahas,
Ponkas, Osages, Kansas, and Kwapas, for which considerable material has
been collected.




§ 73. Joseph La Flèche and Two Crows recognize four classes of kinship:

1. Consanguineous or blood kinship, which includes not only the gens of
the father, but also those of the mother and grandmothers.

2. Marriage kinship, including all the affinities of the consort, as
well as those of the son's wife or daughter's husband.

3. Weawa^n kinship, connected with the Calumet dance. (See § 126.)

4. Inter-gentile kinship, existing between contiguous gentes. This last
is not regarded as a bar to intermarriage, _e. g._, the Weji^ncte and
Iñke-sabě gentes are related; and the Weji^ncte man whose tent is at the
end of his gentile area in the tribal circle is considered as a very
near kinsman by the Iñke-sabě man whose tent is next to his. In like
manner, the Iñke-sabě Wa¢igije man who camps next to the Hañga gens is a
brother of his nearest Hañga neighbor. The last man in the Hañga area is
the brother of the first ₵atada (Wasabe-hit`ajĭ), who acts as Quʞa for
the Hañga. The last ₵atada [K]e-`i^n man is brother of the first
[K]a^nze man, and so on around the circle.

Two other classes of relationship were given to the writer by members of
three tribes, Omahas, Ponkas, and Missouris, but Joseph La Flèche and
Two Crows never heard of them. The writer gives authorities for each

5. Nikie kinship. "Nikie" means "Something handed down from a mythical
ancestor," or "An ancient custom." Nikie kinship refers to kinship based
on descent from the same or a similar mythical ancestor. For example,
Big Elk, of the Omaha Weji^ncte or Elk gens, told the writer that he was
related to the Kansas Elk gens, and that a Weji^ncte man called a
Kansas Elk man "My younger brother," the Kansas man calling the
Weji^ncte "My elder brother."

Icta¢abi, an Iñke-sabě, and Ckátce-yiñ´e, of the Missouri tribe, said
that the Omaha Weji^ncte calls the Oto Hótatci (Elk gens) "Elder
brother." But Big Elk did not know about this. He said, however, that
his gens was related to the Ponka Niʞa[p]aᴐna, a deer and elk gens.

Icta¢abi said that Omaha Iñke-sabě, his own gens, calls the Ponka ₵ixida
"Grandchild"; but others say that this is owing to intermarriage.
Icta¢abi also said that Iñke-sabě calls the Ponka Wajaje "Elder
brother"; but some say that this is owing to intermarriage. Gahige, of
the Iñke-sabě gens, calls Standing Grizzly bear of the Ponka Wajaje his
grandchild; and Standing Buffalo, of the same gens, his son. So
Icta¢abi's statement was incorrect.



[Illustration] EGO, a male.

A Father group. I^ndadi, _my father_.

[A] Mother group. I^nna^nha, _my mother_.

B Grandfather group. Wiʇiga^n, _my grandfather_.

[B] Grandmother group. Wiʞa^n, _my grandmother_.

C Son group. Wijiñge, _my son_.

[C] Daughter group. Wijañge, _my daughter_.

D--[D] Grandchild group. Wiʇucpa, _my grandchild_ N. B.--D denotes a
grandson, and [D], a granddaughter.

E Elder brother group. Wiji^n¢e, _my elder brother_.

F Younger brother group. Wisañga, _my younger brother_.

[E]--[F] Sister group. Wiʇañge, _my sister_. This term is also used by
EGO, a female, for "My younger sister"; but EGO, a male, does not
distinguish between elder sister ([E]) and younger sister ([F]).

G Sister's son group. Wiʇa^ncka, _my sister's son_.

[G] Sister's daughter group. Wiʇija^n, _my sister's daughter_.

H Mother's brother group. Winegi, _my mother's brother_.

[H] Father's sister group. Wiʇimi, _my father's sister_.

Affinity groups in this part of the plate:

a Wife's brother or sister's husband group. Wiʇaha^n, _my

[b] Wife's sister or brother's wife group. Wihañga, _my potential wife_.

[c] Son's wife group. Wiʇini, _my son's wife_.

d Daughter's husband group. Wiʇande, _my daughter's husband_.


[Illustration] EGO, a female. A, [A], B, [B], C, [C], D, [D], F, H, and
[H] as above.

=E= Elder brother group. Wiʇinu, _my elder brother_.

_E_ Elder sister group. Wija^n¢e, _my elder sister_.

[F] Younger sister group. Wiʇañge, _my younger sister_.

I Brother's son group. Wiʇucka, _my brother's son_.

[J] Brother's daughter group. Wiʇujañge, _my brother's daughter_.

Affinity groups in this part of the plate:

See above for explanation of [c] and d.

e Husband's brother group. Wici`e, _my potential husband_.

[f] Husband's sister group. Wiciʞa^n, _my husband's sister_.]

Icta¢bi and Ckatce-yiñe said that Iñke-sabě calls the Oto Arúqwa, or
Buffalo gens, "Grandfather;" and that the Oto Rútce or Pigeon gens is
called "Grandchild" by Iñke-sabě.

Some said that the Omaha Wasabe-hit`ajĭ called the Ponka Wasabe-hit`ajĭ
"Grandchild"; but [P]á¢i^n-na^npájĭ, of the Omaha Wasabe-hit`ajĭ, said
that his subgens called the Ponka Wasabe-hit`ajĭ "Younger brother"; and
₵ixida and Wajaje "Grandfather." Húpe¢a, another member of the Omaha
Wasabe-hit`ajĭ, said that Ubískă of the Ponka Wasabe-hit`ajĭ was his
son; Ubískă's father, his elder brother (by marriage); and Ubískă's
grandfather his (Hupe¢a's) father. He also said that he addressed as
elder brothers all Ponka men older than himself, and all younger than
himself he called his younger brothers.

Fire Chief of the Omaha Wajiñga-¢atajĭ said that he called Keʞré[ç]e,
of the Oto Tuna^n´p'i^n gens, his son; the Ponka Wasabe-hit`ajĭ, his
elder brother; the Kansas Wasabe and Miʞa, his fathers; the Kansas
Eagle people, his fathers; the Kansas Turtle people, his elder brothers;
the Oto Rútce (Pigeon people), his fathers; the Oto Makátce (Owl
people), his sisters' sons; and the Winnebago Ho^ntc (Black bear
people), his fathers.

Omaha Ma^n¢iñka-gaxe calls Yankton-Dakota Tcaxú, "Sister's sons," but
Tcañ´kuté, Ihá-isdáye, Watcéu^npa, and Ikmu^n´, are "Grandsons."

[T]a-[p]a calls Oto [T]ᴐéxita (Eagle people) "Grandchildren"; and Ponka
Hísada "Grandfathers."

Icta¢abi said that Ictasanda called Ponka Maka^n´ "Mother's brother";
but Ibaha^nbi, of the Ictasanda gens, denied it. Ibaha^nbi said that he
called a member of a gens of another tribe, when related to him by the
nikie, "My father," if the latter were very old; "My elder brother," if
a little older than himself, and "My younger brother," if the latter
were Ibaha^nbi's junior. Besides, Ibaha^nbi takes, for example, the
place of Standing Bear of the Ponka Wajaje; and whatever relationship
Standing Bear sustains to the Hisada, ₵ixida, Nikadaᴐna, etc., is also
sustained to the members of each gens by Ibaha^nbi.

6. Sacred Pipe kinship. Gahige, of the Omaha Iñke-sabě, said that all
who had sacred pipes called one another "Friend." Ponka Wacabe and Omaha
Iñke-sabě speak to each other thus. But Joseph La Flèche and Two Crows
deny this.


§ 74. All of a man's consanguinities belong to fourteen groups, and a
woman has fifteen groups of consanguinities. Many affinities are
addressed by consanguinity terms; excepting these, there are only four
groups of affinities. In the accompanying charts consanguinities are
designated by capital letters and affinities by small letters. Roman
letters denote males and script letters females. Some necessary
exceptions to these rules are shown in the Legends.

§ 75. _Peculiarities of the Charts._--The most remote ancestors are
called grandfathers and grandmothers, and the most remote descendant is
addressed or spoken of as a grandchild.

My brother's children (male speaking) are my children, because their
mother ([J]) can become my wife on the death of their father. My
brother's son (I) and daughter ([b]), female speaking, are my nephews
and nieces. A man calls his sister's children his nephews and nieces (G
and [G]), and they do not belong to his gens.

A woman calls her sister's children, her own children, as their father
can be her husband. (See "e.") My mother's brother's son (m. or f. sp.)
is my mother's brother (H), because his sister ([A]) can be my father's
wife. The son of an "H" is always an "H" and his sisters and daughters
are always "[A]'s." The children of [A]'s are always brothers and
sisters to Ego (m. or f.), as are the children of A's. The husband of my
father's sister (m. sp.) is my brother-in-law (a) because he can marry
my sister ([E] or [F]), and their children are my sister's children (G
and "[G]"). A brother of the real or potential wife of a grandfather is
also a grandfather of Ego (m. or f.). The niece of the real or potential
wife of my grandfather (m. or f. sp.) is his potential wife and my
grandmother, so her brother is my grandfather.

§ 76. From these examples and from others found in the charts, it is
plain that the kinship terms are used with considerable latitude, and
not as we employ them. Whether Ego be a male or female, I call all men
my fathers whom my father calls his brothers or whom my mother calls her
potential husbands. I call all women my mothers whom my mother calls her
sisters, aunts, or nieces, or whom my father calls his potential wives.

I call all men brothers who are the sons of such fathers or mothers, and
their sisters are my sisters. I call all men my grandfathers who are the
fathers or grandfathers of my fathers or mothers, or whom my fathers or
mothers call their mothers' brothers. I call all women my grandmothers
who are the real or potential wives of my grandfathers, or who are the
mothers or grandmothers of my fathers or mothers, or whom my fathers or
mothers call their fathers' sisters.

I, a male, call all males my sons who are the sons of my brothers
or of my potential wives, and the sisters of those sons are my
daughters. I, a female, call those males my nephews who are the sons
of my brothers, and the daughters of my brothers are my nieces; but
my sister's children are my children as their father is my potential
or actual husband. I, a male, call my sister's son my nephew, and
her daughter is my niece. I, a male or female, call all males and
females my grandchildren who are the children of my sons, daughters,
nephews, or nieces. I, a male or female, call all men my uncles whom my
mothers call their brothers. And my aunts are all females who are my
fathers' sisters as well as those who are the wives of my uncles. But
my father's sisters' husbands, I being a male, are my brothers-in-law,
being the potential or real husbands of my sisters; and they are my
potential husbands, when Ego is a female.





Affinities of [Illustration] EGO, a male:

[Illustration] Wigaq¢a^n, _my wife_.

a Wife's brother group. Wiʇáha^n, _my wife's brother_.

[b] Wife's sister group. Wiha-ñ´ga, _my potential wife_.

Though "My wife's mother's sister's husband" is wiʇiga^n, _my
grandfather_ (see B*), that term, as applied to him, is seemingly
without reason.--JOSEPH LA FLÈCHE.

The husband of my wife's sister ([b]) is not always my consanguinity,
but if he is a kinsman, I call him my elder (E) or younger (F) brother.

Affinities of [Illustration] EGO, a female:

[Illustration] Wíeg¢añge, _my husband_.

e Husband's brother group. Wíci`e, _my potential husband_.

[f] Husband's sister group. Wicíʞa^n, _my husband's sister_.

The wife of "e" is my sister (wija^n¢e or wi ʇañge), my father's sister
(wiʇimi), or my brother's daughter (wiʇujañge), if related to Ego, a
female. This kinship will be expressed by E, [F], [H], or [I], according
to circumstances. See [Illustration] in the chart.

Affinities common to both sexes:

B Grandfather group. Wiʇiga^n, _my grandfather_.

[B] Grandmother group. Wiʞa^n, _my grandmother_.

[c] Son's wife group. Wiʇini, _my son's wife_.

d Daughter's husband group. Wiʇande, _my daughter's husband_.

C Son group. Wijiñge, _my son_.

[C] Daughter group. Wijañge _my daughte_r.

D--[D] Grandchild group. Wiʇucpa, _my grandchild_ (D, if male; [D], if


§ 77. Any female is the potential wife of Ego, a male, whom my own wife
calls her ija^n¢e (E), itañge ([F]), itimi ([H]) or itujañge
([Script-J]). I, a male, also call my potential wives those who the
widows or wives of my elder or younger brothers.

I, a male, have any male for my brother-in-law whom my wife calls her
elder or younger brother; also any male who is the brother of my wife's
niece or of my brother's wife. But my wife's father's brother is my
grandfather, not my brother-in-law, though his sister is my potential
wife. When my brother-in-law is the husband of my father's sister or of
my own sister, his sister is my grandchild, and not my potential wife. A
man is my brother-in-law if he be the husband of my father's sister,
since he can marry my own sister, but my aunt's husband is not my
brother-in-law when he is my uncle or mother's brother (H). Any male is
my brother-in-law who is my sister's husband (a). But while my sister's
niece's husband is my sister's potential or real husband, he is my
son-in-law, as he is my daughter's husband (d). I, a male or female,
call any male my son-in-law who is the husband of my daughter ([C]), my
niece ([G] or [J]), or of my grandchild ([D]), and his father is my

When I, a male or female, call my daughter-in-law's father my
grandfather, her brother is my grandchild (D).

Any female is my daughter-in-law (male or female speaking) who is the
wife of my son, nephew, or grandchild; and the mother of my son-in-law
is so called by me. Any male affinity is my grandfather (or
father-in-law) who is the father, mother's brother, or grandfather of my
wife, my potential wife, or my daughter-in-law (the last being the wife
of my son, nephew, or grandson). The corresponding female affinity is my
grandmother (or mother-in-law).


§ 78. A man must marry outside of his gens. Two Crows, of the Hañga
gens, married a Weji^ncte woman; his father married a [T]e-sĭnde woman;
his paternal grandfather, a Hañga man, married a Wasabe-hit`ajĭ woman;
and his maternal grandfather, a [T]e-sĭnde man, married a
[T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ woman. His son, Gai^n´-bajĭ, a Hañga, married an
Iñke-sabě woman; and his daughter, a Hañga, married Qi¢á-gahíge, a
[T]a-[p]a man. Caa^n´, a brother of Two Crows, and a Hañga, married a
[T]a[p]a woman, a daughter of the chief Sĭn´ac-xa^n´xa^n. Another
brother, Mi^nxá-ta^n, also a Hañga, married a [K]a^nze woman.

Joseph La Flèche's mother was a Ponka Wasabe-hit`ajĭ woman; hence he
belongs to that Ponka gens. His maternal grandfather, a Ponka
Wasabe-hit`ajĭ, married a Ponka Wajaje woman. Her father, a Wajaje,
married a Ponka Maka^n woman.

Two Crows, being a Hañga, cannot marry a Hañga woman, nor can he marry a
[T]e-sĭnde woman, as they are all his kindred through his mother. He
cannot marry women belonging to the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ and [T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ
subgentes ("uʞig¢a[s]ne") of the ₵atada gens, because his real
grandmothers belonged to those subgentes. But he can marry women
belonging to the other ₵atada subgentes, the Wajiñga-¢atajĭ and
[K]e-`i^n, as they are not his kindred. In like manner Joseph La Flèche
cannot marry a Ponka Wasabe-hit`ajĭ woman, a Ponka Wajaje woman, or a
Ponka Maka^n woman. But he can marry an Omaha Wasabe-hit`ajĭ woman, as
she belongs to another tribe.

Gai^n-bajĭ cannot marry women belonging to the following gentes: Hañga
(his father's gens), Weji^ncte (his mother's gens), [T]e-sĭnde (his
paternal grandmother's gens), Wasabe-hit`ajĭ, and [T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ.

Gai^n-bajĭ's son cannot marry any women belonging to the following
gentes: Iñke-sabě, Hañga, Weji^ncte, [T]e-sĭnde, or that of the mother
of his mother. Nor could he marry a Wasabe-hit`ajĭ or [T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ
woman, if his parents or grandparents were living, and knew the degree
of kinship. But if they were dead, and he was ignorant of the fact that
the women and he were related, he might marry one or more of them. The
same rule holds good for the marriage of Qi¢a-gahige's son, but with the
substitution of [T]a-[p]a for Iñke-sabě.

Two Crows cannot marry any Iñke-sabě woman belonging to the subgens of
his son's wife; but he can marry one belonging to either of the
remaining subgentes. So, too, he cannot marry a [T]a-[p]a woman
belonging to the subgens of Qi¢a-gahige, his son-in-law, but he can
marry any other [T]a-[p]a woman. As his brother Caa^n, had married a
[T]a-[p]a woman of Sĭnde-xa^nxa^n's subgens, Two Crows has a right to
marry any [T]a-[p]a woman of her subgens who was her sister, father's
sister, or brother's daughter. He has a similar privilege in the
[K]a^nze gens, owing to the marriage of another brother, Mi^nxa-ta^n.

An Omaha Hañga man can marry a Kansas Hañga woman, because she belongs
to another tribe. A Ponka Wasabe-hit`ajĭ man can marry an Omaha
Wasabe-hit`ajĭ woman, because she belongs to a different tribe.


A man cannot marry any of the women of the gens of his father, as they
are his grandmothers, aunts, sisters, nieces, daughters, or
grandchildren. He cannot marry any woman of the subgens of his father's
mother, for the same reason; but he can marry any woman belonging to the
other subgentes of his paternal grandmother's gens, as they are not his
kindred. The women of the subgens of his paternal grandmother's mother
are also forbidden to him; but those of the remaining subgentes of that
gens can become his wives, provided they are such as have not become
his mothers-in-law, daughters, or grandchildren. (See § 7, 126, etc.)

A man cannot marry any women of his mother's gens, nor any of his
maternal grandmother's subgens, nor any of the subgens of her mother, as
all are his consanguinities.

A man cannot marry a woman of the subgens of the wife of his son,
nephew, or grandson; nor can he marry a woman of the subgens of the
husband of his daughter, niece, or granddaughter.

A man cannot marry any of his female affinities who are his iʞa^n,
because they are the real or potential wives of his fathers-in-law, or
of the fathers-in-law of his sons, nephews, or grandchildren.

A man cannot marry any woman whom he calls his sister's daughter. He
cannot marry any woman whom he calls his grandchild. This includes his
wife's sister's daughter's daughter.

He cannot marry the daughter of any woman who is his ihañga, as such a
daughter he calls his daughter.

He cannot marry his sister's husband's sister, for she is his iʇucpa. He
cannot marry his sister's husband's father's brother's daughter, as she
is his iʇucpa; nor can he marry her daughter or her brother's daughter,
for the same reason. He cannot marry his sister's husband's (brother's)
daughter, as she is his sister's potential daughter, and he calls her
his iʇija^n.

A woman cannot marry her son, the son of her sister, aunt, or niece; her
grandson, the grandson of her sister, aunt, or niece; any man whom she
calls elder or younger brother; any man whom she calls her father's or
mother's brother; her iʇijiga^n (including her consanguinities, her
father-in-law, her brother's wife's brother, her brother's wife's
father, her brother's son's wife's father, her brother's wife's
brother's son, her father's brother's son's wife's brother, her
grandfather's brother's son's wife's brother); or any man who is her


A man can marry a woman of the gens of his grandmother, paternal or
maternal, if the woman belong to another subgens. He can marry a woman
of the gens of his grandmother's mother, if the latter belong to another
subgens, or if he be ignorant of her kinship to himself.

He can marry a woman of another tribe, even when she belongs to a gens
corresponding to his own, as she is not a real kinswoman.

He can marry any woman, not his consanguinity, if she be not among the
forbidden affinities. He can marry any of his affinities who is his
ihañga, being the ija^n¢e, iʇañge, iʇimi, or iʇujañge of his wife. And
vice versa, any woman can marry a man who is the husband of her ija^n¢e,
iʇañge, iʇimi, or iʇujañge. If a man has several kindred whom he calls
his brothers, and his wife has several female relations who are his
ihañga, the men and women can intermarry.


Were it not for the institution of subgentes a man would be compelled to
marry outside of his tribe, as all the women would be his kindred, owing
to previous intermarriages between the ten gentes. But in any gens those
on the other side of the gentile "une¢e," or fire-place, are not
reckoned as full kindred, though they cannot intermarry.


§ 79. A man takes the widow of his real or potential brother in order
to become the stepfather (i¢adi jiñga, _little father_) of his brother's
children. Should the widow marry a stranger he might hate the children,
and the kindred of the deceased husband do not wish her to take the
children so far away from them. Sometimes the stepfather takes the
children without their mother, if she be maleficent. Sometimes the dying
husband knows that his kindred are bad, so he tells his wife to marry
out of his gens. When the wife is dying she may say to her brother,
"Pity your brother-in-law. Let him marry my sister."




§ 80. _Age of puberty and marriage._--It is now customary for girls to
be married at the age of fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen years among the
Omahas, and in the Ponka tribe they generally take husbands as soon as
they enter their fifteenth year. It was not so formerly; men waited till
they were twenty-five or thirty, and the women till they were twenty
years of age. Then, when a consort was spoken of they used to refer the
matter to their friends, who discussed the characters of the parties,
and advised accordingly, as they proved good (_i. e._, industrious and
good-tempered, and having good kindred) or bad. Sometimes an Omaha girl
is married at the age of fourteen or fifteen; but in such a case her
husband waits about a year for the consummation of the marriage. When a
girl matures rapidly she is generally married when she is sixteen; but
those who are slow to mature marry when they reach seventeen. (See §

Dougherty states (in _Long's Expedition to the Rocky Mountains_, vol. 1,
p. 230) that "In the Omawhaw nation numbers of females are betrothed in
marriage from their infancy. * * * Between the ages of nine and twelve
years the young wife is occasionally an invited visitant at the lodge of
her husband, in order that she may become familiarized with his company
and his bed." But such is not the case among the Omahas according to La
Flèche and Two Crows, who say that Dougherty referred to a Kansas

§ 81. _Courtship._--The men court the women either directly or by proxy.
The women used to weigh the matter well, but now they hasten to marry
any man that they can get. Sometimes the girl told her kindred and
obtained their advice. Parents do not force their daughters to marry
against their will. Sometimes a girl refuses to marry the man, and the
parents cannot compel her to take him. All that they can do is to give
her advice: "Here is a good young man. We desire you to marry him." Or
they may say to the people, "We have a single daughter, and it is our
wish to get her married." Then the men go to court her. Should the
parents think that the suitor is not apt to make her a good husband they
return his presents. Suitors may curry favor with parents and kindred of
the girl by making presents to them, but parents do not sell their
daughters. The presents made for such a purpose are generally given by
some old man who wishes to get a very young girl whom he is doubtful of
winning. When a man courts the girl directly this is unnecessary. Then
he gives what he pleases to her kindred, and sometimes they make
presents to him.

When men reach the age of forty years without having courted any one the
women generally dislike them, and refuse to listen to them. The only
exception is when the suitor is beneficent. Such a man gets his father
to call four old men, by whom he sends four horses to the lodge of the
girl's father. If the latter consents and the girl be willing he
consults his kindred, and sends his daughter, with four horses from his
own herd, to the lodge of the suitor's father. The latter often calls a
feast, to which he invites the kindred of the girl, as well as those of
his son. When the girl is sent away by her parents she is placed on one
of the horses, which is led by an old man. There is not always a feast,
and there is no regular marriage ceremony.

A man of twenty-five or thirty will court a girl for two or three years.
Sometimes the girl pretends to be unwilling to marry him, just to try
his love, but at last she usually consents.

Sometimes, when a youth sees a girl whom he loves, if she be willing, he
says to her, "I will stand in that place. Please go thither at night."
Then after her arrival he enjoys her, and subsequently asks her of her
father in marriage. But it was different with a girl who had been
petulant, one who had refused to listen to the suitor at first. He might
be inclined to take his revenge. After lying with her, he might say, "As
you struck me and hurt me, I will not marry you. Though you think much
of yourself, I despise you." Then would she be sent away without winning
him for her husband; and it was customary for the man to make songs
about her. In these songs the woman's name was not mentioned unless she
had been a "mi^nckeda," or dissolute woman.

One day in 1872, when the writer was on the Ponka Reservation in Dakota,
he noticed several young men on horseback, who were waiting for a young
girl to leave the Mission house. He learned that they were her suitors,
and that they intended to run a race with her after they dismounted.
Whoever could catch her would marry her; but she would take care not to
let the wrong one catch her. La Flèche and Two Crows maintain that this
is not a regular Ponka custom, and they are sure that the girl (a widow)
must have been a "mi^nckeda."

§ 82. _Marriage by elopement._--Sometimes a man elopes with a woman. Her
kindred have no cause for anger if the man takes the woman as his wife.
Should a man get angry because his single daughter, sister, or niece had
eloped, the other Omahas would talk about him, saying, "That man is
angry on account of the elopement of his daughter!" They would ridicule
him for his behavior. La Flèche knew of but one case, and that a recent
one, in which a man showed anger on such an occasion. But if the woman
had been taken from her husband by another man her kindred had a right
to be angry. Whether the woman belongs to the same tribe or to another
the man can elope with her if she consents. The Omahas cannot understand
how marriage by capture could take place, as the woman would be sure to
alarm her people by her cries.

§ 83. _Customs subsequent to marriage._--Sometimes the kindred of the
husband are assembled by his father, who addresses them, saying, "My
son's wife misses her old home. Collect gifts, and let her take them to
her kindred." Then the husband's kindred present to the wife horses,
food, etc., and the husband's mother tells her daughter-in-law to take
the gifts to her parents. When the husband and wife reach the lodge of
the wife's parents the father calls his daughter's kindred to a feast
and distributes the presents among them. By and by, perhaps a year
later, the wife's kindred may assemble and tell the husband to take
presents and food to his kindred, especially if the latter be poor. This
custom is now obsolescent.

§ 84. _Polygamy._--The maximum number of wives that one man can have is
three, _e. g._, the first wife, her aunt, and her sister or niece, if
all be consanguinities. Sometimes the three are not kindred.[8]

When a man wishes to take a second wife he always consults his first
wife, reasoning thus with her: "I wish you to have less work to do, so I
think of taking your sister, your aunt, or your brother's daughter for
my wife. You can then have her to aid you with your work." Should the
first wife refuse the man cannot marry the other woman. Generally no
objection is offered, especially if the second woman be one of the
kindred of the first wife.

Sometimes the wife will make the proposition to her husband, "I wish you
to marry my brother's daughter, as she and I are one flesh." Instead of
"brother's daughter," she may say her sister or her aunt.

The first wife is never deposed. She always retains the right to manage
household affairs, and she controls the distribution of food, etc.,
giving to the other wives what she thinks they should receive.

§ 85. If a man has a wife who is active and skillful at dressing hides,
etc., and the other wives are lazy or unskillful, he leaves them with
their parents or other kindred, and takes the former wife with him when
he goes with the tribe on the buffalo hunt. Sometimes he will leave this
wife a while to visit one of his other wives. But Dougherty was
misinformed when he was told that the skillful wife would be apt to show
her jealousy by "knocking the dog over with a club, repulsing her own
child, kicking the fire about, pulling the bed, etc." (see p. 232, Vol.
I, _Long's Expedition to the Rocky Mountains_), for when a wife is
jealous she scolds or strikes her husband or else she tries to hit the
other woman.

_Polyandry._--The Omahas say that this has not been practiced among
them, nor do the Ponkas know this custom. But the terms of kinship seem
to point to an age when it was practiced.

[8] The writer knew a head chief that had four wives.

§ 86. _Permanence of marriage._--Among the Santee Dakotas, where
mother-right prevails(?), a wife's mother can take her from the husband
and give her to another man. Among the ₵egiha, if the husband is kind,
the mother-in-law never interferes. But when the husband is unkind the
wife takes herself back, saying to him, "I have had you for my husband
long enough; depart." Sometimes the father or elder brother of the woman
says to the husband, "You have made her suffer; you shall not have her
for a wife any longer." This they do when he has beaten her several
times, or has been cruel in other ways. But sometimes the woman has
married the man in spite of the warnings of her kindred, who have said
to her, "He is maleficent; do not take him for your husband." When such
a woman repents, and wishes to abandon her husband, her male kindred say
to her, "Not so; still have him for your husband; remain with him
always." Thus do they punish her for not having heeded their previous
warnings. When they are satisfied with each other they always stay
together; but should either one turn out bad, the other one always
wishes to abandon the unworthy consort.

When parents separate, the children are sometimes taken by their mother,
and sometimes by her mother or their father's mother. Should the husband
be unwilling, the wife cannot take the children with her. Each consort
can remarry. Sometimes one consort does not care whether the other one
marries again or not; but occasionally the divorced wife or husband gets
angry on hearing of the remarriage of the other.


§ 87. A man does not speak to his wife's mother or grandmother; he and
she are ashamed to speak to each other. But should his wife be absent he
sometimes asks her mother for information, if there be no one present
through whom he can inquire.

In former days it was always the rule for a man not to speak to his
wife's parents or grandparents. He was obliged to converse with them
through his wife or child, by addressing the latter and requesting him
or her to ask the grandparent for the desired information. Then the
grandparent used to tell the man's wife or child to say so and so to the
man. In like manner a woman cannot speak directly to her husband's
father under ordinary circumstances. They must resort to the medium of a
third party, the woman's husband or child. But if the husband and child
be absent, the woman or her father-in-law is obliged to make the
necessary inquiry.

A woman never passes in front of her daughter's husband if she can avoid
it. The son-in-law tries to avoid entering a place where there is no one
but his mother-in-law. When at the Ponka mission, in Dakota, the writer
noticed the Ponka chief, Standing Buffalo, one day when he entered the
school-room. When he saw that his mother-in-law was seated there, he
turned around very quickly, threw his blanket over his head, and went
into another part of the house.

Another custom prevails, which Dougherty described thus: "If a person
enters a dwelling in which his son-in-law is seated, the latter turns
his back, and avails himself of the first opportunity to leave the
premises. If a person visits his wife during her residence at the lodge
of her father, the latter averts himself, and conceals his head with his
robe, and his hospitality is extended circuitously by means of his
daughter, by whom the pipe is transferred to her husband to smoke." He
also said that if the mother-in-law wished to present her son-in-law
with food, it was invariably handed to the daughter for him; and if the
daughter should be absent, the mother-in-law placed the food on the
ground, and retired from the lodge that he might take it up and eat it."
(_Long's Expedition to the Rocky Mountains_, Vol. I, pp. 253, 254.) The
Dakotas have this custom and call it "wiśtenkiyapi."


§ 88. The woman, when she perceives that the catamenia does not recur at
the expected period, begins to reckon her pregnancy from the last time
that she "dwelt alone." As the months pass, she says, "Mi^n´ gána
b¢i^n´," _I am that number of months_ (with child). If she cannot tell
the exact number of months, she asks her husband or some old man to
count for her. At other times, it is the husband who asks the old man.
They calculate from the last time that the woman "dwelt alone."

Dougherty says that he did not hear of any case of "longing, or of
nausea of the stomach, during pregnancy."

§ 89. _Couvade, Foeticide, and Infanticide._--Couvade is not practiced
among the ₵egiha. Foeticide is uncommon. About twenty-two years ago,
Standing Hawk's wife became _enceinte_. He said to her, "It is bad for
you to have a child. Kill it." She asked her mother for medicine. The
mother made it, and gave it to her. The child was still-born. The
daughter of Wacka^n-ma^n¢i^n used to be very dissolute, and whenever she
was pregnant she killed the child before birth. These are exceptional
cases; for they are very fond of their children, and are anxious to have
them. Infanticide is not known among them.

§ 90. _Accouchement._--The husband and his children go to another lodge,
as no man must witness the birth. Only two or three old women attend to
the patient. In some cases, if the patient be strong, she "takes" the
child herself, but requires assistance subsequently. Should the woman
continue in pain for two or three days without delivery, a doctor is
sent for, and he comes with a medicine that is very bitter. He departs
as soon as he has caused the patient to drink the medicine. There are
about two or three Omahas who know this medicine, which is called
Niaci^nga maka^n, _Human-being medicine_. The writer saw one of these
roots at the Kaw Agency, Indian Territory. It is used by the Kansas. The
doctor never comes of his own accord. After having given this medicine
two or three times without success, he says, "I have failed, send for
some one else." Then another doctor comes, and tries his medicine. Very
few Omaha girls die in child-bed.

After delivery the patient is bound tightly about the abdomen, to reduce
the size, as is the custom among civilized nations. Then is she washed
in cool water if it be summer time, but in tepid water if it be cold
weather. She must bathe twice a day. Mr. Hamilton was told that "the
flow of blood ceased then to a great extent, especially after a few
days; seldom lasting beyond ten days." La Flèche said that the women do
not tell about the cessation of the flow. When the woman is strong she
may go to work on the following day; but if she be weak she may require
a fortnight or three weeks for recovering her strength.

When the husband asks about the infant, and they reply "It is a boy," or
"It is a girl," he is very glad. Sometimes the husband treats a girl
infant better than a boy, saying, "She cannot get anything for herself,
whereas a son can take care of himself, as he is strong." Mr. Hamilton
says, "I have heard of cases of severe labor. Women act as midwives, and
with some skill, removing the placenta when adhering to the uterus, and
in the usual manner."

Soon after birth the child is washed all over, wrapped in clothes, which
are bound loosely around it. About two or three days after birth the
infant's father or grandfather gives it a name, which is not always a
nikie name. (See the account of the ceremony in the [T]a[p]a gens, when
a child is four days old, § 65.) Sometimes it is put into the cradle or
board in two or three days; sometimes in about a week.

_Nursing._--Another woman serves as wet-nurse till the mother's breasts
are full of milk. Mammary abscess is very rare.

§ 91. _Number of children._--In 1819-'20 Dougherty wrote thus:
"Sterility, although it does occur, is not frequent, and seems to be
mostly attributable to the husband, as is evinced by subsequent
marriages of the squaws. The usual number of children may be stated at
from four to six in a family, but in some families there are ten or
twelve. Of these the mother has often two at the breast simultaneously,
of which one may be three years of age. At this age, however, and
sometimes rather earlier, the child is weaned by the aid of ridicule, in
which the parents are assisted by visitors." In 1882 La Flèche and Two
Crows declared that there are many cases of barrenness. Children are not
very numerous. While some women have seven, eight, nine, or even ten
children, they are exceptional cases. And when a woman gives birth to so
many, they do not always reach maturity. There are women who have never
borne any children, and some men have never begotten any. One woman, who
is of Blackfoot origin, is the wife of James Springer, an Omaha, and she
has borne him twelve children; but no other woman has had as many.


§ 92. _Diseases of children._--Summer complaint from teething is rare.
Diarrhea, however, occurs frequently, even in children who walk, and
when they are about four feet high. This may be accounted for as
follows: their mothers' milk or other food disagrees with them.
Dougherty found that during their first year the Omaha children suffered
more from constipation than from any other complaint; and he said that
this was relieved by soap suppositories. This is not the case now,
according to La Flèche and Two Crows; and the writer never heard of its
prevalence when he resided among the Ponkas and Omahas.

§ 93. _Adoption of children._--The Omaha idea of adoption differs from
ours. A member of the same gens, or one who is a consanguinity cannot be
adopted; he or she is received by a relation. Two examples of this were
told to the writer: Gahige received Wacuce's eldest son when the father
died, because the former had been the potential father of the youth, who
succeeded Wacuce as custodian of the sacred pipes. Now Gahige keeps the
pipes himself for his son. A^npa^n-skă, of the Weji^ncte gens, gave his
son, Bi^nze-tig¢e, to his chief, Mahi^n-¢iñge, to be his son and
servant. Mahi^n-¢iñge having received his kinsman, the latter has become
the keeper of the treaty between the United States and the Omahas. This
boy is about sixteen years of age.

Omaha adoption is called "ciégi¢ě," _to take a person instead of one's
own child_. This is done when the adopted person resembles the deceased
child, grandchild, nephew, or niece, in one or more features. It takes
place without any ceremony. An uncle by adoption has all the rights of a
real uncle. For example, when Mr. La Flèche's daughter Susette wished to
go to the Indian Territory to accept a situation as teacher, and had
gained the consent of her parents, Two Crows interposed, being her uncle
by adoption, and forbade her departure. (See §§ 118 and 126.)

§ 94. _Clothing of children._--Children were dressed in suits like those
of their parents, but they used to wear robes made of the skins of the
deer, antelope, or of buffalo calves. When the boys were very small,
say, till they were about four years old, they used to run about in warm
weather with nothing on but a small belt of cloth around the waist,
according to Dougherty; and the writer has seen such boys going about
entirely naked. Girls always wear clothing, even, when small. When a boy
was eight years old, he began to wear in winter leggings, moccasins, and
a small robe.

§ 95. _Child life._--The girl was kept in a state of subjection to her
mother, whom she was obliged to help when the latter was at work. When
she was four or five years old, she was taught to go for wood, etc. When
she was about eight years of age, she learned how to make up a pack, and
began to carry a small pack on her back. If she was disobedient, she
received a blow on the head or back from the hand of her mother. As she
grew older, she learned how to cut wood, to cultivate corn, and other
branches of an Indian woman's work. When a girl was about three feet
high, she used to wear her hair tied up in four rolls, one on top of her
head, one at the back, and one at each side. This lasted till she was
about six years old. The girl manifested the most affectionate regard
for her parents and other near kindred.

With a boy there was not so much strictness observed. He had more
liberty allowed him; and at an early age he was furnished with a bow and
blunt arrows, with which he practiced shooting at marks, then at birds.
He had his sports as well as the girl, though it was not usual for many
boys and girls to play together. If a boy played with girls (probably
with those who were not his sisters), the Ponkas referred to him as a
"mi^nquga" or hermaphrodite. Both sexes were fond of making houses in
the mud, hence the verb, ʇígaxe, _to make lodges_, _to play games_.

Joseph La Flèche used to punish his son, Frank, by tying him to a chair
with a cord and saying to him, "If you break the cord I will strike

When a boy was seven or eight years old he was expected to undergo a
fast for a single day. He had to ascend a bluff and remain there, crying
to Wakanda to pity him and make him a great man. Dougherty said that the
boy rubbed white clay over himself, and went to the bluff at sunrise.
When the boy was about sixteen years of age he had to fast for two days
in succession. This had to be without any fire, as well as without food
and drink; hence, it was not practiced in the winter nor in the month of
March. The period of fasting was prolonged to four days when the boy was
from eighteen to twenty years of age. Some youths fasted in October;
some fasted in the spring, after the breaking up of the ice on the
Missouri River. The same youth might fast more than once in the course
of the year. Some who fasted thought that Wakanda spoke to them.

Boys took part with their elders in the Hede-watci, when they danced,
stripped of all clothing except the breech-cloth.


§ 96. The women had an equal standing in society, though their duties
differed widely from what we imagine they should be. On cold days, when
the husband knew that it was difficult for the woman to pursue her usual
occupations, he was accustomed to go with her to cut wood, and he used
to assist her in carrying it home. But on warm days the woman used to go
alone for the wood. The women used to dress the hides at home, or at the
tent in which she was staying when the people were traveling. When a
woman was strong she hoed the ground and planted the corn; but if she
was delicate or weak, her husband was willing to help her by hoeing
with her. The woman did the work which she thought was hers to do. She
always did her work of her own accord. The husband had his share of the
labor, for the man was not accustomed to lead an idle life. Before the
introduction of fire-arms the man had to depend on his bow and arrows
for killing the buffaloes, deer, etc., and hunting was no easy task. The
Indian never hunted game for sport.


§ 97. The sexual peculiarity was considered as "Wakan´daʇa´¢ica^n,"
_pertaining to Wakanda_. In the myth of the Rabbit and the Black Bears,
Mactciñge, the Rabbit, threw a piece of the Black Bear chief against his
grandmother, who had offended him, thereby causing her to have the
catamenia. From that time women have been so affected. Among the Omahas
and Ponkas the woman makes a different fire for four days, dwelling in a
small lodge, apart from the rest of the household, even in cold weather.
She cooks and eats alone, telling no one of her sickness, not even her
husband. Grown people do not fear her, but children are caused to fear
the odor which she is said to give forth. If any eat with her they
become sick in the chest, very lean, and their lips become parched in a
circle about two inches in diameter. Their blood grows black. Children
vomit. On the fourth or fifth day, she bathes herself, and washes her
dishes, etc. Then she can return to the household. Another woman who is
similarly affected can stay with her in the small lodge, if she knows
the circumstances. During this period, the men will neither lie nor eat
with the woman; and they will not use the same dish, bowl, and spoon.
For more than ten years, and since they have come in closer contact with
the white people, this custom of refusing to eat from the same dish,
etc., has become obsolete. Dougherty stated that in the young Omaha
female, catamenia and consequent capability for child-bearing, took
place about the twelfth or thirteenth year, and the capacity to bear
children seemed to cease about the fortieth year. This agrees in the
main with what the writer has learned about the age of puberty (§ 80)
and the law of widows (§ 98). La Flèche said that the change of life in
a woman occurs perhaps at forty years of age, and sometimes a little
beyond that age.


§ 98. _Widows._--A widow was obliged to wait from four to seven years
after the death of her husband before marrying again. This was done to
show the proper respect to his memory, and also to enable her to wean
her infant, if she had one by him, before she became _enceinte_ by her
next husband. When a woman disregarded this custom and married too soon,
she was in danger of being punished by the kindred of the deceased
husband. If they could catch her within a certain period, they had the
right to strike her on the head with knives, and to draw the blood, but
they could not inflict a fatal blow. Now, if widows are under forty
years of age they can marry in two or three years after the death of the
first husband; but if they are over forty years of age, they do not

§ 99. _Stepmothers._--Some are kind, others are cruel. But in the latter
event there are certain remedies--the husband may separate from his
wife, or else some of the kindred of the children may take charge of

§ 100. _Widowers._--Men used to wait from four to seven years before
they remarried; now they do not wait over one or two years. The kindred
of the deceased wife used to take a man's ponies from him if he married
too soon. Sometimes they became angry, and hit him; but if he waited a
reasonable time, they had nothing to say. There is a similar custom
among the Otos and Pawnees. Sometimes a man loved his wife so dearly
that after her death he remained a widower a long time. At last some of
the kindred of the deceased woman would say to one another, "See! this
man has no one to sew his moccasins; seek a wife for him (among our
women)." Then this would be done, and he would be induced to marry


§ 101. _Rights of parents and other kindred._--Parents had no right to
put their children to death; nor could they force them to marry against
their will. Mothers' brothers and brothers seem to have more authority
than the father or mother in matters relating to a girl's welfare. They
were consulted before she was bestowed in marriage, unless she eloped
with her husband. A mother could punish a disobedient daughter when the
latter was a child and refused to learn to work. Kindred had the right
to avenge the death of one of their number.

§ 102. _Ú¢iqě, or Refugees._--They have no special rights, as such; but
they share the privileges of the people with whom they dwell, and with
whom they sometimes intermarry. Omahas have joined the Ponka tribe, as
in the case of Ma^ntcu-sĭnde-¢iñge, and Ponkas have been incorporated
into the Omaha tribe, as in the cases of Jabe-skă, [P]enicka, and Mr. La
Flèche himself.

§ 103. _Isínu._--An isínu is an unmarried youth, or man who dwells in
the lodge of one of his friends or kindred. He may be the kinsman of the
husband or of the wife. He is also called a wama^nhe.

_Wama^n´he and Áma^nhe._--The owner of a lodge, whether a man or a
woman, is the ama^nhe, and the isínu is the wama^nhe, who has no lodge
of his own, and is obliged to ask for shelter of some one who is more
favored than himself. While the wama^nhe has shelter he is expected to
do his share of the hunting of game, etc., just as all the other male
members of the household do, and he must bring it in for the benefit of
his host and the household. Sometimes the ama^nhe gives a skin tent to
the wama^nhe, who then goes elsewhere, as he has a lodge of his own.

Only those men are celibates who cannot get wives. There are no single
women, as the demand is greater than the supply.


§ 104. _Personal habits._--The Omahas generally bathe (hi¢á) every day
in warm weather, early in the morning and at night. Some who wish to do
so bathe also at noon. "Jackson," a member of the Elk gens, bathes every
day, even in winter. He breaks a hole in the ice on the Missouri River
and bathes, or else he rubs snow over his body. In winter the Omahas
heat water in a kettle and wash themselves (ʞig¢íja). This occurs in
some cases every week, but when a person is prevented by much work it is
practiced once in two or three weeks. There are some who are not so
particular about washing. One chief, Wacka^nma^n¢i^n, was nicknamed "The
man who does not wash his hands," and his wife was styled "The woman who
does not comb her hair." Wacka^nma^n¢i^n heard of this, and it shamed
him into better habits. It was always the custom to brush and comb their
hair, and the writer has a specimen, "qade-mi-ʞahe," such as served
the Omahas of a former generation for both brush and comb. The Ponkas
used to bathe in the Missouri every day. The Pawnees used to neglect
this custom, but of late years they have observed it. La Flèche and Two
Crows prefer the sweat-bath to all other ways of cleansing the body.
They say that it is not a sacred rite, though some Indians pretend that
it is such; and it is so described in the myths. Cedar twigs are still
dropped on the hot stones to cause a perfume.

§ 105. _Politeness._--When friends or kindred have not met for about a
month they say, on meeting, "Hau! kagéha," _Ho! younger brother_, "Hau!
negíha," _Ho! mother's brother_, etc., calling each other by their
respective kinship titles, if there be any, and then they shake hands.
There are no other verbal salutations. Parents kiss their children,
especially when they have been separated for any time, or when they are
about to part. When the chief, Standing Grizzly Bear, met Peter Primeau,
Ma^ntcu-hi-^nqti, and Cahie¢a at Niobrara in January, 1881, he embraced
them, and seemed to be very deeply affected. La Flèche and Two Crows
did not know about this custom, which may have been borrowed by the
Ponkas from the Dakotas.

When persons attend feasts they extend their hands and return thanks to
the giver. So also when they receive presents. When favors are asked, as
when the chiefs and brave men interpose to prevent the slaying of a
murderer, each extends a hand with the palm towards the would be
avengers, or he may extend both hands, calling the people by kinship
titles, with the hope of appeasing them. If a man receives a favor and
does not manifest his gratitude, they exclaim, "Wajé-¢iñge áha^n!"--_He
does not appreciate the gift! He has no manners!_ They apply the same
expression to the master of a tent who does not show any desire to be
hospitable to a visitor.

A person is never addressed by name, except when there are two or more
present who are of the same kinship degree. Then they must be
distinguished by their names. They seldom call a person by name when
speaking about him. This rule is not observed when guests are invited to
feasts. The criers call them by name. When men return from war the old
men, who act as criers, halloo and recount the deeds of each warrior,
whom they mention by name. After a battle between the Ponkas and
Dakotas, in 1873, as the former were returning to the village after the
repulse of the latter, Na^nbe-¢iʞu, of the Wajaje gens, stopped at the
house of Ma^ntcu-ʇañga, who had distinguished himself in the fight.
Na^nbe-¢iʞu gave a yell, and after leaping a short distance from the
ground, he struck the door of the house with the blunt end of the spear,
exclaiming "Ma^ntcu-ʇañga, you are a Wajaje!" In making presents, as
after returning from war, the donor can mention the name of the donee.

People never mention the names of their parents or elders, of their
iʇiga^n, iʞa^n, etc. A woman cannot mention her iʇinu's name; but if
her isañga (younger brother) be small, she can call his name.

Mothers teach their children not pass in front of people, if they can
avoid it. Young girls cannot speak to any man except he be a brother,
father, mother's brother, or a grandfather, who is a consanguinity.
Otherwise they would give rise to scandal. Girls can be more familiar
with their mother's brother than with their own brothers. Even boys are
more familiar with their mother's brother than with their own father,
and they often play tricks on the former.

Politeness is shown by men to women. Men used to help women and children
to alight from horses. When they had to ford streams, the men used to
assist them, and sometimes they carried them across on their backs. Even
if a man is not the woman's husband, he may offer to carry her over
instead of letting her wade. One day, a young woman who was on her way
to Decatur, Nebr., with her brother, wished to stop at a spring, as she
was thirsty. The ground by the spring was muddy, and the woman would
have soiled her clothing had she knelt. But just then Maxewa¢e rode up
and jumped from his horse. He pulled up some grass and placed it on the
ground, so that the woman might drink without soiling her dress. Such
occurrences have been common.

§ 106. _Hospitality._--All who are present at meal-time receive shares
of the food. Even if some who are not on friendly terms with the host
happen to enter suddenly they partake. But only friends are invited to
feasts. Should one arrive after all the food has been divided among the
guests, the host gives part of his share to the new-comer, saying, "Take
that." The new-comer never says, "Give it to me." Should a woman come
the host gives her some of the uncooked food, and tells her to take it
home and boil it. Sometimes the host sees several uninvited ones looking
on. Then he tells his wife to boil some food for them. Or, if the wife
was the first to notice their presence, she asks her husband's
permission. He replies, "Yes, do it."

Here and there in the tribe are those who are stingy, and who do not
show hospitality. Should an enemy appear in the lodge, and receive a
mouthful of food or water, or put the pipe in his mouth, he cannot be
injured by any member of the tribe, as he is bound for the time being by
the ties of hospitality, and they are compelled to protect him, and send
him to his home in safety. But they may kill him the next time that they
meet him.

When a visitor enters a lodge to which he has not been invited (as to a
feast), he passes to the right of the fire-place, and takes a seat at
the back of the lodge opposite the door.

The master of the lodge may sit where he pleases; and the women have
seats by the entrance. Sometimes there is an aged male kinsman staying
at the lodge, and his place is on the right side of the fire-place near
the entrance. (Frank La Flèche. Compare § 112, as given by his father.)


§ 107. _Meals._--When the people were traveling in search of buffaloes,
they generally had but two meals a day, one in the morning before they
struck the tents, and one in the evening after they pitched the tents.
But if they moved the camp early in the morning, as in the summer, they
had three meals--breakfast, before the camp was moved; dinner, when they
camped again; and supper, when they camped for the night. During the
winter, they stopped their march early in the afternoon, and ate but one
meal during the day. When the camp remained stationary, they sometimes
had three meals a day, if the days were long. They ate ʇa (dried buffalo
meat), ʇanuʞa (fresh meat), and wata^nzi (corn), which satisfied their
hunger. And they could go a long time without a meal. Soup was the only
drink during meals. They drank water after meals, when they were
thirsty. They washed the dishes in water, and rubbed them dry with
twisted grass. The trader's story in _Long's Expedition to_ _the Rocky
Mountains_, Vol. I, pp. 322, 323, if true, relates to some other tribe.

The average amount of meat at a meal for an adult was two pounds, but
some ate three pounds. The maximum quantity was about four pounds.

§ 108. During the sun-dance, the Ponkas pretended to go without food or
drink for three days and nights; but near the sun-pole could be found a
bulbous root, which was used by the dancers for satisfying hunger and
thirst. This secret was told the writer by a man, an influential chief,
who had taken part in the dance in former years. This dance is of Dakota
origin, and is not practiced among the Omahas.

§ 109. At the present day, the Omahas use wheat, flour, sugar, coffee,
tea, bacon, and other kinds of provisions introduced by the white
people. They have been familiar with wheat for the past forty years.
Many subsist chiefly on corn, as they cannot afford to buy great
quantities of the provisions which have been mentioned. But while they
are fond of wheat bread, they cannot be induced to eat corn bread in any
shape, and they never have their corn ground into meal. All try to have
sugar and coffee three times a day, even if they are compelled to go
without meat. Within the past twenty years they have found a substitute
for tea. It is made of the leaves or roots of one of the two species of
"ʇabé-hi." One kind is called "na^n´pa-ʇañ´ga ʇabé-hi," or "large cherry
ʇabé-hi"; but the species of which the tea is made is the ʇabé-hi, which
spreads out, resembling twigs. It grows on hills, and its large roots
hinder the breaking of the prairie. The leaves, which are preferred for
making the tea, resemble those of red cherry-trees, though they are
smaller. When leaves cannot be obtained, they boil chips of the roots,
which makes the water very red. The taste resembles that of the Chinese
tea. (See § 177.)

§ 110. _Cannibalism._--Cannibalism is not practiced among the Omahas and
Ponkas, and it has been of rare occurrence among the Iowas. Mr. Hamilton
says: "I have heard of an old Iowa chief who roasted and ate the ribs of
an Osage killed in war; also of some one who bit the heart of a Pawnee,
but this was evidently done for the purpose of winning a reputation for

§ 111. _Feasts._--See §§ 81, 83, 106, 119, 124, 130, 143, 151, 187-8,
195-6, 217, 219, 246, 249-50, 274, and 289.

During the buffalo hunt and just before starting on it the only gens
that invited guests to feasts was the Hañga. And whenever any important
matters, such as the ceremonies connected with planting corn, required
deliberation, it was the duty of the Hañga chief to prepare a feast and
invite the chiefs and other guests. (See §§ 18, 130.) On ordinary
occasions, any one can have a feast. (See § 246.) Then the principal
guest sits at the back of the lodge, opposite the door, on the right of
which are the seats of the wag¢a, the host's seat being on the left of
the entrance. As the guests enter they pass to the left and around the
circle, those coming first taking seats next the wag¢a, and the last
ones arriving finding places near the host. Two young men who take out
the meat, etc., from the kettles, have no fixed places for sitting.

They give feasts to get horses and other presents, to win a reputation
for generosity, and perhaps an election to the chieftainship; also for
social and other purposes.

_The Mandan feast._--The following is an account of a feast given by the
Mandan dancing society: "When the food has been prepared the crier or
herald calls for those to come to the feast who take part in the dance.
To bad men he says, 'Do not come to the feast at which I am going to
eat,' and they stay away. Should the guests be slow in coming, the last
one who arrives is punished. He is compelled to eat a large quantity of
food, 6, 8, or 10 pounds. The others sit waiting for him to eat all that
has been placed before him, and as they wait they shake the rattles of
deer-claws and beat the drum. This is not a sacred rite, but an
amusement. If the man finds that he cannot eat all in his bowl, he looks
around the circle and finds some one to whom he gives a blanket, shirt,
gun, or a pair of leggings, with the rest of the food saying, 'Friend,
help me (by eating this).' Should the second man fail to eat all, he in
turn must make a present to a third man, and induce him to finish the
contents of the bowl. Sometimes horses are given as presents. Should a
man come without an invitation, just to look on, and enter the lodge of
his own accord, he must give presents to several of the guests, and
depart without joining in the feast. When one smokes, he extends the
pipe to another saying, 'Smoke.' The second man smokes without taking
hold of the pipe. Should he forget and take hold of it, all the rest
give the scalp-yell, and then he is obliged to make a present to some
one present who is not one of his kindred. Should one of the men make a
mistake in singing, or should he not know how to sing correctly, as he
joins the rest, they give the scalp-yell, and he is compelled to make a
present to some one who is not one of his kindred. If one of the guests
lets fall anything by accident, he forfeits it and cannot take it up.
Any one else can appropriate it. While at this feast no one gets angry;
all must keep in a good humor. None but old men or those in the prime of
life belong to this society."

Sometimes the guests danced while they were eating. All wore deers' tail
head-dresses, and carried rattles of deers' claws on their arms. One
drum was used. There was no fixed number of singers; generally there
were six. Each one danced as he stood in his place, instead of moving
around the lodge. There was no special ornamentation of the face and
body with paint. All wore good clothing. The Omahas danced this Mandan
dance after the death of Logan Fontenelle.

Those who boil sacred food, as for the war-path, pour some of the soup
outside the lodge, as an offering for the ghosts.

§ 112. _Sleeping customs._--They sleep when sleepy, chiefly at night.
There are no sacred rites connected with sleeping. Adults occupy that
part of the lodge next to the door, having their beds on each side of
it. (See § 106.) Children have their beds at the back of the lodge,
opposite the entrance. When there are many children and few adults, the
former occupy most of the circle.

Each member of the household pushes the sticks of wood together
("abada^n") towards the center of the fire, as the ends burn off. It is
not the special work of the old women or men. Nor are the aged women
expected to sit at the door and drive out the dogs. Any one may drive
them from the lodge, except in cold weather, when they are allowed to
remain inside.

§ 113. _Charities._--The word for generous is "wacúce," meaning also "to
be brave." This is apparently the primary meaning, as a generous man is
addressed as one who does not fear poverty. He is regarded as the equal
of the man who fears no enemy. Generosity cannot be exercised toward
kindred, who have a natural right to our assistance. All who wish to
become great men are advised by their kindred to be kind to the poor and
aged, and to invite guests to feasts. When one sees a poor man or woman,
he should make presents, such as goods or a horse, to the unfortunate
being. Thus can he gain the good-will of Wakanda, as well as that of his
own people. When the Omahas had plenty of corn, and the Ponkas or
Pawnees had very little, the former used to share their abundance with
the latter. And so when the Omahas were unfortunate with their crops,
they went on several occasions to the Pawnees, who gave them a supply.
This was customary among these and other neighboring tribes.

Presents must also be made to visitors, members of other tribes. To
neglect this was regarded as a gross breach of good manners. (See §

Prior to the advent of the white man, the Omahas had a custom, which was
told the writer by Frank La Flèche. When one man wished to favor another
by enabling him to be generous, he gave him horses, which the latter, in
turn, gave away, entitling him to have his ears pierced as a token of
his generosity. The act of the first man was known as "niʇa
gíbaq¢ukí¢ě," _causing another man to have his ears pierced_.

§ 114. _Old age._--Old age among the Omahas does not encounter all the
difficulties related by Dougherty (_Long_, I, pp. 256, 257). Old men do
not work. They sometimes go after the horses, or take them to water, but
the rest of the time they sit and smoke, or relate incidents of their
youthful days, and occasionally they tell myths for the amusement of
those around them. Old women throw away superfluous ashes, pound corn or
dried meat, mend and dry moccasins, etc. Sometimes they used to bring a
bundle of sticks for the fire, but that is now done by the men in their

The Omahas and Ponkas never abandoned the infirm aged people on the
prairie. They left them at home, where they could remain till the return
of the hunting party. They were provided with a shelter among the trees,
food, water, and fire. They watched the corn-fields, and when their
provisions gave out, they could gather the ears of corn, and procure
some of the dried pumpkins and ʇa (dried meat) that had been buried in
_caches_ by the people. They were not left for a long time, generally
for but a month or two. The Indians were afraid to abandon (waa^n´¢a)
their aged people, lest Wakanda should punish them when they were away
from home. They always placed them (i¢a^n´wa¢ě) near their village,
where they made their home during the winter.

They do not grow gray early, though Mr. Hamilton saw some children that
were gray. But gray hairs are of such rare occurrence that an Omaha
woman who has them is called "Gray Hair." When any one has white hair it
is regarded as a token that he or she has violated the taboo of the
gens, as when an Ictasanda or Wajaje man should touch a snake or smell
its odor.

§ 115. _Preparation for a journey._--When a man is about to start on a
journey he gets his wife to prepare moccasins and food for him. Then he
goes alone to a bluff, and prays to Wakanda to grant him a joyful and
stout heart as well as success. (See § 195.)



§ 116. _Medicines or fetiches taken along._--Some of the ₵egiha used to
take their respective medicines with them, saying, "Our medicines are
wise; they can talk like men, and they tell us how many horses we are to
receive from the people to whom we are going." For an account of the
dance of discovering the enemy, as Dougherty terms it, see § 271. It is
danced by visitors.

§ 117. _Mode of approaching a village._--When people go to make a
friendly visit to another tribe, they stop when they are a short
distance from the village or camp of their hosts, say at about 100 or
200 yards from it. There they sit on the ground and wait for some one to
come and invite them to the village. Generally, each visitor departs
with his special friend, or with the messenger sent from the village by
that friend. On some occasions, all the visitors have been invited to
one lodge, but these have been very unusual. The Omahas, Ponkas,
Dakotas, Pawnees, and other tribes act thus when they visit.


§ 118. _The Calumet Dance._--The generic term is "wáwa^n," in ₵egiha,
answering to the [T]ᴐiwere "waya^n´we" (the specific of which is
"ákiwa^n," [T]ᴐiwere, akíya^nwe), to dance the calumet dance for any
particular person. But the word makes no reference to dancing or
singing. It is equivalent to "waqúbe éki¢ě," _to make a sacred kinship_.
He who wishes to confer this degree is called "wáwa^n aká," the dancer
of the calumet dance, which is also the title of those who assist him.
He for whom the dance is made is the "áwa^ni aká," who becomes the
adopted son of the other man.

§ 119. _The preliminary feast._--When a man contemplates adopting
another man in this dance he invites all the other chiefs to a feast,
and consults them. When the person has not been selected he says to
them, "Wáwama^n ka^n´b¢a. I^nwi^n´¢ixi´dai-gă"--_I wish to dance the
calumet dance for some one; look ye around for me_ (and see who would be
the proper object). But if he has already selected the person, he says
to the chiefs, "Áwama^n ka^n´b¢a. I^n¢i^n´wa^nda^n´bai-gă"--_I wish to
dance for him. See for me if he is the proper one._ Sometimes they
reply, "Let him alone! He is not the right one, as he is bad;" or,
"Ni´aci^nga ¢i^n píäjĭ hă. Ji^n´äjĭ. Ákiwa^n´jĭ-gă"--_The man is bad. He
is proud. Do not dance for him._ But should the chiefs give their
approval, the man sends a messenger to the one whom he intends to honor,
having intrusted to him a buffalo bladder containing tobacco, which is
sent as a present. When the messenger reaches the place, and delivers
his message, the awa^ni aka calls his kindred together to lay the
proposition before them. Sometimes he says, "I am poor. Do not come."
In that case the messenger returns home, and the dance does not take
place. But if the awa^ni aka approve, and his kindred give their
consent, he sends the messenger back with a favorable reply. In some
instances, when one man has asked another to dance the calumet dance for
him, the other one has replied, "Why should I dance it for you? Why
should I give such a privilege to a bad man?"

§ 120. At the appointed time, the dancing party, which consists of two
leaders and many companions, repairs to the place of destination.
Sometimes the leaders take from twenty to thirty men with them. They
reach the lodge of the awa^ni aka, and there the two niniba weawa^n, or
calumet pipes, are placed on a forked support, which is driven into the
soil in the back part of the lodge.

[Illustration: FIG. 20.--The Weawa^n, or Calumet pipe.]

§ 121. _Description of the pipes, etc._--The following is a description
of the calumet pipes:

In the place of a pipe-bowl each weawa^n has the head and neck of a
"mi^n´xa [p]áhi^n-ʇú," or green-necked duck. Next to this, on the upper
side of the stem, are (yellowish) feathers of the great owl, extending
about six inches. Next are long wing-feathers of the war eagle, split
and stuck on longitudinally in three places, as on an arrow shaft. At
the end of these is some horsehair, which has been reddened. It is
wrapped around the stem, tied on with sinew, and then over that is
fastened some of the fur of the white rabbit, with some ends dangling
about six inches. The horsehair extends fully six inches below the fur
of the rabbit. This horsehair is attached in two other places, and tied
in a similar manner. The three tufts are equidistant, say, six inches
apart. Near the last tuft is the head of a wajiñ´ga-[p]a, woodcock (?),
the nose of which is white, and the head feathers are red. The bill is
turned towards the mouth-piece.[9]

[9] Frank La Flèche said that he had seen three heads of wajïñga[p]a on
one pipe, and that the number varied from one to six. There was no part
of the neck of the bird, and the lower mandible was removed. In this
respect only the above figure does not represent the _Omaha_ pipe.

The head of the duck is secured to the stem by the "ha-jíde," which used
to be made of deer or antelope skin, but since the coming of the white
men a piece of red blanket or Indian cloth has been substituted. Next to
this are suspended the two "wéʇa" or eggs, which are two hi^nqpé, or
plumes of the eagle. But the Indians compare them to the egg or to the
eaglet in the egg, to which the adopted child is also likened. The child
is still immature; but by and by he will grow, and fly like the eagle.
Next are attached a number of eagle feathers. These are secured by two
cords, called the "máca^n i¢áze ¢a^n," made of deer or antelope skin.

On one pipe the eagle feathers are white, being those of a male eagle,
and the pipe-stem is dark blue. On the other, they are spotted black and
white, being those of a female eagle; and the pipe-stem is dark blue.

[Illustration: FIG. 21.--Rattles used in the Pipe dance.]

§ 122. There are two gourd rattles, one for each pipe. Each gourd is
about five inches in diameter. A handle is thrust through the gourd, one
end of which projects about an inch beyond the top of the gourd. Blue
stripes about half an inch wide encircle each gourd; and two blue
stripes crossing each other at right angles extend half way around,
terminating when they meet the other stripe, which divides the gourd in
two parts. Around the handle is tied deer skin, antelope skin, or a
piece of buffalo skin. The ʇe-néxe, or buffalo bladder, which is sent at
first by the messenger, is painted with three blue stripes, as on the
gourd rattles. It is tied with a small, fine piece of the skin of a deer
or antelope, arranged so as to be opened very easily and with the ends
dangling a little.[10]

[Illustration: FIG. 22.--The Dakota style of tobacco-pouch used by the
Omahas in the Pipe dance.]

§ 123. When the pipes are rested against the forked stick, the heads of
the ducks are placed next the ground. A short distance from the pipes
are two sticks connected with an ear of corn, which is sacred. It must
be a perfect ear; the grains must not be rough or shriveled. If grains
are wanting on one row or side, the ear is rejected. All the people eat
the corn, so it is regarded as a _mother_. (See § 163.)

[10] This is the regular Omaha style. The above figure shows the Dakota
style. One of this kind was given to Frank La Flèche by an Omaha to whom
he had given a horse.

These sticks are reddened with wase-jide-nika, or Indian red. The longer
stick, which is nearer the pipes, is stuck about four inches into the
ground, and projects a few inches above the ear of corn. The other stick
is fastened to the opposite side of the ear of corn; the top of it is on
a line with the top of the ear, and the bottom extends a short distance
below the bottom of the ear, but it does not reach to the ground. The
ear of corn is held between the sticks by "ʇahá¢isa^n´," which is
wrapped around them all. This fastening is made of the plaited or
braided hair taken from the head of a buffalo. An eagle plume (hi^nqpe)
is fastened with sinew to the top of the smaller stick. The lower part
of the ear of corn is white, and the upper part is painted green.

[Illustration: FIG. 23.--The positions of the pipes, the ear of corn,

§ 124. _Feasting and singing._--The next morning before sunrise some of
the visitors sing as a signal for the people to arise and assemble.
Before they sing the áwa^ni amá say to them, "Come, O fathers, sing ye."
They do not sing over an hour, perhaps not quite so long. When the men
begin to sing the pipes are taken from their support, and are not
returned till the singing is concluded. The singing is inside the lodge,
as they sit around the fire. They sing again after breakfast, a third
time in the afternoon, and once more at night. This generally continues
for two days, during which time the visitors are feasted. Sometimes they
continue the feasts for three days.

_Gifts bestowed._--The day after the feasts, which is generally the
third day, the principal visitor gives presents to his host, who
collects all of the people of his village or tribe. He addresses the
chiefs, saying, "My father has brought these things to me." Then he
gives the presents to the chiefs. The pile of gifts is often about four
feet high. One or more of the chiefs then speak to the young men who
accompany them, "These things are given to you. Do with them as you
please. Give them to whom you desire to present them." Presently one
young man arises and says, "I will give a horse to my father," meaning
the principal visitor. He is followed by another, and so on, till all
have spoken who have a desire to make presents. Some of the young men
give many horses to the visitors. When the principal chief sees that
enough horses have been given in equal numbers to each visitor he says,
"Come, cease ye." Then the chiefs imitate the young men in giving
presents to the visitors, taking care to give none of them a larger
share than the rest. This exchange of presents consumes the entire day.
The principal visitor has the right to distribute the horses among his

[Illustration: FIG. 24.--Decoration of the child's face.]

§ 125. _The dance._--The next day two of the servants of the principal
visitor are selected to do the dancing. They must be men who are "cka^n´
¢ipí," _i. e._, skillful in imitating the movements and acts of the war
eagle, its flying, etc. When it is windy a screen is set up, but when it
is calm there is none. Before the dance is begun the man for whom the
ceremony is made leads his son or daughter to his visitors, saying, "₵é
á¢awa^n´ te hă´," _Please dance for this one._ But the parent does not
bring the child by himself; one of the dancers always goes for the
child, and must carry it on his back to the lodge where the dancers are
staying. When one of the men came to the house of Mr. La Flèche for his
daughter Susette, she was very small and so was afraid of the man, and
refused to go with him. So her mother's mother carried her part of the
way, and then the man took her to the lodge. After the father has
addressed the visitors the child is caused to sit with the members of
the dancing party. Its face is painted red, and over that is painted in
blue, the hañga ʞi`a^nze, and a stripe down the nose.[11] An eagle
plume or hi^nqpe is placed in its hair. The child receives clothing
from the principal visitor, if he has it; but if has none, another
member of the party gives the clothing. Then the adopting father says to
the child, "We give you a sacred thing. Do not have a bad heart. We make
you sacred, we set you apart. We have received this custom from Wakanda.
We give you a sign, and henceforth no one can say that you are poor."

[11] The hañge ʞi`a^nze for the child in the calumet dance differs
somewhat from that used by the chiefs and other adults. In the former
the stripes next the mouth are wanting, and, instead, is painted the
stripe down the nose.

The child so adopted is called "Hañ´ga ¢iñké" during the dance. Compare
the "hŭñ´ka (huŋka)" of the Dakotas.

There is no regular order of sitting. The drummer and singers sit in the
middle, and the child is with them. Near them are the two dancers, who
wear no clothing but breech-cloths. Both have the hañga ʞi`a^nze
painted in red on their faces. Each one holds a gourd rattle in his
right hand. It contains hard seed, beads, or fine gravel. In their left
hands are the calumet pipes. They dance for about an hour, imitating the
actions of the war eagle, preserving at the same time a constant waving
motion with the calumet, and agitating the gourds more or less
vehemently, agreeably to the music.

The villagers look on, some standing, others sitting. At the close of
the dance, the crier says to the people, "Come quickly with the presents
which you have promised. They will go soon." Then the people bring the
horses and other presents, which they bestow upon the visitors, who lose
no time in departing for home. Then the child's face is cleansed of the
paint, and the two calumets are given to the family to which the child
belongs. The visitors generally depart before noon, say, about 10
o'clock. Sometimes they finish the ceremony in three days, in which case
one day is spent in feasting, one in making presents, and part of the
third day in the dance. Sometimes they spend three days in feasting, the
fourth in making presents, and part of the fifth in dancing. But the
usual order is two days in feasting, one in making presents, and part of
the fourth in dancing.

§ 126. _Adoption and privileges of the child._--This child is ever after
treated as the first-born, taking the place of the real first-born, who
calls him "ji^n¢éha," _elder brother_. The wáwa^n aká shares his
property with this adopted son, giving him presents, and never refusing
him anything that he may ask of him. In like manner, the real father of
the child makes presents to the real son of the wawa^n aka, just as if
he were the child's father. This ceremony is never trifled with, though
it is now obsolescent. No marriage can take place between members of
these families for four years. At least, La Flèche and Two Crows never
heard of any persons marrying who were related by this sort of kinship.
After the first generation has passed away, the next may say, "That
man's father, A, made me (C) his son. I will dance for D, the child of
B, my adopted brother and son of A." Or B may say to C, "My father, A,
danced for you. Do you dance for me in the person of my son, D." So the
kinship used to be kept up, generation after generation, if they liked
one another; but if they did not agree, it was allowed to disappear.
(See Kinship, § 78.)

A child is danced for but once by the same party. Should they come
again, there are no ceremonies observed but the giving of horses and
goods. The children thus honored are from five to six years of age, none
over ten years of age can be thus adopted.

Frank La Flèche said, "Cañge-skă danced this dance for my father, who
therefore, called him 'father'; and I, too, call Cañge-skă my father. So
all the Weji^ncte people (being my father's gens by adoption), called
Cañge-skă, 'father' for four years. Then the kinship ceased. During that
period it would have been unlawful for any of my family to intermarry
with the gens of Cañge-skă."

The Ponkas are not fully acquainted with the calumet dance. They use
but one pipe; but the Omahas always have two pipes.



§ 127. Industrial occupations among the ₵egiha may be treated of in
three grand divisions: I. Those relating to the Sustenance of Life; II.
Those concerning the Protection of Life; III. Those which have to do
with the Regulation of Life. The first and second of these divisions are
not fully differentiated.

To the first division may be assigned those industries pertaining to
Food, Clothing, and Shelter. Food is obtained by hunting, trapping,
fishing, and cultivation of the ground. In order to obtain it one is
obliged to resort to weapons, traps, farming implements, &c.; and to
prepare it for a meal, there are several processes required, as well as
implements or utensils used in those processes. This gives rise to
another kind of industry, the manufacture of those weapons, traps,
implements, and utensils.

Among the industries pertaining to the Protection of Life are War
Customs (especially defensive warfare) and the Practice of Medicine.
(See Chapters IX and X.)

The following are connected with the Regulation of Life: The Government
and the Law. (See Chapters XI and XII.)

The following relate to the Sustenance of Life.


§ 128. _Kinds of hunting._--There are two kinds of hunting known among
the ₵egiha. One is called "abae," answering to the [T]ᴐiwere
"kinañʞra," and the "wotihni" of the Dakotas. This refers to the
hunting of the larger animals by a few men, or even by one person, the
family of each hunter having been left at home or in the tribal camp.
The other kind is the "ʇe une," when all the people go in a body, with
their families, moving from place to place as they seek for herds of
buffaloes. This latter is often called "gaq¢a^n´" by the Omahas and
Ponkas, and "ʞiqra^n´" by the [T]ᴐiwere tribes.

§ 129. _Hunting seasons._--The summer hunt was not undertaken till the
corn and pumpkins had been planted, the weeds cut, and the beans
gathered. The time for the return was when the wind blew open the
"jáqcazi," the sunflowers and the flowers of other species of the "ja,"
which was about the first of September. It was only during the summer
hunt that the tribe camped in the tribal circle on the open prairie. The
fall or winter hunt gave a name to the season when it began
"t`a^ngaq¢a^n," the _hunting fall_, or _later fall_, as distinguished
from "t`a^n" the _harvest_ or _earlier fall_. This later fall
corresponded with the latter part of October. Then some of the men took
their families with them, and went in pursuit of deer, or occupied
themselves with trapping beaver and otter. But most of the people went
on the fall hunt when they sought the "mé-ha," literally, "spring
hides," that is, those which had thick hair. They did not camp in the
tribal circle, as it was too cold to pitch their tents on the open
prairie; but each head of a family had his tent pitched in a sheltered
spot; and for this purpose the hunters did not always go in one large
party, but scattered in several directions, camping wherever they could
find heavy timber or brush that could protect their lodges during heavy
winds. They returned home in the spring about the month of April.

§ 130. _Preliminary feast held before the departure for the summer
hunt._--The principal chief or head man of the Hañga gens prepared a
feast, to which he invited all the chiefs and brave men. An Iñke-sabě
man was sent as ieki¢ě (crier, herald) or wag¢a (messenger) around the
village, and he called to each guest to bring his bowl and spoon. When
the guests had assembled at the lodge of the Hañga chief the two
principal chiefs sat at the back of the lodge, opposite the entrance,
and on each side of them were ranged the subordinate chiefs around the
circle, according to their rank. After them were seated the braves, as
far as the entrance, on the left side of which sat the giver of the
feast, while on the right side were the wag¢a (Waka^n-ma^n¢i^n and
[T]eha^n-ma^n¢i^n, the keepers of the sacred tents of the Hañga), who
were expected to attend to the fire and the kettles. The sacred pipes
were lighted, according to the prescribed rules, and passed around the
circle. (See §§ 18 and 111.)

The object of the council was explained by one of the head chiefs
saying, "Come! consider the question. Let us remove. In how many days
shall we remove?" The question was then discussed by others, and having
agreed among themselves what course to pursue, one said, "Úqě ctĭ
g¢íta^ni ʞĭ, wata^n´ zi-hi ctĭ g¢íta^ni ʞĭ, dúba ja^n´ ʞí,
a^nwa^n´ha^ntaí"--_When they have prepared their caches and have worked_
(_i. e._, examined) _their cornstalks, let us remove after an interval
of four days_. When the chiefs perceived what was the sense of the
council they decided on the route. When the food was sufficiently cooked
the wag¢a removed the kettles from the fire. Then one of the head chiefs
called a young man by name, saying, "Úha^n cétě we´¢itañ´-gă," _Handle
that kettle for us_. Then the young man holding a spoon in his right
hand dipped it into one of the kettles, took out a piece of a choice
part of the meat. His left hand being elevated, with extended palm, he
presented the meat in the spoon to each of the four winds, beginning at
the entrance of the lodge, and he finished the ceremony by casting the
meat into the fire.

Then the food was served out to the guests, the best portions of it
being placed before the chiefs. Each person who received a portion
thanked the host, using the appropriate kinship term, as, "Hau!
ji^n¢éha!" _Thanks! elder brother!_--"Hau! kagé!" _Thanks! younger
brother!_--"Hau! negíha!" _Thanks! mother's brother!_ The old men
present thanked the host, chiefs, and young men. Food is precious to
them, so they talked a long time about it. The young men left some of
the food in the kettles for the criers and old men, who then ate out of
the kettles instead of bowls. The feast ended, smoking succeeded, after
which the guests rose in succession, thanked the host, and passed out of
the lodge in an orderly manner, beginning with those on the left of the
entrance and fireplace. These passed in single file before the head
chiefs, and round the rest of the circle of the guests, till they
reached the entrance when they passed out. Then those on the right of
the fireplace made a complete circuit of the lodge, passed before the
head chiefs and went out of the lodge. In each case the guest followed
the course of the sun as he appears to revolve around the earth. The
criers sang through the village in praise of the host, whom they thanked
for his hospitality. They also thanked the chiefs and young men who were
present at the feast; and they proclaimed to the people the decision of
the council.

§ 131. _Preparations for the departure._--The women buried in _caches_
whatever they wished to leave. Food, etc., was placed in a blanket,
which was gathered up at the corners and tied with a thong; then the
bundle was allowed to fall to the bottom of the _cache_. Many of such
bundles were put into a single _cache_. Then the women went over the
corn-fields to see that all the work had been finished. They prepared
their pack-saddles and litters, and mended moccasins and other clothing.
The young men spent part of the time in dancing in honor of the
"watcígaxe ʇi uné¢ě aká," the men at whose lodges the dancing societies

 § 132. _The departure._--The day for their departure having arrived,
the women loaded their horses and dogs, and took as great weights on
their own backs as they could conveniently transport. Such lodges as
were left unoccupied by aged or infirm people were secured by closing
the entrances with large quantities of brushwood. Those men who were the
owners of many horses were able to mount their families on horseback,
but the most of the people were obliged to go afoot. Before starting the
place for passing the night was determined and an Iñke-sabě man was sent
through the village as crier saying, "Maja^n´ gá¢ua[p]i ¢aʇí
te,ai,a¢a+!"--_They say, indeed, that you shall pitch the tents in that
land which is out of sight!_ He described the location of the place as
he made this proclamation, so that the abaé-ma (hunters or scouts) might
know where they were expected to rejoin the people. This precaution was
taken each succeeding night, or else on the morrow before the departure
of the hunters.

§ 133. _The Hu¢uga or Tribal Circle._--(See §§ 9-12). They generally
selected some place near a stream, and they tried to find a level spot
large enough to allow the formation of a single hu¢uga, but when so
large a level could not be had, the Omahas pitched their lodges in two
concentric circles, and the Ponkas in three circles of that arrangement.
The exact order of the encampment of the gentes in these concentric
circles has not been preserved. As soon as the tents were erected each
woman put up her wáma^ncíha, of which there were two or three for each
tent. They were used for drying the ʇanuʞa or fresh meat, and each was
made by sticking into the ground two forked sticks that were about four
feet high, about six or eight feet apart, and placing a pole across
them. The pieces of meat were hung across the transverse pole of each

After the setting up of the tent of one of the keepers of the wa¢íxabe
or sacred bags, a stick was thrust in the ground outside the tent, and
the wa¢ixabe was hung on it, provided there was no rain. But should a
rain ensue after the bag was hung outside, or if it was raining at the
time the tent was pitched, the stick was set up without delay within the
tent, and the bag was hung on it.

§ 134. _The Wa¢a^n or directors of the hunt_.--The chiefs always
appointed four men to act as directors of the hunt. He who wished to be
the principal director had to provide a pipe and a standard called the
"wacábe." The former had a bowl of red pipe-stone, but was not one of
the sacred pipes. The latter consisted of an oak or hickory stick about
eight feet long, and reddened, to which was fastened a row of eagle
feathers, some of which were white and others spotted. Their use will be
explained hereafter. A "nikide" (see § 151) was fastened to the top of
the stick. The chiefs said to the directors, "It is good to do such and
such things." The directors considered whether it would be right or not,
and finally decided what course should be pursued. Then, if any accident
occurred, or quarrels between men or women, dog fights, high winds,
rain, etc., ensued, the director who had advised going in that direction
was blamed, and his advice was disregarded from that time, so he had to
resign, and let some one else take his place. During the last summer
hunt of the Omahas the directors were Ictá¢abi, Nugá, and Duba-ma^n¢i^n,
of the Iñke-sabě gens, and a fourth man, whose name has been forgotten.
Icta¢abi succeeded his father as the principal director.[12]

[12] These directors were not necessarily Iñke-sabě men. The wacabe and
pipe were always abandoned when the people were about to return home.
The order of ceremonies varied. Sometimes the sacred pole was anointed
after the first herd of buffaloes had been surrounded. In that case the
abandonment of the wacabe and pipe was postponed awhile. Sometimes they
were abandoned before the pole was anointed; and sometimes they were
retained till the end of the Hede-watci. They were abandoned during the
day. The pipe was fastened across the middle of the wacabe, which was
stuck into the ground on a hill.

§ 135. When the people stopped and camped for only a single night, the
act was called "uʇi;" but when they stopped at a place for two or more
days, the act was known as "epaze." This latter happened when the horses
were tired or the weather was bad. "Uʇí dúba sátă^n da^n´ctěa^n´ ʞĭ,
épazai"--_When they had camped but one night at each place for four or
five nights, they stopped to rest for two or more days._

§ 136. _Appointment of the scouts._--It was generally two or three weeks
after the departure from the village that they reached the country where
the buffalo abounded. Meanwhile, the people were frequently in need of
food, so it was customary for some of the men to leave the camp each
morning to seek game of any kind for the sustenance of the tribe till
the buffalo herds were surrounded. This service, too, was sometimes
called "abae," and, also, "wada^n´be ¢é," _to go to see_ or _scout_; and
the men were "ábaé-ma" or "wada^n´be-ma." Before their departure they
were summoned to the Wacabe tent by Tcáhĭc, the aged Iñke-sabě crier,
who stood by that tent, and called for each man in a loud voice. The man
himself was not named, but the name called was that of his small son.
Thus, when Two Crows was summoned, Tcahĭc said, "Gai^n-bajĭ hau+!" as
the latter was then the young son of Two Crows, and the father knew that
he was summoned. When the fathers had assembled at the Wacabe tent, each
one was thus addressed by the principal director: "You shall go as a
scout. No matter what thing you see, you shall report it just as it is.
If you do not tell the truth may you be struck by lightning! May snakes
bite you! May men slay you! May your feet hurt you! May your horse throw
you!" When the sons are large enough they go themselves as scouts when
called by name.

These scouts or hunters were expected to bring to the camp what game
they killed, and to reconnoiter the surrounding country for buffalo and
enemies. They used to traverse a vast extent of country, and to shoot at
all animals except the buffalo. Whenever those who went the farthest
came in sight of the buffalo, or discovered signs of their proximity,
they dared not shoot at the animals, but they were bound to return at
once to the tribe to report the fact. When they got in sight of the
camp, or of the tribe in motion, they made signs with their blankets or
robes. (See First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. Sign
Language, p. 532.)

§ 137. _Return of the scouts when the tents are pitched._--If the tents
were pitched when the scouts came in sight, the latter went at once to
the Wacabe tent, where the ʇe-sa^n-ha is kept. As soon as each director
heard or learnt of the coming of the scouts, he proceeded to the Wacabe
tent. When all four had arrived the scouts made a report. They never
told any news on such occasion till they reached the sacred tent; and
when they reported, they did not say, "We saw buffalo." They had to say,
if they discovered a herd, "Úciáʞi¢é-dega^n, ʇé-i eb¢éga^n"--_I may
have deceived myself, but I think that they were buffaloes._ The words
are pronounced very deliberately. "How many were there?" said the
directors. The reply might be, "I think about forty."

They were afraid of telling a falsehood to the directors and the keeper
of the sacred tent. Big Elk said that when they reported they used to
give a good robe to the pole in the other sacred tent, but this is
denied by La Flèche and Two Crows.

After hearing the report the directors sent the crier for the chiefs,
who assembled at the Wacabe tent. He also proclaimed that all the young
men should go thither; so they went, and stood outside. The Hañga man
(the keeper of the sacred tent?) told the young men, "In such a
direction there are so many buffaloes." Then the men left the women in
the camp, mounted their horses, and hastened towards the herd.

§ 138. _Return of the scouts when the people are moving._--If the people
were moving along when the scouts came in sight, the four directors
proceeded in advance to meet the scouts, and the Iñke-sabě crier
accompanied them. He marched behind the directors till they met the
scouts, when he advanced to the front, and received the report from one
of the scouts, who spoke in a whisper. Then the crier whispered the news
to the principal director, who stood on his left, and he whispered it to
the next director, and so on. After the crier told the first director,
the former stepped backward several paces to the rear of the four
directors, and lay down with his head pointing in the direction whence
the scouts came. After all of the directors heard the news, they smoked
once, and then sent the crier to proclaim the news. The scouts proceeded
to their families after delivering their report to the directors. The
crier proclaimed thus: "₵ázige te, ai a¢a+!" That is, "They say indeed
that you shall halt!" The tents were pitched immediately, as the people
knew that a herd of buffaloes had been found. Then the men hastened
toward the herd, each one being mounted.

§ 139. Some of the men used to address their horses thus: "Ho, my child!
do your best. I shall do my best." This was not said by all. Some gave
medicine to their horses to make them swift. (See the [P]a¢i^n-wasabe
dance, Chapter X.)

§ 140. _Council and appointment of policemen._--As soon as they could
see the herd they stopped. Then the crier called certain young men by
name, saying, "Let us consecrate some ʇa or sides of buffalo meat. You
will take a ʇa for me." (See § 151.) A council was held by the chiefs
and directors, and having decided to surround the herd, policemen were
appointed. These wanace were selected from the wahehajĭ or brave men.
They had no work to do till they were near the herd. Then they had to
watch the people to keep them from scaring off the herd by moving before
the proper time. All who disobeyed them were severely punished.
Cáda¢íce, an aged Omaha, who is now lame and palsied in one limb, was
once strong and highly esteemed by his people; but he violated the rules
of the hunt, and all the policemen flogged him so unmercifully that he
never fully recovered from the effects of his punishment. The offense
was committed when the people had been unsuccessful in finding a herd,
and were almost starved. Suddenly some buffaloes were discovered. Though
it was against the law for any small number of men to go against the
herd, independently of the rest, two or three, including Cada¢ice,
disobeyed, and, rushing forward, scared off the herd, so that none were
caught. On another hunt, when the men were behind a bank, seven of them
wished to ascend the hill sooner than Two Crows directed. They started
up against his wishes; but he rushed after them and lashed them right
and left with his whip, compelling them to desist.

During the council the chiefs said, "Let us consecrate some buffalo
tongues, and also two or four hearts." Then, calling on two of the young
men, they said, "Young men, you will get the hearts and tongues for us,
and place them together at the sacred tent."

§ 141. _Order of approaching and surrounding a herd._--The attacking
party was always led by two men carrying the sacred objects belonging to
the principal director; one man carried the pipe, and the other bore the
wacabe standard. They marched abreast, and behind them came the two
young men who had been chosen to collect the hearts and tongues. The
latter wore no clothing but their breech-cloths, and they carried only
their bows and knives. Behind them came the hunters, not going abreast
or in any fixed order, but somewhat scattered. When the two leaders
reached the proper distance from the herd they separated, one going to
the right and the other to the left, each one proceeding in a course
nearly the shape of a semi-circle, and followed by half of the men. They
began to form their lines for surrounding the herd, and the leaders ran
on till they had met in the rear of the herd, and then passed one
another, going a short distance around on the opposite side. Then the
attack began. The bearers of the pipe and standard were called
"`A^n´sagi-ma," _the swift ones_.

§ 142. _Collection of the hearts and tongues._--After they separated in
front of the herd the two young men behind them did not follow them, but
kept straight ahead towards the front of the herd, where they stopped.
They were obliged to be constantly on the alert in order to avoid the
onset of any buffalo that might rush towards them. As soon as they saw
that an animal was down they rushed towards it and proceeded to cut out
the heart and tongue. Then they passed to the next one that was slain,
and so on. Each one cut out eight or ten tongues, but he was obliged to
cut a hole in the throat before taking out the tongue, which was drawn
through that hole. This was the last time that the tongues could touch
any tool or metal, except when they were boiling in the kettles at the
sacred tent. As fast as the men removed the hearts and tongues they cut
holes in them, through which was thrust one end of a bow. When all were
strung on the bows they were secured by tying pieces of green hide to
the ends of each bow. The bow and its burden was placed on the back of
the owner while the green hide or bow-string went across the chest. Then
the young men ran quickly in advance of the hunters and gave the hearts
and tongues to the keeper of the Wacabe tent.

§ 143. _The feast on the hearts and tongues._--In the evening, when all
the policemen and other hunters had returned to the camp, the two
keepers of the Hañga sacred tents boiled the hearts and tongues. As soon
as they were done an Iñke-sabě man was sent as crier to invite the
chiefs, who proceeded to the Wacabe tent. On some of these occasions all
of the chiefs and Hañga men did not attend, so, when there were many
tongues, and few chiefs were present, some of the brave young men were
invited to assist in consuming the sacred food. None of the Wacabe Hañga
could eat the sacred tongues, though any of the other Hañga who were
present might do so. None of the meat was then cut with a knife. Each
guest was obliged to eat his portion there, as he could not take it to
his own lodge. He must put one corner of his robe (the wai^nhahage or
lower part) on the ground, and having placed the piece of meat on that,
he had to raise the improvised dish to his mouth and bite off a mouthful
at a time. Even when the blanket was a new one that would be soiled the
wearer could not avoid using it thus. This ceremony was observed four
times during the summer hunt. After the surrounding of the fourth herd
there were no further prohibitions of the use of a knife or bowl during
that season.

When the people divide and go in two parties during the summer hunting
season, only those who have the sacred tents observe the ceremonies
which have just been described. The others did not consecrate any hearts
and tongues.

While the guests were eating certain sacred songs were sung. According
to La Flèche and Two Crows, the singers were two of the Wacabe Hañga and
the ₵atada man who acted as quʞa; but Frank La Flèche says that the
singers were the Hañga guests who ate the tongues.

The Iñke-sabě crier sat by the door, looking wistfully towards the food,
and hoping almost against hope for some to be left for him.

These songs were very many, and lasted till daylight, according to
A^n´ba-hébe, the tribal historian. From him the writer gained an
incomplete description of them. First were the corn songs: 1. "I clear
the land." 2. "I put in corn." 3. "The corn comes up." 4. "Ukít`ět`a^n,
_It has blades_." 5. "Q¢á é¢a^nbe, _The ears appear_." 6. "Wahába najíha
t`a^n, _The ears have hair_, _i. e._, silk." 7. "Égi¢e a^n´¢ispa^n, _At
length we try the ears, squeezing them with the fingers, to see if they
are ripe_." 8. "Égi¢e jút`a^n ʞĭ, _At length it is ripe_." 9. "Égi¢e
wahába a^n´¢ija, _At length we pull off the ears from the stalks_." 10.
"Égi¢e wahába a^n´¢iga, _At length we husk the ears_." 11. "Égi¢e wahába
a^n´¢icpi, _At length we shell the corn_." 12. "Égi¢e wahába a^n´¢ate,
_At length we eat the corn_."

Then followed the buffalo songs in similar order, of which were the
following: "Síg¢e wada^n´be, _The tracks are seen_." "[T]é wada^n´be
ag¢í, _They have come back from seeing the buffalo_." "[P]ahé ʇá[p]`ě
a¢ai´, _They have gone to the hill that is near by_." * * * "[T]e wi^n
aú hă, _I have wounded a buffalo_." "Húqpaqpa ma^n¢i^n´, _He walks
coughing repeatedly_." This last refers to a habit of wounded buffaloes,
they cough repeatedly as the blood pours forth.

La Flèche and Two Crows say that they never attended these feasts, so
they cannot give the words of the songs. Frank La Flèche says, "None
besides the Hañgas and chiefs can give you correctly all of the songs of
the corn and buffalo, as it is looked upon as sacrilege to sing these
songs. The young people are strictly forbidden to sing them. None of the
young Omahas have taken any pains to learn them, although we have often
been to listen to the singing of them while the Hañgas and the chiefs
were performing the ceremonies of the pole. You may, but I very much
doubt it, get it all from one of the Hañgas or chiefs by liberally
compensating him for his patience (of which I fear he wouldn't have
enough) in going through with it, as it takes three or four nights
without stopping, lasting from sundown till sunrise; and even then they
find, sometimes, that they have omitted some.[13] I myself would like to
know it all, but I have never once heard it sung by any of the young men
with whom I am accustomed to go, although they frequently have had the
presumption to sing all other religious songs, such as the I^n´-kug¢i
a¢i^n´, Wacícka a¢i^n´, Wasé a¢i^n´, etc., for amusement."

§ 144. _Skill in archery._--So great is the skill of the Indians in
archery, that they frequently sent their arrows completely through the
bodies of the animals at which they shot, the arrowheads appearing in
such cases on the opposite side. Dougherty heard that in some instances
the arrows were sent with such force that they not only passed entirely
through the bodies of the buffaloes, but even went flying through the
air or fell to the ground beyond the animals.

§ 145. _Sets of arrows._--As each man had his own set of arrows
distinguished from those of other men by peculiar marks, he had no
difficulty in recovering them after the slaughter of the herd, and by
means of them he could tell which animals were killed by him. Hence
quarrels respecting the right of property in game seldom occurred, and
the carcass was awarded to the more fortunate person whose arrow pierced
the most vital part.

§ 146. Frank La Flèche killed his first buffalo when he was but
seventeen years of age. On such occasions the slayer cut open the body
and ate the liver with the gall over it.

[13] The Osages have an account of the origin of corn, etc., in one of
their sacred songs preserved in their secret society. They do not allow
their young men to learn these songs. The writer has an abstract of this
account obtained from one of the Osage chiefs. It takes four days or
nights to tell or chant the tradition of any Osage gens.

§ 147. _Carving and division of a buffalo._--When plenty of buffalo had
been killed, the slayer of one took but one man to aid him in cutting it
up, and each man took half of the body as his share. All agree in saying
that the hide was kept by the slayer, and some say that the choice
pieces were also his. Sometimes the slayer gave pieces of the meat to
those of his kindred who had no horses. All recognize the right of the
slayer to give the pieces as he saw best. He was generally assisted in
the cutting up by four or five men, and the body was divided into six
portions, as follows: The ʇe-mañ´ge or chest, one share; the ʇe-na^n´qa
or hump, one share; the ʇe-ju´ or front portions of the body, two
shares, with each of which was put a foreleg; the ʇe-jéga or thighs, the
hinder portions of the body, two shares; with one was put the ʇe-níxa or
paunch, with the other, the ʇe-cíbe or entrails. The men who assisted
were not necessarily of the same gens or tribe. Sometimes the slayer
took only the hide for his part and gave all the rest away. According to
Frank La Flèche, "the first man who reached a slain buffalo had for his
share, if the animal was fat, one of the ʇe-ju and the ʇe-nixa; but if
it was lean, he took one of the ʇe-jega and the ʇe-nixa. The second man
that reached there received the other ʇe-ju, and the third had the
ʇe-mañge. The fourth one's share consisted of the ʇa^n´he or ʇe-cibe and
the other ʇe-jega. But if the slayer of the animal wished any of these
parts he could keep them. The ʇe-dí or liver was good for nothing."

Should only one buffalo be killed by a large party, say, thirty or more,
the slayer always cut up the body in many pieces of equal size and
divided among all the hunters. Sometimes two or three men came and
helped the slayer to carve the body. Then he gave each a share. If a
chief who had not been invited to sit down came and assisted in the
carving, he too would get a share; but he had no right to demand a part,
much less the whole body, for himself, as some writers assert. When a
chief approached a carcass the slayer, if he chose, could tell him to
sit down. Then the slayer, after cutting up the body, might give a piece
to the chief, saying, "Take that and carry it on your back." Then the
chief would thank the donor. If the chief could not tell in public of
the kindness of his benefactor, the slayer would not give him a piece of
the meat. When a man killed a buffalo, elk, deer, beaver, or otter, he
might carry it to a chief, and say, "Wi´[p]aha^n, _I give it to you_."

§ 148. The women never aided in the carving. Sometimes, when a man had
no boy to take care of his extra horse, he let his wife ride it, and
allowed her to take out the entrails, etc., after he had slit the belly.
But if the slayer offered any objection the woman could not do that. As
a rule the men took out "úgaqe¢a tě," or all the intestines, including
the paunch, ʇe-cibe, etc., and put them aside for the women to uncoil
and straighten.

§ 149. _Kinds of buffaloes eaten._--During the winter hunt young buffalo
bulls were eaten, as they were fat, but the full-grown bulls were never
eaten, as their flesh was too hard. So in summer the young bulls were
not eaten for the same reason. Buffalo cows were always in good
condition for eating, and so were the "ʇe-mi^nquga" or hermaphrodite
buffaloes. The latter had very long horns.

While the Ponkas and Dakotas, when pressed by hunger, might eat the
kidneys raw, the Omahas always boiled them before eating.

§ 150. _Disposition of the various parts of the buffalo._--With the
exceptions of the feet and head, all the edible parts of the animal were
carried to the camp and preserved. The brains (wé¢iq¢i) were taken from
the skull for the purpose of dressing (¢iq¢í) the skin or converting it
into leather. These skins, which were obtained during this season, were
called "ʇa´ha," and were used in the construction of the skin lodges, as
well as for their individual clothing during the warm weather. When but
few animals were killed even the feet were taken to the camp, and when
they were boiled till they came apart they were eaten.

According to Dougherty "three women sufficed for carrying all the pieces
of a buffalo, except the skin, to the camp if it was at any moderate
distance, and it was their duty to prepare the meat, etc., for keeping."
But Frank La Flèche says that the women seldom went out to bring in the
packs of meat. Men and boys usually carried them. A woman who had any
male kindred used to ask some of the younger ones to take her husband's
horses and go for the meat.

All the meat could be cut into thin slices, placed on low scaffolds, and
dried in the sun or over a slow fire. Some, who did not know how to cut
good slices, used to cut the ʇe-mañge into strips about two inches wide,
called "wá[s]nege." But those who knew how would cut them in three, long
slices (wága) for drying. "The bones of the thighs, to which a small
quantity of meat was left adhering, were placed before the fire till the
meat was sufficiently roasted, when they were broken. The meat and the
marrow were considered a most delicious repast. These, with the tongue
and hump, were considered the best parts of the animals. The meat, in
its dried state, was closely compressed into quadrangular packages, each
of the proper size to attach conveniently to one side of the pack-saddle
of a horse. The dried intestines were interwoven together into the form
of mats and tied up in packages of similar form and size." Then the
women put these supplies in _caches_, and the tribe continued onward in
the pursuit of other herds. (For a fuller account of the uses of the
different parts of the buffalo meat see Chapter VIII, § 164.)

§ 151. _Ceremonies of thanksgiving prior to the return home. Anointing
the sacred pole._--It will be noticed that on the way to the hunt, and
until the time for the greasing or anointing of the sacred pole, the
Wacabe tent is the more important one. But after that a change occurred.
The keeper of the other sacred tent, in which is the sacred pole, became
the master of ceremonies, and the keeper of the Wacabe tent acted as his
assistant. When the people had killed a great many buffaloes they were
willing to return to their home. But before they could start they must
take part in a religious ceremony, of which a partial description
follows. The keeper of the pole sent a crier to summon the chiefs, who
assembled and decided to perform the sacred rites. For this purpose a
"ʇa" was boiled at the sacred tents. About a hundred young men were
collected there. They who had not yet distinguished themselves in battle
went stripped to the waist, and sat in a circle around the tents. Here
and there were some of the braves who wore robes, and some had on good
shirts. They departed when they had eaten the food. As they followed the
line of the tents several women went after them. Two of these women were
they who carried the sacred tents, and with them were three or five
others. As the braves proceeded they snatched from each "ʇi-ú¢igije" or
"ʇí-u¢ipu" (high or low tent) a tent-pole or else a forked stick
(ísag¢e) such as were used for hanging the kettles. No one offered any
resistance, as they knew the purpose for which the sticks were taken.
These tent-poles and isag¢e were handed to the women, who carried them
to the keepers of the sacred tents. When they arrived there they used
the sticks for making a long tent; and they placed the sacred pole
directly in front of the tent, as in the figure. Then the crier (Tcahĭc)
stood at the long tent and proclaimed as follows, by command of the
keeper of the sacred pole, calling on each small child by name: "O
grandchild, wherever you are standing, even though you bring but one
thing, you will put it yonder on the ground for me at a short distance."
Over two hundred children of parents that were prosperous were thus
invited to make presents to the sacred tents. No children of poor people
were expected to make any presents, but young men, boys, girls, and even
infants, were expected to bring "ʇa" or their equivalents, if they could
afford them. Then came the young men whom the crier had named when they
first saw the buffaloes. (See § 140.) Each one brought a "ʇe-ju" or side
of a buffalo. Sometimes they brought back as many as thirty, forty, or
fifty. Then came the fathers with their children who had been called by
name, each person bringing four presents in the name of his child. These
consisted, in modern times, of a "ʇa," a gun, a fine robe, and a kettle.
Each piece of "ʇa" used at this ceremony was about a yard long and half
a yard wide. When a gun could not be had, "nikide," which were very
precious, being used for necklaces, were offered instead. Sometimes a
horse was the fourth gift. The wahehajĭ took "ʇa," and also horses or
goods, as their offerings. The keeper of the pole, who could not eat the
"ʇa," then called on the keeper of the Wacabe tent to act for him; and
the latter then proceeded to arrange the pieces of the "ʇa" before the
pole. Selecting the two pieces that were the fattest, he placed them
before the pole, as the "nuda^n´hañga" or lords. Then he arranged the
others in a row with the two, parallel with the long tent. When but few
buffaloes had been killed, there was only one row of the "ʇa" before the
pole; but when there had been a very successful hunt, the pieces were
spread in one and a half, two, or even two and a half rows, each full
row being the length of the long tent. Then the keeper of the pole sent
a man of his gens to the Iñke-sabě gens for the two sacred pipes. These
were taken by the Hañga man to the long tent for future use. In the mean
time, the principal pieces of the ʇa were cut by the keeper of the
Wacabe tent in pieces as wide as one hand, and as long as from the elbow
to the tips of the fingers (fully eighteen inches). These pieces of fat
were mixed with red clay, and then the compound was rubbed over the
sacred pole. Some say that throughout this ceremony sacred songs were
sung: "A^n´ba i¢áug¢ěqti waa^n´ g¢i^ni," _They sat singing throughout
the day_. (See § 143 for what Frank La Flèche says on this point.) When
the anointing was completed the remaining ʇa were collected, and divided
among the Hañga people who could not eat the tongues. Sometimes the
chiefs received one apiece; and the keeper of the pole asked for one,
two, three, and sometimes four, which he gave to the kindred of his
wife, as he could not eat that part of the buffalo.

[Illustration: FIG. 25.--Showing positions of the long tent, the pole,
and rows of "ʇa" within the tribal circle.

Legend.--1, The tent; 2, The pole; 3, The rows of ʇa.]

According to some, the keeper of one of the Hañga sacred tents prayed
over the sacred object which was tied upon the pole, extending the palms
of his hands towards it. Then every one had to be silent and keep at a
certain distance from the long tent. Inside that tent were seated twelve
men in a row. (The writer suspects that ten chiefs, one from each gens,
and the two keepers of the Hañga sacred tents were the occupants of the
long tent. See below.) When the presents were made to the sacred pole,
young girls led horses and brought blankets to the two sacred men, and
were allowed to touch the sacred pole. The wife of a former trader at
the Omaha Agency, when very sick, was taken in a wagon to witness the
praying before the sacred pole, in hope that it might cause her

§ 152. _The sham fight._--After the pole was anointed, the chiefs spoke
of pretending to engage with enemies. So a member of the [K]a^nze gens
(in modern times Mitcáqpe-jiñga or Maja^n´ha-¢i^n held this office) was
ordered by the keeper of the pole to summon the stout-hearted young men
to engage in the combat. Mitcaqpe-jiñga used to go to each brave man and
tell him quietly to come to take part in the fight. According to some he
proclaimed thus: "Ye young men, decorate yourselves and come to play.
Come and show yourselves." Then the young men assembled. Some put on
head-dresses of eagles' feathers, others wore ornaments of crow feathers
(and skins of coyotes) in their belts. Some decorated their horses.
Some were armed with guns; others with bows and arrows. The former
loaded their weapons with powder alone; the latter pulled their
bow-strings, as if against foes, but did not shoot the arrows.

The flaps of the skins in front of the long tent were raised from the
ground and kept up by means of the isag¢e or forked sticks. Within the
long tent were seated the chiefs (ten of them?--see above) and the two
keepers of the sacred tents. The chiefs had made four grass figures in
the shape of men, which they set up in front of the long tent.

After the young men assembled they rode out of the circle and went back
towards a hill. Then they used to send some one on foot to give the
alarm. This man ran very swiftly, waving his blanket, and saying, "We
are attacked!" All at once the horsemen appeared and came to the tribal
circle, around which they rode once. When they reached the Weji^ncte and
Ictasanda tents they dispersed, each one going wherever he pleased. Then
the occupants of the long tent took the places of the horsemen, being
thenceforth regarded as Dakotas. As soon as the horsemen dispersed the
pursuers of the foe started out from all parts of the tribal circle,
hastening towards the front of the long tent to attack the supposed
Dakotas. These pursuers evidently included many of the horsemen. They
shot first at the grass figures, taking close aim at them, and knocking
them down each time that they fired. Having shot four times at them,
they dismounted and pretended to be cutting up the bodies. This also was
done four times. Next the pursuers passed between the grass figures and
the place where the "ʇa" had been, in order to attack the occupants of
the long tent. Four times did they fire at one another, and then the
shooting ceased. Then followed the smoking of the two sacred pipes as
tokens of peace. These were filled by a member of the Hañga gens and
lighted by some one else. (See Sacred Pipes, § 17.) They were carried
first to the chiefs in the long tent, and then over to the young men
representing the pursuers. Here and there were those who smoked them.
The pipes were taken around four times. Then they were consigned by the
keeper of the pole to one of the men of his sub-gens, who took them back
to their own tent. When he departed he wrapped around them one of the
offerings made by the brave men to the sacred pole. He returned the
bundle to the keeper of the pipes without saying a word.

The writer has not been able to learn whether the ʇe-sa^n-ha was ever
exposed to public gaze during this ceremony or at any other time. Frank
La Flèche does not know.

After the anointing of the pole (and the conclusion of the sham fight)
its keeper took it back to its tent. This was probably at or after the
time that the sacred pipes were returned to the Iñke-sabě tent.

The tent skins used for the covering of the long tent consisted of those
belonging to the two sacred tents of the Hañga, and of as many others as
were required.

§ 153. _The Hede-watci._--Sometimes the ceremonies ended with the sham
fight, in which event the people started homeward, especially when they
were in a great hurry. But when time allowed the sham fight was followed
by a dance, called the Héde-watci[´]. When it occurred it was not under
the control of the keepers of the two sacred tents, but of the Iñke-sabe
keeper of the two sacred pipes.

On the evening of the day when the sham fight took place, the chiefs
generally assembled, and consulted together about having the dance. But
the proposition came from the keeper of the pipes. Then the chiefs said,
"It is good to dance." The dance was appointed for the following day. On
the morrow five, six, or seven of the Iñke-sabě men, accompanied by one
of their women, went in search of a suitable tree. According to La
Flèche and Two Crows, when the tree was found, the woman felled it with
her ax, and the men carried it on their shoulders back to the camp,
marching in Indian file. Frank La Flèche says that the tree was cut
during the evening previous to the dance; and early the next morning,
all the young men of the tribe ran a race to see who could reach the
tree first. (With this compare the tradition of the race for the sacred
pole, § 36, and the race for the tree, which is to be used for the
sun-dance, as practiced among the Dakotas). He also says that when the
sham fight ended early in the afternoon, the Hede-watci could follow the
same day. (In that event, the tree had to be found and cut on the
preceding day, and the race for it was held early in the morning before
the anointing of the sacred pole.) In the race for the tree, the first
young man who reached it and touched it, could carry the larger end on
his shoulder; the next one who reached it walked behind the first as
they bore the tree on their shoulders; and so on with the others, as
many as were needed to carry the tree, the last one of whom had to touch
the extreme end with the tips of his fingers. The rest of the young men
walked in single file after those who bore the tree. Frank La Flèche
never heard of the practice of any sacred rites previous to the felling
of the tree. Nothing was prepared for the tree to fall on, nor did they
cause the tree to fall in any particular direction, as was the case when
the Dakotas procured the tree for the sun-dance.[14]

In the sun-dance, the man who dug the "ujéʇi" in the middle of the
tribal circle for the sun-pole had to be a brave man, and he was obliged
to pay for the privilege. Frank La Flèche could not tell whether there
were similar requirements in the case of him who dug the ujéʇi for the
pole in the Hede-watci; nor could he tell whether the man was always
chosen from the Iñke-sabě gens.

[14] None of the questions answered by Frank La Flèche were asked by the
writer while Joseph La Flèche and Two Crows were in Washington; it was
not till he heard Miss Fletcher's article on the Dakota sun-dance that
it occurred to him that similar customs might have been practiced by the
Omahas in this Hede-watci.

When the men who bore the tree reached the camp they planted it in the
ujeʇi,[15] or hole in the ground, which had been dug in the center of
the tribal circle. After the planting of the tree, from which the
topmost branches had not been cut, an old man of the gens was sent
around the tribal circle as crier. According to Big Elk, he said, "You
are to dance! You are to keep yourselves awake by using your feet!" This
implied that the dance was held at night; but Frank La Flèche says that
none of the regular dancing of the Hede-watci occurred at night, though
there might be other dancing then, as a sort of preparation for the
Hede-watci. In like manner, Miss Fletcher told of numerous songs and
dances, not part of the sun-dance, which preceded that ceremony among
the Dakotas.

The Iñke-sabě men cut some sticks in the neighborhood of their tents and
sent them around the camp, one being given to the chief of each gens.
Then the latter said to his kinsmen, "They have come to give us the
stick because they wish us to take part in the dance." Then all the
people assembled for the dance. In modern times, those who thought much
of themselves (chiefs and others) did not go to witness this dance, but
staid at home, as did Joseph La Flèche. Nearly all the young men and
boys wore nothing but their breech-cloths, and their bodies were smeared
over with white clay. Here and there were young men who wore gay
clothing. The women and girls wore good dresses, and painted the
partings of their hair and large round spots on their cheeks with red
paint. Near the pole were the elder men of the Iñke-sabě gens, wearing
robes with the hair outside; some of them acted as singers and others
beat the drums and rattles; they never used more than one or two drums
and four gourd rattles. It is not certain which Iñke-sabě men acted as
singers, and which ones beat the drums and rattles. When Frank La Flèche
witnessed this dance he says that the singers and other musicians sat on
the west side of the pole and outside the circle of the dancers; but
Joseph La Flèche, Two Crows, and Big Elk agreed in saying that their
place was within the circle of the dancers and near the pole. This was
probably the ancient rule, from which deviations have been made in
recent times. The two sacred pipes occupied important places in this
dance; each one was carried on the arm of a young man of the gens, but
it was not filled.[16] These two young men were the leaders of the
dance, and from this circumstance originated the ancient proper name,
[T]a^n¢i^n-na^nba, Two Running. According to Frank La Flèche, these two
young men began the dance on the west side of the pole, standing between
the pole and the singers. The songs of this dance were sacred, and so
they are never sung except during this ceremony. Of the members of the
tribe, those on foot danced around the pole, while those who wished to
make presents were mounted and rode round and round the circle of the
dancers. The men and boys danced in a peculiar course, going from west
to south, thence east and north, but the women and girls followed the
course of the sun, dancing from the east to the south, thence by the
west to the north. The male dancers were nearer the pole, while the
females danced in an outer circle. When a horseman wished to make a
present he went to one of the bearers of the sacred pipes, and, having
taken the pipe by the stem, he held it toward the man to whom he desired
to give his horse. The man thus favored, took the end of the stem into
his mouth without touching it with his hand and pretended to be smoking,
while the other man held the pipe for him ("ui¢a^n"). The recipient of
the gift then expressed his thanks by extending his hands, with the
palms towards the donor, saying, "Hau, kageha!" _Thanks, my friend!_
Each male dancer carried a stick of hard willow trimmed at the bottom,
but having the branches left at the top (in imitation of the cottonwood
pole). Each stick was about five feet high, and was used as a staff or
support by the dancers. After all had danced four times around the
circle, all the males threw their sticks toward the pole; the young men
threw theirs forcibly in sport, and covered the heads of the singers and
musicians, who tried to avoid the missiles; This ended the ceremony,
when all the people went to their respective tents. Those who received
the horses went through the camp, yelling the praises of the donors.

[15] This word "ujeʇi" appears to be the Dakota "otceti," _fire-place_,
expressed in Omaha notation. As the household fire-place is in the
center of the lodge, so the tribal fire-place was in the center of the
tribal circle.

[16] Frank Fa Flèche said that the two pipes used in the Hede-watci were
the weawa^n, from which the ducks' heads were removed, and instead of
them were put on the red pipe bowls of the sacred pipes. (See § 30.)

§ 154. _Division of the tribe into two hunting parties during the summer
hunt._--Sometimes the tribe divided, each party taking in a different
route in search of the buffalo. In such cases each party made its
camping circle, but without pitching the tents according to the gentes;
all consanguinities and affinities tried to get together. Those who
belonged to the party that did not have the two sacred Hañga tents could
not perform any of the ceremonies which have been described in §§ 143
and 151. All that they could do was to prepare the hides and meat for
future use. They had nothing to do with the anointing of the sacred
pole, sham fight, and Hede-watci, which ceremonies could not be
performed twice during the year.

§ 155. When the two parties came together again, if any person in either
party had been killed, some one would throw himself on the ground as
soon as they got in sight, as a token to the others of what had

§ 156. _Two tribes hunting together._--Occasionally two tribes hunted
together, as was often the case with the Omahas and Ponkas. Frank La
Flèche says that when this was done some of the Ponkas joined the Omahas
in the sham fight; but he does not know whether the Ponkas have similar
ceremonies. They have no sacred pole, ʇe-sa^n-ha, nor sacred tents,
though they claim a share in the sacred pole of the Omahas, and they
have sacred pipes.

§ 157. _Hunting party attacked by foes._--When a hunting party was
suddenly attacked by an enemy the women used to dig pits with their
knives or hoes, and stoop down in them in company with the children, to
avoid the missiles of the combatants. If the tribe was encamped at the
time, the pits were dug inside the tribal circle. Sometimes the children
were placed in such pits and covered with skins, over which a quantity
of loose earth was quickly thrown; and they remained concealed till it
was safe for them to come forth. On one occasion, when the Dakotas had
attacked the camp, an Omaha woman had not time to cover the children
with a skin and earth, so she threw herself over them and pretended to
be dead. The Dakotas on coming up thought that she was dead, so they
contented themselves with scalping her, to which she submitted without a
cry, and thus saved herself as well as the children.

When there was danger of such attacks the people continued their journey
throughout the night. So the members of the different households were
constantly getting separated. Mothers were calling out in the darkness
for their little ones, and the young men replied in sport, "Here am I,
mother," imitating the voices of the children.

§ 158. _Return of the tribe from the summer hunt._--The people started
homeward immediately after the sham fight and the Hede-watci. But there
were always four runners who were sent about five or six days in advance
of the main body. These runners were always volunteers. They traveled
all the time, each one carrying his own food. Not one waited for the
others. They never pitched a tent, but simply lay down and slept.
Whenever one waked, even though it was still night, he started again,
without disturbing the others if they were asleep. They always brought
pieces of meat to those who had remained at home. Their approach was the
signal for the cry, "Ikima^n´¢i^n ag¢íi, hŭ^n+!"--_The messengers have
come back, halloo!_ In the course of a few days all of the people
reached home; but there were no religious ceremonies that ensued. They
always brought tongues to those who had staid at home.

§ 159. _Abae, or hunting the larger animals._--No religious ceremonies
were observed when a man went from home for a few days in order to
procure game. The principal animals hunted by the Omahas and Ponkas were
the elk, deer, black bear, grizzly bear, and rabbit.

When a deer was killed it was generally divided into four parts. Two
parts were called the "ʇe-¢íʇi^n" or ribs, with which were given the
fore legs and the "ʇe-na^n´qa" or hump. Two parts were the "ʇe-jéga" or
thighs, _i. e._, the hind quarters. When the party consisted of five men
the ʇe-na^nqa was made the share of the fifth; and when there were more
persons present the fore legs were cut off as shares. When an elk was
killed it was generally divided into five parts. The "ʇe-ju" or fore
quarters were two parts, with which went the fore legs. The ʇe-jega or
hind quarters made two more parts, with one of which went the paunch,
and with the other the entrails. The ʇe-na^nqa was the fifth part; and
when the elk was large a sixth share was formed by cutting off the
"ʇe-mañge" or chest.

Frank La Flèche does not know how the black bears used to be divided, as
there have been none found on the Omaha reservation for the past
fourteen years.

§ 160. If one shoots a wild turkey or goose (mi^nxa), another person
standing near may run up and take the bird if he can get there first,
without saying anything. The slayer cannot say, "Give it to me." He
thinks that he can get the next one which he kills. The same rule
applies to a raccoon. But when one catches a beaver in a trap he does
not give it away.

§ 161. _Trapping._--Since the coming of the white men the Omahas have
been making small houses or traps of sticks about a yard long, for
catching the miʞasi (prairie wolves), big wolves, gray foxes, and even
the wild cat.


§ 162. Before the advent of the white man the Omahas used to fish in two
ways. Sometimes they made wooden darts by sharpening long sticks at one
end, and with these they speared the fish. When the fish appeared on the
surface of the water they used to shoot them with a certain kind of
arrows, which they also used for killing deer and small game. They spoke
of the arrows as "násize gáxe," because of the way in which they were
prepared. No arrowheads were used. They cut the ends of the shafts to
points; then about four inches of the end of each arrow next the point
was held close to a fire, and it was turned round and round till it was
hardened by the heat.

Since the coming of the whites, the Omahas have learned to make
fishing-lines of twisted horsehair, and these last a long time. They do
not use sinkers and floats, and they never resort to poison for securing
the fish. Both Ponkas and Omahas have been accustomed to fish as follows
in the Missouri River: A man would fasten some bait to a hook at the end
of a line, which he threw out into the stream, after securing the other
end to a stake next the shore; but he took care to conceal the place by
not allowing the top of the stick to appear above the surface of the
water. Early the next morning he would go to examine his line, and if he
went soon enough he was apt to find he had caught a fish. But others
were on the watch, and very often they would go along the bank of the
river and feel under the water for the hidden sticks, from which they
would remove the fish before the arrival of the owner of the lines.

_Hú-bigide, weirs or traps for catching fish._--La Flèche and Two Crows
do not think that this was an ancient practice. Children now catch fish
in this manner. They take a number of young willows of the species
called "¢íxe-sagi," or hard willow, and having bent them down, they
interlace them beneath the surface of the water. When the fish attempt
to force their way through they are often caught in the interstices,
which serve as meshes. But if the fish are large and swim on the surface
they can leap over and escape.

The Omahas eat the following varieties of fishes: ʇúzě, or Missouri
catfish; hu-í-buʇa, "round-mouthed-fish," or buffalo-fish; hu-hi^n´pa,
or sturgeon; hú-[p]a-[s]néde, "long-nosed fish," or gar; and the
hu-g¢éje, or "spotted fish." The last abounds in lakes, and is generally
from 2-^1/_{2} to 3 feet long. It has a long nose.


§ 163. This is regulated by the Hañga gens, as corn and the buffalo meat
are both of great importance, and they are celebrated in the sacred
songs of the Hañga when the feast is made after the offering of the
buffalo hearts and tongues. (§ 143.)

Corn is regarded as a "mother" and the buffalo as a "grandfather." In
the Osage tradition corn was bestowed on the people by four buffalo
bulls. (See Calumet dance, § 123, and several myths, in Part I,
Contributions to N. A. Ethnology, Vol. VI.)

At harvest one of the keepers of the Hañga sacred tents (Frank La Flèche
thinks it is the Wacabe or [T]e-sa^n-ha keeper) selects a number of ears
of red corn, which he lays by for the next planting season. All the ears
must be perfect ones. (See Calumet dance, § 123.)

In the spring, when the grass comes up, there is a council or tribal
assembly held, to which a feast is given by the head of the Hañga gens.
After they decide that planting time has come, and at the command of the
Hañga man, a crier is sent through the village. He wears a robe with the
hair outside, and cries as he goes, "Wa¢a`e te, ai a¢á u+!"--_They do
indeed say that you will dig the ground! Halloo!_ He carries the sacred
corn, which has been shelled, and to each household he gives two or
three grains, which are mixed with the ordinary seed-corn of that
household. After this it is lawful for the people to plant their corn.
Some of the Iñke-sabě people cannot eat red corn. This may have some
connection with the consecration of the seed-corn.




§ 164. _Meat._--They ate the "ʇa," or dried meat of the buffalo, elk,
deer, but seldom tasted that of the beaver. They cut the meat in slices
(wága), which they cut thin (máb¢eʞa), that it might soon dry. It was
then dried as explained in § 150. Before drying it is "ʇa-núʞa," wet
or fresh meat. The dried meat used to be cooked on glowing coals. When
the meat was dried in the summer it lasted for the winter's use, but by
the next summer it was all consumed. In the [T]a[p]a and Weji^ncte
gentes venison and elk meat could not be eaten, and certain parts of the
buffalo could not be eaten or touched by the Iñke-sabě, Hañga,
[T]e-[p]a-it`ajĭ, [T]e-sĭnde, and Iñg¢e-jide. (See §§ 31, 37, 49, 59,
and 67.)

The marrow, wajíbe, was taken from the thigh bones by means of narrow
scoops, or wébagude, which were made out of any kind of stick, being
blunt at one end. They were often thrown away after being used.

The vertebræ and all the larger bones of the buffalo and other animals
are used for making wahi-weg¢i, _bone grease_, which serves as butter
and lard. In recent times hatchets have been used to crush the bones,
but formerly stone axes (i^n´-igaga^n or i^n´-igacíje) were employed,
and some of these may still be found among the Omahas. Now the Omahas
use the i^n´-wate, a large round stone, for that purpose. The fragments
of the bones are boiled, and very soon grease arises to the surface.
This is skimmed off and placed in sacks for future use. Then the bones
are thrown out and others are put in to boil. The sacks into which the
grease is put are made of the muscular coating of the stomach of a
buffalo, which has been dried, and is known as "ínijeha."

They ate the entrails of the buffalo and the elk. Both the small and
large intestines were boiled, then turned inside out and scraped to get
off the remains of the dung which might be adhering to them. Then they
were dried. According to Two Crows, the iñg¢e, or dung of the buffalo,
is not "b¢a^n-píäjĭ," _offensive_, like that of the domestic cow. Though
the buffalo cow gives a rich milk, the Indians do not make use of that
of such as they kill in hunting.

§ 165. La Flèche and Two Crows never heard of any Omahas that ate lice,
but the writer saw an aged Ponka woman eat some that she took from the
head of her grandson. The following objects are not eaten by any of the
gentes: Dried fish, slugs, dried crickets, grasshoppers, or other
insects, and dried fish-spawn. Nor do they ever use as drinks fish-oil
or other oils.

§ 166. _Corn_, Wata^nzi--La Flèche and Two Crows mention the following
varieties as found among the Omahas: 1. Wata^n´zi skă, white corn, of
two sorts, one of which, wata^n´zi-kúg¢i, is hard; the other, wata^n´zi
skă proper, is wat'éga, or tender. 2. Wata^n´zi ʇu, blue corn; one sort
is hard and translucent, the other is wat'ega. 3. Wata^n´zi zi, yellow
corn; one sort is hard and translucent, the other is wat'ega. 4.
Wata^n´zi g¢ejé, spotted corn; both sorts are wat'ega; one is covered
with gray spots, the other with red spots. 5. Wata^n´zi ʇú-jide, a "a
reddish-blue corn." 6. Wata^n´zi jíděqti, "very red corn." 7. Wata^n´zi
ígaxúxu, zí kĭ jíde iháhai, ugáai éga^n, _figured corn, on which are
yellow and red lines, as if painted_. 8. Wa¢ástage, of three sorts,
which are the "sweet corn" of the white people; wa¢ástage skă, which is
translucent, but not very white; wa¢astage zi, which is wat'ega and
yellow, and wa¢astage ʇu, which is wat'ega and blue. All of the above
varieties mature in August. Besides these is the Wajút`a^n-kú¢ě, "that
which matures soon," the squaw corn, which first ripens in July.

§ 167. _Modes of cooking the corn._--Before corn is boiled the men call
it wata^n´zi sáka, raw corn; the women call all corn that is not boiled
"sa¢áge." Wata^nzi skí¢veě sweet corn, is prepared in the following
ways: When the corn is yet in the milk or soft state it is collected and
boiled on the cob. This is called "wab¢úga" or "wab¢úga ʇañga," because
the corn ear (wahába) is put whole (b¢uga) into the kettle. It is boiled
with beans alone, with dried meat alone, with beans and dried meat, or
with a buffalo paunch and beans.

Sometimes the sweet corn is simply roasted before it is eaten; then it
is known as "wata^n´zi skí¢ě úha^n-bájĭ, _sweet corn that is not
boiled_." Sometimes it is roasted on the ear with the husks on, being
placed in the hot embers, then boiled, shelled, and dried in the sun,
and afterwards packed away for keeping in _parflèche_ cases. The grain
prepared in this manner has a shriveled appearance and a sweet taste,
from which the name is derived. It may be boiled for consumption at any
time of the year with but little trouble, and its taste closely
resembles that of new corn. Sometimes it is boiled, shelled, and dried
without being roasted; in this case, as in the preceding one, it is
called "wata^n´zi skí¢ě uha^ní, _boiled sweet corn_." This sweet corn
may be boiled with beans alone, or with beans, a buffalo paunch,
pumpkins, and dried meat; or with one or more of these articles, when
all cannot be had.

They used to make "wa¢ískiskída, corn tied up." When the corn was still
juicy they pushed off the grains having milk in them. These were put
into a lot of husks, which were tied in a bundle, and that was placed in
a kettle to boil. Beans were often mixed with the grains of corn before
the whole was placed in the husks. In either case wa¢iskiskida was
considered very good food.

Dougherty said, "They also pound the sweet corn into a kind of small
hominy, which when boiled into a thick mush, with a proper proportion of
the smaller entrails and jerked meat, is held in much estimation." The
writer never heard of this.

The corn which is fully ripe is sometimes gathered, shelled, dried, and
packed away for future use.

Hominy, wabi´ᴐnude or wanáᴐnudé¢ě, is prepared from hard corn by boiling
it in a lye of wood ashes for an hour or two, when the hard exterior
skin nearly slips off (náᴐnude). Then it is well washed to get rid of
the ashes, and rinsed, by which time the bran is rubbed off (biᴐnúde).
When needed for a meal it may be boiled alone or with one or more of the
following: Pumpkins, beans, or dried meat. Sometimes an ear of corn is
laid before the fire to roast (jé`a^nhe), instead of being covered with
the hot ashes.

Wanin´de or mush is made from the hard ripe corn by beating a few grains
at a time between two stones, making a coarse meal. The larger stone is
placed on a skin or blanket that the flying fragments may not be lost.
This meal is always boiled in water with beans, to which may be added
pumpkins, a buffalo paunch, or dried meat.

When they wish to make wanin´de-gáskě, or ash-cake, beans are put on to
boil, while the corn is pounded in a mortar that is stuck into the
ground. When the beans have begun to fall to pieces, but before they are
done, they are mixed with the pounded corn, and made into a large cake,
which is sometimes over two feet in diameter and four inches thick. This
cake is baked in the ashes. Occasionally corn-husks are opened and
moistened, and put over the cake before the hot ashes are put on.

At times the cake is made of mush alone, and baked in the ashes with or
without the corn husks.

₵ib¢úb¢uga, corn dumplings, are made thus: When the corn has been
pounded in a mortar, some of it is mixed with water, and beans are added
if any can be had. This is put in a kettle to boil, having been made
into round balls or dumplings, which do not fall to pieces after
boiling. The rest of the pounded corn is mixed with plenty of water,
being "nig¢uze," _very watery_, and is eaten as soup with the dumplings.

Another dish is called "A^n´bag¢e." When this is needed, they first boil
beans. Then, having pounded corn very fine in a mortar, they pour the
meal into the kettle with the beans. This mixture is allowed to boil
down and dry, and is not disturbed that night. The next day when it is
cold and stiff the kettle is overturned, and the a^nbag¢e is pushed out.

Wacañ´ge is made by parching corn, which is then pounded in a mortar;
after which the meal is mixed with grease, soup made from meat, and
pumpkins. Sometimes it is mixed, instead with honey. Then it is made up
into hard masses (¢iskíski) with the hands. Dougherty says that with
wacañge and waninde "portions of the ʇe-cibe, or smaller intestines of
the buffalo are boiled, to render the food more sapid."

[Illustration: FIG. 26.--Figures of pumpkins.

The waʇa^nqti is at the top; the next is the waʇa^n muxa; the third is
the waʇa^n-jide; and the bottom one, the waʇa^n ninde bazu.]

§ 168. _Melons, pumpkins, etc._, Saka¢ide uke¢i^n, the common
watermelon, was known to the Omahas before the coming of the white men.
It has a green rind, which is generally striped, and the seeds are
black. It is never dried, but is always eaten raw, hence the name. They
had no yellow saka¢ide till the whites came; but they do not eat them.

Waʇa^n´, _Pumpkins_--The native kinds are three: waʇa^n´-qti,
waʇa^n´-kukúge, and waʇa^n´-múxa. Waʇa^n-qti, the real pumpkins are
generally greenish, and "bícka," round but slightly flattened on sides
like turnips. They are usually dried, and are called "waʇa^n´-gazan´de,"
because they are cut in circular slices and hung together, as it were,
in festoons (gazande).

The second variety is large, white, and striped; it is not good for
drying. The waʇa^n-muxa are never dried. Some are white, others are
"sábě ʇu éga^n, a sort of black or dark blue," and small. Others, the
waʇa^n´-múxa g¢ejé, are spotted, and are eaten before they become too
ripe. In former days, these were the only sweet articles of food.
Sometimes pumpkins are baked on coals (jég¢a^n).

Modern varieties are two: The wata^n-nin´de bazú and the wata^n´-jíde.
The Omahas never plant the latter, as they do not regard it as
desirable. They plant the former, which is from 2 to 2-^1/_{2} feet
long, and covered with knots or lumps. The native pumpkins are
frequently steamed, as the kettle is filled with them cut in slices with
a very small quantity of water added. Pumpkins are never boiled with
ʇe-cibe or buffalo entrails; but they can be boiled with a buffalo
paunch, beans, dried meat, and with any preparation of corn.

§ 169. _Fruits and berries._--Taspa^n´, red haws, are seldom eaten; and
then are taken raw, not over two or three at a time. Clumps of the
hawthorn abound on Logan Creek, near the Omaha reserve, and furnish the
Omaha name for that stream, Taspa^n´-hi báʇe.

Wajíde-níka, which are about the size of haws, grow on low bushes in
Northwest Nebraska. They are edible in the autumn.

Buffalo berries, the wajídě-qti, or real wajide, are eaten raw, or they
are dried and then boiled before eating.

[K]añde, plums, though dried by the Dakotas, are not dried by the ₵egiha
and [T]ᴐiwere, who eat them raw.

Na^n´pa, choke-cherries, are of two kinds. The larger ones or
na^n´pa-ʇañ´ga, abound in a region known as [P]izábahehe, in Northwest
Nebraska, where they are very thick, as many as two hundred being found
on a single bush. Some of the bushes are a foot high, others are about
two feet in height. The choke-cherries are first pounded between two
stones, and then dried. The smaller variety, or na^n´pa-jiñ´ga, grow on
tall bushes. These cherries are dried.

Gube, hackberries, are the size of black peppers or the smaller cherries
(na^npa-jiñga). They are fine, sweet, and black. They grow on large
trees (_Celtis occidentalis_), the bark of which is rough and inclined
to curl up.

Ag¢añkamañge, raspberries, are dried and boiled. Bacte, strawberries,
are not dried. They are eaten raw.

Ja^n-qude-ju are berries that grow near the Niobrara River; they are
black and sweet, about the size of buffalo berries. They are dried.

Nacama^n is the name of a species of berry or persimmon (?), which
ripens in the later fall. It hangs in clusters on a small stalk, which
is bent over by the weight of the fruit. The nacama^n is seldom eaten by
the Omahas. It is black, not quite the size of a hazel nut; and its seed
resemble watermelon seed.

Hazi, grapes--one kind, the fox grape, is eaten raw, or dried and

§ 170. _Nuts._--The "búde" is like the acorn, but it grows on a
different tree, the trunk of which is red (the red oak?). These nuts are
ripe in the fall. They are boiled till the water has nearly boiled away,
when the latter is poured out, and fresh water and good ashes are put
in. Then the nuts are boiled a long time till they become black. The
water and ashes are thrown out, fresh water is put in the kettle, and
the nuts are washed till they are clean, when they are found to be
"náʇube," cooked till ready to fall to pieces. Then they are mixed with
wild honey, and are ready for one to eat. They are "íb¢a^nqtiwá¢ě,"
capable of satisfying hunger to the utmost, but a handful being
necessary for that end.

A^n´jiñga, hazel nuts, are neither boiled nor dried; they are eaten raw
The same may be said of "ʇáge," black walnuts.

§ 171. Fruits were preserved in wild honey alone, according to J. La
Flèche. Since the arrival of the white people a few of the Omahas have
cultivated sorghum; but in former days the only sugars and sirups were
those manufactured from the sugar maple and box elder or ash-leaved

The Omahas know nothing about pulse, mesquite, and screw-beans. Nor do
they use seeds of grasses and weeds for food.

Previous to the arrival of the whites they did not cultivate any garden
vegetables; but now many of the Omahas and Ponkas have raised many
varieties in their gardens.

§ 172. _Roots used for food._--The núg¢e or Indian turnip is sometimes
round, and at others elliptical. When the Omahas wish to dry it, they
pull off the skin. Then they cut off pieces about two inches long, and
throw away the hard interior. Then they place these pieces in a mortar
and pound them, after which they dry them. When they are dried they are
frequently mixed with grease. Occasionally they are boiled with dried
meat without being pounded. The soup is very good.

Nú uké¢i^n, or _Pomme de terre_, the native potato, is dug in the winter
by the women. There are different kinds of this root, some of which have
good skins. Several grow on a common root, thus: [illustration] These
potatoes are boiled; then the skins are pulled off, and they are dried.

The "si^n" is an aquatic plant, resembling the water-lily. It is also
called the "si^n´-uké¢i^n," being the wild rice. In order to prepare it
as food it is roasted under hot ashes.

The other rice is the "si^n´-wanin´de"; the stalk on which it grows is
the "si^n´-wanin´de-hi," a species of rush which grows with rice in
swamps. The grain is translucent, and is the principal article of diet
for those Indians who reside in very cold regions north of the Ponkas.

Si^n´-skuskúba, which some Ponkas said was the calamus, is now very
rare. Few of the Omahas know it at present. They used to eat it after
boiling it. Frank La Flèche said that this could not be calamus, as the
Omahas called that maka^n-ninida, and still eat it.

§ 173. _Beans._--Beans, hi^nb¢iñ´ge or ha^nb¢iñ´ge, are planted by the
Indians. They dry them before using them. Some are large, others are
small, being of different sizes. The Indians speak of them thus:
"búʇa-hna^ni, b¢áska éga^n," _they are generally curvilinear, and are
some what flat_.

La Flèche and Two Crows speak of many varieties, which are probably of
one and the same species: "Hi^nb¢iñge sábě g¢ejé, beans that have black
spots. 2. Skă g¢ejé, those with white spots. 3. Zi´g¢ejé, those with
yellow spots. 4. Jíde g¢ejé, those with red spots. 5. Qúde g¢ejé, those
with gray spots. 6. Jíděqti, very red ones. 7. Sáběqti, very black ones.
8. Jíde cábe éga^n, those that are a sort of dark red. 9. Skă, white.
10. [T]u éga^n sábě, dark blue. 11. Ji´ éga^n sábě, dark orange red. 12.
Skă, ug¢e tě jide, white, with red on the "ug¢e" or part that is united
to the vine. 13. Hi-ug¢é tě sabě, those that are black on the "ug¢e."
14. [T]u g¢eje ega^n, blue, with white spots. 15. A^npa^n hi^n ega^n,
qude zi ega^n, like the hair of an elk, a sort of grayish yellow.

The hi^nb¢i^n´`abe, or hi^nb¢iñge ma^ntanaha, wild beans, are not
planted. They come up of their own accord. They are flat and
curvilinear, and abound under trees. The field-mice hoard them in their
winter retreats, which the Indians seek to rob. They cook them by
putting them in hot ashes.

§ 174. _[T]e¢awe_ is the name given to the seeds and root of the
_Nelumbium luteum_, and is thus described by an Omaha: The ʇe¢awe is the
root of an aquatic plant, which is not very abundant. It has a leaf like
that of a lily, but about two feet in diameter, lying on the surface of
the water. The stalk comes up through the middle of the leaf, and
projects about two feet above the water. On top is a seed-pod. The seed
are elliptical, almost shaped like bullets, and they are black and very
hard. When the ice is firm or the water shallow, the Indians go for the
seed, which they parch by a fire, and beat open, then eat. They also eat
the roots. If they wish to keep them for a long time, they cut off the
roots in pieces about six inches long, and dry them; if not, they boil

§ 175. Hi^n´qa is the root of a sahi or water grass which grows beneath
the surface of Lake Nik'umi, near the Omaha Agency, Nebraska. This root,
which is about the size of the first joint of one's forefinger, is
bulbous and black. When the Omaha boys go into bathe they frequently eat
it in sport, after pulling off the skin. Two Crows says that adults
never eat it. J. La Flèche never ate it, but he has heard of it.

§ 176. _Savors, flavors, etc._--Salt, ni-skí¢ě, was used before the
advent of the whites. One place known to the Omahas was on Salt River,
near Lincoln, Nebr., which city is now called by them "Ni-ski¢ě." At
that place the salt collected on top of the sand and dried. Then the
Omahas used to brush it together with feathers and take it up for use.
What was on the surface was very white, and fit for use; but that
beneath was mixed with sand and was not disturbed. Rock salt was found
at the head of a stream, southwest of the Republican, which flowed into
the northwest part of the Indian Territory, and they gave the place the
name, "Ni-skí¢ě sagí ¢a^n, _Where the hard salt is_." In order to get
this salt, they broke into the mass by punching with sticks, and the
detached fragments were broken up by pounding.

Peppers, aromatic herbs, spices, etc., were not known in former days.
Clay was never used as food nor as a savor.

§ 177. _Drinks._--The only drinks used were soups and water. Teas, beer,
wine, or other fermented juices, and distilled liquors, were unknown.
(See § 109.)

§ 178. _Narcotics._--Native tobacco, or niní. The plant, niní-hi was the
only narcotic known previous to the coming of our race. It differs from
the common tobacco plant; none of it has been planted in modern times.
J. La Flèche saw some of it when he was small. Its leaves were "ʇúqude
éga^n," a sort of a blue color, and were about the size of a man's hand,
and shaped somewhat like a tobacco leaf. Mr. H. W. Henshaw, of the
United States Geological Survey, has been making some investigations
concerning the narcotics used by many of the Indian tribes. He finds
that the Rees and other tribes did have a native tobacco, and that some
of it is still cultivated. This strengthens the probability that the
niní of the Omahas and Ponkas was a native plant.

Mixed tobacco or killickinnick is called ninígahi by the Omahas and
Ponkas. This name implies that native or common, tobacco (niní) has been
mixed (igahi) with some other ingredient. "This latter is generally the
inner bark of the red willow (_Cornus sericea_), and occasionally it is
composed of sumac leaves (_Rhus glabrum_). When neither of these can be
had the inner bark of the arrow wood (_Viburnum_) or ma^n´sa-hi is
substituted for them. The two ingredients are well dried over a fire,
and rubbed together between the hands." (Dougherty, in _Long's
Expedition_, I.)

"In making ninígahi, the inner bark of the dogwood, to which are
sometimes added sumac leaves, is mixed with the tobacco. Sometimes they
add wajide-hi ha, the inner bark of rose-bushes. When they cannot get
dogwood or sumac they may use the bark of the ma^nśa hi or arrow-wood.
The bark of the ¢ixe sagi, or hard willow, is not used by the Omahas."
(Frank La Flèche.)


§ 179. Garments were usually made by the women, while men made their
weapons. Some of the Omahas have adopted the clothing of the white man.
There is no distinction between the attire of dignitaries and that of
the common people.

§ 180. There were no out-buildings, public granaries, etc. Each
household stored away its own grain and other provisions. There were no
special tribal or communal dwellings, but sometimes two or more families
occupied one earth lodge. When a tribal council was held, it was in the
earth lodge of one of the principal chiefs, or else two or three common
tents were thrown into one, making a long tent.

There were no public baths, as the Missouri River was near, and they
could resort to it when they desired. Dances were held in earth lodges,
or else in large skin tents, when not out of doors.

§ 181. _Dressing hides._--The hides were stretched and dried as soon as
possible after they were taken from the animals. When a hide was
stretched on the ground, pins were driven through holes along the border
of the hide. These holes had been cut with a knife. While the hide was
still green, the woman scraped it on the under side by pushing a
wébajábe over its surface, thus removing the superfluous flesh, etc. The
wébajábe was formed from the lower bone of an elk's leg, which had been
made thin by scraping or striking ("gab¢eʞa"). The lower end was
sharpened by striking, having several teeth-like projections, as in the
accompanying figure (B). A withe (A) was tied to the upper end, and this
was secured to the arm of the woman just above the wrist.

[Illustration: FIG. 27.--The Webajabe.]

When the hide was dry the woman stretched it again on the ground, and
proceeded to make it thinner and lighter by using another implement,
called the wéubája^n, which she moved towards her after the manner of an
adze. This instrument was formed from an elk horn, to the lower end of
which was fastened a piece of iron (in recent times) called the wé`u-hi.

[Illustration: FIG. 28.--The Weubaja^n.

(1.) The horn. (2.) The iron (side view). (3.) Sinew tied around the

[Illustration: FIG. 29.--Front view of the iron.

It is about 4 inches wide.]

When the hide was needed for a summer tent, leggings, or summer clothing
of any sort, the wéubája^n was applied to the hairy side. When the hide
was sufficiently smooth, grease was rubbed on it, and it was laid out of
doors to dry in the sun. This act of greasing the hide was called
"wawé¢iq¢i," because they sometimes used the brains of the elk or
buffalo for that purpose. Brains, wé¢iq¢i, seem to have their name from
this custom, or else from the primitive verb ¢iq¢i. Dougherty stated
that, in his day, they used to spread over the hide the brains or liver
of the animal, which had been carefully retained for that purpose, and
the warm broth of the meat was also poured over it. Some persons made
two-thirds of the brain of an animal suffice for dressing its skin. But
Frank La Flèche says that the liver was not used for tanning purposes,
though the broth was so used when it was brackish.

When the hide had been dried in the sun, it was soaked by sinking it
beneath the surface of any adjacent stream. This act lasted about two
days. Then the hide was dried again and subjected to the final
operation, which was intended to make it sufficiently soft and pliant. A
twisted sinew, about as thick as one's finger, called the wé¢ikĭnde, was
fastened at each end to a post or tree, about 5 feet from the ground.
The hide was put through this, and pulled back and forth. This act was
called wa¢íkĭnde.

On the commencement of this process, called ta^n´¢ě, the hides were
almost invariably divided longitudinally into two parts each, for the
convenience of the operator. When they were finished they were again
sewed together with awls and sinew. When the hides were small they were
not so divided before they were tanned. The skins of elk, deer, and
antelopes were dressed in a similar manner.




§ 182. The Indians say that Ictinike was he who taught their ancestors
all their war customs, such as blackening the face. (See myth of
Ictinike and the Deserted Children in Contributions to N. A. Ethnology,
Vol. VI, Part I.)

_Origin of wars._--Wars generally originated in the stealing of horses
and the elopement of women, and sometimes they are in consequence of
infringing on the hunting-grounds of one another. When a party of
warriors go on the war-path they do not always go after scalps only; the
object of the expedition may be to steal horses from the enemy. If they
can get the horses without being detected they may depart without
killing any one. But should they meet any of the people they do not
hesitate to attempt their lives. If the followers or servants fail to
bring away the horses it is the duty of the leaders to make an attempt.

§ 183. _Mode of fighting unlike that of nations of the Old World._--War
was not carried on by these tribes as it is by the nations of the Old
World. The ₵egiha and other tribes have no standing armies. Unlike the
Six Nations, they have no general who holds his office for life, or for
a given term. They have no militia, ready to be called into the field by
the government. On the contrary, military service is voluntary in all
cases, from the private to the commanders, and the war party is usually
disbanded as soon as home is reached. They had no wars of long duration;
in fact, wars between one Indian tribe and another scarcely ever
occurred; but there were occasional battles, perhaps one or two in the
course of a season.


§ 184. When the foe had made an attack on the Omahas (or Ponkas) and had
killed some of the people it was the duty of the surviving men to pursue
the offenders and try to punish them. This going in pursuit of the foe,
called níka-¢íqě ¢é, was undertaken immediately without any of the
ceremonies connected with a formal departure on the war-path, which was
offensive warfare. When the Ponkas rushed to meet the Brulé and Ogala
Dakotas, June 17, 1872, Húta^n-gi´hna^n, a woman, ran with them most of
the way, brandishing a knife and singing songs to incite the men to
action. The women did not always behave thus. They generally dug pits as
quickly as possible and crouched in them in order to escape the missiles
of the combatants. And after the fight they used to seek for the fallen
enemy in order to mutilate them. When some of the upper Dakotas had
taken a prisoner they secured him to a stake and allowed their women to
torture him by mutilating him previous to killing him, _etiam genitalia
exciderunt_. But the writer never heard of the ₵egiha women's having
acted in this manner.

§ 185. _Preparation for the attack by the foe._--About thirty-two years
ago the Dakotas and Ponkas attacked the Omahas, but the latter had
timely notice of their intentions and prepared for them. Four Omahas had
found the camp of the enemy and reported to their friends that the foe
would make the attack either that night or the next morning. So the
Omahas made ready that night, having sent a crier around the tribal
circle, saying, "They say that you must make an intrenchment for the
children. The foe will surely come!" Then the people made an embankment
around the greater part of the circle. It was about 4 feet high, and on
the top were planted all the tent poles, the tents having been pulled
down. The tent poles were interlaced and over these were fastened all
the tent skins as far as they would go. This was designed as a screen
for the men, while for the women and children was dug a trench about 4
or 5 feet deep, inside the embankment.

Mr. J. La Flèche, who was present during the fight, says that the
embankment did not extend all around the circle, and that the area
previously occupied by the tents of the end gentes, Weji^ncte,
Ictasanda, etc., were not thus protected, and that he and others slept
on the ground that night. Some of the men dug trenches for the
protection of their horses. Early in the morning the crier went around,
saying, "They say that you must do your best, as day is at hand. They
have come!" The night scouts came in and reported having heard the
sounds made by the tramping of the host of the advancing foe. Then the
crier exhorted the people again, "They say that you must do your best!
You have none to help you. You will lie with your weapons in readiness.
You will load your guns. They have come!" Some of the Omahas fought
outside of the embankment, others availed themselves of that shelter,
and cut holes through the skins so that they might aim through them at
the enemy. These structures for defense were made by digging up the
earth with sticks which they had sharpened with axes. The earth thrown
up made the embankment for the men, and the hollows or trenches were the
u¢íhnucka into which the women and children retreated.

§ 186. _Old Ponka Fort._--At the old Ponka Agency, in what was Todd
County, Dakota Territory, may be seen the remains of an ancient fort,
which the Ponkas say was erected over a hundred years ago by their
forefathers. J. La Flèche saw it many years ago, and he says that the
curvilinear intrenchment used to be higher than a man; _i. e._, over six
feet high. Many earth-lodges used to be inside. At the time it was built
the Yanktons were in Minnesota, and the tribes who fought the Ponkas
were the Rees, Cheyennes, and Pádañka (Camanches). Then the only Dakotas
out of Minnesota were the Oglala and the Sitca^nxu or Brulés. The
former were on the White River and in the region of the Black Hills. The
latter were in Nebraska, at the head of the Platte.

The fort had but one entrance. The situation was well chosen. The
embankment occupied the greater part of a semi detached bluff. In front,
and at one side, was the low bench of land next to the Missouri; at the
rear was a ravine which separated it from the next bluff, and the only
means of approach was by one side, next the head of the ravine. Then one
had to pass along the edge of the ravine for over 200 yards in order to
reach the entrance. The following sketch was drawn from memory, and Mr.
La Flèche pronounced it substantially correct:

[Illustration: FIG. 30.--Old Ponka fort. The Missouri River is north of


§ 187. The first proposition to go on the war-path cannot come from the
chiefs, who, by virtue of their office, are bound to use all their
influence in favor of peace, except under circumstances of extraordinary
provocation. It is generally a young man who decides to undertake an
expedition against the enemy. Having formed his plan, he speaks thus to
his friend: "My friend, as I wish to go on the war-path, let us go. Let
us boil the food for a feast." The friend having consented, the two are
the leaders or nuda^n´hañga, if they can induce others to follow them.
So they find two young men whom they send as messengers to invite those
whom they name. Each wág¢a or messenger takes one half of the gentile
circle (if the tribe is thus encamped), and goes quietly to the tent of
each one whom he has been requested to invite. He says at the entrance,
without going in, "Kagéha, ¢íkui hă, ca^n´¢iñkéi^nte."--_My friend, you
are invited_ (by such and such a one), _after he has been occupied
awhile_. If the man is there, his wife replies to the messenger, "₵ikáge
na`a^{n´} hě," _Your friend hears it_. Should the man be absent, the
wife must reply, "₵ikáge ¢iñgéě hě; cuhí taté."--_Your friend is not
(here); he shall go to you._ These invitations are made at night, and as
quietly as possible, lest others should hear of the feast and wish to
join the expedition; this, of course, refers to the organization of a
nuda^n-jiñga or small war-party, which varies in number from two persons
to about ten.

§ 188. _Small war party._--After the return of the messengers, the
guests assemble at the lodge or tent of their host. The places of the
guests, messengers, and nuda^nhañga are shown in the diagram.

[Illustration: FIG. 31.--A, the nuda^nhañga, or captains; B, the wag¢a,
or messengers; C, the guests; D, the food in kettles over the fire.]

The two wéku or hosts sit opposite the entrance, while the messengers
have their seats next the door, so that they may pass in and out and
attend to the fire, bringing in wood and water, and also wait on the
guests. Each guest brings with him his bowl and spoon.

When all have assembled the planner of the expedition addresses the
company. "Ho! my friends, my friend and I have invited you to a feast,
because we wish to go on the war-path." Then the young men say: "Friend,
in what direction shall we go"? The host replies, "We desire to go to
the place whither they have taken our horses."

Then each one who is willing to go, replies thus: "Yes, my friend, I am
willing." But he who is unwilling replies, "My friend, I do not wish to
go. I am unwilling." Sometimes the host says, "Let us go by such a day.
Prepare yourselves."

The food generally consists of dried meat and corn. [P]á¢i^n-na^npájĭ
said that he boiled fresh venison.

According to [P]á¢i^n-na^npájĭ, the host sat singing sacred songs, while
the leaders of those who were not going with the party sat singing
dancing songs. Four times was the song passed around, and they used to
dance four times. When the singing was concluded all ate, including the
giver of the feast. This is denied by La Flèche and Two Crows. (See §

A round bundle of grass is placed on each side of the stick on which the
kettle is hung. The bundles are intended for wiping the mouths and hands
of the men after they have finished eating. At the proper time, each
messenger takes up a bundle of the grass and hands it to the nuda^nhañga
on his side of the fire-place. When the nuda^nhañga have wiped their
faces and hands they hand the bundles to their next neighbors, and from
these two they are passed in succession around to the door. Then the
bundles are put together, and handed again to one of the nuda^nhañga,
for the purpose of wiping his bowl and spoon, passing from him and his
associate to the men on the left of the fire-place, thence by the
entrance to those on the right of the fire-place to the nuda^nhañga.
Then the messengers receive the bundle, and use it for wiping out the
kettle or kettles. Then the host says, "Now! enough! Take ye it." Then
the wag¢a put the grass in the fire, making a great smoke. Whereupon the
host and his associate exclaim, "Hold your bowls over the smoke." All
arise to their feet, and thrust their bowls into the smoke. Each one
tries to anticipate the rest, so the bowls are knocked against one
another, making a great noise. This confusion is increased by each man
crying out for himself, addressing the Wakanda, or deity of the thunder,
who is supposed by some to be the god of war. One says, "Núda^nhañgá,
wi^n´ t'éa¢ě támiñke."--O war-chief! I will kill one._ Another,
"Núda^nhañgá, cañ´ge wáb¢ize ag¢í."--_O war-chief! I have come back with
horses which I have taken._ (This and the following are really prayers
for the accomplishment of the acts mentioned.) Another: "Núda^nhañgá,
[p]á wi^n b¢íqa^n."--_O war-chief! I have pulled a head, and broken it
off._ Another, "Núda^nhañgá, ásku u¢íza^nqti wi^n b¢íze hă."--_O
war-chief! I, myself, have taken one by the very middle of his
scalp-lock._ Another, "Ú ¢iñgě´qti, núda^nhañgá, wi^n´ ub¢a^n´."--_O war
chief! I have taken hold of one who did not receive a wound._ And
another, "Ábag¢aqti éde ub¢a^n´ hă."--_He drew back as he was very
doubtful of success_ (in injuring me?), _but I_ (advanced and) _took
hold of him_. Those sitting around and gazing at the speakers are
laughing. These lookers on are such as have refused to join the party.
Then the guests pass in regular order around the circle, following the
course of the sun, and passing before the host as they file out at the
entrance. Each one has to go all around before he leaves the lodge.

§ 189. This feasting is generally continued four days (or nights); but
if the occasion be an urgent one the men make hasty preparations, and
may depart in less than four days. Each nuda^nhañgá boils the food for
one night's feast; and what he prepares must differ from what is boiled
by the other. Sometimes two leaders boil together on the same day;
sometimes they take separate days, and sometimes when they boil on
separate days they observe no fixed order, _i. e._, the first leader may
boil for two days in succession, then the second for one or two, or the
second leader may begin and the first follow on the next day, and so on.
When the supply of food fails the host may tell some of the wagáq¢a^n or
servants (who may be the messengers) to go after game.

§ 190. _Preparation for starting._--Each warrior makes up a bundle
composed of about fifteen pairs of moccasins, with sinew, an awl, and a
sack of provisions, consisting of corn which has been parched. The
latter is sometimes pounded and mixed with fat and salt. This is
prepared by the women several days in advance of the time for departure.
If the warriors leave in haste, not having time to wait for the sewing
of the moccasins, the latter are merely cut out by the women.
[P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ said that nearly all of the party had some object
which was sacred, which they carried either in the belt or over one
shoulder and under the opposite arm. La Flèche and Two Crows deny this,
but they tell of such medicine in connection with the [P]a¢i^n-wasabe
society. (See Chapter X.)

§ 191. _Secret departure._--The departure takes place at night. Each man
tries to slip off in the darkness by himself, without being suspected by
any one. The leaders do not wish many to follow lest they should prove
disobedient and cause the enemy to detect their proximity.

Another reason for keeping the proposed expedition a secret from all but
the guests is the fear least the chiefs should hear of it. The chiefs
frequently oppose such undertakings, and try to keep the young men from
the war-path. If they learn of the war feast they send a man to find out
whither the party intends going. Then the leaders are invited to meet
the chiefs. On their arrival they find presents have been put in the
middle of the lodge to induce them to abandon their expedition. (See Two
Crows' war story, in Contributions to North American Ethnology, Vol. VI,
Part I.)

The next day the people in the village say, "Ha^n´adi nuda^n´
a¢a´-bikeamá."--_It is said that last night they went off in a line on
the war-path._

The warriors and the leaders blacken their faces with charcoal and rub
mud over them. They wear buffalo robes with the hair out, if they can
get them, and over them they rub white clay. The messengers or wag¢a
also wear plumes in their hair and gird themselves with macaka^n, or
women's pack-straps. All must fast for four days. When they have been
absent for that period they stop fasting and wash their faces.

§ 192. _Uninvited followers._--When a man notices others with weapons,
and detects other signs of warlike preparation, should he wish to
join the party he begs moccasins, etc., from his kindred. When he
is ready he goes directly after the party. The following day, when
the warriors take their seats, the follower sits in sight of them,
but at some distance. When one of the servants spies him he says to
his captain, "Núda^nhañgá, ¢éʇa aká wi^n´ atíi hă."--_O war chief!
this one in the rear has come._ Then the captain says to all the
warriors, "Hau, níkawasa^n´, íbaha^nba hi^nbé ctĭ ¢awái-gă. Ma^n´ tě
ctĭ wégaska^n¢ái-gà."--_Ho, warriors! recognise him, if you can, and
count your moccasins_ (to see if you can spare him any). _Examine your
arrows, too._ Then a servant is sent to see who the follower is. On his
return he says, "War-chief (_or_ captain), it is he," naming the man.
The captain has no set reply; sometimes he says, "Ho, warriors! the man
is active. Go after him. He can aid us by killing game." Or he may say,
"Hau, nikawasa^n´! ní é¢i¢i^n gí tě a¢i^n´ gíi-gă. Águdi ca^n´ʇañga
náxi¢í¢í¢ě ʞĭ, gaha a¢ija^n ga^n´¢ai ʞĭ, ca^n´ éja^n-mi^n´ hă."--_Ho,
warriors! go for him that he may bring water for you. If he wishes to
lie on you_ (_i. e._, on your bodies) _when the big wolves (_or_ the
foe) attack you, I think it is proper._ Then the scout goes after the

But if the man be lazy, fond of sleeping, etc., and the scout reports
who he is, they do not receive him. Once there was a man who persisted
in going with war parties though he always caused misfortunes. The last
time he followed a party the captains refused to receive him. Then he
prayed to Wakanda to bring trouble on the whole party for their
treatment of him. They were so much alarmed that they abandoned the

§ 193. _Officers._--A small war party has for its chief officers two
nuda^nhañga, _partisans_, captains, or war chiefs. Each nuda^nhañga has
his nuda^n´hañga-q¢éxe or lieutenant, through whom he issues his orders
to the men. These lieutenants or adjutants are always chosen before the
party leaves the village. After the food has been boiled the giver of
the feast selects two brave young men, to each of whom he says,
"Nuda^n´hañga-q¢éxe hni^n´ taté," _You shall be a nuda^nhañga-q¢éxe._

In 1854 Two Crows was invited by four others to aid them in organizing a
large war party. But as they went to the feast given by the chiefs and
received the presents they forfeited their right to be captains. Two
Crows refused the gifts, and persisted in his design, winning the
position of first captain. Wanace-jiñga was the other, and
[P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ and Sĭnde-xa^nxa^n were the lieutenants. In this case
a large party was intended, but it ended in the formation of a small
one. For the change from a small party to a large one see § 210.

§ 194. _Large war party._--A large war party is called
"Nuda^n´hi^n-ʇañ´ga." La Flèche and Two Crows do not remember one that
has occurred among the Omahas. The grandfather of Two Crows joined one
against the Panis about a hundred years ago. And Two Crows was called on
to assist in organizing one in 1854, when fifty men were collected for
an expedition which was prevented by the chiefs. Such parties usually
number one or two hundred men, and sometimes all the fighting men in the
tribe volunteer. Occasionally the whole tribe moves against an enemy,
taking the women, children, etc., till they reach the neighborhood of
the foe, when the non-combatants are left at a safe distance, and the
warriors go on without them. This moving with the whole camp is called
"áwaha^nqti ¢é," or "ágaq¢a^nqti ¢é", because they go in a body, as they
do when traveling on the buffalo hunt.

§ 195. When a large war party is desired the man who plans the
expedition selects his associates, and besides these there must be at
least two more nuda^nhañga; but only the planner and his friend are the
nuda^nhañga úju, or principal war chiefs. Sometimes, as in the case of
Wabaskaha (Contributions to N. A. Ethnology, Vol. VI, Part I, p. 394),
the man paints his face with clay or mud, and wanders around, crying to
Wakanda thus: "O Wakanda! though the foreigners have injured me, I hope
that you may help me!" The people hear him, and know by his crying that
he desires to lead a war party; so they go to him to hear his story.

Four wag¢a are sent to invite the guests, two taking each side of the
tribal circle, and hallooing as they pass each tent. There is no cause
for secrecy on such occasions, so the crier calls out the name of each
guest, and bids him bring his bowl. In the case of Wabaskaha, so great
was the wrong suffered that all the men assembled, including the chiefs.
This was the day after Wabaskaha had told his story. Then a pipe (the
war pipe) was filled. Wabaskaha extended his hands toward the people,
and touched them on their heads saying, "Pity me; do for me as you think
best." Then the chief who filled the sacred pipe said to the assembly,
"If you are willing for us to take vengeance on the Pawnees, put that
pipe to your lips; if (any of) you are unwilling, do not put it to your
lips." Then every man put the pipe to his lips and smoked it. And the
chief said, "Come! Make a final decision. Decide when we shall take
vengeance on them." And one said, "O leader! during the summer let us
eat our food, and pray to Wakanda. In the early fall let us take
vengeance on them." The four captains were constantly crying by day and
night, saying, "O Wakanda! pity me. Help me in that about which I am in
a bad humor." They were crying even while they accompanied the people on
the summer hunt. During the day they abstained from food and drink; but
at night they used to partake of food and drink water.

§ 196. _Feast._--It was customary for the guests invited to join a large
war party to go to the lodge designated, where four captains sat
opposite the entrance, and two messengers sat on each side of the door.
The ensuing ceremonies were substantially those given in § 188, with the
exception of the use of the wa¢íxabe or sacred bags, which are never
used except when large war parties are organized.

_Sacred bags._--These sacred bags, which are consecrated to the thunder
or war god, are so called because when the Indians went on the war-path
they used to ¢ixábe or strip off the feathers of red, blue, and yellow
birds, and put them into the sacred bags. There were five bags of this
sort among the Omahas. The principal one is kept by Wacka^n´-ma^n¢i^n,
of the Wajiñga-¢atájĭ subgens of the ₵átada. It is filled with the
feathers and skins of small birds, and is wrapped in a ʇahúpezi, or worn
tent-skin. This is the principal one. The second one is kept by the
daughter of [T]ahé-jiñga, of the Iñké-sabě; because the people pity her,
they allow her to keep the bag which her father used to have; but they
do not allow her to take any part in the ceremonies in which the sacred
bags are used. The third bag is in the custody of Máhi^n ¢iñ´ge of the
Weji^ncte gens. The fourth, when in existence, was kept by
[T]idé-ma^n¢i^n, of the [T]a-[p]a gens. And the fifth was made by
Wábaskaha, of the Iñg¢e´-jide gens. This, too, is no longer in
existence. According to La Flèche and Two Crows, the only wa¢ixabe used
in war are made of the (skin and feathers of the) g¢eda^n´, or
pigeon-hawk, the i^n´be-jañ´ka, or forked-tail hawk, and the nickúcku,
or martin. All three kinds were not carried by the same war party.
Sometimes one man carries an i^nbe-jañka, and the other a nickucku; at
other times one carries a g¢eda^n, and the other an i^nbe-jañka or
nickucku. [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ says that the weasel is very sacred. Two
Crows never heard this; and he says that the keeper of any very sacred
object never reveals what it is. These sacred bags are not heavy; yet
the bearer of one has no other work. He must wear his robe tied at the
neck, and drawn around him even in warm weather.

At the feast, the three wa¢ixabe are put in the middle of the lodge. The
keepers take their seats, and sing sacred songs, some of which are
addresses to the Thunder, while others are dancing songs. Among the
former is one of which a fragment was given by [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ:

  "Wi-ʇi´-ga^n na^n´-pe-wa´-¢ě e-ga^n´,
  Wi-ʇi´-ga^n na^n´-pe-wa´-¢ě e-ga^n´,
  We´-ti^n kě g¢i´-ha^n-ha^n ʞĭ,
  Na^n´-pe wá-¢ě----."

  "As my grandfather is dangerous,
  As my grandfather is dangerous,
  When he brandishes his club,

When he had proceeded so far [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ stopped and refused to
tell the rest, as it was too sacred.

This song is also sung by the keepers of the wa¢ixabe after the return
of the warriors, when the ordeal of the wastégistú is tried. (See §

Though the keepers sometimes sing the songs four times, and the others
then dance around four times, this is not always done so often. After
the dance they enjoy the feast.

Presents are made by the giver of the feast to the keepers of the
wa¢ixabe, who are thus persuaded to lend their sacred bags with the
peculiar advantages or sacredness which they claim for them.

§ 197. The principal captains select the lieutenants, and assign to each
of the other captains a company of about twenty warriors. Each of the
minor captains camps with his own company, which has its own camp-fire
apart from the other companies. But only the two principal captains
select the scouts, police, etc.

When the fasting, etc., begins (see § 191), even the captains wear
plumes in their hair.

When the party is very large, requiring many moccasins, and they intend
going a long distance, a longer period than four days may be required
for their preparations.

According to [P]a¢i^n-na^npajĭ, the principal captains tie pieces of
twisted grass around their wrists and ankles, and wear other pieces
around their heads. This refers to the Thunder god. Two Crows says that
he never did this.

§ 198. _Opening of the bags._--When the principal captains wish to open
their sacred bags, they assemble their followers in a circle, making
them sit down. Any of the followers or servants (the terms are
interchangeable) may be ordered to make an "ujéʇi" in the center of the
circle, by pulling up the grass, then making a hole in the ground. Then
the sacred bags are laid at the feet of the principal captains, each one
of whom opens his own bag, holding the mouth of the bird towards the
foe, even when some of the warriors are going to steal horses.

§ 199. _Policemen or Wanáce._--These are selected after the party has
left the village, sometimes during the next day or night, sometimes on
the second day. The appointments are made by the principle captains. If
the war-party be a small one, few policemen (from seven to ten) are
appointed; but if it is a large party, many are appointed, perhaps
twenty. There is never any fixed number; but circumstances always
determine how many are required. For a small party, two
wanáce-nuda^n´hañga, or captains of police, are appointed, to whom the
principal captains say, "Wanáce ¢anúda^nhañ´ga taté," _You shall be
captains of the police_. Each of these wanáce-nuda^n´hañga has several
wanáce at his command. When any of the warriors are disobedient, or are
disposed to lag behind the rest, the policemen hit them at the command
of their own captains, the wanáce-nuda^n´hañga. When the wanáce see that
the men are straggling, they cry, "Wa^nSee Amusements.)
        ; Calumet dance                                            276
                  pipe                                             277
        , Catamenia among                                          267
        ; Charities                                                274
        ; Chiefs                                              357, 358
        , Child-bearing                                       263, 264
        ; Classes in the state                                     216
        , Clothing of                                              310
        ; Corporations                                        218, 342
        ; ₵atada gens                                              236
          Dances                                               342-355
        ; Deerhead gens                                            245
        ; Domestic etiquette                                       262
                   life                                            259
        ; Drinks                                                   309
        ; Elk gens                                                 225
        ; Fasting                                        266, 317, 319
          Feasts among. (See Feasts.)
        ; Fetiches                                            270, 317
        ; Fishing                                                  301
        ; Food                                                 303-309
        ; Games                                                334-341
        ; Gentes                                                   215
        ; Gentile system                                      219, 251
        ; Government                                           356-363
        ; Hañga gens                                               233
        , Hunting among                                            283
        ; Ictasanda gens                                           248
        , Industries among                            283-303, 310-311
        ; Iñke-sabe gens                                           228
        ; Iñg¢e-jide gens                                          247
        ; Isinu                                                    208
        ; Kansas gens                                              241
        ; Kinship system                                       252-255
        ; Law                                                      364
        ; Ma¢iñka-gaxe gens                                        242
        ; Marriage customs                                         259
                   laws                                       255, 267
        ; Meals                                                    271
        ; Medicines or fetiches                               276, 317
        ; Method of camping                                   219, 220
        ; Migrations of                                            213
        ; Sociology                                            211-370
        , Parental rights among                                    268
        , Personal habits of                                       269
        , Politeness                                               268
        ; Preparations for attacking the enemy                     326
        ; Pregnancy among                                          263
        ; Preparations for attacking the enemy                     326
        ; Present state of                                         214
        ; Protective industries of                                 312
        , Refugees among                                           268
        , Regulative industries among                              356
        , Sacred pipes of                                          221
               , tents of                                          221
        , Servants among                                           217
        , Societies among                                          342
        , Sociology                                            205-370
        ; Tribal circles                                           219
        , visiting customs of                                      276
        ; Wama^nhe                                                 269
        , warfare of                                               312
        , Women among                                              266
  Ordeal of the sacred bags, Omaha                                 328
  Origin of Omaha ₵atada gens, Mythical                            237
  Ornaments of Omaha dancers, passim from                   344

  Pæderastia among Omahas                                          365
  Parents of Omahas, Rights of                                     268
  Pa[p]anka dance, The Omaha                                       353
  Peace with another tribe, Omaha mode of making                   368
  Personal law of Omahas                                           364
  Phratries, Omaha                                            215, 337
  Pipe dance, Omaha                                                276
            , The Calumet                                          277
  Pipes, Keepers of the sacred                      222, 223, 358, 363
       , The Omaha sacred                                      221-224
       , Tradition of the                                          222
  Pitching tents, Omaha rules for                              220-221
  Plumstone shooting                                               334
  Pole, Anointing the sacred                                       293
      , The sacred                                            234, 293
  Policemen, a class in the Omaha state                            216
             appointed in hunting, Omaha                           288
                          war, Omaha                               321
           , Power of the Omaha                                    363
  Politeness; Omahas                                           269-270
  Polyandry among Omahas                                           261
  Polygamy among Omahas                                            261
  Ponka chiefs, Initiation of                                  359-360
        dancing societies                                          355
        games                                  334, 336, 337, 339, 340
        Fort, Old                                                  313
        mode of camping                                            219
        tradition of the sacred pole                               234
  Ponkas, but one pipe in pipe dance                               282
          migrations of                                        212-213
  Powell, Maj. J.W., defines the state                             215
  Powers of Omaha principal chiefs                                 362
                  subordinate chiefs                               362
            keepers of sacred tents                                362
                              pipes                                363
            Omaha policemen                                        363
  Preparation of food among Omahas                             303-310
  Pregnancy among Omahas                                           263
  Profanity not an Omaha vice                                      370
  Property Omaha; debtors                                          367
         , Omaha gentile                                           366
               , household                                         366
               , law of                                            366
               , personal                                          366
               , tribal                                            366
               , theft of                                          367
  Prostitution among Omahas                                        365
  Protective industries of Omahas                              312-333
  Proverbs, Omaha                                                  334
  Pumpkins as food among Omahas                                    306
  Puns, Omaha                                                      334

  Rattles, Collection of Indian, Omaha                             278
  Rape among Omahas                                                365
  Refugees among Omahas, Rights of                                 268
  Regulative industries of Omahas                              356-363
  Religion of Omahas                                               363
  Religious law of Omahas                                          368
  Remarriage among Omahas                                          258
  Return from hunting, Omahas                                      300
  Rice, wild                                                       308
  Riddles, Omaha                                                   334
  Roots as food among Omahas                                       307

  Sacred pipes, The Omaha                                      221-224
                         , Keepers of the           222, 223, 358, 363
         pole, The Omaha                                      234, 293
         tents of Omahas                                 221, 226, 233
  Salt used by Omahas                                              309
  Schoopanism among Omahas                                         365
  Scouts of Omahas                                       226, 287, 321
       , Report of Omaha war                                       325
       , Service of Omaha                                          226
       ,                  hunting                             287, 288
  Sections of Omaha subgentes                       215, 237, 239, 240
  Servants among Omahas                                        217-218
  Sham fight, Omaha                                                295
  Shooting arrows at a mark                                   339, 340
  Shooting at the rolling wheel                                    335
         , Order of, in the Wacicka dance                          345
  Singing, Omaha                          279, 316, 320, 322, 323, 325
  Skin bags in Omaha dances                                        343
  Sleeping customs, Omaha                                          273
  Social vices among Omahas                                    364-365
                           ; Adultery                              364
                           ; Fornication                           365
                           ; Pæderastia                            365
                           ; Prostitution                          365
                           ; Rape                                  365
                           ; Schoopanism                           365
  Societies among Omahas                                           342
  Sociology, Omaha                                             205-370
  Songs, Omaha war                             320, 322, 323, 325, 331
  State, Definition of the                                         215
       , The Omaha                                             215-218
  Stepmothers, Omaha                                               268
  Stick and ring, Omaha game of                                    337
  Stick counting                                                   338
  Subgentes, Omaha    215, 225, 230, 235, 236, 241, 242, 245, 248, 249
           , Importance of the                                     258
           , Referred to in A^nba-Hebe's tradition            222, 223
           , Sections of                            215, 237, 239, 240
           , Subsections of                                        239
  Sun-dance, The                                         297, 298, 355
           , Fasting in                                            272
  System of kinship, Omaha                                     252-255

  Taboos of the Omaha gentes    225, 230, 231, 235, 237,238, 239, 240,
                                                    241, 244, 245, 248
  Tents, Powers of the keepers of the sacred                       362
       , Rules for pitching                                    220-221
       , The sacred                                      221, 226, 233
  Thanksgiving before return from hunt, Omaha                      293
  Theft among Omahas                                               367
  Thunder bird myth, Worship of                                    227
  Tobacco of the Omahas                                            309
  Tradition of the pipes, Omaha                                    222
                   sacred pole, Omaha                              234
                              , Ponka                              234
  Trapping, Omaha                                                  301
  Traps, Omaha fish                                                302
  Tribal circles, Omaha                                  219, 220, 286
         council, The Omaha                                        361
  Tukala dance obtained from the Dakotas, The                      354
  Two Crows cited in Omaha Sociology passim             205-370

  Vices, Omaha social                                              364
  Visiting customs, Omaha                                      276-282
  Visitors' dance of relating exploits, Omaha                      352

  Wacicka dance, The                                               342
  War customs of the Omahas:
      In defensive                                             312-314
      In preparation for defensive                                 313
      In preparation for offensive                            315, 319
      Behavior of those at home                                    325
      Captured horses                                              326
      Feast                                                   315, 319
      Followers, uninvited                                         317
      Large party                                                  318
      Mandan dance                                                 332
      New names taken                                              324
      Officers                                           318, 319, 321
      Opening of the sacred bags                                   321
      Ordeal of the sacred bags                                    328
      Order of camping                                             323
      Order of march                                               321
      Policemen                                                    321
      Preparation for attack                                       326
      Preparation for starting                                     317
      Report of scouts                                             325
      Return of party                                              328
      Rewards of bravery                                           329
      Sacred bags                                        319, 321, 322
      Scalp dance                                                  330
      Secret departure                                             317
      Small party                                                  315
      Songs                                    320, 332, 323, 325, 331
      Treatment of captives                                   313, 332
      Treatment of wounded foes                                    332
  Wars, Origin of Omaha                                            312
        unlike old world, Indian                                   312
  Warriors assume new names on the way, Omaha and Ponka            324
  Wearing hair in the Hañga gens, Style of                         235
  Wheel, Omaha shooting at the rolling                             335
  Widowers, Omaha                                                  268
  Widows, Omaha                                                    267
  Wolf dance, The Omaha                                            348
  Women, Game of ball by Omaha                                     338
       , Social standing of Omaha                                  266
  Worship of the thunder, Omaha                                    227

[Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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