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Title: Omaha sociology (1884 N 03 / 1881-1882 (pages 205-370))

Author: James Owen Dorsey

Release date: August 3, 2014 [eBook #46487]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by PM for Bureau of American Ethnology, The
Internet Archive (American Libraries), Wayne Hammond and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images
generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale
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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 degress.



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]

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. 207


Chapter I. 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
An-ba-hebe's account of the same 222
Law of membership 225
The Wejin 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]e[p]a-it`ajĭ subgens 239
The [K]eïn subgens 240
The Kanze gens 241
The Man¢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
Chapter IV.—The Kinship System and Marriage Laws 252
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 265208
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
Chapter VIII.—Industrial Occupations (continued) 303
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 368209


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 weawan 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 Webajab 310
28.— The Weubajan 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.— Nanan au hă 336
35.— ₵ab¢in au hă 337
36.— Diagram of the play-ground 337
37.— The stick used in playing [P]a¢in-jahe 338
38.— The wa¢igije 338
39.— The stick used in playing Intin-buʇa 341
40.— The waq¢eq¢e `ansa 352
41.— The Ponka style of hañga-ʞi`anze 359
42.— The Omaha style of hañga-ʞi`anze 361210


By J. Owen Dorsey.


§ 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]anze, 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 "Umanhan." 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 Umanhan, from ʞímanhan, "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. 212

On this peninsula was a high mountain, which the Kansas called Man-daqpaye and Tce-dŭñga-ajabe; the corresponding Osage name being Man-ʇaqpa¢ě.1

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, "Jan´aʇa ni´kacinga, 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´ ¢an, 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, 213 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. 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 ¢an.
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 "₵íxucpan-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. Tan´wan-ʇañ´ga, The Large Village, is a place near the town of Omadi, Nebr. The stream was crossed, and the village made, after a freshet.

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

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

5. Then back to Tanwan-ʇañga. While the people were there, Anba-hebe, the tribal historian was born. This was over eighty years ago.

6. Thence they went to Áne-nát'ai ¢an, 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 Tanwan-ʇañga, on Omaha Creek.

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

10. About the year 1832-'3, they returned to Tanwan-ʇañga, on Omaha Creek.

11. In 1841 they went to Tan´wan-jiñgá ¢an, The Little Village, at the mouth of Logan Creek, and on the east side. 214

12. In 1843, they returned to Tanwan-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.


§ 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. 215


§ 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 Titon-wan 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 216 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, § 303.)


§ 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, corporations.


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 217 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¢in-nanpajĭ said: "The two old men, Wakan´-man¢in and [T]e-han´man¢in, 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 "níkacin´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 níkacin´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¢an. In civil and religious affairs, the following are wagáq¢an. 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 218 sacred tents. (See § 143.) Some of the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ men are servants of the Wejincte 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]anze 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. 219



§ 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 § 133.)

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: Wéjincte, Iñké-sábě, Hañ´ga, ₵átada, and [K]an´ze. The Ictasanda gentes are as follows: Man`¢iñka-gáxe, [T]e-sĭn´de, [T]a-[p]á, Iñg¢é-jide, and Ictásanda.

According to Wahan-¢iñge, the chief of the [T]e-sĭnde gens, there used 220 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.

Fig. 12.—The Omaha tribal circle.

LEGEND. The Omaha tribal circle.

Hañgacenu gentes.
A. Wejincte, 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-`in.
E. [K]anze.
Ictasanda gentes.
F. Mañ¢iñka-gaxe.
G. [T]e-sĭnde.
H. [T]a-[p]a.
I. Iñg¢e-jide.
K. Ictasanda.

The sacred tents of the Wejincte 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]anze woman who saw a Wejincte 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, Wejincte and 221 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 Wejincte 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 Wejincte, 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 Wejincte 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]anze, and four of the Ictasanda, the Man¢iñka-gaxe, [T]e-sĭnde, [T]a-[p]a, and Ictasanda. 222 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. Man¢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 Wejincte, [K]anze, 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 Anba-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]anze, Man¢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 Anba-hebe, the aged historian of the Omahas:

The old men made seven pipes and carried them around the tribal circle. They first reached Wejincte, 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 223 appeased them, and they rejoined the tribe.) Next the old men saw the [K]anze, part of whom were good, and part were bad. To the good ones they gave a pipe. The Man¢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 (hinqpe) 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 (Anba-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 "Wejincte 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¢an´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¢in´ 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 Wejincte 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 224 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.)

Fig. 13.—Places of the chiefs, etc., in the tribal assembly.

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.

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.

§ 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, Mahin-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 Mahin-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, Mahin-¢iñge was the chief of this gens, having succeeded Joseph La Flèche in 1865.

The word "Wejincte" cannot be translated, as the meaning of this archaic word has been forgotten. It may have some connection with "wajin´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 Binze-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 `An-wegan¢a is the head of those who join in the worship of the thunder, but his younger brother, Qaga-man¢in, being a more active man, is allowed to have the custody of the Iñg¢an¢ě and the Iñg¢anhañgac`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¢an¢ě and Iñg¢anhañgac`a. Perhaps they refer either to the wild-cat (iñg¢añga), or to the thunder (iñg¢an). Compare the Ictasanda "keepers of the claws of a wild-cat." 226

§ 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¢anti used to be the keeper of it, but he has resigned the charge of it to the ex-chief, Mahin-¢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, "Majan´ i¢égasañga té wí á¢inhe+!" 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 227 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¢innanpájĭ, 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 winter).

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 nikie3 names of 228 the Elk gens: Elk. Young Elk. Standing Elk. White Elk (near by). Big Elk. `An-wegan¢a (meaning uncertain). B¢an-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 Wejincte (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]anze gentes); Nan-ze-in-ze, meaning uncertain (Elk, ₵atada, and Deer gentes). Ninda-win (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 Anpan-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 Anpan-skă (head chief after 1800), Anpan-ʇañga, the elder, the celebrated Big Elk, mentioned by Long and other early travelers, and Anpan-ʇañga, the younger. On the death of the last, about A.D. 1853, Joseph La Flèche succeeded him as a head chief.


§ 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 229 (who died in 1882), and Duba-man¢in, 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`anze," 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 feathers.

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 Museum.

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 230 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.

Fig. 14.—Frank La Flèche's sketch of the Iñke-sabě tent, as he saw it when he went on the buffalo hunt.

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, Watan´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`an; 3. (a part of 2) Íekí¢ě. The second subgens is now called by them "Watan´zi-ji´de ¢atájĭ and Naq¢é ít`abájĭ." "[T]an¢in-nanba and Nágu or Wa¢ánase are the only survivors of the real Niniba-t`an, 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`an, while "Gahige belongs to the Watanzi-jide ¢atajĭ and Naq¢e-it`abajĭ, and he is one of those from whom the Iekí¢ě could be selected." 231

In 1878 La Flèche also gave the divisions and taboos of the Iñke-sabě as follows: "1. Niniba-t`an; 2. Watanzi-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 Wejincte 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.

Fig. 16.—The Iñke-sabě Gentile Assembly.A.—The Wa¢igije, or Waqúbe gáxe aká, under Duba-man¢in. B.—The Watanzi-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 50.) The name of their subgens is that of the hooped rope, with which the game of "[P]a¢in-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 Watanzi-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 232 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-ʞan-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-najin, explained by the clause, "ʇenúga-wináqtci, 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-in4 (meaning unknown to La Flèche and Two Crows; word doubted by them). Eagle Neck. Wajin-hañga, He who leads in disposition. Kinka-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, Ukanadig¢an, either Siʞan-qega or Wajin-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 233 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.


§ 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`anze." 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-najin. 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 234 of the tribe, as they contain two objects which have been regarded as "Wakañda égan," partaking of the nature of deities.

These objects are the sacred pole or "waq¢éxe," and the "ʇe-san´-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," "jan´ 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 Makan 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 long.

Fig. 17.—The sacred pole.

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

B.—The aqande-pa or hin-qpe-i¢iban, made of the down of the minxa (a swan. See the Man¢iñka gaxe gens.)

C.—The scalp, fastened to the top, whence the proper name, Nik'uminje, Indian-man's (scalp) couch.

Two Crows said that the pole rested on the scalp when it was in the lodge. The proper name, Min-wasan, referring to the minxasan 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 235 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 Wakan-man₵in. (See § 295.)

The other sacred tent, which is kept at present by Wakan-man₵in, contains the sacred "ʇe-san´-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-san-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 "Jan´ha-aʇá¢ican," pertaining to the sacred cotton-wood bark, is the "Waq¢éxe a¢in´" or the "Jan´ waqúbe a¢in´," 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 "Minxa-san ¢atájĭ" and "[P]étan ¢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-san´-ha-ʇá¢ican," 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¢in 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¢in 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. 236

§ 39. Birth-names of boys, according to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ. The first is Niadi ctagabi; the second, Jan-gáp'uje, referring to the Sacred Pole. It may be equivalent to the Dakota Tcan-kap'oja (Ćaŋ-kapoźa), meaning that it must be carried by one unencumbered with much baggage. The third is named Man 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-san-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]anze. 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-`in. 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-`in; and the [K]e-`in and [K]anze 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 237 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.


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¢in-nanpajĭ. 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.

Fig. 18.—Wasabe-hit`ajĭ style of wearing the hair.

Birth-names of boys.—[P]a¢in-nanpajĭ 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, Nídahan, Progressing toward maturity (sic). The seventh, He turns round and round suddenly (said of both kinds of bears).

§ 45. Sections of the subgens.—The Wasabe-hit`ajĭ people are divided into sections. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ 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 238 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¢in-nanpajĭ'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 Man-¢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¢in-nanpajĭ, 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 Wejincte, only two of them, [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ and Sida-man¢in, 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.—Danabi. Danama. Land Female. Minhupeg¢e. Min-ʇaninge. She who is Coming back in sight. Wetanne. Wete win.


§ 46. This name means, "They who do not eat (small) birds." They can eat wild turkeys, all birds of the minxa 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¢edan (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 239 that such a procedure would deter the birds from making further inroads upon the crops.

Wackan-man¢in 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 Wajina-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. Mindacan-¢in. Mintena. 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`an, Keepers of a (Sacred) Pipe, has duties to perform whenever the chiefs assemble in council. (See Sacred Pipes, § 18.) 240

The decoration of the tents in this subgens resemble those of the Iñke-sabě.

§ 50. Birth names of boys.—The first was called Dried Eagle. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ 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 Manze-guhe. III. Under Real Eagle are his son, Eagle makes a Crackling sound by alighting on a limb of a tree, Wasaapa, Gakie-man¢in, 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]anze, in the tribal circle. Its head man in 1879 was said to be [T]enuga-jan-¢iñke. [K]e`in 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-`in, 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 241 is Turtle that does not flee, under Cage-skă or Nistu-man¢in. The third is Red-breasted Turtle, under [T]enuga-jan-¢iñke. The fourth is Spotted Turtle with Red Eyes, under Ehnan-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]anze or Kansas gens is between the [K]e-`in and the Man¢iñka-gaxe in the tribal circle. The head man of the gens who was recognized as such in 1879 was Zanzi-mande.

Taboo.—The [K]anze 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 Majanha¢in, Majan-kide, &c., and to the latter Wajin-¢icage, Zanzi-mandě, and their near kindred. But Lion said that there were four subgentes, and that Majanha¢in was the head man of the first, or Niniba t`an, which has another name, Those who Make the Sacred tent. He gave Wajin-¢icage as the head man of the Wind people, Zanzi-mandě as the head of the third subgens, and Majan-kide of the fourth; but he could not give the exact order in which they sat in their gentile circle.

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

Some say that Majanha¢in 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 Majanha-¢in" (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. 242 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]anze, 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 Man¢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 Man¢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 243 the Wolf people?). 2. Niniba t`an. 3. Min´xa-san wet`ájĭ. Lion gave the following: 1. Mi´ʞasi (Coyote and Wolf people). 2. In´`ě waqúbe, Keepers of the Sacred Stones. 3. Niníba t`an. 4. Min´xa-san 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 In´`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 Cantan-jiñga has superseded him, according to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ. Minxa-skă was the head of the Minxa-san 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 Manyiñka-gaxe people used to include the Elk gens, and part of the latter is called, Min´xa únikacinga, Swan people. As these were originally a subgens of the Kansas Manyiñka-gaxe, it furnishes another reason for accepting the statement of Lion about the Omaha Minxa-san-wet`ajĭ.

§ 58. Birth-names of boys.—[P]a¢in-nanpajĭ 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. In`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¢in-nanpajĭ said that the last two names were birth-names in this subgens. III. Niniba-t`an 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-ctan, or Miate-ctan. Min-miʇega. Visible Moon. (Wolf) Stands erect. White Ponka in the distance. Ponka Female. She who is Ever Coming back Visible. Eagle Circling around. Wate win. 244


§ 59. The [T]e-sĭnde, or Buffalo-tail gens, camps between the Man¢iñka-gaxe and the [T]a-[p]a gentes in the tribal circle. Its present chief is Wahan-¢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.

Fig. 19.—[T]e-sĭnde style of wearing the hair.

Style of wearing the hair.—It is called "[T]áihin-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¢in-nanpajĭ 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.—Min-akanda. Sacred Moon. White Buffalo-Female in the distance. Walks in order to Seek (for something). 245


§ 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-xanxan.

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 "uʞanha 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`an, 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]anze 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`an 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¢in-gahige is the head of the Thunder subgens, and Sĭnde-xanxan, 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 deer.

§ 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 246 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 hinqpe (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 sky.

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. 247 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. Nanzéinze. White Ponka in the distance. Ponka Female.


§ 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.) Anba-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 égan": 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. 248

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 buffalo.

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. Manzedan, meaning unknown.

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 Wejincte. The head of the gens is Ibahanbi, son of Wanuʞige, and grandson of Wackanhi.

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 níkacin´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.—Ibahanbi said that the first son was called 249 Gaagig¢e-hnan, 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`an, Keepers of the Pipe, and Real Ictasanda, of which [T]e-uʞanha, [K]awaha, Wajin-anba, and Si-¢ede-jiñga are the only survivors. II. Wacetan, or Reptile people, under Ibahanbi. III. Ing¢an, Thunder people, among who are Ui¢anbe-ansa and Wanace-jiñga.

Lion divided the gens into four parts. I. Niniba-t`an, under [T]e-uʞanha. II. Real Ictasanda people, under Wajin-anba. III. Wacetan (referring to the thunder, according to Lion, but denied by Two Crows), Reptile people, under Ibahanbi. 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`an, [T]e-uʞanha, and [K]awaha. Now it appears that they have united with Wajin-anba and Si¢ede-jiñga, the survivors of the Ictasandaqti. [T]e-uʞanha, 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-uʞanha, does not, however, know the sacred words used on such occasions, as his father, Mahinzi, 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, 250 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 man¢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! Man¢iñ´ka si á¢ag¢é taté. Gúdihégan 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 Wajin-anba, 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-uʞanha (Sentinel Buffalo Apart from the herd) and his brother, [K]awaha, are the only survivors of the Keepers of the Pipe. Hañga-cenu and Mahin-zi (Yellow Rock) are dead.

II. Real Ictasanda people.—Wajin-anba 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. Wacetan 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?) 251 Wace-tan (Standing Reptile?). Wace-tan-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). Ibahanbi (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.—Danama. 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.7 252



§ 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. Weawan 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 Wejincte and Iñke-sabě gentes are related; and the Wejincte 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-`in man is brother of the first [K]anze 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 statement.

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 Wejincte or Elk gens, told the writer that he was related to the Kansas Elk gens, and that a Wejincte man called a Kansas Elk man "My younger brother," the Kansas man calling the Wejincte "My elder brother."

Icta¢abi, an Iñke-sabě, and Ckátce-yiñ´e, of the Missouri tribe, said that the Omaha Wejincte 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, 253 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.




male symbol EGO, a male.

A Father group. Indadi, my father.

[A] Mother group. Innanha, my mother.

B Grandfather group. Wiʇigan, my grandfather.

[B] Grandmother group. Wiʞan, 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. Wijin¢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. Wiʇancka, my sister’s son.

[G] Sister’s daughter group. Wiʇijan, 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. Wiʇahan, my brother-in-law.

[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.


female icon 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. Wijan¢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. Wiciʞan, 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¢in-nanpájĭ, 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 Tunan´p'in 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 Hontc (Black bear people), his fathers.

Omaha Man¢iñka-gaxe calls Yankton-Dakota Tcaxú, "Sister's sons," but Tcañ´kuté, Ihá-isdáye, Watcéunpa, and Ikmun´, are "Grandsons."

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

Icta¢abi said that Ictasanda called Ponka Makan´ "Mother's brother"; but Ibahanbi, of the Ictasanda gens, denied it. Ibahanbi 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 Ibahanbi's junior. Besides, Ibahanbi 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 Ibahanbi.

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. 254

§ 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]), [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 255 or real husbands of my sisters; and they are my potential husbands, when Ego is a female.




Affinities of male icon EGO, a male:

female icon Wigaq¢an, my wife.

a Wife's brother group. Wiʇáhan, 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 wiʇigan, 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 female icon EGO, a female:

male icon Wíeg¢añge, my husband.

e Husband's brother group. Wíci`e, my potential husband.

fHusband's sister group. Wicíʞan, my husband's sister.

The wife of "e" is my sister (wijan¢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 female icon in the chart.

Affinities common to both sexes:

B Grandfather group. Wiʇigan, my grandfather.

[B] Grandmother group. Wiʞan, 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 daughter.

D—[D] Grandchild group. Wiʇucpa, my grandchild (D, if male; [D], if female).]


§ 77. Any female is the potential wife of Ego, a male, whom my own wife calls her ijan¢e (E), itañge ([F]), itimi ([H]) or itujañge ([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 son-in-law.

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 Wejincte 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, Gain´-bajĭ, a Hañga, married an Iñke-sabě woman; and his daughter, a Hañga, married Qi¢á-gahíge, a [T]a-[p]a man. Caan´, a brother of Two Crows, and a Hañga, married a [T]a[p]a woman, a daughter of the chief Sĭn´ac-xan´xan. Another brother, Minxá-tan, also a Hañga, married a [K]anze 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 256 Wasabe-hit`ajĭ, married a Ponka Wajaje woman. Her father, a Wajaje, married a Ponka Makan 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-`in, 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 Makan woman. But he can marry an Omaha Wasabe-hit`ajĭ woman, as she belongs to another tribe.

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

Gain-bajĭ's son cannot marry any women belonging to the following gentes: Iñke-sabě, Hañga, Wejincte, [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 Caan, had married a [T]a-[p]a woman of Sĭnde-xanxan'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]anze gens, owing to the marriage of another brother, Minxa-tan.

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 257 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 iʞan, 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 iʇijan.

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 iʇijigan (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 iʇande.


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 ijan¢e, iʇañge, iʇimi, or iʇujañge of his wife. And vice versa, any woman can marry a man who is the husband of her ijan¢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. 258


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." 259



§ 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 § 97.)

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 custom.

§ 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 260 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 "minckeda," 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 "minckeda."

§ 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 261 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.

§ 86. Permanence of marriage.—Among the Santee Dakotas, where mother-right prevails(?), a wife's mother can take her from the husband 262 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 263 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, "Min´ gána b¢in´," 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, Fœticide, and Infanticide.—Couvade is not practiced among the ₵egiha. Fœticide 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 Wackan-man¢in 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 Niacinga makan, Human-being medicine. The writer saw one 264 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. 265


§ 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. Anpan-skă, of the Wejincte gens, gave his son, Binze-tig¢e, to his chief, Mahin-¢iñge, to be his son and servant. Mahin-¢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 266 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 "minquga" 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 you."

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 267 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´¢ican," 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 268 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 remarry.

§ 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 them.

§ 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 again.


§ 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 Mantcu-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 wamanhe. 269

Waman´he and Ámanhe.—The owner of a lodge, whether a man or a woman, is the amanhe, and the isínu is the wamanhe, 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 wamanhe 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 amanhe gives a skin tent to the wamanhe, 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, Wackanman¢in, was nicknamed "The man who does not wash his hands," and his wife was styled "The woman who does not comb her hair." Wackanman¢in 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, Mantcu-hi-nqti, and Cahie¢a at Niobrara in January, 1881, he embraced them, and seemed to be very deeply affected. La Flèche and 270 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 áhan!"—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, Nanbe-¢iʞu, of the Wajaje gens, stopped at the house of Mantcu-ʇañga, who had distinguished himself in the fight. Nanbe-¢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 "Mantcu-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 iʇigan, iʞan, 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 271 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 watanzi (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 272 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 "nan´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 bravery."

§ 111. Feasts.—See §§ 81, 83, 106, 119, 124, 130, 143, 151, 187-8, 195-6, 217, 219, 219, 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 273 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. 274 (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 ("abadan") 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 § 292.)

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 wagons.

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 275 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 (waan´¢a) their aged people, lest Wakanda should punish them when they were away from home. They always placed them (i¢an´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.) 276


§ 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 "wáwan," in ₵egiha, answering to the [T]ᴐiwere "wayan´we" (the specific of which is "ákiwan," [T]ᴐiwere, akíyanwe), 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 "wáwan 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 "áwani 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, "Wáwaman kan´b¢a. Inwin´¢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, "Áwaman kan´b¢a. In¢in´wandan´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´acinga ¢in píäjĭ hă. Jin´äjĭ. Ákiwan´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 awani aka calls his kindred together to lay the proposition 277 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 awani 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 awani aka, and there the two niniba weawan, or calumet pipes, are placed on a forked support, which is driven into the soil in the back part of the lodge.

Fig. 20.—The Weawan, 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 weawan has the head and neck of a "min´xa [p]áhin-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

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 278 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 hinqpé, 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 "mácan i¢áze ¢an," 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.

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

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.)

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¢isan´," 279 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 (hinqpe) 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.

Fig. 23.—The positions of the pipes, the ear of corn, etc.

§ 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 áwani 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 280 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 party.

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 "ckan´ ¢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¢awan´ 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`anze, and a stripe down the nose.11 An eagle plume 281 or hinqpe 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."

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`anze 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 "jin¢éha," elder brother. The wáwan 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 wawan 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, 282 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 Wejincte 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. 283


§ 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¢an´" by the Omahas and Ponkas, and "ʞiqran´" 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 284 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`angaq¢an," the hunting fall, or later fall, as distinguished from "t`an" 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 (Wakan-man¢in and [T]ehan-man¢in, 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¢ítani ʞĭ, watan´ zi-hi ctĭ g¢ítani ʞĭ, dúba jan´ ʞí, anwan´hantaí"—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, "Úhan 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. 285

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! jin¢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 met.

§ 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, "Majan´ 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. 286

§ 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 wámancíha, 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 wamanciha.

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¢an 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-man¢in, of the Iñke-sabě gens, and a fourth man, whose name has been forgotten. Icta¢abi succeeded his father as the principal director.12

§ 135. When the people stopped and camped for only a single night, 287 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 sátăn dan´ctěan´ 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, "wadan´be ¢é," to go to see or scout; and the men were "ábaé-ma" or "wadan´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, "Gain-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-san-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-degan, ʇé-i eb¢égan"—I may have deceived myself, but I think that they were buffaloes. The words 288 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¢in-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 289 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 "`An´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 290 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 wainhahage 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 An´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`an, It has blades." 5. "Q¢á é¢anbe, The ears appear." 6. "Wahába najíha t`an, The ears have hair, i. e., silk." 7. "Égi¢e an´¢ispan, At length we try the ears, squeezing them with the fingers, to see if they are ripe." 8. "Égi¢e jút`an ʞĭ, At length it is ripe." 9. "Égi¢e wahába an´¢ija, At length we pull off the ears from the stalks." 10. "Égi¢e wahába an´¢iga, At length we husk the ears." 11. "Égi¢e wahába an´¢icpi, At length we shell the corn." 12. "Égi¢e wahába an´¢ate, At length we eat the corn."

Then followed the buffalo songs in similar order, of which were 291 the following: "Síg¢e wadan´be, The tracks are seen." "[T]é wadan´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 win aú hă, I have wounded a buffalo." "Húqpaqpa man¢in´, 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 In´-kug¢i a¢in´, Wacícka a¢in´, Wasé a¢in´, 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.

§ 147. Carving and division of a buffalo.—When plenty of buffalo had 292 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-nan´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 ʇan´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]ahan, 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 293 good condition for eating, and so were the "ʇe-minquga" 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 294 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 "nudan´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 295 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: "An´ba i¢áug¢ěqti waan´ g¢ini," 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.

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 recovery.

§ 152. The sham fight.—After the pole was anointed, the chiefs spoke of pretending to engage with enemies. So a member of the [K]anze gens (in modern times Mitcáqpe-jiñga or Majan´ha-¢in 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 296 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 Wejincte 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-san-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. 297

§ 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.

When the men who bore the tree reached the camp they planted it 298 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]an¢in-nanba, 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 299 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¢an"). 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.

§ 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 occurred.

§ 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-san-ha, nor sacred 300 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, "Ikiman´¢in ag¢íi, hŭn+!"—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-¢íʇin" or ribs, with which were given the fore legs and the "ʇe-nan´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-nanqa 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 301 ʇe-jega or hind quarters made two more parts, with one of which went the paunch, and with the other the entrails. The ʇe-nanqa 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 (minxa), 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. 302

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-hin´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 21/2 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-san-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. 303



§ 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 Wejincte 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, 50, 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 (in´-igagan or in´-igacíje) were employed, and some of these may still be found among the Omahas. Now the Omahas use the in´-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¢an-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, 304 or other insects, and dried fish-spawn. Nor do they ever use as drinks fish-oil or other oils.

§ 166. Corn, Watanzi—La Flèche and Two Crows mention the following varieties as found among the Omahas: 1. Watan´zi skă, white corn, of two sorts, one of which, watan´zi-kúg¢i, is hard; the other, watan´zi skă proper, is wat'éga, or tender. 2. Watan´zi ʇu, blue corn; one sort is hard and translucent, the other is wat'ega. 3. Watan´zi zi, yellow corn; one sort is hard and translucent, the other is wat'ega. 4. Watan´zi g¢ejé, spotted corn; both sorts are wat'ega; one is covered with gray spots, the other with red spots. 5. Watan´zi ʇú-jide, a "a reddish-blue corn." 6. Watan´zi jíděqti, "very red corn." 7. Watan´zi ígaxúxu, zí kĭ jíde iháhai, ugáai égan, 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`an-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 watan´zi sáka, raw corn; the women call all corn that is not boiled "sa¢áge." Watanzi 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 "watan´zi skí¢ě úhan-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 "watan´zi skí¢ě uhaní, 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 305 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`anhe), 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 "An´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 anbag¢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." 306

Fig. 26.—Figures of pumpkins.

The waʇanqti is at the top; the next is the waʇan muxa; the third is the waʇan-jide; and the bottom one, the waʇan ninde bazu.

§ 168. Melons, pumpkins, etc., Saka¢ide uke¢in, 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.

Waʇan´, Pumpkins—The native kinds are three: waʇan´-qti, waʇan´-kukúge, and waʇan´-múxa. Waʇan-qti, the real pumpkins are generally greenish, and "bícka," round but slightly flattened on sides like turnips. They are usually dried, and are called "waʇan´-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 waʇan-muxa are never dried. Some are white, others are "sábě ʇu égan, a sort of black or dark blue," and small. Others, the waʇan´-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¢an).

Modern varieties are two: The watan-nin´de bazú and the watan´-jíde. The Omahas never plant the latter, as they do not regard it as desirable. They plant the former, which is from 2 to 21/2 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.—Taspan´, 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, Taspan´-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. 307

Nan´pa, choke-cherries, are of two kinds. The larger ones or nan´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 nan´pa-jiñ´ga, grow on tall bushes. These cherries are dried.

Gube, hackberries, are the size of black peppers or the smaller cherries (nanpa-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.

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

Nacaman 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 nacaman 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 boiled.

§ 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¢anqtiwá¢ě," capable of satisfying hunger to the utmost, but a handful being necessary for that end.

An´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 maple.

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

The other rice is the "sin´-wanin´de"; the stalk on which it grows is the "sin´-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.

Sin´-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 makan-ninida, and still eat it.

§ 173. Beans.—Beans, hinb¢iñ´ge or hanb¢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-hnani, b¢áska égan," 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: "Hinb¢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 égan, those that are a sort of dark red. 9. Skă, white. 10. [T]u égan sábě, dark blue. 11. Ji´ égan 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 egan, blue, with white spots. 15. Anpan hin egan, qude zi egan, like the hair of an elk, a sort of grayish yellow.

The hinb¢in´`abe, or hinb¢iñge mantanaha, 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 309 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 them.

§ 175. Hin´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 ¢an, 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 égan," 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 310 it is composed of sumac leaves (Rhus glabrum). When neither of these can be had the inner bark of the arrow wood (Viburnum) or man´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 manśa 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.

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, 311 called the wéubájan, 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.

Fig. 28.—The Weubajan.

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

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 wéubájan 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 tan´¢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. 312



§ 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, Hútan-gi´hnan, 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 313 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, Wejincte, 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 Sitcanxu 314 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:

Fig. 30.—Old Ponka fort. The Missouri River is north of it.



§ 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 nudan´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, can´¢iñkéinte."—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 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 nudan-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 nudanhañga are shown in the diagram.

Fig. 31.—A, the nudanhañga, 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 316 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¢in-nanpájĭ said that he boiled fresh venison.

According to [P]á¢in-nanpájĭ, 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 § 196.)

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 nudanhañga on his side of the fire-place. When the nudanhañga 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 nudanhañga, 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 nudanhañga. 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, "Núdanhañgá, win´ t'éa¢ě támiñke."—O war-chief! I will kill one. Another, "Núdanhañgá, 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: "Núdanhañgá, [p]á win b¢íqan."—O war-chief! I have pulled a head, and broken it off. Another, "Núdanhañgá, ásku u¢ízanqti win b¢íze hă."—O war-chief! I, myself, have taken one by the very middle of his scalp-lock. Another, "Ú ¢iñgě´qti, núdanhañgá, win´ ub¢an´."—O war chief! I have taken hold of one who did not receive a wound. And another, "Ábag¢aqti éde ub¢an´ 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. 317

§ 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 nudanhañgá 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¢an 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¢in-nanpajĭ 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¢in-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, "Han´adi nudan´ 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 macakan, 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 318 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, "Núdanhañgá, ¢éʇa aká win´ atíi hă."—O war chief! this one in the rear has come. Then the captain says to all the warriors, "Hau, níkawasan´, íbahanba hinbé ctĭ ¢awái-gă. Man´ tě ctĭ wégaskan¢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, nikawasan´! ní é¢i¢in gí tě a¢in´ gíi-gă. Águdi can´ʇañga náxi¢í¢í¢ě ʞĭ, gaha a¢ijan gan´¢ai ʞĭ, can´ éjan-min´ 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 follower.

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 expedition.

§ 193. Officers.—A small war party has for its chief officers two nudanhañga, partisans, captains, or war chiefs. Each nudanhañga has his nudan´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, "Nudan´hañga-q¢éxe hnin´ taté," You shall be a nudanhañga-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¢in-nanpajĭ and Sĭnde-xanxan 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 "Nudan´hin-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 319 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 "áwahanqti ¢é," or "ágaq¢anqti ¢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 nudanhañga; but only the planner and his friend are the nudanhañga 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 320 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 Wackan´-man¢in, 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 Máhin ¢iñ´ge of the Wejincte gens. The fourth, when in existence, was kept by [T]idé-man¢in, 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¢edan´, or pigeon-hawk, the in´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 inbe-jañka, and the other a nickucku; at other times one carries a g¢edan, and the other an inbe-jañka or nickucku. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ 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¢in-nanpajĭ:

"Wi-ʇi´-gan nan´-pe-wa´-¢ě e-gan´, Wi-ʇi´-gan nan´-pe-wa´-¢ě e-gan´, We´-tin kě g¢i´-han-han ʞĭ, Nan´-pe wá-¢ě——."
"As my grandfather is dangerous, As my grandfather is dangerous, When he brandishes his club, Dangerous——."

When he had proceeded so far [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ 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 § 214.)

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. 321

§ 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¢in-nanpajĭ, 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-nudan´hañga, or captains of police, are appointed, to whom the principal captains say, "Wanáce ¢anúdanhañ´ga taté," You shall be captains of the police. Each of these wanáce-nudan´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-nudan´hañga. When the wanáce see that the men are straggling, they cry, "Wan<! wan<!" On hearing this, the warriors say, "The policemen are calling"; so they run towards the main body.

§ 200. Order of march for any war party.—The scouts, or wadan´be-ma, go from two to four miles in advance during the day. There are only two of these when the party is a small one; but a large party has four. These scouts are sent ahead as soon as they have eaten their breakfasts. They do not always go straight ahead. Should they come to a hill, they do not ascend, preferring to make a detour by going along a "skída," or high level forming an opening between two hills. If, when they reach there, they detect no signs of a foe, they continue on their way. Some 322 of the warriors may go out as scouts of their own accord, before requested to do so by the captains.

§ 201. When there is a large party, the two nudan´hañga-jiñ´ga, or minor captains, bearing the sacred bags, go about a hundred yards in advance of the others. Then march the captains, and after them follow the warriors and those who are the servants of the captains. Each captain has his servant, who carries his captain's baggage and rations, waits on him, brings him food and water, and makes his couch when they camp for the night. As the day advances and the warriors become tired, they drop behind. Then the captains order those near them to halt and sit down. If there are bearers of the wa¢ixabe, they are the first to take their seats at the command of the captains, who sit next to them. Then the nearest warriors are seated, and so on, as they come together. Those in the rear sit where they please. It is important for the party to keep together, for they might be exterminated if attacked when the men are scattered. As soon as those in the rear have overtaken the rest, all arise and resume the march.

The scouts having gone to the place designated, return to report, and two of the captains go ahead to meet them. Having reported whether they have seen traces of an enemy or of game, etc., they are relieved, and others are sent ahead in their places. This change of day scouts takes place as many times as the circumstances require. One of the men who bears the kettle on his back, acts as if he were a captain, addressing the warriors thus: "Ho, warriors! bring me water," or, "Ho, warriors! bring me some wood."

§ 202. Songs.—Sometimes when a man thinks that he will die fighting the enemy he sings different songs. One of these songs given by [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ, was intended to infuriate the warriors. He said that it was the "Captive song," and was not regarded as sacred. Though he said that it was sung by one of the wanáce-nudanhañga, as he danced around the marching warriors, that is doubted by La Flèche and Two Crows, who said that one of the nudanhañga was not always singing and dancing around the others. The song, as sung, differs from the spoken words.

Nan´ku-¢é han´-¢in-bi-go+ (i. e., Nan´-ku-¢ě-an-¢in´-i-gă) Nan´ku-¢é han´-¢in-bi-go+ Hó, nú-dan-hañ-gá, ʇan´-be tě U-á-hi-ta-má-ji no+ (i. e., Uahita-majĭ á¢a u+!) Nú-dan-hañ-gá, nan´-ku-¢é-han´-¢in-bi-go+

It may be translated thus:

O make us quicken our steps! O make us quicken our steps! Ho, O war chief! When I see him I shall have my heart's desire! O war chief, make us quicken our steps!

One of the sacred songs which follows is from the [T]ᴐiwere language, and was sung by an Omaha captain. It is given, as sung in the 323 Omaha notation of the [T]ᴐiwere. The meaning of all the words cannot be given by the collector.

Man´-¢in ¢e hé ga+we+he-hé! (Man-¢in, for ma-nyi, to walk.) Man´-¢in ¢e hé ga+we+he-he! Tcé-do na-há! (Tce-ʇo naha, buffalo bull, he who is, or, The Buffalo bull.) Man´-¢in ¢e hé ga+we+he-hé!

After singing this the captain addressed the men thus: "Ho, warriors! I have truly said that I shall have my heart's desire! Truly, warriors, they shall not detect me at all. I am now proceeding without any desire to save life. If I meet one of the foe I will not spare him."

§ 203. The Míʞasi watcí or Coyote Dance.—This was danced by the warriors before they retired for the night, to keep up their spirits. It was not danced every night, but only when thought necessary. The captains took no part in it. Some sang the dancing songs. All whitened themselves (sanki¢a¢a). Each one carried a gourd rattle and a bow; he wore his quiver in his belt, and had his robe around him. They imitated the actions of the coyote, trotting, glancing around, etc.

§ 204. Order of encamping.—As soon as they stop to camp for the night four night scouts are sent out, one in advance, towards the country of the foe, one to the rear, and one on each side of the camp, each scout going for about a mile. Before they depart the captains say, "Ho, warriors! When you feel sleepy come back," referring to midnight. Then the scouts leave, and as soon as they reach their respective stations they lie down and watch for any signs of the enemy.

At the command of the nudanhañga-q¢exe the camp is formed in a circle, with the fire in the center. The warriors are told to go for wood and water, and the servants of the captains prepare couches for their respective masters by pulling grass, some of which they twist and tie up for pillows. Each servant does this for his own captain. When bad weather is threatening the lieutenants order the warriors to build a grass lodge. For tent poles they cut many long saplings of hard willow or of any other kind of wood, and stick them in the ground at acute angles, and about one foot apart, if wood is plentiful, and small sticks are interlaced. Then they cover this frame with grass. When wood is very scarce the saplings are placed further apart.

Unlike the Iowas, the Omahas do not open their sacred bags when they encamp for the night. All the bags are hung on two or three forked sticks, the wa¢íxabe-u¢úbaʇig¢e, which are about three feet high. These sticks are placed about five feet from the circle of warriors, close enough to be seized at once in case of an attack.

Should any scout detect danger he must give the cry of a coyote or míʞasi. By and by, when the scouts become sleepy, and there is no sign of danger, they return to the camp, and lie down with their comrades till nearly day. When it is time for roosters to crow, one of the captains exclaims, "Ho, warriors! rise ye and kindle a fire." Then all arise and dress in haste, and after they have eaten, the scouts are sent ahead, as on the preceding morning. 324

§ 205. New names taken.—When the warriors have been four nights on the way, excluding the night of departure from the village, the warriors generally take new names. But if any one likes his old name he can retain it. According to La Flèche and Two Crows, the ceremony is very simple. The captain tells all present that such a man has changed his name; then he addresses the Deity in the sky and the one under the ground: "Thou Deity on either side, hear it; hear ye that he has taken another name."

According to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ, the warriors collect clothing and arrows, which they pile up in the center of the circle. As each man places his property on the pile, he says, "I, too, O war chief, abandon that name which is mine!" (This is probably addressed to the Thunder god.) Then one of the principal captains takes hold of the man by the shoulders, and leads him all around the circle, following the course of the sun. When he has finished the circumambulation (which is denied by La Flèche and Two Crows), the captain asks the man, "What name will you have, O warrior?" The man replies, "O war chief, I wish to have such and such a name," repeating the name he wishes to assume. The captain replies, "The warrior is speaking of having a very precious name!" Then one of the men is sent to act as crier, to announce the name to the various deities. The addresses to the deities vary in some particulars. The following was the proclamation of the Ponka, Cúde-gáxe, when the chief, Nudan´-axa, received his present name: "He is truly speaking, as he sits, of abandoning his name, halloo! He is indeed speaking of having the name Cries-for-the-war-path, halloo! Ye big head-lands, I tell you and send it (my voice) to you that ye may hear it, halloo! Ye clumps of buffalo grass, I tell you and send it to you that ye may hear it, halloo! Ye big trees, I tell you and send it to you that ye may hear it, halloo! Ye birds of all kinds that walk and move on the ground, I tell you and send it to you that ye may hear it, halloo! Ye small animals of different sizes, that walk and move on the ground, I tell you and send it to you that ye may hear it, halloo! Thus have I sent to you to tell you, O ye animals! Right in the ranks of the foe will he kill a very swift man, and come back after holding him, halloo! He speaks of throwing away the name Najin´-ti¢e, and he has promised to take the name Nudan´-axa, halloo!" The original ₵egiha will be found on pages 372, 373 of Part I, Vol. VI, "Contributions to N. A. Ethnology." According to the Omaha [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ, the following proclamation was made when he received his present name; but this is disputed by La Flèche and Two Crows:

"He is indeed speaking of abandoning his name! He is indeed speaking (as he stands) of having the name, He-fears-not-a-Pawnee-when-he-sees-him. Ye deities on either side (i. e., darkness and the ground), I tell you and send it to you that you may hear it, halloo! O Thunder, even you who are moving in a bad humor, I tell you and send it to you that you may hear it, halloo! O ye big rocks that move, I tell you and 325 send it to you that ye may hear it, halloo! O ye big hills that move, I tell you and send it to you that ye may hear it, halloo! O ye big trees that move, I tell you and send it to you that ye may hear it, halloo! O all ye big worms that move (i. e., O ye snakes that are in a bad humor, ye who move), I tell you and send it to you that ye may hear it, halloo! All ye small animals, I tell you and send it to you that ye may hear it, halloo! O ye large birds that move, I tell you and send it to you that you may hear it, halloo!" To this address was added some of the following promises, all of which were not used for the same person: "Watí¢ídanbadíqti win´ nan´pěqti tan´ wégaq¢ `í¢ě tan á¢a!—He speaks as he stands of striking down one in the very midst of the ranks of the foe, who shall stand in great fear of him!" "Watí¢ uhañ´geqti tě´di win´ wégaq¢ `í¢ě tan á¢a!—He is speaking of striking down one at the very end of the ranks of the foe." "Watí¢e ukan´ska ídanbadiqti win´ wégaq¢ `í¢ě tan á¢a!—He is speaking of striking down one in the very middle of the enemy's ranks, having gone directly towards him." "Watí¢e uhañ´gadiqti win t'éwaki¢ `í¢ě tan á¢a!—He is speaking of slaying one at the very end of the enemy's ranks!" "Gazan´adiqti win ú ¢iñgé u¢an´ `í¢ě tan á¢a!—He is speaking of taking hold of one without a wound right in the midst of the foe (i. e., when surrounded by them)!"

§ 206. Behavior of those who stay at home.—The old men who stay at home occasionally act as criers, day and night. They go among the lodges, and also to the bluffs, where they exhort the absent warriors, somewhat after this manner: "Do your best. You have gone traveling (i. e., on the war path) because you are a man. You are walking over a land over which it is very desirable for one to walk. Lie (when you die) in whatever place you may wish to lie. Be sure to lie with your face towards the foe!" They do not keep this up all the time, nor do they always make such exhortations.

§ 207. The women, too, address the distant warriors. The following is a song referring to Hebadi-jan, of the [K]anze gens:

"Wa-na´-q¢in-ă! Á-¢a-`an´ ¢á-¢in-cé-in-te [T]í-nu-há, ¢a-an´-¢a can´ ¢a-¢in-cé. He-bá-di-jan´, Cá-an-jiñ´-ga kú¢ě a¢in gí-ă!"
Hasten! What are you doing that you remain away so long? Elder brother, now, at length, you have left him behind. O Hebadi-jan! be returning quickly with a young Dakota!

La Flèche and Two Crows never heard this song; but they do not dispute its correctness. It was told the writer by [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ.

§ 208. Report of scouts.—When the scouts return and report having found the enemy, stating also how they are encamped, if the party is a large one, the sacred bags are opened by the principal captains, with the mouth of each bag towards the enemy, as stated in § 198.

[P]a¢in-nanpajĭ says that they then give the scalp-yell, and each one repeats what he has promised to do on meeting the enemy; but this is disputed by La Flèche and Two Crows. 326

§ 209. Capture of horses.—Two men who are active go to steal horses from the enemy. This departure is called "ʇí-gaqá a¢ai," they have gone to get the better of (those in) the lodges (of the enemy), and is explained by "waman´¢an a¢aí," they have gone to steal. The two men may go together or may separate and try to steal horses at whatever places they can find any. Should these followers fail, two of the officers must make an attempt. These officers may be either the captains or the lieutenants. Sometimes a youth steals off from the warriors, and tries to capture a horse. The policemen try to prevent this, as the youth might alarm the foe. No matter who captures the horses, he must deliver them to the two principal captains. If many horses have been captured, the men take them to a safe distance, and then they are distributed among the members of the party. He who captured the horses is always the first to receive one from the captains. Each of the (principal) captains has his special followers, who are obliged to bring to him all the horses which they capture. And the captain, in like manner, shares his booty with his followers. Thus, when [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ captured horses from the Dakotas, when he was one of the captains, he distributed eight horses among his own followers. (See p. 442, Part I, Vol. VI, Contributions to N. A. Ethnology.) When he recovered the horses from the enemy, the warriors thanked him, saying that on account of his act they would not be compelled to make their feet sore from walking home. When but few horses have been taken, only the elder men receive them; but when many have been captured, all of the party share alike.

§ 210. Preparations for attacking the enemy.—Before the attack is made, it is usually the custom for scouts to make a thorough survey of the enemy's camp. So, when Two Crows led his party against the Yanktons, in 1854, and had discovered the proximity of the foe, he first sent one of the lieutenants, [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ, to count the lodges. On his return, another lieutenant, Sĭn´de-xan´xan, was sent by Two Crows, for the purpose of learning if the enemy were sleeping. The latter having reported, Two Crows himself, being one of the captains, went with Sĭnde-xan´xan, to make a final examination. Having ascertained the location of the sleepers, they returned to their party, and began the attack at midnight. When [T]ahé-jiñga and Níku¢íb¢an had led a small party against the Pawnee Loups, they sent back a messenger to the Omaha camp, and when four scouts were sent from the camp, Wabaskaha, who was one of the small war party, deceived them, saying that the Cheyennes were in the camp near at hand. Then many of the Omahas joined the small party changing it into a nudanhin-ʇañga. This was after the death of the chief Black Bird, in the early part of this century. When the main body of the Omahas had joined the others, they proceeded without delay to surprise the camp of the Pawnees. Having arrived just at the outside of the village, they crawled towards it in perfect silence, going by twenties, each one holding the hand of the man next to him. The captain, 327 Niku¢ib¢an, or Gianhabi, had a sacred bag, which he opened (four times, said Big Elk) with its mouth towards the foe, that the wind might waft the magic influence of the bag to the lodges, and make the sleepers forget their weapons and their warlike spirit (denied by La Flèche and Two Crows). He also had a war-club with an iron point, which he used as a sacred thing, waving it four times toward the foe. When they were very near the lodges, but while it was yet dark, one of the attacking party pulled his bow with all his might, sending an arrow very far. But the arrow could not be seen. They continued drawing nearer and nearer, exhorting one another, but speaking in whispers. At last it was daylight, which is the usual time for making the attack, as people are supposed to be sound asleep. Then Niku¢ib¢an pulled his bow, and sent an arrow, which could be seen. He waved the sacred bag four times, and gave the attacking cry of the leader (the wa`in´ban) once, whereupon all of his party gave the scalp-yell (ug¢á`a`a), and began the fight by shooting at the lodges. (See § 193.)

Each combatant tries to find a shelter, from behind which he may fire at the enemy, though brave men now and then expose themselves to great danger when they rush towards the ranks of the enemy and try to capture a man, or to inflict a blow on him. Those who are the first to strike or touch a fallen enemy in the presence of his comrades, who are generally watching their opportunity to avenge his fall, are also regarded as very brave.

Protracted warfare, or fighting for several days in succession, has not been the Omaha custom.

§ 211. Preparation for an attack on a single foe.—In the story of I´cibájĭ of the [T]e-sĭn´de gens, we read thus: "At length the warriors detected a man coming towards them. They told the war-chief, who said, 'Ho! Oh warriors, he is the one whom we seek. Let us kill him.' Then the warriors prepared themselves. They painted themselves with yellow earth and white clay. Icibajĭ picked up the pieces dropped by the others, and the war-chief made his back yellow for him, in imitation of the sparrow-hawk. Then the warriors pulled off their leggings and moccasins, which they gave to Icibajĭ to keep. When Icibajĭ, having gained the consent of his captain, had peeped over the bluff at the advancing man, he ran to meet him, having no weapon but his club. Having overtaken the man, he killed him with the club. And when the others took parts of the scalp, Icibajĭ did not take any of it."

§ 212. When one of the principal captains was killed, that always stopped the fight, even if he belonged to the side of the victors.

If any one heard that one of his kindred was killed or captured, he would try to go to him, and both generally perished together. When the Omahas were fleeing from the Dakotas, in a fight which occurred about A. D. 1846, some one told an old man that his son had been killed. "Ho!" said he, "I will stop running." So he turned around and went to the place where his son's body was. He rushed headlong 328 among the combatants, who were standing very thick, and at last perished with his son.

§ 213. Return of the war-party.—On the way home the booty is divided. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ said that "They stop for the night at a point about two miles from the village," but La Flèche and Two Crows deny this, saying that the warriors come into the village when they please, as they are hungry and wish to see their wives and children.

If they have brought back scalps or horses, they set the grass afire. On seeing this the villagers say "Nudan´ ama´ agíi, eb¢e´gan. Usaí."—I think that the warriors are coming back. They have set the grass afire. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ said that if they have brought scalps, they put some of the hair in the fire, and the smoke is black. But if they put a horse's tail in the fire, the smoke is very yellow.

La Flèche and Two Crows said that there is no difference in the meaning of the colors of the smoke, though déje jíde or red grass, sidúhi, and other kinds of grass, are set afire, and make different kinds of smoke.

When guns are fired it signifies that a foe has been killed. But when none are fired, and the grass is not set afire, it is a sign of an unsuccessful expedition.

As soon as the people hear the guns, they shout, "The warriors have come back!" Then the warriors ride back and forth, moving here and there among themselves in the distance. Then the old men proclaim through the village what each warrior has achieved, calling him by name—"This one has killed a foe!" "This one has broken off a head!" "This one would not allow the others to anticipate him in seizing one of the foe by the scalp-lock," etc.

§ 214. Ordeal of the sacred bags.—When the warriors have had a rest of about two days, they assemble for a dance, called the "Wéwatci," or Scalp-dance. Before the dance, however, the successful warriors receive the rewards or insignia of valor from the nudanhañga who has the three wa¢íxabe ʇañ´ga or wastégistú. The three bags are placed in a row, and all the warriors stand in a row. Each warrior having selected the wa¢ixabe to which he intends speaking, he makes a present to it. Then the keeper of the wa¢ixabe addresses him, reminding him that Wakanda sees him, and that if he speaks falsely, he may not expect to stay much longer on the earth. Then the young man says, "Win´ake. Wakan´da aká íbahani."—I tell the truth. Wakanda knows it. As he says this, he holds up his right hand towards the sky. Then he addresses the wa¢ixabe itself, as follows: "Hau, inc`áge-ha! edádan uwíb¢a támiñke ¢an´ja, i¢áusi´ctan-májĭ uwíb¢a tá miñke."—Ho, O venerable man! though I will tell you something, I will not lie when I tell it to you. When he says this, he lets fall a small stick which has been cut beforehand. He is obliged to hold the stick up high when he drops it. Should the stick fall on the sacred bag and remain there, it is a sign that he has spoken the truth; but if it falls off, they believe that he has been guilty 329 of falsehood, and did not do in the fight that which he has claimed for himself.

Rewards of bravery.—When all the warriors have thus been tested, they are addressed by the holder of the wa¢ixabe. To one who was the first to take hold of a foe, he says, "[K]áxe mí¢ag¢an´te hă," You shall wear the crow in your belt. Sometimes he adds, "Sábě ¢aʞíckaxe te. [K]áxe ájaja ¢aʞíckaxe te hă."—You shall blacken yourself. You shall make spots on yourself, resembling crows' dung. This warrior must blacken his body, and then mark here and there spots with white clay.

[P]a¢in-nanpajĭ said that the second who took hold of a foe had the following reward: He was allowed to blacken his body from the waist to the shoulders, and to rub white clay down the tops of his shoulders. To him was said, "Mácan-skă, ʇáhin-wág¢an á¢ag¢an´ te hă."—You shall stick in your hair white eagle feathers, and wear the deer's-tail head-dress. La Flèche and Two Crows said that this man was allowed to wear the ʇahin-wag¢an alone on his head, and to put the crow in his belt.

According to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ, the third warrior who caught hold of the foe blackened his body thus: On the arms, at the elbows, on the ribs, and hiusagi, he could make places as large as a hand (or, he could make one side of his body black—sic). To him was said, "[T]áhin-wág¢an mácan ¢iñgé á¢ag¢an´ te hă," You shall wear the ʇahin-wag¢an without any feathers. But La Flèche and Two Crows said that this man was told to wear the crow in his belt; and the fourth who took hold of the foe was told to wear the ʇahin-wag¢an without any other decoration.

[P]a¢in-nanpajĭ said that he who disemboweled a fallen enemy with a knife was permitted to stick a red feather in his hair. He blackened his body from the waist up to the shoulder, and over the shoulder, then down the back to the waist. He could redden his knife and dance as a grizzly bear. But Two Crows, who has attended the scalp-dance, never saw anything of this sort.

According to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ, he who killed a foe was rewarded in several ways. He could wear the ʇehuq¢abe17 necklace, called the "gadádaje wacin´, and was addressed thus: "Gadádaje wacin´ nan´¢ap'in te hă," You can wear the ʇehuq¢abe necklace. "Man´-u¢úbaski ái¢agá¢a te hă," You shall carry the ramrod on your arm. "[T]áhin-wág¢an sían¢é á¢ag¢an´ te hă," You shall wear the ʇahin-wag¢an alone in your hair. (These were disputed by La Flèche and Two Crows.) "Man´sa gasú jíde¢ě nan¢ap'in´ te hă," You shall wear an arrow shaft, scraped and reddened, suspended from your neck. (Confirmed by La Flèche and Two Crows.)

He who struck a foe with a hatchet, bow, etc., was allowed to redden it and carry it to the dance, if he wished.

Sometimes a warrior gave a gun, etc., to an old man, who went through the camp telling of the generosity of the giver. 330

All who had parts of scalps were told to wear ʇahin-wag¢an on their heads.

§ 215. The scalp dance (of the women).—One of the women had to carry the scalp around on a pole during the dance. This act is ái¢a-báju.

When a man killed a foe with a knife, gun, hatchet, etc., it was taken by his wife, who held it as she danced. Such women dressed themselves in gay attire, decorated themselves with various ornaments, wore head-dresses of ʇejinhinde, painted their cheeks, and reddened the déugázan or parting of the hair of the head.

This scalp-dance is the women's dance; the men take no part but that of singing the dancing songs for the women and beating the drums. When any of the Omahas had been killed by the enemy, this dance could not be had; but when the Omahas were fortunate enough to kill some of the foe without losing any of their own party the men said, "Wéwatci añ´ki¢e taí," Let them dance the scalp-dance. Then the men went first with one, two, or three drums to a place bare of undergrowth, and began to beat the drums. By and by the women would hear it, and assemble. There was no feast and no invitations were made by criers. Any women and girls who wished to dance could do so. The only men allowed to sing the dancing songs for the women were those who had killed foes, or had taken hold of them.

The women did not dance in a circle, but "kiáqpaqpág¢a" (moving in and out among themselves) and "íki¢íb¢an" (mixed, in disorder), as they pleased. Sometimes they danced all night till the next morning; sometimes they continued the dance for two or three days. This wewatci has not been danced by the Omaha women for about fourteen years. It is not considered a sacred dance, but one of rejoicing.

§ 216. The He¢ucka dance (of the men).—The corresponding dance for the men is the He¢úcka.18 The only members of the He¢ucka dancing society are such as have distinguished themselves in war, and boys whose fathers are chiefs. When Frank La Flèche was a boy he was admitted to the He¢ucka solely because his father was a chief.

"The first four to take hold of the foe were decorated with the ʇahin-wag¢an head-dress, the 'crow' in the belt, and garters of otter-skin.

"He who had killed a foe with a gun reddened the barrel for about nine inches or a foot from the muzzle, wore the 'crow,' and stuck several swan feathers around the muzzle. He also wore a feather in his hair.

"Those who struck some of the foe, but did not inflict fatal blows, made on their bodies the signs of blows; having blackened their hands, they put them here and there on their bodies, leaving black impressions. Sometimes they blackened the whole body, and over the black they made white hands, after rubbing white clay on their own hands. They wore feathers in their hair, as did all except the four who were the first to take hold of the foe. 331

"He who had been wounded by the foe, without receiving a fatal blow, blackened his body, and put on a red spot and stripe to denote the wound and the dripping of the blood. He wore a red feather in his hair.

"Those who had brought back horses, wore lariats, "núsi-áq¢a" (over the left shoulder and under the right arm), and carried their whips on their arms.

"All these were promoted to the rank of wanáce or policemen, to act as such during the buffalo hunt." (La Flèche and Two Crows.)

"There were many singers. They had a drum, but no rattles of any sort. They danced as they moved around the fire-place, from left to right. This was always after a feast. They had no regular number of times for dancing around the circle.

"The man who first held a foe ranked as number one; the slayer came next; the second who held the foe ranked third; the third to hold the foe ranked fourth, and the fifth was he who cut off the head and threw it away.

"Sometimes the fourth man did this. Only the first, second, and third of these men were regarded as having gained great honors, and these three laded out the food at the feast.

"Only those who held or touched the foe made the impression of hands on their bodies.

"Those who struck living foes wore feathers erect in their hair, while those who hit dead enemies had to wear their feathers lying down." (Frank La Flèche.)

Mr. J. La Flèche gave the following as a very ancient song of this dance:

"Wakan´da aká an¢iñ´ge te, ai égan, An¢iñ´ge támiñke."
"Wakanda having said that I shall not be, I shall not be."

In this song, "An¢iñ´ge ta´miñke" is equivalent to "At'é támiñke," I shall die. The idea is that the singer thought he would not die until Wakanda spoke the word, and then he must die. Till then he would be safe, no matter what dangers he encountered.

For the song in honor of the Ponka chief, Ubískă, see pp. 380, 381, Part I, Vol. VI., Contributions to N. A. Ethnology.

§ 217. The He-watcí.—The concluding part of the He¢ucka was called the "Hé-watcí." It was danced only by one man, a member of the He¢ucka society. After the feast, the head of a dog or deer was generally given to one of the guests, who ate it clean and laid it down after imitating, as he danced, some of his acts in battle. The man arose suddenly of his own accord, taking the head in both hands and holding it in front of him. When no head had been boiled he danced without one. The drum was beaten, but there were no songs. The dancer wore the "crow," and grasped a club or hatchet, which had been purposely placed in the middle of the circle. His acts resembled those of the four visitors when the Égi`an-watcigaxe was danced. (See § 271.) Pointing in 332 various directions with his club or hatchet, with which he struck the ground each time, he said, "Níacinga win gaé`an:" I did thus to a man; "Níacinga win áq¢i," I killed a man; "Níacinga win ub¢an," I took hold of a man; or some other expression. When he finished the He¢ucka dance was ended.

§ 218. The Mandan dance with fallen friends.—When the Omahas lost any of their number in a fight they had the Mandan dance on their homeward way, or after they reached home. If they had the bodies of their dead they placed the latter in the middle of a lodge, making them sit upright, as if alive and singing. And they made them hold rattles of deers' claws on their arms.

In the war story of [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ, recorded in Part I, Vol. VI, Contributions to N. A. Ethnology, the narrator says: "All the people danced in groups, dancing the Mandan dance. I rode the horse which I had brought home. I painted my face and wore good clothing. I hit the drum: 'Ku+!' I said, 'Let Wáqa-nájin take that for himself,' referring to the horse. I presented the horse to one who was not my relation."

§ 219. When the war party return home, whether they have been successful or not, the captains invite the warriors to a feast. The warriors, in turn, invited the captains to a feast. There was no regular order; if the warriors boiled first they were the first to invite (the captains) to a feast.

§ 220. A battle may be ended either by the death of one of the principal captains or by sending a man with a sacred pipe towards the ranks of the enemy. The sacred pipe is a peace pipe, and is used instead of a flag of truce. (See Punishment of a murderer, § 309.)

§ 221. Treatment of the wounded foes.—If they fell into the power of the men of the victorious side they were killed and their bodies were cut in pieces, which were thrown towards the retreating foes, who cried with rage and mortification. Their treatment at the hand of the women has been described in § 184.

§ 222. Treatment of captives.—Captives were not slain by the Omahas and Ponkas. When peace was declared the captives were sent home, if they wished to go. If not they could remain where they were, and were treated as if they were members of the tribe; but they were not adopted by any one. When Gahíge-jiñ´ga, father of Wacúce, of the Iñke-sabě gens, was a small boy he was captured by the Ponkas as they were fighting with the Omahas, who were camped near their adversaries. The Omahas having overcome the Ponkas, the latter sent the aged Hañ´ga-ckáde, whom the Omahas admired, with a peace pipe, and, as an earnest of their intentions, they sent with him the boy whom they had captured that day. He was restored to his tribe, and peace was declared. (See International Law, § 306.)

§ 223. Bravery.—The following anecdotes were told by Mr. La Flèche as illustrating the bravery of his people:

An old man had a son who reached manhood, and went into a fight, 333 from which he returned wounded, but not dangerously so. The son asked his father saying, "Father, what thing is hard to endure?" He expected the father to say, "My child, for one to be wounded in battle is hard to endure." Had he said this, the son would have replied, "Yes, father; I shall live." The father suspected this, so he made a different reply: "Nothing, my child. The only thing hard to bear is to put on leggings again before they have been warmed by the fire." So the son became angry and said, "My father, I will die."

A certain old man had been very brave in his youth; he had gone many times on the war-path, and had killed many persons belonging to different tribes. His only children were two young men. To them he gave this advice: "Go on the war-path. It will be good for you to die when young. Do not run away. I should be ashamed if you were wounded in the back; but it would delight me to learn of your being wounded in the chest." By and by there was war with another tribe, and the two young men took part in it. Their party having been scared back, both young men were killed. When the men reached home some one said, "Old man, your sons were killed." "Yes," said he, "that is just what I desired. I will go to see them. Let them alone; I will attend to them." He found the eldest son wounded all along the back, but lying with his face towards home. Said he, "Wă! kí gan´¢aqti kéana. Gátěʇa úgaq¢e ¢ajan´ te, ehé ¢an´ctĭ."—Why! he lies as if he felt a strong desire to reach home! I said heretofore that you were to lie facing that way. So taking hold of his arms, he threw the body in the other direction, with the face towards the enemy. He found the younger son wounded in the chest, and lying with his face toward the foe. "Ho! this is my own son. He obeyed me!" And the father kissed him.

§ 224. Grades of merit or bravery, Úwahéhajĭ-má, were of two sorts. To the first class belonged such as had given to the poor on many occasions, and had invited guests to many feasts, being celebrated for the latter as "wéku-ctan." To the second class belonged those, who, besides having done these things many times, had killed several of the foe and had brought home many horses. In connection with war customs, see Property (Chapter XII), and Regulative Industries (Chapter XI).

Another protective industry is the practice of medicine. (See Dancing Societies, Chapter X.) 334


§ 225. Riddles, Wá¢ade.—"Níacinga win ní kě´di hí égan, dan´be ʞĭ, xagé gí. Edádan ă?—A person having gone to the water, and looked at it is coming back weeping. What is that?" The answer is, "₵éxé amé. Ní kě í¢ijai ʞĭ, a¢in´ agíi ʞĭ, ga`ě´`ě. É xagé, ai."—It is a kettle. When it is dipped into the water, and, one is bringing it back, it is dripping. That, they say, is weeping.

[P]ahé ʇañgáqti win ědedí¢in ʞĭ´jĭ, q¢abé ábaéqtian! Cañ´ge ědedíama; hin sábě, jíde ctĭ, skă ctĭ. Indádan ă?"—There is a mountain that is covered with trees. Horses are moving there; some have black hair, some red, and some white. What is it? The answer is, "A person's head is the mountain; the hairs are trees, and lice are the horses."

"Gawéxe win ědedí¢an. Indádan ă?"—There is a place cut up by gulleys. What is it? Answer: Wa`ujiñga ĭndé hă, An old woman's face. (It is furrowed with wrinkles.)

§ 226. Proverbs, Wíu¢a.—Sometimes they say of an obstinate man, "Waníʇa égan áhan," He is like an animal, meaning that he is "naxíde-¢iñgé." Another ancient comparison is this: "Jé égan áhan. Wanan´pajĭ áhan."—He is like the membrum virile! He fears the sight of nothing! This refers to a bad man, who fears not to commit a wrong, but pushes ahead, in spite of opposition, or, as the Omahas say, "áʞi[p]atcíje," regardless of the consequences to others or to himself.

A proverb about the "Wanaxe piäjĭ," the bad spirit, is a modern one, introduced after coming in contact with the white men.

Ictínikeqtian´i, He is like Ictinike; i. e., he is very cunning. Miʞá [p]a núʞagi¢ai, The raccoon wet his head. This refers to one who talks softly when he tries to tempt another.

§ 227. Puns.—Two youths accompanied their mother's brother when he hunted game. Having killed a deer, the two young men proceeded to cut it up, while the uncle looked on. He made this observation to them: "Sábě an¢an´da ¢an´ja, gan´adi í¢isábe hă."—Though I was born black (sabě), now you suffer (i¢isabe).


§ 228. Plumstone shooting, [K]an´-si kíde.—This game was thus described by Dougherty. "Five plumstones are provided, three of which are marked on one side only with a greater or smaller number of black 335 dots or lines, and two of them are marked on both sides; they are, however, sometimes made of bone of a rounded or flattened form, somewhat like an orbicular button-mold, the dots in this case being impressed. A wide dish and a certain number of small sticks by the way of counters are also provided. Any number of persons may play this game, and agreeably to the number engaged in it, is the quantity of sticks or counters. The plumstones or bones are placed in a dish, and a throw is made by simply jolting the vessel against the ground to make the seeds or bones rebound, and they are counted as they lie when they fall. The party plays around for the first throw. Whoever gains all the sticks in the course of the game wins the stake. The throws succeed each other with so much rapidity that we vainly endeavored to observe their laws of computation, which it was the sole business of an assistant to attend to."

The seeds used in this game are called ʞan´-si gě. Their number varies. Among the Ponkas and Omahas, only five are used, while the Otos play with six. Sometimes four are marked alike, and the fifth is black or white (unmarked). Generally three are black on one side, and white or unmarked on the other, while two have each a star on one side and a moon on the other.

The players must always be of the same sex and class; that is, men must play with men, youths with youths, and women with women.

There must always be an even number of players, not more than two on each side. There are about twenty sticks used as counters. These are made of deska or of some other grass.

The seed are put in a bowl, which is hit against a pillow, and not on the bare ground, lest it should break the bowl.

When three seeds show black, and two have the moon on the upper side, it is a winning throw; but when one is white, one black, a third black (or white), the fourth showing a moon, and the fifth a star, it is a losing throw. The game is played for small stakes, such as rings and necklaces.

§ 229. Banañ´ge-kíde, Shooting at the banañge or rolling wheel.—This is played by two men. Each one has in his hand two sticks about as thick as one's little finger, which are connected in the middle by a thong not over four inches in length. The sticks measure about three feet and a half in length. Those of one player are red, and those of the other are black. The wheel which is rolled is about two feet and a half in diameter, its rim is half an inch thick, and it extends about an inch from the circumference towards the center. On this side of the rim that measures an inch are four figures. The first is called "Máxu," Marked with a knife, or "Mág¢eze," Cut in stripes with a knife. The second is "Sábě tě," The black one. The third is "Áki¢ítě," Crossing each other. The fourth is "Jiñgá tcě," The little one, or "Máxu jiñgá tcě," The little one marked with a knife. The players agree which one 336 of the figures shall be "waqúbe" for the game; that is, what card-players call "trumps."

Fig. 32.—The banañge.

The wheel is pushed and caused to roll along, and when it has almost stopped each man hits gently at it to make it fall on the sticks. Should the sticks fall on the top of the wheel, it does not count. When a player succeeds in lodging his sticks in such a way that he touches the waqube, he wins many sticks, or arrows. When figures are touched by one or both of his sticks, he calls out the number. When any two of the figures have been touched, he says, "Nanban´a-ú hă,"I have wounded it twice. If three figures have been hit, he says, "₵áb¢in a-ú hă,"I have wounded three. Twenty arrows or sticks count as a blanket, twenty-five as a gun, and one hundred as a horse.

Fig. 33.—The sticks.

Fig. 34.—Nanban au hă.

§ 230. [T]abé-gasi, Men's game of ball.—This is played by the Omahas and Ponkas with a single ball. There are thirty, forty, or fifty men on each side, and each one is armed with a curved stick about two feet long. The players strip off all clothing except their breech-cloths. At each end of the play-ground are two posts from 12 to 15 feet apart. The play-ground is from 300 to 400 yards in length. When the players on the opposite side see that the ball is liable to reach A they try to knock it aside, either towards B or C, as their opponents would win if the ball passed between the posts at A. On the other hand, if the party represented by A see that the ball is in danger of passing between the posts at D they try to divert it, either towards E or F.


Fig. 35.—₵ab¢in au hă.

The stakes may be leggings, robes, arrows, necklaces, etc. All are lost by the losing side, and are distributed by the winners in equal shares. One of the elder men is requested to make the distribution. Two small boys, about twelve years old, stand at the posts A, and two others are at D. One boy at each end tries to send the ball between the posts, but the other one attempts to send it in the opposite direction. These boys are called uhé ginájin.

The game used to be played in three ways: (1.) Phratry against phratry. Then one of the players was not blindfolded. (2.) Village against village. The Omahas had three villages after 1855. Bi-kú-de was Gahige's village, where most of the people were. Win-dja´-ge was Standing Hawk's village, near the Mission. Jan-¢a´-te was Sanssouci's village, near Decatur. Frank La Flèche remembers one occasion when Win-djage challenged Bikude to play ʇabe-gasi, and the former won. (3.) When the game was played neither by phratries nor by villages, sides were chosen thus: A player was blindfolded, and the sticks were placed before him in one pile, each stick having a special mark by which its owner could be identified. The blindfolded man then took up two sticks at a time, one in each hand, and, after crossing hands, he laid the sticks in separate piles. The owners of the sticks in one pile formed a side for the game. The corresponding women's game is Wabaᴐnade.

Fig. 36.—Diagram of the play-ground.

§ 231. [P]á¢in-jáhe, or Stick and ring.—[P]á¢in-jáhe is a game played by two men. At each end of the play-ground, there are two "búʇa," or rounded heaps of earth.

A ring of rope or hide, the wa¢ígije, is rolled along the ground, and each player tries to dart a stick through it as it goes. He runs very swiftly after the hoop, and thrusts the stick with considerable force. 338 If the hoop turns aside as it rolls it is not so difficult to thrust a stick through it.

Fig. 37.—The stick used in playing [P]á¢in-jahe.

The stick (A) is about 4 feet long. D is the end that is thrust at the hoop. BB are the gaqa or forked ends for catching at the hoop. CC are made of ha násage, wéabasta násage íkantan, stiff hide, fastened to the forked ends with stiff "weabasta," or material used for soles of moccasins. These ha nasage often serve to prevent the escape of the hoop from the forked ends. Sometimes these ends alone catch or hook the hoop. Sometimes the end D is thrust through it. When both sticks catch the hoop neither one wins.

Fig. 38.—The wa¢igije.

The stakes are eagle feathers, robes, blankets, arrows, earrings, necklaces, &c.

§ 232. Wabáᴐnade, the women's game of ball.—Two balls of hide are filled with earth, grass, or fur, and then joined by a cord. At each end of the play-ground are two "gabázu" or hills of earth, blankets, &c., that are from 12 to 15 feet apart. Each pair of hills may be regarded as the "home" or "base" of one of the contending parties, and it is the aim of the members of each party to throw the balls between their pair of hills, as that would win the game.

Two small girls, about twelve years old, stand at each end of the play-ground and act as uhe ginajin for the women, as boys do for the men in ʇabe-gasi.

Each player has a webaᴐnade, a very small stick of hard or red willow, about 5 feet long, and with this she tries to pick up the balls by thrusting the end of the stick under the cord. Whoever succeeds in picking them up hurls them into the air, as in playing with grace hoops. The women can throw these balls very far. Whoever catches the cord on her stick in spite of the efforts of her opponents, tries to throw it still further, and closer to her "home." The stakes are buffalo hides, small dishes or bowls, women's necklaces, awls, &c. The bases are from 300 to 400 yards apart. The corresponding men's game is [T]abe-gasi.

§ 233. Jan-¢áwa, Stick counting, is played by any number of persons with sticks made of [p]éska or sidúhi. These sticks are all placed in a heap, and then the players in succession take up some of them in their hands. The sticks are not counted till they have been taken up, and then he who has the lowest odd number always wins. Thus, if one player had five, another three, and a third only one the last must be the victor. The highest number that any one can have is nine. If ten or more sticks have been taken, those above nine do not count. With the exception 339 of horses, anything may be staked which is played for in banañge-kide.

§ 234. Man-gádaze is a game unknown among the Omahas, but practiced among the Ponkas, who have learned it from the Dakotas. It is played by two men. Each one holds a bow upright in his left hand with one end touching the ground and the bow-string towards a heap of arrows. In the other hand he holds an arrow, which he strikes against the bow-string, which rebounds as he lets the arrow go. The latter flies suddenly towards the heap of arrows and goes among them. The player aims to have the feather on his arrow touch that on some other arrow which is in the heap. In that case he wins as many arrows as the feather or web has touched; but if the sinew on his arrow touches another arrow it wins not only that one but all in the heap.

§ 235. In´-utin´, Hitting the stone, is a game played at night. Sometimes there are twenty, thirty, or forty players on each side. Four moccasins are placed in a row, and a member of one party covers them, putting in one of them some small object that can be easily concealed. Then he says "Come! hit the moccasin in which you think it is." Then one of the opposite side is chosen to hit the moccasin. He arises, examines all, and hits one. Should it be empty, they say, "₵iñgéě hă," It is wanting." He throws it far aside and forfeits his stakes. Three moccasins remain for the rest of his friends to try. Should one of them hit the right one (uskan´skan utin´, or ukan´ska utin´), he wins the stakes, and his side has the privilege of hiding the object in the moccasin. He who hits the right moccasin can hit again and again till he misses. Sometimes it is determined to change the rule for winning, and then the guesser aims to avoid the right moccasin the first time, but to hit it when he makes the second trial. Should he hit the right one the first time he loses his stakes. If he hits the right one when he hits the second moccasin, he wins, and his side has the right to hide the object. They play till one side or the other has won all the sticks or stakes. Sometimes there are players who win back what they have lost. He who takes the right moccasin wins four sticks, or any other number which may be fixed upon by previous agreement.

Eight sticks win a blanket; four win leggings; one hundred sticks, a full-grown horse; sixty sticks, a colt; ten sticks, a gun; one, an arrow; four, a knife or a pound of tobacco; two, half a pound of tobacco. Buffalo robes (meha), otter skins, and beaver skins are each equal to eight sticks. Sometimes they stake moccasins.

When one player wins all his party yell. The men of each party sit in a row, facing their opponents, and the moccasins are placed between them.

§ 236. Shooting arrows at a mark is called "Man kíde." The mark (nacábeg¢e tě) may be placed at any distance from the contestants. There must be an even number of persons on each side. Men play with men and boys with boys. Arrows are staked. Sometimes when an arrow 340 hits squarely at the mark it wins eight arrows or perhaps ten, according to previous agreement. When no arrow hits the mark squarely and one touches it, that arrow wins. And if there is neither an arrow that hits the mark squarely nor one that barely touches it, then the nearest arrow wins. Should there be no arrow that has gone nearly to the mark, but one that has gone a little beyond it and descended, that one wins. Whichever one is nearest the mark always wins. If there are two arrows equidistant from the mark which belong to opposite sides in the game neither one wins; but if the equidistant arrows are on the same side both win. Sometimes they say, "Let us finish the game whenever any one hits the mark squarely." Then he who thus hits the mark wins all the arrows staked.

§ 237. Shooting at a moccasin.—Hinbe kide is a boy's game. An arrow is stuck in the ground and a moccasin is fastened to it. Each boy rides swiftly by and shoots at the moccasin. The game resembles the preceding one.

§ 238. Man-múqpe, The game of dislodging arrows, is common to the Omahas, Ponkas, Iowas, Otos, and Missouris. Arrows are shot up into a tree till they lodge among the branches; then the players shoot up and try to dislodge them. Whoever can bring down an arrow wins it. There are no sides or opposing parties. Any number of boys can play. The game has become obsolete among the Omahas as there are no arrows now in use.

§ 239. Man¢in´-bagí, Wahí-gasnug´-i¢e (Omaha names), or Man-íbagí (Ponka name) is a game played by an even number of boys. The tall sticks of the red willow are held in the hand, and, when thrown towards the ground so as to strike it at an acute angle, they glance off, and are carried by the wind into the air for some distance. Whichever one can throw his stick the furthest wins the game; but nothing is staked.

§ 240. Man´dě gasnug´-i¢e is a game similar to Man¢in-bagi, but bows are used instead of the red willow sticks and arrows are staked, there being an even number of players on each side. Each bow is unstrung, one end being nearly straight, the other end, which is to hit the ground, being slightly curved. When snow is on the ground the bows glide very far. Sometimes the bow rebounds and goes into the air, then alights and glides still further. The prize for each winning bow is arranged before each game. If the number be two arrows for each and three bows win, six arrows are forfeited by the losing side; if four bows win eight arrows are lost. If three arrows be the prize for each, when two bows win, six arrows are forfeited; when three win, nine arrows; and so on.

§ 241. In´-tin búʇa, a boy's game among the Omahas, is played in winter. It is played by two, three, or four small boys, each one having a stick, not over a yard long, shaped like the figure. The stakes are necklaces and ear-rings; or, if they have no stakes they agree to hit once on the 341 head the boy whose stick goes the shortest distance. The sticks are thrown as in Man¢in-bagi.

Fig. 38.—The stick used in playing Intin-buʇa.

§ 242. Diving.—Boys dive and see who can go the farthest under water. Some put grass in their mouths previous to diving; and when they get under water they blow through the grass, causing bubbles to rise to the surface and mark their course. He who goes the shortest distance can be struck by the winner with the robe of the latter.

§ 243. Children's games.—Children play in the mud, making lodges, etc.; hence the verb "ʇi´-gaxe," to make (mud) lodges, to play as children do. The girls used to make dolls of sticks, and place them in small u¢uhe. Now, some of them make rag dolls.

Children strike one another "last," saying, "Gatcan´," i. e., "So far."

[T]aha¢ija is played by two persons. A's left hand is at the bottom, the skin on its back is pinched by B's left hand, which, in turn, is pinched by A's right, and that by B's right. After saying "[T]aha¢ija" twice as they raise and lower the hands, they release them and hit at each other. The Kansas call the game Taleska. These two customs were observed among the Ponka children.

§ 244. Games with playing cards.—Since coming in contact with our race the Omahas have learned to play several games with cards; and a few can play checkers and backgammon, though they are hardly familiar with our language.

Dougherty says, "Various are the games which they practice, of which is one called Matrimony, but others are peculiar to themselves. The following is one to which they seem to be particularly devoted:

"The players seat themselves around a bison robe, spread on the ground, and each individual deposits in the middle the articles which he intends to stake, such as vermilion, beads, knives, blankets, etc., without any attention to the circumstance of equalizing its value with the deposits made by his companions. Four small sticks are then laid upon the robe and the cards are shuffled, cut, and two are given to each player, after which the trump is turned. The hands are then played, and whoever gains two tricks takes one of the sticks. If two persons make each a trick, they play together until one loses his trick, when the other takes a stick. The cards are again dealt and the process is continued until all the sticks are taken. If four persons have each a stick they continue to play to the exclusion of the unsuccessful gamesters. When a player wins two sticks, four cards are dealt to him that he may take his choice of them. If a player wins three sticks, six cards are dealt to him, and should he take the fourth stick he wins the stakes."

§ 245. Musicians.—These included the musicians for special occasions, as the Quʞa for the service of the keepers of the sacred tents of the 342 Hañga (see Hunting customs, § 143), the singers for the Hede-watci, who were Iñke-sabě men, and the musicians for the dancing societies, etc.



§ 246. Feasting societies or Úkikuné¢ě (called Ukíkune¢ě by the Ponkas) were of three kinds; that for the men, that for the young men, and one for youths in their teens. No business was transacted, and there was neither singing nor dancing as an essential part of the proceedings. They were merely social gatherings, intended chiefly for the purpose of feasting, and they were fostered by the state, as they tended to bind together as friends all who were present as guests.

Joseph La Flèche used to be a member of the society of the married men and aged men. When he did not go to the feast he could send his son, Frank; and other men were allowed to send their sons as proxies. This society is now extinct. The giver of the feast used to place in the middle of the lodge a large wooden bowl, which was empty. Beside it was laid a very red spoon, made of buffalo horn. The bowl and spoon were not used by any of the guests.

The society of the young men, which became extinct about A. D. 1879, was called, "Hinbe hin t`an, Hairy Moccasins." To this belonged Hidaha, of the Elk gens, Hutantan, of the Ictasanda, and many others. They invited any one whom they wished to join their society. A pipe was smoked whenever they assembled.

There was a society for youths from seventeen to nineteen years of age, but its name cannot be recalled by Frank La Flèche. (See §§ 18, 111, 130.)


§ 247. The dancing societies of the Omahas and Ponkas may be divided into the following classes: 1. Those which are "waqube," or sacred, including those connected with the practice of medicine. 2. Those that are "úwacúce-aʇá¢ican," or connected with bravery and war. 3. Those that are "újawa-ʇá¢ican," or merely for social pleasure. They admit of another classification, i. e., 1. Those of native origin; and, 2,. such as have been introduced or purchased from other tribes.

§ 248. The Wacicka dance.—The Wacícka a¢in´-ma or Wacícka a¢in´-watcígaxe is the name of the principal society. The [T]ᴐiwere name for it is "Wacúckanyi." This society appears to exist under different names among many tribes besides the Omahas, including the Winnebagos, Dakotas, and Odjibwe or Chippewas.

The writer has received conflicting accounts of the character of this dance. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ spoke of it as one that was "waspe," well-behaved. 343 Mr. J. La Flèche and Two Crows used the following expressions with reference to it: "Úʞiju gáxai," it tended to pride; "úgactañka gáxai," it tended to temptation; "úman¢an gáxai," it tended to theft; "úmin¢íg¢an gaxai," it tended to concupiscence; "íqta-hnani," they used to abuse persons; "watcí," cum aliquibus coiverunt. The dancers used to dress so as to attract those of the opposite sex. The leaders or "í¢ig¢an" of the dance are G¢edan-najin and [P]edegahi. The other members whose names are remembered by Two Crows and others are Wackan-man¢in, Duba-man¢in, Majan-kide, Cañge-skă, Jiñga-gahige, Han-akipa, the wives of G¢edannajin, [P]ede-gahi, and Wackan-man¢in, [K]e-baha's mother, and [K]anze-hañga's mother's sister. "Besides these are Muxa-najin, Jiñga-gahige's mother, Wackan-man¢in's son, Umanhan-tanwañg¢an, and many others." (Frank La Flèche.) The full number is nineteen. All the chiefs can belong to this society, and their younger brothers, wives, eldest daughters, and sisters' sons are eligible. Wahan-¢iñge's larger wife, Anpan-ʇañga's sister, used to be a member.

Not over five can carry otter-skin bags in the dance. Four of these are Duba-man¢in, Jiñga-gahige, Cañge-skă, and Majan-kide. G¢edan-najin is one of the two that can carry bags made of the skins of the siñga or flying-squirrels. Han-akipa carries a bag made of the skin of a miʞa-skă or "white raccoon." This is a modern addition. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ said that some have bags of the skin of the mázanhe, an animal resembling an otter; it is covered with black and reddish-yellow hair; its tail is bushy, and the hair is thick. J. La Flèche and Two Crows said that this kind of bag was not used by the Omahas. The parents of G¢edan-najin ([T]e-san and wife) carried a bag of black bear skin, but the son did not inherit it.

If they cannot have the regular kind of bags, some make bags of the skins of muskrats, or of any other animal which they can obtain.

All who have no skin bags carry fans of eagles' wings. All the bags are called "Hi-úgaqíxe," a term meaning "A skin with the teeth of the animal attached," and they are used as nini-ujiha, or tobacco pouches. The noses of all the animals (i. e., those on the bags) were painted blue. Of the otter-skin bags about two had each a red feather placed crosswise in the mouth of the animal.

§ 249. This dance is held in the spring of the year, beginning on a good day, when the grass is about six inches high. After an intermission of a few days they may have the dance again, if they wish; then, after a similar intermission, they may repeat it, and so on.

Before holding the dance one of the members, an old man, says to the leaders, "Do consider the subject; I will boil (for the feast)." They reply, "Yes, we will have it; you can boil." Then the members must borrow two drums, four gourd rattles, and two pillows. These articles must always be borrowed, as it would be wrong for the members to make or furnish them. Four persons undertake the boiling for the feast. Some brave men are selected to act as "quʞa," part of whom, however, 344 are members of the society. Two are appointed to beat the drums, and four to beat the rattles on the pillows. These six performers are not members of the society.

§ 250. When one wishes to join the society he must proceed as follows: During the day the candidate boils food for a feast, to which he invites all the members of the society. About twilight they arrive, and having partaken of the feast they receive presents from the candidate, who asks them to admit him to their society. If they agree to admit him a feast is appointed for the next day in connection with the dance, when he will be initiated. Before the ceremony, however, the chiefs confer with one another, saying, "Wí ab¢in´ támiñke. Níkacin´ga wágazu´gan, ab¢in´ támiñke. U¢úkanpi tégan ab¢in´ támiñke."—I will have him. I will have him, as he is an honest man. I will have him, as he will be a fine looking person.

§ 251. Dress and ornaments of the dancers.—Two Crows says that they used to wear deer-skin leggings. He says that there is no uniform dress for members of either sex. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ gave the following: The men wear red leggings, of which each leg comes down over the moccasin in a point. Ribbon-work in two parts that cross over the moccasins shakes when the wearer dances. Two kinds of garters are worn together; one kind is of otter-skin, the other of bead-work and ʇejinhinde.19 This ʇejinhinde part is fastened over the legging-flap on the outer side of each leg, and is "zázade" (extending apart like the sticks of a fan) and dangling. The flaps of the leggings, which are as wide as a hand, contain ribbon-work generally from the knee up, and sometimes the whole length of the leggings. When a member wears no shirt he may ornament his body with a dozen "wa¢íg¢eze," or convoluted lines. These are red, six in front and six on the back; of those in front, two are at the waist, two higher up on the chest, and two on the arm; and of those on the back two are near the nape of the neck, two lower down, and two just above the waist. A red stripe about a finger wide is put on the face, extending from each side of the mouth to the jaw, and similar stripes are drawn down on the sides of the nose. [T]ejinhinde head-dresses are worn, and some have deer's tail head-dresses on their heads, surmounted by very white feathers, which are waving slowly as the dancers move. Two Crows says that they now turn down the flaps or hinbédiha of the moccasins.

The women's attire consists of a gay calico body or sacque, ornamented with two rows of small pieces of silver as large as copper cents, extending all around the neck of the garment; leggings with an abundance of ribbon embroidered on the flaps; short garters of ʇejinhinde and bead-work; moccasins dyed black and ornamented with porcupine work, and a red or black blanket.

[P]é-ugácke úin, ear-bobs, are worn.


The parting of the hair is reddened, and a narrow red stripe is made from the temple to the jaw.

Two Crows says that there are different styles of putting the paint on the eyes, etc., with the exception of the two methods given above, which never vary.

§ 252. The dance may take place out of doors, or else in an earth-lodge. It is started by the leaders, who begin the song, which is then taken up by the singers. The dancers form a circle, and around this they dance, following the course of the sun, according to [P]a¢in-nan-pajĭ. There are different steps in the dance, and each person keeps time with the beating of the drums.

[P]a¢in-nanpajĭ says that the wacicka is as thick as a pencil, and is about a half an inch long. It is white. It is generally shot at the candidate by a member who is not one of his kindred, though the kinsman may do the shooting. It is generally given "wa¢íᴐnajĭ," invisibly, being shot from the mouth of the possessor into that of the candidate, lodging in his throat near the Adam's apple, and knocking him down. Then the candidate staggers and coughs, "Ha! ha!" (whispered). He hits himself on the back of his head and dislodges the wacicka into his hand, where it lies white. A sacred bag is also given to the candidate. The wacicka is always kept in the mouth of the otter (that is, in the hi-ugaqixe), except when the owner wishes to shoot it from his mouth (at a candidate?), according to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ. But J. La Flèche and Two Crows say that the wacicka is spit into the mouth of an otter when they wish to use it in the dance.

A few of those carrying bags imitate the cry of the otter or that of the flying squirrel: "Tcu! tcu! tcu! tcu! tcu!" (in thirty-second notes). Each one has a small piece of wood that has been hollowed with a knife, and feathers that have been cut thin have been fastened on the wood, making a whistle which causes the imitation of the cry of those animals. On each bag some bells are put on the tail of the animal, and porcupine work is around the legs. The dancer holds the head in one hand and the tail in the other. It is aimed at the person to be shot at. None are thus shot at but members and candidates.

§ 253. Order of shooting.—All stand in a circle. Then four of their number are placed in the middle, standing in a row. They who do the shooting remain in the circle, and each one of them shoots at one of the four in the middle. When the latter or the second four have "gaᴐnúde" (i. e., have made the wacicka come out of their throats by hitting themselves on the back of the neck), they return to their places in the circle, and the four who shot at them step into the center and are shot at by a third four. When the second four have "gaᴐnúde," they return to their places, and the third four take their places in the middle; and so on till all have been shot at once. Then the first four step into the center again, and the last four shoot at them. This ends the dance.

§ 254. None but members can take part in the dance, and the "úwaweqáqa." 346 This uwaweqaqa or iqta was never witnessed by J. La Flèche and Two Crows. No one ever said to them, "I saw the uwaweqaqa in the Wacicka dance." But they have heard persons speak in ridicule of a woman who joined the dance without her husband. Of course, if the woman's husband or other kinsman was present, he would be unwilling for any stranger to abuse his wife or kinswoman. The women admitted to this society were not necessarily the tattooed women.

That there is some foundation for the statement that lewd rites occurred during some part of the dance is more probable after a comparison of the season for this dance with the Ponka phrase, "Wíhe, déje t`an. An¢añ´giqtá!"—My little sister (or my female friend), grass abounds. (Let) us delight in each other! Frank La Flèche thinks that this is without foundation. He says that four days were spent in the secret initiation, the public ceremony taking place on the last day.

§ 255. When Frank La Flèche witnessed the public ceremony in the lodge the members were stationed all around the circle. The four candidates were placed between the fire-place and the door, and thence they began to dance around the fire, moving from left to right. As they were dancing around, one of the members having an otter-skin bag left the outer circle, and began to follow them, moving in a circle between that of the dancers and that of the members. While the singing was going on, he shot at each of the four candidates with his sacred bag. After these were shot at, all the members danced, and then any one of them was at liberty to shoot at the others.

§ 256. The In-kug¢i dance.—In´-kug¢i a¢in´-ma, or Qubé in´-kug¢i a¢in´-ma, The society of those who have the translucent stones. [P]a¢in-nanpajï says that this is a bad dance, the members being "wáspajĭ." Each member has one of the inkug¢i, with which he or she shoots at some one else. These in-kug¢i are small stones which are translucent and white. The members of this society claim the power of shooting secretly any some one with [p]éje or sidúhi, and making him lame. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ also says that they sometimes shoot persons secretly with "ʇaman´," which is a piece of the intestine of a wolf, and about six inches long. This produces fatal consequences. Frank La Flèche has heard this asserted, but it is denied by Joseph La Flèche and Two Crows. They do not know about the following, for which [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ is the authority: "In order to shoot the in-kug¢i, it is put in a hollow at the base of the eagle fan, which is waved forward very rapidly, hurling the stone to a great distance, about forty or fifty yards."

There is no special season for this dance. They dance all day, and sometimes at night; and there are not separate places for the two sexes, as men and women dance "íki¢ib¢an," mixed, or intermingled.

Drums, rattles, etc., are used, as in the Wacicka a¢in. Some men wear large leggings as well as breech-cloths; but no gay clothing. The women wear sacques, leggings, red blankets, and bead necklaces; and they redden the parting of the hair and the cheeks somewhat as 347 they do for the Wacicka a¢in. The men wear many plumes in their hair, and carry fans made of eagles' wings. They have no regular patterns for painting themselves; but they use as paint either "wasejide-nika" (Indian red) or "man¢iñka-qude" (gray clay).

The only surviving leaders of this society are [T]enuga and Sihi-duba. Among the members are B¢an-ti, [T]and-unanhan, Ui¢anbe-`ansa, Cage-skă, [T]aqiewa¢ě-jiñga, [P]a-san, Inigani, Majankide, Si-qude, Nănde-wahi, and some women. According to J. La Flèche, this is one of the dances that are considered "waqube." It is obsolescent. B¢an-ti, Sihi-duba, and [T]and-unanhan are the waze¢ě or doctors who treat biliousness and fevers; but they do not go together to visit a patient.

§ 257. The Buffalo dance.—[T]e-í¢aé¢e-ma, The society of those who have supernatural communications with the Buffaloes, The Buffalo dancers. Four of the men of this dance are good surgeons. Two Crows' father was a member of the society, and understood the use of the medicine, which he transmitted to his son. Two Crows says that having inherited the right to the medicine, he understands the duties of the doctors, but not all about the dance, as he has paid no attention to the "ʇe i¢ae¢ě," which has been the duty of others.

Until recently, the four doctors of this society were as follows: Ni-¢áctage, the principal doctor, now dead; Two Crows (now the principal one), [P]a¢in-gahige, of the [T]a-[p]a, and Zizika-jiñga, of the Iñkesabě. Two Crows gives portions of the medicine to the other doctors, and they "wéze¢ě," administer it to the patients. Anba-hebe used to be a doctor. The other members whose names have been obtained are these: Duba-man¢in, [T]e-uʞanha, Icta-q¢u`a, [T]enuga-jan-¢iñke, Inc`age-wahi¢e, and Gackawañg¢e. [T]ahe-jiñga, now dead, was a member.

§ 258. Times for dancing.—After the recovery of a patient, the members of this society hold a dance, to which they may invite the members of the Horse dance, but not those of the Wolf dance.

When they are not called to dance after the recovery of patients, Two Crows says that they may dance when they please, and invite the members of the Horse and Wolf dancing societies to join them; but the latter can never dance independently of the Buffalo dancers.

[P]a¢in-nanpajĭ says (but Two Crows denies) that "when the corn is withering for want of rain the members of the Buffalo society have a dance. They borrow a large vessel, which they fill with water, and put in the center of their circle. They dance four times around it. One of their number drinks some of the water, spurts it up into the air, making a fine spray in imitation of a fog or misting rain. Then he knocks over the vessel, spilling the water on the ground. The dancers then fall down and drink up the water, getting mud all over their faces. Then they spurt the water up into the air, making fine misting rain, which saves the corn."20 If this is not done by the members of the Buffalo society, it is probably done by others, and [P]a¢innanpajĭ has made a mistake 348 only in the name of the society to which they belong. "The fog occurred on the fourth day after Siqude, of the In-kug¢i society, treated a patient. He used to predict the fog; and the patient was caused to walk. I never heard of the doctors, spurting water to cause the fog." (Frank La Flèche.)

§ 259. Painting and dress.—The men rub man¢iñka sabě (black earth) or man¢iñka ʇu-qude (a greenish gray earth) over their bodies and arm-joints. Some rub earth (man¢iñka-sabě or man¢iñka ʇu-qude) on the face, from the right ear to the mouth, then from the left corner of the mouth to the left ear. Some of the men wear only the leggings and breech-clothes; others wear in addition to these robes with the hair outside. Some wear buffalo tails fastened in belts. Some have sticks of red willow with the leaves on, which they use as staffs in the dance. Each of four men used to put the skin of a buffalo head over his head, the horns standing up, and the hair of the buffalo head hanging down below the chest of the wearer. It was over his forehead, as well as down his back, but not over his eyes. He also wore a necklace of the hair that grows on the throat of a buffalo. Two Crows says that now some wear necklaces of "ʇéhin," that is, the old hair, either of a bull or that of a cow, which has been shed. Those who do not wear these ʇéhin necklaces, wear "janáqa."

In former days, no women participated; but now about two are present at the feast, though they do not join in the dance. They wear robes with the hair outside, according to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ. No gourd rattles are used. One man acts as "quʞa," and the rest help him. There may be one or two drums, for which there are from two to five drummers. The various movements of the buffalo are imitated by the dancers.

§ 260. The Horse dance.—Cañ´ge-í¢ae¢é-ma, The society of those who have supernatural communications with horses, The members of the Horse Dance.

No women belong to this society. Two Crows says that none are doctors, and that they never dance except in connection with the buffalo dancers, when invited to the feast of the latter, and then they imitate the various actions and gaits of horses. No shooting occurs as in the dance of the Wacicka a¢in-ma. They whiten themselves, rub earth on their shoulders, and Indian red on some parts of their bodies. They wear necklaces of horses' manes, from each of which a feather is suspended. Each one wears a horse's tail in a belt. The tail is dried stiff, and stands out from his body. At short intervals are suspended feathers.

Members.—Wacuce was a member. Those now living are G¢edan-najin, Eᴐnan-hañga (who has no horses!), Watan-najin, Majan-kide, Ui¢an-be-`ansa, [P]a-san-najin, Tcaza-¢iñge, Cyu-jiñga (who wears a necklace), Haci-man¢in, Waq¢a-¢utan, Une-man¢in, Waniʇa-waqě, Ta-i-kawahu, Jiñga-gahige, [K]e-baha, etc. According to Mr. J. La Flèche, this dance is now obsolete.

§ 261. The Wolf dance.—Canʇañga-í¢ae¢é-ma, The society of those who have supernatural communications with Wolves, The members of the 349 Wolf Dance. These men cannot dance except with the buffalo dancers, and with the consent of the latter. Two Crows has seen them dance but twice. He and J. La Flèche do not know much about them.

In this dance there are no women, and none are doctors, according to La Flèche and Two Crows. No shooting is done, though the dancers act mysteriously. They wear wolf skins, and redden the tips of the wolves' noses, according to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ and Frank La Flèche (but denied by Two Crows). They paint their bodies in imitation of the "blue wolves, canʇañga-ʇú-ma égan-ma-¢an." Those who have held enemies, or have cut them up, paint the hands and wrists red, as if they were bloody. Others whiten their hands, wrists, ankles, and feet. Some go barefoot. All whiten their faces from the right ear to the corner of the mouth; then from the opposite corner of the mouth to the left ear. They dance in imitation of the actions of wolves.

§ 262. The Grizzly bear dance.—Mantcú-í¢ae¢é-ma, Those who have supernatural communications with grizzly bears, also called Mantcú-gáxe watcígaxe, The dance in which they pretend to be grizzly bears. This has not been danced for about ten years, so La Flèche and Two Crows cannot tell who belong to the society. In former days there were women that belonged, but in modern times none have been members.

This dance is spoken of by La Flèche and Two Crows as an "úckade," a sport or play, and an "úʇigaxe," a game. It is danced at any season of the year that the members decide upon; and all the people can witness it. During the day, it takes place out of doors, but at night it is held in a lodge.

The man who receives the drum calls on others to help him, speaking to each one by name. Then while the first man beats the drum, the two, three, or four helpers sing and the rest dance as grizzly bears, and imitate the movements of those animals.

Painting and dress.—They make the whole body yellow, wearing no clothing but the breech-cloth. They rub yellow clay on the backs and fronts of their fingers and hands, and sometimes over the whole of the legs. Sometimes they redden the whole of the legs. Some whiten themselves here and there; some rub Indian red on themselves in spots. Some wear very white plumes in their hair, and others wear red plumes (hinqpé). One man wears the skin of a grizzly bear, pushing his fingers into the places of the claws. Some wear necklaces of grizzly bears' claws.

§ 263. The [P]a¢in-wasabe or Witcitâ dance.—[P]á¢in-wasábe watcígaxe ikágekí¢ě, The society of the Witcitâ or [P]á¢in-wasábe (Black bear Pawnees).

The members of this society have a medicine which they use in three ways: they rub it on their bodies before going into battle; they rub it on bullets to make them kill the foe, and they administer it to horses, making them smell it when they are about to surround a buffalo herd. If horses are weak they make them eat some of the medicine, and smell the rest. Similar customs are found among the Pawnees and Ponkas. 350

A man thinks, "I will boil," and he invites to a feast those who have the medicine of the Witcitâ society. On their arrival he says, "on such a day we will dance." Two or three men boil for the feast to be held in connection with the dance.

It takes three days to prepare the candidate, and this is done secretly. On the fourth day there is a public ceremony in an earth lodge, during which the candidate is shot with the red medicine. Frank La Flèche has witnessed this, and says that it closely resembles the public ceremony of the Wacicka society.

§ 264. Paint and dress.—The breech-cloth is the only regular garment. Two Crows and La Flèche say that all whiten their bodies and legs all over; but [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ says that some draw white lines over their limbs and bodies. Some paint as deer, putting white stripes on their limbs and bodies; others appear as bald eagles, with whitened faces. Some wear caps of the skin of the "ʇíkaqúde" or gray fox. Some wear necklaces of the skin of that animal; and others have on necklaces of the tail of a black-tailed deer and that of an ordinary deer, fastened together. Some carry a "ʇikaqude" skin on the arm, while others carry the skin of the "man¢iñ´kacéha," or red fox, of which the hair is very red, and the legs and ankles are black. Some wear feathers of the great owl around the wrist; and others carry fans made of the feathers of that bird. "Makan´-jide ha u¢áha baqtáqta nusi-áq¢a-hnani"—The red medicine with the skin adhering to it (being about three inches long) is tied up in a bundle, which is worn "nusi-aq¢a," like a coiled lariat, with one end over the left shoulder, and the other under the right arm.

Each of the four singers has a gourd rattle, a bow, and an arrow. He holds the bow, which is whitened, in his left hand, and the rattle and arrow in his right. He strikes the arrow against the bow-string as he shakes the rattle.

All the members have whistles or flutes, some of which are a foot long, and others are about half a yard in length. The dancers blow theirs in imitation of the "quʞa."

Members.—Only one woman belongs to this society; but the male members are the following: G¢edan-najin, [P]a¢in-gahige, Muxa-najin, [T]euʞan-ha, Zanzi-mande, Wajiñga, [S]ni-ti¢an, Qi¢a-gahige, [T]enuga-jan-¢iñke, Zizika-jiñga, [K]axe-nanp'in, Cage-duba, Eᴐnan-hañga, Ag¢in-duba, Jiñga-gahige, and Wajin-¢icage.

The members of this society would eat no green corn, fruit, etc., till consecrated by the dance. A few ears of corn were divided among the dancers. Then they could eat as they pleased.

§ 265. Watcí-wa¢upí.—This society has not had a dance for about thirty years among the Omahas. It is like the dance of the Wasejide a¢inma, which has a medicine that resembles that of the [P]a¢in-wasabe in its use. During the day women danced with the men; but at night 351 the men danced alone. This is said to be one of the ancient tribal dances.

§ 266. Wasé-jíde a¢in´-ma, Those who have the Red Paint or Medicine.—This is a society of women dancers. They seldom meet. Their dance is like that of the Watci-wa¢upi. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ says that the dance is sacred. La Flèche and Two Crows have never seen it. They invite the members to a feast, as do the Wacicka a¢in-ma; but no shooting is done. The men act as singers, while the women dance. All the women are allowed to join in this dance, which is held when the grass is green in the spring. Sometimes a man joins in the dance, but that is the exception. [Frank La Flèche says that men do take part in this dance, and that the women do not carry the medicine.]21

This society has a medicine consisting of the bottoms of several joints or stalks of a certain kind of grass, which are tied up in bundles. One man carries a bundle in his belt, and the rest are put in a safe place. This is the medicine, according to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ, which warriors carry. If they meet an enemy they open the bundles and rub the medicine over their bodies to protect them from the missiles of the enemy. They think that this medicine will cause the enemy's guns to miss fire, or else the balls, when sent, will not hit them. The only painting is red, which is on the cheeks, chin, and chest of the dancer. A line is drawn from each corner of the mouth back to the cheek, and there is one made from the lower lip down under the chin, and it is continued down the chest until it is about as low as the heart.

§ 267. The Han´he watcí ([T]ᴐiwere, Han´he wací) is not "The Night Dance," as its name implies. It is an ancient dance, which is not used now. According to [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ, it is "qubé áta," very sacred (for persons), and it is danced in the later fall, when the people have killed a great many deer, or many of the enemy. Two Crows and La Flèche say that it is "úwahéhajĭ, núaʇá¢ican, a bravery dance, pertaining to men;" but they do not know all the particulars. During the day women danced, and the men sang for them. Occasionally a man joined in the dance. At night the men danced alone. But only those who had been captains, or had killed foes, or had brought back horses, or had been warriors, had a right to take part in the dance.

Mr. J. La Flèche said that there was some connection between this society and the Iñg¢an-i¢ae¢e-ma.

The Héde-watcí was a "nikie dance," which occurred on a festival, and in which the whole tribe participated. (See § 153.)

The Wé-watci, or Scalp dance, is the women's dance, in which all join who may so desire. (See War Customs, § 215.)

The Míʞasi watcí, or Coyote dance, is described in the chapter on War Customs, § 203.


The He¢úcka dancing society is described in the chapter on War Customs, §§ 214, 216.

The Hé watci is part of the He¢ucka dance. (§ 217.)

§ 268. T'é gáxe watcí, The dance of those expecting to die.—This has not been observed for fifteen years by the Omahas. It is explained thus, "Ukít`ě ʞĭctě, at'é támiñke, e¢égan égan úwatcigáxe gáxai."—As one thinks, 'I will die if there are any enemy,' they make the dance.

This is the men's dance, being "wacuce-aʇá¢ican," i. e., something pertaining to bravery. They always go prepared to meet the enemy and to fall in battle. It is danced at different seasons of the year. A woman with a good voice is admitted as a singer. Two or three beat a drum. Two men carry "waq¢éq¢e-`ansá" in their hands as they dance. These objects resemble the "waq¢éxe-¢áze," but there is a different arrangement of the feathers.

Fig. 40.—The waq¢éq¢e-`ansa.

All paint themselves as they please, and carry "ʇahánuʞa [p]éxe" or rattles made of green hide.

§ 269. The Make-no-fight dance.—Má¢a wátcigáxe, the "Napé-śníkaǵápi" of the Dakotas, has not been witnessed among the Omahas for many years, though it used to be common to the Omahas, Ponkas, and Dakotas. La Flèche and Two Crows have heard of it, but have not seen it. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ says "I have not seen it since I have been grown. It was in use here long before my time." It is a bravery dance. Drums are beaten. The dancers hold gourd rattles, and each one carries many arrows on his back as well as in his arms. The members vow not to flee from a foe. They blacken themselves all over with charcoal. About fifty years ago two members went into a fight armed only with deer's claw rattles that had sharp iron points at the ends of the handles. They rushed among the foe and stabbed them before they could draw their bows.

§ 270. [P]a-ug¢an Watcí, The dance in which buffalo head-dresses were put on, has long been obsolete. It was a bravery dance. [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ knew about its occurring once when he was very small. Only very brave men could participate. On their heads they put head-dresses to which buffalo horns were attached. They bore shields on their backs; they rubbed earth on themselves. Any one who had stabbed a foe with a spear carried it on his arm; and he who had struck a foe with any weapon did likewise. Those who were only a little brave could not dance.

§ 271. Égi`an-wátcigáxe, The Visitors' dance of relating exploits.—When a friendly visit has been made horses are given to all the visitors who 353 are invited to dance. "Égi`an wa¢átcigáxe tai," You will dance the dance of exploits. The visitors sit in a circle and the members of the home tribe sit outside. A drum, stick, a "crow," and a club or hatchet are placed inside the circle. There is no singing. When the drum is struck one of the visitors dances. He who has something to tell about himself takes the crow and attaches it to his belt. Then he takes the club or hatchet. When the drummers beat faster all of them say, "Hĭ! hĭ! hĭ!" When they stop beating the dancer tells what he has done. Pointing in one direction with his club or hatchet he says, "In that place I killed a man." Pointing elsewhere, he says, "There I took hold of a man." "I brought back so many horses from that tribe." Sometimes they beat the drum again before he finishes telling his exploits. Sometimes a man recounts much about himself, if very brave, taking four such intervals to complete his part of the performance. When he has finished he hands the crow and weapon to the next dancer. There are four dancers in all. Some tell their exploits two or three times, i. e., they may require two or three intervals or spaces of time after the beating of the drum to tell all that they have to say. When the fourth dancer stops the dance is over. (See the He watci, at the end of the He¢ucka dance, § 217.) This is not danced very often.

§ 272. The Ghost dance.—Wanáxe-í¢ae¢é-ma are those who have supernatural communications with ghosts. The dance is called Wanáxe í¢aé¢e wátcigáxe. Formerly the Ponkas had this dance, and the Omahas saw it and coveted it; so they took it. It has not been danced by the Omahas for about forty years. La Flèche and Two Crows never saw it, but they have heard of it; and they speak of it as "úqtajĭ edádan ígaxewa¢ájĭ," undesirable; totally unfit for any use. But [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ says that it was an "úwaqube," a sacred thing. No women participated. A feast was called, the men assembled, a drum was struck, and they danced. The dancers made their bodies gray, and called themselves ghosts.

§ 273. The Padanka dance.—The Pádañka watcí (Camanche dance?) has not been held among the Omahas since [P]a¢in-nanpajĭ can remember. The Omahas bought it from another tribe, and had it a long time. When Mr. J. La Flèche was small, he saw a little of it. He and Two Crows have heard about it. The drum was struck; the dancers reddened their bodies with Indian red; they wore head-dresses of crow feathers or of the large feathers of the great owl. Bach one carried the "ʇacáge" or rattles of deers' claws.

§ 274. The Hekána dance.—This was introduced among the Omahas by the Otos when they visited the former tribe in August, 1878. The Otos call it "He-kan´-yu-há." It is found among the Sacs and other Indians south of the Omahas. This is the dance in which the young people of both sexes participate, and it is called "úmin¢íg¢an," as it leads the young men to think of courting the girls.

When a young man wishes to have a chance for saying something to 354 a girl whom he admires he boils for a feast, and invites the guests. All the young men assemble, and the unmarried girls and boys attend, though the girls never go without a proper escort. Mothers take their daughters, and husbands go with their wives.

The dance is held in a large earth-lodge, in the middle of which a fire is kept up, and candles are placed on supports around the walls. Sometimes the boys blow out the lights all at once after a preconcerted signal, and great confusion ensues. All wear their gayest clothing and plenty of ornaments. Fine ribbon is worn on clothing, hats, etc.

When a youth wishes to court a girl, he waits till the girl approaches him in the dance. Then he takes her by the hands, and dances facing her. As there is great confusion, no one else can hear him addressing her, his face being very close to hers. Every time the drumming stops, the dancers in each pair change places, but they still face each other.

When a woman or girl wishes a man as a partner, she takes him by the hands when he gets close to her in the dance.

When a distant "mother's brother" meets one whom he calls his niece, he may address her thus in sport: "Anwátcigaxe taí, wihé!" i. e., "Second daughter of the family, let us dance." She replies, "Give me pay." So he makes her a present of a necklace or of some other ornament, and she dances with him. A real uncle never acts thus.

Sometimes when a girl spies among the spectators an aged man who is a kinsman, she will rush to him in sport, take him by the hands, pull him to his feet, and make him dance with her. On the other hand, when a young man spies an aged female relative looking on, he may rush to her, in sport, and pull her into the ring making her dance with him.

There is a feast after the dance. If there is but a small supply of food only the women and girls eat; but if there is plenty, the men wait till the others have eaten awhile, then they partake. After the feast the guests go home; but they sleep nearly all of the following day, as they are very tired.

§ 275. The Mandan dance.—The Ponkas obtained this dance from the Dakotas and the Omahas learned it from the Ponkas. None but aged men and those in the prime of life belong to this society. All are expected to behave themselves, to be sober, and refrain from quarreling and fighting among themselves. (For an account of one of their feasts, see § 111.)

This dance is celebrated as a bravery dance over the bodies of any warriors who have been slain by the enemy. Each body is placed in a sitting posture in the lodge, as if alive, and with a rattle of deers' claws fastened to one arm. (See Contributions to N. A. Ethnology, Vol. VI, Part I, pp. 431, 452.) This dance has been obsolete for some time among the Omahas. It was danced in 1853. (See § 218.)

§ 276. The Tukála dance was obtained from the Dakotas by the Ponkas, who taught it to the Omahas. This dance is for boys what the Mandan dance is for aged men and men in the prime of life. Its rules resemble 355 those of the other dance, but the songs and dances are different. The behavior of the members is not as good as that of the members of the Mandan society, though quarreling is forbidden. This is a bravery dance. Two women attend as singers. Two men who do not fear death are the leaders in the dance. Each one carries a "wahékuzi" or "waq¢éxe-¢áze", of which the end feather on the bent part of the pole is white, and the pole is wrapped in a piece of otter skin.

§ 277. The Sun dance has not been practiced among the Omahas. They can give no account of it, though some of the ceremonies of the Hede-watci, such as the procession to the place for felling the tree, the race for the tree, the felling of the tree, the manner in which it is carried to the village, and the preparation of the "ujéʇi," agree very remarkably with the account of the Sun dance read by Miss A. C. Fletcher before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in August, 1882. The Ponkas obtained this dance from the Dakotas.

§ 278. The "Waná wátcigáxe," or Begging dance, is not found among the Omahas; but among the Ponkas, Dakotas, etc., the members of any dancing society do dance at times in order to get presents.

§ 279. Ponka dancing societies.—The Ponka men have two other dancing societies: the Gak'éxe (which the Omaha Duba-man¢in says is the same as the Hinská-yuhá of the Dakotas) and the ₵adúxe. No information has been gained respecting these societies.

The Ponka women have three dancing societies: the Pa-¢átan, the Gat'ána, and the Man´zěskă nan´p'in (Those who wear silver necklaces). 356



§ 280. Regulative industries are such as pertain to the government of the tribe, embracing all organizations which are "wewaspeaʇa¢ican," i. e., such as are designed to make the people behave themselves.

Everything that can be thus used is a "wewaspe." Among the former are the gentile system (Chap. III), religion, and government, with the last of which is associated the law. With the latter may be classed the sacred tents, sacred pipes, chiefs, etc. A term of broader significance is "Wakandaʇa¢ican," Pertaining to or derived from Wakanda, the Deity or Superior Being. Most of the things which are wewaspeaʇa¢ican are also Wakandaʇa¢ican, but there are things which are Wakandaʇa¢ican that are not directly connected with the government of the state, e. g., the law of catamenial seclusion.

§ 281. Governmental instrumentalities.—The following wewaspe or government instrumentalities are regarded as Wakandaʇa¢ican: The sacred pipes, including the war pipe, the calumet pipes, the sacred pole, the sacred ʇe-san-ha, or hide of a white buffalo; the clam shell, the chiefs, the keepers of the three sacred tents, the seven keepers of the sacred pipes, the gentes, subgentes, and taboos. The following are considered of human origin: The policemen and the feasting societies. "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach" is a familiar saying. So feasting societies tend to promote the peace of the community, as those who eat together, or give food to one another, are bound together as friends. (See § 246.)

§ 282. Government functions.—Government functions are of three classes: legislative, executive, and judicial; but these are not fully differentiated in the Omaha state. There is a still further functional division running through the legislative, executive, and judicial departments, giving civil, military, and religious government. Among the Omahas civil and religious government are scarcely differentiated; but military government is almost entirely so. (See War Customs, Chapter IX.)

§ 283. There does not seem to be a distinct order of priests who perform all religious functions. Some of these functions are performed by the regular chiefs, others by the keepers of the sacred pipes, others by the four wa¢an during the buffalo hunt, and others by the leaders of the dances. Conjurors also pretend to perform mysterious or sacred rites. At the same time, the functions thus performed by the chiefs, keepers 357 of the sacred pipes, and the wa¢an are of a civil character. The chiefs are religions officers during the buffalo hunt; they are always praying to Wakanda, and showing the pipes to him. They do not act as leaders of the hunt, which is the office of the wa¢an, though they can make suggestions to the latter. They cannot draw their robes tightly around them, when they are thus praying, and they must be sober and gentle.

The keepers of the sacred pipes are regarded as chiefs in some sense, though they are not allowed to speak in the tribal assembly. "Each chief is a member of the tribal assembly, though he is not a chief by virtue of such membership, but by choice of the members of his gens." While the chieftainship is not hereditary, each chief tries to have one of his near kinsmen elected as his successor.

§ 284. Head chiefs.—Those of the highest grade are the "nikagahi uju," or principal chiefs. There have always been two of this rank among the Omahas till the late change of the government in 1880. The head chiefs have generally been chosen from the Hañgacenu gentes, though there is no law forbidding the selection of a member of one of the Ictasanda gentes.

The following is the succession of the principal chiefs of the Omahas from the time of the celebrated Black Bird:

I. Gahige-ʇañga, The Elder Gahige, commonly called Wajiñga-sabe, Black Bird, of the Man¢iñka-gaxe (an Ictasanda) gens; and [T]e-san inc`age, The Elder [T]e-san, or The Venerable man, Distant-white Buffalo, of the ₵atada (Hañgacenu) gens. II. [T]e-san inc`age (continued), and Anpan-skă, White Elk, of the Wejincte (a Hañgacenu) gens. III. [T]e-san inc`age (continued), and Anpan-ʇañga, Big Elk, of the Wejincte gens, subsequently known by his Pawnee name, Ta-i´-ki-ta´-wa-hu. This was the celebrated Big Elk mentioned by Long, Say, and others in 1819-'20. IV. Taikitawahu, and Úhan-jiñga or Waháxi, called Icta-ʇañga, Big Eyes, by the white men. The latter was an Ictasanda man. He married a sister of G¢edan-najin, and this was one reason why the latter succeeded him as one of the principal chiefs. V. In 1843, Anpan-ʇañga jiñga, the Younger Big Elk, of the Wejincte gens, and G¢edan-najin, Standing Hawk, of the ₵atada gens. Another reason for the appointment of the latter was the friendship existing between his father, [T]e-san, and Taikitawahu. VI. On the death of Anpan-ʇañga, his adopted son, Icta-manzě, Iron Eyes, or Joseph La Flèche, was made his successor, and so he and G¢edan-najin were the principal chiefs till the former was set aside. Since then there has been confusion about the head chieftainship, as well as about the chieftainship in general, ending in the election of seven chiefs of equal rank in 1880.

§ 285. Subordinate chiefs.—Next to the nikagahi uju are the under chiefs, or nikagahi, of whom the number in each tribe varies from time to time. When both of the head chiefs retire from office or die there is an entire change of the subordinate chiefs; all must resign, and others must be elected to fill their places. Thus when Anpan-ʇañga jiñga and 358 G¢edan-najin succeeded to the head chieftainship, in 1843, fully sixty subordinate chiefs were appointed. Among these were Anba-hebe, of the [T]a-[p]a gens; Icta-duba, of the Wasabe-hit`ajĭ subgens; [P]asi-duba and Zanzi-mandě, of the [K]anze gens; Tanwan-gaxe, of the Man¢iñka-gaxe gens; and [P]a¢in-gahige, of the [T]a-[p]a. Some chiefs have been appointed by the United States Government, and so have been recognized as chiefs by the United States agent in his councils with the tribe; but these are distinct from the regular chiefs. In 1878 the writer found three of this kind of chiefs among the Omahas. They had been appointed by the United States about the year 1869. Cañge-skă was made chief in the place of Tanwan-gaxe; Ibahanbi, instead of his father, Wanuʞige, of the Ictasanda gens; and Waniʇa-waqě, the keeper of the sacred pipe of the [T]a-[p]a was the third.

In 1878 the following were the chiefs who met the agent in councils: G¢edan-najin and his brother, [P]ede-gahi, who were considered the head chiefs by some; Mantcu-nanba, of the Hañga; Gahige, of the Iñke-sabě; Mahin-¢iñge, of the Wejincte; Wackan-man¢in, the third ₵atada chief; Cañge-skă, Waniʇa-waqě, and Ibahanbi. The last three always appeared to stand together, forming a third party in the tribe, as opposed to the chiefs' party (to which the others belonged), and that of the young men or progressives.

§ 286. Omaha chiefs elected in March, 1880.—These were elected by an assembly of the whole tribe, in open council, and by a show of hands. All are of equal rank, there being no principal chiefs:

[P]ede-gahi (of the chiefs' party) and Nanpewa¢ě or Cyu-jiñga (of the young men's party), of the ₵atada (G¢edan-najin and Wackan-man¢in were deposed). Gahige (of the chiefs' party) and Duba-man¢in (of the young men's party), of the Iñke-sabě. [K]axe-¢anba, or Two Crows (of the young men's party), and Icta-basude (of the chiefs' party), of the Hañga. The latter was substituted for his aged father, Mantcu-nanba. The only Ictasanda chief elected was Cañge-skă, of the Man¢iñka-gaxe. Mahin-¢iñge, Waniʇawaqě, and Ibahanbi were ignored.

A few months later three more were elected: Sĭnde-xanxan instead of Waniʇa-waqě, of the [T]a-[p]a; Wahan-¢iñge, of the [T]e-sĭnde; and Ibahanbi, of the Ictasanda, making ten chiefs.

§ 287. Keepers of the sacred pipes.—These have been chiefs among the Ponkas, and it seems probable that they are reckoned as such among the Omahas. (See the account of the inauguration of Ponka chiefs, § 289.)

Though no council could be opened without their assistance, they were not allowed to take part in any of the deliberations. (See § 296.)

§ 288. Who can be elected chiefs.—As a rule, they must be such as have won a good reputation in the tribe. A generous man, one who has given more presents or feasts than his kinsmen, stands a chance of being elected a chief by and by. The presents, however, must be made to the poor and aged, of those who are not kinsmen. Sometimes 359 a man is elected who has not led a good life; but they make him chief with the hope that the new responsibilities resting on him may sober him, and make him a wise man. Sometimes a man succeeds to the chieftainship through the efforts of some kinsman or affinity who is a chief or head chief.

Occasions of such elections.—The resignation or death of one of the principal chiefs; the resignation of both of the principal chiefs, or the resignation of one and the death of the other.

§ 289. Sacred or mysterious rites pertaining to the initiation or inauguration of chiefs.—(1). Among the Ponkas. Man`egahi, of the Hisada, told the following: Muxa-najin of the Wacabe, Ce-najin of the Makan, ₵a`egan of the Nuqe, Si-¢iñge of the Makan, Manze-si-ugadan (of the half-breed band), and Canugahi of the ₵ixida, carry the six sacred pipes four times around the tribal circle. Muxa-najin puts up a large tent (in the middle of the circle), unwraps the bundle containing the six pipes, and then the five other men accompany him around the circle.

The sacred pipes are feared by all except those who are to be made chiefs, sometimes four, five, or six men. These are outside (of their lodges), and as the old men come around, if they have agreed to become chiefs, they put the pipe-stems to their mouths, but they do not inhale any of the smoke. When the old men have gone around the fourth time the chiefs assemble in the large tent. The women and children stay outside or back of the circle, as they are afraid of the pipes. Even the horses are sent to the rear. When the chiefs elect enter the large tent they give many horses to the retiring chiefs. Then they put the pipes to their mouths and inhale the smoke, for if they should refuse to inhale it, they would die very soon thereafter, before the end of the year.

Fig. 41.—The Ponka style of hañga-ʞi`anze.

Nudan-axa's account of the ceremonies at the time of his election is as follows: When an old chief resigns, a tent is set up in the middle of the circle. They bring back some wild sage, which is used as a bed for the sacred pipes. These are laid on the wild sage in the middle of the tent, next to the sacred buffalo skull. The hañga-ʞi`anze or privileged decoration is painted on the skull, into the nostrils of which some sprigs of wild sage are thrust. All the chiefs paint the hañga-ʞi`anze on their faces, and stick plumes in their hair. They wear buffalo robes with the hair outside, and redden their arm-pits, elbows, and the toes of their moccasins. They redden blankets at the elbows and next to the arm-pits, in imitation of the buffaloes. The retiring chiefs say to their successors, 360 "Qubéʞi¢ái-gă!" i. e., "Cause yourselves to be sacred by means of the animals that you see in your dreams when you fast." When they have left the large tent, and have returned to their respective lodges, they sit with their robes over their heads, and before they leave their lodges again, they must make new tent-flaps, which is a sacred act. The bearers of the sacred pipes are Ce-najin of the Makan, He¢icije of the Nuqe, [P]a¢in-gahige (of the Wajaje?), Muxa-najin of the Wacabe, a Nika[p]aᴐna man, and Canugahi of the ₵ixida. As the old men reach the tents of each gens it is announced by some of the spectators, "They have reached the Nuqe!" for example. When Cenajin arrives at the tents of each gens, he says, "Ho! I have come to you." The pipes are handed in succession to the candidate who sits at the end. Muxa-najin addresses a few words to each of the candidates who are not the sons of chiefs, but to those who are the sons of chiefs many words are spoken. I belonged to this latter class, so all the old men said to me, "Níʇa í¢ib¢an taté! Inc`áge cí taté! ₵iádi gáhi, ¢ijin´¢e gáhi, ¢iʇígan gáhi, ámustáqti ¢idan´beman¢in´taí! Wágazuqti man¢in´ gan´¢a-gă." i. e., "You shall have your fill of life! You shall live to be an aged man! Your father was a chief, your elder brother was a chief, and your grandfather was a chief; may they continue to look directly down on you! Desire thou to walk very honestly." At length they say, "Can," Enough! Then the crier proclaims, "Can´ á¢a, u+!" i. e., "It is indeed enough, halloo!" Then all the people walk rapidly to the tent in the middle of the circle, each one trying to get there before the others so as to get a good seat. So they reach there and pass around the tent. At the time of my inauguration I sat at the door of the large tent. Those who had no seats within, (i. e., as chiefs) sat outside. They were addressed thus: "Gí¢iʞan ité¢a-gă! Égi¢e ě´di ¢ag¢in´ te hă!" i. e., "Make room! Beware how you sit there!" By and by the two principal chiefs came, stepping very deliberately, and took their places at the head of the circle of those within the large tent.

(2) Among the Omahas, as told by La Flèche and Two Crows:

Only one old man goes once around the tribal circle. He starts from his own gens, the Iñke-sabě, and enters but a single tent of each gens. He tells the people of that gens to question all their fellow gentiles who wish to be chiefs. The old man enters the Wejincte tent last of all. The men of each gens assemble by themselves. Some are afraid to undertake the chieftainship, saying, "It is difficult; I am unwilling." If a candidate is "naxíde-¢iñ´ge," or "wáspajĭ," i. e., disobedient or ill-behaved, the men of his gens can prevent his acceptance of the office. The next day the chiefs assemble in a large tent. The decorations of the chiefs, the disposition of the sacred pipes and buffalo skull are similar to what happens among the Ponkas, with a few exceptions. The chiefs do not redden their arm-pits, elbows, and the toes of their moccasins, and the hañga-ʞi`anze is slightly different. 361

The only clothing worn by the chiefs during this ceremony consists of moccasins, leggings, breech-cloths, and buffalo robes, with the hair outside. The place of meeting is the earth-lodge belonging to one of the principal chiefs. Besides the chiefs, only a few very brave men are admitted to witness the ceremony and to act as servants. The keepers of the sacred pipes are there; and the two old men of the Hañga who keep the sacred tents, sit by the door, as the wag¢a, to get wood and water, and to attend to the boiling of the food for the feast. The rest of the people, including the brave men and the young men, are not invited to the feast, but they can sit outside the lodge. When the crier says, "Cana¢a, u+!" the candidates know that he refers to them, so they and the people hasten to the earth-lodge. (See Fig. 2, § 18.)

Fig. 42.—The Omaha style of hañga-ʞi`anze.

The brave young men may be selected from each gens to hand around the food; and one of the principal chiefs calls on two by name to lade out the food.

The principal chief who is about to retire tells each new chief where he must sit in the circle of chiefs, and to whatever place he is thus assigned he must regard that as his seat in the assembly from that time on. The seat in question is resigned to the new chief by one of the retiring chiefs, except when some of the subordinate chiefs vacate their places to move nearer to the head chiefs, in which case the new chiefs are told to take the places thus vacated.

When one of the head chiefs resigns all of the subordinate chiefs change their places in the council, moving nearer to the seats of the principal chiefs. But should the principal chiefs so desire it some of the new chiefs may occupy the seats near them, being promoted over some of the subordinates. A new chief did not always succeed a retiring chief of the same gens.

The retiring head chief then exhorts each new chief thus: "If you get in a bad humor Wakanda will do so to you. Do not lie lest the people speak of you as lying chiefs and refuse to obey you."

§ 290. The tribal assembly or council.—This is composed of the chiefs alone. The common people have no voice in it. When there is any very important business the young men and all the people are informed of it after the meeting of the council. When the chiefs are thus assembled, they are not always invited to a feast; but the two sacred pipes were always carried around the circle. (See § 18.)

The principal chiefs did not act without consulting the other chiefs. They used to call them together and submit to them any important questions that had arisen, saying first to one then to another, "What 362 do you decide on?" or "Do you decide what shall be done." If one after another refused to express an opinion, the two principal chiefs continued their questioning till they found one who gave a decision.

§ 291. The Gentile Assembly.—A gens could assemble as a whole when there was any special occasion for such action, e. g., if they had any grievance against the members of another gens.

§ 292. Powers of subordinate Chiefs.—Chiefs had certain rights, among which were the following: 1. The right to sit in the tribal assembly, and to join in the deliberations. 2. The right of each to retain his office till his death or resignation. 3. The right to regulate the buffalo hunt with the aid of the directors and the keepers of the Hañga sacred tents. 4. The right to approve or disapprove of the organization of a small war party, and to prevent the departure of the same. 5. The right to form a party to go on a friendly visit to another tribe; this includes the right to go with a sacred pipe to the village or camp of a hostile tribe in order to make peace. 6. The right to stop quarreling or fighting between two or more persons, by putting the two sacred pipes between the combatants and begging them to desist. 7. The right to assemble at the sacred tent of the Elk gens, and regulate the sending out of scouts in case of a sudden alarm. 8. In modern times, the chiefs have exercised the right to sell all or a portion of the land occupied by the tribe, to the United States Government; but such a right was, from the nature of the case, unknown in ancient times.

No chief had a right to interfere with the food or other property of private individuals, such as that belonging to the head of a household. So when visitors came from another tribe the chiefs could not compel members of their tribe to entertain them or make presents to them; all they could do was to ask such things of the people as favors. No chief had a right to deprive a hunter of an animal that he had killed, nor could he claim even a part of the animal. (See § 147.)

§ 293. Powers of principal Chiefs.—Among their powers are the following: 1. The right to order the policemen to strike the disobedient. 2. The right to order the crier to proclaim the decisions of the tribal assembly. 3. The right to call on two of the brave young men by name, and tell them to lade out the food for the feast. 4. The right to the principal seats in the tribal assembly. 5. The right of one of them to determine the place for each newly-elected chief in the tribal assembly, and also to give any chief a higher place in the circle, promoting him to a place above some of his seniors.

§ 294. Deposition of Chiefs.—Chiefs were not deposed. They always continued in office till their deaths or resignations. But when both head chiefs died, or one died and the other resigned, all the subordinate chiefs were obliged to resign.

§ 295. Powers of the Keepers of the Sacred Tents.—They had certain duties to perform during the buffalo hunt. They had the care of the sacred tents, with their contents, the pole, and sacred skin. They acted 363 as wag¢a for the tribal assembly, in which they had seats, but without the right to join in the deliberations. They were expected on such occasions to attend to the fire, to bring in wood and water, and to superintend the boiling of the food for the feast, whenever one was given to the assembly. (See § 8.)

§ 296.—Powers of the Keepers of the Sacred Pipes (see Chapter III).—They could not join in the deliberation of the tribal assembly, though no council could be opened without their assistance. (See § 287.)

§ 297. Powers of the Policemen.—When not traveling on the buffalo hunt they acted as messengers for the chiefs. There were no special policemen for each chief. They could strike any of the disobedient persons, even when not ordered to do so by the principal chiefs. Such disobedient ones were those who quarreled and fought, stole, or scared off the buffalo.

§ 298. Religion.—Religion may be considered as not fully differentiated from the government (see §§ 280 to 283>). The chiefs are the religious as well as the civil rulers of the state. A full account of the religion of the Omahas cannot be given in this paper. It is connected with the practice of medicine, mythology, war customs, gentile system, etc. 364


§ 299. The law, which is the body of rules that the State endeavors directly or indirectly to enforce, may be properly classed as follows: 1. Personal law. 2. Property law. 3. Corporation law. 4. Government law. 5. International law. 6. Military law. 7. Religious law.

Crimes may be committed against personal law, property law, corporation law, government law, international law, military law, and religious law. So there are as many divisions of criminal law.


§ 300. A large part of personal law belongs to gentile or family law. Certain degrees of consanguinity and affinity are considered as bars to intermarriage. The marriage of kindred has always been regarded as incestuous by the Omahas and kindred tribes. Affinities were forbidden to Self in certain places which are explained in the description of the kinship system and the marriage laws.

Marriage by elopement has been practiced, but marriage by capture or by duel are not known. (See § 82.)

Nage, quarreling and fighting.—It used to be a custom among the Omahas, when two men engaged in a fight, that he who gave the first blow was beaten by the native policemen.

T´e¢ai, accidental killing, and "t´eki¢ai," intentional killing or murder, are also crimes against religious law, which see in §§ 310, 311.

Witchcraft.—When the supposed victim has died and the offender has been detected his life may be taken by the kinsman of the victim without a trial before the assembly or any other tribunal.

Slavery was not known. Captives taken in war were not put to death. (See § 222.)

§ 301. Social vices (a), Adultery.—Sometimes a man steals another man's wife. Sometimes he tempts her, but does not take her from her husband. The injured man may strike or kill the guilty man, he may hit the woman, or he may deprive the offending man of his property. If a woman's husband be guilty of adultery with another woman she may strike him or the guilty female in her anger, but she cannot claim damages. In some extreme cases, as recorded by Say, an inexorable man has been known to tie his frail partner firmly upon the earth in the prairie, and in this situation has she been compelled to submit to 365 the embraces of twenty or thirty men successively; she is then abandoned. But this never happened when the woman had any immediate kindred, for if she had any such kindred in the tribe the husband would be afraid to punish his wife in that manner. A woman thus punished became an outcast; no one would marry her.

(b) Prostitution.—In 1879 there were only two or three women in the Omaha tribe that were known as minckeda or public women. Of late years, according to La Flèche and Two Crows, there have been many minckeda, but it was not so formerly, when the Indians were the only inhabitants. A father did not reprove his daughter if she was a minckeda. He left that to her elder brother and her mother's brother, who might strike her with sticks. Sometimes, if very angry with her, they could shoot an arrow at her, and if they killed her, nobody could complain.

(c) Fornication.—This is not practiced as a rule, except with women or girls that are minckeda. So strict are the Omahas about these matters, that a young girl or even a married women walking or riding alone, would be ruined in character, being liable to be taken for a minckeda, and addressed as such. No woman can ride or walk with any man but her husband or some immediate kinsman. She generally gets some other woman to accompany her, unless her husband goes. Young men are forbidden to speak to girls, if they should meet two or more on the road, unless they are kindred. The writer was told of some immorality after some of the dances in which the women and girls participate. This has occurred recently; and does not apply to all the females present, but only to a few, and that not on all occasions. When girls go to see the dances their mothers accompany them; and husbands go with their wives. After the dance the women are taken home.

(d) Schoopanism. or pæderastia.—A man or boy who suffered as a victim of this crime was called a min-quga, or hermaphrodite. La Flèche and Two Crows say that the min-quga is "g¢an¢in," foolish, therefore he acts in that manner.

(e) Rape.—But one Omaha has a bad reputation in the tribe for having frequently been guilty of this crime. It is said that one day he met the daughter of Gianze-¢iñge, when she was about a mile from home, driving several ponies. He pulled her off her horse, and though she was not over seven or eight years old, he violated her. The same man was charged with having committed incest with his own mother.

§ 302. Maiming.—This never occurs except in two cases: First, by accident, as when two men wrestle, in sport, and an arm is broken by a blow from a bow or stick; secondly, when the policemen hit offenders with their whips, on the head, arms, or body; but this is a punishment and not a crime. La Flèche and Two Crows never heard of teeth being knocked out, noses broken, eyes injured, etc., as among white or colored men.

Slander is not punishable, as it is like the wind, being "waniajĭ," that is, unable to cause pain. 366


§ 303. Public property, provisions, and stock are not known. Hence, there are no revenue laws.

(a) Tribal property.—Each tribe claimed a certain extent of territory as its own, for purposes of occupancy, cultivation, hunting, and fishing. But the right of a tribe to sell its land was something unheard of. Portions of the Omaha territory were sold because the people feared to refuse the white men. They consented just as a man would "consent" to hand his purse to a highway robber who demanded his money or his life. Land is enduring, even after the death of all of a generation of Omahas; for the men of the next generation succeed and dwell on the land. Land is like water and wind, "wé¢inwin-¢i`á-wá¢ě," what cannot be sold. But horses, clothing, lodges, etc., soon perish, and these were the only things that they could give away, being personal property. The tribe had a common language, the right to engage together in the chase as well as in war, and in certain rites of a religious and civil character, which are described in connection with the hunting customs, etc.

(b) Gentile property.—Each gens had its special "wewaspe," such as the sacred pipes, chiefs, sacred tents, area in the tribal circle, etc. These "wewaspe" also belonged, in a measure, to the whole tribe. (See Gentile System, Chapter III.)

(c) Household property.—This consisted of the right of occupancy of a common dwelling, the right of each person to shares of fish, game, etc., acquired by any member of the household. When game was killed, it belonged solely to the household of the slayer; members of any other household had no right to take any part, but the slayer of a buffalo or other large animal might give portions to those who aided him in cutting it up. (See §§ 147, 159.)

(d) Personal property.—When a father gave a horse or colt to his child, the latter was the sole owner, and could do what he wished with the property. Each head of a household held a possessory right to such a tract or tracts of land as the members of his family or household cultivated; and as long as the land was thus cultivated, his right to its enjoyment was recognized by the rest of the tribe. But he could not sell his part of the land. He also had a right to cultivate any unoccupied land, and add it to his own. The husband and wife who were at the head of the family or household, were the chief owners of the lodge, robes, etc. They were joint owners, for when the man wished to give away anything that could be spared he could not do so if his wife was unwilling. So, too, if the wife wished to give away what could be spared, she was unable to do it if her husband opposed her. Sometimes, when the man gave something without consulting his wife, and told her afterwards, she said nothing. The wife had control of all the food, and the man consulted her before he invited guests to a feast saying: "Ewéku 367 kan´b¢a. Inwin´hañ-gă." i. e., "I wish to invite them to a feast. Boil for me."

Members of the same tribe occasionally exchanged commodities. This right was recognized by all. (See International Law, § 307.)

§ 304. Debtors.—When a man asked another to lend him anything, as a knife, kettle, &c., the owner would not refuse. When the borrower had finished using it, he returned it to the lender, for he would be ashamed to keep it as his own. There never was a case of refusal to return a borrowed article. If the use of the thing had impaired its value, the borrower always returned another article of the same kind, which had to be in as good condition as the former was when it was borrowed. There was no pay or interest on the loan. Sometimes, when the borrower was a kinsman or friend of the lender, and he returned to the latter his property, the lender would say to him, "Keep it!"

§ 305. Order of inheritance.—First, the eldest son, who becomes the head of the household or family; then the other sons, who receive shares from their brother; if there are sisters of these, they receive from their eldest brother whatever he thinks that they should have. Should the deceased leave no children, his kindred inherit in the following order: His elder brother, younger brothers, sisters, mothers' brothers, and sisters' sons. The widow receives nothing, unless she has grown sons of her own, who can protect her. The husband's kindred and the widow's step-sons generally deprive her of all the property, because they fear lest she should go elsewhere and marry.

§ 306. Crime against property law: Theft.—When the suspected thief did not confess his offense, some of his property was taken from him until he told the truth. When he restored what he had stolen, one-half of his own property was returned to him, and the rest was given to the man from whom he had stolen. Sometimes all of the policemen whipped the thief. But when the thief fled from the tribe, and remained away for a year or two, the offense was not remembered on his return; so no punishment ensued.


(See Societies, in Chapter X.)


(See the preceding chapter.) The crimes against government law were violations of the rules of the buffalo hunt, quarreling, and fighting. The violations of the rules of the buffalo hunt were also regarded as crimes against religious law. 368


(See War Customs, Military Law, and Visiting Customs.)

§ 307. Mode of making peace with another tribe.—When the Omahas wished to make peace, which was termed, "making the land good," two or more chiefs and some of the young men took one of the sacred pipes and went unarmed towards the village or camp of the late foe, taking care to go openly and in daylight, when their approach could be seen. They were met by some of the villagers, who conducted them to a lodge, where food was given them. After the meal, they were asked to tell the object of their visit. The leader of the visitors then said, "I have come because I think that we should fight no longer. I have come that we may eat and smoke together." The principal man of the village then replied, "It is good! If you tell the truth, when you come again, we will give a horse to each one of you." At this time, no presents were made by either party. They remained together two, three, or four days, and left for home when their leader decided to depart. The bearer of a peace pipe was generally respected by the enemy, just as the bearer of a flag of truce is regarded by the laws of war among the so-called civilized nations.

When strangers came to visit the Omahas, or when the latter visited another tribe, presents were given by both parties, generally consisting of horses and robes. But there was no commerce, as we understand that term.


(See the preceding paragraphs, and War Customs.)


§ 308. The rules of the buffalo hunt, the consecration of the hearts and tongues, the ceremonies pertaining to the anointing of the sacred pole, etc., and those connected with the planting of the corn, were customs which were regarded as laws received by their ancestors from Wakanda; hence, they pertained to religion as well as to the government of the tribe. (See §§ 128-163.)

§ 309. The following are of a religious character: The worship of the thunder, when first heard in the spring (§ 24), and when the men go to war (§ 196); the style of wearing the hair in childhood (§ 30, etc.); most of the governmental instrumentalities enumerated in Chapter XI, and non-intercourse with a woman during her catamenial seclusion (§ 97). 369

The Omahas were afraid to abandon their aged on the prairie when away from their permanent villages lest Wakanda should punish them.

The most common offenses against religious law were murder and accidental killing.

§ 310. Murder.—Murder of a fellow Omaha has been of rare occurrence. Drunkenness alone has caused two men to kill each other in a few cases; but owing to it there have been more instances of murder and manslaughter. Before liquor was introduced there were no murders, even when men quarreled. The murder of a fellow clansman was unknown, except in a few cases of parricide, caused by drunkenness. Parents never killed their children. About thirty-two years ago a man killed his uncle to avenge the murder of another uncle by a drunken son. Over sixty years ago a Ponka married an Omaha woman, and remained with her tribe. His mother-in-law was a very bad old woman, so he killed her. No Omaha ever killed an affinity.

Murder might be punished by taking the life of the murderer, or that of one of his clansmen. When one man killed another, the kinsmen of the murdered man wished to avenge his death, but the chiefs and brave men usually interposed. Sometimes they showed one of the sacred pipes; but they always took presents, and begged the kinsmen to let the offender live. Sometimes the kinsmen of the murderer went alone to meet the avengers; sometimes they took with them the chiefs and brave men; sometimes the chiefs, braves, and generous men went without the kinsmen of the murderer. Sometimes the avengers refused to receive the presents, and killed the murderer. Even when one of them was willing to receive them, it was in vain if the others refused.

When the life of the murderer was spared, he was obliged to submit to punishment from two to four years. He must walk barefoot. He could eat no warm food; he could not raise his voice; nor could he look around. He was compelled to pull his robe around him, and to have it tied at the neck, even in warm weather; he could not let it hang loosely or fly open. He could not move his hands about, but was obliged to keep them close to his body. He could not comb his hair; and it must not be blown about by the wind. He was obliged to pitch his tent about a quarter of a mile from the rest of the tribe when they were going on the hunt lest the ghost of his victim should raise a high wind, which might cause damage. Only one of his kindred was allowed to remain with him at his tent. No one wished to eat with him, for they said, "If we eat with him whom Wakanda hates, for his crime, Wakanda will hate us." Sometimes he wandered at night, crying and lamenting his offense. At the end of the designated period, the kindred of the murdered man heard his crying and said, "It is enough. Begone, and walk among the crowd. Put on moccasins and wear a good robe." Should a man get a bad reputation on account of being quarrelsome, his gens might refuse to defend him. Even if the kindred were sad when he 370 was slain, they would say nothing, and no one tried to avenge him. The murder of a child was as great a crime as the murder of a chief, a brave, or a woman. There was no distinction in the price to be paid.

Should the criminal escape to another tribe, and be absent for a year or two, his crime would be remembered on his return, and he would be in danger.

§ 311. Accidental killing.—When one man killed another accidentally, he was rescued by the interposition of the chiefs, and subsequently was punished as if he were a murderer, but only for a year or two.

§ 312. Profanity.—Cursing and swearing were unknown before the white men introduced them. Not one of the ₵egiha dialects contains an oath. The Omahas are very careful not to use names which they regard as sacred on ordinary occasions; and no one dares to sing sacred songs except the chiefs and old men at the proper times.

§ 313. Drunkenness became a crime, because it often led to murders; so the Omaha policemen determined to punish each offender. Each one of the ten gave him several blows with a whip, and the drunkard's annuity for that year was taken from him. In 1854 this vice was broken up, and since then there has been no instance of its occurrence among the Omahas.22

§ 314. Falsehood.—In 1879 Standing Hawk and a few others were noted for this vice; but in 1882 La Flèche said that there were many who had lost all regard for the truth. Formerly, only two or three were notorious liars; but now, there are about twenty who do not lie. Scouts were expected to speak the truth when they returned to report to the directors, the keepers of the sacred tents, etc. (See §§ 23, 136, and 137.) Warriors were obliged to undergo the ordeal of the wastegistu (Osage, watse-ʞistu), before receiving the rewards of bravery. If one told a lie, he was detected, as the Indians believed that the stick always fell from the sacred bag in such a case. (See § 214.)


Accouchement among the Omahas 263
Adoption of children among the Omahas 265, 281
Adultery among the Omahas 364
Affinities in Omaha kinship 255
Age, Omaha life in old 274
Agriculture among the Omahas 302
Amusements of the Omahas 334-342
; Cards 341
; Children's 341
; Diving 341
; Hitting the stone 339
; Plumstone shooting 334
; Shooting at the rolling-wheel 335
; Stick and ring 337
; Stick counting 338
; Women's game of ball 338
Animals, how divided among Omaha hunters 300
Anba-Hebe cited on tradition of the pipes 222
Archery, Omaha skill in 291
Arrows, Each Omaha has his own set of 291
Assembly, The Omaha tribal 361
gentile 362
Attack in war, Omaha preparation for making 326
receiving 313
Bags, Ordeal of the sacred 328
Ball, Omaha woman's game of 338
Bashfulness of Omahas 262
Bandolier, A.T., on Cochiti Indian weaving 361
Bathing among Omahas 269
Beans as a food among Omahas 308
Begging dance 355
Berries as a food among Omahas 306
Birth, Omaha ceremony on the fifth day after 245
Birthnames, Omaha 227, 231, 232, 236, 237, 239, 240, 243, 244, 245, 248
Black Shoulder gens of Omahas 228-233
; Birthnames 231
; Myth of creation. 229
; Mythical origin of 229
; Names 231
; Style of wearing the hair. 230
; Subgentes 230
; Taboo. 230
Boys, Birthnames of Omaha 227, 231, 236, 237, 239, 240, 243, 245, 248
Bravery, Anecdotes of Omaha 332
, Omaha rewards of 329
Buffalo dance, Omaha 347
hearts and tongues collected 289
feast on 290
killed in hunt, Division of 291
, Order of approaching a herd of 289
Calumet dance, The 276-282
pipe, The 277-279
Cannibalism of Indians 272
Captives by Omahas, Treatment of 313, 332
Cards 341
Catamenia among the Omahas 267
Celibacy among the Omahas 269
Ceremony on the fifth day after birth, Omaha 245
at death, Omaha 229, 233
Charities, Omaha 274
Charts of Omaha kinship 254
Chiefs are religions officers during the buffalo hunt, Omaha 357
, Omaha deposition of 362
election of 358
head 357
in the Omaha state, Position of 216
, Powers of Omaha 362
, Sacred inauguration of 359-360
, Subordinate 357
, Who can be elected Omaha 358
Child-birth among Omahas 263
Children, Omaha, Adoption of 265, 281
, Clothing of 265
, Diseases of 265
, Games of 340,341
, Life of 265
, Number of 264
Circle, Omaha tribal 219-220
Clothing, Omaha 310-311
Preparation of 310
Children's 265
Dressing hides for 310
Consanguineous kinship of Omahas 253
Corporations among Omahas 218, 342, 355, 367
; dancing societies 330, 342-355
; feasting societies 342
Council, The Omaha tribal 361
Courtship, Omaha 259
Couvade 263
Cultivation of the ground regulated by the Hañga gens 302
Customs, Curious Omaha, during a fog 240
harvest 238
Omaha fishing 301
hunting 283, 301
marriage 259
post-marriage 261
sleeping 273
visiting 276-282
₵atada Gens, The 236-241
[T]e-[p]a-it'ajǐ subgens 239-240
; Birthnames 240
; Sections 240
Turtle subgens 240-241
; Birthnames 240
; Custom during a fog 240
; Decoration of tents 240
; Sections 240
; Style of wearing the hair 240
; Turtle men 240
; Wajiñga ¢ataji subgens 238-239
; Birthnames 239
; Curious custom 238
; Names 239
; Sections and subsections 239
; Style of wearing the hair 238
; Wasabe Hit'aji subgens 236-238
; Birthnames 237
; Mythical origin 237
; Names 238
; Style of wearing the hair 237
; Taboo 237
₵egiha tribes, Early migrations of 211-213
Dance, Alaskan dress, 344, 348
ornaments 344
, Painting for 348, 350
societies of Omahas 330, 342-355
, The begging 355
, buffalo 347
, buffalo head-dress 352
, calumet 276-282
, ghost 353
, grizzly bear 349
, He¢ucka 330
, Hede-watci 297
, Hekana 353
, Hewatci 331
, horse 348
, make-no-fight 352
, Mandan 332, 354
, Padañka 353
, scalp 330
, sun 272, 355
, T'égaxe-watci 352
, Visitors', of relating exploits 352
, Wacicka 342
, Witcita 349
, wolf 348
Death, Omaha ceremonies at 229, 233
Deer Head gens, The Omaha 245
Differentiation of organs in the State 216
Diseases of Omaha children 265
Distribution of parts of animals 300
Diving, Omaha 341
Domestic etiquette among Omahas 262
Domestic life among the Omahas 258-275
Dorsey, Rev. J. Owen, Omaha Sociology 205-370
Dougherty on Omaha child-bearing age 267
games with cards 341
killickinnick 310
marriage customs 259, 263
number of children 264
plumstone shooting 334
Dress of Omaha dancers 344, 348, 346, 349, 350, 352, 353
Drinks of Omahas 309
Drunkenness broken up among Omahas 370
Early migration of ₵egiha tribes 211-213
Elections of Omaha chiefs 358
Elk gens, The 225-228
; Names 227
; Scouts 226
; Style of wearing the hair 225
; Taboo 225
; The sacred tent 226
; Worship of thunder 227
Elopement, Omaha marriage by 260
Etiquette, Omaha domestic 262
Falsehood detected among Omahas by ordeal 328, 370
Fasting in sun-dance 272
Feasting societies, Omaha 342
Feasts 270, 272
Feasts after return from war 331, 332
at election of chiefs 361
, Calumet 279
preliminary 276
, Hekana 354
Mandan 273
, Marriage 260
, The Wacicka 342
war preparatory 315, 319
Fetiches, Omaha 270
Fishing customs, Omaha 301, 302
traps 302
Fletcher, Miss A.C., described Dakota dances 298, 355
Fœticide among Omahas 263
Food among Omahas 303-310
; Beans 308
; Berries 306
; Corn 304
; nelumhium luteum 308
; Modes of cooking corn 304, 305
fruits 306
meat 303
melons 306
nuts 307
pumpkins 306
roots 307
Fornication among Omahas 365
Fort, Old Ponka 313
Fruit as food among Omahas 306
Gahige cited as to creation myth 229
origin of Buffalo people 229
red corn 231
tradition of the pipes 222
Gens, The ₵atada 236-241
, Deerhead 245-247
, Elk 225-228
Hañga 233-236
Ictasanda 248-251
Iñg¢e-jide 247
Iñke-sabe 228-233
, Kansas 241
, Ma¢iñka-gaxe 242, 243
[T]e-sinde 244
Gentile assembly, The Omaha 362
system, The Omaha 215, 219-251
Ghost dance, The Omaha 353
Gifts bestowed at Omaha feasts 279, 281, 332
Government, The Omaha 356-363
Governmental instrumentalities 356
functions 356
Grizzly bear dance, The Omaha 349
Ground; Cultivation regulated by the Hañga gens 302
Hamilton, Rev. W., on Omaha customs after childbirth 264
gray Omaha children 275
cannibalism of Iowas 272
Hañga gens; Ceremony at death 233
; Mythical origin of 233
; Names 236
regulates certain feasts 272
regulates cultivation of the ground 302
regulates sacred pipes 221-224
regulates the buffalo hunt 284
; Sacred pole 234
; Sacred tents 233
; Style of wearing the hair 235
; Subgentes 235
; Taboo 235
Harvest customs, Curious Omaha 238
Hede-watci dance, The Omaha 297
Hekana dance, The Omaha 353
Henshaw, H.W., Indian studies on Omaha native tobacco 309
Hides for Omaha clothing, Dressing 310
Horses in Omaha warfare, Capture of 326
Horse dance, The Omaha 348
Hospitality among Omahas 271
Hunting; Anointing the sacred pole 293
; Approaching a herd of buffalo 289
; Collecting the hearts and tongnes 289
customs 283
, Departure for 285
, Directors of 280
; Disposition of parts of a buffalo 293
; Division of a slain buffalo 291
tribe into summer parties 299
, kinds of 283
; buffalo eaten 292
; Policemen 288
party attacked 300
preparations before departure 285
, Return from summer 300
scouts 287
seasons 283
, Sham fight after 295
the larger animals 300
; Trapping 301
, Thanksgiving before return from 293
tribal circle 286
; Two tribes together 299
Ictasanda gens; Names 240-251
; Subgentes 249
; Taboo 248
Industrial occupations of the Omahas 283-311
Industries among the Omahas, Protective 312-333
Regulative 356-363
Infanticide 263
International law among Omahas 368
Iñg¢e-jide gens, The Omaha 247
; Decoration of skin-tents 248
; Names 248
; Subgentes 248
; Taboo 248
Journey, Omaha preparation for a 275
Kansas gens, The Omaha 241-242
; Subgentes 241
; Taboo 241
Kinship, Omaha affinities of 255
, classes of 252
, consanguineous 253
, partial 252-258
, peculiarities of 254
Law among Omahas 364-370
as to maiming 365
quarreling and fighting 364
social vices 364-365
witchcraft 364
; Corporation 367
for membership of gens 225
Government 367
, International 368
, Marriage 255-258
, Military 368
, National 367
, Personal 304-365
, Property 366
, Religious 368
Life of Omahas, Domestic 258-275
Make-no-fight dance, The Omaha 352
Mañ¢iñka-gaxe gens, The Omaha 242
Mandan dance, The 332
feast, The 273
Marriage, Age for Omaha 259
; Celibacy among Omahas 269
customs among Omahas 259
feasts 260
laws of Omahas 255-258
, Permissive 257
, Prohibitory 256
; Remarriage 258
; Rights of parents 268
; Widowers 268
; Widows 267
among Omahas, permanence of 261
Meals, Omaha 271-273
Meat as food among Omahas 303
Medicines or fetiches carried on journeys by Omahas 276
Melons as food among Omahas 306
Membership of gens among Omahas, Law of 225
Migration of ₵egiha tribes 211-213
the Omahas 213-214
Military law of Omahas 368
Mode of approaching a village when visiting, Omaha 276
Murder by Omahas, Punishment of 369
; accidental killing among Omahas 370
Musicians, Omaha 341
Names, Omaha birth 227, 231, 232, 236, 237, 239, 240, 243, 244 ,245, 248, 249
, gentile 227, 232-233, 235 ,236, 238, 239, 240, 241, 243, 244, 246, 248, 250, 251
, New, taken in war by Omahas 324
Narcotics, Omaha 309
Nikie names, meaning of 227
Nursing, Omaha 264
Nuts; Food among Omahas 307
Omahas, Accouchement among 263
, Agriculture among 302
; Amanhe 269
Amusements. (See 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 268
; 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
; Wamanhe 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 Anba-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


1 The writer was told by an Osage that Manʇaqpa¢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 Manʇaqpa¢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 River.

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.

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.

4 Probably Qi¢a-hin, as the Osages have Qü¢a-hin, Eagle Feathers.

5 This agrees substantially with the Osage custom.

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.

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

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.

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.

11 The hañge ʞi`anze 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 weawan, from which the ducks' heads were removed, and instead of them were put on the red pipe bowls of the sacred pipes. (See § 30.)

17 The fat on the outside of the stomach of a buffalo or domestic cow.

18 Known among the Kansas as the Ilucka, and among the Osages as the Iñʞ¢ŭncka.

19 Yarn of various colors interw7022 oven.

20 In the Osage tradition, corn was derived from four buffalo bulls. See §§ 31, 36, 123, and 163.

21 The Kansas have the Makan jüdje, Red Medicine, and the Osages the Makan ᴐüʇ[s]e watsin, Red Medicine Dance. The leader of the latter is a man. The Kansas used to have the Wase jide a¢in-ma.

22 The Indians also broke up gambling with cards, but it has been resumed, as the police have not the power to punish the offenders.

Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.