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Given By 

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X' ^ '. fr. 1". -^Vf '!) ", 

Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethnology, 

Washington, B. C, October 26, 1883. 
Sir: I have the honor to submit my Third Annual Report 
as Director of the Bureau of Ethnology. 

The first part consists of an explanation of the plan and 
operations of the bureau. The second part consists of a series 
of papers on anthropologic subjects, prepared by my assistants, 
to illustrate the methods and results of the work of the Bureau. 
I desire to express my thanks for your earnest support and 
wise counsel relating to the work under my charge. 
I am, with respect, your obedient servant, 

Pro£ Spencer F. Baird, 

Secretary Smithsonian Institution. 





Introductory xin 

Publications xiv 

Observations on cup-shaped and other lapidarian sculptures, by Charles 

Rau XIV 

On prehistoric trephining and cranial amnlets, by Robert Fletcher XV 

A study ot the Manuscript Troano, by Cyrus Thomas xvi 

Field work xvill 

Work of Mr. Cushins? xviil 

Work of Mr. Stevenson XX 

Work of Mr. Victor Mindeleff xxi 

Work of Mr. Hillers xxi 

Work of Mr. Gatschet xxii 

Work of Mrs. Ermionie A. Smith xxiii 

Work of Dr. W. J. Hoffman xxiil 

Explorations in mounds xxiv 

Office work XXV 

Work of Mr. Gatschet xxv 

Work of Rev. J. Owen Dorsey xxv 

Work of Mr. Pilling xxvi 

Work of Lt. Col. Mallery xxvi 

Work of Mr. Hensh.iw xxviii 

Work of Mr. Holmes XXVIII 

Work of Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith xxviii 

Work of Dr. Yarrow xxix 

Work of Mr. Cushing xxix 

Work of Prof. Mason xxix 

Work of the Director xxix 

Papers accompanying the report xxix 

Notes on certain Maya and Mexican Manuscripts, by Cyrus Thomas xxx 

On masks, labrets, and certain aboriginal customs, by W. H. Dall xxxi 

Navajo weavers, by Dr. Washington Matthews xxxi v 

Omaha Sociology, by Rev. J. Owen Dorsey xxxv 

On kinship and the tribe xxxvin 

On kinship and the clan XLVi 

On tribal marriage LVi 

Prehistoric textile fabrics of the United States, by William H. Holmes Lxn 

Catalogue of collections made during the field season of 1881, by William H. 

Holmes lxiii 

Catalogue of the collections from New Mexico and Arizona in 1881, by James 
Stevenson LXiv 

On activital similarities LXV 

Classification of expenditures LXXiv 






Tableau Ues Bacab 7 

Plate 43 of the Borgiau Codex 23 

Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex 31 

Symbols of tUe cardinal points 36 


Prefatory remarks 73 

The evolution of masks 74 

Ln bretifery 77 

Classification of masks 93 

Ou the practice of preserving the whole or part of the human head 94 

On the distribution of masks 98 

Masks of the South Sea 98 

Masks of Peru 103 

Masks of Central America and Mexico 104 

Masks of Nevr Mexico and Arizona 105 

Masks of Norrhwest American Indians 106 

Tlinkit and Haida masks 110 

Masks of the Innuit, north to the Arctic Ocean 121 

Innuit of Prince William Sound 124 

Inuuit of Kadiak Island 128 

Innuit of Kuskokwim River 129 

Innuit of Norton Sound and the Yukon Delta 132 

Innuit of Bering Strait 135 

Innuit of Point Barrow, Arctic Ocean 136 

Masks of the Uniinguu or Aleuts 137 

Masks of the Iroquoi-s (supplemental) 144 

Summary and speculations 146 

Plates and explanatious 153 


Chapter I. — Introduction 211 

Early migrations of the (Jegiha 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 215 

State classes 216 

Corporations 216 

Chapter III. — The Gentile system 219 

Tribal circles 219 

The Omaha tribal circle 219 

The sacred tents 221 

The sacred pipes 221 

Law of membership 225 

The Wejiocte or Elk gens 225 

The luke-sabS, or Black shoulder gens 228 

The Hanga gens 233 

The (/latada gens 236 

The ^a^ze gens 241 

The Ma^^nuka-gaxe gens 242 

The xe-sinde gens 244 

The xa-da or Deer-head gens 245 



Chapter III. — The Gentile system — Continued. 

The liig^^e-jide gens 247 

The Ictasanda gens 248 

Chapter IV. — The kinship system and marriage laws 252 

Classes of kinship 252 

Marriage laws 255 

Chapter V.— Domestic life 259 

Courtship and marriage customs 259 

Domestic etiquette — bashfulness 262 

Pregnancy 263 

Children 265 

Standing of women in society 266 

Catamenia 267 

Widows and widowers 267 

Rights of parents and others 268 

Personal habits, politeness, etc 269 

Meals, etc 271 

Chapter VI. — Visiting customs 276 

Chapter VII. — Industrial occuiiations 283 

Hunting 283 

Fishing 301 

Cultivation of the ground 302 

Chapter VIII. — Industrial occupation (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 

Feastiujj societies 342 

Dancing societies 342 

Chapter XI. — Regulative industries 356 

The government 3.56 

Religion 363 

Chapter XII.— The law 364 

Personal law 364 

Property law 366 

Corporation law 367 

Government law 367 

International la w 368 

Military law 368 

Religious law 368 


Navajo weavers 371 


Introductory 397 

First Group 401 

Second Group _ 404 

Third Group 413 

Fourth Group 416 

Fifth Group 417 



Sixth Group 418 

Miscellaneous 420 


Introductory 433 

Collections from Jackson County, North Carolina 434 

From the Cherokee Indians 434 

Collections from Cocke County, Tennessee 438 

From the fields at Newport 438 

From a mound at Pigeon Eivor .. 440 

Collections from Sevier County, Tennessee 442 

The McMahon Mound 442 

From the fields of Sevierville 453 

Collections from Roane County, Tennessee 457 

Mound at Taylor's Bend 457 

From field at Taylor's Bend 458 

Vicinity of Kingston 460 

Mound at Niles Ferry 461 

Mounds near Paint Eock Ferry 461 

Collections from Jeft'erson County, Tennessee 463 

Mound on Fain's Island 463 

From the fields of Fain's Island 465 

Collections from Mississippi County, Arkansas 468 

Pemisscott Mound 468 

Chickasawba Mound 468 

Mounds on Carson Lake Township 468 

Mounds at Pecan Point 469 

Field graves and fields in vicinity of Pecan Point 470 

Collections from Arkansas County, Arkansas 476 

Mounds at Arkansas Post 476 

Field graves about Menard Mounds 477 

Collections from Monroe County, Arkansas 486 

Mound at Lawrenceville 486 

Mounds at Indian Bay 487 

Collections from Ohio 490 

From mounds and fields 490 

Collections from Oregon 492 

Collections from Kentucky 493 

Collections from Missouri 495 

Collections from other States 507 

Collections from Peru 508 


Letter of transmittal 517 

Introductory 519 

Collections from Zuui, New Mexico 521 

Articles of stone 521 

Articles of clay 531 

Vegetal substances - 575 

Animal substances 586 

Collections from Wolpi, Arizona 567 

Articles of stone 587 

Articles of clay 587 

Vegetal substances 588 

Animal substances 593 

Index 595 



Plate I.— Fac-similo of the Tableau des Bacab 7 

II. — The Tableau des Bacab restored 12 

III-— Fac-simile of Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex 32 

IV.— Copy of Plates 65 and 66 of the Vatican Codex B 56 

V. — Prehistoric Aleutian labrets 155 

VI. — Prehistoric Aleutian labrets 157 

VII. — Maskoid from Caroline Islands 159 

VIII. — Maskette from New Ireland 161 

IX.— Maskettes from New Ireland and the Friendly Islands 163 

X. — Maskoid from New Ireland 165 

XI. — Mortuary maskoids from Pern 167 

XII. — Moqui maskettes from Arizona 168 

XIII.— Indian masks fr >!■, ihe northwest coast of America 171 

XIV.— Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 173 

XV. — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 175 

XVI. — Indian masks from the northwest of America 177 

XVII. — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 179 

XVIII. — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 181 

XIX.— Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 183 

XX.— Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 185 

XXI.— Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 187 

XXII.— Iroquois mask and Haida medicine-rattle 189 

XXIII.— Inunit masks from Prince William Sound 191 

XXIV. — Innuit masks from Prince William Sound 193 

XXV.— Innuit masks from Prince William and Norton Sounds li)5 

XX VI.— Innuit masks from Kadiak and Norton Sound 197 

XXVII. — lunuit maskette and finger mask I99 

XXVIII. — Aleut dancing and mortuary masks 201 

XXIX. — Aleut mortuary masks 203 

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 afSnities 255 

XXXIV. — Navajo woman spinning 37g 

XXXV.— Weaving of diamond-shaped diagonals 380 

XXXVI.— Navajo woman weaving a belt ^84 

XXXVII. — Zuui women weaving a belt 388 

XXXVni.— Bringing down the batten 39O 

XXXIX.— Pottery, with impressions of textile fabrics 397 

XL. — Polishing pottery 535 

XLI. — Zuui vases and canteen 538 

XLII. — Drilling turquoise 5g2 

XLIII. — Moki method of dressing hair 583 

XLIV. — Moki method of spinning 590 



Figure 1. — The four cardinal symbols 8 

2.— Scheme of tbe Tableau des Bacab 13 

3. — Copy from Plates 18 and 19, Codex Peresianus 19 

4._Copy of Plate 43, Borgian Codox 24 

5._Copy of Plates 51 and 52, Vatican Codex, B 27 

6. — Scheme of Plate 44, Fejervary Codex 34 

7. — Symbols of the four cardinal points 3G 

8. — Calendar wheel, as given by Duran 44 

9. — Calendar wheel, from book of Chilan Balam 59 

10. — Engraved shells - 61 

12.— The Omaha tribal circle 220 

13. — Places of the chiefs,' etc., in the tribal assembly 224 

14.— Iuke-sab6 tent 230 

15. — luke-sabe style of wearing the hair 230 

10. — Inke-sabe Gentile assembly 231 

17. — The sacred pole 234 

18. — Wasabe-hit'aji style of wearing the hair 237 

19. — jLe-sinde style of wearing the hair 244 

20. — The weawa", or calumet pipe 277 

21. — Kattles 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 com, etc 279 

24. — Decoration of child's face 280 

25. — Showing positions of the long tent, etc., within the tribal circle . 295 

26. — Figures of pumpkins 306 

27.— The Webajabe 310 

28.— The Weubaja" 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 banange 336 

33.— The sticks 336 

34 — Na^baoau ha 336 

35.— C^abifi" au ha 337 

36. — Diagram of the play-ground 337 

37.— The stick used in playing jiJ(|i"-jahe 338 

38.— The wa^fMgije 338 

39. — The stick used in playing loti^-bu^a 341 

40. — The waq^^qf e-'a^sa 352 

41. — The Ponka style of hauga-3ti'a"z6 3.59 

42. — The Omaha style of hanga-3^i'a°ze 361 

42. — Ordinary Navajo blanket loom 378 

43. — Diagram showing formation of warp 379 

44. — AVeaving of saddle-girth 382 

45. — Diagram showing arrangement of threads of the warp in the 

healds and on the rod 383 

46. — Weaving of saddle-girth 383 

47. — Diagram showing arrangement of healds in diagonal weaving . . . 384 

48.— Diagonal cloth 334 

49-55.— N.-ivajo blankets 385-388 

56. — showing formation of warp of sash 338 

57. — Section of Navajo belt 389 

58.— Wooden heald of the Zuuis 389 



Figure 59. — Girl weaving (from an Aztec picture) 391 

60. — Cord marked vessel, Great Britain 399 

61. — Cord and fabric marked vessel, Pennsylvania 400 

62. — Combination of threads in coffee sacking 401 

63. — Section of same 401 

64. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of New York 402 

65.— Fabric from the ancient pottery of District of Columbia 402 

66. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Arizona 402 

67. — Fabric from the caves of Kentucky 403 

68. — Fabric from the Swiss Lake Dwellings 403 

69-70. — Fabrics from mounds in Ohio 403 

71. — Section of the same 403 

72.— Fabric from the ancient pottery of Tennessee 405 

73. — Section of same 405 

74. — Diagram showing method of weaving 405 

75. — Device for making the twist 406 

76. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Tennessee 406 

77. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Georgia 407 

78-80. — Fabrics from the ancient pottery of Tennessee 407-408 

81. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Arkansas 408 

82-83. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Illinois 409-410 

84. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Missouri . 410 

85. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Tennessee 410 

86. — Fabric from a copper celt, Iowa 411 

87. — Fabric from Vancouver's Island 412 

88-90. — Fabrics from the Lake Dwellings of Switzerland 412-413 

91.— Section of third form of fabric 4 14 

92. — Device for weaving same 414 

93-96.— Fabrics from the ancient pottery of Tennessee 414-415 

97. — Fabric from the Northwest coast 4ir, 

98. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Tennessee 416 

99. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Alabama 416 

100. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Iowa 417 

101. — Plaiting of an ancient sandal 417 

102. — Braiding done by the Lake Dwellers 418 

103.— Fabric from the ancient pottery of District of Columbia 419 

104-105. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of North Carolina 419-420 

106. — Net from the Lake Dwellings 420 

107-109.— Fabrics from the ancient pottery of New Jersey 421-422 

110. — Fabric from the ancient pottery of Pennsylvania 422 

111. — Impression on the ancient pottery of Ohio 423 

112. — Impression on the ancient pottery of New Jersey 423 

113.— Impression on the ancient pottery of Alabama 423 

114. — Impression on the ancient pottery of Maryland 424 

115. — Impression on the ancient pottery of Alabama 425 

116. — Stone implement, Tennessee 439 

117. — Sections of earthen vessels, Tennessee 440 

118. — Earthen vessel, Tennessee 444 

119-128. — Shell ornaments, Tennessee 447-452 

129-135. — Stone implements, Tennessee 454-459 

136-138.— Shell beads, Tennessee 462 

139. — Earthen vessel, Tennessee 464 

140-141. — Shell ornaments, Tennessee 460 

142. — Stone implement, Arkansas 47O 



Figure 143-150.— Earthen vessels, Arkansas 471-471) 

151 .^Stone implement, Arkansas 477 

152-171. — Earthen vessels, Arkansas 478-489 

172. — Method of plaiting sandals 493 

173. — Method of plaiting mat 493 

174-197. — Earthen vessels, Missouri 495-506 

198.— Wooden mask, Peru 509 

199. — Stone net-sinker, Peru 510 

200.— Copper fish-hooks, Peru 510 





Researches among the North American Indians, as directed 
by act of Congress, have been diligently prosecuted during 
the fiscal year 1 881-82. Operations have been continued on 
the plan established in previous years, which may be briefly 
set forth as follows: 

First. The direct employment of scholars and specialists to 
conduct investigations and prepare the results for publication. 
The names of those so employed, with notice of the special 
line of work in which each one is engaged, will appear under 
the sevei'al headings of this report. 

Second. The stimulation and guidance of research by col- 
laborators who voluntarily contribute the results of their work 
for publication or other use. This collaboration has been ob- 
tained by wide and gratuitous circulation of all the publica- 
tions of the Bureau, and by instituting correspondence with 
many persons whose abilities and opportunities appeared to 
render it desirable. Such contributions are again invited, and 
will always be thankfully acknowledged. When in the shape 
of material objects they will be deposited in the National Mu 
seum, and the depositors will receive acknowledgment there- 

The work of the Bureau during the year may be conven- 
iently divided into (1) Publications, (2) Field work, (3) Office 
work. The last class of work, however, is not independent of 


field work, but supplementary to it, being the study, compila- 
tion, and arrangement of material obtained in the field, with 
such additions as can be procured from literature and corre- 
spondence, and with the preparation of requisite illustrations. 


Three papers were published during the year, in the order 
given below. A small edition of each was issued separately, 
but the main publication comprised the three papers together 
(separate paginations being preserved) as Volume V, "Con- 
tributions to North American Ethnology," a quarto volume of 
421 pages, exclusive of 53 full-page plates, and containing 105 
illustrations in the text. 


Dr. Charles Rau is well known to the scientific world as 
Curator of the Department of Archseology in the Smithsonian 
Institution, and as the author of several standard works in the 
branch of study to which he has long been devoted. His 
present paper discusses a remarkable and widely distribixted 
class of ancient sculptured objects, called by the French 
pierres a ecuelles, and by the Germans Schalensteine, to which 
he has applied the English term "cup-stones." They may be 
described as stones or rocks in which cup-shaped cavities, vary- 
ing in size, numbei", and arrangement, have been made by the 
hand of man. They are often associated with engraved fig- 
ures of a different character. A point of much interest re- 
garding them is that they are found in the United States and 
in other parts of the Western hemisphere, in form and under 
conditions analogous to those long known in the Eastern con- 
tinent as subjects of antiquarian research aff'ording little sat- 
isfactory result. This is an additional example of the many 
similarities in prehistoric praccices between the Old World and 
the New from which diverse theories are deduced. 

Dr. Rau has described and analyzed, with acumen and eru- 


dition, the whole sum of present knowledge concerning these 
enigmatical inscriptions of antiquity and the objects related to 
them, presenting in orderly arrangement a mass of valuable 
information never before collected. His suggestions toward a 
solution of the problem are cautious and judicious. 


The subject of this paper is a problem which has occupied 
physiologists and anthropologists for a number of years. Hu- 
man skulls of the neolithic age have been discovered in dol- 
mens and other ancient depositories, with poi'tions removed 
showing such evidence of natural cicatrization as to prove that 
the operation of trephining was performed during life and some- 
times has ended many years before death. Also separated por- 
tions of such skulls adjoining a segment of the original aper- 
ture were found, named from their foi"m rondelles, and later 
considered to be amulets. This latter practice has been termed 
posthumous trephining. 

Dr. Fletcher contributes an exhaustive review of the whole 
evidence on the subject, together with an examination of the 
theories entertained and the method of trephining practiced in 
modern times by uncivilized tribes. He presents, as his own 
deduction from the evidence, the theory that the object of pre- 
historic trephining was to relieve disease of the brain, injury 
of the skull, epilepsy, or convulsions, and that it was performed 
by scraping. A remarkable confirmation of his views has been 
made known since the publication of his paper by the mention 
in "Samoa" by George Turner, LL. D. [London, 1884], of 
the practice as existing but a few years ago in the group of 
volcanic islands in Central Polynesia long known as Navi- 
gator's Islands, but correctly termed Samoa. The operation 
there was to slip up and fold over the scalp, and to scrape 
the cranial bone with a fine-edged shell until the dura mater 
was reached. Very little blood was allowed to escape. In 
some cases the aperture was covered over with a thin piece 
of cocoanut shell; in other cases the incised scalp was simply 


replaced. This practice by the present generation of what 
was evidently that of the neolithic age was for the same pur- 
pose as suggested by Dr. Fletcher, viz, to relieve pain in the 
head. The "cure" was death to some, but most of the sub- 
jects recovered. The precise operation of trephining has not 
been found to be practiced among the tribes of North Amer- 
ica; but they very generally scarify or otherwise wound parts 
of the body where pain is seated, or supposed to be. Their 
philosophy of pain is, that it is an evil spii'it which they must 
let out. The early writers, who believed in the benefits of 
phlebotomy more than is now the custom, gave much credit to 
the Indians for this practice. It was to them one of the proofs 
of the advance of American natives in medical and surgical 
science, which was admitted while knowledge in most other 
branches was denied. A suggestion occurs that the custom of 
cutting of the breast, arms, and some other parts of the body, 
at the mourning ceremonies of Indians, as of other jieoples, 
may have originated in the idea of letting grief, the pain of 
sorrow, out of the mourner. 


The manuscript, or codex, styled Troano, sometimes more 
simply Tro, w^as found at Madrid in 1864, in the possession of 
Don Juan de Tro y Ortolano, Professor of Paleography and a 
descendant of Hernan Cortez. It was recognized by the Abb^ 
Brasseur de Bourbourg, after his return from Yucatan, as a spec- 
imen of the graphic system of the Mayas, and was named by 
compounding the two names of its owner. It is written on a 
long strip of maguey paper folded fan-like, forming thirty-five 
leaves, written on both sides, making seventy pages, and is 
universally admitted to be a valuable record of the ancient cult- 
ure of Yucatan. Its full interpretation would probably repro- 
duce much of the arts, social life, and philosophy of a people 
for which all Americans must entertain deep interest, and the 
successful act of interpretation would elucidate points of impor- 
tance in the evolution of written language. 


The introduction to the paper, by the distinguished anthro- 
pologist Dr. Daniel G. Brinton, is a perspiciious summary of the 
amount of knowledge upon the graphic system and ancient 
records of the Mayas existing prior to the publication of Pro- 
fessor Thomas's paper. The latter work exhibits admirable 
industry and felicitous sagacity, bringing to light many im- 
pressive details in addition to his general conclusions, the most 
important of which are as follows: 

That the work was intended chiefly as a ritual or religious 
calendar to guide the priests in the observance of religious 
festivals, and in their numerous ceremonies and other duties. 

That the figures in the spaces are in some cases symbolical, 
in others simply pictographic, and, in quite a number, refer to 
religious ceremonies; but that in many instances they relate 
to the habits, customs, and occupations of the people. 

That the work appertained to and was prepared for a people 
living in the interior of the countiy, away from the sea-shore. 

That the people of the section where it was prepared were 
peaceable and sedentary, supporting themselves chiefly on 
agricultural products, though relying upon gins and traps and 
the chase to supply them with animal food. 

That the execution and character of the work itself, as 
well as its contents, bear testimony that the people were com- 
paratively well advanced in the arts of barbaric life. But 
there is nothing to warrant the glowing descriptions of their 
refinement and general culture given by some of the earlier 
as well as more modern writers. They correspond with what 
might be inferred from the architectural remains in some parts 
of Yucatan. 

That the characters, while to a certain extent phonetic, 
are not true alphabetic signs, but syllabic. Some appear to 
be ideographic, and others simply abbreviated pictorial repre- 
sentations of objects. They seem, in their several elements to 
represent different stages of the growth of picture writing into 
alphabetic writing. 

That the work (the original, if the one now in existence 
be a copy) was probably written about the middle or in the 
later half of the fourteenth century. 




In the early summer of 1881, Mr. Frank Hamilton Gushing 
carried on, under increasing facilities, investigations into the 
home life of the Zunis, mentioned in the second annual report 
of this Bureau, and prepared to visit the little-known, isolated, 
and semi-hostile tribe heretofore vaguely mentioned as the C090- 
ninos. He was anxious to investigate the relationship mutually 
claimed between these Indians and the Zunis, and thus, if pos- 
sible, to supplement his researches among the latter. He was 
furnished by Dr. Washington Matthews, U. S. A., surgeon 
at Fort Wingate, New Mexico, with means, which had failed 
to reach him in time, and by General L. P. Bradley, U. S. A., 
commanding that post, with two pack mules and appurtenances. 
He secured the services as guide of a Zufii Indian named 
Tsai-iu-tsaih-ti-wa, who had before visited the country of the 
Co(joninos, and was accompanied by Tits-ke-mAt-se, a Chey- 
enne Indian, who had been sent by Professor Baird, secretary 
of the Smithsonian Institution, as an assistant. The party 
proceeded at once across the country to Moki. At the pueblo 
of Te-wa Mr. Gushing also secured an interpreter and addi- 
tional guide, a native trader named Pu-la-ka-kai, who was 
familiar with the Zufii language. After a journey of about one 
hundred miles the great Ganon of Gataract Greek was reached, 
and proceeding twenty miles down the trail leading through that 
canon, the party arrived at the village of the Go(joninos, less than 
seven miles due south from the Grand Ganon of the Colorado, 
and more than three thousand feet below the level of the sur- 
rounding plains. Here were found about thirty huts, occupied 
by two hundred and thirty-five Indians — men, women, and 
children. This is probably the village from which smoke was 
seen by the daring surgeon of the Ives Expedition, who nearly 
lost his life in an endeavor to penetrate the canon. Aside from 
mention given by the latter in his report, the exact site of the 
habitations of the Go9oninos had never been officially stated. 


During the four days Mr. Gushing was able to pass among the 
CoQoninos, who call themselves Ha-va-su-pai, "People of the 
willows," he collected a vocabulary of more than four hundred 
words, recorded some of the myths of the ti'ibe, and succeeded 
in securing valuable notes regarding the manners, customs, in- 
dustries, and religion of these people. Dispatching his Moki 
and Zuni Indians back to their respective pueblos, he proceeded 
with Tits-ke-mdt-se, in company with a prospector named 
Harvey Sample, as guide, to Fort Whipple, Arizona. Here he 
was kindly received and greatly aided in the investigations of 
ancient ruins in the neighborhood of Prescott and Fort Verde, 
by General 0. B. Willcox, U. S. A., and officers of his com- 
mand, particularly Lieutenant W. W. Wotherspoon. 

Between Camp HuA-la-pai (Walapai), in Western Arizona, 
and the cliff ruins of the Rio Verde, he discovered a remarka- 
ble series of mesa strongholds, exhibiting a crude form of 
what he regarded as incipient Pueblo architecture. 

Mr. Gushing had long been desirous of entering the Order of 
the Bow, a I'emarkable esoteric and religious organization of 
warriors among the Zunis, with the object of increasing his 
opportunities of research. After his return to Zuni from the 
trip above described he was for the first time able to make the 
preliminary arrangements necessary for his initiation, and was 
admitted to membership in this society. His initiation and its 
consequent immediate advantages enabled him to ascertain 
that he had but made a beginning in the study of the native 
religious institutions. He was soon after elected, by virtue of 
his membership, Assistant Ghief to the Governor, or Head Ghief 
of Zuni, which election was followed within a few months by 
nomination and subsequent confirmation to the Head War 
Ghieftaincy of the tribe. 

In order that he might study the dance societies, or Ka'-ka, 
of the Zunis, it became necessary for him either to marry into 
the tribe or to perform some service to the Indians which should 
increase their faith in him and exalt their opinion of him. He 
determined, therefore, to efi'ect, if possible, a tour through the 
East with some of the principal chiefs and priests of the tribe, 
especially as the latter were desirous of securing sacred water 


from the Atlantic Ocean, or the "Ocean of Sunrise"; and they 
promised him, through their influence in the Ka'-ka, admission 
to it, could he realize for them this desire. Receiving the con- 
sent and co-operation of the Director of the Bureau, he started 
with a delegation of six of the Indians for Washington, where 
he arrived on the 28th of February, 1882. After spending a few 
days in Washington, he took the delegation to the shore of the 
Atlantic, near Boston, where ceremonies were performed re- 
counted elsewhere in detail. 

The devotion, energy, and tact exhibited by Mr. Gushing 
during his researches among the Zunis, extending over several 
years, have been fruitful in contributions to ethnologic science, 
some of which have already been published, but much more 
remains for future presentation. 


During the field season of 1881 a party in charge of Mr. 
James Stevenson was directed to continue ethnologic and ar- 
chseoloffic researches amonof the Pueblo Indian tribes and the 
ancient ruins of Arizona and New Mexico, the Pueblo of Zuni 
and the Moki tribes of Arizona being the designated fields of 
operation. The large quantities of valuable material, both 
ancient and modern, possessed by the Pueblo tribes made it 
important that the work of collecting should be prosecuted 
energetically, in order to secure as much as possible before the 
objects should be carried away by visitors and speculators, who, 
since railroads make the region accessible, are frequently visit- 
ing that country. 

The party spent about two months at Zufii, after which it 
proceeded to the Moki Pueblos, constituting the ancient prov- 
ince of Tusayan, in Northeastern Arizona, remaining there one 
month. The collection from the Moki Pueblos is especially 
valuable, as but few specimens had been secured from these 
tribes except those collected by the Director of the Bureau 
many yeai's before, during his exploitations of the Colorado 
River of the West. 

Among them are some beautiful vases elaborately decorated 
with unknown designs, and of forms and structure differing 


from any hitherto found. The tribes from which they were 
obtained had no knowledge of the origin of these vases, but 
they were in all probability made by the people who resided 
in a village of considerable size, about 12 miles east of Moki, 
called by the Navajos Tally-hogan, or singing houses. It is 
probable that some of these people have been absorbed in the 
Tusayan villages. An examination of this village, which is 
now in ruins, I'evealed immense quantities of fragments of pot- 
tery, on all of which were designs and figures similar to those 
on the ancient vessels of the Moki, above referred to. The 
amount of material secured from Moki is about 12,000 pounds, 
and that from Zufti 21,000 pounds. Both of these collections 
have been deposited in the National Museum. 

The value and variety of the objects collected in Zuili and 
the Moki Pueblos appear so clearly in the illustrated and de- 
scriptive catalogues of them forming part of the Second Annual 
Report, and of the present volume, that they need not be spe- 
cially recapitulated in this jalace. 

The Director desires to renew the expression heretofore made 
of his appreciation of the industry and skill shown by Mr. 
Stevenson in securing these exhaustive and valuable collections. 


Mr. Victor Mindeleff, with several assistants, completed a 
survey of Zuiii for the purpose of constructing a model of this 
village on a scale of one-sixtieth. The model was subsequently 
completed, and is now on exhibition in the National Museum. 
The area covered by Zuni is 1,200 by 600 feet, not including 
the goat and sheep corrals and gardens, which occupy a much 
larger area. The model, however, illustrates all those features. 
The preparation of this model by Mr. Mindeleff required much 
labor and skill. It is executed in papier machd, and presents 
the true colors of the village as well as of all the details. 


During the season, Mr. J. K. Hillers, the accomplished and 
skillful photographer of the Geological Survey, in addition to 


the o^eographic and geologic illustrations made by him, se- 
cured a large number of photographic views of all the Moki 
villages and of Zufii, as well as of several ruins in the region 
surrounding them, among which are character sketches of the 
people, interiors of their houses, eagle pens, corrals, portraits 
of men, women and children, many views of the people while 
in the act of baking pottery, drying meat, dancing, etc. This 
work will be continued. 


In November of 1881, Mr. Albert S. Gatschet repaired to 
South Carolina to investigate the Kat4ba Indians settled on 
the river of the same name, in York County. They live in 
the woods, eight miles south of a place called Rock Hill (rail- 
road station), on a reservation of one square mile. The Ka- 
tdba Indians resident there number 85, and thirty to forty live 
in the neighborhood, working for farmers, and a few also have 
joined the Mountain Cherokees in Graham County, North Caro- 
lina. The large majority of these Indians are mixed bloods, and 
it is doubted whether there are more than seven full bloods left. 
They seem to have forgotten much that pertains to their for- 
mer customs, traditions, beliefs, and superstitions, and are igno- 
rant of their history, which was one of the most creditable and 
glorious. Mr. Gatschet gathered texts, sentences, and about 
fifteen hundred terms of their vocalic language, which they 
speak unmixed with foreign elements. Only about twenty Ka- 
t4bas still speak the language. 

The ChAta, which he visited subsequently at New Orleans, 
Louisiana, and on the north side of LakePontchartrain, are pooi', 
shy, and bashful ; live off their vegetable products, which they 
sell at the French market at New Orleans. They seem to have 
been reduced to this condition by the raids made upon them 
during the last war, by which their settlements north of Lake 
Pontchartrain were broken up. As soon as it was perceived 
that their dialect differed in grammar and pronunciation from 
the one spoken by the ChAta in the Indian Territory, Mr. Gat- 
schet concluded to gather as many as possible of their words 
and sentences (^ texts were not obtainable), although their utter- 


ance made it exceedingly difficult to obtain material of per- 
manent value. 

The Shetimasha Indians of Saint Mary's Parish, on Bayou 
Tfeche, Louisiana, whom he visited afterwards, live at Charen- 
ton. They number 35, while 18 others live in the woods north 
of Grand Lake, or Lake of the Shetimashas, as anciently called. 
These Indians are, except five or six, all mixed bloods, speak 
the Creole French, are gay, kind, and amiable to strangers, 
cultivate small farms, help in cultivating the sugar fields, and 
in winter remove cypress trees from the flooded swamps. Like 
the Katdba, they speak their language with considerable pur- 
ity, and circumstances favored the obtaining of ethnologic 
texts. The phrases, sentences, and terms gathered in Shetima- 
sha, where a stay of two weeks was made, amount to nearly 
two thousand. 

A search for the historical AtAkapas, AdAyes, and Taensas 
throughout Louisiana was not attended with any results. 


Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith continued her Iroquoian investiga- 
tions, first visiting the Onondaga Reservation in New York 
State, and there filling a chrestomathy on the Onondaga dia- 
lect, and collecting folk-lore. Later she visited the Six Nations 
Reserve upon the Grand River in Canada, collecting folk-lore 
and comparing the dialects. 


Dr. W. J. Hoffman prosecuted investigations in gesture- 
language and pictographs among the Mandan, Hidatsa, and 
Arikara Indians living at Fort Berthold, Dakota. Similar in- 
formation was also obtained from Indians visiting that locality, 
prominent among which were Dakota, Pani, Absaroka, or 
Crows, Blackfeet (Satsika), and Ojibwa. On the return journey 
a small delegation of Dakota Indians from the southern part 
of Dakota was met at Mendota, Minn., from whom similar in- 
formation was obtained. The material collected consisted 
chiefly of extensive lists of gesture-signs, both those peculiar 


to individual tribes and those in common use between the 
several tribes mentioned ; vocabularies of the languages with 
special reference to the subject of gestures ; signals, and picto- 
graphs, with interpretations ; mnemonic characters and marks 
of personal distinction worn upon the person of the individual 
or upon personal property. 

A topographic map was also made of the Indian village, 
showing the relative locations of the modern dwellings and 
the earth lodges, as well as the portions of the village now 
occupied by the several tribes mentioned. 


The act making appropriations for sundr}^ civil expenses of 
the Govei'nment for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1882, 
directed that five thousand dollars of the appropriation made 
for the purpose of continuing ethnologic researches among the 
North American Indians should be expended in continuing 
archseologic investigations relating to mound builders and pre- 
historic mounds. In accordance with this direction investiga- 
tions were made as follows : 

In Tennessee and Arkansas, by Dr. Edward Palmer. A 
large collection was received from him containing some ex- 
tremely rare and even unique objects. 

In West Virginia and adjacent portions of Eastern Ohio, 
by Dr. W. DeHass. 

In Tennessee, by Mr. W. J. Taylor, who has furnished a num- 
ber of specimens similar in character to those of Dr. Palmer. 

In Florida, by Mr. S. T. Walker. His collections show some 
peculiarities in the contents of prehistoric mounds and graves 
in that State as compared with those of Tennessee and Ar- 

A detailed statement of the collection obtained from the 
mounds, in connection with other objects received during the 
year, appears in the illustrated catalogue prepared by Mr. W. 
H. Holmes, and published in the present volume. 



Mr. Albert S. Gatschet was engaged during the early part 
of the year in carrying through the press Part I of the Diction- 
ary of the Klamath Language, in which he had before been 
occuj)ied. After this he was for several mouths at work in the 
collection of new material for the synonymy of the Indian 
tribes of North America. In this undertaking the tribes of the 
Mexican States have not been included, with the exception of 
those which serve to complete a linguistic stock, a large por- 
tion of which is embraced within the territory of the United 
States, e. g., the tribes of the Californian Peninsula and of por- 
tions of the State of Sonora, Mexico (Yuman); the Apache 
(Athabascan) and those which may be ascertained to belong 
to the Coahuiltecan stock, probably extending into Texas. 
The tribes of British America were included, because a great 
portion of them extend into, or have representation in the ter- 
ritory of the United States, e. g., the Eskimauan, Siouan, Ath- 
abascan, Algonkian, Wakashan, Salishan, and Kitunahan. 

After his return from field work, Mr. Gatschet transliterated 
the four hundred Cherokl words obtained by him on the Ka- 
tdba Reservation, and translated the Shetimasha material ob- 
tained in French. He then resumed work upon the Klamath 
Dictionary, Part II, one-half of which was completed at the 
end of the year. When completed, his material will form Vol. 
II of the series entitled Contributions to North American Eth- 

Rev. J. Owen Dorsey was engaged from July, 1881, to May, 
1882, in preparing a manuscript of (^Jegiha Myths, Stories, and 
Letters for the press, amounting to 544 quarto pages in type 
and stereotyped, to form Vol. VI of the above series. 

He was also engaged in reading proof of the Rev. S. R. 
Riggs's Dakota Dictionary, making corrections and inserting 
cross-references and synonyms, to form Vol. VII of the series. 

He also examined tlie census schedules of the following 
tribes : Omaha, Ponka, Osage, Kansas, Iowa, and Oto, revis- 
ing the spelling as well as the translations of the Indian names. 


He collected vocabularies of the Pani, Ankara, Kaddo, Kichai, 
and Wichita languages, to be used by the Director for compari- 
son purposes. He obtained the gentes of the Kaddo and 
Wichita, and the gentes, subgentes, and phratries of the Iowa 

During the month of May, 1882, he was engaged in the pre- 
paration of a paper on Omaha Sociology, which appears in the 
present volume. 

Mr. J. C. Pilling continued the compilation of the Bibliog- 
raphy of North American Languages during the fiscal year, 
on the plan outlined in former reports, giving to it such time 
as could be spared from his regular administrative work. Brief 
visits to some of the prominent libraries of New York and New 
England were made during the month of July, and again late 
in the fall, and much new material was collected. In October 
the first "copy" was sent to the printer, and in December 
type-setting was begun. The proof-reading of such matter 
is necessarily slow, and at the close of the fiscal year but 128 
pages had been received. So far as possible these proof-sheets 
were submitted to the prominent workers in Indian languages 
in this country, and many additions and corrections were re- 
ceived from these sources. 

Brevet Lieut. Col. Garrick Mallery, U. S. Army, contin- 
ued researches into gesture-language among the tribes of North 
America with verifications and corrections of material previ- 
ously collected fi-om them and additions to it. The result indi- 
cated is, that while one system of gesture-speech has long 
existed among the Indians, it is not to be regarded as one formal 
or absolute language, several groups with their centers of 
origin being disclosed. In regard to diversity the gesture- 
signs of speaking men are found to correspond with those of 
deaf mutes. Not only do many of the particular signs of deaf 
mutes in America differ from those used with the same signifi- 
cation in some countries of Europe, but a similar disagreement 
is observed among the several institutions for deaf mute in- 
struction in the United States. When the diverse signs are 
purely ideographic they are, however, intelligible to all per- 


sons familiar with the principles of sign expression, but when, 
as often occurs, they are conventional, they cannot be under- 
stood without the aid of the context or without knowledge of 
the convention. The instances of diversity among the Indian 
signs are so numerous that a vocabulary would be insufficient 
and misleading if it was confined to the presentation of a 
single sign for each of the several objects or ideas to be ex- 
pressed and did not supply variants and designation of the 
several groups of tribes using them. There being no single 
absolute language, each of the several forms of expression 
resembling dialects has an equal right to consideration, and 
without this comprehensive treatment a vocabulary must either 
be limited to a single dialect, or become the glossary of a jargon. 
For this reason the collection of the gesture-signs of the Indians 
for scientific investigation involves many minute details and 
requires much time. 

The fi-equent presence of delegations of Indian tribes in 
Washington has been of great value to supplement field-work 
in the study of their signs. During the year a large collec- 
tion of gesture-signs was obtained from Pani, Ponka, and 
Dakota Indians who visited the seat of government on busi- 
ness connected with their reservations, by Dr. W. J. Hoffman, 
who has assisted Colonel Mallerj'- in the whole of this branch 
of study. 

Special endeavor was made to procure for collation and com- 
parison collections of gesture-signs from tribes and localities in 
parts of the world from which little or no material of this kind 
has ever been obtained. The voluminous correspondence and 
other persevering exertions to accomplish that object have been 
rewarded by collections from Turkey, Sicily, the Hawaiian 
and the Fiji Islands, Madagascar, and other distant regions, but 
of greatest interest are those from the Gilbert Islands and 
Japan. The result shows that where observers can be found 
who comprehend the subject of inquiry and are willing to 
take the requisite pains in research, communication by gesture, 
either as an existing system or the relic of such system, has 
nearly always been discovered. 

When some expected responses shall have arrived from 


points whence mails are unfrequent, and the whole material 
shall be collated, an attempt will be made to ascertain the laws 
governing the direct visible expression of ideas between men. 
The stndy of pictographs and ideographs has a close con- 
nection with the study of sign language, as in them appears 
the direct visible expression of ideas in a permanent form. 
This has been continued by Colonel Mallery, and a considerable 
amount of material has been collected from North America. 
It appeared, however, that so small an amount was accessible 
from other parts of the world in such shape as to be useful for 
study and interpretation, that it was deemed necessary to issue 
* for wide circulation a preliminary essay as an Introduction to 
the Study of Pictographs before attempting any comprehensive 
treatise on the subject for publication. Such an introduction 
has been prepared. 

Colonel Mallery was also engaged during the year in execu- 
tive duty connected with the preparation and filling up of the 
schedule for the census of Indians in the United States and in 
the study of the statistics of population thereby obtained. 

Mr. H. W. Henshaw was engaged in the preparation of a 
paper on animal carvings from the mounds of the Mississippi 
Valley, which was published in the Second Annual Report of this 
Bureau and also in that of a paper on Indian Industries, as illus- 
trated both by recently gathered statistics and by historical rec- 
ords. This study, not yet completed, embraces the advance of 
the tribes toward civilized industry, together with an exhaustive 
account of their pristine industries and means of subsistence. 
He was also closely occupied in executive work connected with 
the Indian census. 

Mr. William H. Holmes, in addition to other and varied du- 
ties, studied the shells and the objects made from them as found 
chiefly in the mounds of North America, the result of his re- 
searches appearing in the paper "Art in Shell of the Ancient 
Americans" published in the Second Annual Report. 

Mrs. Erminnie A. Smith, in addition to her field work, else- 
where mentioned, continued the preparation of a Dictionary 
of the Tuscarora Language. 


Dr. H. C. Yarrow continued his work of compilation upon 
the Mortuary Customs and the Medical Practices of the North 
American Indians, conducting a large amount of correspond- 
ence upon these subjects. 

Mr. F. H. Gushing, while in Washington, commenced a paper 
on the Sociologic and Governmental Institutions of the Zuuis, 
to complete which it became necessary for him to revisit that 

Prof. Otis T. Mason was engaged during the entire year in 
collecting material for the purpose of compiling a History of 
Education among the North American Indians. 

The Director has continued the connected and tedious work 
before explained; first, of classifying on a linguistic basis all 
the tribes, remaining and extinct, of N'oi'th America. Second, of 
establishing their synonymy, or the reference of their many 
find confusing titles as given in literature and common usage 
to a correct and systematic standard of nomenclature. Third, 
the ascertainment and display on a series of charts, of the hab- 
itat of all tribes when first met by Europeans, and at subse- 
quent periods. Much progress has been made in this work 
recognized as essential to the proper study of Indian anthro- 


The plan heretofore explained by which the several branches 
of North American Ethnology are systematically presented in 
Annual Reports is continued in operation. The progress of 
investigation is shown in them so far as the intervening time 
and the amount appropriated by Congress allowed. The 
papers in the present volume embrace researches in the fields 
of Philosoj^h}', Sociology, and Technology, as is indicated in the 
following brief references to them severally in the order fol- 
lowed in the volume. The extensive linguistic studies prose- 
cuted, report of which has been made above, will generally 
require publication in separate volumes. 



In this paper Professor Thomas continues his study of the 
symbols and calendar systems of Central America. His at- 
tention is chiefly directed to two remarkable leaves, together 
constituting one plate, of the Maya Manuscript known as the 
Codex Cortesianus, which is considered to furnish a connecting 
link between the Maya and the Mexican symbols and calen- 
dars. This is compared with the Mexican plate No. 43 of the 
Borgian Codex, and with plate No. 44 of the Fejervary Codex, 
believed to be a Tezcucan Manuscript. Illustrations and quo- 
tations from a variety of sources are also furnished. 

The study of the graphic systems of Mexico and Central 
America is important for comparison with the origin of writing 
in the Eastern Hemisphere. The evidence at this time is to 
the effect that these systems had entered into a transition stage 
from a simple pictography, in which not merely the idea was 
presented, but the sound to express the idea in spoken lan- 
guage began to be figured. Proper materials for this study 
have only recently been obtained and are still meager both in 
quantity and in determinative value. Professor Thomas has 
properly considered that the calendar and religious observ- 
ances were the great and absorbing topics of those persons of 
the Nahuatlan tribes who were concerned in their graphic 
systems, and those topics as presented in their paintings and 
sculptures, rather than imperfect traditions handed down 
through old Spanish authors, may be expected to indicate the 
true explanation. 

The views taken in the paper regarding the plates discussed 
lead the author to make the following deductions : 

First. That the order in which the groups and characters are 
to be read is around to the left, opposite the course of the sun, 
a point of vital importance, formerly much disputed. 

Second. The confirmation of a former generally received 
supposition that the cross was used among these nations as a 
symbol of the cardinal points. 

Third. That the bird figures were used to denote the winds. 



This also gives a signification to the birds' heads on the 
engraved shells found in the mounds of the United States, a 
full account of which was given by Mr. W. H. Holmes in his 
paper published in the Second Annual Report of this Bureau. 
If this supposition be correct, it not only confirms Mr. Holmes's 
suggestions, but also indicates that the people who built the 
mounds followed the same custom in this respect as the Na- 
huatlan tribes. 

Fourth. Another and more important result is the proof fur- 
nished of an intimate relation between the Mayan and the 
Nahuatlan tribes, which suggests an ingenious theorj- pre- 
sented, though not insisted upon, by the author. 


Masks have been used by many peoples widely scattered 
throughout the world, and they have a high historic antiquity. 
In these masks great diversity of form and structure is ob- 
served, and they have been used for many purposes. Mr. 
Dall explains the development of the use of masks in the fol- 
lowing manner : 

Masks were jjrobably at first mere shields or protections to 
the face, supported by the hand, but afterwards were adapted 
to the form of the face, and were supported upon the head and 
shoulders. Impenetrability being the first desideratum, exte- 
rior appearance or ornamentation was secondary, but subse- 
quently a moral value was sought in capacity to inspire terror, 
so that by the increase of devices adding to frightfulness the 
mechanical value became unimportant. Individual variation 
then began, embracing personal or tribal insignia, and often 
connected with totemic and Shamanistic systems. By several 
lines of evolution masks became on the one hand associated 
with supernaturalism, filling their place in religious parapher- 
nalia, and on the other with buffoonery appropriate to public 
games and noticeable in the paraphernalia of secret associa- 
tions. When the mask has developed into a social or religious 
symbol it has sometimes been worn elevated above the head 
of the wearer to increase apparent height, and, losing the no 
longer needed apertures for sight and breathing, has become a 


head-dress formed often as a conventionalized model of a face, 
or of a whole figure, or of a group of figures. By another line 
of development the ideas symbolized by the efiig}^ cease to be 
connected with any wearer and the mask becomes an inde- 
pendent object in significance and employment. A custom of 
preserving and ornamenting an actual human face or head, 
especially when the posterior part of the cranium is removed, 
has relation by kindred conceptions and in geographic lines to 
some of the uses of masks as above indicated. 

The science of anthropology is inchoate. A multiplicity of 
facts have been collected which have not yet been assigned to 
their proper places in the system; so that the sequence of 
events in the course of human culture is but partly made out. 
Yet anthropologists are everywhere attempting to discover and 
explain the origin and growth of arts, customs, and all other 
phenomena that relate to the activities of mankind. Such ex- 
planations as Mr. Dall's, when based upon extensive knowl- 
edge and clear insight into the principles of anthropology, are 
suggestive and valuable. 

With regard to the origin of masking, there is another pos- 
sible hypothesis, which seems to be more in consonance with 
the facts relating to this practice observed among the lower 
tribes of the world. Dramatic representation has its origin 
quite early in the state of savagery. Savage mythology deals 
largely with animal life, and savage drama is intimately asso- 
ciated with savage mythology. Among very many of the 
tribes of North America, some of which are lowest in culture, 
crude dramas are enacted at winter camp fires from night to 
night. The old men and women who transmit mythic lore are 
listened to with great interest, and as the stories of the doings 
and sayings of the ancient god-beasts are told, resort is had to 
dramatic personification, to give zest and vigor to the mythic 
tales. Ofttimes the myth teller is assisted by others, who take 
parts and act scenes in costume made of the skins of the ani- 
mals represented. Sometimes the actor assumes the garb of 
the elk or the bear by covering and disguising himself with the 
skin of the beast to be imitated. Sometimes he simply wears 
the skin across his shoulders or dangling from his belt, or per- 


chance carried in his hand, especially if the animal represented 
is one of the smaller species. But perhaps the most common 
method is found in the use of the skin of the animal for a 
head-dress. The Director lias seen a duck's skin with head 
and neck stuffed and tail supported by a slight wooden frame 
used as a head-dress on such an occasion, as well as many 
other birds' skins thus used. He has often seen the skin from 
the head of a wolf or a wildcat used in like manner. Very 
many Indian tribes use the skin from the head of the deer or 
the mountain sheep, with horns preserved in place and ears 
erect. Such costuming' is very common, and constitutes a part 
of the dramatic customs of savagery. 

There is yet another origin for the dramatic costumes often 
appearing among the Indians. A clan having an animal totem 
may use the skin of the animal as its badge. Sometimes feath- 
ers from the bird totem, or the tail of the mammal totem, or 
the carapace of the turtle totem is used. These totemic badges 
are very largely used on festival occasions, and mark the play- 
ers in games when clan contests with clan. 

It has hence been suggested that masking had its origin in 
the drama; and it must be understood that the drama in sav- 
agery is largely mythic and i-eligious. 

Mr. Dall provides an excellent classification of the objects of 
his study into masks, maskettes, and maskoids, noting under 
each head the several uses to which each form in the evolu- 
tionary series has been applied. He then explains their ob- 
served distribution in the following geographical order, viz: 

1. North Papuan Archipelago. 

2. Peru. 

3. Central America and Mexico. 

4. New Mexico and Arizona. 

6. The region occupied by Indians from Oregon to the 
northern limit of the Thlinkit. 

. 6. The Aleutian Islands. 

7. The Eskimauan region from Prince William Sound to 
Point Barrow. 

Similar geographic relations are found in connection with 
the practice of labretifery. The labret, among American abo- 



rigines, is well known to be a plug, stud, or variously-shaped 
button, made from diverse materials, which is inserted at or 
about the age of puberty through a hole or holes pierced in 
the thinner portions of the face about the mouth. Usually after 
the first operation has been performed, and the original slender 
pin inserted, the latter is replaced from time to time by a 
larger one, and the perforation is thus mechanically stretched, 
and in course of time permanently enlarged. 

Numerous variants of the object and of its mode of attach- 
ment are however observed. The practice or "fashion" is 
traced by Mr. Dall along nearly the whole of the western line 
of the Americas with some easterly overflows, especially in 
the middle and South American regions, and its remarkable 
westerl}^ restriction farther north is noted. It seems to be not 
sporadic in America, but existing in lines of contact. Its dis- 
tribution so far as ascertained in other parts of the world is 
also examined. A suggestion of its origin is made in the early 
custom of submitting a boy at puberty to a trial of his reso- 
lution and endurance before being admitted to the privileges 
of a member of the community and as a sign of his admitted 
membership. In this relation it is connected with tattooing 
and circumcision, the latter practice being known in the Pacific 
island region as an incident of puberty, suggesting that the 
rite of infant circumcision, familiar elsewhere, was a later and 
idealized version with the same general intent. 

Mr. Ball's work of research exhibits his own industry and 
ingenuity supplemented by copious illustrations and quota- 
tions, and presents much valuable and novel collateral matter 
relating to customs and superstitions. From the evidence of 
the objects and practices discussed he deduces a theory, before 
entertained by other authors from different considerations, of 
accessions to the western shores of America from the islands 
of the Pacific Ocean. 


U. S. A. 

Dr. Matthews, assistant surgeon in the United States Army, 
has continued to utilize his tour of official duty at Fort Win- 
gate, New Mexico, by researches in anthropology through 


close observation of the neighboring tribe of the Navajos. 
The present paper, as connected with the general topic of 
aboriginal industries, is supplementary to that by him on 
Navajo Silversmiths, published in the Second Annual Report 
of this Bureau. 

The Navajos are pre-eminent as weavers among the native 
tribes north of Mexico, and though possibly some of their 
skill has been learned from the Spaniards through the Pueblos, 
the art is undoubtedly of earlier origin, and its advance has 
been through native invention and ingenuity. At one time the 
textile fabrics were composed of cotton, the fibers of yucca 
leaves and other plants, the hair of some quadrupeds, and the 
down of birds. They now are woven from the wool of the 
domestic sheep, large herds of which are reared. 

Dr. Matthews describes clearly, and with the aid of copious 
illustrations, the whole process, including the dyes, their origin 
and employment, with the ingenious mechanical appliances for 
forming the different styles of fabrics and the wonderful variety 
of designs. The paper is not only of much interest as an 
account of a valuable and unique product of the loom, but 
also as exhibiting the power of voluntary adaptation of the 
Indian mind to novel materials, and its self-improvement within 
a period ascertained to be brief Such characteristics noticed 
among the tribe of Indians least influenced by civilization, are 
conclusive against the feroi natures theory, sometimes urged an 
excuse for the destruction of the natives of America. This is 
now happily vanishing with other errors, all tending to portray 
the Indian as an exceptional part of the human race, instead 
of being, as he is, a living example of our own prehistoric past. 


Mr. Dorsey, who had, in the year 1871, entered upon 
service as a missionary among the group of Indians, one tribe 
of which is the subject of this paper, and thereby thoroughly 
understanding then* language and habits, has re-examined their 
social systems in the field since he has made a special study 
of the science of anthropology. His exhaustive and well- 
arranged production, the work of fourteen years in preparation 


and execution, throws a flood of light upon many problems of 
social evolution applicable to the whole human race. The 
Omahas, who belong to a separate group of the Siouan lin- 
guistic stock, were interrupted by civilization in their autoge- 
nous development at a time when they admirably represented 
a culture stage, called by Morgan the older period of barba- 
rism, and by the Director the closing stage of savager}', and 
its characteristic details have never yet been more thoroughly 
explained and illustrated than in the present paper. A careful 
student of it will observe many customs and institutions which 
have been evolved into those appearing in the first dawn of 
history among the progenitors of the English speaking people. 
This paper will form a part of the basis of a work by the 
Director upon the general subject of Sociology. 

Mr. Dorsey's paper first sets forth the classification of the 
group formed by the cognate tribes and the migration and his- 
tory of the Omahas so far as ascertained. It then explains 
that among these tribes the primary unit is the gens or clan, 
composed of a number of consanguinei, claiming descent from 
a common ancestor and having a common taboo or taboos. 
The largest division of the tribe is into two half tribes, not 
strictly phratries, and each composed of five gentes. Each 
gens is divided into subgentes, of which there are traces of 
four to each gens. The group of men thus organized is a kin- 
ship state, that is, one in which the governmental functions are 
performed by men whose positions in the government are de- 
termined by kinships, and in it rules relating to kinship and 
the reproduction of the species constitute the larger body of 
the law. The law regulates marriage, allowing but narrow 
limits of personal choice, and prescribes 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 to other groups 
of kindred. 

The differentiation of organs in the state is discussed, with 
state classes, servants, and corporations, the latter being chiefly 
societies for religious and industrial objects The gentile sys- 
tem is minutely described; the kinship system and mari'iage 


laws analyzed. The topic of domestic life includes courtship 
and marriage customs, domestic etiquette, treatment of chil- 
dren, standing of women, widows and widowers, rights of pa- 
rents, personal habits, and politeness. Visiting customs and 
dances are explained. Industrial occupations are divided into 
those relating to the sustenance of life, to the protection of life, 
and to tlie regulation of life. The mass of information con- 
tributed, with clear exposition and illustration, will be equally- 
interesting to the special student and to the general reader. 

Many important facts are brought out in the treatment of 
the Omaha gens or clan, and it is believed that a genei'al char- 
acterization of the clan, and of the tribe, of which it forms an 
integral part, especially as they are found in North Amex'ica, 
will shed some light upon the subject of which Mr. Dorsey 
treats in liis paper. 


So far as is now known, tribal society is everywhere based 
on kinship. In the simplest form of which there is any knowl- 
edge, the tribe consists of a group of men calling one another 
brother, who are husbands to a group of women calling one 
another sister. The children of these communal parents call 
all the men fathers, and all the women mothers, and one another 
brother and sister. In time these children become husbands 
and wives in common, like their pai'ents. Thus the kinship 
system recognizes husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, 
sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and grandparents and 
grandchildren. The only kinship by affinity is that of husband 
and wife. The only collateral kinships are those of brother and 
brother, sister and sister, and brother and sister. The lineal 
kinships are father and son, father and daughter, mother and 
son, mother and daughter, with grandparents and grandchil- 
dren also recognized. There is no recognized father-in-law, 
mother-in-law, brother-in-law, nor sister-in-law ; there is no 
uncle, no aunt, no cousin, no ne^Dhew, no niece recognized. 

It will thus be seen that all of the collateral kinships of uncle 
and aunt and nephew and niece are included in the lineal kin- 
ship of parent and child, and cousins of whatever degree are 
reckoned as brothers and sisters. Let any person be desig- 
nated as Ego. Then all the men of the antecedent generation 
are his fathers, and all the women his mothers; all the males 
of his own generation are his brothers, and all the females his 
sisters; and all tlie males of the following genei'ation are his 
sons, and all the females his daughters. Selecting the Ego 
from any generation and reckoning from him the antecedent 
and subsequent generations, the following consanguineal kin- 
ship groups will be found: Ego will be one of a group of broth- 
ers ; there will be a group of sisters, a group of fathers, a 
group of mothers, a group of grandfathers, and a group of 
grandmothers ; there may also be a group of sons and a group 


of daughters, a group of grandsons and a group of grand- 

In the use of the terms "brother," "sister," "father," 
"son," "mother," "daughtei"," "grandfather," "grandson," 
"grandmother," and "granddaughter" in this manner, it must 
be clearly understood that in every case the term applies to 
every one of the members of a group, only a part of whom 
bear the relation which that term implies among civilized peo- 
ples, who classify by degrees of consanguinity. 

Thu^, the father-group embraces the father and all his own 
brothers; but as the father calls all his male cousins brothers, 
it also includes the father's male cousins. The father-group 
therefore includes the fatlier and all of those persons whom the 
father calls by the name of "brother." 

Ego calls all the sons of his father and mother brothers; he 
calls also all his father's brothers' sons, and his father's sisters' 
sons, and his mother's brothers' sons, and his mother's sisters' 
sons, brothers. And if there be male cousins of the second, 
third, fourth, fifth, or any other degree, he calls them all alike 
brothers. The brother-group, therefore, may be very large. 
In like manner the mother-group, the sister-group, the son- 
group, and the daughter-group may be correspondingly large. 
The grandfather-group and the grandmother-group include all 
collateral kindred of that generation; and in like manner the 
grandson-group and the grandduughter-grouij include all the 
collateral kindred of their generation. Under this system all 
kinships may be thrown into a very few groups, and each one 
of these groups is designated by the kinship term properly be- 
longing to the person in the group nearest of kin to Ego. 

The essential principle of this method of reckoning kinship 
is that collateral kinship is not recognized. All of the kindred 
are included in the lineal groups; and in every generation a 
group of brothers is constituted, including all of the males of 
that generation, and a group of sisters is constituted, including 
all of the females of that genei-ation. 

That such a kinship body has ever existed is a matter of in- 
ference; its discovery as an objective fact has not been made. 
However, it is predicated upon very strong inferential evi- 


dence. In the forms of society actually found among the 
lower tribes of mankind, institutions are discovered that are 
believed to be survivals from such a form of tribal organiza- 
tion. And the philologic evidence is perhaps still stronger; in 
fact, the h)' pothesis was originally based solely upon linguistic 
data, as languages have been found in which terms for hus- 
band, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, elder brother, younger 
brother, elder sister, and j^ounger sister occur, together with 
those expressive of the kinships that arise through the recog- 
nition of grandparents and grandchildren, while terms for col- 
lateral kinships are not found. 

All tribes that have yet been carefully studied present a 
more elaborate form of social organization than that above de- 
scribed. This more highly developed structure is usually ex- 
hibited, among other things, in a more elaborate system of 
classifying kinships. Additional groups are constituted, so that 
certain collateral kinships are differentiated. 

In the brothers and sisters of parents four natural kinships 
are possible, namely, (a) paternal uncle, called by the Romans 
patruus; (b) maternal uncle, called by the Romans avunculus; 
(c) paternal aunt, called by the Romans amita; and (cZ) ma- 
ternal aunt, called by the Romans matertera. The recognition 
of these four groups would lead to the recognition of the cor- 
relative cousins, in four classes, male and female in each class; 
and if terms were used distinguishing sex, eight classes of 
cousins would arise through the four classes of uncles and 
aunts. In this direction the first step in the differentiation of 
additional kinships is made. Let us call paternal uncles ijat- 
ruates, maternal uncles avunculafes, paternal aunts amitates, and 
maternal aunts materterates. 

Let us suppose that the relation of husband and wife is not 
the same as the relation of brother and sister; that is, that men 
do not marry their own sisters, but that a brother-group mar- 
ries a sister-group in common. In this case fathers' sisters will 
no longer be mothers, but will constitute a group of amitates. 
In like manner, mothers' brothers will no longer be fathers, 
but will constitute a group of avunculates. The institution of 
a group of amitates will necessitate the establishment of the 


correlative cousin-groups. Thus, with the reduction of the 
father-group there will be a corresponding reduction of the 
brother and sister groups; and with the reduction of the 
mother-group there will be an additional corresponding reduc- 
tion' of tlie brother and sister groups; that is, the paternal 
aunts and maternal uncles will carry with them their correla- 
tive nephews and nieces, and such nephews and nieces will be 
substracted Irom the brothers and sisters. In this stage of kin- 
ship development there is still communal marriage. It may 
not always be actual, as gradually restrictions are thrown 
around it; but if not actual, it is always potential. The form 
of kinship now reached is not an inference from philology and 
the survival of customs, but is an observed fact among some 
of the tribes of the earth. 

The recognition of patruates (paternal uncles) must next be 
considered. Such a recognition results in the establishment of 
two additional cousin-groups, as the sons and daughters of 
patruates are taken out from the "brothers" and "sisters" of 
Ego. At this stage brothers and sisters are still own (natal) 
and collateral, but the collateral brothers and sisters include 
only the children of mothers' sisters, and this because a group 
of materterates is not established. 

We have now reached that kinship system which is perhaps 
the most widely distributed among existing tribes of mankind. 
It will be well, then, to describe it once more, that it may be 
clearly understood: 

The brother-group consists of the sons of a woman, together 
with the sons of all of her sisters, own and collateral; and the 
sister-group is of like extension. The son-group is coextensive 
with the brother-group to which the son belongs; the daughter- 
group is coextensive with the sister-group to which the daughter 
belongs; the father-group is coextensive with the brother- 
group to which the father belongs; and the mother-group has 
a like extension. The patruate-group is coextensive with the 
brother-group of the paternal uncle; the amitate-group is co- 
extensive with the sister-group to which the pateriial aunt 
belongs ; the avunculate-group is coextensive with the brothei-- 


group to which the maternal uncle belongs; but there is no 
materterate-group (maternal aunt). 

The essential characteristic of this system of kinship is that 
the brother- group consists of own brothers, together with the 
collateral brothers that come through maternal aunts; and that 
the sister-group consists of own sisters, together with the col- 
lateral sisters that come through maternal aunts; and it matters 
not whether maternal uncles and paternal uncles are distin- 
guished from each other. They may or may not be thrown 
into one group. The cousins which arise from the discrimina- 
tion of paternal and maternal uncles and paternal aunts may 
be thrown into two, four, or six groups; but the general sys- 
tem does not seem to be affected thereby. Where this system 
of kinship prevails, the brother and sister groups are on the 
mother's side, the children belonging to their mothers and not 
to their fathers; and descent is said to be in the female line. 

There is another s}^stem of tribal organization which widely 
prevails In this the mother's sisters are recognized as mater- 
nal aunts, and a materterate-group is constituted of the mother's 
sisters, own and collateral, and the cousins arising therefrom 
are taken out from the brother and sister groups. But in this 
.case the father's brothers, own and collateral, are still consid- 
ered as fathers; there is no patruate group. The brother-group 
is thus composed of the sons of the father with the sons of all 
his brothers, own and collateral. It is therefore a large group, 
and the sister-group corresponds therewith. When the brother 
and sister groups arise through paternal uncles, children belong 
to their fathers, and descent is said to be in the male line. 

From the above statements it will be seen that one of the 
fundamental principles used in classifying kinships in tribal 
society is that which arises from the discrimination of genera- 
tions. The simple communal form first described is classed in 
groups of kindred on characteristics of generations and sex, 
and in the various systems which develope from it the charac- 
teristic of distinct generations still remains, although collateral 
descents are to some extent differentiated from lineal descent. 

It would seem that generation-groups extending collaterally 
many degrees would speedily become confused, as a series of 


generations might be much shorter in one line than in another. 
If three sisters have each three daughters, the eldest daughter 
of the eldest sister may be many years older than the youngest 
daughter of the youngest sister, and in several generations the 
discrepancy of ages might become very great. We do not 
know in all cases how this confusion is avoided, but in some 
tribes a metliod of adjustment has been discovered which is 
very simple. 

It must always be remembered that relative age is expressed 
in the kinship terms of this stage of culture. Thus there are 
two terms for brother, one signifying elder brother, the other 
younger brother. There are also two terms for sistei' — elder 
sister and younger sister. In the Shoshonian cases to which 
reference is here made, if a male child is born who is a "group" 
brother of Ego's father, but younger than Ego, Ego does not 
call him father, but younger brother. In one case discovered, 
Ego calls the "group" father born after himself, son. Among 
the same tribes, in the case of uncles, the uncle born after the 
nephew is called nephew. 

A case like the following has been discovered: Thei-e are 
two brothers born of the same mother; the elder brother calls 
a particular person son, because that particular person was 
born after himself; but the younger calls him father, because 
he was born prior to himself This method of adjusting gen- 
erations has been discovered in but few cases, viz., among the 
Shoshonian tribes, and perhaps among the Wintuns. In this 
stage language frequently lends its aid to adjustment. This is 
the case when the kinship name is a reciprocal term with a 
termination signifying elder or younger. Thus, in a Shosho- 
nian tribe ain is such a reciprocal term used by uncle and 
nephew; the termination sen is a diminutive. The nephew calls 
his uncle ain, the uncle calls the nephew ainsen or aitsen, little 
uncle; and in this case, if the uncle was born after the nephew, 
the nephew would be called ain and the uncle aitsen. A recip- 
rocal relationship term, i. e., one designating a relationship and 
used by both parties, is common. 

In some of the cases adjustments are known to have been 
made by convention, and individuals have been taken from 


one generation and placed in another, by agreement of the 
elder women of the clan. 

Unadjusted kinships are frequently discovered, so that the 
kinships claimed seem strange to civilized persons accus- 
tomed only to the kinships recognized in the higher states 
of culture. Thus it has frequently been found that an adult 
has claimed a child for his grandmother and a babe for his 
father. The subject is one of interest, and deserves careful 

The method of classifying and naming by kinship terms the 
six groups of cousins, their children and their children's child- 
ren, has been neglected, in order that the general subject might 
not be buried in details, and from the further consideration that 
the principles of tribal organization can be set forth without 
the aid of such additional facts. 

In the above statements the fundamental principles of tribal 
kinship have been explained, and they may be restated as fol- 
lows : 

I. — A body of kindred constituting a distinct body-politic 
is divided into groups, the males into groups of brothers and 
the females into groups of sisters, on distinctions of genera- 
tions, regardless of degrees of consanguinity; and the kinship 
terms used express relative age. In civilized society kinships 
are classified on distinctions of sex, distinctions of generations, 
and distinctions arising from degrees of consanguinity. 

II. — When descent is in the female line, the brother-group 
consists of natal brothers, together with all the materterate 
male cousins of whatever degree. Thus mother's sisters' sons 
and mother's mother's sisters' daughters' sons, &c., are included 
in a group with natal brothers. In like manner the sister-group 
is composed of natal sisters, together with all materterate fe- 
male cousins of whatever degree. 

III. — When descent is in the male line, the brother-group 
is composed of natal brothers, together with all patruate male 
cousins of whatever degree, and the sister-group is composed 
of natal sisters, together with all patruate female cousins of 
whatever decree. 


IV. — The son of a member of a brother-group calls each one 
of the group, father; the father of a member of a brother-group 
calls each one of the group, son. Thus a father-group is coex- 
tensive with the brother-group to which the father belongs. A 
brother-group may also constitute a father-group and grand- 
father-group, a son-group and a grandson-group. It ma}^ also 
be a patruate-group and an avunculat^-group. It may also be 
a patruate cousin-group and an avunculate cousin-group; and 
in general, every member of a brother-group has the same 
consanguineal relation to persons outside of the group as that 
of every other member. 

The principles enunciated above may be stated in another 
way, namely: A kinship body is divided into brother-groups 
and sister-groups, and group is related to group lineally and 
collaterally; and every group bears a distinct relationship to 
every other group. 

It will thus be seen that the brother-group and the sister- 
group constitute the fundamental units of tribal society. 

A tribe may be deiined as follows: A tribe is a congeries 
of brother-gi'oups and sister-groups, and every group recog- 
nizes a distinct correlative consanguineal kinship with every 
other group; and series of groups are related to series of groups 
by the ties of affinity, i.e., marriage; to explain which necessi- 
tates the consideration of the clan. 


In tribal society the tribe, or body-politic, is divided into 
groups of brothers and groups of sisters. One form of the 
brother-group includes not only the sons of one women, but 
also the sons of her sisters; and not only the sons of her natal 
sisters, but also the sons of her collateral sisters; i. e., the broth- 
er-group includes the natal brothers, together with all of the 
male cousins of the first, second, or n"" collateral line, reckoning 
always through females. Sister-groups are constituted in like 

Another form exists in which to the natal brothers are added 
all male cousins to the «"' degree that come through paternal 
uncles, reckoning always through males. Sistei'-groups are 
constituted in like manner. 

With some tribes the brother and sister groups arise from 
male descent; but a much larger number of tribes have these 
groups constituted through female descent. The two systems 
of kinship are at the base of two distinct systems of clan organ- 

When the brother and sister groups arise through female de- 
scent, a larger group is constituted, reckoning kinship through 
females only. The constitution of this larger body, a group 
of groups, must be clearlj^ understood. Every brother-group 
has its correlative sister-group. Take, then, a brother-group 
and a sister-group that are thus correlated and call them the 
JEgo group. The mothers of the Ego group constitute another 
sister-group within themselves, and the brother-group to which 
they are correlated are the avunculates of the Ego group. Call 
this brother and sister group the first ascendent of the Ego 
group. The mothers of the first ascendant group constitute 


another sister-group within themselves, and the brother-group 
to which they are correlated are the avunculates of the first 
ascendent group. Thus a second ascendant brother and sister 
group is constituted. In the same manner third, fourth, and 
w"" ascendant brother and sister groups may be constituted. 

Returning now to the Ego group. The sisters of the Ego 
group have sons and daughters who are brothers and sisters to 
one another, and they constitute a first descendant brother and 
sister group. The sisters of the first descendant group have 
children who are brother and sister to one another and con- 
stitute a second descendant group. In the same manner the 
third, fourth, and «'* descendant group may be constituted. 
The Ego group, together with the ascendant groups and de- 
scendant groups, constitute a lineal series of brother and sister 
groups, reckoning always through females. Such a body is 
here called a group of enates, and kinship thus reckoned is 
called enatic kinship. On the other hand, if the brother and 
sister groups come through paternal uncles, and the lineal se- 
ries is reckoned exclusively through males, it is called a body 
of agnates, and the kinship is called agnatic kinship. 

Whenever enatic or agnatic kinship is recognized, the tribe 
becomes much more highly composite than in the case of the 
communal family. There are always several co-ordinate 
groups of people united into a larger group, the tribe. For the 
present let us use the term "tribe" for the name to distinguish 
the group of the highest order, and the term "clan" to distin- 
guish each of the co-ordinate groups of the second order into 
which the tribe is divided. 

The first characteristic of the clan is thus reached: A clan is 
one of the co-ordinate groups into which a tribal state is divi- 

The tribe itself is a body of intermarrying cognates; so that, 
in the tribe, kinship by consanguinity and affinity is recognized. 
Within the clan, kinship by affinity is not recognized; that is, 
the husband and wife do not belong to the same clan, and kin- 
ship by consanguinity is limited to kinship traced through 
females, or to kinship traced through males, as the case may be; 
and in both, but a part of the cognates are included. In one 


case tlie clan is enatic, and in the other it is agnatic. In the 
one case descent is through females, in the other through males. 
An enatic clan consists of a brother-group and a sister- group in 
each of the generations represented in the clan, and the kinship 
ss reckoned only through females. An agnatic clan consists of a 
brother-group and a sister-group in each of the generations rep- 
resented in the clan, and the kinship is reckoned only through 

A second characteristic of a clan may therefore be given: A 
clan is a body of either enatic or agnatic kindred. 

When the clan is enatic it usually has a common worship of 
a tutelar god. This must be distinguished from the tribal wor- 
ship, which is more miscellaneous, and based upon polytheism. 
The tutelar god, or totem, is often an animal; or sometimes it 
may be a river, a mountain, the sun, or some other object; in 
which case the members of the clan call themselves the chil- 
dren of the animal, the river, the mountain, or the sun, as the 
case may be. When the clan is agnatic, the tutelar god is 
usually some ancestor who has distinguished himself for valor 
or wisdom. 

A third characteristic of a clan is thus reached: A clan is 
a bod}' of kindred having a tutelar god, totemic or ancestral, 
who is considered to be the fother of the clan. 

When the clan is totemic it usually takes the name of its 
tutelar god as its name, and the picture-writing, or symbol of 
the tutelar god is used as a badge to distinguish the clan. 
That the members of a clan have descended from a common 
parent, seems at present to be usually a legal fiction. In' tribal 
society age is greatly revered, and "elder-rule" largely pre- 
vails; so the gods are spoken of as "fathers," or more usuallj^ 
"grandfathers," or even "ancient fathers," and sometimes sim- 
ply as "ancients," that is, "the venerable." But the tutelar 
god is especially the guide and protector of the clan, and is 
therefore called "father," and it seems that in many cases a 
myth is developed, explaining this fatherhood as being real. 
When the tutelar god is a real ancestor (and such seems to be 
the case when the clan is agnatic) the clan takes the name of 
the ancestor. 


A fourth characteristic of a clan is therefore reached: A clan 
is a body of kindred having a common name, the name of its 
tutelar deity. 

The clan, whether enatic or agnatic, is composed of brothers 
and sisters in each generation; and in the custom-law of this 
stage of culture brothers and sisters cannot intermarry. In 
like manner, when the clan is enatic, by the same custom-law 
a mother cannot marry her son, natal or fictitious; and when 
the clan is agnatic a father cannot marry his daughter, natal 
or fictitious. Thus it is that marriage within the enatic or 
agnatic group is incest, and is usually punished with death. 
The rules for marriage outside of the clan are various, and the 
subject need not here be entered upon. It is sufficient to note 
that the gi'oup is exogamous. It will be seen that the term 
"exogamy" is here used in a sense altogether different from 
that given it by McLennan and the writers of his school. 

The fifth characteristic of a clan, therefore, is reached: A clan 
is a group of exogamous kindred. 

As a clan is a bi'other-group and sister-group in each gen- 
eration, though these ties are in small part real, and in large 
part artificial, yet they are considered to be the closest, and to 
combine the group into the firmest union. The body, there- 
fore, constitutes a feud-group to secure one another's rights 
and to avenge one another's wrongs. The clan is held re- 
sponsible by the tribe for the conduct of its members. All con- 
troversies arising within the clan are settled by the clan ; con- 
troversies arising between members of difi"erent clans are set- 
tled by the tribe. For personal injury, especially for maiming 
and min-dering, every clan holds every other clan responsible. 
Out of this arises the blood-feud, and out of blood-feud arises 
outlawry; for when a clan finds that one of its members has 
become so outrageous in his conduct that the other members 
no longer wish to hold themselves responsible therefor, the clan 
formally declares that the culprit no longer constitutes one of 
the community. The off'ender is expelled from the clan and 
becomes an outlaw, and any one may kill him. 



A sixth characteristic of a clan has been reached: A clan is 
a feud-group of kindred. 

In tribal society great wealth is not accumulated. The in- 
direct personal relations which arise through propert}' are of 
minor importance as compared with direct personal relations, 
vA'hich are regulated by kinship and relative age. The insti- 
tution of personal property is verj^ slightly developed, and 
such property, especially in the lower forms of tribal society, 
is destroyed at the death of the individual. It is a widely- 
spread law in savage society that personal property is inher- 
ited by the grave. The tenure to the greater part of property 
is communal, and inheres in the clan. 

A seventh characteristic of a clan has therefore been reached: 
The clan is the chief property-holding group. 

It has already been mentioned that elder-right, in some form 
or other, is universally recognized in tribal society. In gen- 
eral, cceteris j^aribus, the elder has authority over the younger, 
and in all tribal languages a special device is found to facili- 
tate this custom, viz., individuals must always address each 
other by kinship terms in which relative age is expressed: 
thus, there is no general term for "brother," but a special term 
for "elder brother," and another for "younger brother." This 
elder-rule applies to the clan, as the eldest man of the clan is 
its chief, and such a chief, whose rulership is by right of supe- 
rior age, will here be called the presbyarch. 

An eighth characteristic of a clan has therefore been reached: 
A clan is a presbyarchy. 

Let these characteristics be combined into a definition: A 
clan is one of the co-ordinate groups into which a tribe of 
cognatic people is divided, and is based upon enation or ag- 
nation, has a totemic or ancestral tutelar god, a common name 
for its members, is exogamous, is a feud-group, a proprietary 
gx'oup, and is ruled by a presbyarch. 

There are many other characteristics of a clan that are found, 
now here, now there. For example, sometimes a clan will not 
eat the animal or some portion of the animal whose name 
it bears; it will thus have what is usually called a "taboo." 
Sometimes the several clans of a tribe will claim as their 


own, particular hunting or fishing grounds. Sometimes a clan 
will have a body of personal names to be given to its mem- 
bers, which the clan claims as its own. Often a clan has a 
particular place assigned to it as the site for its residence or 
residences in the village group, and will occupy the same rel- 
ative place in the village wherever the tribe may have a j^er- 
manent or tempoi'ary residence Thus there are many rights 
and duties which inhere in a clan and which may be said to 
characterize it. But the eight characteristics included in the 
above definition are those most commonly found. In the defi- 
nition of the clan thus given, the tribe has been assumed to be 
of very simple structure — as composed of a number of co-or- 
dinate clans. But this simple structure is not universal — in fact, 
a more complex structure is more common. Whenever a tribe 
has a more complex structure, the characteristics above enu- 
merated may not all inhere in every one of a number of co-or- 
dinate groups, but may be distributed among groups of differ- 
ent orders. It occasionally happens, also, that some of these 
characteristics are not found in any group. Some of these 
cases must next be considered. 

Let one of the most frequent cases be taken first. Suppose 
that a tribe, becoming very large, divides in such a manner 
that segments from every one of the clans separate from the 
parent tribe and organize a new tribe with the same clans. 
Thus the clans found in the parent tribe are represented in the 
new tribe. Suppose that this fissiparous generation of tribes 
continues until there are five, ten, or twenty tribes, every one 
having the same clans as every other. Under such circum- 
stances the same clan extends through many tribes, and any 
one tribe has in its body-politic no more than a segment of any 
clan ; but every tribe is composed of like segments. Now, such 
a uniform division of tribes is rarely found. The division is 
usually more irregular, from the fact that the departing body 
which is organized into a new tribe usually takes with it seg- 
ments of only a part of the clans; and as these divisions occur 
from time to time, no two tribes are likely to have representa- 
tives of exactly the same clans, and it may sometimes happen 
that two tribes may be found in the same body of cognate 


tribes that will have entirely diverse clans. The segmentation 
of clans in this manner complicates the definition of a clan. It 
is no longer one of the co-ordinate gronps of a tribe. These 
co-ordinate groups are but segments of clans, and each such 
segment is likely to become a distinct feud-group and a distinct 
proprietary group. Sometimes in such a case all the segments 
will yet recognize one jDresbyai'ch, but oftener a distinct pres- 
byarch for each segment is developed. Enatic or agnatic dis- 
tinctions, the common tutelar god, the common name and the 
characteristic of exogamy are more likely to remain perma- 

This fissiparous generation of tribes leads to a complication 
in the definition of the term "tribe," as such cognate tribes are 
likely to unite into confederacies, with a council and a chief 
presiding over the larger body thus constituted; and in the 
various changes which may be wrought upon the different 
groups of several orders in a confederacy by many redistribu- 
tions of characteristics, it sometimes becomes difficult to say 
just what order of groups shall be called tribes. Confederacies 
also form alliances, and though they are apt to leave the con- 
federacies or tribes of which they are composed independent 
and autonomous, except for offensive or defensive purposes 
against more foreign peoples, they doubtless sometimes continue 
and become more thoroughly cemented by the development of 
kinship ties and governmental organizations. 

Sometimes clans divide into sub-clans, while yet remaining 
in the same tribe. The nature of this division in enatic clans 
is not clearly understood. It may be that it does not occur 
normally but that the apparent instances are due to the re- 
coalescing of tribes. Be this as it may, it occurs with agnatic 
clans. Agnatic clans may be ruled by a presbyarch, and may 
be divided into segments, each one of which is ruled by a 
patriarch, the patriarchies being subordinate groups within a 
presbyarchal agnatic clan. Under these circumstances, how- 
ever, the authority of the presbyarch is likely to wane, and the 
patriarchies are likely to be more enduring, and so the clan is 
divided into sub-clans. Thus it happens that the presbyarchy 
is not always a characteristic of a clan. 


Again, the members of enatic clans do not always have a 
common name. This has been found true of most of the Sho- 
shonian tribes of North America, of the Wintuns, and of other 
peoples in the western portion of the United States. Whether 
a common name was never used, or whether such common 
names have been lost in the flux of time is uncertain. A com- 
mon name, therefore, is not an invariable characteristic of a 

The most enduring characteristics of a clan, therefore, are 
these: enatic or agnatic kinship, exogamy, and feud-protection. 
But even these may be distributed among different groups; so 
that the ideal definition of a clan above given will apply in all 
its parts to but few clans; yet in most of its parts it will apply 
to nearly all clans. But there are cases when these character- 
istics are so distributed through the various groups of a body- 
politic that it will be well nigh impossible to decide which 
should be called the clan. Under such circumstances it per- 
haps will be best to apply the term "clan" to the group based 
upon enation or agnation, as the case may be, and perhaps it 
will always be found that such a group is exogamous. 

In Australia there seems to be another complication. Fison 
and Howitt describe a very peculiar condition of affairs which 
seems to extend through many of the tribes of that great island. 
Among them, marriage within a prescribed group still remains. 
Enatic kinship, a tutelar god, and a common name still attach 
to the clan, but clans are divided into many segments constitut- 
ing the different tribes. It seems also that a limited marriage, 
or the right to temporar^^ sexual association, is still communal. 
It seems further that two or more systems of tribes are in 
somewhat the same stage of institutional culture. These dif- 
ferent systems of tribes ap])ear not to be cognate, or, if cog- 
nate, they are very remotely so. But having been long asso- 
ciated, and having common institutions in the respects above 
named, the clans in the different non-cognate tribes have be- 
come assimilated, so that a clan with a totemic name in one 
group of tribes has come to be considered as the equivalent of 
another clan having another totemic name in another group 


not cognate to the first; that is, the clan of one group is sup- 
posed to be equivalent to the clan of another group, and tem- 
porary marriage rights extend across the lines which demar- 
cate non-cognate groups. 

Some of the Australian clans present another interesting 
variation. It must be understood that a clan is composed of a 
lineal series of brother-groups, one for each generation, together 
with a lineal series of sister-groups, one for each generation. 
In the case under consideration the series of brother-groups is 
distinguished from the series of sister-groups by a different 
name. Thus the clan is divided, the males from the females, 
and the enatic kindred are separated into two groups, the 
daughters falling into the group of their mothers, and the sons 
falling into the group of their mothers' brothers. 

Still other tribes in Australia have a clan system in which 
the brother-group of one generation is distinguished from the 
brother-group of the next generation by a different name, but 
the brother-group of the third genei'ation takes the name of the 
brother-group of the first generation. The same change of 
names occurs in the series of sister-groups. The grandmother 
belongs to a group having the same name as the granddaughter. 

The typical tribe which has been described, is a body of 
kindred divided into brother and sister groups, every group 
having some kinship with every other group. Marriage is 
without the clan but within the tribe, therefore a man cannot 
marry into his own sister-group, but must marry into some 
cousin-group. To the consanguineal tie an afiinital tie is added. 
A male cousin becomes the husband, and a female cousin be- 
comes the wife. In many cases the brother-group of the hus- 
band becomes a husband-group, and the sister-group of the 
wife becomes a wife -group. The brother-group of the husband 
is related to all the other groups of the tribe, and the sister- 
group of the wife is also related to all the other groups of the 
tribe. It is interesting to study the effect which marriage (real 
or potential) has in changing the consanguineal kinships into 
affinital kinships. Among the tribes of North America there 
is much diversity in this respect, but the subject is too much 
burdened with details to be considered here. 


It has been stated above that clans are organized on two 
different principles, namely, on enatic kinship and on agnatic 
kinsliip. Some years ago the Director proposed that the enatic 
group be called a clan, and the agnatic group a gens, and this 
suggestion has been followed by Mr. Dorsey, who therefore 
treats of the gens in Omaha Sociology. 


A tribe cannot be developed through the expansion of a clan. 
The clan is not the antecedent of the tribe, nor is the tribe the 
antecedent of the clan. A clan is an integral part of a tribe, 
and there is no tribe without the clans of which it is composed, 
and no clan without the tribe of which it is a part. The com- 
munal family seems to be the antecedent of the tribe; but a 
single communal family could not develop into a tribe. A tribe 
seems to have primitively been a federation of communal 
families. Whatever its primitive origin, the special organiza- 
tion of any particular tribe must have been accomplished by 
combining bodies-politic that were previously distinct, and the 
basis of federation must have been one of intermarriage. In 
the simplest form two such distinct bodies could unite by mak- 
ingf an agreement that the women of each should become the 
wives of the other. If three bodies-politic combine, the women 
of A might become the wives of the men of B, the women of 
B wives of the men of C, and the women of C wives of the men 
of A. In the thirty-fourth chapter of Genesis we read: 

"And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob 

to commune with him. 


"And Hamor communed with them, saying. The soul of my 
son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray 5'ou give her 
him to wife. 

"And make ye marriages with us, and give your daughters 
unto us, and take our daughters unto you. 

"And ye shall dwell with us: and the land shall be before 
you; dwell and trade ye therein, and get you possessions 

The essence of tribal organization is this: The institution of 
a tribe is an institution for the regulation of marriage; and 
hence marriage is primitively by prescription. But the selec- 
tion of wives by legal appointment vdtimately develops into 
selection by personal choice, and tribal organization is greatly 
modified thereby. 


A definition of the term "law," that will hold good under 
all circumstances, must be divested of the many theories of its 
origin, the source of its authority, and its ethical character- 
istics, which are expressed or implied in customary definitions, 
and laws must be considered as objective facts. The follow- 
ing definition will perhaps do under all circumstances: A law 
is a rule of conduct which organized society endeavors to enforce. 

In civilization, law is theoreticall}^ founded on justice; but 
in savagery, principles of justice have little consideration. 
There are two fundamental principles at the basis of primitive 
law: viz., first, controversy should be prevented; second, con- 
troversy should be terminated. A third is derivative from 
them; namely, infraction of law should be punished. These 
principles enter into primitive law in many curious ways. 

It was customary among the tribes of North America for 
individuals to mark their arrows, in order that the stricken 
game might fall to the man by whose arrow it had been de- 

A war-party of Sioux surprised a squad of sleeping soldiers, 
who were all killed at the first volley from the Indians. Their 
arms, blankets, and other property were untouched, because, 
the attacking party being large, it could not be decided by 
whose bullets the soldiers were killed. 

It has been widely believed that the practice of placing the 
property of deceased persons in their graves when they are 
buried has its origin in religion, and testifies to the universal 
belief that the dead live again, and will need such articles in 
their new life. But many tribes of North America who have 
not yet been long in contact with white men avow that, there 
being no owner for the property, its disposition might lead to 
controversy, and hence it is destroyed. Many examples of this 
fact have been collected. Ownership to the gi'eater part of 
property in savagery is communal, some classes of property 
being owned by the clan, others by the tribe; and for such 
thei-e is no proper inheritance, as the clan and tribe do not die; 
but purely personal property is inherited by the grave. It 
seems pi-obable that such is the origin of the custom of bury- 


ing various articles with tlie dead. Subsequently it has religi- 
ous sanctions thrown about it, as have many social customs. 

There is a law, among the tribes of North America, that 
superior age gives authority. This law is widely spread, and 
perhaps universal, and exercises a profound influence in tribal 
societ)', as the occasions for its applications are multifarious. 
No man knows his own age; but every man, woman, and child 
in the tribe knows his relative age to every other person in the 
tribe — who are older and who are younger than himself — for, in 
addressing any other person in the tribe, he must necessarily 
use a term which implies that the person addressed is older or 
younger. The law that authority inheres in the elder is a sim- 
ple and ingenious method of preventing controversj^. 

Tiie above is the explanation of another custom observed 
among savage tribes ; namely, that it is illegal to address a 
person by bis proper name. Kinship terms are used in direct 
address, proper names in speaking of a third person. It is 
hardly necessary to state that by this device controversy is 

An interesting form of outlawry exists among some tribes. 
When a man has frequently involved his clan in controversy 
with other clans by reason of quarrels or other outrageous 
conduct, his own may decide no longer to defend him, and 
will formally announce in tribal council that such person is no 
longer under their protection. If the person thereafter by 
his conduct maltreats any member of the tribe, the injured 
party may do as he will with the offender, and not be held 
accountable by the kindred of the outlaw. 

The few illustrations here given are sufficient, perhaps, to 
make clear what is meant by the statement that a large class 
of savage laws are designed to prevent controversy. Many 
other illustrations might be given, for they are found on every 

Three especial methods of terminating controversy are widely 
spread among the tribes of North America. 

When controversy arises in relation to ownership, the prop- 
erty is usually destroyed by the clan or tribal authorities. 
Thi;s, if two men dispute in bartering their horses, a third steps 


in and kills both animals. It seems probable that the destruc- 
tion of property the ownership of which is in disj^ute is com- 
mon to all tribes. 

A second method of ending controversy is by the arbitra- 
ment of personal conflict f^or example: if two persons disagree 
and come to blows (unless the conflict end in the maiming or 
killing of one of the parties), it is considered a final settlement, 
and they cannot thereafter appeal to their clans for justice. By 
conflict a controversy is barred. This law seems to be uni- 

Tlie third method of terminating controversy is by the estab- 
lishment of some day of festival — sometimes once a month, but 
usually once a year — beyond which crimes do not pass. The 
day of jubilee is a day of forgiveness. The. Avorking of this 
principle might be illustrated in many ways. 

Law begins in savagery through the endeavor to secure 
peace, and develops in the highest civilization into the en- 
deavor to establish justice. 

Society is organized for the regulation of conduct, and con- 
duct is regulated by law in the several stages of human progress 
in relation to those particulars about which serious disagree- 
ment arises. In the early history of mankind it appears, from 
all that we may now know of the matter, that the most serious 
and frequent disagreements arose out of the relations of the 
sexes. Men disagreed about women, and women about men. 
Early law, therefore, deals to a large extent with the relations 
of the sexes. The savage legislator sought to avoid contro- 
versy by reg^ilating marital relations; and this he did by deny- 
ing to the individual the right of choice, and providing that 
certain groups of men should take their wives from certain 
groups of women, and, further, that the selection of the woman 
should not be given to the man, nor the selection of the man 
to the woman, but that certain officers or elder persons should 
make the marriage contract. This method of selection is here 
called legal appointment. 

Now, selection by legal appointment exists among all North 
American tribes, and elsewhere among savages in Australia 
and other portions of the globe; it exists in diverse forms, 


wbicli may not here be recounted for want of space. But the 
essential principle is this: in order that controversy may be 
avoided, marriage selection is by legal appointment, and not 
by personal choice. 

But the second fundamental principle of pi'imitive law greatly 
modifies'selection by legal appointment, and gives rise to three 
forms of marriage, which will be denominated as follows: first, 
marriage by elopement; second, marriage by capture; third, 
marriage bv duel. 

It very often happens in the history of tribes that certain of 
the kinship groups diminish in number, while others increase. 
A group of men may greatly increase in number, while the 
group of women from whom they are obliged to accept their 
wives diminishes. At the same time another group of women 
may be large in proportion to the group of men to whom they 
are destined. Under these circumstances, certain men have a 
right to many wives, while othei's have a right to but few. It 
is very natural that 3'oung men and young women should 
sometimes rebel against the law, and elope with each other. 
Now, a fundamental principle of early law is that controversy 
must end; and such termination is secured by a curious pro- 
vision found among many, perhaps all, tribes. A day is estab- 
lished, sometimes once a moon, but usually once a year, at 
which certain classes of offenses are forgiven. If, then, a run- 
away couple can escape to the forest, and live by themselves 
till the day of forgiveness, they may return to the tribe and 
live in peace. Marriage by this form exists in man}^ of the 
tribes of North America. 

Again, the group of men whose marriage rights are curtailed 
by diminution of the stock into which they may marry, some- 
times unite to capture a wife for one of their number from some 
other group. It must be distinctly understood that this cap- 
ture is not from an alien tribe, but always from a group within 
the same tribe The attempt at capture is resisted, and a con- 
flict ensues. If the capture is successful, the marriage is there- 
after considered legal; if imsuccessful, a second resort to cap- 
ture in the particular case is not permitted, for controversy 
must end. When women are taken in war from alien tribes 


they must be adopted into some clan within the capturing- 
tribe, in order that they may become wives of the men of the 
tribe. When this is done, the captured women become by legal 
appointment the wives of men in the group having marital 
rights in the clan which has adopted them. 

The third form is marriage by duel. When a young woman 
comes to marriageable age, it may happen that by legal ap- 
pointment she is assigned to a man who alread}' has a wife, 
while there may be some other young man in the tribe who is 
without a wife, because there is none for him in the group 
within which he may marry. It is then the right of the latter 
to challenge to combat the man who is entitled to more than 
one, and, if successful, he wins the woman; and by savage 
law controversy must then end. 

All three of these forms are observed among the tribes of 
North America; and they are methods by which selection by 
legal appointment is developed into selection by personal 
choice. Sometimes these latter forms largely prevail ; and 
they come to be regulated more and more, until at last they 
become mere forms, and personal choice prevails. 

When personal choice thus prevails, the old regulation that 
a man may not marry within his own group still exists; and 
selection within that group is incest, which is always punished 
with great severity. The group of persons within which mar- 
riage is incest is always a highly artiiicial group; hence, in 
early society, incest laws do not recognize physiologic condi- 
tions, but only social conditions. 

The above outline will make clear the following statement, 
that endogamy and exogamy, as originally defined by Mc- 
Lennan, do not exist. Every savage man is exogamous with 
I'elation to the class or clan to which he may belong, and he 
is to a certain extent endogamous in relation to the tribe to 
which he belongs, that is, he marries within that tribe; but in 
all cases, if his marriage is the result of legal appointment, he 
is greatly restricted in his mari-iage rights, and the selection 
must be made within some limited group. Exogamj- and en- 
dogamy, as thus defined, are integral parts of the same law, 


and the tribes of mankind cannot be classed in two great 
groups, one practicing endogamy, and the other exogamy. 

The law of exogamy is universal. Among all peoples thei-e 
is a group, larger or smaller, and natural or artificial, within 
which marriage is prohibited. Exogamy is a derivative insti- 
tution; its antecedent is marriage by legal appointment within 
a prescribed group. Marriage by prescription falls, but mar- 
riage within the enatic or agnatic group is still considered in- 
cest. Until, therefore, the right of marriage extends to all 
clans but that of the individual himself, exogamy is not fully 

This may be restated: The primitive institution is marriage 
by prescription; this develops into marriage by personal 
choice. But there remains as a survival from the primitive 
institution a prohibition which may be called exogamy, the 
violation of which is a crime called incest. 

Tribal society is of great antiquity; and in the vicissitudes 
of tribal life kinship society has undergone many changes, 
though these changes are restricted to narrow limits. Yet, 
within these limits the changes are very many, and the sub- 
ject is thereby greatly complicated, and cannot be understood 
without long and careful research Passing travelers can no 
more set forth the institutions of tribal society than they can 
give a proper description of the flora of a country, the fauna 
of a region, or the geologic structure of a continent. 


This paper is complementary to the preceding one by Dr. 
Matthews. The latter describes an existing industry which 
has been long continuously practiced in an Indian tribe with 
but little influence from civilization, while Mr. Holmes has re- 
produced the details of the same industry as in prehistoric 
activity from fragments of pottery, most of them undoubtedly 
ancient. The ingenious method of discovery arose from the 
observation that nets or sacks of pliable material had evidently 
been used in the construction of many vessels taken from the 
mounds of the United States in or upon which fabrics such 


vessels bad been built. They had been generall}'- applied to 
the surface of the vessels, sometimes covering the entire exte- 
rior and sometimes only the body or parts of it. The inte- 
rior surface was occasionally subjected to similar application. 
The impressions left in the soft clay, remaining after the proc- 
ess of burning or drying, permanently preserved evidence of 
the nature and details of texture of the fabrics used, and from 
these impressions Mr. Holmes, with minute precision and cer- 
tainty, exhibits illustrations and descriptions of the ancient tex- 
tile art. The various methods of fabrication were in all cases 
verified through the assistance of Miss Kate C. Osgood, em- 
ployed in the Bureau, who successfully reproduced in cord 
by simple appliances all the varieties that had been discovered 
and portrayed by the authoi''s artistic skill. 

The forms are presented in clearly arranged groups, their 
geographic distribution being noted, with comparisons of simi- 
lar fabrics, ancient and modern, found in several parts of the 
world. The extent to which the marks at first produced by 
the requirements of construction became evolved into orna- 
mentation is also discussed. 

An important deduction made by Mr. Holmes from this dis- 
covery is that the illustrated and described work of the people 
who built the mounds, though varied and ingenious, shows 
that none of its characteristics were, in execution or design, 
superior to or specificall}' different from the work of the his- 
toric and modern Indian. This eliminates one more source of 
error cherished by lovers of the mysterious to establish and 
exalt a supposed race of " Mound Builders." 


This catalogue notes the most important portions of the ob- 
jects collected during the year from mounds and other places 
of deposit, not including those from New Mexico and Arizona. 
Its primary classification is by locality with material as sec- 
ondary. The localities represented are chieflv in North Caro- 
lina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ohio, Oregon, Kentuck)', and Mis- 
souri. The materials are stone, pottery, clay, shell, metal, 


and several vegetal and animal substances, the latter including 
human remains. 

The descriptions by Mi\ Holmes are enriched by judicious 
comparisons and discriminative notes. With the aid of the 
numerous illustrations, students unable to have access to the 
National Museum are provided with a large amount of mate- 
rial for study of the evolution of forms and ornamentation in 
art, as also for suggestions in mythology and ethnic relations. 


An account has been given above of the field-work of the 
party in charge of Mr. Stevenson by which this large collec- 
tion of nearly five thousand specimens has been secured. It 
is sufficient to characterize it as illustrating the whole social 
domestic and religious life of one of the most interesting 
tribes. A valuable feature of the catalogue is the presenta- 
tion, through the assistance of Mr. Frank H. Gushing, of the 
Indian names of many of the objects, thus through etymology 
assuring accuracy as to their use and origin. 


Some remarks on the interpretation of activital similarities 
seem to be called for here, from the fact that inferences appear. 
in the papers of this volume which although ingenious and 
suggestive may perhaps not be in harmony with sound prin- 
ciples of interpretation. 

Those who survey human activities over a broad field, from 
landtoland and from people to people, discover very many unex- 
pected similarities, and are apt to take them as suggestions of 
genetic relationship existing between the peoples among whom 
such similarities are found. Much research has been devoted 
to the classification of peoples and the complementary study 
of ethnic characteristics, and the similarities mentioned have 
been used for such purposes in many and diverse ways. 

The conditions of life and progress under which man inhab- 
its the globe are largely homogeneous in the various regions 
which he occupies. Within this general homogeneity there is 
a variety in conditions of habitat, confined to somewhat narrow 
limits. All men obtain their subsistence from biotic life; all 
men protect themselves from the inclemency of the weather; 
all men defend themselves from enemies; where men have lived 
near streams and other bodies of water they have constructed 
rafts and boats by which they may float on its surface. And 
in a broad survey of human activities we find men everywhere 
to a large extent performing the same functions. These func- 
tional similarities are so common that they do not challenge 
attention. On the other hand, the means by which activital 
functions are performed are more varied. The savage by the . 
sea-shore may use a shell for a knife; the savage by the obsid- 
ian clifi"s may use a stone flake for a knife. The savage who 
dwells among the hills of steatite uses stone vessels; the sav- 
age who lives by the banks of clay makes vessels of pottery. 
The savage living among the glacial fields of the north con- 
structs his shelter of ice ; the savage who inhabits the deep for- 
est constructs a shelter of wood; the savage who roams the 

3 ETH ^v I-XV 


plains with the buffalo constructs his shelter of skins; the sav- 
age who lives on the shore of the reedy lake constructs his 
shelter of tules; the savage who lives among the rocks builds 
him a house of loose stones. These diverse means for accom- 
plishing the same ends apply not only to the arts of man but 
also to his institutions, his languages, and his opinions. It is 
to these organic similarities in the activities of mankind that 
attention is here drawn. Such similarities may exist with va- 
rying degrees of resemblance. Knives may resemble each 
other because they are made of stone ; knives made of different 
materials may have resemblance in form. And all such re- 
semblances may be very close or may be even fai--fetched. 

Similarities may be autogenous or syngenous; that is, the 
similar phenomena may have been developed independently 
or they may have a common origin. 

Autogenous similarities may be due to concausation, or they 
may be entirely adventitious. Syngenous similarities may be 
due to cognation or to acculturation. Some illustration of the 
meaning of this statement may be necessary. 

Throughout the world many tribes still existing are known 
to use or to have used stone implements, say, for example, stone 
arrow-heads. With relation to this fact we may suppose that 
various tribes developed the use of the stone arrow-head inde- 
pendently, in which case the art would be autogenous from 
many centers; that is, like conditions developed this art in its 
several centers of origin. The hypothesis is that the origin of 
the stone arrow-head art in many places throughout the earth 
was due to concausation. But it is possible for us to suppose 
that there was but one origin for the art, and that the people 
who practice it were one, in some remote past time, and that 
they have spread throughout the earth since that time, and that 
they now practice the art because they are cognate peoples and 
inherited it from common ancestors. The arts of these varioiis 
peoples would thereby be syngenous. Again, as the art is ex- 
pressed in material form, it is possible to suppose^ that it spread 
from people to people, that one tribe leai'ned it of another until 
it was distributed throughout the earth. In this case many 
tribes would have the art by acculturation. Now, with regard 


to widely diffused arts of this character, the utilities and pur- 
poses of which are obvious, it is usually assumed that they are 
autogenous in different regions among different peoples, that 
they may have developed from several centers ; and this would 
not exclude the hypothesis that many tribes learned such arts 
by imitation, i. e., by acculturation. 

Now let us suppose that the stone arrow-head art had been 
discovered only in one tribe, say in British America, and that 
it was generally supposed to be peculiar to such tribe. Then 
suppose further that an anthropologist should discover this same 
ai't in a tribe of Mexico. Under such circumstances the first in- 
terpretation put upon it would be that these two tribes originally 
constituted one people, and that the art practiced by them was 
inherited fi'om common ancestors. Seeking for further confir- 
mation of this, if it was found that the two peoples spoke the 
same language, or allied languages, this hypothesis would be 
strengthened ; if it was found that they had other arts in common, 
that their institutions were alike in many respects, and that their 
mythologies were substantially the same, the view that the two 
tribes belong to the same stock would be accepted. But if no 
other important affinities between the tribes were discovered, 
such a theory would be abandoned, and explanation would be 
sought elsewhere. The next most plausible hypothesis would 
be that these peoples had been associated, and that one had 
acquired the art from the other. But if no evidence was dis- 
covered of a former association, the anthropologist would seek 
for explanation of the common art in the environment, the con- 
ditions of life surrounding the two peoples, supposing that these 
instances of the practice of a common art had a common cause. 

Among the Iroquoian Indians the members of a tribe or of a 
clan are accustomed to address each other by kinship terms, 
and it is considered an offense to address a man by his proper 
name. In these kinship tei'ms this peculiarity is discovered, 
that a kinship name conveys also an idea of relative age. This 
is very simple in the case of father and son, or in the case 
of uncle and nephew; but for the common noun "brother" 
two terms are used, one signifying elder brother and the other 
younger brother. For the common noun "cousin" two terms 


are likewise used. Thus in the body of kinship terms relative age 
is usually expressed. It is found among these same tribes that 
within a clan or other body of kindred superior age confers au- 
thority, and as people in this stage of culture have no record of 
births, and have such a limited arithmetic that ages are not kept, 
so that a man never knows his age, this linguistic device serves a 
valuable purpose. Among the Algonkian tribes the same phe- 
nomena are discovered, and kinship terms express relative age, 
and within certain limits authority inheres in seniority. The 
same thing is true among the Wintun Indians of California, 
among the Shoshonian Indians of Utah, among the Atha- 
baskan Indians, and in every tribe that has yet been inves- 
tigated in North America. The same phenomena are observed 
in the tribes of South America, in Australia, in Africa, and 
Asia, and even to some extent in Europe; and we know his- 
torically that peoples who have passed beyond the grade of 
savagery once had such a system of kinship names. It would 
appear from this that in savage society the legislators or coun- 
cil-men established customary laws regulating personal rela- 
tions, by which under certain conditions the elder should 
exercise authority or control over the younger. It is a very 
simple method of regulating personal relations, quite in conso- 
nance with what we know of the methods of reasoning among 
savage peoples. In order that this rule should. be observed it 
was a very obvious and simple plan to establish the further 
regulation that the individuals composing bodies of kindred 
should address each other by termswhich claim or recognize this 
authority by the use of words expressing relative age. Now, 
we may suppose that such a custom, scattered as it is through- 
out the world, may have arisen at many independent centers. 
It may have been autogenous here and there; and it may, 
however, have been borrowed sometimes — one tribe may 
have learned it from another, and, thinking it a wise device, 
adopted it. But it seems probable, and most anthropologists 
would perhaps agree, that we ought to consider such a custom 
so widely spread as this as being substantially autogenous, and 
that it sprung up in its several centers of development from 
like causes, namely, the desire to regulate personal relations 


within a body politic, and the belief that such personal rela- 
tions ought to be regulated so as to confer authority upon the 
elder, because age is sujiposed to give wisdom. 

Yet it is quite possible to suppose that this custom had its 
origin among a people far back in antiquity, and that this 
original people ultimately broke into segments and scattered 
from time to time throughout the habitable earth; and in this 
case this custom of the different tribes would have a syngenous 
origin; the custom would have come down to the tribes by 
cognation from the ancestral tribe who invented it. But sucli 
a supposition would not be very probable for many reasons. 
The tribes among which it is found speak very different lan- 
guages, and belong to diverse stocks of language. The names 
used do not belong to one language or to one family of lan- 
guages. No possible genetic relationship has yet been discov- 
ered between the languages or between these kindred terms as 
used among the different stocks of people where the custom 
prevails. To suppose, then, that the custom had an origin 
anterior to all of the languages spoken at the present time by the 
tribes among whom this phenomenon is discovered is not very 
reasonable. Again, we are led to believe from archseologic 
evidence that mankind was widely scattered throughout the 
habitable earth anterior to the development of known stocks 
of languages, and anterior to the development of any but the 
very rudest arts, and this supposition demands that we should 
believe that the institution should have been invented by a 
people yet devoid of organized speech, and almost devoid of 
all the arts of life. And we must further infer from this hy- 
pothesis that this institution, in its primitive simplicity, existed 
during all that period of time through which arts and insti- 
tutions have had their growth to the present time. It will 
be safer, thei'efore, to conclude that this custom is autogenous 
by concausation in many centers. If we take a broader survey 
of the habits and customs of a people we shall find many 
other customs and regulations equally widespread ; all of 
which we are compelled to believe are autogenous from various 
centers of origin. On the other hand many customs are found 
which are not so widely distributed, and the reasons for which 


ai'e not so manifest. In such cases they may yet be consid- 
ered as autogenous from different centers, but many of them 
doubtless are syngenous. The people among which they are 
found can be traced back by linguistic or other evidence to 
common progenitors, and in such cases the institutions are 
syngenous by inheritance. Again, we have abundant evi- 
dence, in relation to institutions, that they are borrowed from ' 
time to time, and such institutions are syngenous by accult- 

The study of linguistic similarities has been largely carried 
on, and important lessons may be derived therefrom. Func- 
tional similarities are very general, because certain classes of 
ideas are universal. Wherever the relation of father and son 
exists and is recognized, there must be words corresponding 
to "father" and "son." Wherever men have recognized that 
some things must be high and others low, corresponding terms 
must be used. Wherever anger is observed it is named; and 
wherever men walk, a term signifying "to walk" must be 
used. But it is not with functional similarities that we now 
deal, but only with the means or instrument by which func- 
tions are performed — that is, with organic similarities. Many 
languages have been studied and compared, and out of this 
comparison has resulted the establishment of many groups of 
cognate languages, called "families" or "stocks." But, as lan- 
guages have been grouped into families where evidence of 
common origin has been discovered, so the families have been 
separated from each other for want of such evidence. They 
are considered to be autogenous — that is, to have been devel- 
oped from distinct centers. During the course of this research 
certain rules have been established for the interpretation of 
linguistic similarities. To a large extent, similar words per- 
forming similar functions are believed to establish the relation 
of cognation between them. It is on this basis that the various 
languages of the Aryan family, stretching from Asia westward 
over Europe, and of course spoken by Europeans in America, 
are so related that they are believed to have had a common 
origin in some primitive language, now lost as such, but from 
which the peoples who speak the several languages composing 


the stock have inherited the fundamental elements of their 
languages. These languages, then, are cognate, but there are 
many words in each which have not been derived from the 
primitive stock inherited by all, but which have been borrowed 
from other peoples with whom the Aryans have from time to 
time associated. Such words are similar by acculturation. 

Many similarities are discovered in languages which have no 
cognate or cultural relation. In English we call a certain animal 
a "deer." In several Shoshone languages a deer is called "tia." 
When first heard among the tribes of Utah this word was sup- 
posed to have been borrowed from white men ; but in some of 
the languages and dialects of the stock it is found that "tiats" 
is used, and "tiav" in others; and the three are therefoi-e con- 
sidered to be cognate with each other, but entirely a different 
word, and not to have been derived from the English "deer." 
The similarity is one of mere accident. Such accidental re- 
semblances are often found, and tyro philologists frequently 
assemble them for the purpose of demonstrating linguistic re- 
lationship. Such adventitious similarities are discovered in all 
departments of human activities, and have no value for com- 
parative purposes. 

Many similarities in the opinions of men, as they are scat- 
tered over the world, are discovered. Lessons may be derived 
from these similarities as they appear in myths. Very many 
savage tribes believe that the winds are the breathings of 
mythic beasts. Of course savages recognize the fact that they 
can blow from their mouths, and they easily reach the child- 
ish conclusion that wind is breath; and tribes scattered widely 
tliroughout the earth might arrive at this common opinion; 
and such opinions are usually supposed to be concaused. 
Wherever primitive man, in the childhood of reasoning, re- 
flected upon the origin of winds, he may have reached such a 
conclusion. Such opinions are manifestly concaused, and au- 
togenous from many centers. 

A second explanation of the origin of wind is found sometimes 
among savage tribes, but it is more frequently found among 
barbaric tribes. Among these peoples winds are interpreted 
as fannings, and in early hieroglyphic writing the four quar- 


ters of the earth are frequently symbolized by four birds, 
from whom the north and south and east and west winds 
have their origin, and the winds are supposed to rise from 
under their wings. At this stage it must be remembered that 
the people have not yet discovered that there is a circumam- 
bient air which may be stirred or fanned, but fanning in this 
stage of culture is supposed to be a creation of something 
called the wind. This opinion is doubtless autogenous at many 
centers, and is concaused. 

All along the course of culture scientific opinion, or real 
knowledge, has been gradually replacing mythic opinion, or 
pseudo knowledge. When the real nature of the wind was 
discovered by more advanced philosophers, such knowledge 
spread far and wide. True, it may have been discovered by 
different peoples at different times, but real knowledge spreads 
far. more rapidly and widely than mj^thic opinion. Scientific 
opinion, therefore, is much more likely to obtain footing by 
acculturation than by concausation. 

The foregoing explanation of various classes of similarities 
perhaps furnishes a sufficient basis for the following statements 
of certain principles of interpretation relating thereto: 

1. The arts of life have their origin in the endeavor to sup- 
ply physical wants. They result everywhere in primitive life 
from the utilization of the materials at hand. Many wants are 
universal, felt by all men in all lands. The want for a ham- 
mer is general ; the use of a stone for a hammer would readily 
be suggested to the nascent mind of the lowest savage, and 
the stone-hammer art may have easily sprung up anywhere at 
any time. The use of stones for knives, for arrow-heads, for 
scrapers, and for a variety of other purposes, may easily have 
had many independent origins; and so on through almost the 
entii'e list of savage and barbaric arts which have been de- 
veloped to supply the wants of life. With regard, then, to the 
arts of life, the presumption is in favor of independent origin 
by concausation. 

2. In so far as arts are expressed in material forms they con- 
stitute simple object-lessons, easily learned, and observation 
would spread them far and wide. Whenever, therefore, the 


origin of such an art cannot be explained by the principle of 
concausation, the presumption would be in favor of its origin 
by acculturation. 

3. Institutions, languages, and opinions are not expressed 
in material forms, and do not so easily pass from place to place 
and from people to people. The presumption, therefore, is 
that similarities discovered in these three classes of activities 
are not derived by acculturation. 

4. When many similarities among two or more peoples are 
discovered in institutions, languages, and mythic opinions, the 
presumption is that they all have a common origin in some 
ancient stock from whom the savage tribes have been derived. 

5. When similarities in institutions are discovered between 
peoples not related in language, the presumption is that such 
similarities are autogenous by concausation. 

6. When many verbal similarities are discovered among dis- 
tinct peoples, the presumption is that they have a syngenous 
origin by inheritance; when few verbal similarities between 
different peoples are discovered, it becomes necessary to in- 
quire into the history of the people to discover whether they 
have their origin in acculturation or in adventition. 

7. When similarities in opinion are discovered among peo- 
ples, if such peoples belong to difl'erent linguistic stocks the 
presumption is that they have their origin in concausation. 

8. When similarities in opinions are discovered in peoples 
of the same linguistic stock, it becomes necessary to inquire 
into the history of the peoples and to determine the period of 
their separation, and if such opinions are probably so primi- 
tive that it is reasonably to be supposed that they were en- 
tertained in the stage of culture in which the primitive stock 
existed, the presumption is in favor of the theory that the simi- 
larities are such by cognation. 

9. When similarities of opinion are discovered between peo- 
ples speaking languages of the same stock, if such opinions 
properly belong to a stage of culture subsequent to the sepa- 
ration of a primitive stock, it is probable that such opinions 
had their origin in concausation. 




Many other principles of interpretation applicable to activ- 
ital similarities might be enunciated, but these seem to be the 
most fundamental, and are sufficient for present purposes. 



Amount expended. 

A . — Services 

B Traveling expenses 

C — Transportation of property 

It — Field subsistence 

E. — Field supplies and expenses 

F.— Field materiiil 

G. — instruments 

H.^Laboratory material 

I. — PhotograpMc materi:U 

K.— Books and maps 

L. — Stationery and drawing material . - 

M. — Illustrations for reports 

N . — Office rents 

— Office furniture 

P.— Office supplies and repairs 

Q. — Storage 

E. — Correspondence 

S. — Articles for distribution to Indians 
T. — Specimens 


$18, 233 57 
1,231 08 
156 27 
!, 147 19 
161 41 
39 75 

96 00 
221 25 
38 19 
12 00 

1, 258 24 
43 03 

6 14 

1, 810 52 

546 34 

25, 000 00 










I'age. • 

Tableau des Bacab 7 

Plate 43 of theBorgian Codex 23 

Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex 3C 

SyiubolB of the cardinal points 36 


Plate I. — Fac-simile of the Tableau des 7 

II. — The Tableau des Bacab restored 12 

III. — Fac-simile of Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex 32 

IV.— Copy of Plates 65 and (16 of the Vatican Codex B 56 

Fig. 1. — The four cardinal symbols 8 

2. — Scheme of the Tableau des Bacab 13 

3. — Copy from Plates 18 and 19, Codex Peresianus 19 

4. — Copy of Plate 43, Borgiau Codex 24 

5. — Copy of Plates 51 and 52, Vatican Codex, B 27 

6. — Scheme of Plate 44, Fejervary Codex 34 

7. — Symbols of the four cardinal points 36 

8. — Calendar wheel, as given by Dnran 44 

9. — Calendar wheel, from book of Chilan Balam 59 

10. — Engraved shells 61 

11. — Withdrawn. 



w m^-a:: 

<MII ! .'l ^ .f 'U ' tiL ' ^Jl ' ^.JH-. - jg^^ 





By Cyrus Thomas. 


Having receiitlj' come iuto possession of Leon de Kosn.v's late work 
entitled "ies Documents ecritsde I'Antiquite Americaine,"^ I find in it a 
photo-lithogiapbic copy of two plates (or rather one plate, for the two are 
but parts of one) of the Maya Manuscript known as the Codex Corie- 
sianus. This plate (I shall speak of the two as one) is of so uiuch impor- 
tance in the study of the Central American symbols and calendar systems 
that I deem it worthy of special notice ; more particularly so as it fur- 
nishes a connecting link between the Maya and Mexican symbols and 

This plate (Nos. 8 and 9 in Eosuy's work), is entitled by Rosny " Tah- 
lean des Bacab" or "Plate of the Bacabs," he supposing it to be a rep- 
resentation of the gods of the four cardinal points, an opinion I believe 
to be well founded. 

As will be seen by reference to our Plate No. 1, which is an exact 
copy from Eosny's work, this page consists of three divisions : First. 
an inner quadrilateral space, in which there are a kind of cross or sacred 
tree ; two sitting figures, one of which is a female, and six characters. 
Second, a narrow space or belt forming a border to the inner area, from 
which it is separated by a single line ; it is separated from the outer 
space by a double line. This space contains the characters for the twenty 
days of the Maya month, but not arranged in consecutive order. Third, 
an outer and larger space containing several figures and numerous 
characters, the latter chiefly those representing the Maya days. This 
area consists of two distinct parts, one part containing day characters, 
grouped together at the four corners, and connected by rows of dots 
running from one group to the other along the outer border; the other 
part consisting of four groups of figures, one group opposite each of the 
four sides. In each of the four compartments coutainiug these last- 
mentioned groups, there is one of the four characters shown in Fig. 1 
(a b c d), which, in my "Study of the Manuscript Troano," I have con- 
cluded represent the four cardinal points, a conclusion also reached in. 
dependently by Eosny and Schultz Sellack. 

■ Published in 13S2, as a memoir of the Soci6t6 d'Ethnographie of Paris. 


Before entering iipou the discussiou of this plate I will insert here 
Rosny's comment, that the reader may have an opportunity of compar- 
ing his view of its signification with the opinion I shall advance. 

1 intend to close this report with some observations on the criticisms which have 
been written since the publication of my " Essay ou the Decipherment of the Hieratic 
Writings," as much regarding the first data, for which we are indebted to Diego de- 
Landa, as that of the method to follow in order to realize new progress in the interpre- 
tation of the Katounic texts. I will be permitted, however, before approaching this 
discussion, to say a word on two leaves of the Codex Cortesianus, which not only con- 
firm several of my former lectures, but which furnish us probably a more than ordi- 
narily interesting document relative to the religious history of ancient Yucatan. 

The two leaves require to be presented synoptically, as I have done in reproducing 
them on the plate [8 and 9^], for it is evident that they form together one single rep- 

This picture presents four divisions, in the middle of which is seen a representation 
of the sacred tree ; beneath are the figures of two personages seated on the ground 
and placed facing the katounes, among which the sign of the day Ik is repeated 
three times on the right side and once with two other signs on the left side. The 
central image is surrounded by a sort of framing in which have been traced the 
twenty cyclic characters of the calendar. Some of these characters would not be rec- 
ognizable if one possessed only the data of Landa, but they are henceforth easy to 
read, for I have had occasion to determine, after a certain fashion, the value of the 
greater part of them in a former publication. 

These characters are traced in the following order, commencing, for example, with 
Mulnc and continuiusr from left to right: 6,2,18,13,17,14,5,1,16,12,8,4,20,15,11,7, 
19, 3, 9, 10. * * * 

In the four compartments of the Tablet appear the same cyclic signs again in two 
series. I will not stop to dwell upon them, not having discovered the system of their 

Besides these cyclic signs no other katounes are found ou the Tablet, except four 
groups which have attracted my attention since the beginning of my studies, and 
which I have presented, not without some hesitation, as serving to note the four 
cardinal points. I do not consider my first attempt at interpretation as definitely 
demonstrated, but it seems to me that it acquires by the study of the pages in ques- 
tion of the Codex Corlesianua, a new probability of exactitude. 

These four katounic groups are here in fact arranged in the following manner: 

Fio. 1. — The four cardinal symbols. 

Now, not only do these groups include, as I have explained, several of the phonetic 
elements of Maya words known to designate the four cardinal points, but they oc- 

'Rosny says by mistake "Planche VII- VIII." 


cnpy, besides, the place which is necessary to them in the arraugement (orientation), 

t,o wit : 


5 o 

3 3- 

o S 


I have said, moreover, in my Esaay, that certain characteristic symbols of tl e gods 
of the four cardinal points (the Bacab) are found placed beside the katounic groups, 
which occcpy me at this moment, in a manner which gives a new confirmation of my 

On Plates 23, 24, 25, and 26 of the Codex Cartesian us, where the same groups and symbols 
are seen reproduced of which I have just spoken, the hierogrammat has drawn four 
figures identical in shape and dress. These four figures represent the " god of the long 
nose.' Beside the first, who holds in his hand a flaming torch, appears a series of katou- 
nes, at the head of which is the sign Ean (symbol of the south), and above, a defaced 
group. Beside the second, who holds a flaming torch inverted, is the sign iluluc 
(symbol of the east), and above, the group which I have interpreted as east. At the 
side of the third, who carries in the left hand the burning torch inverted and a scep- 
ter (symbol of Bacabs), is the sign Ix (symbol of the north), and above, the group 
which I have translated as north. Finally, beside the fouith, who carries iu his left 
hand the flaming torch inverted and a hatchet iu the right hand, is the sign Cauac 
(symbol of the west), and above, not the entire group, which I have translated as 
west, but the first sign of this group, and also au animal characteristic of the Occi- 
dent, which has been identified with the armadillo. I have some doubts upon the 
subject of this animal, but its aflSnity with the qualification of the west appears to 
me at least very probable. 

We see from this quotation that Eosn,y was unable to give any ex- 
planation of the day characters, dots, and L-shaped symbols in the 
outer space ; also that he was uuable to suggest any reason for the pe- 
culiar arrangement.of the day symbols iu the intermediate circle orquad- 
rilateral. His suggestions are limited to the foui- characters placed 
opposite the four sides, and which, he believes, and I think correctly, to 
be the symbols of the four cardinal points. Whether his conclusion as 
to the points they respectively refer to be correct or not, is one of the 
questions I propose to discuss in this paper. But before entering upon 
this, the most important question regarding the plate, I desire first to 
offer what I believe will be admitted to be a correct explanation of the 
object and uses of the day symbols, dots, &c., in the outer space, and the 
intermediate circle of day characters. 

If we examine carefully the day characters and large black dots in 
the outer space we shall find that all taken together really form but 07ie 
continuous line, making one outward and two inward bends or loops at 
each corner. 

For example, commencing with Cauac (No. 31) (see scheme of the 
plate, Fig. 2), on the right side, and running upward toward the top 
along the row of dots next the right-hand margin, we reach the charac- 
ter Ghuen (No, 32^ ; just above isEb (No. 33) ; then running inward to- 
ward the center, along the row of dots to Kan (No. 34) ; then upward 
to Chicchan (No. 35) ; then outward along the row of dots toward the 



outer corner to Cabaii (Xo. 36) ; theu to the left to Ezanab (Xo. 37) ; 
then inward to Oc (No. 38) ; theu to the left to Chuen (No. 39); outward 
to Albal (No. 40), aud so ou arouud. 

Before proceediug further it is ueeessary that I introduce here a Maya 
calendar, in order that my next point may be clearly understood. To 
simplify this as far as possible, I give first a table for a single Canae 
year, in two forms, one as the ordinary counting house calendar (Table 
I), the other a simple continuous list of days (Table II), but in this 
latter case only for thirteen mouths, just what is necessary to complete 
the circuit of our plate. 

As explained in my former paper,' although there were twenty days 
in each Maya mouth, each day with its own particular name, and al- 
ways following each other in the .same order, so that each month would 
begin with the same day the year commenced with, yet it was the cus- 
tom to number the days up to 13 and then commence again with 1, 2, 
3, and so on, thus dividing the year into weeks of thirteen days each. 

For a full explanation of this complicated calendar system I must 

refer the reader to my former paper. But at present we shall need only 

an understanding of the tables here given. I shall, as I proceed, refer 

to Table I, leaving the reader who prefers to do so to refer to the list 

of days marked Table II, as they are precisely the same thing, only 

differing in form. 

Table I. — Maya calendar for one year 

Xos. of the months. 






















































































































































































Ik ... 























Table II. 

1st Month. 
. 1. Cauac. 

2. Abau. 

3. Imix. 

4. Ik. 

5. Akbal. 

6. Kan. 

7. Chicchan. 

8. Cimi. 

9. Manik. 

10. Lamat. 

11. Muluc. 

12. Oc. 

13. Chuen. 

1. Eb. 

2. Been. 

3. Ix. 

4. Men. 

5. Cib. 
C. Caban. 

7. Ezanab. 
2d Month. 

8. Cauac. 

9. Abau. 

'A study of the Manuscript Troano. 



10. Ymix. 

11. Ik. 

12. Akbiil. 

13. Kan. 

1. Chicchan. 

2. Cimi. 

3. Mauik. 

4. Lamat. 
6. Muluc. 

6. Oc. 

7. Chuen. 

8. Eb. 

9. Beeu. 

10. Ix. 

11. Men. 

12. Cib. 

13. Caban. 

1. Ezanah. 
3d Month. 

2. Cauac. 

3. Ahau. 

4. Ymix. 

5. Ik. 

6. Akbal. 

7. Kau. 

8. Chicchan. 

9. Cimi. 

10. Manik. 

11. Lamat. 

12. Muluc. 

13. Oc. 

1. Chuen. 

2. Eb. 

3. Beeu. 

4. Ix. 

5. Men. 

6. Cib. 

7. CaToan. 

8. Ezanab. 
4th Month. 

9. Cauac. 

10. Ahau. 

11. Ymix. 

12. Ik. 

13. Akbal. 
1. Kan. 

2. Chicchan. 

3. Cimi. 

4. Manik. 

5. Lamat. 

6. Muluc. 

7. Oc. 

8. Chuen. 

9. Eb. 

10. Been. 

11. Ix. 

12. Men. 

13. Cib. 

1. Caban. 

2. Ezanab. 
oTH Month. 

3. Cauac, 

4. Ahau. 

5. Ymix. 

6. Ik. 

7. Akbal. 

8. Kan. 

9. Chicchan. 

10. Cimi. 

11. Manik. 

12. Lamat. 

13. Muluc. 

1. Oc. 

2. Chuen. 

3. Eb. 

4. Been. 

5. Ix. 
C. Men. 

7. Cib. 

8. Cabau. 

9. Ezanab. 
6th Month. 

10. Cauac. 

11. Ahau. 

12. Ymix. 

13. Ik. 

1. Akbal. 

2. Kan. 

3. Chicchan. 

4. Cimi. 

5. Manik. 

6. Lamat. 

7. Muhic. 

8. Oc. 

9. Chuen. 

10. Eb. 

11. Been. 

12. Ix. 

13. Men. 

1. Cib. 

2. Cabau. 

3. Ezanab. 
7Tn Month. 

4. Cauac. 

5. Ahau. 

6. Ymix. 

7. Ik. 

8. Akbal. 

9. Kan. 

10. Chicchan. 

11. Cimi. 

12. Mauik. 

13. Lamat. 

1. Muluc. 

2. Uc. 

3. Chueu. 

4. Eb. 

5. Been. 

6. Ix. 

7. Men. 

8. Cib. 

9. Caban. 

10. Ezanab. 
8th Month. 

11. Cauac. 

12. Ahau. 

13. Ymix. 

1. Ik. 

2. Akbal. 

3. Kan. 

4. Chicchan. 

5. Cimi. 

6. Manik. 

7. Lamat. 

8. Muluc. 

9. Oc. 

10. Chueu. 

11. Eb. 

12. Been. 

13. Iw. 

1. Men. 

2. Cib. 

3. Cabau. 

4. Ezanab. 
9th jNIonth. 

5. Cauac. 

6. Ahau. 

7. Ymix. 

8. Ik. 

9. Akbal. 

10. Kau. 

11. Chicchan. 

12. Cimi. 

13. Manik. 
i. Lamat. 

2. Muluc. 

3. Oc. 

4. Chuen. 

5. Eb. 
(j. Beeu. 

7. Ix. 

8. Men. 

9. Cib. 

10. Caban. 

11. Ezanab. 
IOth Month. 

12. Cauac. 

13. Ahau. 

1. ¥mix. 

2. Ik. 

3. Akbal. 

4. Kan. 

5. Chicchan. 

6. Cimi. 

7. Manik. 

8. Lamat. 

9. Muluc. 

10. Oc. 

11. Chuen. 

12. Eb. 

13. Been. 

1. Ix. 

2. Men. 

3. Cib. 



4. Caban. 

7, Been. 

9. Lamat. 



5. Ezauab. 

8. Ix. 

10". Muluc. 



llTH Month. 

9. Men. 

11. Oc. 



6. Cauac. 

10. Cib. 

12. Chueu. 



7. Ahaii. 

11. Caban. 

13. Eb. 



8. Ymix. 

12. Ezanab. 

1. Been. 



9. Ik. 

12th Month. 

2. Ix. 



10. Akbal. 

13. Cauac. 

3. Men. 



11. Kan. 

1. Aliau. 

4. Cib. 



12. Chicchau. 

2. Imix. 

5. Caban. 



13. Cimi. 

3. Ik. 

6. Ezanab. 



1. Manik. 

4. Akbal. 

13th Month. 



2. Lamat. 

5. Kan. 

7. Cauac. 



3. Muluc, 

6. Chicchau. 

8. Ahau. 



4. Oc. 

7. Cimi. 

9. Ymix. 



5. Cbueu. 

8. Manik. 

10. Ik. 



6. Eb. 

Now, let us follow around this outer circle comparing it with our cal- 
endar (Table I), or list of days (Table II), which, as before stated, are 
for the Cauac year only. 

As this is a Cauac year, we must commence with the Cauac charac- 
ter No. 31, on the right border. Immediately to the left of this charac- 
ter and almost in contact with it we see a single small dot. We take 
for granted that this denotes 1 and that we are to begin with 1 Cauac. 
This corresponds with the first day of the first month, that is, the top 
number of the left-hand column of numbers in Table I or the first day 
in Table II. Turning to the plate we run up the line of dots to the 
character for Chuen (No. 32) ; immediately to the left of this we see two 

little bars and three dots '-^-^ or 13. 

Turning again to our table and running down the column of the first 
month to the number 13 we find that it is Chuen, which is followed by 
1 Eb. Turning again to the plate we observe that the character imme- 
diately above Chuen is Eb., and that it has adjoining it below a single 
dot, or 1. Eunuing from thence down the line of dots toward the cen- 
ter we reach Ean, immediately above which is the character for 13. 
Turning again to our table and starting with the 1 opposite Eb and 
running to the bottom of the column which ends with 7 and passing to 
8 at the top of the second column, and running down this to 13, or fol- 
lowing down our list of days (Table II), we find it to be Kan, which is 
followed by 1 CMcchan. On the plate we see the character for CMcchan 
(No. 35) immediately above that of Kan (No. 34), with a single small dot 
touching it above. Eunning from this upward along the row of large 
dots toward the outer corner we next reach the character for Caban (No, 
36), adjoining which we see the numeral character for 13. 

Eiiuning our eye down the second column of the table, from 1 oppo- 
site CMcchan to 13, we find it is opposite Caban, thus agreeing with 
what we find in the plate. 







This will enable the reader to follow up the names and numbers on 
the table as 1 will now give them from Caban (No. 3G), in the manner 
above shown, remembering that the movement on the plate is around 
the circle toward the left, that is, up the right side, toward the left on 
the top, down the left side, «&;c., and that, on the tables, after one column 
is coQipleted we take the next to the right. 

From Caban (No. 36) we go next to Ezanab No. 37 (the single dot is 
here effaced); then down the row of dots to Oc, No. 38, over which is 
the numeral for 13 ; then to Chuen, No. 39, immediately to the left (the 
single dot is dimly outlined immediatel3- above it) ; then up the row 
of large dots to Akbal No. 40 (the numeral character for 13 is immedi- 
ately to the right); then to Kan No. 1, immediately to the left (the sin- 
gle dot adjoins it on the right); then to the left along the border row of 
dots to Cib No. 2, in the upper left-hand corner, immediately under 
which we find the numeral character for 13. 

Without following this further, I will now giv^e a scheme or plan of 
the plate (Fig. 2), adding the names of the effaced characters, which the 

o© o oooooo© 




• e 

o o 


(:5)V®0 (D ©Ti 



O . a 

© e ® e 

° e(^ (i)'QOo o CO o 



%®or»o.. '-^^m 




o o o o o o 

Fig. 2.— Sclieme of the Tableau des Bacfib. 



table enables ns to do by foliowiug it out in the manner explained. I 
also give iu Plate II another figure of the plate of the Cortesian Codex, 
with the eifaced characters inserted, and the interchange of Caban and 
Eb which will be hereafter explained. This plate corresponds with the 
plan or scheme shown in Fig. 2.^ 

Iu this we commence with Kan, numbered 1, iu the top row, moving 
theuce toward the left as already indicated, following the course shown 
by the numbers. 

By this time the reader, if he has studied the plate with care, has 
probably encouutered one difHculty in the way of the explanation given ; 
that there are usually twelve large dots instead of eleven, as there should 
be, between the day signs ; as, for example, between Kan No. 1 and 
Cib No. 2, in the upper row. This I am unable to explain, except on 
the supposition that the artist included but one of the day signs in the 
count, or that it was not the intention to be very exact in this respect. 
The fact that the uumber of dots in a row is not always the same, there 
being in some cases as many as thirteen, and in others but eleven, 
renders the latter supposition probable. In the scheme the uumber of 
dots in the lines is given as nearly as possible as on the plate. 

As there are four different series of years in the Maya calendar, the 
Cauac years, Kan years, Mnluc years, and Ix years, it is necessary that 
we have four different tables, similar to that given for the Cauac years, 
to represent them, or to combine all in one table. 

As I have adopted in my former work' a scheme of combining them 
I will insert it here (Table III). 

Table III. — Condensed Maya Calendar. 




























































Cbuen . 
















































































































































































































































































































< As the reduction of tlie cut prevents the insertion of the names of the d.ays, let- 
ters have been substituted for them in the quiidrilateral or inner ring as follows: 
In the top ;ine.— Ymix, a; Chiechan, h; Muluc, c; Been, d, and Caban, e. 
In the left column.— Cimi, f; Ik, g; Oc, h; Ix, t, and Ezanab, j". 
In the bottom (iiie.— Akbal, k; Manik, I; Chnen, m; Men, n, and Cauac, o. 
In the right coiunui.—Kau, p ; Lamat, q; Eb, r; Abau, 8, and Cib, (. 
» Study of the Manuscript Troano, p. 11. 


But I must request the reader to refer to that work for au explana- 
tion of the method of using it. 

By using the different columns in this table, viz, the Cauac column, 
the Kan column, the Muluc column, and the Ix column, in the same 
way as we have that of the previous Table I^o. I, we shall find that the 
plate is intended to apply in the same way to each of the four years.^ 
A further correspondence will also be found in the fact that the thirteen 
figure columns of our table just complete the circuit of the plate, and that 
for the other months (or rather weeks) we commence again at the first, 
just as the table. 

For the Kan years we commence on our scheme (Fig. 2) or the plate 
(No. II) at Kan No. 1, at the top, and moving around to the left, as 
shown, we end the thirteenth column of the calendar (1^5 Akbal) with 
Akbal No. 40. For the Muluc years we commence with Muluc No. 11, 
of the left side of the scheme, and end with Lamat No. 10. For the Ix 
years we begin with Ix No. 21, at the bottom, and end with Been No. 20. 
For the Cauac years we begin with Cauac No. .31, at the right side, and 
end with Ezanab No. 30. 

By following this plan we will find that the characters and numerals 
in the plate agree in every case with the names and numbers of the 
days in the table, showing that I have properly interpreted this part of 
the plate. It is impossible that there should be such exact agreement 
if I were wrong in my interpretation. 

This, it seems to me, will show beyond controversy the respective 
quarters to which the different years are assigned in the plate — Kan 
to the top, where this year begins ; Muluc to the left ; Ix to the bottom, 
and Cauac to the right hand ; and, as a consequence, that the top is 
the east ; left, north ; bottom, west, and right hand, south. But this is 
a point to be discussed hereafter. 

Our next step is to ascertain the object in view in placing the twenty- 
day characters around the inner space in the order we find them. Here 
I confess we shall encounter greater difficulty in arriving at a satisfac- 
tory explanation ; still, I think we shall be able to show one object in 
view in this singular arrangement, although we fall short of a complete 

If we commence with Ymix, in the upper line of the quadrilateral, 
and move around it to the left, as heretofore, noting the days in each 
side in the order they come on the plate, we find them to be as follows: 

In the top line: Ymix, Chicchan, Muluc, Been, Eb. 

Left column : Cimi, Ik, Oc, Ix, Ezanab. 

Bottom line: Akbal, Manik, Chuen, Men, Cauac. 

Eight column (upward) : Kan, Lamat, Caban, Ahau, Cib. 

Now let us take the twenty days, in the order they stand in the cal- 

* It is worthy of note that the namerals on the plate apply only to the years 1 Cauac, 
1 Kan, 1 Muluc, and 1 Is, the first years of an Indication or week of vears. 


endar, commencing with Kau, writing tbem in four columns, jilaciug 
one name in each in succession, thus: 





















If we commence with any other day the groups will contain respect- 
ively the same days, as, for example, if we begin with Ymix as here 
shown (Table IV). 

As I am inclined to believe the author of the plate adopted this order 
I shall use and refer to this table in speaking of these groups. 

Table IV. 

























Examining the five names in the third column we find they are the 
same as those in the bottom line of the quadrilateral of the plate, and 
also in the same order. Those of the second column are the same as 
those in the left column of the plate, though not precisely in the same 
order; those in the first column the same as those in the top line of the 
plate, except that in our column we have Caban in place of Eb ; and 
those in the fourth column the same as those in the right column of the 
plate, except that in our column we have Eb instead of Caban. I am 
satisfied, therefore, that the artist who made the plate has transposed 
the characters Eb and Caban ; that in place of Eb, the left-hand char- 
acter of the upper line, there should be Caban, and in place of Caban, 
the middle character of the right column, there should be Eb, aud have 
made this change in my scheme (Fig. 2) and in Plate II. 

This, I admit, has the appearance of making an arbitrary, change to 
suit a theory ; but besides the strong evidence in favor of this change 
shown by the arrangement of the days in four columns just given, I 
propose to present other testimony. 

That the characters here interpreted Eb aud Gabon are the same as 
those given by Landa, and in the Manuscript Troauo we have jjositive 
evidence iu the tortous line in the outer space, of which we have already 
given an explanation. Hence there is no escape ft'om the difficulty by 
supposing the artist had reversed the characters in their reference to 
the names. Either he has reversed them as to place, or we are mis- 
taken in our supposition as to how the four groups were obtaiued. 


If we turn, now, to the Manuscript Troano, and examine the day col- 
umns, comparing them with these four groups as I have corrected them 
by this single transposition, I thinii we shall find one clue at least to the 
object of the arrangement we observe on this plate. As but few are 
likely to have the Manuscript at hand, I will refer to Chapter VII of my 
work {A Study of the Manusaipt Troano), where a large luiinber of these 
day columns are given. In making the comparison I ask the reader to 
use my scheme (Fig. 2). Commencing with the first column on page 
165, we find it to be Manik, Cauac, Chuen, Akbal, Men, precisely the 
same days as in the bottom line. The next two on the same page are 
first Akbal, IMuluc, Men, Ymix, Manik, and second, Ben, Cauac, Chic- 
chan, Chuen, Caban, takeu alternately from the bottom and top lines 
of the quadrilateral. 

On the lower part of the same page (165) is another column with the 
following days, Aliau, Oc, Eb, Ik, Kan, Ix, Cib, Cimi, Lamat, taken al- 
ternately from the right and left .sides of the plate as given in our scheme. 
But there are only nine names in the column, when the order in which 
they are taken would seem to require ten. By examiuing the plate (IV) 
in the Manuscript the reader will see that there are indications that one 
at the top has been obliterated. By examining the right and left col- 
umns of our scheme we see that the omitted one is Ezanab. By counting 
the intervals between the days, as explained in my work, we find them 
to be alternately two and teu, and that by this rule the missing day 
is Ezanab. The reader will notice in these examples that Eb and Caban 
belong to the positions I have given them in my scheme (Fig. li). 

Turning to i)age 166 we find the first column (from "second division," 
Plate IV) to be Kan, Cib, Lamat, Ahau, Eb, the same days as in the 
right column of our scheme. The second column, Cauac, Chuen, Akbal, 
Men, Manik, the same as the lower line of the scheme. The first column 
on page 167 has the same days as the right column of the plate, as cor- 
rected iu my scheme and our Plate II. The second column of this page 
presents a new combination. We have so far found the names of a day 
column all in a single group or line of our plate, or taken alternately 
from opposite sides ; here we find them takeu alternately from each of 
the four sides of the quadrilateral moving around to the left in the order 
I have heretofore explained. The days in this column are Caban, Ik, 
Manik, Eb, Caban. One is taken from the ui)per line (as corrected), 
then one from the left side, next from the bottom line, tiieu from the 
right side (as corrected), and then the same from the top line. 

It is unnecessary for me to give more examples, as the reader cau 
make the comparison for himself; and he will, as I believe, find my 
theory sustained. 

The only real objection I cau see to my explanation of the arrange- 
ment of the days in this circle is the fact that it necessitates the trans- 
position of two characters, but it is not unreasonable to suppose that 
the artist may have made this oue mistake. 
3 ETH 2 



Fortunately we flud ou Plates 18 aiul 19* of the Codex Peresiauus * 
what appears to be a complete confirmation of the theory here advanced. 

This is a kind of tabular arrangement of certain days, with accom- 
panying numbers, as shown in our Fig. 3, which is an exact copy of 
those portions of Plates 18 and 19 of the Codex Peresiauus, to which I 

I also give in Table V the names of the days and the numbers cor- 
responding with the symbols and characters of Fig. 3. In this table the 
erased days and obliterated numerals are restored, these being in italics 
to distinguish them from those on the plate. 

10. Kan. 8. Cib. 

70. Lamat. 8. Ahau. 

10. Eb. 8. Kan. 

10. Gib. 8. Lamat. 

10. Ahau. S. Bb. 

13. Kan. 
13. Lamat. 
13. Eb. 
13. Cib. 
13. Ah-M. 

3. Kan. 
3. Lamat. 
3. Eb. 
3. Cib. 
3. Ahau. 

/;. Cib. 
11. Ahau. 
U. Kan. 
II. Lamat. 
II. Eb. 

1. Cib. 
1. Ahau. 
1. Kan. 
1. Lamat. 
1. Eh. 

Table V. 

6. Lamat. 
6. Eb. 
6. Cib. 
6. Ahau. 
6. Kan. 

9. Lamat. 
9. Eb. 
9. Cib. 
9. Ahau. 
9. Kan. 

12. Lamat. 
12. Eb. 
12. Gib. 
12. Ahau. 
12. Kan. 

4. Ahau. 
i. Kan. 
1. Lamat. 
4. Eb. 

4. Cib. 

7. Ahau. 
7. Kan. 
7. Lamat. 
7. Eb. 
7. Cib. 

2. Eb. 
2. Cib. 
2. Ahau. 
2. Kan. 
2. Lamat. 

5. Eb. 
5. Cib. 
5. Ahau. 
5. Kan. 
5. Lamat. 

An inspection of this table shows us that the five days repeated in 
each column are the same as those on the right of the quadrilateral of 
our scheme (Fig. 2), and are exactly in the order obtained by arranging 
the days of the month in four columns in the manner heretofore shown. 
(See column 4, Table IV.) 

If I am correct in my supposition, we then have one clue to, if not a 
full explanation of, themethodof obtaining the day columns in the Man- 
uscript Troano. 

' Manitscrll dil Mexiciiiu Xo. 2. — The Bureau of Ethnology has had the good fortuue to- 
obtaiu a copy of Diiniy's photographic reproduction of this Manuscript, of which, ac- 
cording to Leclerc (Bibliotheca Americana), only ten copies were issued, though Bras- 
seur in his Bibliotheqiie Mosico-Guat^uialienne (p. 95) affirms that the edition con- 
sisted of tifty copies. The full title is as follows : " Mauuscrit (lit Mexicuin Xo. 2 (Ic la 
Bibliotheqiie Imperiale Pholoyraphie {aans reduction). Par ordre de S. JC. M. ■Duriiy, iliii- 
intre de V Instrnction puhlique, President de la Commission scientijique du Mejciquc. Paris,, 

Rosny has given a facsimile copy from the two plates here referred to in Plate XVI 
of his Essai sur le Dechiffrement de VEcriture Sieratique. 




Not this onlj-, foi- this table of the 
Codex Peresianus furnishes us also the 
explanation of the red numerals found 
over the day columns in the Manuscript 
Troano. Take, for example, Plate XIX, 
flrst or upper division, given also in my 
Study of The Manuscript Troano, p. 
176, here the number is IV, correspond- 
ing with column 4 of the above table 
(V), where the days are the same and 
the numeral prefixed to each day is 4. 
Plate XXVI (Study Manuscript Tro- 
ano, p. 177), lower division, the days are 
the same and the number over the col- 
umn is XIII, corresponding with the 
sixth column of Table V. This corrob- 
orates the opinion I expressed in my 
former work, that the number over the 
column was to be applied to each day 
of the column. 

Why is the order of the numerals in 
the extract from the Codex Peresianus 
precisely the same as the numbering of 
the Ahaues? I answer, because each 
column, if taken as referring to the four 
classes of years, will, when the number 
of the month is given, determine just 
the years of an Ahau ; or a fancy of the 
artist to follow an order considered 

To illustrate, let us take the next to 
the right-hand column of the table where 
the numeral is 1, and let us assume the 
month to be Pop, or the 1st. Then we 
have 1 Cib, 1 Ahau, 1 Kan, 1 Lamat, 
and 1 Eb of the flrst mouth, and from 
this data we are to find the years. As 
there can be four years found to each 
of these days, that is a Cauac year with 
1 Cib in the first month, a Muluc year 
with one Cib in the first mouth, a Kan 
year with one Cib in the flrst month, 
an Ix year with one Cib iu the flrst 
mouth, a Kan year with one Ahau in 
the first month, &c., it is evident that 
tliere will be, as the total result, just 
twenty years. 

I: I! I! h it 

©© © @ 9 
1. 1. |. |. |. 

III II: It! 11! It: 

nil w liii 

|:|: |: |: |: 






As I cannot repeat here, without occupying too much space, the 
method of finding the years, I must refer the reader to Study Manuscript 
Troano, p. 23, et al. Hunting them out, by using our Table III, we find 
them to be as follows : 

1 Cib. 

1 Ahau. 

1. Kan. 

1. Lamat. 

1 Eb. 

Tears ... 

.10 Cauac. 

13 Cauac. 

9 Cauac. 

5 Cauac. 

1 Cauac. 

Years . . . 

. 2 Kan. 

11 Kan. 

1 Kan. 

10 Kan. 

6 Kan. 

Years ... 

. 7 Muluc. 

3 Muluc. 

12 Muluc. 

8 Muluc. 

11 Muluc. 

Years . . . 

.12 Ix. 

8 Ix. 

4 Ix. 

13 Ix. 

9 Ix. 

If we turn now to Table XVII (Study Manuscript Troano p. 44), we 
will find that these are precisely the counted years (those in the space 
inclosed by the dotted lines) in Ahau number VI. 

If we assume the month to be the 11th then the numbers of the 
Ahaues will correspond exactly with the numbers of the columns of our 
Table V.^ 

As it may be supposed that using the same numeral to any five days 
of the twenty in this way will produce a similar result, let us test it by 
an example. For this purpose we select the same column of our fore- 
going table, No. V — that with the number 1 prefixed — Cib, Ahau, Kan, 
Lamat, Eb, but in place of Lamat we insert Cimi. Hunting out the 
years as heretofore we find them to be as follows : 

1 Cib. 

1 Ahau. 

1 Eav. 

1 Cimi. 

1 £b. 

Years .. 

..10 Cauac. 

13 Cauac. 

9 Cauac. 

7 Cauac. 

1 Cauac. 

Years .. 

.. 2 Kau 

11 Kan. 

1 Kan. 

12 Kau. 

6 Kau. 

Years .. 

. . 7 Muluc. 

3 Muluc. 

12 Muluc. 

10 Muluc. 

11 Muluc. 

Years .. 

..12 Ix. 

8 Ix. 

4 Ix. 

2 Ix. 

9 Ix. 

If we try to locate these years in an Ahau in Table XVII (Study Man- 
uscript Troano p. 44), we shall find it impossible to do so, nor can we 
locate them in any table that can be made which has either twenty-four 
or twenty years in an Ahau, while on the other hand the twenty years 
obtained by using a column of the table from the Codex Peresianus 
can be located in some one of the Ahaues obtained by any division of 
the Grand Cycle into consecutive groups of twenty -four years that can 
be made. It would require too much space to prove this assertion, but 
any one who doubts its correctness can test it. 

As the extract we have given from the Codex Peresianus relates only 
to one of the four groups of days — that on the right of the quadrilat- 
eral — I will supply in the following tables, ISTos. VII, VIII, and IX, the 
arrangement of the group.s of the other three sides ; adding the other 
(Table VI), also, so as to bring the four together in the order of the 
sides of the quadrilateral, commencing with the line on the right, next 
the upper one, and so on. 

While this is undoubtedly the order in which they are to be taken; 
which is the proper one to commence with? is a question yet to be dis- 

8Au illustration can be seen on pp. 36-40, Study Mauuscrijjt Troauo. 




Table VI. 

10. Kan. 

8. Gib. 

6. Lamat. 

4. Ahau. 

2. Eb. 

10. Lamat. 

8. Ahau. 

6. Eb. 

4. Kan. 

2. Cib. 

10. Eb. 

8. Kan. 

6. Gib. 

4. Lamat. 

2. Ahau. 

10. Gib. 

8. Lamat. 

6. Ahau. 

4. Eb. 

2. Kan. 

10. Ahau. 

8. Eb. 

6. Kan. 

4. Gib. 

2. Lamat. 

13. Kan. 

11. Gib. 

9. Lamat. 

7. Ahau. 

5. Eb. 

13. Lamat. 

11. Ahau. 

9. Eb. 

7. Kan. 

5. Gib. 

13. Eb. 

11. Kan. 

9. Gib. 

7. Lamat. 

5. Ahau, 

13. Gib. 

11. Lamat. 

9. Ahau. 

7. Eb. 

5. Kan. 

13. Ahau. 

11. Eb. 

9. Kan. 

7. Gib. 

5. Lamat. 

3. Kan. 

1. Gib. 

12. Lamat. 

3. Lamat. 

1. Ahau. 

12. Eb. 

3. Eb. 

1. Kan. 

12. Gib. 

3. Gib. 

1. Lamat. 

12. Ahau. 

3. Ahau. 

1. Eb. 

12. Kan. 
Table VII 

10. Ymix. 

8. Been. 

6. Ghicchan. 

, 4. Gaban. 

2. Muluc. 

10. Chicchan. 

8. Gaban. 

6. Muluc. 

4. Ymix. 

2. Been. 

10. Muluc. 

8. Ymix. 

6. Been. 

4. Ghicchan. 

2. Gaban. 

10. Been. 

8. Chicchan, 

. G. Caban. 

4. Muluc. 

2. Ymix. 

10. Gabau. 

8. Muluc. 

6. Ymix. 

4. Been. 

2. Chicchan 

13. Ymix. 

11. Been. 

9. Chicchan 

. 7. Gaban. 

5. Muluc. 

13. Chicchan. 

11. Gabau. 

9. Muluc. 

7. Ymix. 

5. Been. 

13. Muhic. 

11. Ymix. 

9. Been. 

7. Ghicchan. 

5. Caban. 

13. Been. 

11. Ghicchan. 

9. Gaban. 

7. Muluc. 

5. Ymix. 

13. Gaban. 

11. 3Iuluc. 

9. Ymix. 

7. Been. 

5. Ghicchan, 

3. Ymix. 

1. Been. 

12. Chicchan. 

3. Ghicchan. 

1. Gaban. 

12. Muluc. 

3. Muluc. 

1. Ymix. 

12. Been. 

3. Been. 

1. Ghicchan. 

12. Gaban. 

3. Caban. 

1. Muluc. 

12. Ymix. 

Table VIII. 

10. Oc. 


6. Ix. 

4. Cimi. 

2. Ezanab. 

10. Ix. 

S. Cimi. 

6. Ezanab. 

4. Oc. 

2. Ik. 

10. Ezanab. 

8. Oc. 


4. Ix. 

2. Cimi. 

10. Ik. 

8. Ix. 

6. Cimi. 

4. Ezanab. 

2. Oc. 

10. Cimi. 

8. Ezanab. 

6. Oc. 


2. Ix. 



13. Lc. 

11. Ik. 

9. Ix. 



5. Ezanab, 

13. Ix. 

11. Cimi. 

9. Ezanab. 


, Oc. 


13. Ezanab. 

11. Oc. 

9. Ik. 



5. Cimi. 

13. Ik. 

11. Ix. 

9. Cimi. 




13. Cimi. 

11. Ezanab. 

9. Oc. 






12. Ix. 

3. Ix. 

I. Cimi. 

12. Ezanab. 

3. Ezanab. 

1. Oc. 

12. Ik. 


1. Ix. 

12. Cimi. 

3. Cimi. 

1. Ezanab. 

12. Oc. 
Table IX. 

10. Men. 

8. Mauik. 

6. Cauac. 



2. Akbal. 

10. Cauac. 

8. Chuen. 

6. Akbal. 



2. Mauik. 

10. Akbal. 

8. Men. 

6. Manik. 



2. Chuen. 

10. Manik. 

8. Cauac. 

6. Chuen. 



2. Men. 

10. Chueu. 

8. Akbal. 

6. Men. 



2. Cauac. 

13. Men. 

11. Mauik. 

9. Cauac. 



5. Akbal. 

13. Canac. 

11. Chuen. 

9. Akbal. 



5. Mauik. 

13. Akbal. 

11. Men. 

9. Manik. 



5. Chueu. 

13. Manik. 

11. Cauac. 

9. Chuen. 

i . 


5. Men. 

13. Chuen. 

11. Akbal. 

9. Men. 



5. Cauac. 

3. Men. 

1. Manik. 

12. Cauac. 

3. Cauac. 

1. Chuen. 

12. Akbal. 

3. Akbal. 

1. Men. 

12. Manik. 

3. Manik. 

1. Cauac. 

12. Chuen. 

3. Chuen. 

1. Akbal. 

12. Men. 

There is still another and somewhat probable supposition in regard to 
the object of this division of the days of the month into groups of live, 
which will obviate one objection to the explanation given in my former 
work, viz, the very large number of dates given in the Manuscript 
Troano on the supposition that there are four years to each numeral 
connected with the day columns. It is possible that the days of one 
group indicate the year intended ; that is, whether it is a Cauac, Kan, 
Muluc, or Ix year. 

For example, column No. 4 (Table IV), or some other one of the four, 
may relate to Kan years ; No. 1 to Muluc years ; No. 2 to Ix years, and 
No. 3 to Cauac years. Assuming this to be correct, then the example 
heretofore given, where the days named are 1 Cib, 1 Ahau, 1 Kan, 1 
Lamat, and 1 Eb, and the month the first (Pop), would indicate only the 
years 7 Muluc, 3 Muluc, 12 Muluc, 8 Muluc, and 11 Muluc. These would 
all come in Ahau No. VI, as before, but would indicate that the fes- 
tival, or whatever they referred to, occurred but once every four years, 


in the first month of the year. Heuce if the five days of a cohimu (as 
of the Manuscript Troauo) are all taken from one side of the quadrilat- 
eral of our scheme they will refer to years of one dominical sign only ; if 
alternately from opposite sides, then to the years of two dominical .signs, 
but if taken alteimately from the four sides they would refer to the four 
classes of years. This will reduce the number of dates in the ]Manu- 
script Troano very considerably from the other supposition, but will not 
in any way change the position of the Ahaues in the Grand Cycle. 

As one further item of evidence in regard to this method of arranging 
the twenty days of the month in four groups or columns, I call attention 
to what is found on Plate 32 of the Dresden Codex. Here we find the 
four columns of five days each, corresponding precisely with the ar- 
rangement of the Maya days into four groups, as heretofore. I present 
here the arrangement as found on this plate : 

Table X. 


















Lam at. 







It will be seen by comparing this grouping with that in Table IV 
that column a of this plate contains the same days as column 3 of the 
table; column h the same as column 4; column c the same as column 1, 
and column d the same as column 2. 

But so far I have found no entirely satisfactory explanation of the 
order given in many of these columns and in three of the sides of the 
quadrilateral of the Cortesian plate. 

As this discussion is preliminary to a discussion of the assignment of 
the symbols of the cardinal points, it becomes necessary, in order to 
bring in all the evidence bearing upon the question, to examine certain 
points of the Mexican calendar system, as given by various authors and 
as exhibited in the Mexican Codices. 

If we refer now to Plate 43 of the Borgian Codex, as found in Kings- 
borough's " Mexican Antiquities," Vol. Ill, a photo-engraved copy of 
which is presented in our Fig. 4, we shall, as I believe, not only find ad- 
ditional confirmation of the views I have advanced in reference to the 
peculiar arrangement of the days around the quadrilateral in the plate 
of the Cortesian Codex, but also strong evidence of a common origin of 
the Mexican and Central American calendars. 

This plate of the Borgian Codex, which is Mexican and not Maya, 
consists of four groups, the whole airanged in the form of a square ; each 
group, also a square, is sun-ounded by a serpent, the heads of the four 
■serpents being brought near together at the center, which is indicated 

p. 24 

Fig. 4. — Copy of plate 43. Borgian Codes. 




by the figure of the sun. Each of these serpents, as I have hereto- 
fore intimatecl,^ probably denotes one of the four-year series of the 
cycle of fifty-two years, just as in the Maya cycle we would say "the 
Cauac series," "Kan series," etc.>° The thirteen years of each series 
is denoted by the small circles on the serpents. The four large figures 
are, as we shall hereafter see, fanciful representations of certain ideas 
held by this people in regard to the four cardinal points, each probably 
with its significant color as understood by the artist, and each probably 
indicating one of the four-year bearers. 

But at present our attention is directed to something else to be found 
on this plate. In each of the four spaces and around each of the large 
figures we observe five Mexican day symbols connected usually with the 
main figure by heavy- waved colored lines. What is the signification 
of these day symbols in this connection ? Precisely the same, I believe, 
as those in the four sides of the quadrilateral in the Codex Cortesianus. 
But first I would remark that the waved, colored, connecting lines have 
no other signification than to denote the parts of the body to which the 
days are here severally assigned ; hence, as they have no bearing on the 
questions now under discussion, I shall have no occasion to take any 
further notice of them. 

If we arrange the Mexican days in four columns as we did the Maya, 
that is, placing the first name iu the first column, the second in the sec- 
ond column, and so on, following the usual orthography and the order 
given, the groups will be as follows : 

Table XI. 

























Or, to give them their English equivalents as we usually find them, as 
follows : 

Table XII. 

























9 Study Manuscript Troano, p. 86. 

■"Possibly each serpent represents one indication of thirteen years, but the proper 
answer to this question Is not Important in the present investigation. 


Couipariiig these columns witli the symbols around each one of these 
large figures we find that to eachoneof the latter are assigned the days of 
one of these four columns. In the lower left-hand square, to the large 
green figure, those in column 1 ; thus, at the left foot, the Dragon ; to the 
back of the head, the Snake ; to the eye, Cane ; in the right hand. 
Water ; and below the elbow, but connected with the mouth, Ollin or 
movement (sometimes translated earthquake). To the yellow figure, in 
the lower right-hand square, are applied those of the second column ; to 
the black figure, in the upper right-hand square, those of the third 
€olunui ; and to the red figure, in the upper left-hand square, those of the 
fourth column. There is therefore scarcely any doubt that this arrange.- 
ment is for precisely the same purpose as that iu the plate of the Codex 

As proof that the Mexicans used these combinations in much the same 
way as the Maya priests I call attention to the following examples : 

On Plate 59, of the same (Borgian) Codex, we find two columns of 
•days, one on the right and the other on the left, as follows : 

Left column. Right column. 

Tochtli. Quauhtli. 

Ehecatl. Atl. 

Cozcaquauhtli. Calli. 

Itzquiutli. Ollin. 

Cuetzpaliu. Ozomatli. 

Tecpatl. Coatl. 

Maliualli. Quiahuitl. 

Miquiztli. Acatl. 

Xochitl. Mazatl. 

Ocelotl. Cipactli. 

Comparing these with the names in the four columns (Table XI), we 
find that those on the left were taken alternately from columns 4 and 2, 
and those on the right alternately from columns 3 and 1. On Plates 
61 and 62 we find substantially the same arrangement, or at least the 
same idea as the extract from Codex Peresianus, heretofore referred to. 
■On these two plates (embracing all of 61, and the lower left-hand square 
of 02) we find five squares, each one bordered on two sides with the 
symbol of a single day repeated thirteen times and accompanied by 
numeral signs. 

Commencing with the square on page 62, where the repeated day 
■symbol is Cipactli, and reading the line from left to right and up the 
<johimn, we find the numbers to be as follows, filling out the effaced 
ones in the line : 

{JipactU, 1, S, 2, 9, 3, 10, 4, 11, 5, 12, 6, 13, 7 (the symbol being re- 
peated with each number.) 



In the next, the lower right-hand square 
on Plate 61, where the day is Coatl, the 
numbers, reading the same way, are as 
follows (filling out one efifaced one) : 

Coatl, 5, 12, 6, 13, 7, 1, 8, 2, 9, 3,10, 4, 11. 

Taking the lower left-hand square next, 
the day Atl, and reading in the same 
direction, we find the numbers to be as 
follows (filling out two effaced groups) : 

Atl, 9, 3, 10, 4, 11, 5, 12, 6, 13, 7, 1, 8, 2. 

We take the upper left hand next, read- 
ing from left to right and up : 

Acatl, 13, 7, 1, 8, 2, 9, 3, 10, 4, 11, 5, 12, 6. 

Lastly, the upper right-hand square, 
reading the same way as the last. s 

Ollin, 4, 11, 5, 12, 6, 13, 7, 1, 8, 2, 9, 3, 10. ^ 

^Ye have only to turn to our abridged ^ 
calendar (Table III) to find this exjilained. 2, 
If we take the Ix column and select every » 
fourth day, to wit, Ix, Ezanab, Ik, Gimi, % 
and Oc, and read the line of numbers op- g 
posite each, we shall find them corres- g 
ponding precisely with those mentioned < 
here. For instance, those opposite Ja; the s 
same as those opposite CipactU, &c. ^ 

We further notice that these five names, I' 


CipactU, Coatl, Atl, Acatl, and Ollin, or, w 
to use the Englisli names, Dragon, Snake, 
Water, Cane, and Movement, are pre- 
cisely those of column 1 of the arrange- 
ment of the Mexican days as heretofore 
given (Table XI). 

On plates 13-17 of the Vatican Codex, 
B, Kingsborough, Vol. Ill, we find pre- 
cisely the same arrangement as that just 
described, and where the numerals are so 
distinct that there can be no doubt in 
regard to any of them. The days are 
exactly the same — Cipactli, Coatl, Atl, 
Acatl, and Ollin — and in the same order, 
but the plates are to be taken in the re- 
verse order, commencing with 17, and 
the columns and lines are to be read 




thus: Commeucing at the bottom at the right hand, upward to the top, 
aud then along the line toward the left. 

On Plate 58 of the Borgian Codex we find six Hues of days with five in 
each line. Five out of these six lines are composed of the five days just 
named, simply varied as to the respective positions they occupy in the 
line, but maintaining the same order. 

On Plate 17, same Codex, we see two lines corresponding with the first 
and second columns of the arrangement of the daj's heretofore given. 

But without further reference to these smaller or isolated groups, we 
have conclusive proof of this method of arranging the days among the 
Mexicans, in three extended series — one found on Plates i9-o6 of the 
Vatican Codex B ; one on Plates 31-38 of the Borgian Codex, and an- 
other on Plates 1-8 of the Bologna Codex. 

I give here the arrangement found in the first, which is precisely the 
same as that of the Borgian Codex, except that this is to be read from 
the left to the right, and that of the Borgian Codex from the right to 
the left, both commencing with the bottom line (numbered 5 in the 
following list) : 

A photo-engraved copy of one plate of the former is also given in 
Fig. 5, as it furnishes proof that the days and the order in which they 
follow each other are the same as I have given them. 

For the benefit of English readers the list is given in the English 
equivalents of the Mexican names." 

Table XIII. 

1. Water. 





2. Movement. 





3. Snake. 





4. Cane. 





5. Dragon. 





1. Tiger. 





2. Whul. 





3. Dog. 





i. Flint. 





5 Death. 





1. Eain. 





2. Deer. 





3. Eagle. 





4. House. 





5. Monkey. 





" In order to accommodate the list to the paging it, is divided into sections, the sec- 
ond section to follow to the right of the first; the third to the right of the second, 
and so on to the last, as though extended continuously to the right. Those numbered 
1 would then form one continuous transverse line, as would also those numbered 2,3, 
4 and 5 respectively. 

'- In the original. Deer, certainly an error. 






1. Lizard. 





2. Grass. 





3. Flower. 





4. Rabbit. 





5. Vulture. 





1. Water. 





2. Movement. 





3. Suake. 





4. Caue. 





5. Dragon. 





1. Tiger. 





2. Wind. 





3. Dog. 





4. Flint. 





5. Death. 





1. Rain. 





2. Deer. 





3. Eagle. 





4. House. 





5. Monkey. 





1. Lizard. 





2. Grass. 





3. Flower. 





4. Rabbit. 





5. Vulture. 





1. Water. 





2. Movement. 





3. Snake. 





4. Caue. 





5. Dragon. 





1. Tiger." 





2. Wind. 





3. Dog. 





4. Flint. 





5. Death. 





1. Rain. 


2. Deer. 


3. Eagle. 


4. House. 


5. Monkey. 


13 In the original, Deer. 


If we examine the columns of this list, we see that each one contains 
the days of some one of the four columns of the arrangement hereto- 
fore given ; not always in precisely the same order, but the same days. 

Without stopi^ing to attempt a further explanation of this calendar 
or TonalamatJ, which is not within the scope of our present purpose, I 
merely remark that it is evidently a representation of the Mexican 
"cycle of two hundred and sixty days," or thirteen months, the common 
multiple of 4, 5, 13, and 20, and hence a cycle, at the completion of which 
the day, numeral, &c. (except the month), will be the same as at the 


As a connectiug link between the particular topic now iiiifler discus- 
sion and the consideration of tbe symbols of the cardinal points, I wish 
to refer to one plate of the Fejervary Codex, to wit, Plate 44, a fac- 
simile of which is presented in Plate III: 

A little careful inspection of this plate will suffice to convince the 
reader that it was gotten np upon the same plan and for the same ])ur- 
pose as the "Tableau des Bacab," or plate copied from the Codex Cor- 
tesianus, which is reproduced in our Plate I. 

The sacred tree or cross, which is represented but once in that plate, 
and that in the central area, is here shown four times — once in each of 
the four outer spaces opposite the four sides of the inner area. 

It is true we do not find here the intermediate ring (or quadrilateral) 
of days, but these are not wanting, for the four groujjs, corresponding 
with those on the four sides of the quadrilateral, are here tbuud at the 
four corners wedged in between tbe colored loops, one group of five at 
each corner. The chief marked resemblance is to be found in the 
outer looped line, in which the day characters are connected by rows of 
dots. But here the lines and loops, although almost i)recisely in the 
form and relation to each other as in the plate of the Cortesian Codex, 
are variously and brightly colored, and the rows of dots are inclosed 
by lateral lines. 

Xow for the proof that it is designed for the same purpose as the 
looped line on the other plate. But it is necessary that I ])resent first, 
in a tabular form, a Mexican calendar (Table XIV) similar to the con- 
densed Maya calendar heretofore given. 

I also give, immediately following, a list of Mexican days for thirteen 

months, the number necessary to make the circuit of the plate, just as 

the list of Maya days heretofore given. In this case I have used the 

English equivalents of the Mexican words for the benefit of English 





Table XIV. — Condensed Mexican calendar. 





Numbers of the months. 








5 12 

6 13 

































8 9 10 11 12 




Tecpatl .... 
<3uiahuill . . . 





Miquiztli . . . 




OzomatU ... 

MalinalU ... 









Miquiztli. .. 




Itzcuinlti - . . 
OzomatU — 







Quiahnitl . . . 

Miquiztli . . . 




ItzcuintU. .. 
OzomatU. ... 

MalinaUi . . . 







Quiahnitl. . . 





CnetzpaUn . 

OzomatU ■ 








Quiahuitl . . . 


Cipactli 11 

Ehecatl 12 




MiqulztU . . . 


TochtU .. 


ItzcnintU . 

2 9 

3 10 

12 I 6 

13 ; 7 

1 8 

11 5 112 

6 13 

7 I 1 

8 2 I 

12 6 |13 

13 I 7 1 

1 8 1 2 i 9 

2 I 9 I 3 10 

3 .10 4 11 

9 ' 3 ilO I 4 





11 i 5 12 



6 13 



7 1 



8 2 



9 3 










3 10 

4 11 

5 12 

6 13 

This calendar begins the year Acatl with Cipactli to correspond with 
what I believe to have been the plan on which the Fejervary plate 
wa.s made; this, as will be seen, does not agree with wliat is generally 
sujiposed to have been the usual method. The following table of days 
can be used for either year, but commences as the Acatl years in the 
preceding calendar. 

Table XV. — A List of Mexican Days for Thirteen Months. 

[The dark lines indicate the points where the mouths etid.] 

1. Dragon. 

2. Wind. 

3. House. 

4. Lizard. 

5. Snake. 
€. Death. 
7. Deer. 
S. Eabbit. 
9. Water. 

10. Dog. 

11. Monkey. 

12. Grass. 

13. Cane. 

1. Tiger. 

2. Eagle. 

3. Vulture. 

4. Movement. 

5. Flint. 
G. Eaiu. 

7. Flower. 

8. Dragon. 

9. Wind. 

10. House. 

11. Lizard. 

12. Snake. 

13. Death. 

1. Deer. 

2. Rabbit. 

3. Water. 

4. Dog. 

5. Monkey. 
G. Grass. 

7. Cane. 

8. Tisjer. 

9. Eagle. 

10. Vulture. 

11. Movement. 

12. Flint. 

13. Eain. 

1. Flower. 

2. Dragon. 

3. Wind. 

4. House. 

5. Lizard. 
G. Snake. 

7. Death. 

8. Deer. 

9. Rabbit. 

10. Water. 

11. Dog. 

12. Monkey. 

13. Grass. 

1. Cane. 

2. Tiger. 

3. Eagle. 

4. Vulture. 

5. Movement. 
G. Flint. 

7. Rain. 

8. Flower. 

9. Dragon. 

10. Wind. 

11. House. 

12. Lizard. 

13. Snake. 

1. Death. 

2. Deer. 

3. Rabbit. 


AXNUAI, KErOKT 1882 PL. Ill 

MlLWAiio-.c LlTmi AKKr.l! I 





4. Water. 



3. Eain. 

9. Lizard. 

5. Dog. 



4. Flower. 

10. Snake. 

6. Moukey. 



5. Dragon. 

11. Death. 

7. Grass. 



6. Wind. 

12. Deer. 

S. Caue. 



7. House. 

13. Eabbit. 

9. Tiger. 



8. Lizard. 

1. Water. 

10. Eagle. 



9. Snake. 
10. Death. 

2. Dog. 

11. Vulture. 


3. Monkey. 

12. Movement. 



11. Deer. 

4. Grass. 

13. Flint. 



12. Eabbit. 

6. Cane. 

1. Eaiu. 



13. Water. 

6. Tiger. 

2. Flower. 



1. Dog. 

7. Eagle. 

3. Dragon. 



2. Monkey. 

8. Vulture. 

4. Wind. 



3. Grass. 

9. Movement. 

5. House. 



4. Cane. 

10. Flint. 

6. Lizard. 



5. Tiger. 

11. Eain. 

7. Snake. 



6. Eagle. 

12. Flower. 

8. Death. 



7. Vulture. 

13. Dragon. 

9. Deer. 



8. Movement. 

1. Wind. 

10. Babbit. 



9. Flint. 

2. House. 

11. Water. 



10. Eaiu. 

3. Lizard. 

12. Dog. 



11. Flower. 

4. Snake. 

13. Monkey. 



12. Dragon. 

5. Death. 

1. Grass. 



13. Wind. 

6. Deer. 

2. Cane. 



1. House. 

7. Eabbit. 

3. Tiger. 



2. Lizard. 

8. Water. 

4. Eagle. 



3. Snake. 

9. Dog. 

6. Vulture. 



4. Death. 

10. Monkey. 

Q. Movement. 



5. Deer. 

11. Grass. 

7. Flint. 



6. Eabbit. 

12. Cane. 

8. Eain. 



7. Water. 

13. Tiger. 

9. Flower. 



8. Dog. 

1. Eagle. 

10. Dragon. 



9. Monkey. 

2. Vulture. 

11. Wind. 



10. Grass. 

3. Movement. 

12. House. 



11. Cane. 

4. Flint. 

13. Lizard. 



12. Tiger. 

6. Eain. 

1. Snake. 



13. Eagle. 

6. Flower. 

2. Death. 



1. Vulture. 

7. Dragon. 

3. Deer. 



2. Movement. 

8. Wind. 

4. Eabbit. 



3. Flint. 

9. House. 

5. Water. 



4. Eain. 

10. Lizard. 

6. Dog. 



5. Flower. 

11. Snake. 

7. Monkey. 



6. Dragon, 

12. Death. 

8. Grass. 



7. Wind. 

13. Deer. 

9. Cane. 



8. House. 

1. Eabbit. 

3eth — 




2. Water. 5. Grass. 8. Eagle. 11. Fliut. 

3. Dog. 6. Cane. 9. Vulture. 12. Kain. 

4. Moukey. 7. Tiger. 10. Movement. 13. Flower. 

Although the Mexican equivalents of these names may be inferred 
from what has already been given, I will iusert the Mexican and English 
names of the twenty days here, opposite each other. 

Table XVI. 

Mex. Eng. Hex. Eng. 

Cipactli (Dragon). Ozomatli (Monkey). 

Ehecatl (Wiud). Malinalli (Grass). 

Calli (House). Acatl (Cane). 

Cuetzpalin (Lizard). Ocelotl (Tiger). 

Coatl (Snake). Quauhtli (Eagle). 

Miquiztli (Death). Cozcaquauhtli (Vulture). 

Mazatl (Deer). Ollin (Movement). 

Tochtli (Rabbit). Tecpatl (Flint). 

Atl (Water). Quiahuitl (Rain). 

Itzcuintli (Dog). Xochitl (Flower). 

Examiuiug the looped liue, Plate III, we notice at each of the outer 
and inner bends one of the day symbols. (In the plate of the Cortesiau 
Codex there are two.) We therefore take for granted that this is the first 
day of the week, or indication of thirteen days, hence we should commence 
with Cipactli (or Dragon). This we find at the upper right hand corner 
of the inner square or right base of the large red loop. Judging from the 
direction of the birds' heads and other facts heretofore noted, we presume 
the direction in which we are to move is around toward the left. Count- 
ing the day symbol as one, and each of the twelve dots up the red line as 
one day, we come to the symbol in the upper right-hand corner of the 
loop as the first day of the next week. This we find is Ocelotl (Tiger), 
just as we fiud it to be in the calendar table and list of days. Moving 
along the upper red line to the corner at the left we find the next char- 
acter is Mazatl (or Deer), agreeing exactly with the calendar and list. 
Moving down the left red line to the inner corner we come to the symbol 
for Xochitl (or Flower), also agreeing with the calendar and list. Pro- 
ceeding from thence up the white line we reach next the symbol for the 
day Acatl (Cane) in the red circle surrounded by a yellow line. Here 
we see a marked distinction between this and the other day symbols 
we have named, a distinction which applies only to the four at the cor- 
ners — the four year symbols — Acatl, Tecpatl, Calli, and Tochtli. 

In order that the reader may compare the names in this looped line 
with the calendar, I present here a scheme of it similar to that given of 




the plate from the Gortesian Codex. The explanation given of the other 
will enable him to make the comparison without further aid. 

Fio. 6.— Scheme of Plate 44, Fejervary Codex. 

The numbers in the little circles at the corners and loops replace the 
days of the original as follows: 1, Cipactli; 2, Ocelotl; 3, Mazatl ; 4, 
Xochitl; 5, Acatl; 6, Miqnlztli ; 7, Quiabnitl; 8, Maliualli; 9, Coatl ; 
10, Tecpatl ; 14, Ozomatli ; 12, Ciietzpalin ; 13, Ollin ; 14, Itzcuintli ; 15, 
Oalli;16,Cozcaquauhtli; 17,Atl; 18,Echecatl; 19,Quauhtli; 20,Tochtli. 

As before stated, the four groups of five day symbols are found wedged 
in between the loops at the corners. 

In the upper left-hand corner we see the following : Cipactli, Acatl, 
Coatl, Ollin, and Atl (or, to give the English equivalents in the same 
order. Dragon, Cane, Snake, Movement, and Water), the same as those 
of column 1 of Tables XI and XII. In the lower left hand corner, 
Ehecatl, Itzcuintli, Tecpatl, Miquiztli, and Ocelotl (Wind, Dog, Flint, 
Death, and Tiger), the same as column 2; in the lower right-hand 
corner, Quauhtli, Calli, Ozomatli, Quiahuitl,and Mazatl (Eagle, House, 
Monkey, Eain, and Deer), the same as column 3; and in the upper right- 
hand corner, Tochtli, Cozcaquauhtli, Cuetzpalin, Mallnalli, and Xochitl 


(Eabbit, Vulture, Lizard, Grass, Flower), the same as column 4. But 
the arrangement of the days in the respective columns, as in the "Table 
of the Bacabs," varies from that obtained by placing the days of the 
month in four groups, as heretofore explained. 

Turning again to the plate of the Cortesian Codex, as shown in our 
Plate 2, I call attention first to the heavy black L-shaped figures. I 
presume from the number — eighteen — and the fact that they are found 
in the line of weeks they are symbols of, or denote the months, but am 
unable to suggest any explanation of their use in this connection. I 
find nothing to correspond with them in either of the plates of the Mex- 
ican Codices referred to. 


We .ire now preijared to enter upon the discussion of the symbols of 
the cardinal points, of which figures have already been given in connec- 
tion with the quotations from Rosny's work (Fig. 1), but as I shall have 
occasion to refer to them very frequently I again present them in Fig. 7. 

Flc. 7. — Symbols of the cardinal points. 

As it is conceded by all who have discussed this subject, that « and 
c must be assigned to the east and west or equatorial points, the only 
dispute being as to which should be referred to the east and which to 
the west, it follows that the others must be referred to the polar prints. 
As each one of the four areas or compartments contains one of these sym- 
bols — the top or upper comiiartraent «, the left-hand b, the bottom c, 
and the right-hand d — we naturally infer that the other figures in these 
compartments have some reference to the cardinal points with which 
they are respectively associated. 

I think that Rosny is correct in assuming that this plate places these 
symbols in their proper positions, and hence that if we can determine 
one with satisfactory certainty this will determine the rest. If their 
correct positions are given anywhere it would seem that it would be 
here, in what is evidently a general calendar table or possibly a calendar 

I have already discussed the question of the assignment of the cardi- 
nal symbols to some extent in my former work, '^ and will take for granted 
that the reader is familiar with what is there stated. 

That one of the two characters a and c (Fig. 7), denotes the east or 
sunrise and the other icest or sunset, may, I think, be safely assumed 
from what is given in the work mentioned, and from the evidence pre- 


" Study Mauascript Troano, pp. 69-74. 


sented by Eosuy,'* and Scliultz-Sellack.'^ But whicli east and which 
west is the rock ou which the deductions have been, so far, s^ilit asunder; 
Eosny and SchultzSellack maintaining that a is west and c east, and 
I that a is east and c west. If we admit that they are correctly placed 
on this plate it necessitates the admission on my part that 1 have been 
incorrect in my reference of two of them. If a is east then I have re- 
versed those denoting north and south; if it is west, then I was correct 
as to those denoting north and south, but have reversed those indicating 
east and west. 

Without at present stating the result of my re-examination of this 
subject I shall enter at once upon the discussion, leaving this to ap- 
pear as we proceed. 

It is well known that each of the dominical days or year-bearers 
(Cucli-haab, as they were termed by the Mayas), Kan, Muluc, Ix, and 
Oauac, was referred to one of the four cardinal points. Our first step, 
therefore, is to determine the points to which these days were respect- 
ively assigned. 

I have given in my former paper " my reasons for believing that Cauac 
was referred to the south, Kan to the east, Muluc to the north, and Ix 
to the west, from which I quote the following as a basis for further ar- 

" Landa, Cogulludo, and Perez tell us that each of the four dominical 
(lays was referred by the Indians to one of the four cardinal points. As 
the statem^its of these thi-ee authorities appear at fii'st sight to conflict 
with each other, let us see if we can bring them into harmony without 
resorting to a violent construction of the language used. Perez' state- 
ment is clear and distinct, and as it was made by one thoroughly con- 
versant with the manners and customs of the natives, and also with all 
the older authorities, it is doubtless correct. 

" He says, ' The Indians made a little wheel in which they placed the 
initial days of the year. Kan at the east, Muluc at the north, Oix or 
Hix at the icest, and Cauac at the south, to be counted in the same or- 

" The statement of Cogulludo, which agrees substantially with this, is 
as follows : ' They fixed the first year at the east, to which they gave 
the name Guch-haah ; the second at the west, and called it Hiix ; the 
the third at the south, named Cauac, and the fourth, Muluc, at the 

" Turning now to Landa's work (Relac. de las Cosas, §§ XXXIV), we are 
somewhat surprised to find the following language : ' The first of these 
dominical letters is Kan. • • • They placed this on the south side. 
• • • The second letter is Muluc, which is placed on the eastern 
side. • • ♦ The third of these letters is Ta;, • • • anditsigni- 

"> Les. Doc. Ecrit. I'Antiq. Ameriq. 

'«Zeit8. flirEtbn., 1879. 

"Study Manuscript Troano, pp. 68-70. 


fled the northern side. The fourth letter is Cauac, which is assigned 
to the western side.' 

" This, as we see, places Kan at the south, Muluc at the east, Ix at 
the north, and Cauac at the west, conflicting directly with the state- 
ments made by CoguUudo and Perez. If we turn now to the descrip- 
tion of the four feasts as given by Landa, and heretofore quoted, I think 
we shall find an explanation of this difference. From his account of 
the feast at the commencement of the Kan year (the intercalated days 
of the Cauac year) we learn that first they made an idol called Kan-u- 
uayeyab, which they bore to the heap of stones on the south side of the 
village ; next they made a statue of the god Bolon-Zacah, which they 
placed in the house of the elected chief, or chief chosen for the occasion. 
This done they returned to the idol on the southern stone heap, where 
certain religious ceremonies were performed, after which thej' returned 
with the idol to the house, where they placed it vis-a-vis with the other, 
just as we see in the lower division of Plates XX-XXIII of the Manu- 
script Troano. Here they kept constant vigil until the unlucky days 
(Uayeyabhaab) had expired and the new Kan year appeared; then they 
took the statue of Bolon-Zacab to the temple and the other idol to the 
heap of stones at the east side of the village, where it was to remain 
during the year, doubtless intended as a constant reminder to the com- 
mon people of what year was passing. 

" Similar transfers were made at the commencement of the other 
years; at that of Muluc, first to the east, then to the house, and then 
to its final resting place on the north side; of Ix, first to the north, then 
to the west ; of Cauac, first to the west, then to the south. 

" This movement agrees precisely with the order given by Perez ; the 
final resting places of their idols for the year being the cardinal points 
of the dominical days where he fixes them ; that is, Kan at the east, 
Muluc at the north, Ix at the west, and Cauac at the south. There is, 
therefore, no real disagreement between these authorities on this 

Most of the modern authors who have touched upon this topic, 
although in some cases apparently at sea, without any fixed opinion on 
the subject, are disposed to follow Landa's statement, without compar- 
ing it with his account of the supplemental days, and appear to rely 
upon it rather than upon the statements of CoguUudo and Perez ; and 
hence they refer Kan to the south, Muluc to the east, Ix to the north, 
and Cauac to the west. 

Brasseur, in his Ristoire des Nations civilisSes du Mexique et de VAmS- 
rique Centrale,^' assigns Kan to the east, Muluc to the north, Hix to the 
west, and Cauac to the south. But in his supplement to jStudes sur le 
Manuscrit Troano,^^ and in his note to Landa's Relacion,^ refers Kan to 
the south, Muluc to the east, Ix to the north, and Cauac to the west, 

"Vol. Ill, p. 471. "P. 234. "P. 209. 


although afterwards, in the same work, in a note to Perez' Gronologia, 
he quotes CoguUudo's statement without explanation or objection. 

Dr. Brintou, in his Myths of the Netc World,'^ places these dominical 
days at the same points to which I have assigned them — Kan at the east, 
&c. — although referring in a note at the same place to the very page of 
Lauda's Relacion, where they are assigned as given by Eosny. In a 
subsequent work. Hero Myths, referring to the same passage in Landa, 
an.d with CoguUudo's work before him, he assigns them to the same 
points as Eosny — Kan to the south, &c. — yet without any reference 
whatever to his former expressed opinion. 

SchultzSellack, in an article entitled Die Ameril;armchen Goiter der 
vier Weltrichiungen und ihre Tempel in Pala7iquc,mthe Zeitschrift fiir Eth- 
nologie for 1879," comes to the same conclusion as Eosny. 

Eosny's opinion on this subject has already been quoted." 

From these fixcts it is evident that the assignment of the dominical 
days to their respective cardinal points has not as yet been satisfactorily 
determined, but that the tendency at the present day is to follow Lan- 
da's simple statement rather than CoguUudo and Perez. This is caused, 
I presume, in part, by the fact that certain colors — yellow, red, white, 
and black — were also referred to the cardinal points, and because it is 
supposed that among the Maya nations yellow was appropriated to Kan, 
red to Muluc, white to Ix, and black to Cauac; and as the first appears 
to be more appropriate to the south, red to the east or sunrise, white to 
the north or region of snow, and black to the west or sunset, therefore 
this is the correct assignment. 

But there is nothing given to show that this was the reason for the 
selection or reference of these colors by the inhabitants of Central 

This brings another factor into the discussion and widens the field of 
our investigation ; and as but little, save the terms applied to or con- 
nected with the dominical days, is to be found in regard to the Maya 
custom in this respect, we are forced to refer to the Mexican custom as 
the next best evidence. But it is proper to state first that the chief, 
and, so far as I am aware, the only, authority for the reference of the 
colors named to the four Maya days, is found in the names applied to 
them by Landa.^* 

According to this writer, the other names applied to the Bacah of Kan, 
were Hobnil, Kanil-Bacab, Kan-Pauahtun, and Kan-XibChac; to that 
of Muluc, Ganzienal, Ghacal-Bacab, Chac-Patiahtun, and GhacXib-Ghac ; 
to that of Ix, Zac-Ziui, Zacal-Bacab, ZacPaitahtun, and Zac-Xib-Chac ; 
and to that of Cauac, Hozen-Ek, El-el-Bacab, EkPauahtun, and Ek-Xib- 
Ghac. As Kan or Kanil of the first signifies yellow, Gliac or Chacnl of 
the second signifies red, Zac or Zacal, of the third white, and Ek or Ekel, 

« p. 82. *>See also hisDechiff. Ecrit. Hierat., p. 42. 

MP. 209. « Relacion, p.208. 


of the fourth black, it has been assumed, and, I think, correctly, that 
these colors were usually referred to these days, or rather to the cardi- 
nal points indicated, respectively, by these day symbols. If there is 
any other authority for this conclusion iu the works of the earlier writers, 
I have so far been unable to find it. 

If the figures in our jjlate are properly and distinctly colored in the 
original Codex Cortesiauus, this might form one aid in settling this 
point, but, as we shall hereafter see, the colors really afford very little 
assistance, as they are varied for different i)urposes. 

Rosny gives us no Information on this point, hence our discussion 
must proceed without this knowledge, as we have no opportunity of re- 
ferring to the original. I may remark that it is the opinion of the artist, 
Mr. Holmes, from an inspection of the photograph, that the plate was 
at least partially colored. 

M. de Charencey, who has studied with much care the custom of identi- 
fying colors with the cardinal points in both the Xew and Old World, be- 
lieves that in Mexico and Central America the original system was to 
refer yellow to the east, black to the north, white to the west, and red 
to the south.^' 

When we turn to the Mexican system we find the data greatly in- 
creased, but, unfortunately, the difficulties and confusion are increased 
in like proportion. Here we have not only the four dominical days and 
the four colors, but also the four ages, four elements, and four seasons, 
all bearing some relation in this system to the four cardinal points. 
It will be necessary, therefore, for us to carry along with us these sev- 
eral ideas in our attempt to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion on this 
complicated and mystified subject. 

Before referring to the codices I will present the conclusions of the 
principal authorities who have devoted any attention to this question. 
Sahagnn says, " The names that they gave to the four parts of the 
earth are these: Vitzlampa, the south; Tlapcopcopa, the east; Mict- 
lampa, the north; Coatlampa, the west. The names of the figures 
dedicated to these parts are these : Tochtli, the rabbit, was dedicated 
to Vitzlampi, the south ; Acatl, the cane, to the east; Tecpatl, the flint, to 
the north ; Calli, the house, to the west j » * * * and at the end of 
fifty-two years the count came back to Cetochtliacatl, which is the figure 
of the reed, dedicated to the east, which they called Tlapcopcopa and Tla- 
vilcopa, nearly towards the fire or the sun. Tecpatl, which is the figure 
of a flint, was dedicated to Mictlampa, nearly towards hell, because 

^Dea couJeurs cousiderea comme Symhotes des Points de VHorizon chez des Peuples du Xo- 
veau Monde, in Acles de la Societe Philologique, tomo VI. See also his Recherchis am- 
ies Xoma dea Points de VEapace, in Mem. Acad. Nat. Sex. et Arts et Belles Leitres de Caen, 

Since the above was written I have received a copy of his Agea ou Soleila, in ■which 
he gives the Mexican custom of assigning the colors as follows: blue to the south, 
red to the east, yellow to the north, and green to the west. — P. 40. 


they believed that the dead went towards the north. For which rea- 
son, in the superstition which represented the dead as covered with 
mantas (cloths) and their bodies bound, they made them sit with their 
faces turned toward the north, or Mictlampa. The fourth figure was 
the house, and was dedicated to the west, which they called Cioatlampa, 
which is nearly toward the house of the women, for they held the opin- 
ion that the dead women, who are goddesses, live in the west, and that 
the dead men, who are in the house of the sun, guide him from the east 
with rejoicings every day, until they arrive at midday, and that the de- 
funct women, whom they regard as goddesses, and call Cioapipiltin, 
come out from the west to receive him at midday and carry him with 
rejoicing to the west."^ 

Veytia's statement in regard to the same subject is as follows : 

"The symbols, then, which were used in the aforesaid monarchies for 
the numeration of their years were these four : Tecpatl, that signifies 
flint; Calli, the house; Tochtli, the rabbit; and Acatl, the reed. 
• * • The material signification of the names are those just 
given, but the allegories that they wished to set forth by them are the 
four elements, which they understood to be the origin of all composite 
matter, and into which all things could be resolved. 

" They gave to fire the first place, as the most noble of all, and sym- 
bolized it by the flint. • • * By the hieroglyphic of 'the house' 
they represent the element earth, and gave it the second place in their 
initial characters. 

"By the rabbit they symbolized the air, • * • and represented 
it in various ways, among which was the sign of the holy cross. » * * 

" Finally the fourth initial character, which is the reed, which is the 
proper meaning of the word Acatl, is the hieroglyphic of the element 

At page 48 : " It is to be noted that most of the old calendars — those 
of the cycles as well as those of years and months, which they used to 
form in circles and squares, ran from the right to the left, in the way 
the orientals write and not as we are accustomed to form such figures. 

* * * But they did not maintain this order in the figures that they 
painted and used as hieroglyphics in them, but placed them some looking 
to one side and some to the other." 

Gemelli Carreri" writes as follows in regard to the Mexican calendar 
system : 

" A snake turned itself round into a circle and in the body of the 
serpent there were four divisions. The first denoted the south, in that 
language call'd Vutzlumpa, whose hieroglyphick was a rabbit in a blew 
field, which they called Tochtli. Lower was the part thatsignify'd the 
east, called Tlacopa or Tlahuilcopa, denoted by a cane in a red field, 

" Hist. Gen. de las Cosas de Nueva Espana, tome 2, p. 256. 
" Hist. Ant. Mex., vol. 1, p. 42. 
«»Chnrchill'8 Voyages, vol. IV, pp. 491, 492. 


call'd Acatl. The bieroglyphick of the north, or Micolampa, was a sword 
poiuted with flint, call'd Tecpatl, in a yellow field. That of the west or 
Sihuatlampa, was a house in a green field, and called Cagli. • * • 

"These four divisions were the beginning of the four terms that made 
up the age. Between every two on the inside of the snake were twelve 
small divisions, among which the four first names or figures were success- 
ively distributed, giving every one its number to thirteen, which was the 
number of years that composed an indication ; the like was done in the 
second indication with the same names from one to thirteen, and so in 
the third and fourth, till they finished the circle of fifty-two years. 

* • • From what has been said above, there arise several doubts ; 
the first is, why they begin to reckon their years from the south ; the 
second, why thej' made use of the four figures, of a rabbit, a cane, a flint, 
and a house." 

• He then goes on to state that the Mexicans believed the sun or light 
first appeared in the south, and that hell or inferno was in the north; 
then adds the following : 

" Having found this analogy between the age and the year, they would 
carry the similitude or proportions on further, and, as in the year there 
are four seasons, so they would adapt the like to the age, and accord- 
ingly they appointed Tochtli for its beginning in the south, as it were, 
the spring and youth of the sun's age ; Acatl for the summer, Tecpatl 
for the autumn, and Cagli for his old age or winter. 

" These figures so disposed were also the hieroglyphicks of the ele- 
ments, which is the second doubt ; for Tochtli was dedfcated to Teva- 
cayohua, god of earth; Acatl to Tlalocatetuhtli, god of water; Tecpatl to 
Chetzahcoatl, god of air ; and Cagli to Xiuhtecuhil, god of fire. • • • 

" The days Cipactli, Michitzli, Ozomatli, and GozcaquauJitli are com- 
panions to — that is, in all respects follow — the order of the four figures 
that denote the years of an age, viz, Tochtli, Acatl, Tecpatl, and Cagli, 
to signify that every year whose symbol is Tochtli will have Cipactli 
for the first day of the month ; that whose symbol or distinctive mark 
is Acatl will have Michitzli for the first of the month ; Tecpatl will have 
Ozomatli, and Cagli will have CozcaquauhtU." 

Clavigero^' agrees with Gemelli in reference to the correspondence of 
the year symbols with the first days of the years, and inserts the follow- 
ing remark in a note : 

"Cav. Boturini says that the year of the rabbet began uniformly 
with the day of the rabbet, the year of the cane with the day of the 
cane, &c., and never with the days which we have mentioned ; but we 
ought to give more faith to Siguenza, who was certainly better informed 
in Mexican antiquity. The system of this gentleman is fantastical and 
full of contradictions." 

From this statement we infer that Siguenza held the same opinion on 
this point as Clavigero and Gemelli. 

»Hi8t. Mex. Cnllen's Transl., I, 392. 


Boturini™ gives the followiug arrangement of the "symbols ot the 
four parts or angles of the world," comparing it with that of Gemelli. 

"Gemelli "Boturiui. 

1. Tocbtli= South. , 1. Tecpatl=South. 

2. Acatl =Ea8t. 2. Calli =East. 

3. Tecpatl = North. 3. Tochtli =North. 

4. Calli =West.» 4. Acatl =West.'' 


"Gemelli. "Boturini. 

1. Tochtli= Earth. 1. Tecpatl=Fire. 

2. Acatl = Water. 2. Calli =Earth. 

3. Tecpatl=Air. 3. Tochtli =Air. 

4. Calli =Fire." 4. Acatl =Water." 

Herrera speaks only of the year symbols and colors, and, although 
he does not directly connect them, indicates his understanding in regard 
thereto by the order in which he mentions them : '' 

"They divided the year into four signs, being four figures, the one of 
a house, another of a rabbit, the third of a cane, the fourth of a flint, 
and by them they reckoned the year as it passed on, saying, such a 
thing happened at so many houses or at so many flints of such a wheel 
or rotation, because their life being as it were an age, contained four 
weeks of years consisting of thirteen, so that the whole made up fifty- 
two years. They painted a sun in the middle from which issued four 
lines or branches in a cross to the circumference of the wheel, and they 
turned so that they divided it into four parts, and the circumference 
and each of them moved with its branch of the same color, which were 
four, Green, Blue, Red, and Yellow ; and each of those parts had thir- 
teen subdivisions with the sign of a house, a rabbit, a cane, or a flint." 

From this statement I presume his anangement would be as follows: 

Calli — Green. 
Tochtli —Blue. 
Acatl —Red. 
Tecpatl — Yellow. 

Still, this is at best but a supposition. It is evident that he had be- 
fore him or referred to a wheel similar to that figured by Duran in his 
Hintoria de las Indias, as his description agrees with it in every respect, 
except as to the arrangement of the colors. 

According to Duran ^ "The circle was divided into four parts, each 
part containing thirteen years, the first part pertaining to the east, the 
second to the north, the third to the west, and the fourth to the south. 

''"Idea de Una Nueva Historia General de la America Septentrional, pp. 54-56. 

" Hist. Amer. Dec. II, B. 10, Chap. 4. Transl. vol. 3, pp. 2'21-222. 

'^ Historia de las Indias de Nuera Espana, ilexico, 1880. Tom. II., pp 252-253. 


The first part, which pertained to the east, was called the thirteen years 
of the Cane, and in each honse of the thirteen was painted a cane, and 
the number of the corresponding year. * * * The second part ap- 
plied to the north, in which were other thirteen houses (divisions), called 
the thirteen houses of the Flint, and there were also painted in each 
one a flint and the number of the year. * » * The third part, that 
which appertained to the west, was called the thirteen Houses ; there 
were also painted in this thirteen little houses, and joined to each the 
number of the year. * * * In the fourth and last part were other 
thirteen years called the thirteen houses of the Babbit, and in each of 
these houses were also likewise painted the head of a rabbit, andjoiued 
to it a number." 

The plate or tigure accompanying this statement " is a wheel in the 
form shown in Fig. 8, the quadrant a green, with thirteen figures of the 

Fig. 8 — Caleudiir wheel from Duran. 

cane in it; bred, with thirteen figures of the flint in it; c yellow with 
thirteen figures of the house m it, and d blue, with thirteen figures of 

^'Traf. 3» Lam 1". 


the rabbit's head in it, each figure with its appropriate numeral. At the 
topis the word "Oriente,"at the left "Norte," at the bottom " Occi- 
dente," and at the right " Sur." 

Although this figure was evidently made by this author or for him, it ex- 
presses his understanding of the assignment of the years and arrange- 
ment of the colors as ascertained from the data accessible to him. 

His arrangement will therefore be as follows : 

Acatl — East — Gieen. 
Tecpatl— North — Eed. 
Calli —West —Yellow. 
Tochtli — South — Blue. 

We find the same idea frequently expressed in the codices now ac- 
cessible, as, for example, the Borgian and the Vatican B, though the 
colors do not often correspond with Duran's arrangement. 

ShultzSellack,^* in his article heretofore quoted, arranges the colors 
in connection with the dominical days in the Maya system as follows : 

Kan —South — Yellow. 
Muluc — East — Eed. 
Ix — North — White. 
Cauac — West — Black. 

He does not appear to be so clear in reference to the Mexican system, 
in fact he seems to avoid the question of the assignment of the year 
symbols. His arrangement, as far as I can understand it, is as follows: 

— ? Quetzalcoatl — South — Wind — Yellow. 

— ? Huitzilopuchtli — East — Fire — Eed. 

— 1 Tezeatlipoca — North — Water — White. 

— ? Tlaloc —West —Earth —Black. 

Orozco y Berra^ gives his preference to the opinion of Sahagun, which 
has already been quoted, and which is the same as that held by Tor- 

The most thorough and extensive discussion of this subject which has 
so far been made, is by Dr. D. Alfredo Chavero, in the Anales del Museo 
Nacional de Mexico J" 

According to this author, who had access not only to the older as well 
as more recent authorities usually referred to, but also to the manu- 
script of Fabrigat and the Godex Chimalpopoca or Quauhtitlan, tbe 
order of the year symbols or year bearers — Tecpatl, Calli, Acatl, and 
Tochtli — varied '■^segun les pueblos,^' the Toltecs commencing the cycle 
with Tecpatl, those of Teotihuacan with Calli, those of Tezcuco with 

"Zeit. fur Ethnologie, 1879. 

^Anales Mus. Mex., I, Entrag. 7, p. 299. 

^Monarq. Indiana, lib. X, cap. 36. 

"Tom. I, Entrag. 7, torn. II, and continued in torn. III. 


Acatl, and the Mexicans with Tochili.^ He also shows that the relation 
and order of the four ages or creations and elements in regard to the 
cardinal points, are by no means uniform, not only in the Spanish and 
early authorities, but iu the codices and monuments (supposing his in- 
terpretation to be correct). 
His arrangement, as derived from the leading codices, is as follows: 

Tochtli — South — Earth. 
Acatl — East — Water. 
Tecpatl — North — Fire. 
Calli — West — Air. 

In order that the various views may be seen at a glance, I give here 
a tabulated rhumi: 



1. Tecpatl — Flint —Fire. 

2. Calli — House — Earth. 

3. Tochtli —Rabbit— Air. 

4. Acatl — Cane — Water. 


1. Tochtli — Eabbit — South. 

2. Acatl — Cane — East. "Toward the fire or sun." 

3. Tecpatl— Flint —North. "Nearly towards hell." 

4. Calli — House — West. "Towards the house of women." 


1. Tochtli — Eabbit — South — Blue — Earth — Cipactli. 

2. Acatl —Cane —East —Red — Water— Michiztli. 

3. Tecpatl — Flint — North — Yellow — Air — Ozomatli. 

4. Calli — House — West — Green — Fire — Cozcaquauhtli. 


1. Tecpatl — Flint —South — Fire. 

2. Calli — House — East — Earth. 

3. Tochtli —Eabbit— North — Air. 

4. Acatl — Cane — West — Water. 


Calli — House — Green.- 
Tochtli — Eabbit — Blue. 
Acatl — Cane — Eed. 
Tecpatl — Fliut —Yellow. 

"A fact mentioned by Leon y Gama (DosPiedras, pt. I, p. 16), and Veytia (Hist. Antiq. 
Mej., torn. I, p. 58). See, also, MUUcr, Reisen, tom. Ill, p. 65, and Botnrini, Idea, p. 125. 



1. Acatl — Cane — East — Green. 

2. Tecpatl —Flint —North —Red. 

3. Calli — House — West — Yellow. 

4. Tochtli — Eabbit— South —Blue. 


l._ ? _ Quetzalcoatl —South — Wind — Yellow. 
2.— ? — Huitzilopuchtli — East —Fire — Eed. 
3.— ? _ Tezcatlipoca — North -Water— White. 
4._ ? _ Tlaloc — West — Earth — Black. 


l._?_Bast —Yellow. 

2.— ? — North — Black. 

3._?_West —White. 

4.— ? — South — Eed.53 

Orozco y Berra. 


Tochtli —Eabbit —South 

— Air. 


Acatl — Cane — East 

— Water, 


Tecpatl —Flint —North 

— Fire. 


Calli —House —West 

— Earth. 


1. Tochtli — Eabbit — South — Earth. 

2. Acatl — Cane — East — Water. 

3. Tecpatl — Flint — North —Fire. 

4. Calli — House — West — Air. 

Judging from the differences shown in these lists, we are forced to 
the conclusion that no entirely satisfactory result has been reached 
in reference to the assignment of the different symbols to the cardi- 
nal points ; still a careful analysis will bring out the fact that there is 
a strong prevalency of opinion on one or two points among the earlier 
authorities. In order that this may be seen I present here a list in a 
different form from the preceding. 

^I see from Charencey's "Ages ou Soleils," just received, that he concludes the ar- 
rangement by the Mexicans was as follows: 

1. Tochtli —Rabbit —Blue -Earth —South. 

2. Acatl — Cane — Red — Water — East. 

3. Tecpatl —Flint —Yellow— Air —North. 

4. Calli — House — Green — Fire — West. 



— Blue 


— Blue 


— Red 



Tochtli — Jcail — Tecpail — CalH. 
Sahagun — South — East — North — West. 

Gemelli — South — East — North — West. 

Durau — South — East — North — West. 

Orozco y Berra — South — East — North — West. 
Chavero — South — East — North — West. 

Torquemada — South — East — North — West. 
Boturini — North — West — South — East. 


— East — yortk — JTest. 

— Red — Yellow — Green. 

— Green — Red — Yellow. 

— Yellow — Black — White. 
Schultz-Sellack — Yellow — Red — White — Black. 


Smith — East — North — West. 
Gemelli —Earth —Water — Air*! —Fire. 

Boturini — Fire — Earth — Air — Water. 

Schultz-Sellack — Air —Fire — Water — Earth. 
Ghavero — Earth — Water — Fire — Air. 


Tochtli — Acatl —Tecpatl— Calli 
Veytia — Air — Water — Fire — Earth. 

Gemelli — Earth — Water — Air — Fire. 

Boturini — Air — Water — Fire — Earth. 

Chavero — Earth — Water — Fire — Air. 

Orozco y Berra — Air — Wate«- — Fire — Ear^Ji. 

As will be seen from this list, there is entire uniformity in the assign- 
ment of the years or year symbols to the cardinal points, with the single 
exception of Boturini. As this authoi"'s views in regard to the caleu 
dar are so radically different from all other authorities as to induce the 
belief that it applies to some other than the Aztec or true Mexican 
■calendar we will probably be justified in eliminating his opinion from 
the discussion. 

Omitting this author, we have entire uniformity among the authori- 
ties named in regard to the reference of the years to the cardinal points, 
as follows : 

Tochtli to the south; Acatl to the east; Tecpatl to the north, and 
Calli to the west. 

*'See note 39 ou page 47. 

■" By " ail' " in this connection "wind " is really intended. 
3 ETH i 


Tbe refereuce of the colors aud the elements to the cardiual points is 
too varied to afford us any assistance in arriving at a conclusion in this 
respect. In the assignraeut of the elements to the years we lind that 
water is referred by all the authorities named to Acatl, and Are by all 
but one (Gemelli), to Tecpatl. 

One thing more must be mentioned before we appeal directly to the 
codices. As the groups of live days, so often heretofore referred to, 
were assigned to tlie cardinal i)oints, it is proper to notice here what is 
said on this point. So far, I have found it referred to only in the Ex- 
position of the Vatican Codex and by Schultz-Sellack in the article be- 
fore cited. 

As the latter refers to them by numbers only, I give here a list of 
the Mesicm days, with numbers corresponding with the j^ositions they 
severally hold in their regular order. > 

Flmt cohimn. Second column. Third column. Fourth column. 

1. Cipactli. 2. Ehecatl. 3. CalJi. 4. Cuetzpalin. 

5. Coatl. C. Miquitzli. 7. Mazatl. 8. Tochtli. 

9. Atl. 10. Itzquintli. 11. Ozomatli. 12. Malinalli. 

13. Acatl. 14. Ocelotl. 15. Quauhtli. 16. Cozcaquauhtli. 

17. Ollin. IS. Tecpatl. 19. Quiahuitl. 20. Xochitl. 

Using the numbers only, 1, 5, 9, 13, and 17 will denote the first col- 
umn ; 2, G, 10, 14, and IS the second, &c. 
Schultz-Sellack states that: 

4, 8, 12, 16, 20 were assigned to the south. 

1, 5, 9, 13, 17, to the east. 

2, 6, 10, 14, 18, to the north. 
3, 7, 11, 15, 19, to the west. 

But, as he only quotes from the explanation of the Vatican Codex as 
given by Kingsborough,'*- 1 will iiresent here the .statement of this au- 
thority : 

" Thus tliey commenced reckoning from the sign of One Cane. For ex- 
ample: One Cane, two, three, &c., proceeding to thirteen; for, in tlie 
same way, as we have calculations in our repertories by which to find 
what sign rules over each of the seven days of the week, so the natives 
of that countr\' had thirteen signs for the thirteen days of their week ; 
and this will be better understood by an example. To signify the first 
day of the world, they painted a figure like the moon, surrounded with 
splendor, which is emblematical of tbe deliberation which they saj' their 
god held respecting the creation, because the first day after the com- 
mencement of time began with the second figure, which-was One Cane. 
Accordingly, completing their reckoning of a cycle at the sign of Two 
Canes, they counted an Age, which is a period of fifty-two years, because, 

■I- Kinssboroiigh, vol. VI, [ip. I'.KJ, 197. 


on account of the bissextile years which necessarily fell in this sign of 
the Cane, it occurred at the expiration of every period of fifty-two years. 
Their third sign was a certain figure which we shall presently see, re- 
sembling a serpent or viper, by which they intended to signify the pov- 
erty and labors which men suffer in this life. Their fourth sign repre- 
sented an earthqualce, which they called Nahuolin, because they say 
that in that sign the sun was created. Their fifth sign was Water, for, 
according to their account, abundance was given to them iu that 
sign. [The five days Cipactli, Acatl, Coatl, Ollin, Atl.] These five 
signs they placed in the upper part, which they called Tlacpac, 
that is to say, the east. They placed five other signs at the south, 
which they named Uitzlan, which means a place of thorns — the first of 
which was a flower, emblematical of the shortness of life, which passes 
away quickly, like a blossom or flower. The second was a certain very 
green herb, in like manner denoting the shortness of life, which is as 
grass. The third sign was a lizard, to show that the life of man, be- 
sides being brief, is destitute, and replete with the ills of nakedness and 
cold, and with other miseries. The fourth was a certain very cruel spe- 
cies of bird which inhabits tliat country. The fifth sign was a rabbit, 
because they say that in this sign their food was created, and accordingly 
they believed that it presided over drunken revels [Xochitl, Malinalli, 
Cuetzpalin, Cozcaqiiauhtli, Tochtli.] They placed five other signs 
at the west, which region they called Tetziuatlan. The first was a 
deer, by which they indicated the diligence of mankind in seeking 
the necessaries of life for their sustenance. The second sign was a 
shower of rain falling from the skies, by which they signified pleasure 
and worldly content. The third sign was an ape,' denoting leisure 
time. The fourth was a house, meaning repose and tranquillity. The 
fifth was an eagle, the symbol of freedom and dexterity. [.Mazatl, 
Quiahuitl, Ozomatli, Calli, Quauhtli.] At the north, which they 
call Teutletlapan, which signifies the place of the gods, they i»laced 
the other five signs which were wanting to complete the twenty. 
The first was a tiger, which is a very ferocious animal, and accordingly 
they considered the echo of the voice as a bad omen and the most un- 
hicky of any, because they say that it has reference to that sign. The 
second was a skull or death, by which they signified that deatli com- 
menced with tne first existence of maulviud. The third sign was a razor 
or stone knife, by which are meant the wars and dissensions of the , 
world ; they call it Tequepatl. The fourth sign is the head of a cane, 
which signifies the devil, who takes souls to hell. The fifth and last of 
all the twenty signs was a winged head, by which they represented the 
wind, indicative of the variety of worldly affairs." [Ocelotl, Miquiztli, 
TecpatI, Itzquiutli, Ehecatl.] 

According, therefore, to this author the first column was assigned to 
the East, the second to the North, the third to the West, and the fourth 


to the South. He also says that the counting of the years began with 
1 Cane." 

Turning now to Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex (our Plate III), we 
notice that the symbols of the days of the first column are wedged in 
between the loops of the upper left-hand corner, and that here we also 
find the symbol of the year-bearer, Acatl, in the red circle at the outer 
extremity of the loop. Here, then, according to the expounder of the 
Vatican Codex, is the east, and this agrees also with all the other au- 
thorities except Boturini. As these day symbols are between the red 
and yellow loops, the next point to be determined is to which of the 
two they belong. 

This is a very important point, the determination of which must have 
a strong bearing on our decision as to the cardinal points. As it is here 
that the apparently strongest evidence against my conclusion is to be 
found, it is necessary that I explain somewhat fully my reasons for de- 
ciding against this apparent evidence. 

If we take for granted that the day columns relate to the large an- 
gular loops, then the column in the upper right-hand corner would seem 
to belong to the top or red loop and not to the oue on the right ; and 
the column in the upper left-hand corner to the left or yellow loop.and 
not to that at the top, and so on. This I concede is a natural inference 
which it is necessary to outweigh by stronger evidence. 

In the first place it is necessary to bear in mind that although the 
sides of the plate, that is to say the large loops, are spoken of as facing 
the cardinal points, yet it is possible the artist intended that the corner 
or round loops should indicate the cardinal points, as here are found the 
days assigned to these quarters. 

Even admitting that the large angular loops indicate the cardinal 
points, we must suppose the figures of one corner, either those at the 
right or left, belong respectively to them. As the symbols of the year- 
bearers Acatl, Tecpatl, Calli, and Tochtli have peculiar marks of dis- 
tinction, we are justified in believing that this distinction is for the 
purpose of signifying the quarter to which they belong. Examining 
carefully the bird on the symbol for Acati in the uijper left-hand corner 
loop, we find that it can be identified only with that on the tree in the 
top or red angular loojj. It is true the identification in the other cases 
is not so certain, but in this case there can be very little doubt, as the 
green top-knot, the peculiar beak, and green feathers are sufficient of 
themselves to connect the upper left-hand white loop and figures of 
this corner with the top red loop and figures embraced in it. 

Studying the plate carefully and also our scheme of it — Fig. 6 — we 
observe that Cipactli is found at the right base of the red loop, Miquitzli 
at the right base of the yellow loop (the center of the plate being con- 
sidered the point of observation), Ozomatli at the right base of the blue 

••^See also Cbavero's statement to the same purpose, Anales Mus. Hex., torn. 11, 
entrap. 4, p. 244. 


loop, and Cozcaqnauhtli at the right base of the green loop (but in this 
case it can be determined only by the order, not by the figure). These 
are the four days, as is well known, on which the Mexican years begin. 

I take for granted, therefore, that the year Acatl or Caue applies to 
the top or red loop. This, I am aware, necessitates commencing the 
year with 1 Ciiiactli, thus apparently contradicting the statement of 
Gemelli that the Tochtli year began \\ ith Cipactli. But it must be borne 
in mind that this author expressly proceeds upon the theory that the 
counting of the years began in the south with Tochtli. If the couut be- 
gan with 1 Cane, as both the expounder of the Vatican Codex and Uuran 
afQrm, Cipactli would be the first day of this year, as it appears evident 
from the day lists in the Codices that the first year of all the systems 
commenced with this day. That Acatl was assigned to the east is 
affirmed by all authorities save Boturini, and this agrees very well 
with the plate now under consideration. There is one statement made 
by the expounder of the Vatican Codex which not only enables us to 
understand his confused explanation, but indicates clearly the kind of 
painting he had in view, and tends to confirm the opinion here ad- 

He says thiit "to signify the first day of the world they painted a 
figure like the moon," &c. Let us guess this to be Cipactli, as nothing 
of the kind named is to be found. The next figure was a cane; their third 
figure was a serpent ; their fourth, earthquake (Olliu) ; their fifth, water. 
" These five signs they placed in the upper part, which they called Tlacpac, 
that is to say, the east.^^ That he does not mean that these days fol- 
lowed each other consecutively in counting time nnist be admitted. 
That he saw them placed in this order in some painting may be inferred 
with positive certainty. It is also apparent that they are the five days 
of the first column in the arrangement of the Mexican days shown in 
Table No. XI, though not in the order there given, which is as follows: 

Dragon, Snake, Water, Cane, Movement. 

The order in which they are placed by this author is this : 

Dragon ? Cane, Serpent, Movement, Water. 

Which, by referring to page 35, we find to be precisely the same as 
that of the five days wedged in between the loops in the upper leff -hand 
corner of Plate 44 of the Fejervary Codex ; thus agreeing in order and 
position with this author's statement. Duran, as we have seen, also 
places the east at the top. The same thing is true in regard to the 
calendar wheel from the book of Chilan Balam hereafter shown. 

Accordingly, I conclude that the top of this plate — the led loop — will 
be east ; the left-hand or yellow loop, north ; the bottom or blue loop, 
west, and the right-hand or green loop, south. This also brings the year 
Acatl to the east, Tecpatl to the north, Calli to the west, and Tochtli to 


the south. As the commeucement was afterwards changed to Tochtli, 
as we are informed by Chavero (and as appears to be the case in the 
Borgiau Codex), it would begin at the south, just as stated by Gemelli 
and other early writers, who probably refer to the system in vogue 
at the time of the conquest. 

ShultzSellack alludes to this plate in his article heretofore quoted, 
but considers the red loop the south, notwithstanding his assignment of 
red among the Aztecs to the east. He was led to this conclusion, I 
presume, by two facts : First, the close proximity of the fourth column 
of days to this red loop, and second, the figure of the sun at the foot 
of the tree or cross, the sun of the first creation having made its ap- 
pearance, according to Mexican mythology, in the south. But it is far 
more likely that the artist intended here to be true to known phe- 
nomena rather than to a tradition which was in contradiction to them. 
The presence of this figure above the horizon is, I think, one of the 
strongest possible proofs that this part of the plate denotes the east. 

According to Gemelli''^ the south was denoted by a "blue field," and 
the symbol Tochtli ; east by a red field, and the symbol Acatl ; the 
north by a "yellow field," and the symbol Tecpatl, and the west by 
a "green field," and the symbol Calli. In this plate we have precisely 
the colors he mentions, red in the east, and yellow in the north, but 
green is at the south, and blue at the west. 

Sahaguu remarks*^ that "at the end of fifty-two years the count came 
back to Cetochtliacatl (one-Eabbit-Caue), which is the figure of the reed 
dedicated to the east, which they called Tlapcopcopa and Tkiinlcopa, nearly 
towards the fire or sun."^ 

This language is peculiar and important, and indicates that he had 
a Mexican painting similar to the plate now under discussion before him, 
in which the year symbols were at the corners instead of at the sides. 
On this supposition only can we understand his use of the term " Ge- 
tochtliacatl,^^ and the expression " nearly towards the fire," &c. His use 
of the term "fiie" in this connection undoubtedly indicates red. His 
language is therefore in entire harmony with what we find on this plate. 

According to Gemelli and Chavero the element earth was assigned to 
the south ; in this plate, in the right space inclosed by the green loop, 
we seethe great oi)en jaws representing the earth out of which the tree 
arises. From a careful examination of this figure, so frequently found 
in this and other Mexican Codices, I am convinced it is used as the sym- 
bol of the grave and of the earth. The presence of this symbol and of 
the figure of death in this space, as also the figures of the gods of death 
and the under world in the corresponding space-of the Cortesian plate, 

"I.e. See also the colored wheel in Kingsborough, Mex. Aiitiq., Vol. IV. Copied 
from one iu Boturini's collectiou, the same as Gemelli's. 


*Y acabados los eiucuenta y dos aiioa toruaba la cueuta -S cetocitliacatl, que es la 
caSa figura dedicada al oriente que llamaban tlapcopcopa. y tlavilcopa, casihacia la 
lumbre, 6 al sol. 


Strongly inclined me for a time to believe that this should be considered 
the north, as in the Aztec superstitions one class of the dead was lo- 
cated in that region ; but a more thorough study leads me to the con- 
clusion that these figures are intended to represent the earth and to 
symbolize the fact that here is to be found the point where the old cycle 
end.s aud the new begins. I will refer to this again when 1 returu to 
the description of the Cortesian plate. 

All the authorities, except Boturini, refer the year Tecpatl or Flint 
to the north, which agrees with the theory I am advancing, and in the 
lower left-hand corner we find in the red circle the figure of a flint, 
which according to my arrangement apijlies to the north, represented 
by the yellow loop. 

How, then, are we to account for the presence of this symbol on the 
head of the right figure in the red or eastern loop ? Veytia says, " They 
(the Mexicans) gave to fire the first place as the most noble of all (the 
elements), and symbolized it by the flint." This I acknowledge present,s 
a difiiculty that I am unable to account for only on the sui)positiou that 
this author has misinterpreted his authorities, for no one so far as I can 
find gives the " sun" or " age of fire" as the first, the only diflerence 
in this respect being as to whether the "suu of water" or the "sun ot 
earth " was first. This difference I am inclined to believe (though with- 
out a thorough examination of the subject) arises chiefly from a varia- 
tion of the cardinal point with which they commence the count, those 
starting at the south commencing with the element earth, those begin- 
ning at the east with water.''" Not that the authors themselves always 
indicated these points, but that a jiroper interpretation of the original 
authorities would have resulted in this conclusion, supposing a pi-oper 
adjustment of the different calendar systems of the Nahua nations to 
have been made. I think it quite probable that the artist who painted 
this plate of the Fejervary Codex believed the first "sun "or "age" 
should be assigned to the east, aud that here the flint indicates origin, 
first creative power or that out of which the first creation issued, an 
idea which I believe is consonant with Nahua traditions. I luay as well 
state here as el.sewhere that notwithstanding the statement made by 
Gemelli and others that it was the belief or tradition of the Mexicans 
that the sun first appeared in the south, I am somewhat skeptical on 
this point. 

Such a tradition might be possible in an extreme northern country, 
but it is impos.sible to conceive how it would have originated in a trojii- 
cal region. 

The calendar and religious observances were the great and all-absorb- 
ing topics of the Nahua nations, aud hence it is to these, and especially 
the first, that we must look for an explanation of their paintings and 

■" See the various views presented by Chavero, Anales Mus. Mei. Tom. II Entrag. 2, 
and authorities referred to by Bancroft, Native Races, II. p. 504, note 3. 


sculpture, and not so much to the traditions given by the old Spanish 

Finally, the assignment of the year symbols to the four points at 
which we find them was not, as these early authors supposed, because 
of their significance, but because in forming the circle of the days they 
fell at these points. This fact is so apparent from the plates of the 
Codices that it seems to me to forbid any other conclusion. 

In the bottom, blue loop, which we call the west, we see two female 
figures, one of them with cross-bones on her dress. This agrees pre- 
cisely with the statement of Sahagun heretofore given, to wit, " forthey 
held the opinion that the dead women, who are goddesses, live in the 
west, and that the dead men, who are in the house of the sun, guide 
him from the east with rejoicings every day, until they arrive at mid- 
day, and that the defunct women, whom they regard as goddesses and 
call Cioapipiltin, come out from the west to receive him at midday (or 
south?), and carry him with rejoicing to the west." Before compar- 
ing with the plate of the Cortesian Codex, we call attention to some 
other plates of the Mexican Codices, in order to see how far our inter- 
pretation of the plates of the Fejervary Codex will be borne out. 

Turning now to Plates 65 and 66 of the Vatican Codex B " (shown in 
our Plate IV), we observe four trees (or crosses) each with an individual 
clasping the trunk. One of these individuals is red, the other white, 
with slender red stripes and with the face black, another green, and the 
other black. On the top of each tree, except the one at the right, is a 
bird ; on the right tree, or rather broad-leaved tropical plant, which is 
clasped by the black individual, is the figure of the tiger or rabbit. As 
these are probably intended to represent the seasons (spring, summer, 
&c.), the ages, or the years, and consequently the cardinal points, let us 
see with what parts of the plate of the Fejervary Codex they respect- 
ively correspond. 

By turning back to page 60 the reader will see that the days of the 
first column, viz, Cipactli, Coatl, &c., or numbers 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 were 
referred to the east, the second column 2, 6, 8, 12, 16 to the north, &c. 
Each of the four trees has below it, in a line, five day characters. Below 
the fourth one are Xochitl, Malinalli, Cuetzpalin, Cozcaquauhtli, and 
Tochtli, precisely those of the fourth column, and which, in accordance 
with our interpretation of the Fejervary Codex, are assigned to the 

Keferring to the first or left-hand of these four groups, we observe 
that the clasping figure is red, and that the days in the line underneath 
are 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, those of the east, agreeing in all respects with our 
interpretation of the Fejervary plate. 

The days below the second group, with the white and red striped in- 
dividual, are 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, indicating the north, and those below the 
third, with the green individual, 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, denoting the west. 

■•sKingsburougb, Mex. Antiq., Vol. III. 




I'lU^ UU.\VAI'U£i: LlTIIO.JLtlX 




So far the agreement with our theory of the other plate is jierfect, 
but iu this case we have taken the figures from the left to the right, 
this being, as we have seen in the Tonalumatl, or table of days, copied 
from this Codex, the direction in which they are to be read when in a 

We notice also that the bird over the first tree, although diftering iu 
some respects from it, is the same as that in the top or red loop of the 
other plate, and that over the third tree the same as that in the blue or 
bottom loop, agreeing also in this respect. 

From these facts we understand that the black figure is sometimes 
at least assigned to the south. 

I am fully aware of the difficulties to be met with in attempting to 
carry out this assignment of colors, in explanation of other plates of 
this and other Codices, nor do I believe colors can be relied upon. They 
form some aid in the few plates of general application to the calendar, 
and where there are reasons, as iu the cases given, to tlie cardi- 
nal points will be indicated in some regular order. The same thing is 
true also in regard to the Manuscriiit Troano. For example, if we sup- 
pose character a of Fig. 7 to denote the east, b north, c west, and d 
south, we shall find them arranged in the following difl'erent ways : 

d a 

abed c d a b 

d h 

a d 
c b 

e d 
a b 

Combine with these colors and other distinctive marks, then vary 
them in proportion, and we should have an endless variety, just as we 
see in the Mexican Codices. We can only hope to solve the problem, 
therefore, b,y selecting, after careful study, those plates which appear 
to have the symbols arranged in their normal order. 

Turning to plate 43 of the Borgian Codex, we find it impossible to 
make it agree, either with the plate of the Fejervary Codex or the Vat- 
ican Codex. Here we find the days 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 associated with the 
green figure in the lower left-hand square; 2; G, 10, 14, 18 with the 
yellow figure in the lower right-hand square ; 3, 7, 1 1, 15, and 19 with 
the black figure in the upper right-hand square, and 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 
with the red figure in the upper left-hand square. What adds to the 
difficulty is the fact that the symbol of the Cane accompanies the black 



figure, tbus apparently iudicating that this denotes the year Acatl. 
That these groups are to be taken in the same order as those of Plate 
44 of the Fejervary Codex, that is around to the left, opposite the sun's 
course, is evident from the days and also from Plate 9 of this (Borgiau) 
Codex, where the twenty days of the month are placed in a circle. 

In this latter the order of the four years is indicated by the first days 
of the years, viz, GipaciU, Miquiztli, Ozomatli, and Gozcaquaulitli placed 
in blue circles at the corners in the following order : 



Cozcaquauhtli. Cipactli. 

In the lower right-hand corner of Plate 4, same Codex, is a square 
with the four quadrants very distinctly colored and arranged thus : 





and a large red circle in the center, on the body of what is evidently 
intended as a symbol of GipaciU. As this appears to be a figure of 
general application, we presume that it commences with Gipactli, the 
day on which the cycles began. As the four names of the days with 
which the years began probably show, as arranged in tlie above square, 
their respective positions in the calendar wheel, I infer that, in their 
normal arrangement, GipaciU (;orresponded with the led, Miquiztli with 
the green, Ozomaili with the yellow, and CozcaquavhtH with the blue. 
This brings the colors in precise accordance with those on the cross in 
the lower right-hand square of Plate 43; and if we suppose the black 
figure to correspond with the blue it brings the colors in the same order, 
but the day groups are shifted around oue.point to the left. It is prob- 
able therefore that this plate, like a number of others in the same Codex, 
is intended to denote the relation of colors and day groups to each other 
in some other than the first or normal year, or possibly to the seasons or 
the four Indications of the cycle. 

But be this as it may, I do not think the difficulty in reconciling the 
arrangement of the colors and days in this Codex will warrant the le- 
jection of our explanation of the plates of the other codices. That Plate 
44 of the Fejervary Codex is one of general application must be admitted, 
as is also the "Table of the Bacabs" from the Cortesiau Codex ; and if 
the true assignment to the cardinal points is made anywhere it will cer- 
taiidy be in these. Turning now to the latter, as shown in our Plate II, 


where the erased characters are restored, we note the followiug facts, 
and then with some general remarks conclude our paper, as we have no 
intention of entering upon a general discussion of the Mexican Calendar, 
which would be necessary if we undertoolv to explain fully even the 
plates of the codices we have referred to. 

As before remarked, the Cortesiau plate is arranged upon the same 
plan as that of the Fejervary Codes, evidently based upon the same 
theory and intended for the same purpose. In the latter the four year 
symbols are placed in the outer looped line at the four corners, and so 
distinguished as to justify us in believing they mark their respective 
quadrants. In the former we find the four Maya year-bearers, Cauac, 
Kan, Muluc, Ix, in corresponding positions, each distinguished by the 
numeral character for 1 (see 31, 1, 11, and 21 in our scheme, Fig. 2), the 
first, or the right, corresponding with the green loop and the year 
Tochtli; the second, at the top, corresponding with the red loop and 
the year Acatl ; the third, at the left, corresponding with the yellow 
loop and the year Tecpatl, and the fourth, at the bottom, corresponding 
with the blue loop and the year Calli. This brings Cauac to the south, 
Kan to the east, Muluc to the north, and Ix to the west, and the cor- 
respondence is complete, except as to the colors, which, as we have 
seen, cannot possibly be brought into harmony. This view is further 
sustained by the fact that the god of death is found on the right of each 
plate, not for the purpose of indicating the supposed abode of the dead, 
bat to mark the point at which the cycles close, which is more fully ex- 
pressed in the Cortesiau plate by piercing or dividing the body of a 
victim with a Hint kuife^' marked with the symbol of Ezanab (the last 
day of the Ix years; and the symbol of Ymix, with which, ia some way 
not yet understood, the counting of the cycles began. 

In the quotation already made from Sahagun we find the following- 
statement : " Tecpatl, which is the figure of a flint, was dedicated to 
MicUampa, nearly towards hell, because they believed that the dead 
went towards the north. For which reason, in the superstition which 
rei)resented the dead as covered with mantas (cloths) and their bodies 
bound, they made them sit with their faces turned toward the north or 

Although he is referring to Mexicau customs, yet it is worthy of note 
that in this Cortesiau plate there is a sitting mummied figure, bound 
with cords, in the left space, which, according to my interpretation, is 
at the north side. 

Since the foregoing was written I have received ft-om Dr. D. G. Brin 

■"Dr. Brintou, "The Maya Chronicles," p. 53, informs us that "the division of the 
katuns was on the principle of the Belran system of numeration, as xel u ca katun, 
• thirty yeais ; ' xeluyox katun, 'fifty years.' Literally these expressions are, 'dividing 
the second katun,' 'dividing the third katun,' xel meaning to cut in pieces, to divide 
as with a knife." This appears to be the idea intended in the figure of the Cortesiau 



tou a photo lithograph of the " wheel of the Ah cuch-haab " found in 
the book of Chilau Balam, which he has kindly allowed nie to use. 
This is shown in Fisr. 9. 

Fig. 9. — Calendar wheel from book of Cbilan Balam. 

In this (smaller cirele) we see that Kan is placed at the top of the 
cross, denominated Laldn, or east ; Cauac at the riglit, Nohol, or south ; 
Mulac at the left, Xaman, or north ; and Hiix at the bottom, Chikin, or 

Although this shows the marks of Spanish or foreign influence, yet 
it afl'ords corroborative evidence of the correctness of the view advanced. 
The upper and larger circle is retained only to show that the reading 
was around to the left, as in the Cortesian jjlate. 


This result of our investigations, I repeat, forces us to the conclusion 
that a, Fig. 7, is the symbol for east, as stated in my former work, h of 
north, c of west, and d of south. 

Among the importaut results growing out of, and deductions to be 
drawn from,-my discovery in regard to these two plates, I may mention 
the following : 

First. That the order in which the groups and characters are to be 
taken is around to the left, opposite the course of the sun, which tallies 
with most of the authorities, and in reference to the Maya calendar con- 
firms Perez's statement, heretofore mentioned. 

Second. That the cross, as has been generally supposed, was used 
among these nations as a symbol of the cardinal points. 

Third. It tends to confirm the belief that the bird figures were used to 
denote the winds. This fact also enables us to give a signification to the 
birds' heads on the engraved shells found in the mounds of the United 
States, a full and interesting account of which is given by Mr. Holmes in a 
paper published in the Second Annual Eeport of the Bureau of Ethnol- 
ogy.'" Take for example the three shells figured on Plate LIX— repro- 
duced in our Fig. 10 — ITos. 1, 2 and 3. Here is in each case the four-looped 
circle corresponding with the four loops of the Cortesian and Fejervary 
plates, also with the looped serpent of the Mexican calendar stone, and the 
four serpents of Plate 43 of the Borgian Codex. The four bird heads on 
each shell are pointed toward the left, just as on Plate 44 of the Fejer- 
vary Codex, and Plates 65 and 66 of the Vatican Codex B, and doubtless 
have the same signification in the former as in the latter — thcfouricinds, 
or winds of the four cardinal points. If this supposition be correct, of 
which there is scarcely room for a doubt, it not only confirms Mr. Holmes's 
suggestions, but also indicates that the mound builders followed the 
same custom in this respect as the Nahua nations, and renders it quite 
probable that there was more or less intercourse between the two peoples, 
which will enable us to account for the presence in the mounds of cer- 
tain articles, which otherwise appear as anomalies. 

Fourth. Another and more importaut result is the proof it furnishes 
of an intimate relation of the Maya with the Xahua nations. That all 
the Central American nations had calendars substantially the same in 
principle as the Mexican, is well known. This of itself would indi.'ate 
a common origin not so very remote; but when we see two contif.uous 
or neighboring peoples making use of the same conventional signs of a 
complicated nature, down even to the most minute details, and those of 
a character not comprehensible by the commonalty, we have proof at 
least of a very intimate relation. I cannot attempt in this place to dis- 
cuss the question of the identity or uon-i,lentity of the Maya, Toltec 
and Aztec nations, nor the relations of one to the other, but follow the 
usual method, and speak of the three as distinct. 

»P. 281, pi. 69. 



Fig. 10,— Engraved shells from mounds. 


If Leon y Gama is correct iu his statement,*^ " No todos couieuzabau 
&, coatar el circlo por un misoio auo ; los Toltecos lo empezaban tlesde 
Tecpatl; los de Teotilmacau desde Calli ; los Mexicaiios desde Tochtli; 
y los Tezcocanos desde Acatl," and the years began with Vipactli, we 
are probably justified iu concluding that the Fejervary Codex is a 
Tezcucan manuscript. 

Be this as it may, we have in these two plates the evidence of au in- 
timate relation between the Maya and Nahua nations, as that of the 
Cortesiau Codex certainly appertains to the former and the Fejervary 
as certainly to the latter. 

Which was the original and which the copy is a question of still 
greater importance, as its proper determination may have the efi'ect to 
overturn certain opinions which have been long entertained and gener- 
ally conceded as correct. If an examination should prove that the 
Mayas have borrowed from the Nahuas it would result in proving the 
calendar and sculptures of the former to be much more recent than has 
been generally supposed. 

It must be admitted that the Mexican or Xahua manuscripts have 
little or nothing in them that could have been borrowed from the Maya 
manuscripts or inscriptions; hence, if we find in the latter anyihing 
belonging to or found in the former it will indicate that they are bor- 
rowed and that the Mexican are the older. 

In addition to the close resemblance of these two plates, the following- 
facts bearing upon this question are worthy of notice. In the lower 
part of Plate 52 of the Dresden Codex we see precisely the same figure 
as that used by the Mexicans as the symbol of GipactU. 

The chief chai-acter of the hieroglyphic, 15 R. (Rau's scheme), of the 
Palenque Tablet is a serpent's head (shown correctly only on the stone in 
the Smithsonian Museum and iu Dr. Rau's photograph), and nearly the 
same as the symbol for the same Mexican day. The method of repre- 
senting a house in the Maya manuscripts is substantially the same as 
the Mexican symbol for Calli (House). The cross on the Palenque 
Tablet has so many features in common with those in the blue and red 
loops of the Fejervary Codex as to induce the belief that they were de- 
rived from the same type. We see in that of the Tablet the rei)tile 
head as at the base of the cross in the blue loop, the nodes, and proba- 
bly the bird of that iu the red loop, and the two human figures. 

What is perhaps still more siguificant, is the fact that in this plate of 
the Fejervery Codex, and elsewhere iu the same Codex, we see evidences 
of a transition from pictorial symbols to conventional characters; for ex- 
ample, the yellow heart shaped symbol in the lower left-hand corner of the 
Fejervary plate which is there used to denote the day Ocelotl (Tiger). On 
the other hand we find in the manuscript Troano for example, on i)late 
III, one of the symbols used in the Tonalamati of the Vatican Codex 
B and in other Mexican codices to signify water. On Plate XX V* of 

"Dos Piedras, pt. 1, p. 16. 


the same manuscript, under the four symbols of the cardinal points, 
we see four figures, one a sitting figure similar to the middle one with 
black head, on the left side of the Cortesiau plate; one a spotted dog 
sitting on what is apparently part of the carapace of a tortoise; one a 
monkey, and the other a bird with a hooked bill. Is it not possible that 
we have here an indication of the four days — Dragon, Death, Monkey, 
Vulture, with which the Mexican years began ? 

In all the Maya manuscripts we find the custom of using heads as 
symbols, almost, if not cpiite, as often as in the Mexican codices. Xot 
only so, but in the former, even in the purely conventional characters, 
we see evidences of a desire to turn every one possible into the figure 
of a head, a fact still more apparent in the monumental inscriptions. 

Turning to th« ruins of Copan as represented by Stephens and others, 
we find on the altars and elsewhere the same death's-head with huge 
incisors so common in Mexico, and on the statues the snake-skin so 
often repeated on those of Mexico. Here we find the Cipactli as a huge 
crocodile head,^^ also the monkey's head used as a hieroglyphic.^' 

The pendant lip or lolling tongue, which ever it be, of the central 
figure of the Mexican calendar stone is found also in the central figure 
of the suu tablet of Palenque" and a dozen times over in the inscrip- 

The long, elephantine, Tlaloc nose, so often repeated in the Mexican 
codices, is even more common and more elaborate in the Maya manu- 
scripts and sculptures, and, as we learn from a Ms. paper by Mr. Gus- 
tav Eiseu, lately received by the Smithsonian Institutiou, has also been 
found at Copan. 

Many more points or items of agreement might be pointed out. but 
these will suffice to show that one musi have borrowed from the other, 
for it is impossible that isolated civilizations should have produced such 
identical results in details even down to conventional figures. Again 
we ask the question. Which was the boi rower f We hesitate to accept 
what seems to be the legitimate conclusion to be draw7i from these 
facts, as it compels us to take issue with the view almost universally 
held. One thing is aj)parent, viz, that the Mexican symbols could 
never have grown out of the Maya hieroglyphics. That the latter might 
have grown out of the former is not impossible. 

If we accept the theory that there was a Toltec nation jn-ecediug the 
advent of the Aztec, which, when broken up and driven out of Mexico, 

*- Travels in Ceut. Amer., vol. I, p. 156. Slomiment N, plate. Mr. Gustav Eisen, 
in a Ms. lately received by and now in possession of the Smithsonian Institution, also 
mentions another similar head as found at Copan. -This, he says, is on the side of an 
altar similar to that described hy Stephens, except that the top wants the hieroglyphics. 
The sides have human figures similar to the other ; on one of these is the head of an 

"3 Ibid., 2d plate to p. 158. 

'''Stephens' Trav. Ceut. Aincr. Ill Froutisiiioce. 


proceeded southward, where probably colonies from the main stock had 
already been planted, we may be able to solve the enigma. 

If this people were, as is generally supposed, the leaders in Mexican 
and Central American civilization, it is possible that the Aztecs, a more 
savage and barbarous people, borrowed their civilization from the for- 
mer, and, having less tendency toward development, retaine'd the origi- 
nal symbols and figures of the former, adding only ornamentation and 
details, but not advancing to any great extent toward a written lan- 

Some such supposition as this, I believe, is absolutely necessary to 
explain the facts mentioned. But even this will compel us to admit 
that the monuments of Yucatan and Copan are of much more recent 
date than has generally been supposed, and such I am inclined to be- 
lieve is the fact. At any rate, I think I may fairly claim, without ren- 
dering myself chargeable with egotism, that my discovery in regard to 
the two plates so frequently mentioned will throw some additional light 
on this vexed question. 

Note. — Since the foregoing was printed, my attention has been called 
by Dr. Brinton to the fact that the passage quoted from Sahaguu (see 
pages 41 and 54), as given in Bustamente's edition, from which it was 
taken, is incorrect in ccmbiniiig Cetochtii and Acatl into one word, when 
in fact the first is the end of one sentence and the second the com- 
mencement of another. I find, by reference to the passage as given in 
Kingsborough, the evidence of this erroneous reading. The argument 
on page 54, so far as based upon this incorrect reading, must fall. 

3 ETH 5 


O N 




Assistant U. S. Coast Scrvby; Honorary Curator U. S. National Museum. 




Prefatory remarks 7:5 

The evolution of masks 74 

Labretifery 77 

Classification of masks 93 

Of the practice of preserving the whole or part of the human head 94 

On the distribution of masks 98 

Masks of the South Seas 98 

Masks of Peru 103 

Masks of Central America and Mexico 104 

Masks of New Mexico and Arizona 105 

Masks of Northwest American Indiana 106 

Customs at Cape Flattery, according to Swan 107 

Tlinkit and Haida masks Ill 

Masks of the lunuit, north to the Arctic Ocean 121 

Inuuit of Prince William Sound 124 

Innnit of Kadiak Island 128 

Innuit of Kuskokwin River 129 

Finger masks 131 

Innuit of Norton Sound and the Yukon Delta 132 

Innuit of Bering Strait 135 

Innuit of Point Barrow, Arotio Ocean 136 

Masks of the Unungun or Aleuts 137 

Masks of the Iroquois (supplemental) 144 

Summary and speculations 146 

Plates and explanations 153 


Plai i: V. — Prehistoric Aleut iau labrets I'jJi 

VI. — Prehistoric Aleut iau labrets 157 

VII. — Maskoid from Caroliue Islands 159 

VIII.— Maskette from New Irelaud 161 

IX. — JIaskettes from New Irelaud aud the Friendly Islands 163 

X. — Ma.skoid from New Irelaud 16;' 

XI. — Mortuary maskoids from Peru 167 

XII. — Jloqui maskcttes from Arizona 1 9 

XIII. — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 171 

XIV. — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America I7i 

XV. — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 175 

XVI — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 177 

XVII. — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 179 

XVIII. — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America.. Idl 

XIX. — Indian masks from the northwest coast of America 183 

XX. — Indian masks froiu the uorthwest coast of America 185 

XXI. — Indiau masks Iroui the northwest coast of America 187 

XXII. — Iroquois mask and llaida medicine-rattle 189 

XXIII. — luuuit masks from Prince William Sound 191 

XXIV. — lunuit masks from Prince William Sound 193 

XXV. — lunuit masks from Priuce William aud Norton Sounds 195 

XXVI. — Innuit masks from Kadiak aud Norton Sound 197 

XXVII. — Innuit maskette and linger mask 199 

XXVIII. — Aleut dancing and mortuary masks 201 

XXIX. — Aleut mortuary masks 203 



By W. H. Dall. 


Some years since, at the suggestiou of tlie Director of the Bureau of 
Ethnology, I took np the subject of masks, with special relation to those 
of the Pacific coast of America. Circumstances prevented an immedi- 
ate prosecution of the work to a close: meanwhile, in 1878, I had the 
opportunity of exauiining material bearing on this topic contained in 
the principal museums of Great Britain and of Northern Europe, except 
Eussia. The study of these collections resulted in a conviction that 
the subject was one of deeper import, and more widely extended rami- 
fications than I had, np to that time, had any conception of; and that 
one who had thoroughly mastered it would be possessed of the keys to 
the greater part of the mystery which locks from us the philosophical 
religious and social' development of uncivilized or savage man. 

This conviction led to a disinclination to attempt a superficial treat- 
ment of a subject of such importance. Under the circumstances it 
appeared in the highest degree uTilikely that it would be practicable 
for me to devote to it a study which would be appropriately thorough. 
Partly through the claims of oflBcial duties of a different character, and 
partly in the hope that some one else would take the subject up with 
time and opportunity of giving to it the attention it deserves, prepara- 
tions for publication of the projected article have, until recently, been 

Xo one coming forward with such a purpose, it has become necessary 
that the original promise should be, in some part at least, fulfilled; and 
therefore the present article has been prepared, rather in the hope that 
it may prove a stimulus to more adequate investigation of the topic, 
than with any idea that it contains more than suggestions toward di- 
recting future researches into suitable channels. It will be avowedly 
a matter of sketching land-marks and indicating openings to possible 
harbors, rather than a survey with soundings and sailing directions. 

' Considered in its public or communal aspect, especially that of public games or 




Tlie word niaslr, accordiDg to Webster, is derived from the Arabic, 
lueauing a thing which excites ridicule or laughter; that this, however, 
is a comparatively modem conception of the mask idea in the course 
of the development of culture, will, I think, on consideration appear 

1. The ultimate idea of a mask is a shield or ijrotection for the face; 
probably first held in the hand. 

2. The adaptation of it to the form of the face and its support upon 
the head or shoulders were probably subsequent to the introduction of 
peep-holes, but must have been nearly or quite, coincident with the use 
of a lireathing hole. 

3. As a protection, its appearance or ornamentation originally must 
have been quite secondary in its importance to impenetrability, or me- 
chanical protectiveness. 

4. If communities agreed among themselves, and differed from out- 
siders in the form or appearauce of their masks, the characteristics of the 
mask-form adopted by any group of peculiar ferocity or powers, wouhl 
begin to have a moral value apart from its capability of arresting or 
diverting missiles. The terror inspired by the wearers would begin to 
be associated with their i)anoply, 

5. With the adaptation of the mask to the head and shoulders, a re- 
duction in weight, and consequently of resisting power would be neces- 
sary. Its moral value due to its capacity for inspiring terror would 
constantly tend to increase, as compared with its defensive usefulness. 

G. With the realization of this fact, devices to add to tbefrightfulness 
would multiply until the mechanical value would be comparatively un- 
important. It is to be borne in mind that it is the lowest grades of cul- 
ture which are in question. 

7. With this growth individual variation would come into play; each 
warrior would bear a more or less jicrsoual device. If remarkable for 
destroying enemies of the tribe, or for the benefits resulting to it from 
his prowess, death, lapse of time, and traditions, snowball-like accret- 
ing as they descended, would tend to the association of superhuman 
qualities (in form of hero mytii) with him and with his distinctive battle 
emblem or device. It his device were derived or conventionalized from 
some predatory, shrewd, or mysterious animal, a mental blending of the 
ideals of each might be expected, and the seeds sown of a totemic or 
polytheistic system. 

8. With the advance of culture, in its feeble begiuuings, humorous 


perceptions are well kuowu to be of relatively slow development. How- 
ever, we can perceive that, with the growth of supernaturalisiu, the 
emblem of the hero, already merged in the hero-myth, would, from the 
first, be associated with any formal recognition by the community of its re- 
lations to the supernatural. Thus masks would take their place among 
religious paraphernalia, not onlj" of the community in its general direct 
relations to the supernatural, but in the probably earlier form of such 
relation through an intermediary individual, in the form of a shaman 
or his logical predecessors in culture. 

9. Ou the other hand, it may be supposed that the exhibition of a 
device popularly associated with ill-success, cowardice, or incapacity in 
its owner, while liable in time of war to excite aversion, contempt, or 
even hostility in the other members of the community, might well pro- 
voke in time of peace the milder form of ridicule, closely allied to scorn, 
which seems in savagery to constitute the sole rudiment of humor; 
and that, in time, a certain set of devices, originally segregated in some 
such manner from the generality, might come to be typical of buffoonery, 
and to be considered as aijpropriate to public amusements and rollick- 
ing communal games. 

10. From such beginnings the application of nmsks to the purposes 
of secret societies, associations or special classes of the community in 
their formal relations to the rest, or to outsiders, is easy to imagine, 
and no attempt need here be made to trace it in detail. The transition 
to that stage of culture where masks are merely protections against 
recognition ou festive occasions, or the vehicle of practical jokes at the 
hands of children or uneducated adults, is long, but presents no difiti- 
culties. As illustrative of the survival of the earlier stages of the process 
in a comparatively cultured race to very modern times, the war and 
other masks, till very lately in vogue among the Chinese, may be alluded 
to. On the other hand, the theatrical masks of the Japanese belong to 
a stage of much higher culture both in an aesthetic and moral sense, the 
idea of terror in connection with them seemingly having qnite passed 
away, their object being to excite amusement or express similitude. 

A process in the development of masks which should be noticed is 
not uufrequently recognizable in the paraphernalia of aboriginal peoples. 

The original idea of protection for the face, whose evolution in a par- 
ticular line has been sketched as above, may develop in another way, 
which would find a termination in the helmet of the middle ages, the 
idea of mechanical protection either remaining predominant or at some 
stage of culture coming in again and rendering the moral effect wholly 
subordinate. Again, after the mask has developed into a social symbol 
(as in religious ceremonies or games), the idea of rendering the whole 
panoply more effective (as bj- indicating a stature greater than that 
natural to man), or of making it more convenient for singers or orators, 
has in some cases resulted in raising the mask proper above the face of 
the wearer to the upper ]tart of the head-dress, with the consequence of 


gradually losiDgthe apertures for sight and the breathing hole, then no 
longer needed. The mask then becomes a more or less conventional- 
ized model of the face, or even of the whole figure or a group of figures. 
This stage is recognized in the Moqui masks figured, which have be- 
come head-dresses, worn as in the doll, also illustrated ; or even with a 
mask, properly so called, worn over the face beneath in addition. This 
is also shown in many Tlinkit head-dresses and others of Mexico, Peru, 
and of the western lunuit. 

Still another line of evolution is that in which the ideas symbolized 
by a mask reach such a stage of identification with it that a wearer, to 
give life-like motion to the total effigy, is no longer required by the im- 
agination. The mask may then be set up as an independent object of at- 
tention. It may be in this case associated with the bodies of the dead 
as in Peruvian graves, or erected in connection with religious rites; 
a practice widely spread and not to be confounded with statues or idols 
which approach the same end by a dift'erent path ; or finally be attached 
to the altar or building devoted to such rites. In the last case weight 
is of no consequence and, in general, durability is of importance, from 
whence are derived the stone models of faces or stone masks of which 
Mexico and the Caribbean Islands have afforded such remarkable ex- 

Other and less clearly kindred customs are those, prevalent in the 
same geographical lines (though widely spread elsewhere as well), in 
which the actual face or head, with more or less of its integuments, is 
preserved and ornamented. The probabilities aie against the direct 
connection of this practice with the evolution of the artificial mask, but 
these preparations are frequently termed masks, especially when the 
back part of the cranium is removed, and therefore deserve notice, as 
well on that account as because of their partly parallel distribution. 


lu this connection it is worth while to draw attention to the geograph- 
ical distribution of another practice which is not, like the use of masks, 
world-wide, but, as far as I am at present informed, appears to be almost 
entirely peculiar to two totally distinct ethnological regions, i. e., Cen- 
tral Africa, which as being beyond doubt an independent center need 
not here be further alluded to ; and America, especially the western 
border. 1 refer to the use of labrets, which for brevity may be called 

The I'avages of civilization, as dispensed by freebooters and fanatics, 
began at so early a period on the shores of Darieu and the western 
coast of South America that the data are most imperfect for the man- 
ners and customs of the people in their primitive state. There are many 
customs of which the vestiges were swept away probably within two 
generations after the original incursion of the Spaniards, and to which 
only the most brief and often inaccurate allusions are made iuthe works 
of the earliest writers. The proper elucidation of these requires an 
amount of search and careful studj- of these ancient sources which it has 
been impossible for me to give, and the citations here may be taken 
merely as hints to the ethnologist in search of a speciality which opens 
an attractive vista for a thorough and not too exuberant iuvestigator. 
To such I am confident the subject ofi'ers ample rewards. 

Bulwer, in his quaint "Anthropometamorphosis,"' has compiled from 
many of the earlier writers an account of various methods of self- 
mutilation for aesthetic or religious purposes affected by various natious; 
and among others gives several references to the practice of wearing 
labrets, which I have, in nearly all cases, taken opportunity of verify- 
ing from the original authorities. As Bulwer does not cite page or edi- 
tion, and the works referred to are rarely indexed, this has been a task 
involving much labor. The result has been to confirm his' general ac- 
curacy (barring such misprints as Pegu for Peru); hence I feel less 
hesitation in quoting him in a few cases which I have not had oppor- 
tunity of verifying. 

The labret, among American aborigines, is well known to be a plug, 
stud, or variously-shaped button, made from various materials, which 
is inserted at or about the age of puberty^ through a hole or holes 

'Bulwer, John. Anthropometamorphosis (etc.) 8° (or sm. 4to.), pp. 528, 15 1. unp., 
London, IF. HunI, 1653. Illustrated. 

'^In some cases a small perforatiou is made at au earlier period, but on the appear- 
ance of the sigus of puberty it is formally enlarged, and among the northwestern'tribes 
the original operation is usually deferred till that period arrives. 


pierced in the tbiuner portions of the face about the mouth. Usually 
after the first operation has been performed, and the original slender 
pin inserted, tbe latter is replaced from time to time by a larger one, 
and the perfora-tion thus mechanically stretched, and in course of time 
permanently enlarged. 

They are worn in some tribes by women only, in others by men only, 
iD still others by both sexes, in which case the style of the labret is dif- 
ferent for each sex. There are sometimes several small ones forming a 
sort of fringe about the sides of and below the mouth (in America 
the upper lip is or was very rarely perforated), as in the MSg'emut 
women of the Yukon delta ; most generally the perforation is made 
either just below the corners of the mouth, one on each side (Western 
Eskimo, males) ; in the median line below the lower lip, (Tlinkit 
women; Aleut men of ancient times; Mexicans; Botokudos; Mosquito 
coast males) ; both at the sides and in the middle (occasional among 
the Aleuts when first known and at present by the females among 
certain tribes of Bering Sea Eskimo); and, lastly, two small ones close to 
the median line (females among some of the Western Eskimo). It will 
be noticed that these fashions shade into one another, but that the 
median single labret, when the prac ice was in full vogue, was almost 
always (in adults) nuich larger than any of those used in lateral posi- 
tions even when both sorts were employed by the same person. 

From this custom several names for tribes have been derived, and 
passed into ethnological literature, such as Botokudo, from the Portu- 
guese botoque, a plug or stopper, and Kaloshian, from the Eussian 
ta/MsM-a, "a little trough," in allusion to the concave surfaces of the 
great labrets worn by elderlj" Tlinkit women in the time when their 
archipelago was first explored by tbe Russians. 

In most regions which have been brought closely into relations with 
civilization the practice is extinct or obsolete. The Botokudo and the 
northwestern Eskimo still use labrets of the original sort; with the 
Tlinkit only a little silver pin represents in marriageable girls the odious 
kalushka of the past, while among tbe Aleuts the practice is extinct, 
as also, as far as known, it is among the people of the western coast of 
the Americas from Puget Sound southward. 

Other changes are to be noticed antedating the historic i)criod, which 
is, for the Aleuts, only about a centui-y and a half. Thus, in discussing 
the evolution of culture as exhibited in tbe stratified shell heaps of the 
Aleutian Islands ' (1. c. pp. 88-89, and plate), I have shown that in 
the shell heaps belonging to a very remote period, a form of labret was 
in use among the Innuit of Aliaska Peninsula and at least as far west 
as Unalasbka Island, precisely similar to tbe Tlinkit kalushka, but 
which bad passed entirely out of use at tbe time these people were 
discovered by the expeditions of tbe Russians and other civilized nations. 

' Contributions to North American Ethnology, vol. 1. Tribes of the extreme North- 
west. 4°. Washington, Government Printing Office, lti77, pp. 41-91. 


This is a particularly significaut fact, taken into consideration with the 
geographical distribution of the labret custom, and could it be ascer- 
tained that the latter was in the early historic or prehistoric period in 
vogue among any of the South Sea people, such a discovery would be 
of the highest interest. 

The nearest a])praximation to it, actually in use among living abo 
rigines of Melanesia, is described in the reports of various voyagers 
on the practice of piercing the nasal alte, and inserting the teeth 
of a pig or some other animal. These will be again referred to. But 
in Schmeltz's annotated catalogue x)f the ethnological treasures of the 
Museum Godeffroy at Hamburg. 1 find that certain masks from New 
Ireland show, in one, an Sshaped flat piece of wood inserted, labret- wise, 
between the mouth and the nose; in two others wooden representations 
of boar tusks, one on each side, curving upward, with between them 
a flat perforated wooden carving ending anteriorly in an arrow-shaped 
point similarly jjlaced between the mouth and the nose like lateral and 
median labrets; in another there is only the median piece; and in still 
another there is a tusk only on one side of the upper lip (1. c, p. 23). 

Rings are said to be worn in the lower lip as well as in the nasal alse 
by girls in some i)arts of India, but I have not discovered any evidence 
of this practice in the island peoples of Polynesia. 

The geographical distribution of the custom, though interesting, had 
little significance as long as it was apparently sporadic and, between 
the regions where it was known to exist, no line of contact could be 
traced over the vast intervening areas where it was not known. It 
is but recently, partly from old documents read in the light of pres- 
ently discovered facts, and partly from the results of recent explora- 
tion and collections, that these gaps appear to be very materially dimin- 
ished, though not wholly bridged. While the reserve imperative upon 
serious students, in view of the vast flood of inconsequent theorizing 
in ethnological literature, deters one from claiming more than a chain 
of suggestive facts for which a tentative hypothetical explanation is 
submitted for criticism, it would seem as if the chain was of sufiQcient 
strength and significance to warrant serious consideration and renewed 

Taken in connection with what may fairly be called the remarkable 
coincidences of form and fashion between some of the masks hereafter 
to be described from the Indo-l'acific and from the Northwest Ameri- 
can region, manifest is the importance of tracing the labret custom, as 
begins to seem possible, independent of tribe, language, or race along 
nearly the whole western line of the Americas, with its easterly over- 
flows, especially in the middle and South American region, and its 
equally remarkable westerly restriction further north. 

Before proceeding to indicate the facts of distribution, it is necessary 
to consider the nature of the custom and its limitations. 

So far as known at present, labretifery is a particularly human and 


individual rite. It may have takeu its rise in the early custom of sub- 
mitting the boy at puberty to a trial of his resolution and manly endur- 
ance previous to his being admitted to the privileges of a member of 
the community, including as a chief feature communal rights in inter- 
course with the unmarried females of the tribe. 

Tattooing is primarily a rite of this nature, beside, by its fashion, in- 
delibly indicating the individual's particular commune in which his 
rights might be exercised. ' The attainment of these communal rights 
either bj' desire of the individual or by the necessity arising from Lis 
forced adoption by a member of the commune, whose badge he must 
therefore be made to wear, is the object and almost the only object of 
the tattooing to which white waifs in the South Sea Islands have occa- 
sionally been subjected or have submitted themselves. Other explana- 
tions have been given, chiefly through shame, but that this is the true 
explanation I am most reliably informed. That it is not always i-e- 
quired in these days as a condition precedent to such intercourse is the 
result of a bi'eaking down of the aboriginal practice by civilization and 
not necessarily to any primary difference in the form of it. 

It is not improbable that circumcision took its rise in a similar way, 
as up to a very recent date in the Pacific region it was an incident of 
puberty with many tribes. Infant circumcision would then be a spirit- 
ualized version, substituting the adoption into the spiritual communion 
of the soul, considered as spiritually adult at birth, and therefore an 
altogether later and idealized rite. 

Similar tests for endurance in youth occur among most uncivilized 
peoples and need not be recapitulated, since every one is familiar with 

' Speaking of the tattooed lines on the chin used by all the Innuit and many of the 
West American coast nations from Mexico north, and which he observed at Point 
Barrow among the Innuit, Simpsou states that some undergo the operation earlier 
than others. In connection with the fact that sexual intercourse is forbidden to boys 
of this region until they have killed a deer, wolf, or seal, the idea that the operation for 
labretifery was originally a test of manhood and a passport to the good graces of the 
girls of the tribe, gains some corroboration from the following extract, which inci- 
dentally shows that the same proofs of prowess as a hunter were required before a 
youth was entitled to have it performed: 

"The same irregularity exists with regard to the age at which the lip is perforated 
for labrets in boys, who, as soon as they take a seal or kill a wolf, are entitled to have 
the operation performed. But, in truth, no rule obtains in either case; some, led by 
the force of example, submit to it early, and others delay it from shyness or timidity. 
A man is met with occasionally without holes for labrets, but a woman without the 
chin marks we have never seen." (J. Simpson on the Innuit of Point Barrow, 1. c, 
p. 241.) See, also, apropos of tattooing, the remarks of Dr. Graeffe in Schmeltz, 
Ethn. Abth., Mus. Godeffroy, pp. 478, 479. 

■^ There seems to be something analogous in the ceremony of incising the ears 
among the females of the region of New Britain, though this is done before puberty. 
However, most such customs change, in time, what were originally important feat- 
ures of the rite. 

This wide slittiug aud extension of the ears of women, according to Kubary (cf. 

"*'•'•' LABRETIFERY. 81 

Though perhaps not realized in its full force by anthropologists, and 
obscured by the degradation resulting from contact witli civilization, 
the separation of the immature youth of the two sexes is a feature 
originally strongly insisted upon in the social practice of all the North- 
west American tribes I have been in intimate contact with, and with- 
out doubt of all our aborigines when their culture was in its pristine 
vigor. The evil results of other causes would be evident to less intelli- 
gent observers, and the loss of force it would entail in the community 
would mean, in the long run, defeat, captivity, and extinction amid the 
struggle of adjacent communities for a continued existence or the in- 
crease of power. 

It must, of course, be clearly understood that the rite of piercing, 
circumcision, or tattooing, as such, was, in most if not all cases, not the 
sole ceremony or condition upon which full community in tribal privi- 
leges was granted. But each or either of them was originally a part if 
not the whole prerequisite, and was looked forward to by the youth as a 
key to that door which opened on the field where his aspirations and 
desires might find untrammeled exercise. 

In the first instance, therefore, it was probably restricted to males; 
vigor and endurance of pain being attributes more necessary to that sex 
than to the other, in the preservation of the community. As a symbol 
of maturity and the privilege or obligation of the individual, in connec- 
tion with communal rights, it njight naturally in time be extended to 
the other sex. 

I believe that the idea of ornament in connection with the object worn 
as a symbol would always follow, though closely, its adoption on other 
grounds. The idea that it was a symbol of vigor, fortitude, and mature 
development would connect with the symbol the admiration naturally 
excited by the qualities it symbolized, which are in the highest esteem 
in uncivilized peo])les ; and therefore it would be considered as an or- 
nament without reference to any inherent elegance of form, material, or 
•color. These would afterward be developed, as a matter of course, with 
the develoi)meiit of aesthetics in other direetion.s, and if this develoj)- 
meiit in other lines did not take place, the original rudeness of the sym- 
bol (as in the wooden plug of the Botokudos) would be likely to remain 

In most cases the communal sexual freedom it typified would remain 
the fundamental idea up to a pretty high degree of culture. Among 
the Tlinkit the labret was forbidden to slaves, and sexual intercourse 
with slaves was considered disgraceful to a free man of the community. 

Scbmeltz, ). c, p. 551-'2) is a peculiarity Melanesiaii trait, finding very full expres- 
sion at the Anchorites Islands of the New Britain group. Among the Mikronesians 
simple or nearly simple piercing is known, while among the Polynesians the nose is 
not pierced and the ears not commonly. In the locality a peculiar 
siguitieance is attached to the operation, which takesplace about the age of six years, 
and males are rigidly excluded from the ceremony ; but boring the nose among males 
is attended with no ceremony, although the practice is general. 
3 ETH 6 


As is well known, this race has reacbed a more tban ordinary stage 
of culture, and promiscu oiis rights in the unmarried females bad be- 
come, at the time of tbeir discovery by the whites, to a great extent 
eliminated from their social code, though in certain contingencies not 
extinguished. Among their Innnit neighbors it prevailed np to a recent 
date, and the theory is still held by them, in spite of their partial civil- 
ization by the Eussi in missionaries, though not openly put in practice. 

The labret (formerly a slender bone or wooden pin, now generally of 
silver) among the Tlinkit now means, and has long meant, maturity 
only, and chastity in young girls is (away fiom civilized influences) a 
matter of high importance, to which there is recent testiinouy of a re- 
liable kind. The marriage of a girl was followed by the substitution of 
a larger plug, which was gradually enlarged, and typified the power, 
privileges, and respect enjoyed by the real head of the family. This 
practice has now gone out of date entirely,' owing, no doubt, to the in- 
fluence of the adverse opinion of the whites upon the younger people 
of the tribe. 

In none of these j)eople does development of culture seem to have 
arrived at that stage where a religious significance would attach itself 
to the rite or to the symbol of it. It is for this reason, it may be sup- 
posed, that the labret appears only on those masks which were used in 
social amusements, jollifications, and, so far as I have observed, on 
none of those used in incantations by the Shamans or those indisputa- 
blj- connected with the exercise of some religious or mystic rite. For 
the same reason it would be and is absent from those images or carv- 
ings having such a connection among the Northern races, and from most 
of the Mexican stone carvings. 

Were the pi'actice coincident with the distribution of certain race- 
stocks, it would have less significance. It is its occurrence on certain 
orographic lines, among people of nearly every American linguistic 
family when located in such vicinity ; its absence among kindred 
branches geographically otherwise distributed, and the geogra])hical 
relations of the lines along which it is found, which gives it its impor- 

Deferring speculations in regard to the origin or cause of this state 

'III regard to labrets among the Haida women, Dr. George M. Dawson, writing in 
1878, states that "Until lately the females among the Haidas all wore labrets 
iu the lower lip. * * Only among the old women can this monstrosity be now 
found in its original form. Many middle-aged females have a small aperture iu the 
lip, through which a little beateu silver tube of the size of a quill is thrust, project- 
ing from the face about a quarter of an inch. The younger women have not even 
this lemnant of the old custom. The piercing of the lip was the occasion of a cere- 
mony and giving away of property. During the operation the aunt of the child 
must hold her. The shape of the Haida lip-piece or sfai-e/i was oval. Among the 
Tsimpsean and Stakhin-kwan (Indians of Port Simpson and Stikine River Tlinkit) 
it was with the former more elongated and with the latter circular. (Dawson on the 
Haida Indians, in the Report of Progress for 1878-'79, Dominion Geological Stirvey,. 
Montreal, 1880, pp. 108, 109 B.) 


of things uutil all the testimony in regard to both labrets and masks 
has been submitted, it is now in order to indicate the observed traces 
of labretifery along the eastei'u border of the Pacific. 

Beginning at the southward and eastward, the Botokudos,' appar- 
ently alone in South America, still retain the practice which less wild 
and more cultured tribes have discontinued. 

The iuhabitants of MaLhaila have the iieather lip hored and within the same they 
carry a piece of thin cane about halfe a finger thick. (Purchas, Pilgiim., ir, lib. vii ; 
Balwer, 1. c., pp. 178-179.) 

"The BrasUians have their lips bored wherein they wear stones so big and long that 
they reach to their breast which makes them show filthy tine" according to Purchas 
"which another notes is not practiced by the women. They bore holes in their boies 
under lips wherein they stick sharp bone as white as ivory, which they take out and 
put in as often as they will, and being older they take away the bones and instead 
thereof wear great Jasper stones being a kind of bastard emeralds inwardly Hat with 
a thick end because they shall not fall out ; when they take out the stones they play 
with their tongue in the holes which is most ugly to behold for that they seem to 
have two mouths one over the other." (Linschoten, lib. 2; Bulwer, 1. c, p. 180.) 

Maginus" saith that the Brasilians as a pleasant phantasie, wherein they take sin- 
gular delight, have from their tender age long stones of no value inserted in their 
lower lip onely, some in their whole face a cruel sight to behold. The selfsame fashion 
is in request among the Margajates^ of Brasll, yet not i)racticed by the women. 
(Bulwer, pp. 160-181.) 

Of the Brazilians it is said by Purchas (1. c. III, p. 906) : 

'■ In their nether lips weare long stones for a gallantry, which being removed they 
seem in a deformed manner to have a double mouth • ♦ • Vesputius weighed 
the long stones, which they used to weare in their faces, about sixteen ounces • • • 
Lerius saith the men weare in their nether lip a Pyramidall stone, which braverie 
weigheth down their lip, and subjecteth the face to great deformity. Some others 
also not content with this, adde two others in their cheekes to like purpose." These 
stones were "great at one end and little at the other; in their infancie it is a bone 
and after a greene stone, in some as long as ones finger; they will thrust out their 
tongues at the hole when the stone is removed " (1. c, p. 908). 

Peter Carder, one of Drake's company, was captured by these people 
on the north bank of the Eio de la Plata and afterward escaped. He 
reported that for each enemy "they kill, so many holes they make in 
their visage beginning at the nether lip and so proceeding to the cheeke, 
eye browes and eares." He gives their name as " Tappanbassi." (1. c, p. 
909.) Anthony Kuivet, of Candishe's company, in 1591 cast on the Bra- 

' See Bigg- Withers, Pioneering in South Brazil, 1878, quoted by Flower, Fash- 
ion in Deformity, New York, 1882, p. 6. 

- Compare Magini, Geogr. Ptolem. Descr. dell. America, Part II, XXXIIII, p. 207 
bis, Venetia, 1597. This is the only reference to labrets I have come across in this 
edition of Maginus, and it refers specifically to the Peruvians and not to the Brazil- 
ians. There are many editions, and doubtless a reference to the labret-wearing tribes 
of Brazil may be found in some of them. For our purposes the quotations from Pur- 
chas are quite sufficient. 

^ These are the Botokudos, or at any rate are described as living in the region 
where the Botokudos now reside. 


ziliaii coast near St. Sebastian, traveled much through the interior. He 
tells of the " Petivares": 

They inhabit from Baya to Eio Grande, their boilies are carved with fine worl^es; 
lu their lips is a hole made with a roebuck's home, which at man's estate they cut 
bigger with a cane, and weare therein a greeue stone ; otherwise they esteeme a man 
no Gallant but a Pesant. * * * They travel with great store of Tobacco aud have 
continually a leaf thereof along the mouth between the lip aud teeth the rheume 
runuiug out at the lip-bole. • « • The Maraquites are between Pernambuc and 
Baya ; other Indians call them Tapoyes (or wild men). They have holes in their lips 
but carve not their bodies. The Topinaques have their dwelling .at Saint Vincent's. 
and wear great stones in their lips. * * * The Tories dwell an hundred miles 

" cauibals who are called Pories have three great holes in their r;:ce, one in 
the under lip and one on either side of the mouth and in every hole stands a fair green 
stone." (Bulwer, 1. c, p. 178.) 

"In Peru= they make holes in their cheeks in which they put turquoises aud 

Ill Eeiss and Stiibel's "Necropolis of Ancon in Pern," Plate 06, fig. 
1, represents a face painted on an earthen jar with two disks or circles 
on the cheeks which recall the Innnit labrets. They may, however, be 
intended to represent car ornaments, though much luisplaced. I have 
seen no undoubted labrets froiu Peru, but specimen tablet No. 17509. 
collected by J. V. Norton in Peru, contain s three small carved articles, 
of which one has some resemblance to a labret, though very possibly 
not intended for one. 

In Darien ' " the women wear rings in their eares and noses, with 
quaint ornaments in their lips." 

In Dominica the women have their lips bored as au especial note of bravery. 
(Purchas, 1. c.) The women of Surucusis have chrystall of a .skie color hanging at 
their lips. (Purcha.», 1. c ) 

The "fair green stones," "emeralds,"' and "bastard emeralds" were, 
without doubt, in most cases, the green turquoislike mineral called 
chalchihuitr by ethnologists, and which was extensively used for jewels 
aud ornaments from Mexico to Peru by the natives at the time of their 

The natives of the islands off the Mosquito coast of Central America 
" have a fashion to cut holes in the lips of the boys when they are young, 
close to their chin, wiiich they keep open with little pegs till they are 
fourteen or fifteen years old ; then they wear beards in them made of 
turtle or tortoise shell, in the form you see in the margin." The figure 
represents a Hat plate with the form of a balloon upside down, with the 
pointed end suddenly widened to a stird-like projection, which, extend- 
ing inside the mouth, prevents the labret from falling cut. The author 
goes on to say : " The little notch at the njiper end they put in through 
the lips, where it remains between the teeth and the li)) ; the under part 
hangs down over tlieir chin. This they commonly wear all day, aud 

'PuiiCiiAS, America, Book IX, chap. 4, pp. 'JU9-911, edition of 162(j. 
= Maginus, 1. c, p. 207 his. LinsCHOTEN, lib. 2. Both quoted by BuLWEii, 1. c, p. 
1G4. I have verified the first reference. 
'PriiCHAS, 1. c, book IX, chap. 1, p. 872, edition of KiUti. 


when they sleep they take it out." (Dampier, voy. 1, p. 3li, edition of 
IJIT.) The labret is extremely similar to some of the wooden ones used 
by the Botokudos. 

As regards Mexico the evidence is particularly fidl and decisive, and 
yet it seems to have been overlooked almost eutirely by late writers in 
treating of the Botokudos and others, and the obsidian labrets whicli 
are not uncommon in collections have seldom been recognized as such. 

The following quotations from Purchas give a verj- clear idea of the 
elegant labrets worn by the upper classes iu Mexico. When discovered 
the commoner sort do not appear to have attracted much attention : 

Among tlie rest or rather aloofe oft' from the rest [of tlie Mexicans met liy Cortez at 
San Juan de Ulloa on his first expedition^ were eertaine Indians of ditt'eiing hahit, 
higher than tlio other and had the gristles of their noses slit, hanging over their 
monthes, and rings of jet and amber hanging thereat: their nether lips also bored and 
in the holes rings of gold and Tnrkesse-stoues which weighed so much that their lips 
hung over their chinnes leaving their teeth bare. These Indiaps of this New Cut 
Cortez caused to come to him and learned that they were of Zerapoallan a citie distant 
thence a dayes journey whom their Lord had sent; » » » being not subject to 
Mutezuma but onely as they were liolden in liy force. ' 

There was another idol in Mexico much esteemed which was the God of repentance 
and of Jubilees and pardons for their sinues. Hee was called Tezcatlipuca, made of 
a shining black stone attired after their manner with some Ethnike devices; it had 
earriugsof gold and silver and through the nether lip a small canon of Cbrystall halfe a 
foot long in whicli they sometimes put an Azure feather, sometimes a greeue, so re- 
sembling a Turfjueis or Emerald. (1. c. p. 870). 

Of the six priests who performed the human sacrifices it is said 

the name of their chiefe dignitie [who cut out the heart of the victim and oftered it 
to the idol] was Papa aud Topilzin ; » • * uuder the lip upon the midst of the 
beard hee had a peece like unto a small canon of an Azured stone. (1. c. p. 871. See 
also the Ramirez codex). 

In that town which was governed by Quitalbitoi under Mnteczuma, king of that 
province of the West Indies [Mexico] the men bore whatsoever siJace renniineth be- 
tween the uppermost part of the nether lip and the roots of the teeth of the nether 
chap : aud as we set pretious stones iu Gold to weare upon our fingers, so in the hole 
of the lips they weare a broad plate within fastened to another on the outside of the 
lip and the Jewell they hang thereat is as great as a silver Caroline dollar aud as 
thick as a man'sfinger. Peter Martyr (Dec. 4) saith that he doth not remember that 
he ever saw so filthy and ngly a sight, yet they think nothing more fine and comely 
underthe circle of the Moone (Bulwer, 1. c, p. 177-8.) 

In the Anthropological Museum of Berlin I .saw about a pint of lab- 
rets, beautifully polished aud neatly rounded, of obsidian of a smoky 
color, which had been obtained from excavations made in Mexico. They 
were precisely of the form of the most common sort of Eskimo hibret, 
namely, subcylindrical, wider at the outer end, which was circula", tlat, 
and polished, diminishing slightly toward the base, which is the part 
which tests withiu the lip, and a right-angled parallelogram in shape 
with the corners iu many cases more or less rounded off. The base is 

» PUKCHAS Pilgr. vol. V, boot viii, chap. 9, p. 859, 4th ed. London, 1626. The image 
of a Zapotec chief with a very ornate labret in the lower lip, and also several labrets, 
were found in a tomb in Tehuantepec iu 187r>, and are figured by Nadaillac in I'Amer- 
ique Pr^historique, pp. 309, 370, 1883. 


quite thiu usually uot exceeding 3.0 ™™. through aud 20.0™". in leugth. 
It is usually concavely arched to fit the curve of the outside of the jaw. 
Similar labrets from Mexico are in the collection of the United States 
ifational Museum, and some years since I saw a photograph of some 
antique Mexican bas-relief human figures, of which several showed a 
circular knob projecting from the cheek just below the outer angles of 
the mouth, such as the Eskimo labrets produce on the face of the 

Sahagun, one of the earliest and best authorities, speaking of the 
Mexican " lords " and their ornaments, says they 

wear a cliin ornament, (barbote) of elialcbiuitl set iu gold fixed iu the beard. Some 
of th 'se barbotes are large crystals with blue feathers put in them, which give them 
the ap; parance of sapphires. There are many other varieties of precious stones which 
they use for barbotes. They hare their lower lips slit and wear these ornaments in 
the openings, where they appear as if coming out of the flesh; and they wear iu the 
same way semiluncs of gold. The noses of the great lords are also pierced, aud in 
the openings they wear fine turquoises or other precious stones, one on each side.' 
(Hist, de Nueva Espaua, lib. viii, cap. ix.) 

The obsidian labrets pre. iously referred to were doubtless worn by 
the lower classes, to whom ohalchihuitl was not permitted. Beside 
those of the usual "stovepipe-hat" shape there are some slender T- 
shaped, with the projecting stem long and taper, much like the bone 
ones of the Inuuit women near Gape Eumiautzotf, which, however, are 
uot straight, but more or less curved or J -shaped. Were these worn 
by women or were they the initiatory labrets of boys ? 

Among the Mexican antiquities figured from Du Paix' expeditions i.s a 
tom-tom, or hollow cylindrical drum, with one end carved into a human 
head. In the upper lip two disks appear, one under each nostril. No 
connection with the nasal septum is indicated, and they much resemble 
the round flat ends of the hat-shaped obsidian labrets. (Ant. Mex. 2nd 
Exp., pi. Ixiii, fig. 121.) Supplementary plate ix shows an earthen 
vase, the front of which is a very spirited model of a human figure with 
open mouth. There is what appears to be a hole iu each cheek behind 
the corner of the mouth as if for a pair of labrets. It came from Pa- 

Between the Mexican region and that occupied by the Tlinkit there 
is a wide gap over which no bridge has yet been found. The extracts 
given above have, however, bridged more or less perfectly the much 
greater gap between Mexico and that portion of the west coast of South 
America opposite to the region occupied by the Botokudos, and which 
is also the part nearest approached by any of the Polynesian Islands. 
Behind this part of the coast are the Bolivian Andes, far less formida- 
ble a barrier than those nearer the equator, among which rises the Pil- 
comayo Eiver, discharging into the Paraguay close to the mouth of the 

' The inhabitants of New Ireland, near New Guinea, pierce the nostrils, in which 
they place the small canine teeth of a pig, one on each side (Turner); aud the same 
practice is reported from the adjacent islands and from the southern coast of New 
Guinea. (Jukes, Voy. H. M. S. Fly, 1, p. 274.) 


Parana, whose headwaters come near to draining the Botokudo terri- 
tory. If the progenitors of these people were wanderers from the Pa- 
cific coast the road was ready made for them. At all events, we know 
that the practice was once widely spread through Brazil, and if it orig- 
inated on the western coast, once past the barriers of the Andes, there 
was no reason why it might not have spread all over South America. 

Northward from Mexico, beginning with the people of the Columbian 
Archipelago, and continuing along the coast and islands peopled by the 
diverse races of Tlinkit, Aleut, Tinneh, snd Innuit, there is uo inter- 
ruption of the chaiu of labretifera until Bering Sea and Strait are 
reached on the west and the icy desert between the Colville and the 
Mackenzie on the east. 

Utterly unknown in Northeastern As^a, and carried to its highest de- 
velopment only in Middle America by the most cultured American 
aborigines known to history; spi'ead on a geographical line along two 
continents; characteristic of the most absolutely diverse American eth- 
nic stocks along that line ; unknown in North America among their kin- 
dred away trom that line; it seems certain that the fashion spread from 
the south rather than from the north and west. That it was an acci- 
dental coincidence of identical inventions, due to a particular stage of 
IJrogress reached independently by different peoples, it seems to me is 
simply inconceivable. If so, why did not kindred tribes of these same 
stocks develop the custom in Middle and Eastern North America? 

A few words will formulate what we know about labretifery northward 
from Puget Sound : 

All the married women (of Port Bucareli) had a large oi)ening iu the lower lip, and 
this opening is filled by a piece of wood cut into an oval, of which the smaller diam- 
eter is almost an inch. The older the woman the larger is the ornament, which ren- 
ders them frightful, above all, the ohl women, whose lip, deprived of its elasticity 
and under the weight of this decoration, hangs down iu a very disagreeable way. 
The girls wear only a copper needle which pierces the lip in the spot which the orna- 
ment is destined to occupy. (Voyage of Manrelle in the Princesa iu 1779; translated 
in the voyage of La Perouse, vol. 1, pp. 330, 331.) 

Among the Sitka Tlinkit, says Lisianski: 

. A strange custom prevails respecting the female sex. When the event takes place 
that implies womanhood, they are obliged to submit to have the lower lip cut and to 
have a piece of wood, scooped out like a spoon, fixed in the incisiou. As theyonng 
woman grows up the incision is gradually enlarged, by larger pieces of wood being 
put into it, so that the lip at last projects at least four inches, and extends from side to 
aide to sis inches. Though this disfiguring of the face rendered to our eyes the hand- 
somest woman frightful, it is considered here as a mark of the highest diguity, and 
held in such esteem that the women of consequence strive to bring their lips to as 
large a size as possible. The piece of wood is so inconveniently placed that the wearer 
•can neither eat nor drink without extreme difficulty, and she is obliged to be con- 
stantly on the watch lest it should fall out, which would cover her with confusion. 
(Lisianski's Voyage. 4". London, Booth, 1814, pp. 243, 244.) 

On p. 255, however, he speaks of a Sitkan child three months old 
which had the lower li^j pierced. The larger plug was inserted at ma- 


At Litiiya Bay, in July, 17SG, La Peronse observes: 

All, without exception, liave in the lower lip at the level of the gums a perforation 
as wide as the month, in which they wear a kind of wooden howl without handles, 
which rests against the gums, so that the lix) stands out like a shelf in front, two or 
three inches. (Atlas, plates 23 and 24.) The young girls have only a needle in the 
lower lip; the married women alone have the right to the howls. We endeavored 
several times to induce them to remove this ornament, which they did very reluct- 
antly, seeming emharrassed without it. The lower lip falling on the chiu presented 
as disagreeable a spectacle as the first. (Voyage aut. du Monde de La Peronse, vol. 
ii, pp. •JOO-202.) 

Dixon records the use of the kalushka, or large median labret, at Yak- 
utat, Sitka Sound and Queen Charlotte Islands. He figures a remark- 
ably large one, ornamented on its upper surface with a piece of Haliotis 
shell, set in a copper rim, and also a woman of the Queen Charlotte 
Islands, showing how they were worn. They were confined to the fairer 
sex. (See Dixon's Voyage, pp. 172, 187, and 208. The plates are not 

The women of the Xaas, Haida, and Tlinkit nations wlien discovered, 
in general wore labrets; the men did not. The labret, inserted at the 
first evidences of womanhood, was placed through the lower lip under 
the nasal septum, and at first was a slender bone or wooden peg, shaped 
like a small nail or long tack. After marriage the plug was gradually 
enlarged, and in some very old women was of enormous size. I possess 
one which measures two and a half inches long by two inches wide, and 
half an inch thick near the margin. The groove around it is a (juarter 
of an inch deep, and the upper and lower surfaces are made concave 
to diminish the weight. It is made of black slate, oval and much worn. 
I have seen one other which was a little larger. They were made gen- 
erally of wood, of a sort of black shale, or sometimes of white marble 
or bone. At jireseut a silver pin, manufactured out of coin by the In- 
dians themselves, replaces the bone pin with unmarried girls. The large 
labret, or kalushka, is entirely out of use, unless with some ancient 
dame in some very remote settlement. Many of the women from Sitka 
south have abandoned the practice entirely. 

Among the Innuit of Chugach or Prince William Sound the males 
formerly wore lateral labrets, like those of the Western Eskimo. A dried 
mummy sent to the Jfational Museum from this bay still showed the 
apertures in the cheeks distinctly, though they were empty. 

Cook gives the following description of the labrets of the Innuit of 
Prince William Sound and Cook's Inlet, a form which, so for as known, 
has passed entirely out of use, and of which I am not aware ihat any 
specimens are in existence. They were worn by both sexes. He says 
the under lip was slit parallel with the mouth, the incision being com- 
menced in infancy. In adults it was often two inches long. In it was 
" inserted a flat, narrow ornament, made chiefly of a solid shell or bone, 
cut into little narrow pieces like small teeth, almost down to the base 
or thickest part, which has a small projecting bit at each end, which 


supports it wlieu put iuto" the iucision, the dentate edge of the labret 
theu appearing outside. Others have the lower lii> "perforated iuto 
separate holes, and then the oruameut consists of as many distinct shelly 
studs, whose points are pushed through these holes."' The heads of 
the studs a])]ieiired within the lower lip, almost like a supplementary 
outer row of teeth. He ligures the latter kind, in each case four studs. 
Beads were often hung- to the points of these studs. At Cook's Inlet 
the labrets were exactly like the above described ones from Prince Will- 
iam Sound, but less commonly worn. (See Voyage, vol. ii, pp. 309, .370, 
pi. 40, 47, 1778.) 

In speaking of the women seen in Prince William Sound, Maurellc. in 
177',i, descibes them as distinguished by pieces of glass or other material 
which are placed through the lips on each side of the mouth in a man- 
ner similar to the median labret of the women at Bucareli (1. c, p. 340). 

In regard to the practice of labretifery at Kodiak, it seems to have 
rapidly dinnnished after the Eussian occupation, since, in ISO.j, Langs- 
dorff observed (ii, p. 63) that the slit iu the under lip was even then 
rarely seen, while tweuty-tive years before it was universal. 

It basbeeu nifutioued above that the inbabitauts of Kodiak and the ctlier Aleiitiau 
Islands are iu the iiractice of slitting the under lij) parallel with the month and lu- 
trodnciug into the opening ornaments of glass beads, muscle shells, or enamel. The 
Kaluschian women [of Sitka Sound] carry this idea of ornament much farther. When 
a girl has attained her thirteenth or fourteenth year a small opening is made directly 
in the center of the under lip, into which is run at first a thick wire, theu a double 
wooden button or a small cylinder made somewhat thicker at each end. This open- 
Lug once made is by degrees enlarged, till at leugth it,will contain an oval or elliptic 
piece of board or sort of small wooden platter, the outward edge of which has a rim 
to make it hold faster in the opening. The women thus look as if they hail large flat 
wooden spoons growing iu the tlcsh of their under lips. 

This oruanient, so horrible iu its appearance to us Europeans, this truly singular 
idea of beauty, extends along the northwest coast of America from about the fiftieth 
to the sixtieth degree of latitude. All the women, without distinction, have it, but 
the circumference of the piece of board seems to mark the age or rank of the wearer. 
The usual size is from two to three inches long, about an inch and a half or two inches 
broad, and at the utmost half an inch thick ; but the wives of the chiefs have it much 
longer and broader. I have even seen ladies of very high rank with this ornament 
full tive inches long and three broad, and Mr. Dwolf, who is very far from being likely 
to exaggerate, and who is well accjnainted with all this part of the coast, from hav- 
ing so often traded hither fm- sea-otter skins, assured me that at Chatham Strait he had 
seen an old woman, the wife of a chief, whose lip ornament was so large that by a 
peculiar motion of her under lip she could almost conceal her whole face with it. 
(Langsdorff's Travels, vol. ii, p. 114, 180.5.; 

According to Lisianski : 

The people of Kadiak are very fond of ornaments. Both sexes pierce the ears all 
round and embellish them with beads. The women also wear beads on the neck, 
arms, and feet. Formerly they wore strings of beads suspended from apertures in the 
lower lip, or else placed iu these apertures small bones resembling a row of artificial 
teeth, and had besides a bone passed through the gristle of the nose; while the men 
had a stone or bone four inches long in a cut made iu the lower lip (PI. iii. Fig. 
d), but these embellishments are now (ISC'!)) seldom seen. The fair sex were also 
fond of tattooing the chin, breasts, and back; but this again is much out of fashion. 
(Lisianski's Voyage, London, Booth, 1(314, p. 195.) 


The incisious in the lips aud uose were made twenty days after birth 
the end of the period of puritication of mother and child. (Lisiauski, 
1. c , p. 201.) 

The Aleuts, when first known by the whites, wore labrets, both men 
and women. These are figured by Cook and others, and for the males 
at least were cleat-shaped, with hanging beads attached in many cases, 
aud the incision was median. Two masks, used in dances, are here repro- 
duced (Plate XXVIII, Figs. 71-72) from the illustrations to Billings's 
voyage,' which show the form of the labret at that time. Cook de- 
scribes the median labrets of the Aleuts and figures them. (See official 
edition of his third voyage, ii, p. 417 plates, 4S, 49.) They were worn 
by both sexes. He states, however (p. 509, 1. c), that it was as rare at 
Unalashka to see a man wearing one as to see a woman without one. 
It is evident from this remark that the practice of labretifery among 
these people lay primarily with the women, as among the Tlinkit and 
other tribes to the south aud east. This was in 1778. 

In the voyage of Captain Saricheflf (with Billings, 1785-'90), published 
by Schuoor, in St. Petersburg, in 1802, consisting of two volumes, iu the 
Russian language, and a folio atlas of fifty-one plates, he illustrates both 
masks and labrets. He gives an excellent plate of a Kadiak woman 
wearing a labret much like that figured here (Plate XXVIII, fig. 71 
A), and with a broad, flat strip of bone through the nasal septum. The 
Kadiak man is represented with two rounded studs inserted side by 
side through the lower lip under the nose, aud a rounded bone like a 
quill through the uose (\iol. ii, p. 38). An TJnalashka woman is repre- 
sented with beads or studs set in the whole rim of the outer ear, two 
strings with beads on them hanging to the nasal septum, and lastly, with 
a hole below the outer corner of the mouth on each side, from which 
projects a labret of a kind I have seen no other record of. These are 
apparently of bone and resemble a dartrhead, but are curved, and with 
barbs only on one side. In Sarichefi"'s figure they stand out laterally, 
with the curve convex upward and the notches on the coucave side (vol. 
ii, pp. 16-18). This explains the nature of the objects found iu the 
Kagamil cave aud figured by me in Smithsonian Contributions toKuowl- 
edge, 318, Plate 10, figs. 17260 a, b, and c, and referred to on page 23 
as problematical. The TJnalashkan man has no ornaments in nose, ears, 
or lips, according to Saricheff's figures (vol. ii, p. 16). Another jilate 
showing both sexes full length agrees with the preceding. It is not 
evident how these labrets were kept iu, but they might have been 
l.v;hed to the ends of a thin strip of whalebone, as the specimens in 
the Smithsonian collection were arranged to be lashed to something. 

Sauer, in his account of Billings' voyage, figures a man and woman 
of Unalashka wearing the slender, <}leat-shaped labret, like that figured 
by Cook from the same locality (Plate V). He also figures (Plate VI) 

'Au account of a geographical and astronomical expedition, etc., made by Comnio- 
doie Joseph Billings, 1785-'94, by Martin Saner, London, 1802. 


a man of Kadiak with a broad labret like that described by Cook as seeu 
ill Priuce William Sound and Cook's Inlet. Langsdorft' (vol. ii, pi. ii, 
flg. 6) figures the eleat-shai^ed labret of the Aleuts in a clearer manner 
than any other author : 

At Unala^hka a mode of ornameut which appears very strange to us Europeans, 
and which indeed decreases in use among these islanders, is the boring the under lip 
a little below the mouth, and sticking various objects through the slits so made. A 
commou sort of oruament is made of glass beads, somewhat after the manner of our 
buckles. (Laugsdorff 's Travels, vol. ii, pi. ii, fig. G, p. 39, 1805.) 

But an earlier form of which the early voyagers say uothing, and 
which was doubtless ob.solete before their time, is preserved for us iu 
the burial caves aud shell heaps. This diflers but little from the Tliu- 
kit kalushka in some specimens, but the older ones are more rude and 
heavy. That the cleat-shaped form was a very late development is evi- 
dent from the fact that not a single specimen has yet been found after 
long-continued researches in the Aleutian shell heaps. A tolerably full 
description of these appeared in the first volume of the Contributions 
to North American Ethnology/ and the figures are reproduced here for 
clearness' sake (Plates V, VI, figs. 1-i). The Aleutian women seem 
to have worn labrets like the males. 

From the peninsula of Aliaska northward^ the use of labrets is still 
common, but in most cases confined tothen.ales. The Innuit man has 
usually two lateral labrets, of which the most common form is hke a 
" stove-pipe" hat, and made of bone or stone. The brim or ledge of 
the hat is inside, the crown projecting. Some few of the Tiuueh living 
in proximity to the Innuit have adopted the custom which is unknown 
aiiiong those who have no intercourse with the Innuit. Some of the 
Innuit women wear small J-shaped labrets, very light and thin, two 
close together near the middle line of the lower lip, but this is excep- 
tional. Usually the women do not wear them, and the kalushka is en- 
tirely unknown among them. The form of those used by the males i.s far 
from uniform, except that it is always more or less stud-shaped. Into 
the projecting part ornaments may be set in, or it may be expanded 
like an enormous sleeve-button. A favorite ornament is half of a large 
blue glass head, cemented on to the outside of the stud. A fan-shaped 
appendage of mottled green and white serpentine is not rarely used. 
This practice extends northward to Point Barrow,^ and eastward to 

-' Pp. H7-89, figur-.s 12991, 14933, 16138, and 16139. 

2 Cook describes the natives of Norton Sound in 1778 as wearing the double lateral 
labrets as at the present day. His language is a little obscure, but there is little 
doubt that the practice was confined to the males. See oflicial edition of the voyage, 
ii, p. 483. The people he saw were Innuit. 

3 At Point Barrow the lower lip in early youth is perforated at each side opposite 
the eye tooth, aud a slenderpiece of ivory, smaller than a crow quill, having one end 
broad and flat like the head of a nail or tack, to rest against the gum, is inserted from 
within, to prevent the wound healing up. This is followed by others, successively 
larger during a period of six mouths or louger, until the openings are sufficiently di- 
lated to admit the lip ornaments or labrets. As the dilation takes place iu the direc- 


near the mouth of the Colville Eiver, which falls iuto the Arctic Ocean. 
Eastward from that poiut the practice is eutirelj' unknowu to the lu- 
luiit, aud no labrets have ever been found in the shell heaps of eastern 
Arctic America. It is equally unknowu amoug the Innuit who have 
(long since) colonized on the Asiatic side of Bering Strait, and the 
earliest information we have of these people, from the report of Simeon 
Ueshiieff in 1G48, describes them as at war with the people who wore 
labrets. It is true that about 1820 some of the Tsau-chfi or Chukchi re- 
ported to a liussian navigator the supposed existence of labret- wearing 
people near Cape Shelagskoi, but this was i)robably due to a tradition 
of the travels of some marauding patty of American Innuit, who are 
notorious for their loug jouruey.s in their skin canoes. 

Practically the labret practice is unknowu in Northeastern Asia ; it 
has died out within two generations among the Alents and is dying out 
among the Tlinkit and those Innuit who are brought into intimate con- 
tact with the whites. In a comi)aratively short period it is probable that 
the practice will be as much forgotten in Northwest America as it is now 
iu Mexico aud Peru. 

tion of the libers of the muscle Burrounding the mouth, the incisions ajipear so very 
uniform as to lead one to suppose each tribe had a skillful operator for tlie purpose : 
this, however, is not the case, neither is there any ceremony attending the operation. 

The labrets worn hy the men are made of many diifereut liinds of stone, and even 
of coal, but the largest, most expensive, and most coveted, are each made of a flat 
circular piece of white stone, an inch and a half in diameter, the front surface of 
which is flat, aud has cemented to it half of a large blue bead. The back surface is 
also flat, except at the center, where a projection is left to fit the hole iu the lip. with 
a broad expanded end to prevent it falling out and so shaped as to lie in contact with 
the gum. It IS surprising how a man can face a breeze, however light, at 3(1- or 40° 
below zero, with pieces of stone iu contact with his face, yet it seems from habit the 
unoccupied openings would be a greater inconvenience than the labrets which till 
them. (J. Simpson, on the Western Eskimo, Arctic papers of the Royal Geographical 
Society, London, 1875, pp. 239-40.) 

The Point Barrow natives informed Professor Murdoch, of the Sigual Service party 
lately stationed there, that very long ago, so long that it was only known by tradi- 
tion, the men wore large median labrets like one which he purchased. But that 
fashion is now entirelv extinct. 


From the preliminary remarks it will be realized that ibe term viask 
is not a specilic, but rather a family name, aud that the ehissitieation of 
objects so denominated is somewhat complicated. 

To begin with, we have three principal types to distinguish, for which 
it is necessary to cciu terms, since thei'e are none in the English {if 
indeed iu any other) language which discriminate between them. 

1. The Mask. — An opaque object intended to be worn over the face, 
aud to conceal or defeud it, normally with breathing and peep holes. 

2. The Maskette. — An object resembling a mask, but intended to be 
worn above or below the face, formally without perforations. 

3. The Maskoid. — Au object resembling a mask or face, but not in- 
tended to be worn at all. Normally, and almost invariably, imper- 


Type 1. — Masks. 

A. For defense against physical violence, human or otberwise. Relations individual. 

a. Passive. — Characterized by the purpose of offering a mechanical resist- 
ance to the opposing force, with or without aestlictic n.oditication. 
Transitional series from the simplest type to the metallic helmet. 

6. Active. — Characterized by the purpose of exerting a moral intlneiice on 
the agent of the opposing force by exciting terror, either by direct hide- 
ousness or by symbolizing superhuman agencies supposed to be friendly 
to the wearer. Transitional series from the ordinary war mask aesthetic- 
ally modified, to that of the shaman or of the priest. 

B. Symbolical of social agencies, associations, orders, professions, superuatnralism. 
Relations ordinal or tribal. 

<•. Illustrative of the connection of the wearer with a particular association, 
baud, order, or profession, having a common relation to the rest of the 

Examples. — Masks used by the Iroquois " False-faces ; " the Zuui members of 
the order of the Bow ; organizations for public games, dances, or theatri- 
cals ; the " medicine men " or shamans ; ecclesiiistics; the Tlinkit clans 
or totems. 

fi. Illustrative of special rites, irrespective of the individual acting in ritual. 

Erample.—i'iasks used in religious ceremonies not purely ecclesiastical ; death 

Type 2. — Maskettes. 

A. Symbolical of social agencies, as in subdivision B, sections a aud b of Type 1. 

Type 3.— Maskoids. 
A. Symbolical of relations with the supernatural. 

fl. Of the individual. 

h. Of the community. 

All types and forms of masks, except, in some cases, the preserved 
fragments of actual humanity, will fall into oue or another of the pre- 
ceding sections, which are, however, not divided from one another l)y 
-sharp lines of demarkation, but rather tend to a gradual transition. 


This practice is widely spread, aud perhaps among savages more re- 
markable in the breach thaji in the observance. It is aud has been 
particularly notorious in regions west (Borneo) and southwest (Aus- 
tralia) of the south central Melanesian region, where this inquiry into 
the subject of masks may be said to make its starting point. The in- 
habitants of this archipelago are well known to indulge in it, and such 
a preparation is figured by Turner in an article' on masks, etc., from 
near j^ew Guinea, and bears a curious resemblance to the celebrated 
specimen from Mexico figured by Waldeck, Squier, and Brocklehurst. 
In Blanche Bay, Matupi Island, Captain Strauch^ reports skulls as 
painted, supplied with artificial hair, and used in the dance. This is 
distinctly related to the mask-idea. According to Schmeltz^ the death 
mask of the Shaman is placed in his late residence above the place 
where he was wont to sit, while those of enemies are preserved as tro- 

The Museum Godeffroy possesses seven crania aud nine human masks 
painted and adorned much like ttose described by Turner and Strauch, 
and which were obtained in the interior of New Britain at Barawa and 
Ealuana, near Matapu. Schmeltz figures two of them (1. c, t. iii, figs. 
3, i). In one of these the nasal alae are bored and teeth of discus in- 
serted. Another mask, exactly imitating those with a part of the skull 
for a foundation, is wholly made of a kind of putty or paste and came 
fcom New Britain. (L. c, p. 435.) 

In Hermit Island, north of New Guinea, the dead were formerly 
burned, the skull, ornamented with flowers, was hung in a tree, the 
lower jaw reserved as a neck ornament or hung up in the house. 
(Schmeltz, 1. c, p. 458.) 

In the New Hebrides, at the island of Mallicollo, the skeletons of the 
dead are exhumed and the fleshy parts imitated by the application to 
the bones of vegetable fiber or material, presumably cemented; these 
pseudo mummies are placed in the sacred houses or temples. A skull 
so treated is in the Museum Godefl'roj'. These iteople also alter the 
shape of the ci'auium by i)ressure in infancy as did some of the people 
of the western coast of both North and South America. (Peru, Mexico, 
Oregon, British Columbia.) 

' Journ.-il of and Physiol, xiv, p. 475 el seq., plate xxx, 1S80. 
-Scbiidel iiiasken ron Neu Britannien, Zeitschr. f. Ethu. xii, 1880, p. 404, pi. xvii. 
'Cf. Ethn. abth. Mils. Godeffroy, Hamburg, 1&81, p. 20, t. v, f. 1 ; p. 435, 2, 1 ; p. 
487, t. sxiii, xxxv. 


lu the Marquesas skulls were preserved and ornamented, the eyes 
replaced by pieces of pearl shell, and the lower jaw fastened to the 
upper by cords. According to Schmeltz (1. c, p. 242) the Marquesaus 
used various methods of preserving the dead, who were frequently em- 
balmed and preserved for a long time, or laid in caves or in trees. A 
little house, high in the mountains or among the pinnacles of the rocky 
coast, was used as a mausoleum. Here, until the flesh had disappeared 
from the bones, were useful articles, food, and drink brought for the use 
of the dead from time to time. Finally the skull is brought to one of 
the sacred "taboo" places and secretly deposited there. This duty was 
performed by one of the children of the dead, who, as well as others 
who know of the act, does not speak of it to any one. The skull is the 
only part which is regarded as holy ; the remainder of the skeleton is 

This recalls the observations of early writers among the Tlinkit, who 
burned or destroyed the body and skeleton of the dead, and placed the 
preserved head or skull in a little separate ornamented box near by or 
upon the chest containing the ashes of the remainder of the frame. 

The i)oint on the western coast of South America nearest to the Poly- 
nesian Islands, as before pointed out when si^eaking of labretifery, is 
in the region of Bolivia. Here we find the remarkable heads, from 
which the bone has been extracted with its contents, and the remainder, 
by a long course of prepai-atiou, finally reduced to a dwarfish miuia- 
ture of humanity, supposed to be endcn'ed with marvelous properties.' 

A similar practice is reported from Brazil by Blumenbach, in the Isst 
century.^ The preserved heads from New Zealand are in most ethno- 
graphic museums. 

How far the use or application of these remains may vary, or have 
varied, among the different races who prepared them, there are no 
means of knowing. The variations developed during an indefinitely 
long period must be supi^osed to be great, however uniform the incipi- 
ent practice. Thus, in Borneo the Dyak head hunter seeks trophies of 
valor in his ghastly preparations, whatever associations they may also 
have with the supernatural. The Australian widow carries for years 
her badge of former servitude and present misery in the shape of her 
husband's prepared cranium. These ideas are quite difierent from 
those of the people we are considering, with whom the prepared re- 
mains have a dii'ect connection with their idolatry or fetichism, and 
were, both in the Archipelago and in America, placed on or by the 
idols at certain periods or continuously. But the bare fact of any use 
or value being connected with such relics among certain peoples, while 
to others the corpse and all its belongings become objects of terror and 

' See also J. Barnard Davis, Thesaurus Cranioriim, p. 249. This piuctice has also 
been reportetl from the Amazon region. 
'Blumenbach, Decas Craniorimi, Gottingeu, 1790; cf. pi. xlvii. 


aversion, or uuclean, lias evidently, in connection with other ethnic facts, 
a certain bearing or weight. 

The most remarkable and interesting instance of this practice known 
to anthropologists is that of the human mask now in the Christy collec- 
tion, forming part of the British Museum. This is believed to have 
lieen brought to Spain shortly after the Spanish conquest and formed 
l>art of several collections, being at last secured by Mr. Henry Christy. 

In this specimen the eyeballs are replaced by polished hemispheres 
of pyrites ; the nasal septum masked by pieces of shell, and a mosaic of 
small bits of dark obsidian and green turquoise or chalchihuitl, inlaid 
in broad bands across the face. The part of the skull behind the ears 
is cut away, so as to admit of placing this human mask over the face of 
an idol, where it was fastened by leather thongs, which still remain 
attached to it. It was elegantly figured in colors by Waldeck in Bras 
seur de Bourbourg's Monuments Anciens du Mexique, plate 43, p. viii.^ 
It was then in the Hertz collection. 

The following account of its use is given by Sahagun,^ as quoted by 
Bourbourg : 

An mois Izcalli on fabriqnant im mannequiu du Dieu du feu Xiuliteuctli * « » 
on lui mettait uu masque en mosaiquc 'out travaill^ du turquoises avec quehiues 
bandcs de pi rres verte appele^ chalchuibuitl traversant la visage; ce masque ^tait 
fort Ijeau et respleudissan'. 

This mask, therefore, belonged to the third type, and might properly 
be classed near the stone maskftids, of which Mexico has produced so 
niany.^ (Cf. Ant. Mex., 1st esp. Du Paix, pi. xv, f. IG.) 

Farther north I have come upon no distinct record of such a practice,* 
tliouuh Mearesand some others represent Callicum and Maquinna, chiefs, 
at Nutka and vicinity, as j)cese.rving the skulls of their enemies, while 

I It is also represented by a cut derived from Waldeck by Squier iu his article on 
tbalcliibuitls from Mexico and Ceutral America, Ann. Lye. Nat. Hist., N. Y., IHOit ; 
and m colors by Brocklehurst iu his receut work on Mexico. 

-Hist. Gen. de la Cosas de Nueva Espana, ii, chap, xxxvii. 

^The Museum Godett'roy has received from New Britain a mask .so small and of 
such a character that .Schmeltz supposes it to have been intended to be placed over 
the face of one of their idols (1. c, p. 48a). 

< In 1787 Di.xou observed that the Tlinkit of Yakutat Bay in disposing of the dead 
sip.arated the heads from the bodies, x)reserving the bodies in a sort of chest above 
ground (as do the Northern lunuit on the Yukon River at the present day),, with a 
frame of poles over it. The head was separately preserved in a carved and orna- 
mented box painted in various colors and placed on the framework about the chest. 
In Norfolk Sound, now known as Sitka Sound, one of his party observing a cave in 
tlic hillside, entered it and found one of these boxes containing a head which seemed 
to have been newly placed there. Nothing is said of any body or chest as bcinir in 
the cave. (See Dixon's Voyage around the World, Loudon. 1789, pp. 17.'), Irtl.) 

Among the Tlinkit of Sitka, according to Lisiauski, iu 180.'), bodies of thedead were 
burned, but of bodies of those who fell iu war the head was preserved and placed in 
a separate woodeu box from that iu which the ashes and bones were placed. (Lisian- 
• ski. 1. c. p. ■241.) 


the njanusciipt voyage of the Eliza, Captaiu Rowan, to the Northwest 
coast iu 1799 determines definitely, not only that the blood-thirsty sav- 
ages of Queen Charlotte Islands and the adjacent ihainland decapitated 
and scalped their victims, but that these tro])hies were very highly 
valued among themselves and sold for extraordinary prices, judged by 
either Indian or civilized standards. Thus CaiJtain Rowan endeavored 
to recover the scalps of several whites murdered by the Queen Char- 
lotte Islanders, and found they had been sold to a Naas chief for sea- 
otter skins to the value of several thousand dollars. So far as is 
known, the native tribes bordering on these, northward and eastward, 
knew nothing of such practices, and never adopted this particular bar- 
barity. Isor are masks in use among them (excluding the coast tribes), 
except where they have been visibly adopted itfrare instances of imi- 

I have not had time to investigate the relations to this practice ol 
the tribes of the Antilles, and indeed have been able to hardly more 
than touch upon the more salient features of the whole topic. 
3 ETH 7 


It is quite certain that iu early stages of culture social festivals ami 
religions or superstitious rights were separated by no distinct line, and 
probable t'lat the social ones grew out of those which were, to a consid- 
erable extent, if not wholly, of a religious character. However, among 
the aborigines of the Northwest coast, at the time of their discovery 
the distinction between the games or semi-theatrical performances, illus- 
trative of tribal myth^, legends, and traditions, aud those of a religious 
nature performed by or under the direction of a shaman or priest, had 
become quite well marked. Our knowledge of the myths and religious 
beliefs or superstitions of the vicious and extremely savage islanders 
of the Ai'chi|)elago north of New Guinea is extremely imperfect, and 
for many of them altogether wanting. Hence it is impossible for the 
most part to formulate a comparison between their ideas and those en- 
tertained by the peox>le of West America. For the latter, even, we have 
but little authentic information, much of which is derived from persons 
ignorant of the fundamentals of ethnography, and whose assumi)tions, 
made in good faith Irom the facts before them, may often incorporate 
unintentional error. Turn in what direction we may, on every hand are 
gaps in the evidence, miscouiitrehensions of savage philosophy, and a 
tantalizing incomi)leteness of material. Our best endeavors are but 
groping in the twilight. 

In this condition of things it only remains for us to bring together by 
regions such evidence as we may, trusting to time and further research 
to bridge the chasms. 

For the present purpose, the geographical order adopted is as fol- 

1. North Papuan Archipelago. 

2. Peru. 

3. Central America and Mexico. 

4. New Mexico and Arizona. 

5. The region occupied by Indians from Oregon to the northern limit 
of theTlinkit. 

C. The Aleutian Islands. 

7. The Innuit region from Prince William Sound to Point Barrow. 


The Papuan Archipelago.— Oua of the earliest papers on the masks of 
this region is that of Captain Strauch, of the German navy, in the Zeit- 



schrift fur Etlinologie.' He figures a number of masks aud maskettes, 
beside other articles. Heuotesthat the larger ones are figures of a relig- 
ious nature and the smaller ones festive. Several of the latter are nota- 
ble for distortion of the mouth with the view of making them more ludi- 
crous or terrifying. Those figured by him were collected by the Gazelle 
at the islands known as New Hannover. Some of them show ai)ertnres 
for earrings. D'Urville notes in the voyage of the Astrolabe' that the 
people of New Holland pierce the alae of the nose iu one or two places, 
in which they insert the small canine teeth of a pig. A mask from this 
vicinity shows these. 

The following masks are figured by Schmeltz in Der etbnographisch- 
anthropologische Abtheiluug des Museum Godefi'roy in Hamburg (S», 
692 pp., 40 pi., 1 map; Hamburg, Frederichsen & Co., ISSl); t. tig. 1, 
l)p. 436, mask from New Hannover ; t. iii, figs. 3, 4, pp. 20, 434, masks 
of Luman skulls from New Britannia; t. v, fig. 1, p. 20, mask from New 
Ireland; t. x, fig. 6, p. 70, small dance-oruament in imitation of a face 
and arms, provided with a finger stall, recalling the finger masks of the 
Innuit of the Knskokwim Eiver, Alaska ; t. xxii, fig. 4, p. 120, mask from 
Lutiuar Island, New Hebrides; t. xxix, fig. 1, p. 301, mask from Mortlock 
Islands; t. xxxi, fig. 1, p. 439, maskette from New Ireland!; t. xxxiii, 
tigs. 1, 2, 3, p. 487, masks from Newlreland; t. xxxiv, fig. 1, p. 487, mask 
from New Ireland. J'roni this valuable work of Schmeltz, based upon 
the finest existing museum of South Sea ethnology, I have extracted 
the following notes on masks, dances, aud related customs of the Mela- 
nesian peoi^les : 

In the New Hebrides group of islands masks are used iu dances which 
the womeu are prohibited from seeing. They are built up on a founda- 
tion of cocoanut shell, colored with red, black, and white; the mouth 
and nose are large; a boartusk perforates the flesh on each side of the 
mouth, the points turned up to the forehead; they are called "NaBee;" 
one in the Museum Godeffroy came from Lunuar Island, near the south 
coast of Mallicolo. A hat-shaped head ornament is used iu this regiou 
during a feast which takes place at the time of the Yam harvest, similar 
to the Duk-Duk hat of New Britain. For some of these hats Schmellz 
believes European models have served, one being much in the shape of 
a "cocked hat" formerly used in European navies, others like ibolscaps, 
and still another like a very- old-fashioned female's hat. These resem- 
blances, however, may be derived from the very nature of the article, as 
some of the helmet- masks greatly resemble the ancient Greek helmet 
iu form, and not due to imitation. 

In one mask from New Ireland a flat carving pierced or carved out 
(tongue?) projects from the mouth, with an arrow piercing a fish upon 
it, which Schmeltz states resembles a carving which the natives are 
accustomed to hold in the mouth while dancing (1. c, p. 21). Again 

' Vol. viii, 1877, p. 48 et seq .; taf. ii-iv. 

«Vol.l, pi. 99; vol. iv, p. 736, cf.; also Juke's Voy. Fly. i, p. 274. 


Others from the same locality sbow, in one, an S-shaped flat piece of 
wood inserted labretwise bettreen the mouih and the nose; in two others 
wooden boar-tusks, one on each side, with, between them, a flat perfo- 
rated wooden carving ending anteriorly in an arrow-point, similarly placed 
between the mouth and nose, like lateral and mebian ladiets; in another 
there is only the median piece; and in still another there is a tusk only 
on one side of the upper lip ; (1. c, p. 23). Some of these masks were 
intended to be held on by a mouth -bar between the teeth, placed on the 
inside behind the mask-mouth as on the northwest coast of America. 
Maskettes or carvings for the headdress similar in many respects to the 
masks are also characteristic features of the paraphernalia of the dauce 
in Ifew Ireland and New Britain ; (1. c, p. 32, 3.) 

Hubuer describes part of the Duk-Duk ceremony, as it is practiced 
in New Britain, as follows: 

If any of the chief's family are ill, a Duk-Duk will probably be performed, since 
only these rich people can afford such a luxury. This ceremony lasts about a week, 
and the natives say that when a sick man sees a Duk-Duk he either gets well or soon 
dies. This ceremony or religious performance takes place in a tabooed inclosure 
where women aud children may not go on pain of death. One or more men are en- 
tirely covered with leaves, excepting only their legs, which are bare and visible, aud 
their heads, upon which a Duk-Duk mask is placed, usually made of bast from the 
wild cherry tiee. 

In this array the wearer now runs through the island, begging from everybody ; 
even the whites are expected to give tobacco or shell-money. Women and children, 
under the severe penalties which follow their seeing the Duk-Duk messenger, must 
hide themselves during this time ; above all they must not say that this garb conceals 
a fellow-countryman, but Turangen, one of their deities. Probably the performer 
will tirst take a canoe to another island aud thence come back and make his first ap- 
pearance coming out of the water. If the mask comes off the performer's head or 
falls so that the sharp point at the top sticks in the ground, he will be killed. 

I learned from one of the chiefs that the dress of the Duk-Duk is composed entirely 
of single chaplets of leaves, the undermost, attached to two strings passiug under 
the shoulders, hangs directly over tbe hijjs. More and more of the chaplets are i)ut 
ou until the uiau is covered to the neck, when the Duk-Duk hat is put on his head. 

Duriug this solemnity those present indulge in a sort of mock tight, screaming 
aud roaring; the youug jieople run to one of the elder persons and perhaps after three 
applications, each i)resents his back to the old man, who strikes it with a stout club, 
upon which the beaten person cries Boro (i. e., pig), and runs away. This agrees with 
the custom that the "Tambu " people who are entitled to enter into the ceremony 
may not eat jiork. Upon their connection with the Duk-Duk ceremonial, I can say 
nothing further, the people who are not "Tambu" know uothiug, and those 
who are will .say nothing about it. If any one will become " Tambu" he must re- 
main in a sitting posture in a house in the first Tambu inclosure for a month, silents, 
and without seeiug any woman. However, he is well fed and naturally gets fat. 
This done, he must then perform a dance. He can then be seen of women and is 
" Tambu." He must, however, abstain forever from pork and the flesh of sea auimals, 
otherwise, as is universally believed, he will die. (Schmeltz, 1 c, pp. 17-19, plate 
iii, fig. 1.) 

Compare with this ijerformance Swan's account of the Tsiahk dauce 
or ceremony for the sick among the Indians of Cape Flattery (1. c, 
pp. 73-4) and with Schmeltz's figure of the Duk-Duk performance 
Swan's figure of a female performer in the Tsiahk dance. The fact that 


one of the mediciue dances of the Cape Flatterj- ludiaus is called Diik- 
wally is of course a mere accidental coincidence to which no importance 
should be attributed. 

The hat-shaped mask of the DukDuk ceremony is surrounded witli 
tresses of bast which conceal the face and are colored red below ; the 
body of it is conical, with along stick extending vertically from its apex. 
The lower part of this is painted red, with triangular figures on two 
sides ; the upper part is more or less covered with bast, and has a bunch 
of leaves at the point. These leaves and those of the dress are from 
the Pandanus tree. A similar hat is placed on their idols, according to 
Captain Briick, in New Britain, and recalls the curious conical hat with 
a succession of small cylinders rising from its apex one above another 
carved on some of the old T'linkit and Haida totem posts, but which 
no oue has reported as actually worn, if, indeed, they exist anywhere 
except on the totem posts and iu museums. A club or staff is held in 
the hand in both the Indian and Melanesian ceremonies. 

The following notes are from specimens actually examined : 

20651 (Plate IX, figs. 9-10).— This mask was obtained by H. S. Kirby 
near Levuka, Friendly Islands. It is composed of a wood resembling 
spruce, of which the unpainted surface forms the groundwork of the 
coloration. The interior is slightly concave, with a small stick to be 
held in the teeth. The front is rather flattish. There are two rounded 
ears over the forehead which, with the peculiarly formed month, indicate 
that some sort of animal with a pointed muzzle and upright rounded 
ears was intended to be symbolized. The chin, mouth, nose, lower edge 
of eyebrows, and a band around the edge of the ears are colored red. 
The other markings indicated by the figure are black. There is a white 
band round the mouth which also served as an eyehole. In front of 
the ears and around the upper edge of the mask are peg-holes, by pegs 
in which hair, feathers, or fiber was probably once fastened. There are 
traces of gray downy feathers which had been pegged on each side of 
the chin. There had been an operculum or something of the sort, once, 
to serve as pupil for each of the eyes of the mask which are not per" 
forated. There is a knob with a hole in it carved at the top of the mask, 
probably for the purpose of putting a cord into by which the article 
might be suspended. In the record book no history is attached to this 
mask, other than the details mentioned. The figure is one-fifth the 
linear size of the original. 

Plate VII, figs. 5-6. This is a wooden maskoid from Mortlock or 
Young William's Island, Caroline group, South Seas. The original is 
deposited in the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, 
New York City. I am indebted to the director. Prof. Albert S. Bick- 
more, for the privilege of figuring it. It strongly resembles some 
Innuit masks in general appearance. Its dimensions are 28J by 16^ 
inches, and from front to back it is about 8 inches in greatest depth. 
The disk is shield-shaped, and about 3 inches in greatest thickness. 


The face is colored white with a sort of lime-wash, which Las scaled off 
iu spots. The margin is blact, with radiating white lines nearly effaced. 
There is a fiided band of red on the border and nuder the brows. The 
eyes are indicated by mere grooves, nea-ly closed. Touches of white in 
the mouth indicate teeth. A rounded lump of wood is attached at one 
of the upper corners, which has been much bored bj' ants or boring 
Crustacea. The wood seems to have been drift-wood. At the back is 
a roughly-hewn keel through a hole iu which passes a cord of vegetable 
tiber by which it was tied to a wall or i)ost. There is a small wooden 
projection behind the right upper margin, which is pierced with a hole. 
Use and history unknown. 

From the Mortlock Islands of the Caroline group the Museum Godef- 
froy has several masks or maskettes very similar to the one here fig- 
ured from the museum in New York. They are used in the dance, and 
are called by the natives " To-pa' nu." There is only one wooden knob 
above, as iu the figured specimen. 

Plate VllI, fig. 7 ; Plate IX, fig. 8. This is a wooden maskette or 
helmet recalling some of the Tlinkit dancing masks, and was probably 
put to a similar use. It is said to have come from New Ireland, near 
NewGuiuea. Itis one of a collection deposited in the American Museum 
of Natural History, New York City, with the preceding, and figured 
with the kind permission of Pi-ofessor Bickmore. The wood is that 
known as "burau" in the South Seas ; the hair is of vegetable fiber of 
the natural (dark) grayish color. The base coloration is dull red, with 
white tracery in a sort of thick lime-wash. The pupils of the eyes are 
formed of the calcareous opercula of Turbo petholatus Linn6, exactlj' in 
the way iu which the opercula ot PacJiypoma gibberosum are used on the 
northwest coast of America. 

From the lower part of the front edge to the top of head is 10^ inches. 
The total width, exclusive of the hair, is about 8 inches; the spike on 
top of the head is 5J inches; and from the back to the front edge is 
about 15 inches. The lower part of the face is not represented. His- 
tory and exact uses unknown. 

Plate X, figs. 1 1-12. This is a maskoid carving similar to some which 
have been considered by Schmeltz to be idols, or ornaments for boats 
intended to be set into a post or socket. It is stated to have come from 
New Ireland, and belongs to the same series as the two preceding speci- 
mens. From the base on which the figure stands to the top of the ap- 
pendages over the head is about 2 feet, the diameter is about 6 inches. 
It is of "burau" wood, with a fringe of cocoa fiber, eye pupils of the 
Turbo operculum, colors dull red, black, and chalky white. The head 
somewhat resembles the maskette just described ; except that fiber used 
for hair is of the cocoa husk. The two appendages over the head may 
be supposed analogous to the lump of wood on the first- mentioned speci- 
men from Mortlock. 

This specimen is figured as the best accessible Melanesian example of 


the iieeiiliar attitude aud conibiuation seen in some Mexican terracottas 
and in many maskettes, maskoids, and rattles from the Indians of the 
northwest coast of America.' That is to say, the mouth is open, the 
tongue protrudinfT and continuous, with the tongue of an animal (in this 
case a snake) which is held in the hands of the main figure and hangs 
down between the knees. In one specimen in the same collection the 
serpent is continuous with or attached to the male organ of the sustain- 
ing figure, which would indicate an idea, or association of the idea, of 
life aud transmission of spiritual influence or life similar to that enter- 
tained by the natives of the northwest coast of America. 

In the present instance, the figure is represented as without legs, un- 
less the stick-like supports for the hands be considered as recurved con- 
ventionalized limbs. The mouth is open, the tongue protruding aud its 
tip held in the mouth of a doubled-headed serpent, whose opposite head 
hangs down near the base, also with the tongue visible. The upper 
head has the triangular form belonging to poisonous serpents. The 
lower head is narrower and more cylindrical. Just behind the latter, 
from its neck, two leaves or palm branches start out, and, rising in the 
form of a lyre, their tips are attached, one on each side, behind the un- 
der lip of the princii)al figure. About midway these branches are held 
by the hands of the latter, each of which is also supported by a straight 
stick rising from the base. Each elbow is s pported in the mouth of a 
serpent which rises from the base for that purpose. The history aud 
uses of the specimen are unknown. 

Several others in the same collection reproduced the same attitude, 
but the animal supported was sometimes an enormous beetle, with 
branching horns, aud sometimes a bird with a long beak, like the sha- 
manic kingfisher of the Haida rattles. 


The use of masks seems to have been much the same as in Mexico 
and on the northwest coast. Purchas states, on the authority of Vega 
(lib. 8, eh. 1, p. 2), that at Cuzco, at the feast of Corpus Christi, the 
Peruvians joined in the festivities and procession accurding to their 
habit in celebrating their own feast : 

After their wonted Pagan rites : vi:, Some clotlied with lion's slsins, their heads en- 
closed iu those of the beasts, because (they say) the Lion was beginner of their stocke; 

* * * others in monstrous shapes with visors [i. e. masks] with skins of beasts 
with strange gestures, and fayuing themselves Fooles, &c. « » ♦ Thus had they 
used to solemnize the Feasts of their Kings and thus in my time, sayth Vega, they 
solemnized the feast of the most holy sacrament. (Purchas, America, book is, chap. 
12, p. 946, edition of 16-26.) 

' Which are noted under their appropriate heads. 



Maskoids of wood aud terra cotta are not uiicouimou. lu Squier's 
Peru (i>. ro) lie figures a niaskoid of wood, which is reproduced here 

(figure 13). It is of rather rough constrnctiou, 
smeared with a reddish ochre aud bears a not- 
able resemblance to some found much fur- 
ther north. He states that it was found at 
rachecaunic, buried at the feet of a body, 
under a pile of stones. This specimen is now 
in the American Museum of >!atural History 
in New York City and is number Ooi of the 
Squier collection. 

In the " Necropolis of Ancon in Peru "' the 
authors ' figure several mummies in their 
wraps. At the heads of several of them are 
attached very similar maskoids, projecting 
outside of the cerements aud with various ap- 
pendages attachfd at the back and sides. This recalls the Aleutian 
and Mexican custom of covering the face of the dead with a mask. 
It is entirely probable, from their similarity, that Squier's specimen had 
been originally attached in like manner and become displacetl. 

The United States National Museum has recently received a fine speci- 
men of this sort of mortuary wooden maskoid, which is represented by 
tig. 14, Plate YI. Like the others, it is rudely carved, reddened with 
ochre and originally had several little cloth bags and other appendages 
attached to it. The original condition is restored as far as possible in 
the figure. The whites of the cj'es are comi)osed of oval pieces of white 
shell, set into excavations in the wood. ^V number of little locks of hair 
were put beneath them and the hair projecting around the edges well 
represents eyelashes. The irides are represented by bluish circular 
pieces of mussel {Mytilu.s) shell cemented on to the whites. This speci- 
men, number G5376 of the museum register, was obtained by Ct. H. 
Hurlbut at or near Lima, in Peru. Its total length is 12i inches. 


It is unnecessary to refer at length to the use of masks and maskoids 
in this region. The use of the human mask inlaid with obsidian and 
turquoise has already been described under another head. P>eside this 
relic of humanity so strangely adorned, there is in the Christy collec- 
tion a very similar wooden mask, iidaid with similar materials as well 
as red aud white shell. This is figured in a nmgniiicent manner by 
Waldeck,- and was used as described in the quotation from Sahagun 

' Reiss and Stiibel. See plates 14, 15, 18, and 19. 

'Mon. Auc. da Mexiijue, p. viii, pi. 4/!. Another is iu the Berlin Museum. 


(p. 96). Maskoids of stone, terra cotta, jasper,' and jadeite from this 
region are to be fonud in most antlircpological museums and are figured 
in all works on Mexican antiquities. Satirical maskoids in terra cotta 
are common. Some of the gold articles found in the graves at Chiriqui 
in Central America were of a maskoid character, though most of them 
were rude flgui'es. 

Some recent illustrations of antique Mexican paintings^ show con- 
ventionalized figures wearing exactly the maskette head-dresses figured 
in this article from the Moqui villages. 

After the death and shrouding of their " king " a painted mask set 
with jewels was put over his face.' Tne use of the Peruvian maskoids 
and the Innuit and Aleutian death-masks for the same purpose are to 
be noted in this connection. 


In the National Museum there are quite a number of maskettes and 
head-dresses from New Mexico and Arizona, one of which, together 
with a doll showing the method of wearing them, is figured in this paper. 

22:'30 (Plate XII, fig. 15).— A doll obtained at the Moqui villages in 
Arizona, by Maj. J. W. Powell, and presented to the National Museum. 
It is figured to show the method of wearing the maskette headdress 
about to be referred to, and also as illustrating the progress in conven- 
tionalizing the forms of which the head-dress is composed. Originally 
intended for human figures the forms became such as are figured on the 
headdress (22942), and by a further progress the bare block patterns 
which we see on the head of this doll. 

The colors are varied and their distribution only to be made intelligi- 
ble by a colored figure. The doll's painted dress is white with red 
stripes. One- stocking is green the other is partly yellow, both have 
black borders ; the arms and eyes are black, the head-dress is green, 
red, black, and yellow, while the face is ornamented with blue, red, 
yellow, green, and white. The figure is one-eighth the length of the 

22942 (Plate XII, figs. 16-17).— Moqui maskette headdress collected 
by Maj. J. "W. Powell at the Moqui villages in Arizona for the United 
States National Museum. The right-hand figure shows the front of the 
head dress, the left-hand one the back of it. The height of the original 
is seventeen times that of the figure. No less than thirteen figures are 
indicated ou the arch of the head-dress, the principal one in the center 
with two supporters, then an intermediary, and finally four others at 

'Ant. Mex., Du Paix, Ire exp^d., pi. xv., figs. IG, 16a. 
'^Anales de Museo Naciouale, vol. iii. 
'Purcbas, ed. 16"26, book vlii, ch. ix, page 872. 


each side. The wbole is brilliantly colored with a variety of colors. 
Precisely similar head-dresses are represented iu old Mexican pictures 
x'eprodnced in the Anales of the Museo Nacionale of Mexico. The exact 
meaning of these and analogous articles used by the Zuiii Indians we 
shall probably learn eventually from the report of Frank N. Cashing, 
who has given some inklings of their nature in his recent articles in the 
Century Magazine. 


The products of this region must be taken together for our present 
purjioses, since it is well known that their customs, as regards masks, 
&c., are essentially similar, and also that it is a regular matter of trade 
for Indians of one locality and linguistic stock to make masks for sale 
to and final decoration by people of other stocks and habitat ; so the es- 
sential features of a mask used by a Makah or Tlinkit Indian may have 
been designed and executed by a member of the Haida nation. ' 

Among the Haida and Tlinkit especially, the style of ornamentation 
is artistic and characteristic, though iu the last few years beginning to 
lose its purity before the march of civilization. It comprises a rather 
wide I'ange of conventional figures, which are apijlied to many different 
articles beside masks, maskettes, and the totem-posts, considered as 
maskoids. The shamanic paraphernalia includes masks as a principal 
item, one for each of his familiar spirits, or at least diflerent masks or 
maskettes, which are put on with strict reference to the particular 
power to be appealed to. In combination with them the rattle is a 
particular and essential item, and may be regarded as, in some sort, the 
shamanic scepter. ' ■ 

In their dances, of which Swan has given us the best, though a too- 
evideutly incomplete idea, masks play, perhaps, the most importaut 
part ; and here the invention of the Indian tiuds its widest scope. I 
have described a large number of the more interesting specimens in the 
National MuseuQi. which, in this department, is richer for Northwest 
America than any other iu the world. 

They are divisible into dancing masks and head-dresses of which a 
niaskette forms the most conspicuous part; helmets and shamanic 
masks of varied patterns,' and decoys.' 

' Cook speaks of the great variety and grotesqueness of the masks used at Niitka 
and the rattles used by the medicine-man and at dances. He also devotes a quarto 
plate to figures of theiu. (See Cook's Third Voyage, vol. ii, London, 1784, p. 306, 
pi. 40.) 

" According to Meares, the people of Nutka had iu 1788 a dress for war, composed 
of thick moose skin, which was "accompanied with a mask representing the head of 



In Swan's monograph of the Indians of Cape Flattery ' some account 
of their tamdnawas or religio- superstitious ceremonies and rites are 
given, together with the more social or semi theatrical performances 
which take place about the same time. The reader is referred to the 
original for the full account which is only summarized here. The facts 
contained in it are very valuable, though it is evident that the writer 
has not thoroughly mastered the true inwardness of what he describes, 
and indeed he freely admits this to be the case. 

The figures of masks given by Swan are reproduced here, and com- 
prise five masks and one bird's-head maskette. There is no special 
history given of them further than that they were used by the Makah 
Indians on the Cape Flattery reservation in the dances about to be de- 
scribed, and were mostly carved by Indians resident on Vancouver 
Island and sold to the Makahs, who paint them to suit themselves. See 
plates XIII, figs. 19-20; XIV, fig. 23 ; XVI, fig. 30; XVIII, fig. 40. 

According to Swan, at certain periods, generally during winter, the 
Makah Indians have ceremonies or mystical performances, of which 
there are three kinds. These are the Dukwalli, T'siark, and the Do- 
h'tlub. The latter is rarely performed, requiring much expense and 
many participants. 

All these ceremonies are commenced in private, only the initiated be- 
ing allowed to be present. What occurs is not known. Subsequent 
portions of the ceremonial are performed in public and sj)ectators are 

Swan infers from what he has seen that the Dukwalli is a ceremonial 
to propitiate the T'hlukloots or "Thunder-bird," who seems with the 
iMakahs to take precedence over all other mythological beings. Into 
these ceremonies both sexes, and even children, are initiated, but this is 
entirely distinct from the jirocess by which the youth selects his totem, 
familiar or guardian spirit, which is done in solitude and by night. 

Swan believes that iu these ceremonies there is nothing approaching 
our idea of worship. The Indians state categorical Ij' that there is not. 

some animal ; it is made of wood, with' the eyes, teeth, &c., aud is a work of consid- 
erable ingenuity. Of these masks they have a great variety, which are applicable to 
certain circumstances and occasions. Those, for exarajjle, which represent the head 
of the otter or any other marine animals, are used only when they go to hunt them." 
(Meajes' Voyage, London, J. Walter, 1790, p. 254.) "The seal is also an anim,il 
very difficult to take on account of its being able to remain uuder water. Artifices 
are therefore made use of to decoy hira within reach of the boats; aud this is done, 
iu general, by means of masks of wood made in so exact a resemblance of nature, 
that the animal takes it for one of his own species and falls a prey to the deception. 
On such occasions some of the natives put on these masks, and, hiding their bodies 
with branches of trees as they lie among the rocks, the seals are tempted to approach 
so near the spot as to put it in the power of the natives to pierce them with their ar- 
rows. Similar artifices are employed against the sea-cow and otters occasionally. 
(Meares, 1. c, p. 261.) 
' Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge No. 220, 1869. 


The Makahs, like most American Indians, believe that all living things, 
even trees, had formerly human shape, and have been transformed for 
pnnishiiient or otherwise into their present condition. This was chiefly 
the work of two persons; brothers of the sun and moon, who came upon 
the earth for the purpose, and there is a large variety of myths and le- 
gends as to the reasons for and circumstances connected with particu- 
lar transformations. 

The above-mentioned ceremonies are exhibitions intended to repre- 
sent such incidents. There are no persons set apart as priests for the 
purpose ; some expert performers may take a principal part in each 
ceremony, but they are as likely to be slaves or common people as men 
of mark, and, except while so engaged, are not regarded as distinguished 
from the rest. 

The Indians state that the i)aiticular ceremonies originate not with 
themselves, but with their guardian spirits, who communicate to one of 
them what should be done. He thinks out for himself, with such as- 
sistance, tlie mode of the exhibition, the songs and dances, and when 
the plan is perfected announces it to a select few, who are drilled in 
secret. When all is perfected the representation takes place suddenly 
and without announcement before the astonished tribe. 

If any performance is a success it is repeated and gradually comes to 
be looked upon as one of the regular ceremonies of the kind; if it does 
not satisfy the audience it is laid aside. So it happens that they have 
some which have been handed down from remote ages, while others are 
of comparatively recent date. 

The great ceremony of the Dukwalli originated with a band of Nitti- 
nat Indians, living near Barclay Sound, Vancouver Island, and was by 
them communicated to the Makahs. The legend npon whicli it is al- 
leged to be founded is given in full by Swan in the paper referred to. 

The performance is given at the expense of some individual, who 
often saves for a long time in order to accumulate property enough to 
carry it out. It is kept secret until nearly ready. Notice is given the 
night before the first day's performance by hooting and howling, firing 
guns, &c., and the initiated gather in the lodge and create a tremen- 
dous din. Torches are tlashed through apertures in the roof of the 
lodge followed by a noise made to resemble thunder, after which all 
whistle in a manner to represent the wind. The uninitiated fly in ter- 
ror. Every house is visited and the inmates invited to the ceremonies. 

The first five days are devoted to secret ceremonies and initiations 
The first public performance is a procession on the fifth day of males 
and females naked, or nearly so, with their limbs and bodies scarified 
and bleeding. Invited guests receive presents. Every evening after 
the first secret days are over is devoted to masquerades, when each 
lodge is visited and a performance enacted. The masks are chiefly 
made by the Klyoquot and Nittinat Indians from alder, maple, poplar, 
&c., and sold to the Makahs, who paint them to suit themselves. 


They are keiJt coucealecl until the perforiuanee begius. Mauy of them 
have the eyes, lower jaw, &c., movable by a cord. Oue such party 
was composed of men with frightful masks,' bear skius on tlieir backs, 
and heads covered witli bird's down. Tbey had clnbs iu their hands, 
and as they danced around the lire struck wildly about, caring little 
what or whom they struck. One of the number was naked, a rope 
around his waist and a knife in each hand, making a fearful howling. 
Two others held the rope as if to restrain him. Boxes and utensils 
were smashed and much damage done. 

On another occasion the performers, who were males, with masks 
resembling owls, wolves, and bears, crouched down with their arms 
clasped about their knees, their blankets trailing on the ground and 
fastened around their necks with a .single pin. After forming in a circle 
with their faces toward the fire they commenced jumping sidewise 
around it, their arms still clasped about the knees. Their exertions 
were continued several minutes; they were succeeded by about thirty 
women with blackened faces, heads covered with down, and a girdle 
drawing their blankets tightly to the waist. These danced around tlie 
fire singing as loud as they could scream, accompanied by the specta- 
tors, and beating time with sticks on boards placed before them for the 

During the day performances were going on on the beach. Repre- 
sentations of all sorts were given. For instance, two naked boys, 
rubbed with flour, and with white cloths around their heads, symbol- 
ized cold weathei". Others who wore masks resembling a bird's beak, 
and tufts of feathers in their hair, moved slowly near the water, raising 
and lowering their heads, and were intended to symbolize cranes. 

At the end of the performance a young girl came out on the roof of 
the lodge wearing a mask representing the head of the thunder bird, 
which was surmounted by a topknot of cedar bark dyed red and stuck 
full of white feathers from eagles' tails. A smaller girl had a black 
mask to represent the ha-hek-to-ak, or lightning fish. The masks did 
not cover the face, but were on the forehead, from which they projected 
like horns. The ceremony closed with a reception, performance, and 
distribution of presents at the lodge, and the whole wound up with a 
feast. This Dukwalli is repeated at one or more villages every winter. 

In the T'siark, which is a medical or curative ceremony, no masks are 
reported as used, but peculiar headdresses are worn. 

For the Do-h'tlub the reader is referred to the original, it being of es- 
sentially the same character as the ceremony of the Dukwalli, though 
older, and of course dift'ering in all its details. 

The Makah denominate these ceremonial masks hu-kau'-itl-ik. 

From this summary the reader can form a very good idea of the way 
in which the dancing masks are used and how multifarious their variety 
may be. 

' See Plate XIII, fig. 18. 


The masks strictlj' belongiug to the medicine man are generally heir- 
looms, and mostly used in secret. The shaman is said to have one for 
each familiar spirit, in some way symbolical of that si)irit, and which is 
put on when it is to be summoned by means of the magician's rattle. 
This instrument is worthy a more extended notice. They are generally 
elaborately carved and painted, and in old as well as modern specimens 
of remarkably uniform size. 


With regard to the present use of masks among the Haida, the 
following information is extracted from Dr. Dawson's report on that 
tribe : 

A cloali or blauliet very much prized by the Haida, and called nakhin, is obtained 
in trade from the T'simpsian. It is shaped somewhat like asbawl, with ablaut point 
behind, and surroundtd by a deep and thick fringe of twisted wool. The cloaks are 
made in many small separate pieces, which are afterward artfully sewu together. The 
colors of wool used are white, yellow, black, and brown, and the |iattern bears a rela- 
tion to the totem, so that an Indian can tell to what totem the cloak belongs. They 
are used specially iu dancing, and then in conjuuction with a peculiar head-dress, 
which consists of a small wooden mask (maskette), ornameuted with mother-of-pearl. 
This ttands up from the forehead, and is attached to a piece fitting over the head, 
ornamented with feathers, &c., and behind supporting a strip of cloth about two feet 
wide, which hangs down to the feet, and is covered with skins of the ermine. (Pp. 
lOOB, 107B, 1. c.) One of these is figured by Bastian, taf. 1, fig. 2, 2a. 

Six kinds of daucing ceremonies are distinguished among the Haida. One is called 
Ska-dul ; the women occupy a prominent place iu this dauce, being carefully dressed 
with the liltle masks and cloaks above mentioned. It requires uo paiticular number 
of people, tbo more the better, and occurs only when a man desires shortly to build 
a house. One man performs on a tambourine, beating time, to which they all sing. 
The song is a sort of eulogy of the builder as well as the dancers, celebratiug their 
strength, riches, &c., and is iu the T'.-'impsean languiige, which many of the Haida 
speak fluently, and from which tribe many of their ceremonies appear to have been 
derived iu comparatively recent time. 

Another dauce is called Skariil. Ouo man (usually a hired dancer) performs tb is 
dance. It takes place some days before a distribution of property, on the occasion of 
such an event as the tattooing of a child, or death nf a relative or friend. The dauce 
is performed by a single man, naked, except for a breech-clout. In the first part of 
the dance, which .appears to be iutended to simulate a sort of possession or frenzy, 
one of the grotesnne woodeu masks is worn, and this is the only dauce in which they 
are used. The wearing of the mask, however, is not absolutely necessary, but a 
ter of choice with the perrormer. Getting heated iu the d.anco he throws the mask 
away, snatches up the first dog he can find, kills biui, and tearing pieces of his flesh, 
eats them. This dance is not performed in the house as the others are, but at large 
through the village. (Pp. 1'28B, 1296.) 

Masks are to be found in considerable number iu all the villages, and though I could 
hear that they were employed for a single dauce only, it is probable that there nuiy 
be other occasions for their use. The masks may be divided iutotwo classes: the first 
those which represent human faces ; the second those representing birds. [Figuri s 
are given by the author on Plate VI, representing three masks and two maskettes. 


one-tenth natural size.] They are carved iu wood. Those of the tirst class are usu- 
ally amply large enough to cover the face. In some cases they :ire very neatly carved, 
generally to represent an ordinary Indian type of face without any grotesque idea. 
The relief is generally a little less than in nature. Straps of leather fastened to the 
sides of the mask are provided to go round the head of the wearer, or a small loop of 
cedar-bark Btriufc is tixed in the hollow side of the mask to be grasped by the teeth. 
The top of the forehead is usually fringed with down, hair, or feathers. The eyes are 
pierced to enable the wearer to look ont, aud the mouth is also often cut through, 
though sometimes solid aud representing teeth. Grotesque masks are also made ia 
this style, but none were observed to have a smiling or humorous expression. The 
painting of the masks is, according to taste, iu bars or lines, or the peculiar curved 
lines with eyelike ovals (stated by Swan to be derived from the spots on the lateral 
fins of a species of skate-fish native to these waters) found so frequently iu the de- 
signs of the coast Indians. The painting of the two sides of the face is rarely sym- 
metrical, a circumstance not arising from any want of skill, but inteutional. Of the 
second class of masks, representing birds, there are various kinds. Oue obtained at 
the Klue village had a beak 5 or 6 feet long projecting from the center of a mask not 
much unlike those 'above described. The beak was painted red, and the whole evi- 
dently intended to represeut the oyster catcher common to this coast (HoJinaJo/jiis 
niger). Another represents the head of a pufiBn (Fratercula). It is too small within to- 
include the head and must have been worn above the head. (L. c, pp. 1;57B, 138B.) 

The carviugs oii the rattles of the Tliukit, especially those of the 
soiitberu part of the Archipelago, are matters belongiug particularly to 
the shaman or medicine man, ami characteristic of his profession. 
Among these very generally, if not invariably, the rattle is composed 
of the figure of a bird, from which, near tlie head of the bird, or carved 
upon the back of the bird's head is represented a human face with the 
tongue protruding. 

This tongue is bent downwards and usually meets the mouth of a frog 
or an otter, the tongue of either appearing continuous with that of the 
human face. In case it is a frog, it usually appears impaled upon the 
tongue of a kingfisher, whose head and variegated plumage are repre- 
sented near the handle in a conventional way. It is asserted that this 
represents the medicine man absorbing from the frog, which has been 
brought to him by the kingfisher, either poison or the power of producing 
evil eflects on other people. (See Plate XXII, fig. 50.) 

In case it is an otter, the tongue of the otter touches the tongue of 
the medicine man, as represented on the carving. The hands of the 
figure usually take hold of the otter's body by the middle, sometimes 
by the forelegs. The hindlegsof the otter rest either upon the knees 
of the figure representing the medicine man, or upon a second conven- 
tionalized head, which is in front of and below the knees. The tail of 
the otter hangs down between his hindlegs. A somewhat similar rattle 
is figured by Bastian (1. c. taf. 4, fig. 4, 4a), from near Port Simpson. 

This carving is represented, not only on rattles, but on totem posts, 
fronts of houses, and other objects associated with the medicine man, 
the myth being, as has been elsewhere described,' that when the young 
aspirant for the position of medicine man goes out into the woods, after 

' See Alaska and its resources, page 425, 187U. 


fasting for a considerable period, in order that bis to be familiar spirit may 
seek him and that he may become possessed of the power to communi- 
cate with supernatural beings, if successful, he meets with a river otter, 
which is a supernatural animal. The otter a])proaches him and he seizes 
it, kills it with the blow of a club and takes out the tongue, after which 
he is able to understand the language of all iuanimate objects, of birds, 
animals, and other living creatures. *He preserves the otter's tongue 
with the utmost care in a little bag hung around his neck. The skin 
he also preserves; audit forms an important part of his paraphernalia. 

This ceremony or occurrence happens to every real medicine man. 
Consequently, the otter presenting his tongue is the most universal type 
of the profession as such, and is sure to be found somewhere in the para- 
phernalia of every individual of that profession. In this way, these 
carvings, wherever found, indicate an association of the object carved 
with the medicine man. They may be either his property, or carved in 
memory of him. The last case seems to be confined to the totem poles. 

This remarkable form of carving, namely, that representing a figure 
w ith the tongue out, and communicating with a frog, otter, bird, snake, 
or fish, is one of the most characteristic features of the carvings of the 
people who live between Oregon and Prince William Sound. 

The same thing is found to a certain extent in Mexico. A cast of a 
terracotta figure in the jSTational Museum (No. 7267), collected by E. H. 
Davis, represents in an almost identical attitude a seated figure, hold- 
ing an animal, probably a fox, in its hands, whose tongue is continuous 
with that of the figure itself. Another (No. 10699), is very similar to No. 
7267. One of the lava images from Nicaragua in the National Museum 
represents a human figure and animal in the same posture. 

In the autumu of 1878, while passing through New York, I observed 
in the window of a shop devoted to curiosities, two masks from the 
South Seas, alleged to be from the Solomon Islands. From the mater- 
ials of which they were composed and the oi^ercula with which they 
were ornamented, there was no doubt as to their having come from the 
Indo-Pacific region, and the locality given was probably correct. 

One of these masks represented a figure in the identical position above 
mentioned. The tongue protruded, the hands clasping by the middle a 
conventionalized animal, which I could not recognize. The fore legs of 
the animal touched the shoulders of the figure composing the mask. 
The hind legs rested upon his knees. The tail hung down between the 
hind legs, and touched the base of the mask. There was a space of an 
inch or more between the bellies of the two figures, as is usually the 
case with the figures represented on the rattles and other carvings from 
the northwest coast of America, previously referred to. 

Afterwards, in attempting to secure this mask for the National Mu- 
seum, being much struck with the extraordinary resemblance in nearly 
all its details to the masks made by the Tlinkits, it was found to have 
been disposed of, and could not be traced. Since then, in the American 


Museum of Natural History, iu New Yoi-k, I have observed numerous 
iustauces of a somewhat similar position of the figures composing masks 
from New Ireland and the vicinity of New Guinea. 

The object with which the tongue was iu communication was some- 
times a snake, which then was furnished with other snakes or with 
branches resembling palm leaves proceeding from its body in imitation 
of arms and legs, and was very frequently either a bird or a very large 
beetle, of the kind which have enormous horns or jaws extending in 
front of the head. One of these is represented on Plate X, figs. 11-12, 
and, with others, has been referred to under its proper geographical 

E. G. Squier has called attention to the fact that in carvings the 
tongue has been used by most (and especially by west) American peoples 
as an index to life or death in the object symbolized. The tongue firmly 
held forth indicates life or vigor and spirit; the tongue dangling help- 
lessly from one corner of the half-open mouth signifies death or captivity 
doomed to end in death. The Mexican antiquities indicate this with 
great clearness, and from our knowledge of the Tlinkit myths, we are 
justified iu considering that the touch of the tongue, as in the case of 
the otter, frog, and kingfisher, symbolized to them the transmission 
of spiritual qualities or powers. I learned from an old Aleut, who 
had been well educated and held positions of trust under the Rus- 
sian regime in Alaska, that, formerly, among his people, the wife desir- 
ing sons of especial vigor took her husband's tongue between her lips 
during the generative act, and men who had no progeny were re- 
jn-oached as "short toiigued." This appears to be an enlargement of 
the same idea, and that something of the same kind is symbolized by 
the South Sea Islanders, in their carvings of tongue-touching forms, is 
sutiiciently evident from some of these articles which cannot be fully 
described here. 

The following masks from the northwest coast have been examined:' 

2658. Plate XIV, fig. 24. The mask was collected by Mr. Scar- 
borough, of the United States exploring expedition under Wilkes. The 
locality may have been anywhere between California and British Colum- 
bia, as it is simply recorded as from Oregon, which name covered at 
that time a much larger area than at present. It is likely to be of 
Haida workmanshi]). It is one of the oldest specimens in the Museum, 
as the number indicates, and the most artistically carved of any I have 
seen from that region. It is made of Alaska cedar, smoothly carved, 
but brown and polished by age and use ; mostly uncolored. The eye- 
ball around th* iris is whitened, the hair and other markings on the 
face are black. The hair of the mustache, beard, and head had been iu- 

'Sincetbis paper was put in the priuter's Lands I have been able to consult a new 
■work in which a number of masks from the Northwest Coast are most beautifully 
illustrated iu colors and described. This is Dr. Bastian's Amerikas nordwestkiiste 
neueste ergebnisse ethnologischer reisen, etc., folio, Berlin, Asher, IrfdS. 
3 ETH S 


(licated by some kiud of furry skiu, now hardly determinable, but which 
had beeu cemented to the wood with spruce gum. The mask is very 
light and thin. There are two holes above the corners of the mouth, 
into which a cord was probably pegged on the inside, to hold in the 
teeth when worn. It was doubtless used in games or dances, and has 
no indications of use in connection with religious or medical rites. In 
fact it is entirely different from masks used on such occasions. It pro- 
bably is a very accurate representation of the i>hysiognomy of the peo- 
l>le by whom it was made and used. The figure is one fifth the linear 
size of the original. 

2659 (Plate XIII, fig. 18).— Mask collected by E. K. Waldron, of 
the United States exploring expedition under Wilkes, on " the north- 
west coast of America." Exact locality and history not stated. This 
is a remarkable and well-executed specimen, but thick and heavy. It 
is carved of Alaska cedar, which comes to the surface on the lighter 
parts of the ribbed marginal band. The parts representing the face 
are black. On the upper part of the back, on the cheeks, on and 
between the eyebrows, on each side of the nasal septum, and on the 
forehead are spots where bits of mica have been fastened on with 
spruce gum. The whiskers, represented by transverse lines, the form of 
the nose, and other features suggest that the carver may have had a sea- 
otter in mind. There are pegs on the posterior edge whose use may 
have been to retain a netting or lattice by which the mask was held on 
the head. A withe, knotted and twisted, arranged to be held between 
the wearer's teeth, is fastened to the concave interior on each side of the 
nasal septum. The article is evidently of great age, and bears signs of 
having been long in use. The figure is one-fifth the linear size of the 

A very similar mask from Nahwitti, on the northwest end of Vau- 
couver Island, is figured by Bastian (1. c. taf. 2, fig. 2), with the in- 
formation that it is worn in the medicine dances by the so-called "wild- 
men" who, as described by Swan, are given to assaulting the bystand- 
ers indiscriminately, and hence are to be avoided. This mask, however, 
is painted with red and other bright colors, and is adorned with whit- 
ish feathers. It is said to be called " nutlematlekuU." 

20S92 (Plate XVII, figs. 31-32).— A dancing mask; obtained from the 
Haidas of the Kleuimahoon village. Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, by 
James G. Swan. This mask is carefully carved of Alaska cedar. The 
ears, nostrils, lips, edges of the eyelids, and the continuous stripes across 
the face are red. The short dashes forming a band between the stripes 
are lead-colored, and appear to have been made with a soft piece of 
micaceous iron ore. The eyebrows and mustache are stripes of blue 
blanket cloth fastened on with pegs. Hairs from a fox-skin ai-e pegged 
into the chin, and it looks as if other hair might have been so fastened 
on the upper edge of the mask. Within there is a loop of withe to be 
held in the teeth. The mask is thin and light. 


21573 (Plate XVllI, figs. 42-i2). — Another incomplete or uulinished 
dancing mask, probablj- of Haida make, obtained by Dr. White, of the 
United States Army, in Alaska, for the National Museum. This one was 
evidently made for sale, and had never been used or made fit for use. 
The wood was fresh and unstained, and no peep-holes or breathing holes 
or arrangement for fastening the mask on a wearer's head had been 
made. It represents a face with a tiaraof bear's claws over the forehead. 
The lips, ears, nostrils, and band below the tiara are red, colored with oil 
paint obtained from the whites, as is the rest of the painted work. The 
bear's claws, pupils of the eyes, and the hair are black ; the irides green- 
ish ; and the dark tracery on the face, shown in the figure, as well as 
the upper bar of the head-dress are blue. The light parts of the figure 
in the original show the uncolored natural wood. This is one specimen 
of many which have of late years been brought from the northwest 
coast, which have been made expressly for sale as curiosities, and which 
want essential parts which should be found in an article used or in- 
tended for use. A ring made of brass wire is inserted in the nasal sep- 
tum, but such is rarely, if ever, now worn by the people of the Archi- 
pelago. The figure is one-fifth the linear size of the original. 

20570 (Plate XVI, figs. 28-29).— Dancing mask from Bellabella, Brit- 
ish Columbia, collected by J. G-. Swan. The upper mandible was carved 
sepai'ately and permanently pegged to the face. The lower mandible is 
movable, and was made to rise and fall by pulling a line of twisted sinew 
which passes back and out behind over a rounded stick, pulley-fashion. 
The mask was held on by cords behind. The interior is quite roughly hol- 
lowed out. The surface of the face was whitened before being painted ; 
that of the bill is bare wood, except where painted. The eyebrows and 
pupils are painted black ; the eyes, inner edges of the mandibles and nos- 
trils and light lines on the forehead, red; the quadrangular figures on 
the forehead, blue; other painted parts, bluish green. The mask is 
pi-obably a conventional representation of the head of the sea-eagle or 
" Thunder bird " of Tlinkit mythology, of which mention is made else- 
where. It is not possible to determine exactly the meaning of some of 
these carvings, for, as observed by Swan, the Indians allow their fancy 
the wildest flights in the manufacture of dancing masks, while the con- 
ventional figures, having tolemic or ritualistic function, are quite care- 
fully maintained in their chief characteristics. The figure is on a scale 
of one-fifth, linear. 

30209 (Plate XVII, figs. 33-34).— Dancing mask, representing a death's 
head, bought at Barclay Sound, Vancouver Island, of the natives be- 
longing to the tribe usually termed Nutka, by J. G. Swan. This is an 
extremely old mask, and the soft sx)ruce wood of which it is made shows 
signs of decay ; perhaps was selected as appropriate for the purpose on 
that account. It bears a ghastly resemblance to the visage of a dried-up 
corpse. The inside of the mouth is black ; the general surface has been 
rubbed with a whitish earth, giving it a moldy appearance. It is pro- 


Tided with bushy eyebrows of wolverine skin {Gulo lusciis L.), between 
which is a notch in the wood from which something once attached there 
has fallen away. It was fastened to the head of the wearer by cords 
which were attached at a hole within behind the forehead, and also 
one at each side. The length of the original is 11 and its breadth 
9 inches. Another very similar mask from Neeah Bay, figured in Swan's 
paper on the Indians of Cape Flattery is reproduced here (Plate XVII, 
fig. 35). 

20578 (Plate XIII, fig. 21). — A well-carved modern mask, collected by 
J. G. Swan for the National Museum at Bellabella, British Columbia, near 
Milbank Sound ; history wanting. It is carved of Alaska ceilar. rather 
thick and heavy. The ears, nostrils, lips, upper forehead, bauds around 
the face and across the cheeks are colored red ; the eyebrows and irides 
are black. The remainder of the portions dark-shaded in the figure 
are blue, powdered while wet with triturated mica, which adhered when 
the paint had hardened. The surface of the wood is bare in some of 
the lighter shaded portions. The eyes are not perforated, the wearer 
peeping through the nostril holes. This mask was held on by cords 
passing through its ears and around the nasal septum. The interior is 
soiled with red paint, which appears to have been rubbed off the painted 
face of the weai-er. This is also evidently a festival mask, not used in 
connection with, or, at least, not symbolical of, superstitious or totemic 
i-itual. The figure is one-fifth the linear size of the original. 

23440 (Plate XVIII, figs. 38-39).- Dancing helmet from Neeah Bay, 
collected for the National Museum by J. G. Swan. This is carved of al- 
der wood, and was probably made by the natives of Vancouver Island 
for sale to the Makahs of Neeah Bay, near Cape Flattery. It represents 
the head of a hawk or eagle. The under part of the beak is hollowed 
out for lightness, but a cross-bar is left for strength. Three cords ex- 
tend across the ba«k from one edge to the other over the head ; the 
points where they are fastened are shown in the figure. The dark por- 
tions in the figure are black in the original, the next lighter are red ; 
the parts represented as white in the figure are the natural color of the 
wood. The length is 14 and the breadth 8 inches. 

20890 (Plate XIX, figs. 43-44).— Dancing helmet or maskette, from 
Kaigahuee Strait, Prince of Wales Islands, Alaska, collected by J. G. 
Swan for the National Museum in 1876, and obtained at the Klemma- 
hoon village. The head and dorsal fin are of alder wood; the back, tail 
and lateral fins of hide or leather painted over. Underneath the top is 
a broad band of sealskin to go behind the head and hold the helmet on, 
and there are some strips of buck or moose skin to tie under the chin. 
The fringe at tlie back of the dorsal fin is composed of locks of human 
hair pegged in. The figure was reported as intended to reiiresent a 
sculpin ((7o<<J(s), but it is more likely to be a killer whale (Orca), to which 
the long dorsal fin and flat tail certainly belong. It may have been in- 
tended as a sort of combination. The upper half and base of the dorsal 


fin, the pupil, eyebrows, the outliues of tracery on flus and tail, all black. 
Teetb, nostrils, eyeballs and basis of tracery on flus and tail, white. 
Area around the eyes and nostrils and the chin blue. On the stout 
hide, composing the fins and tail, something like white paper seems to 
have been pasted, upon which the black tracery is painted. The figure 
is on a linear scale of one-fifth the size of the original. 

30210 (Plate XIV, fig. 22.). — Dancing mask from Nutka, Vancouver 
Island, made of pine wood, collected for the National Museum by J. G. 
Swan. The lips, the margin of the mask, and the baud on the left 
cheek are red : eyebrows, tracery around the eyes and narrow band on 
right cheek, black. The remainder is the natural color of the wood. 
The hair is made of the cambium layer of bark of some tree washed 
free of sap, dried and beaten into threads. The cords by which it was 
fastened are gone ; some remnants still remain around the margin of 
the mask. A sort of wooden lattice is pegged behind the mouth, inside 
the cross pieces seen through the opening from in front, and marked by 
a transverse black line to imitate teeth. There is a loop within to be held 
in the teeth. The resemblance between this and the South Sea mask 
figured on Plate IX is noticeable. The figure is on a linear scale of one- 

30211 (Plate XV, figs. 25-27). — Dancing mask with movable wiugs 
from Nutka, Vancouver Isla"nd, collected for the National Museum by J. 
G. Swan in 1870. The material is the same as in 30210, with the addi- 
tion of a row of upright feathers in the top of the wiugs and face. The 
hair is of bark like the latter, but has the down of some feathers stripped 
fi'om the shaft and mixed with it. The upright feathers over the face 
are in front of the tair, and are lashed to a bent stick behind the upper 
margin of the face. The hinder side of the wing has an eye-like spot 
painted upon it. The front.has a rude humau figure in black and red ; 
a red line below the chin and around the cheeks ; eyebrows aud irides 
black, eyeballs white. The remainder of the surface is of the natural 
color of the wood. The peepholes are through the nostrils. The wings 
are lashed firmly in three places to an axis, whicli plays in a wooden 
spool at top and bottom. These spools were firmly fastened to the 
mask by lashings not shown in the figure to avoid confusion. The dia- 
gram shows the framework by whicli the mask was held on tlie head, 
and the ingenious mechanism for flapping the wings. A lepresents the 
upper part of the left wing near whose upper edge a cord, B, is jiegged to 
the outside, passing over the upper margin of the mask, and down 
through a hole in the medial bar of the frame; thence backward through 
a hole in the rounded end of a transversed bar of the frame, and then 
(C) downward to the hand of the wearer. The wings were hung so that 
they naturally tended to swing backward ; a pull on the cord would send 
them forward, and they would recoil of their own weight. When worn, 
a large mass of the same sort of stuff as the hair was put into the upper 


l»art of the frame as a cushion for the head, and to raise the peepholes 
nearer to the eyes. The figure is one-sixth the linear size of the original- 

2G62 (Plate XXI, fig. 47).— Maskette from the northwest coast of 
America collected by E. Very during the Wilkes Exploring Expedition. 
The material is birch wood and the mask has been hollowed out by a 
small gouge probably made from a beaver's tooth. The light places in 
the figure at the eyes, teeth, spots below the claws, &c., are thin flat 
pieces of haliotis (H. Kamcliatkana. native to the region) fastened on with 
spruce gum, mostly with a hole in each piece of shell. The colors are dark 
brown or black, red and green ; the bare wood shows in a few places. 
The part of the carving which is behind the lower figure was applied 
to the forehead and is hollowed out for that purjjose, showing signs of 
having been worn. The head-dress to which it was attached did not ac- 
company it. The lower figure in the front is a conventionalized figure 
of the sparrow hawk, [Tinnunculus sparverius L.); the upper larger one 
that of the beaver ; a close inspection shows that the apparent beak was 
intended to represent the two large incisors. The figure which is on a 
scale of one-fifth linear represents it as more rounded iu front than in 
reality, and the median line dividing the two incisors, which is quite in- 
distinct in the original, has been overlooked by the artist. The cancel- 
lated ai)pendage between the feet is intended to represent the tail of the 

9259 (Plate XXI, fig. 48).— Maskette collected near Sitka by Dr. A. 
H. Hoff, U. S. A., for the Army Medical Museum and transferred by that 
institution to the United States National Museum. The figure is oue- 
lourth as long as the original. The eyes and certain patches visible above 
the hands and feet are formed of pieces of Haliotis shell cemented with 
spruce gum. The arms, tongue, and feet are red. The rest is more or 
less blackened. The figure above is the ottei', with his tongue out ; that 
below is the frog ; both are familiars of the medicine-men, to one of whom 
this carving undoubtedly appertained. The head-dress, of which it 
originally formed a part did not come to hand. This belonged to some 
shamanic paraphernalia. 

20581 (Plate XX, fig. 46). — Maskette, used with a head covering, col- 
lected at Fort Simpson, Columbia, by J. G. Swan for the United 
States Xational Museum. The figure is one-fifth the length of the original. 
It represents the features of an old woman with her face painted and 
wearing a labret or kalushka. It is made of spruce wood. The tracery 
on the front of the cheeks and on the foreliead is cobalt blue. The sides 
of the cheeks, the hair-i^arting, ears, and mouth are red. The hair is 
black, with some red streaks ; the'pupils are black, with a small perfora- 
tion burned through ; the remainder of the face of the natural color of the 
wood, somewhat darkened by age and use. The eyebrows are of bear- 
skin, the strips only tacked at the outer ends. To the inner ends threads 
are attached which pass through four pinholes in the forehead and 
through a staple oi)posite the chin inside. By pulling these threads 


the eyebrows could be raised or lowered at the pleasure of the wearer. 
There is au arched mouthbar iuside to be held iu the teeth wheu dan- 
cing, in order to keep the head dress steady. 

2666 (Plate XX, fig. 45).— Dancing maskette, representing a woman's 
face with a very large kalushka or labret, collected by the Wilkes Explor- 
ing Expedition on the northwest coast of America iu 1841. ISTo history. 
Probably of Haida make. Paiuted with a dull red stripe around the 
right side of the face ; a few narrow lines on the left cheek. Length 7i, 
width 7 inches. This is figured chiefly to show how the kalushka was 

Xo. 2785. Tlinkit dancing maskette, collected by .J. G. Swan, Sitka, 
Alaska. This specimen represents a heavy wooden helmet of a rounded 
conical shape, with a mask carved upon it, forming part of the same 
piece of wood. This mask represents a grinning face, half red, half 
blue, with broad, black eyebrows, white teeth, mustache and goatee of 
bear skin, and hair, which apparently once stood upright, pegged iu 
ou the top of what would have been the head. This is a fair instance 
of those cases in which the mask serves as a mere ornamentation to the 
helmet. It is understood that this particular helmet was used in danc- 
ing; but there is no doubt that similar ones were— and the thickness 
of this is such that it might be— used as a means of defense in war. 

In the National Museum collection are a great variety of these danc- 
ing helmets and a few of those intended for defense. They represent 
%arious animals, conventionalized iu the usual manner and similar to 
those which are used in the mask proper. Those masks which are at- 
tached to the helmets, or form part of them in those cases where the 
helmet is a single piece of wood, are, of course, not perforated or pierced 
in any way except for nose or ear rings or other appendages. As the 
object is intended to be placed entirely on top of the head, there is no 
necessity for any perforation for sight or respiration. 

In some cases the upper part of these head-dresses represents a fish, 
whose body is partially opened, or is so carved that it appears like a 
hollow lattice work, within which may be seen a human figure. This 
is in allusion to a particular myth, of which I have been unable to ob- 
tain the details. 

2661 (Plate XVII, figs. 36-37).— Shamanic mask, .symbolical of the 
eagle or totemic " thunder bird," obtained by the United States exploring 
expedition under Wilkes on the northwest coast of America. The eye*^ 
brows and bill are black, the caruncle over the back of the bill and the 
tongue within it are red. It is a thin and light carving of cedar wood, 
trimmeil with swan-skin, having the down attached. It was held upon 
the head by means of a netting made of cord twisted from bark fiber, and 
which was once attached in many places to holes in the posterior outer 
and upper edges of the mask. This form is not uncommon, I have seen 
several in collections. The figure is one-sixth the size, linear, of the 
original. The myth of the "Thunder bird" refers to a gigantic bird 


wliicb takes whales in its claws and devours them, the flapping of 
■whose wings produces thunder, and who launches (at Neeah Bay) a 
supernatural fish' {Hippocamims), which appears to mortals as light- 
ning. The THukit form of the mj'th may be found in Alaska and its 
Eesources, pages 423, 424. 

This myth, in some form or other, seems to be very widespread on the 
West American coast. I have been informed that the ancient Mexican 
mythology included a belief in such a creature. Further north it is 
known to be spread from Washington Territory to Prince William 
Sound, where the Innuit begin to occupy the coast. Prof. E. W. Nel- 
son astonished me by declaring that it exists among the Innuit of the 
shores of Bering Sea, and proved his point by jiroducing a carving of 
the very bird from the Diomede Islands in Bering Strait. 

This is another of the links which bind diverse West American na- 
tions into a mysterious partnership. 

' See Swan, Indians of Cape Flattery, pp. 8, 9. 


It is generally known that the luuiiit or Eskimo form one of the 
most distinct, sharply defined, and homogeneous aboriginal stocks in 
America. Their only ofifshoots are the Aleuts, who have undergone a 
local development under special conditions, which has altered them in 
many respects from the parent stock ; and the Yuit of the Asiatic side 
of Bering Strait, forced emigrants from America, who, from hunger, 
privation, constant association with the alien Chukchi, and separation 
by hostility from people of their own race, have become to a certain ex- 
tent degraded and crushed. 

Apart from these, in language, traditions, arts, handiwork, mode of 
hunting, and even for the most part, in physique, the lunuit of Labra- 
dor and those of Aliaska Peninsula are separated by no difl'erences of au 
essential kind. Their lives are, of course, modified to their particular 
euvironment, but it is said, and I believe with truth, that a man, un- 
derstanding thoroughly the dialect of either extreme, could pass from 
village to village, from Greenland to Labrador, from Labrador to Ber- 
ing Strait, and thence southward to the Copper or Atna River, staying 
five days in each halting jjlace, and that in all that journey he would 
encounter no greater differences of speech and customs than he could 
master in the few days devoted to each settlement. 

Probably there is no other race in the world distributed over an equal 
territory, which exhibits such solidarity. 

From this Dr. Rink argues that they must at some time have been 
distributed in much more compact fashion, and attained nearly their 
present degree of culture before their separations and migrations began, 
a coQclusion which seems eminently sound. 

It is possible that the Aleuts branched off somewhat earlier, but we 
have every reason for supposing that the Yuit have passed into Asia 
within three hundred years at most. According to Gibbs and Swan, 
the Indians of Fuca Strait have distinct traditions of the Innuit as a 
race of dwarfs, who live in "the always dark country" on the ice, dive 
and catch whales with their hands, and ])roduce the aurora borealis by 
boiling out the blubber, it being the reflection from their fires on the 
sky. They are magicians, and their names must not be pronounced. 
As the Western Eskimo, on the whole, are nearly as tall and quite 
as athletic as the Indians, this idea has probably been transmitted from 
Xorth to South with its attendant modifications in passing from mouth 
to mouth, rather than derived from any actual contact in the past. 

However, the point to be brought into the strongest light is the fact 
that, notwithstanding the homogeneousness of the Innuit race, the prac- 



tice of labretifery and the use of death masks, as well as the profuse 
adornment of themselves with dancing masks for pantomimic mythic 
ceremonies, are confined to those Innuit west of the Eocky Mountains 
and the Colville Eiver, and these features, especially labretifery, are 
practically unknown to their kindred in the east, with whom, never- 
theless, they have annual communication for jjurposes of barter. 

On the other hand, the ceremonies and use of masks, particularly iu 
pantomimes, are extremely and essentially similar to those of the Tlin- 
kit, Haida, and Makah previously described. 

Tbe adjacent Tinneh, a weak and cowardly people, have imitated these 
customs as they have the Innuit dress; but the inland Tiuoeh, two or 
three hundred miles inland, know nothing of them. 

The use of masks among the Innuit, as elsewhere, is shamanic, pan- 
tomimic and ceremonial ; and in some exceptional cases mortuary.' 
The Aleuts will be separately considered. The Innuit of Prince Will- 
iam Sound, from the ancient masks herein described, seem to have had 
less than the usual artistic taste and ability. However, this lot may 
have been made for a temporary purpose with the idea of throwing them 
away when that had been accomplished (as was a not uncommon prac- 
tice), and therefore may not afford a fair criterion. 

From Kadiak Island northward to Norton Sound there appears to be 
great similarity, though it is only where the whites are little known that 
these matters ret.ain a pristine vigor. On the Lower Kuskokwim, and 
on the Yukon delta, especially the southern part, is a region which was 
found by Mr. Nelson particularly rich. The collection of masks ob- 
tained by him seems exhaustive, and is not equaled in variety and in- 
terest iTi any other museum in the world. Unfortunately, his health has 
sutfered from liis too great devotion to science, and he has not yet 
found himself able to classify and describe these treasures, or this chap- 
ter need not have been written. 

Beyond Norton Sound some \ery rude but curious masks were ob- 
tained by Nelson at the Diomede Islands, Bering Strait, and at Point 
Barrow, the northernmost extreme of Alaska, a few artistic and interest- 
ing masks were obtained. The latter, however, judging from those col- 
lected, are almost wholly wanting in the element of the grotesque which 
is so rife in Bristol Bay, or the Kuskokwim and Yukon deltas. 

Further information in i-egard to these northern people will probably 

' It seems that they were occasioually used as decoys, as previously noted liy Meares 
among the Tlinkit. Lisiauski says: "Next to the otter the most valuable animal 
iu the estimation of the Kadiak men, is the si>ecies of seal or sea-dog called by the 
Russians nerpa. It is caught with nets made of the same material as the line of the 
sea-otter arrow ; or killed when asleep; or, which is the easiest manner of taking it, 
enticed toward the shore. A fisherman concealing the lower part of his body among 
the rocks puts on his head a wooden cap or rather casque resembling the head of a seal 
(Plate iii, fig. c), and makes a noise like that animal. The UQSuspicious seal, im- 
agining that he is about to meet a partner of his own species, hastens to the spot and 
is instantly killed. (Lisianski, 1. c., p. 205). 


soon be available on the return of the party lately stationed at Point 
Barrow by the Signal Service. 

The figures will give a better idea of the masks and their appendages 
than can be expressed in words. A few remarks in regard to the ob- 
ject of these pendants, &c., may not be out of place. 

When the wearer is dancing the feathers and other appendages at- 
tached flexibly to the margin of the mask will move backward and for- 
ward in correspondence with the motions of the wearer, a feature which 
is considered by these people as a very important part of their appear- 
ance while partaking in the dance. 

These dances are usually made to the sound of a parchment drum or 
tambourine struck with along wand by one of the older men of the vil- 
lage. He is frequently accompanied between the intervals of drum- 
ming by some person who sings a few words alternating with a uniform 
chorus in the customarj' Innuit fashion. To this the spectators, most 
of whom are women, add their voices in chorus. These songs are de- 
scriptive of some event such as might occur on a hunting, fishing, or 
other expedition, generally relating either to some of their mythic le- 
gends, or to actual events which have taken place to the knowledge of 
those present. At some crisis in the song, the little doors of the mask 
will be thrown open, and the chorus will be suddenly changed. The 
disclosure of a humorous or terrifying face, where none was seen before, 
by suddenly opening the little doors (which are pulled open by small 
strings which pass inside the mask), is supposed by these people to 
have something particularly humorous or startling about it. 

The finger-masks, of which some descriptions will be given, are worn 
by the women on their forefingers during the dance, and are, perhaps, 
peculiar to the two deltas. They are also variable in character, and 
represent often heads of animals as well as the faces of human beings. 
The latter are sometimes normal and sometimes ludicrously distorted. 
Often small figures, representing on a much diminished scale the com- 
plex maskettes which we have just described and like them furnished 
sometimes with miniature doors or flapping wings, are attached to the 
borders of large masks, to portions of the dress, or to wands or other 
articles held in the hand by the dancers. Many such are contained in 
the collection of the National Museum. 

Among the humorous or ludicrous masks, which reiiresent conven- 
tionalized animals or ijortions of animals, there are some winch show 
either human faces or whole human figures, either concealed by flaps 
or carved in depressions on the surface of an animal mask. Some rep- 
resent in a rude manner the head of a merganser, or saw-billed duck. 
The head is, however, resolved into a rounded, convex, anterior jior- 
tion like the bottom of the bowl of a very large ladle. The bill, with 
its long teeth represented by pegs, is bent backward over the top of the 
head almost exactly as the handle of a ladle. The rounded part, how- 
ever, has lost all resemblance to a bird's head, and is carved to repre- 


sent a liuman face more or less distorted, from which the groove between 
the two halves of the bill passes perpendicularly upward, and then 
backward over the head, starting at the root of the nose belonging to 
the human face. 

In other cases, as for instance when the head of a seal is represented, 
the carver not unfrequently represents, instead of the eye, on the other 
half of the mask corresponding to that which is carved in aliormal 
manner, a small human face, perhaps on the broad grin, supplied with 
hair in little locks pegged in, with teeth, ear-rings, or miniature labrets. 

The masks most commonly carved in this way are those representing 
the bead of a fox, wolf, or seal. It is a common thing in all the masks, 
human and animal alike, to have the tongue loose, so that it will rattle 
or move with the motions of the dance, or to have miniature arms, legs, 
or wings attached to the mask at the margin, which are intended to 
move in the same way. They are generally lashed to the stump of a 
feather, the quill of which is pegged in and whittled to a point outside, 
to which the appendage is attached and which gives it the necessary 

Masks of the kind above mentioned may be found in the National 
Museum collection under the numbers 38865, 38733, 38861, 48985, etc. 
Most of these were collected by Mr. E. W. Nelson. The masks from 
Point Barrow are particularly distinguished by an artistic finish and 
the extremely ftiithful way in which they represent the features of the 
Innuit of that vicinity, who bear a stronger resemblance to their Green- 
land relations than do the Innuit of Alaska further south, a circum- 
stance doubtless due in part to the fact that their surroundings are 
much more like those of Greenland than is the case with those of the 
coasts of Norton Sound and Bristol Bay. 

Labrets are of comparatively rare occurrence on these masks, al- 
though all the male members of the tribe wear them. 


An interesting series of rude and evidently very old and much weath- 
ered masks was received some years ago by the National Museum from 
the Alaska Commercial Company of San Francisco. They had been 
collected by their agent at Port Etches, in response to a general order 
from the company requesting such collections. 

These masks were carved out of nearly flat slab-like pieces of Sitka 
spruce {Abies Sitlcensis), and exhibit little or no artistic skill. They had 
originally been ornamented with feathers and with rude attempts at 
decoration with red argillaceous iron ore, the only source of the red 
color known to these people before vermilion and other civilized paints 
were introduced bv the whites. It is a curious fact that some one had 


made an attempt to furbish up the old painting by daubing oji a little 
vermilion and by sticking a few new feathers into the holes, whence the 
old ones had rotted away. I suppose that these masks were old danc- 
ing masks, which, as was sometimes the custom, were thrown away after 
the festival was over into some convenient and perhaps habitual rock- 
shelter. There they had lain many years, for wood decays with great 
slowness in this climate when not actually subjected to iieriodic soak- 
ings and dryings. When the agent had appealed for " curios" to the 
natives of the adjacent villages, some one had thought of these old 
masks as a means of procuring some tobacco, and having brought them 
in, supposed a little brightening up would not make the price any 
smaller, and so, before presenting them to the agent, added the ver- 
milion and new feathers. At least this is the way I interpret the evi- 
dence of the specimens. 

The attempts at humor in the make-up of these masks give one a 
very poor idea of the wit of the makers. These efforts are confined to 
elevating one eyebrow and depressing the other; to tipping the straight 
gash by which the mouth is represented up or down at one corner ; to 
representing the left eye as half-closed, closed, or even absent ; painting 
one eye red and leaving the other blank. 

It is to be remarked that though these people are the most south- 
eastern of all the West American Innuit, and in constant communica- 
tion with people of Tlinkit stock, there is not the slightest similarity 
of style between their masks and those of their Indian neighbors. In- 
deed, they are not much like those of the present Innuit tribes of the 
peninsula and eastern coast of Bering Sea, nor of the Aleuts in de- 
tails. But the style is distinctively Innuit, nevertheless. 

These masks are described below and figured, as it seemed they were 
well worth it, notwithstanding their rude execution. 

Iv^one of the present inhabitants of Prince William Sound appear to 
wear labrets ; at least I saw none with them, though they were formerly 
worn by the males, and of the usual Innuit type, i. e., that resembling 
as nearly as possible a " stove-pii^e" hat. 

W'ith the exception of fig. 20265, these masks are figured on a scale 
of one-eighth the size of the originals. 

20265 (Plate XXIII, figs. 54-56).— Dancing mask made of white 
spruce wood, very rude and cumbersome, contributed to the National 
Museum by the Alaska Commercial Company, collected at Prince Will- 
iam Sound by their agent. History wanting, but they all bear evidence 
of much weathering and were doubtless obtained from some rock-shelter, 
where they had lain many years. The figure shows the shape, which 
resembles the conventional form adopted by the Innuit of the western 
coast for the head of the " bowhead " whale (Balaena viysticetus, L.). A 
similar carving, very minute, but representing the same subject, was 
dug out of shell heaps at Port Moller by me in 1874, and figui-ed in the 
first volume of the Contributions to American Ethnology (P. .87, fig. 



16089). It is also in fashion of a mask and was probably lashed to some 
part of a head-dress. The figure is reproduced here for comparison 
(Plate XXIII, figs. 57-5S). 

There is a fainttraceof redochreonthemediaukeelofthiscarviugaud 
on the upper back edges, and there are numerous holes aloug the outer 
edges where feathers had once been pegged in. There is nothing to in- 
dicate how it was to be held on the head. The original is 20 inches iu 
length and 9^ iu breadth. 

20203 (Plate XXIII, figs. 51-53). — Dancing mask ; record the same as 
that of the preceding. The figure shows the shape. There is a band of 
red ochre over and under the lips and on the border of the lower bevel. 
On the upper bevel is a half moon and some irregular blotches, now quite 
faint, but originally intended to indicate seals or fishes. There was 
originally a lattice behind with three cross-sticks and two uprights to hold 
it on, besides a mouth-bar of wood, which, however, showed no tooth- 
marks. There was no indentation to accommodate the neck. There had 
been one feather pegged to the upper margin over the nose. There was 
no indication whatever of a left eye in this one, and it does not seem to 
have been much used. 

202G7. — Dancing mask from Prince William Sound ; history similar 
to the preceding numbers ; rude and heavy. This mask is well rep- 
resented by the figure ; it is somewhat de- 
cayed fi'om exjiosure and must be very old. 
There is a shallow groove with a red blotch 
under it for a left eye. There are traces of 
red ochre around the mouth and on the upper 
border. The right eye is not colored. There 
was a feather pegged iu at the top on each 
side. This is known by the decayed remains 
of the quill around the peg. Head lattice 
gone, but places where two cross-sticks were 
lashed still visible. 

20269 (Plate XXV, figs. 63-64).— Dancing 
^°^^''- mask; same record as the preceding. Upper 

border indented by a rounded notch, as seen iu the figure. Origiually 
there was one feather in each horn or process at the sides of the 
notch. In the furbishiug-up already alluded to a new feather had 
been stuck into one of the old pegholes. The forehead is perforated. 
The nostrils, as in all this series, serve as peepholes. Above them 
on the back of the mask and below the forehead perforation the red 
ochre from the wearer's forehead had been rubbed off on the wood. 
Such incidents give a human interest to these relics which otherwise 
they seem almost to lack, like fossils. The nose was greenish, and a stripe 
of the same runs uji to the point where the feather was pegged iu, one 
on each side. There is some red around the mouth, radiating streaks 
about the forehead hole (sun ?) ; the moon on forehead is red and also 


the right eye aud in general the edges of the mask. The back has uo 
neck indentation, but a heavy lattice bar, to which aijparently were once 
attached three or five lattice sticks. 

20268. (Plate XXIV, figs. 60-G2).— Dancing mask; material and his- 
tory as in the preceding specimens from Prince William Sound. The fig- 
ure gives a suflScient idea of its form. Eemains of red ochre are percep- 
tible in a band around the mouth and around the edge of the mask; the 
riglit eye is red, also concentric circle and radii around the hole in the 
forehead (to rejiresent the sun?) and a red half moon above it. Red 
paint from the wearer's face also visible in the interior of the mask 
where the two had come in contact. A V-shaped groove extends from 
the root of the nose upward to the insertion of two feathers, one on 
each horn of the mask. On each side there were originally six feathers, 
pegged in; peepholes at the nostrils where a fragment of sinew thread 
indicates that a nose ornament was hung, and, inside, a small bar of 
wood lashed with strong sinew by the middle and by a cord about an 
inch long to the nasal septum. This was held in the teeth and took 
the i^lace of the ordinary arched mouth-bar, fastened at both ends. 
The lower margin of the mask is indented or excavated in the middle, 
the better to receive the front of the neck. The lattice mostly gone. 

To show the way in which these masks were usually held on, a res- 
toration of the back of this or a similar mask has been figured. The 
notch for the neck, the ±-shaped mouth-bar, and the lattice are shown 
in a way the imperfect and decayed condition of the originals would 
not admit of. 

A strong bar was lashed horizontally near the top of the mask by 
its ends. A variable number of uprights were rigidly lashed to this 
bar and their free ends to a loose bar. The torsion exerted on the 
upper horizontal bar, when the head was inserted between the lattice 
and the mask, held the latter like a spring upon the head, and more 
steadiness was added by the mouth-bar being held between the teeth. 
There were numerous small variations on this i)lan, but the essential 
principle was in nearly all cases the same. 

20264. (Plate XXV, fig. 65).— Dancing mask from Prince William 
Sound; record as above. This specimen is impeifect. There are rem- 
nants of blackish coloration on the nose, running up to a point on the 
forehead. On the upper bevel of the mask red blotches rudely indicate 
two fish on each side, aud a seal in the middle with a narrow crescent 
below them. From the projecting ball of each eye a seal is represented 
as hanging, facing the nose; a seal is represented on the side of the fore- 
head and two on the cheeks looking outward ; on the right side there 
are three, and on the left four red circles above the upper lip, which, 
as well as the lower slope of the eyebrows, is reddened. The left eye 
■was originally reddened. A strip of whalebone and a feather were 
stuck into the upper lip on each side. A bit of fur had been bound 
around the upper edges. The mouth-bar was attached to the nasal 


septum by a cord around the middle. The lasbiugs were of siuew, and 
there are many peg-holes at the sides, but the ornaments they fastened 
long since disappeared. 

20266 (Plate XXIV, fig. 59).— Dancing mask from Prince William 
Sound; record and general appearance much likethe last, as will be seen 
by the figure. There are traces of red ochre over the lip, on the right 
eye, on the eyebrow, and some nearly effaced figures on the forehead. 
A number of feathers had been pegged to the side margins. The left 
eye had not been colored. The peep-holes were through the nostrils, 
the lattice entirely gone. 

From the same locality as these masks a dried body was sent, which 
still showed labret holes in its withered cheeks and a perineal incision, 
by which the viscera had been extracted in order to dry the remains. 
No record of particulars accompanied the specimens other than that 
above referred to. 


16268. (Plate XXVI, fig. 67.)— Maskette of the Kaniaguiut Innuit, ob- 
tained at Saint Paul, Kadiak Island, Alaska, by William H. Dall. The 
size of the disk is S by 5 inches. It is imperforate. The disk is rather 
heavy and thick, but carefully carved after one of the ancient model 
by one, or under the direction of one, of the old men of the village. It is 
painted white, with lines and tracery on it of red, blue, and black. The 
disk is surrounded by a narrow, flat hoop, through which are passed the 
quills of three large dark feathers on each side. A little in advance of 

'The customs of these savages (Innuit of Kadiak) are nearly allied to those of the 
Ooualashkans. They have the same kind of instruments, darts, and boats, or baidars, 
but much worse made ; nor are they so active upon (he water. Their dances arc proper 
touiuaments, with a knife or lance in the right hand and a rattle in the left ; the rattle 
is made of a number of thin hoops, one in the other, covered with white feathers, and 
having the red bills of the sea-parrot suspended on very short threads; which, being 
shalceu, strike together, and make a very considerable noise ; their music is the tam- 
bourine, and their songs are warlike. They frequently are much hurt, but never lose 
their temper in consequence of it. In these dances they use masks, or paint their 
faces very fantastically. (Sauer, in Billings' Voyage in 1792, on Kadiak Innuit, p. 

November they spend in visiting each other, feasting in the manner of the Oona- 
lashkans, and dancing with masks and painted faces. (Sauer, 1. c, p. 178.) 

They still observe their annual danco in masks, and with painted faces ;. the masks 
are called kuguh, and I discovered that some particular ornaments of their dress used 
upon this occasion were regarded as charms, having power to prevent any fatal acci- 
dents, either in the chase or in their wars ; but in the latter they now never engage. 
(Sauer, 1. c, p. 272.) 

In 1305 Langsdorft' (vol. ii, p. 49) observed of the Kadiak natives that "the masks 
which earlier travelers observed these jieople to wear at their festivals seem now 
entirely laid aside. 


the feathers are inserted the stems of nine semilunar bits of carved 
wood, of which one is figured on an enlarged scale, which are whitened 
and ornamented with a pattern of lines and dots. The presence of these 
appendages on this mask explains the purpose of the myriads of leaf- 
shaped and variously formed appendages which was discovered in the 
rubbish of the Unga rock-shelter. Taken by themselves, having lost 
all connection with their originals, most of which had become dust or 
so broken as to be unrecognizable, these little articles were incompre- 

Behind the disk of this maskette was a strong arch-shaped hoop, to 
which strips of skin from the neck of the winter reindeer, with the long 
hair attached, were fastened to form a sort of aureole or fringe. Three 
of the supports of the hoop project beyond the fringe, and to each is 
attached by a sinew-thread a leaf-shaped appendage. In use, these 
hang down and move with the motion of the wearer, but in the figure, 
for the sake of clearness, they are represented as pointing outward ; one 
is represented on an enlarged scale. The attachment of such swinging 
or pendulous pieces to the head-dress, mask, or garment used in the 
dance was universal. The response of their motion to the swaying of 
the wearer's body in time with the tambourine in the dance was justly 
considered graceful and attractive, as was the swaying of the fringes 
and feathers. 


No. 64241.— Dancing mask from the Innuit of the Kuskokwim River, 
collected by E. W. Nelson ; nearly flat, circular, with white goose feathers 
inserted into holes around the outer edge, and supported behind by a 
small wooden hoop. The face, in the center, is regularly formed ; the 
eyes, nostrils, and mouth perforated. The disk is 14 inches in diam- 
eter, exclusive of feathers. Mouth furnished with natural teeth, proba- 
bly of a dog. Four rude animal heads, about 2 inches long, are in- 
serted at equal distances from each other near the margin ; a black circle 
is painted outside of the face. The groundwork of the mask is white; 
the relief around the face, the hair, etc., is colored a dull green, the outer 
edge of nostrils and a broad mustache, are black. Two hands, about 
7 inches long, are pegged to the front outer margin ; there is a hole 
through the centerof each, and they are roughly colored red. The mask 
projects in relief about 3 inches. 

No. 61244.— Kuskokwim River Innuit dancing mask, collected by Mr. 
E. W. Nelson. Disk of the mask about 8 inches in diameter. Margin 
fringed with deer hair, much destroyed by moths. Two hoops of 
wood exterior to the disk probably once supported a fringe of feathers. 
Five or six small wooden appendages, shaped like the blade of a pad- 
3 ETH — 9 


die, belong to it ; these were originally pegged to the forehead fonuiug 
a sort of arch over it, they are whitened. Belief of the disk black ; the 
cheeks and around the eyes, white. Two large wooden appendages 
about 8 inches long, somewhat saber-shaped, are loosely fastened one 
on each side just outside the cheek. One eye circular with a dash of 
blue around it ; the other, semi-lunar. Mouth wide, arched upward, 
center reamed out circularly, with an appendage like a beak about 2 
inches long, one part above and one below this central perforation. 

No. 64257. — Innuit dancing mask from the Kuskokwim River, col- 
lected by E. W. Nelson. Length, about 20 inches. Shape, oval. Disk 
somewhat, concavely arched. At the lower end something rudely re- 
sembling a seal's head is attached, with two round jirojecting pegs, prob- 
ably rei^resenting eyes. The disk as a whole is probably intended to 
represent a seal, or other animal, conventionalized. This part of the 
mask is blackened. The whole area of the back, with the exception of 
a margin about IJ inches wide, is excavated and whitened. There are 
here represented, in the center, two eyes inclined downward at the in- 
ner corners, two oval nostrils, and a semi-lunar mouth, concave down, 
ward, with blackened wooden pegs for teeth. The eyebrows and a line 
over the nose, and another below the lower lip, are blackened. A rude 
face is represented in the upper portion by black lines. In the outer 
portion of the margin, are two large round holes nearly equi-distant from 
the ends and from each other. The interior of i hese holes is colored red. 
Owls' feathers are pegged into the outer margin at about four places on 
each side, and are supported by two hoops which are lashed to each 
other, to the lower pair of round holes in the margin, and also to a squar- 
ish hole at the upper end. 

No. 30775. — Maskette found on the ice floating in the sea off Una- 
lashka Island, having probably drifted from the Yukon River, or Kus- 
kokwim River, on the ice. Disk elongated, about 22 inches long and 
7 inches wide, bioad and rounded at the lower end, tapering and trun- 
cated at the upper end. In the center a circular si;ace is excavated, 
about 8 inches in diameter, in which is a face carved in relief, with 
perforated G shaped irides, the pupils of which are represented by cir- 
cular bits of wood, supported by bits of wood not cut out. The mouth 
is semi-lunar, arched upward, with six teeth carved in the wood above 
and below. There are two pegs in the chin and two in each cheek. 
The hair was formerly blackened. The whole mask has the appeai'ance 
of having been washed in a river or on the sea-shore, so that the color- 
ation is mostly gone. Below the carved face (one on each side) are two 
round disks of tinned iron, about t^ inches in diameter, let into the 
wood, and having the appearance of eyes. The whole mask seems as 
if it was intended to represent the dorsal surface of a whale. To the 
outer margin large feathers were formerly pegged in, of which only the 
shafts remain. 

No. G4216. — Maskette used by the Innuit of the Kuskokwim River, 


collected by E. W. Kelson. This specimen considerably resemWes, in 
most respects, ifo. 33109 (described above). It is, however, smaller, be- 
ing about 14 inches in length over all ; and the face carved on the body 
is covered by two small doors, hinged at the sides, which, when they 
are closed, conceal it — -the body then appearing smoothly convex over 
its whole surface. When these little doors, which meet when closed 
and open iu the middle, are opened, the face carved upon the body is 
made visible. The inside of these doors is painted with figures of rein- 
deer and seals in black, on a white ground. The legs and arms attached 
to the disk are grooved on the front surface, reddened, and pegs re- 
sembling teeth stuck in at the edges of the groove. 

This description of mask appears under a great many diiferent forms. 
Sometimes the mask itself represents a face with a beak or other ap- 
pendage attached to it; and the ears are represented by wing-like 
appendages, which move backwards and forwards, and are painted with 
figures of animals, as in the case just mentioned. 

In other cases, the disk of the mask represents the body or the head 
of an animal, or in some cases the body of a fish. On the front sur- 
face of this, that is to say the back of the animal, similar little doors 
will be placed, which, when opened, disclose another face with gaping 
jaws, or some other unexpected carving. The variety is difficult to de- 
scribe. Hardly any two of them are alike. Most of them are more or 
less ornamented with deer hair, feathers, seal's whiskers, or something 
of the kind, which, in many cases in the Museum specimens, has been 
lost or destroyed. The object of these appendages, such as doors or 
wings, is by opening them suddenly to give a surprise to the spectators 
during the course of the dances in which they are worn. 


No. 36236. — Finger mask from Chalitmut, Yukon delta, collected by 
E. W. Nelson. This is about 3 inches high, not including fringe. Disk 
circular, concavely excavated, surrounded by a narrow frame joined to 
the disk by four projections, the intervening spaces carved out. Cen- 
tral disk representing a round face with an obsolete nose, not perfor- 
ated, mouth narrow, concavely arched upward, coloration white, mar- 
gin surrounded with a fringe composed of a strip of skin from the rein- 
deer's throat, with the long white hair attached to it. 

No. 36231. Finger mask, collected by E. W. Nelson, iu the south part 
of the Yukon delta, at the village of Kang-egik-nog emiit. Disk circular 
connected by a narrow stem with the stall for the fingers. The whole, 
about 5^ inches long, exclusive of fringe. Fringe of deer hair, with 
two or three tail-feathers of the old squaw duck. Disk without a mar- 
gin. The right eye brow forming a semicircle, or nearly so, with the 
bridge of the nose with which it is continuous. Beneath it is a semi- 
lunar perforation representing the eye. At the lower end of the ridge 
another perforation representing the nostrils. Month commencing on 


the right side, curviug to the left, a little downward, aud theu following 
the curve of the right margin upward to a point above the right eye- 
brow. There is no left eye or eyebrow. 

No. 37130 (Plate XXVII, fig. C9).— Finger mask about 4 inches long, 
collected by E. W. Nelson on the Lower Kuskokwim Kiver. A circular 
disk of 3 inches, connected with a J-shaped handle below, and no per- 
forated fingerstall. Disk somewhat excavated, with nariow margin. 
Center occupied by a round face. The bottom of the groove separating 
the face from the margin is marked with a red line. The left eye, and 
the space around it, is concave ; the eye semi-lunar and perforated. A 
single nostril is indicated, the outer point of which is somewhat turned 
up on the left side. The right eye is represented by a round, projecting 
peg. There is no right nostril. The mouth commences below the mid- 
dle of the left eye, on the left side, and curves up over what would be 
the right cheek to a point midway between the peg which represents 
the right eye and the groove surrounding the face. The whole is carved 
in very slight relief. The margin is surrounded with a strip of deer 
skin, retaining the hair like the others, and one or two strips of bird's 
skin which formerly had the feathers upon them, to the end of which a 
single white feather is fastened. The workmanlike smoothness and 
artistic finish of the disk is poorly represented by the wood cut, which 
has an appearance of rudeness not characteristic of the original. 


No. 33113. — From the Innuit of Norton Sound, Alaska; collected by 
E. W. Nelson; collector's number, 1 428. A maskette of oval form, 
about 2 feet 2 inches over all in length, aud 10 inches \\'ide in the middle. 
The disk is about 14 inches in length, and apparently represents in the 
center a kyak with a deep groove, colored red, on each side of it, about 
1^ inches wide, outside of which is the margin of the mask, whitened. 
The groove is set with pegs, resembling teeth, alternately placed, those 
on the inside alternating with those on the outside ; there are about 
seven on each side. In the kyak, where the hole for the sitter would 
be, is represented a face in relief, with perforated eyes. Mouth aud 
nostrds not perforated. The main groundwork of the whole mask is 
whitened ; the outlines touched in in black. The mouth of the face is col- 
ored red ; the nostrils and eyes black. Something resembling a beard 
is represented by dashes of black. The nostrils point nearly forward, 
and are circular. Above this face is a rectangular thin piece of wood 
about 4 inches long by 2J high, fastened at the bottom somewhat in the 
manner of a sounding-board, and on it is represented the figure of a 
seal in black. At the top and bottom ends of the oval disk, under the 
bow and stern of the kyak, are represented two large hands, about 6 


inches long by 5 inches wide, the Augers red, the palms of the hands 
white, with a black line across each. In the lower hand is represented 
the fignre of a seal in wood, pegged on ; this is whitened with an ash- 
colored back. Both hands are represented as nearly wide open. 

No. 38857. — Dancing mask from the Yukon River ; collected by E. 
W. Nelson ; collector's number, 1620 ; obtained from the Innuit of Eas- 
boinikskoi village ; height of disk about 6 inches, somewhat oval, face 
carved in relief. Above the mouth and below the eyebrows it is whit- 
ened ; the remainder is of a greenish color. The margin is marked with 
a red line inside and outside ; between the lines it is of the natural 
color of the wood. Mouth large, arched downward, semi-lunar, eyes 
and mouth perforated, fringe composed of feathers pegged into the outer 

24334 (Plate XXVI, fig. 68).— Shamanic mask from Saint Michael's, 
Norton Sound, Alaska, collected for the National Museum by L. M. Tur- 
ner. This broad shield-shaped mask or rather maskette is said to have 
been the property of a shaman and to symbolize a lynx or wild-cat. It is 
17 by 13J inches. The upper and lateral margins are ornamented by stiff 
feathers inserted into holes and secured by pegs ; they are still further 
stiffened by a cord which passes from quill to quill fastened strongly to 
each and drawn taut between the feathers. To the middle of the upper 
margin part of the skin of a ptarmigan (Lagopus alhus) is attached by 
a cord. It is in the brown summer plumage. Two little rude heads, 
intended for mink, are placed in the upper part of the mask, one at each 
corner. The face in the center is provided with pointed projecting ears, 
separately carved. One of the mink heads and one of the ears are 
represented on a larger scale in the figure as well as a section of the 
mask showing its relief. The face is whitened with some red stripes oa 
it ; the general field of the disk is greenish. The mouth is furnished 
with real teeth, perhaps of seals, set in, and a rudely carved paw is at- 
tached on each side of the face. The whiskers are represented by some 
small narrow feathers set in over the upper lip. 

There are quite a number of such masks in the collection, that is of 
the same general character, and they are alleged to represent some 
mythical animal spirit which has appeared to the shaman during his 
solitary meditations. 

It is to be hoped that when Mr. Nelson has recovered his health he 
will unravel for ethnologists the mysterious web of fact and fancy which 
veils to us the relations and uses of the Innuit masks. No one is per- 
haps so well qualified to do it, and it is certain that there is no existing 
collection which approaches in number or variety the assortment of 
these objects which the National Museum owes to his energy and 

24328 (Plate XXV, fig. do). — Maskette resembling a seal's head, ob- 
tained from the Unaligmut Innuit at the village near Saint Michael's, 
Norton Sound, Alaska, by L. M. Turner. Dimensions, lOf by 7^ inches. 


This maskette is a fair representative of a very common type; its color- 
ation is chiefly black and white and it has no perforations. It was 
doubtless attached to the head-dress and worn in one of thepantomimic 
dances. From this variety to the other, in which the face is distorted or 
a small human face looks out from the side of that of the animal, the 
distance is not great. 

No. 30109.— Collected by E. W. Nelson, south of the Lower Yukon ; 
collector's number, 1445. Innuit maskette over all about 18 inches in 
length, representing a figure with arms and legs extended and bent for- 
ward. The disk of the mask consists of the body of this figure, to which 
the head and neck, arms and legs of the figure are attached. These are 
also supported by a small wooden hoop in front, at a distance of about 
2 or 3 inches from the body. The body of the mask is of a squarish form, 
beveled oft' to meet the neck and also to the attachments to the limbs. 
It is white. The central part of it circularly excavated. In the bottom 
of the excavation is a round face with perforated mouth and eyes. The 
edge around the face is colored red with round white spots, about ten in 
number, at nearly equal intervals. The face is white. The eyebrows are 
black and a black line passes around the eyes above and below and over 
the nose, like the frame of a pair of spectacles. There is a black line over 
each nostril. The nostrils themselves, a mustache (divided in the mid- 
dle by a white line), and a sort of goatee — all these are black. The lips 
are red, mouth concave downward, without teeth, and nearly closed. 
The head has a long neck and an oval face, with ears and mouth red, 
dotted black mustache and eyebrows; black eyes, not perforated; and 
the usual black mark on the chin. The groundwork is whitened. The 
arms and legs of the first joint from the body, are white, surrounded by 
a black baud, with a white spot on it. The distal joint of each limb is 
reddened, with a white spot. Something has, at one time, been pegged 
to the palm of each hand and to the ankle of each leg. Between the 
arm and the leg on each side, and nearest to the former, has been 
pegged in one feather, and a piece of wood rudely carved to represent 
a hand, fastened by the shaft of a feather so that it will move when the 
mask is shaken. 

. — Innuit maskette probably from Norton Sound, with- 
out a number; collected by E. W. Nelson. Height of disk about S inches, 
diameter about 0, nearly flat, margin reddened, forehead of a bluish 
green, cheeks between eyebrows and mouth whitened. The right eye- 
brow reddened, also the mouth. A round hole in the center of the fore- 
head, about three-quarters of an inch in diameter. The leit eye repre- 
sented by a similar round hole. The nose is curved to the right very 
strongly. No nostrils are represented. The right eye is represented 
(almost closed) by a curved perforation slightly concave upwards. In 
the center of the right cheek is a j)rominence, with a circular hole in it, 
and a nearly flat margin. The nose appears as if it was tui-ued some- 
what towards this prominence. The mouth is narrow, sharply pointed 


to the left, with four short pegs representing teeth, is nearly below the 
nose, and perforated throughout the gi'eater part of its length. At the 
right corner of the mouth is another circular perforation, with a red bev- 
eled margin, immediately beneath the pei'fo ration of the cheek, and about 
three-quarters of an inch in diameter. This has four pegs representing 
teeth in the upper part, and three in the lower part. It is evidently in- 
tended to represent a sort of supplementary mouth. This mask -was 
held on bj- a deer-skin thong, which is still attached to it, and appar- 
ently went around the back of the head. 

]S"o. 38G46 (Plate XXVII, fig. 70).— Innuit maskette, collected by E. 
W. Xelson at Big Lake, near Cape Rumiantsoff. It is of an oval shape, 
about 8 inches long, smaller at the upper end, with the left margin 
slightly concave, and the right margin considerably convex, I'ounded 
below and also above. The left eye arched upward, represented as 
nearly closed, the curve of the eyebrow forming nearly a semi-circle 
with the left side of the ridge of the nose. The nose is represented 
without nostrils. The right eye is represented nearly at right angles to 
the other, and as fnlly opened. It is also perforated. The outer an- 
gle points nearly upward. The eyebrow extends from a point about an 
inch above this perforation, curving slightly to the left, and then curv- 
ing strongly to the left near the end of the nose. The mouth is repre- 
sented asrounded at the left end, where it is also perforated with a nearly 
circular hole. It curves below the nose for a short distance, and then 
nearly parallel with the right side of the disk. It is reddened inside, and 
contains numerous pegs of uncolored wood, representing teeth. There 
is no perforation in the bottom of the groove representing the mouth, 
except the rounded one below the left eye. The general surface of this 
mask is not colored. According to Mr. Nelson, it is intended for use in 
some legendary festival. 


No. 64216.— Innuit maskette, collected by E. W. Nelson, at the Dio- 
mede Islands, Bering Strait. Maskette of a squarish-oval form, very 
rough ; about 9 inches in length by 6 in width. Very i-oughly carved. 
Wood not smooth. Most of it is rubbed with a whitish earth. The 
upper portion of it, where the hair would be, is blackened. The upper 
half contains, below the two eyebrows, two narrow, nearlj- horizontal 
perforations for eyes, of which the right one is somewhat higher than 
the other, and between them a rough, irregularly carved projection rep- 
resenting the nose. Below this, and a little to the left, on the flat part 
of the face, are two i^erforations, somewhat resembling nostrils. A 
little further to the left, and below, is a perforation or slit representing 
the mouth, and nearly horizontal, except that the right end is turned 


downward nearly at right angles. To the right of the nose, above de- 
scribed, and of the nostrils mentioned, below the right eye, is another 
similar nose, carved on what otherwise would be the right cheek. The 
whole carving is of the roughest and most ordinary description. It 
appears to have been held on by a thong, passing through two holes in 
the margin, just below the level of the eyes, one at each side. 


No. 64230.— Mask used by the Arctic Innuit of Point Barrow, Alaska 
collected by E. W. Nelson. About 8 inches in leugth. Face about 5J 
inches wide, and from tip to tip of the wings, about 19 inches. Mask 
of an oval form, rather convex, and carved rather thin. Much weather- 
beaten or washed. Represents very faithfully the features of the Innuit 
of Point Barrow. A black line crosses the face over the eyes, which 
are represented as nearly closed. The interior of the mouth is black- 
ened, the lips are red, ornamented with teeth taken from seals and 
inserted in the upper and lower jaw of the mask. A black streak on 
the upper lip, and another on the chin, represent a moustache and a 
little goatee. A groove surrounds the disk of the mask, in which it is 
probable that a strip of reindeer heir, or cord, with feathers in it, was 
originally placed, but of which no portion remains. At each side of 
the mask is a triangular wing, the base extends from the level of the 
outer corner of the eye to the level of the outer corner of the mouth, 
and is hinged on with a cord, made of sinew, to the margin of the mask, 
so that it will move backward and forward. On these wings are repre- 
sented figures of whales, birds, and a boat with people iu it. They are 
drawn in black upon the clean surface of the wood. The upper mar- 
gins of the wings are smooth and nearly horizontal. The lower margins 
are somewhat arched, and are ornamented with notches. The margin 
all around is reddened with red chalk, or similar coloring matter. The 
main body of this mask appears not to have been colored, or, if colored 
at all, to be merely rubbed with the white earth, to which reference has 
been made. 


As Las elsewhere beeu stated the Aleuts or UnuDgQn, protected and 
isolated by their iusular habitat from an extremely distant period, seem 
to have developed in particular directions to a greater extent than any 
other known branch of the lunuit stem. This is especially evident in 
their language, religious exercises, and certain details of handiwork, 
such as embroidery, and grass-fiber weaving. 

The early advent of bigoted and fanatical priests, whose promotion 
to a more congenial sphere depended in part on the number of converts 
and communicants they were able to report, aided by brutal and un- 
sympathetic traders as masters of all, resulted in a total breakup of 
everything resembling their original state of culture, except such 
branches of it as related to hunting and daily labor. 

For fifty years the Aleuts were treated as slaves. Hundreds of them 
were lost in long journeys at sea in their frail skin canoes. Their wom- 
en were taken from them to serve the purposes of their brutal mas- 
ters (being first baptized that lust might not be defiled by relations 
with paganism, a practice in vogue with some of the Russians in the 
Yukon region' as lately as 1867 to my personal knowledge). In every 
way they were ground to the earth. The priests when they came bap- 
tized them ; subjected them to tithes ; prohibited their festivals and 
pantomimic dances as heretical and blasphemous; taught them that 
their forefathers, being all pagans, were eternally damned, and that 
everything appertaining to them and their shamanism and other cus- 
toms, as well as their very tombs and dead bodies savored of hell-fire. 
So thoroughly were they taught this lesson that today the ethnologist 
may rifle their fathers' graves in the sight of all, and the only emotion 
it excites in their minds is astonishment that any one will risk eternal 
torment by touching the accursed remains. About 1830 Veniaminoff 
came, and in seven years spread the gospel and taught the Aleuts for 
the first time that Christianity was not necessarily the symbol of things 
brutal, licentious, selfish, cruel, and depraved. The race had imbibed 
a sort of melancholy, in strange contrast to their original light-heart ed- 
ness, and of this they have not yet shaken oft' the evidences. But, 
with a living example of love, care, piety, generosity and self denial 
before them in the person of Veniaminoff, for seven years, a new life 
arose In the minds of the people. From the hunters they turned to the 
church for solace, aesthetic gratification, and leadership, and, as a peo- 

>Thi8 knowledge refers not to the Aleuts who have all heen "Christians" since 
1830, hut to wild Indians of the interior. It was formerly equally tiue of the Aleuts. 



pie, have never swerved from this course. It is true they are very ig- 
norant, and that many of the old superstitions are still secretly believed 
in, as among civilized folk, but, as a general statement, it may be said 
that the character and nature of their ancient rites are almost wholly 
extiuguished from memory and entirely from actual practice, and have 
been for many years. With the present generation almost all that re- 
mains of the knowledge of these things will absolutely pass away. 
The idea that the knowledge of these things is sinful has been so per- 
sistently instilled into their minds that no passing stranger can induce 
them to reveal what they know. After some years pretty close inter- 
course a few hints have been dropped, or a few explanations vouch- 
safed, from time to time, but even then an inquiry would cause an im- 
mediate relapse into a wilful and stony ignorance in regard to anything 
of the sort. For this reason I can offer only a repetition of remarks 
which have been printed before' in various places touching their cere- 
monial use of masks. They had the usual method of dancing with 
masks on during the progress of several sorts of ceremonies, and added 
to that another practice, spoken of before as practiced in Mexico, 
namely, covering the face of the dead with a mask. 

In 1840, in his "Notes on the Unalashka District," Father Veniami- 
noff wrote in regard to the Aleuts. 

Their original pantheism has entirely disappeared. Their songs and dances are now 
quite different from those described by the early voyagers. The idolatrous custom of 
dancing with masks on in their secret rites has passed away. 

If the missionaries had sent the pantheistic paraphernalia as trophies 
to the Imperial Academy of Sciences, with a description of the details 
of the paganism they supplanted, their defects might be covered with 
the veil of charity, but, on the contrary, they destroyed on the spot 
everything they could get at, and even went so far as to rifle all conven- 
iently situated tombs'' and to destroy the carvings, masks, and relics 

'6fe Alaska audits Resources. 8°. Boston, Lee ^f Shej)anl, IS'O, pp. 388-390; also, 
Contributions to N. Am. Ethnology, vol, 1, pp. 8'J-!)1, 1875 ; and Remains of later pre- 
historic man obtained from caves (etc.), of the Aleutian Islands. 4°. Smithsonian 
Contributions to Knowledge, No. 318, Washington, 1878, pp. d8-32. 

-Their only music is the tambour, to the beat of which the women dance. Their 
holidays, which are kept in the spring and autumn, are spent in dancing and eating. 
In the spring holidays they wear masks, neatly carved and fancifully ornamented. I 
believe that this constitutes .some religious rite which, however, I could not persuade 
them to explain. I attribute this to the extraordinary and superstitious zeal of our 
illiterate and more savage priest, who, upon hearing that some of our gentlemen 
had seen a cave in their walks, where many carved masks were deposited, went and 
burnt them all. Not satisfied with this, he threatened the natives for worshii)ing 
idols, and, I believe I may say, forced many to be christened by him without being 
able to assign to them any other reason than that they might now worship the Trin- 
ity, pray to St. Nicholas and a cross which was hung about their necks, and that 
they would obtain whatever they asked for, adding that they must renounce the 
devil and all his works to secure thera eternal happiness. It appeared to me that 
they regarded this as an insult; be that as it may, however, they were not pleased, 
but had not power to resent. (Account of the Aleuts of Unalashka in Sauer's Ac- 
count of Billings' Voyage, 1792, p. 160; the masks are figured on Plate xi.) 


they contained. Venianiinoff, as his boobs show, wouhl have been 
more rational, but the mischief antedated his service in the district. 

They were originally very fond of dances and festivals, which, on the 
whole, correspond pretty well with those of the Innuit and the people 
of the Sitkau Archipelago. These festivals, as among the continental 
lunuit, were chiefly held in the month of December. Whole villages 
were entertained by other villages. Successive dances of children, 
naked men beating drums (or rather tambouiines), and of women curi- 
ously attired were followed by shamaiiic incantations and feasting. 

If a whale was cast on shore the natives assembled with joyous and 
remarkable ceremonies. They advanced and beat tambourines of dif- 
ferent sizes. The carcass was then cut up and a feast held on the spot. 
The dances had a mystic signiticance, some of the men were dressed in 
their most showy attire, and others danced naked iu large wooden 
masks which came down to their shoulders, and rei)reseuted various 
sea animals. They had religious dances and festivals in December. 
During these, images or idols, temporarily prepared, were carried from 
island to island, and strange ceremonies, of which we have only dim 
traditions, were performed in the night. There were mysteries sacred 
to the males, and others to the females. In some secret orgies both 
sexes joined without reproach. Hundreds of women wearing masks 
are said to have danced naked iu the moonlight, men being rigidly ex- 
cluded and liable to death if detected intruding. The men had analo- 
gous dances. An idea prevailed that while these mystic rites were 
going on a spirit or power descended into the idol. To look at or see 
him was death or misfortune, hence they wore large masks carved from 
drift- wood, with holes cut so that nothing before them or above them 
could be seen, but only the ground near their feet. After the dances 
were over idols and masks alike were broken up and cast into the sea. 
These masks were held by a cross-bar inside between the teeth and a 
loop passing over the head. They were different from those masks used 
in festivals not of a religious nature. 

A further illustration of the same idea was shown in their practice of 
putting a similar mask over the face of a dead person when the body 
was laid in some rock-shelter. The departed one was supposed to be 
gone on his journey to the land of spirits, and for his protection against 
their glances he was supplied with a mask. For wealthy or important 
pei'sons a particular process was employed to preserve the remains. 
The bodies were eA'iscerated, cleansed from fatty matters in running 
water, dried, and placed in wra])piugs of furs and fine grass matting. 
The bodies were usually doubled up, encased, and suspended above the 
ground in some place sheltered from the rain, as a cave or rock-shelter. 
It is stated, however, that sometimes the prepared body was placed iu 
a life-like posture dressed and armed. They were represented as if en- 
gaged in some congenial occupation, such as hunting, fishing, or sewing. 
With them were also placed effigies of the animals they were supposed 


to be pursuing, while the huuter was dressed in his wooden armor and 
provided with an enormous mask, all ornamented with feathers, seal 
vibrissiE, and tufts of hair, with a countless variety of wooden pendants 
colored in gay patterns. All the carvings were of wood ; the weapons 
even were only facsimiles in wood of real weapons. Among the arti- 
cles represented were drums, rattles, dishes, weapons, effigies of men, 
birds, fish, and mammals, and wooden armor. 

I have elsewhere' given an account of my investigations in a cave or 
rock-shelter near the entrance to Delarofit' Harbor, TJnga Island, Shuma- 
gin Islands. M. Alphonse Pinart, has also published an account^ of 
researches in the same vicinity, with figures of masks and other articles 
of which he was able to make a collection. 

In 1868 Captain Eiedell gave me a perfect mask from this locality 
(No. 7G04), which I presented to the National Museum. Shortly after- 
ward Dr. T. T. Minor, of the United States Revenue Marine, presented 
another (No. 7946), obtained at the same place. In 1871 the cave was 
visited by M. Pinart, who secured the cream of what was left, though 
leaving much that was valuable. In 1873 I was able to visit the cave in 
person, and collected everything worth having which remained, including 
one large and very perfect mask (No. 13002). These are here figured. 
Besides these, a very large number of fragments, halves of masks, and 
so on, were obtained. Most of them were of a cork-like consistency from 
great age, and were more or less broken or injured. So soft were they 
as to crumble under the brush used to remove loose dirt. 

These masks wore all different from one another in details, but made 
on one general type. They would average 1 4 inches high and (exclud- 
ing the convexitj') 10 or 12 in width. They were nearly all similar in 
having a broad, thick, but not flattened, nose, straight, flat eyebrows, 
thin lips, and a wide mouth, into which little wooden teeth were in- 
serted. They also agreed in being painted in various colors, usually 
black and red, in having bunches of hair pegged in to indicate a beard, 
sometimes hair across the upper edge of the forehead, in being pierced 
only in the nostrils and mouth, and in having the ears large, flat, and 
usually pegged on much above the normal plane in human beings, gen- 
erally at the upper posterior corners of the mask. 

'Remains of later Prehistoric Man, etc., pp. 28-30. 

-Piuart has issued an elegant puhlication, referring to this cave, which he entered 
in September, 1871, and has illustrated several masks and parts of masks in color. He 
seems to consider that there was a difference between masks placed over the dead, in 
which he includes those without a perforated mouth, and those which were worn by 
the mourners, which he believes to have been broken and thrown away at the time of 
the funeral ceremonies. However this may be, I have not heard it referred to by those 
from whom I have been able to obtain the few details I have given, and as I have 
never had an opportunity of comparing notes on this subject with M. Pinart, I must 
reserve my opinion. Certainly, I have found both kinds associated wi h the remains 
of the dead and the kind with iierforated mouth much more common than the other 
sort, and all the unbroken ones I have seen were of this kind. (Cf. La oaverne 
d'Aknauh, Isle d'Onnga, par A. L. Pinart. 4°. Paris, Leroux, 1H75; and Comptes 
Rendus, 1875, tome 80. pp. 103-2-1334. 


Various curved lines were lightly chiseled or painted ou the cheeks 
in many cases. A small roiiud bar extended from side to side within. 
The ends, projecting through the mask below the corners of the mouth, 
look as if labi-ets were intended to be indicated, but this is a mere ac- 
cident, as this sort of mask never has labrets and the ordinary kind ex- 
hibited only the median and not lateral labrets. The bar referred to 
was held in the teeth, as the marks of biting testify. Various holes 
about the edges were used for inserting feathers or little wooden pend- 
ants gaily painted. These masks exhibit great ingenuity and skill in 
carving, when we consider that it was all done with stone and bone 
tools. The nose, being the thickest portion, is longest preserved, and 
there must have been fifty such noses in the debris which covered the 
floor of the cave. Such shaped noses I have observed only once on 
masks not from Aleut caves. In that case the mask was one used in 
Shamanic ceremonial from the Nushagak Eiver, Bristol Bay, collected 
by Mr. McKay. 

The most remarkable thing about these masks is that they bear no 
resemblance whatever to the Aleutian physiognomy, though they agne 
very well in type among themselves. On the other hand, the masks for 
ordinary dances, not religious, are excellent illustrations of the Aleutian 
type of face. Thus, figure A, from Billings' voyage, is a thoroughly 
characteristic Aleutian face, and even the grotesque one figured by its 
side (B) is of the same natural type. 

These dancing masks, like those of the Makah or Haida, are im- 
mensely variable and generally grotesque. None are found in any 
American museum, and none, unless in Eussia, in the museums of 
Europe. They were all destroyed by the missionaries, and even those 
I have described from burial places owe their preservation to being in 
out-of-the-way places. The practice of putting a mask over the face of 
the dead seems not to have been universal, since no masks were found 
in the Kagamil cave, but under what cii'cumstances they were used is 
not known, except that they have been found with adults fi-om one end 
of the Archipelago to the other, when the bodies were placed in rock 
shelters. Those buried in the earth did not have masks, as far as 
known, nor have any been obtained from underground caves, properly 
so-called. It may be that the custom had something to do with the 
placing of the bodies in comparatively open places, not secure agaiust 
the visits of malevolent spirits ; but this is merely a speculation. 

Plate XXVIII, fig. 71 (A). — Aleutian dancing mask, showing tiara 
of feathers, ear-pendants, and labret with plate and beads attached, ob- 
tained at Unalashka by Martin Sauer in 1792, while attached to Bill- 
ings' expedition, and figured by him ou plate xi of his account of that 
voyage, English edition. 

Plate XXVIII, fig 72 (B and G). — Grotesque dancing mask from Una- 
lashka, showing the cleat-shaped labret with a single pendant of beads 
attached, from the same source as the preceding. The outline C shows 


a profile view of the labret, the lower part being that which was within 
the mouth. Beads were attached to the labret only or chiefly on cere- 
monial occasions. 

13002 (Plate XXVIII, Fig. 73).— Aleutian death mask obtained in a 
rock-shelter, near the cave previously mentioned, where only a single 
body had been laid. The locality is near Delaroff' Harbor, just outside 
the southeast point of entrance, Uuga Island, Shumagin Group, Alaska. 
The original is 14 inches high and 13^ wide, excluding the convexity. 
The front and both profiles are shown. It will be observed that the 
two sides are not ornamenced alike, and it may be added that, through 
exposure or pressure, the dead and corky wood has become somewhat 
warped. The original bears faint traces of red and green color. 

7604 (Plate XXIX, Figs. 74). — Aleutian death mask obtained from 
the cave or rock-shelter of Aknanh at Delaroff Harbor, by Capt. 
Charles Riedell, in 1868, and presented to the United States National 
Museum by W. H. Dall. The size of the original is 12f inches high and 
10 inches wide, disregarding the convexity. Slight traces of color re- 
main upon it. The right ear remains, but the other is lost. The teeth 
were represented by single pegs, inserted between the lips, across the 
middle of which a black line was drawn to separate, in appearance, the 
upper from the lower set of teeth. 

7946 (Plate XXIX, Figs. 75). — Aleutian death mask from the same 
localit.v, presented to the United States National Museum in 1868 by 
Dr. T. T. Minor. It is 15J inches high by 10 wide, disregarding the 

In all these masks the nostrils are pierced vertically, and the mouth 
horizontally. They were held in the mouth by a cross-bar between the 
teeth, which generally shows marks of biting. As the ends of this bar 
for greater strength are put clear through the mask, and are visible 
below and behind the outer corners of the mouth, they might in the 
figures be mistaken for au imitation of lateral labrets, which is not the 
intention. Most of them retain traces of red coloration, produced by 
red oxide of iron, which occurs in combination with clay, forming a sort 
of red chalk formerly much used for ornamentation before the whites 
introduced vermilion. The gi-een coloration was iiroduced by grinding 
up a kind of mycelium, of a bright green color [Peziza), which occurs in 
rotten birch wood ; it was usetl either alone or in combination with a 
white chalky earth, to give it body. In the latter case it has a bluish 
tint in the green. Charcoal and oil were used for black, and the above 
white earth for white. Blue carbonate of copper, which is found on the 
Kuskokwim River, and is an article of trade with the tribes along the 
coast, and graphite from near Norton Sound were also used for color- 
ing with, but were too rare to be had in most cases. The red bark of 
a resinous tree, perhaps the Sitka spruce or hemlock, was also used for 
coloring wooden articles ; a bit of the bark being wet with saliva and 
rubbed on the clean fresh surface of the wood. The root of a plant 


funiisbed a pale yellow, but this I bave rarely seen. Perhaps it was 
not permanent. The root of the alder was, and still is, used for color- 
ing deer-skins a beautiful red-brown, but I have never seen it applied 
to wooden ware or carvings. 

Amber from the lignite beds was made into rude beads, and esteemed 
of extraordinary value. Other beads were made of bits of gypsum, 
shale, small hollow bones, cut in lengths, and variously colored bits of 
serpentine. I have never seen any nephrite or jadeite, which is not 
rare on the continent, especially near Norton Sound where there is a 
mine of it, and is much valued ; but perhaps it was considered so very 
valuable as to escape the shell heap and the tomb. 

Note. — I take a last opportunity to insert here, out of its proper 
place, a piece of valuable information which has reached me since this 
paper was in type. I learn from M. Alp. Pinart, whose reputation as 
an ethnologist is world wide, and who has recently spent six years on 
the Isthmus and in Central America, that the labret is still in use 
among the savage tribes from Darien to Honduras. It is worn only by 
the women, and is placed in the lower lip below the nose. The large 
labrets figured by Dampier have passed away; the women now wear 
(as among the Tlinkit) only a small button or a little silver pin. This 
fact fills quite a gap in the previously stated chain of evidence as to the 
distribution of labrets. 



The followiug note relating to the use of masks among the Iroquois 
is worthy of attention in connection with the general subject. So little 
has been preserved which is trustworthy in regard to the myths of 
the Indians of Eastern America, that the remarks of the late Lewis H. 
Morgan, here quoted, stand almost alone in offering, together with the 
facts, an explanation of their relation to Indian life from a qualified ob- 
server. The annexed figure (Plate XXII, Fig. 49) of an Iroquois mask 
is copied from that which appears in Mr. Morgan's report on the fabrics, 
inventions, implements, and utensils of the Iroquois, made to the Regents 
of the University, January 22, 1851, and printed as an appendix to their 
fifth annual report, pp. 67-117, Albany, New York, 18.52. 

The tendency of the Iroquois to superstitions beliefs is especially exemplified in their 
notion of the existence of a race of supernatural beings, whom they call False-faces. 
This belief has prevailed among them from the most remote period, and still continues 
its hold upon the Indian mind. The False-faces are believed to be evil spirits or de- 
mons without bodies, arms or limbs, simply faces and those of the most hideous de- 
scription. It is pretended that when seen they are usually in the most retired places, 
darting from point to point, and perhaps from tree to tree by some mysterious power; 
and possessed of a look so frightful and demoniacal as to paralyze all who behold them. 
They are supposed also to have power to send plagues and pestilence among men, a« 
well as to devour their bodies when found, for which reasons they were held in the 
highest terror. To this day there are large numbers of the Iroquois who believe im- 
plicitly iu the personal existence of these demons. 

Upon this belief was founded a regular secret organization, called the False-face 
baud, members of which can now be found in every Iroquois village both in this [New 
York] State and Canada, where the old modes of life are still preserved. This society 
has a species of initiation, and regular forms, ceremonies, and dances. In acquiring or 
relinquishing a membership their superstitious notions were still further illustrated, 
for it depended entirely upon the omen of a dream. If any one dreamed he was a 
False-face [Ga-go-sa] it was only necessary to signify his dream to the proper person, 
and give a feast, to be at once initiated ; and so any one dreaming that he had ceased 
to be a False-face, had but to make known his dream and give a similar entertainment 
to effect bis exodus. In no other way could a membership be acquired or surrendered. 
Upon all occasions on which the members appeared in character they wore masks of 
the kind represented iu the figune, the masks diversified in color, style, and configura- 
tion, but all agreeing in their equally hideous appearance. The members were all 
males save one, who was a female and the mistress of the band, fche was called Ga- 
go-sa Ho-nun-uas-teso-ta, or the "Keeper of the False-faces" ; and not only had charge 
of the regalia of the band, but was theonly organ of communication with the members, 
for their names continued uukuown. 

The prime motive iu the establishment of this organization was to propitiate those 
demons called False-faces, and among other good results to arrest pestilence and dis- 
ease, fa cooBse of time the band itself was believed to have a species of control over 
diseases, and over the healing art; and they are often invoked for the cure of simple 


diseases, and to drive awrfj- or exorcise the plague, if it had actually broken out in 
their midst. As recently as the summer of 1849, when the cholera prevailed through 
the State, the False-faces, in appropriate costume, went from house to house at Toua- 
wanda, through the old-school " portion of the village and performed the usual cere- 
monies prescribed for the expulsion of pestilence. 

When any one was sick with a comi^laint within the range of their healing powers, 
and dreamed that he saw a False-face, this was interjireted to signify that through 
their instrumentality he was to be cured. Having informed the mistress of the band, 
and jjrepared the customary feast, the False-faces at once appeared, preceded by their 
female leader and marching in Indian tile. Each one wore a mask, or false-face, a 
tattered blanket over his shoulders, and carried a turtle-shell rattle in his hand. On 
entering the house of the invalid, they first stirred the ashes upon the hearth, aud then 
sprinkled the patient over with hot ashes until his head and hair were covered; after 
which they performed some manipulations over him in turn, and finally led him round 
with them in the " False-face dance," with which their ceremonies concluded. When 
these performances were over, the entertainment provided for the occasion was dis- 
tributed to the band and by them carried away for their private feasting, as they 
never unmasked themselves before the jieople. Ajuong the simple complaints which 
the False-faces could cure infallibly were nose-bleed, tooth-ache, swellings and infla- 
mation of the eyes." (Morgan, 1. c, i)p. 98-100.) 

The mask figured (Fig. 49) was purcLased by Morgan from an Indian 
of tbe Onondaga tribe of Grand River; another in the State collection, 
not figured, came from Tonawauda. 

It will be observed that while (1) the association of the mask with a 
spiritual being and (2) an implied connection between the action of that 
being upon a third party with the wearing, by a devotee of the sup- 
posed spirit, of a mask symbolizing the latter, and, in general, the in- 
vocation of spirits for medical purposes, are features common to wear- 
ers of masks among savage peoples everywhere, yet the details of the 
origin and symbolism of the Iroquois masks is quite different from any- 
thing reported from the coast of Northwest America. Moreover, it ap- 
pears to be certain that the use of masks among the people of the Mis- 
sissippi basin and the Atlantic water-shed was rare, and foi-med no 
prominent feature of their festivals or customs. The Eskimo (Innuit), 
of Greenland, are stated by Bessels to know nothing whatever of the 
use of masks or labrets. 

•That is, through the part occupied by those Indians who still retained their origi- 
nal beliefs aud customs, as distinguished from the more civilized. 

3 ETH— 10 


It now remains to review the field and put the facts in orderly array 
in Irnef synopsis. 

It appears that (on their discovery) we have the western coast of the 
Americas peopled by nations differing (as they still differ) in language, 
color, physique, aesthetic and mental development, morals, and social 
customs. The Peruvians, Botokudos, Mexicans, Pueblo people, Tinneh, 
Selish, Haida, Tliukit, Inuuit, Aleut, and Nutka may be mentioned. 
Many of these families or stocks are only partially located on the 
western coast; as, for instance, the Tinneh and lunuit. Yet the 
different branches of the family agree closely in language, physique, 
and most social customs, both on the west coast and elsewhere. 

The original population of America is too distant to form the subject 
of discussion. There can be uo doubt that America was populated in 
some way by people of an extremely low grade of culture at a period 
even geologically remote. There is no reason for supposing, however, 
that immigration ceased with these original people. Analogy would 
suggest that fi'om time to time accessions were received from other re- 
gions, of people who had risen somewhat in the scale elsewhere, while 
the inchoate American population had been doing the same thing on 
their own ground. Be this as it may, we find certain remarkable cus- 
toms or characteristics geographically spread, north and south, along 
the western slope of the continent Iti a natural line of migration with 
overflows eastward in convenient localities. These are not pinmitive 
customs, but things which appertain to a point considerably above the 
lowest scale of development in culture. 

Some are customs pure and simple ; e. g. labretifery ; tattooing the 
chin of adult females ; certain uses of masks, etc. 

Some are characteristics of culture ; e. g. n certain style of conven- 
tionalizing natural objects, and, in a higher stage, the use of couveu- 
tional signs in a hieroglyphic way ; a disposition to, and peculiar facil- 
ity ill, certain arts, such as carvings in wood, etc. 

Some .are details of art related to religious or mythological ideas, such 
as the repetition of elaborate forms in a certain attitude, with relation 
to myths therefore presumably similar in form or origin. 

Some are similar myths themselves, a step further in the same retro- 

If these were of natural American growth, stages in development out 
of a uniform state of culture, it might fairly be expected that we should 
find them either sporadically distributed without order or relation as 
between family* and family wherever a certain stage of culture had 

* Used in tbe sense of stock, race, or stiiuiiue. 


been reached or distributed in certain families wherever their branches 
were to be found. This we do not find. 

The only other alternative which occurs to me is that these features 
have been impressed upon the American aboriginal world from with- 
out. If so, from whence f 

Iforthern Asia gives us no help whatever. The characteristics re- 
ferred to are all foreign to that region. 

If nations from the eastern shores of the Atlantic were responsible, 
we should expect the Atlantic shores of Ameiica to show the results of 
the influence most clearly. This is not the case, but the very reverse 
of the case. 

We are then obliged to turn toward the region of the Pacific. 

The great congeries of islands known to geographers as Polynesia and 
Melanesia, stretch toward South America in latitude 25° south, as in no 
other direction. Here we have a stream of islands from Papua to the 
Paumotus, dwiudliug at last to single islets with wide gaps between, 
Elizabeth, Ducie, Easter Island, Sala-y-Gomez, San Felix, St. Am- 
brose, from which comparatively it is but a step swept by the northerly 
current to the Peruvian coast. We observe also that these islands lie 
south from the westerlj' south equatorial current, in the slack water be- 
tween it and an easterly current and in a region of winds blowing to- 
ward the east. 

Here, then, is a possible way. 

I have stated how the peculiar and remarkable identity of certain 
carvings associated with religious rites turned my attention to the Me- 
lanesian Islands. 

The customs, etc., I have called attention to, are, particularly, the use 
of masks and carvings to a more than ordinary degree, labretifery, hu- 
man head lireserving ; identity of myths. 

In Melanesia we have not yet found more than traces of labretifery, 
but if the speculations of ethnologists, that these and the African race 
had a common origin, have a reasonable foundation, we have in Africa, 
as I have shown in America, a wonderful development of this practice, 
which in that case might be due to a similar impulse from a parental 

In Melanesia, and to a less extent in Polynesia proper, we find the art 
of carving wonderfully developed, and (including New Zealand as a 
southern offshoot) thence on the suggested way we have the prehis- 
toric carvings and inscribed tablets of Easter Island, the sculptures and 
picture-writing of Peru, Mexico, New Mexico, and Arizona, and the 
northwest coast, forming a nearly continuous series with local develop- 
ments wholly or mostly different in detail and showing local style, but 
with a general agreement in fundamental character not elsewhere par- 

In his work on the geology of the provinces of Canterbury and West- 
land, Haast expresses (1. c, pp. 407-431) the opinion that New Zealand 


was poiJulated in quaternary times by an autochthonic race, wlio were 
the hunters of the moa, and who appear from their remains to have 
more or less resembled the Melanesiau type. The Maori traditions in- 
clude the idea of an older race who did not know the use of jade imple- 
ments. The traditions of North Island Maoris place a race of wild men 
in the interior as do those of the people of Chatham Island. These were 
recognized as an older race by the Maories, and were dolichocephalic. 

The people of Samoa, in deforming the head to make it more brachy- 
cephalic,are suggested by Kubary (Schmeltz, 1. c, pp. 472-474) to have 
been originally actuated by a desire to conform their appearance to that 
of the higher, incoming, and conquering brachycephalic race which in- 
vaded these islands, and overcame the original dolichocephalic mel- 
anitic inhabitants. The chiefs and upper classes were held by pride 
from mixing with the women of the subject race, and their descendants 
show it in their purity of type as regards color, hair, and form. The 
commoner sort, however, probably were less continent in this respect, 
and therefore their descendants, jiroud of their ancestry on one side, 
but with the blood of the conquered element conspicuous in the longer 
shape of the head, sought by artificial means to modify this inheritance. 

The Polynesian in its purity was a brachycephalic, couqueriug race. 
As now found, it has mixed with the lower and conquered long-headed 
people, aud both have been more or less modified by contact, example, 
and intermai-riages. 

The features most akin to those to which on the western coast of 
America particular attention is now called are evidently related more to 
those of the Melanesians or predecessors of the true Polynesians than 
to the latter, except so far as the Polynesians have been modified by . 
the customs of their forerunners. This would accord with the greater 
antiquity which the circumstances seem to imperatively require. 

In Melanesia we find human heads more or less habitually preserved, 
painted, aud ornamented; the same again in New Zealand, in Bolivia, 
in the interior of South America, in Mexico, and again on the north- 
west coast. Here again, be it not forgotten, modes and details are 
locally different, but the essential fact is the same. In the opposite 
direction we have it in Borneo, and in Africa also. 

In Melanesia we find carved figiires of a peculiar sort used in religious 
rites, or with a religious significance, and, strangely euough, two or 
more figures in a peculiar and unaccustomed attitude especially devoted 
to these purposes. Again, in Central America and Mexico, we meet 
the same attitude, and again on the rattle in the hand of the shaman on 
the northwest coast, aud in the carvings on his head-dress and by his 

In Melanesia we find social festivals celebrated with masks upon the 
face. We find the priest ofliciatiug in a mask, and masks hung up in 
the morai, or temple of the dead, and in memory of the dead. In Peru, 
in Mexico, on the northwest coast to the frozen borders of the icy sea, 


we find parallel, and, in most cases, closelj' similar customs elaborately 
developed, with local omissions or additions, but the thing at bottom 
appears to be the same. 

In Melanesia we yet know almost nothing of the mythology. As they 
have no sea eagles, they probably have no "thunder bird," but his 
voice is recognized, and his portrait drawn from Mexico to the Polar 
Sea in West America. 

I have already shown how the custom of labretifery passes from tribe 
to tribe over ninety degrees of latitude, and I do not know how many 
linguistic stocks. The custom of tatooing lines on the chins of girls is a 
small thing, and widely spread. Perhaps it should be omitted from 
this series as not sufficiently exclusively West American. However, it 
prevails, or did prevail, from Melanesia to Peru, and from Mexico to 
the Arctic, on the lines we have traced. 

Now, I have not a word in ftxvor of any idea of common origin of the 
people possessing these characteristics. Taken within visible limits I 
consider it perfectly untenable. I believe, however, when we know 
our aborigines better we shall be more surprised by the points on which 
they agree than impressed, as we are now, by their remarkable difiter- 

But from my point of view these influences have been impressed 
upon people already developed to a certain, not very low, degree of 
culture. I have stated why I believe it to have come to the western 
Innuit since the chief and universal characteristics of that race, as a 
whole, were flxed and determined. I have mentioned how such a 
change may be seen in actual progress among the degenerate Tinneh on 
the Lower Yukon. The adoption by the Haidaof the T'simpsian ritual 
and mythological or social dances described by Dawson, the same ac- 
quisition by the Makah from the Nittiuats, related by Swan, are cases 
in point, though feeble ones. 

Of course this influence has not been exerted without contact. My 
own hypothesis is that it was an incursion from Melanesia via South- 
eastern Polynesia which produced the impact; perhaps more than one. 
In all probability too, it occurred before either Melanesian, Polynesian, 
or American had acquired his present state of culture or his present 
geographical distribution. 

The impulse communicated at one point might be ages in spreading, 
when it would probably be generally difl'used in all directions ; or more 
rapidly, when it would probably follow the lines of least resistance and 
most rapid iutercommunicatiou. 

It is true that there is no such arrangement in savage society as that 
by which a fiat in Bond street determines that within six months every 
white man's head shall be roofed with a particular style of hat. Never- 
theless communication among them is rapid, and in things they under- 
stand, or are interested in, faithful and effective, even between unfriendly 


But, it may be said, these things are mere accidental coincidences ; 
sporadic occurrences, from which no sound hypothesis can be drawn. 
This is the very question at issue, and I deny that such treatment of the 
subject is scientific. The suggestions here put forward may be all and 
singular erroneous ; even some of the data may be assailed ; but after 
getting the present interrogation points out of the way the question 
they merely indicate is as far from solution (if nothing else is done) as 

The mathematical probability of such an interwoven chain of custom 
and belief being sporadic and fortuitous is so nearly infinitesimal as to 
lay the burden of proof upon the upholders of the latter proposition. 

Even were it acknowledged to be fortuitous it would still be tbe result 
of natural laws, and it would be interesting to inquire in such a case 
why these laws should woi-k more effectively in a north and south than 
in any other direction, and what the circumstances are that produce a 
crop of labrets equally in Central Africa or in the Polar regions. 

It has tome the appearance of an Impulse communicated by the gradual 
incursion of a vigorous, masterful people upon a region already partly 
peopled by weaker and receptive races, whose branches, away from the 
scene of progressive disturbance, remained unaffected by the character- 
istics resulting from the impact of the invader upon their relatives. 

It by no means follows on this view that these practices were imposed 
by conquerors on subjected tribes. On the contrary, i3eople actually 
conquered, as in the case of Tlinkit slaves, would probably be denied 
such privileges as those symbols which were characteristic of their 

But people cognizant of the presence of a more vigorous or remarkably 
courageous race, from whom they could with difficulty defend them- 
selves, and which was marked by certain particularly notable customs, 
unfanfRiar and astonishing to those who first became acquainted with 
them, such as labretifery, might adopt customs with an idea that the 
desired courage or vigor might follow the symbol if adopted among 
tliemselves. The invaders would retain their original custom and con- 
quer a place for themselves; the conquered would gradually disappear; 
the uncouquered would exist in an intermittent sort of armed truce ad- 
jacent to the region of the conquerors ; the custom would be propagated 
by mere contact with and high estimation of the qualities of the in- 
vaders by residents who remained uncouquered. 

Such a change was to a certain extent in actual progress within a 
recent period in the Yukon region. The Mahlemut lunuit, the most 
bold and vigorous of the Orarian tribes of the region, would boldly carry 
their skin canoes over mountains, launch them on the other side and 
fearlessly invade the territory of the Tinueh Indians on the Lower Yukon, 
carrying on a trade in which the buyer dictated the prices. The mis- 
erable, though well-fed, Tinueh of this part of the river, constantly in 
fear of the more energetic coast tribes, have adopted (wliether for this 



or other reasons) the labret, the pipe,^the foot-gear, tonsure, and dress 
of their alien superiors with slight modifications ; practices and customs 
utterly unknown to the Tiuneh of the upper river, bold, warlike, and 
enterprising, who would behold their unworthy relatives with utter 

It is well known to those who have studied the region that the west- 
ern slope, especially of Middle and North America, is a region of boun- 
teous food supi^ly, especially derived from the sea which washes it and 
the rivers which drain it. 

The progi'ess of conquest or armed migration, especially with people 
who subsist upon the country they are in, must be largely guided by 
the ability to tiud food. Any landfall of invaders on the western coast 
would be influenced in their movements by the presence of the Andes 
and the desert plains which boi der on the east the region of plenty near 
the shores. Migration in a northerly or southerly direction, either of 
the invaders or by those retreating before them, would be almost Iqi- 
perative except where the granaries of Middle America open the width 
of the continent to those who come, from whence to the nearer Antil- 
les is but a step. 

With its vast agricultural resources Squier has recognized in Central 
America an important center of aboriginal distribution. George Gibbs 
was confident that the region of Puget Sound — its creeks in season lit- 
erally choked with salmon — was another. Indeed, the area from Puget 
Sound to Cape Spencer, though hardly to be termed a center on account 
of its extent, might be regarded as a sort of hive in which human 
swarms might continually be fed to maturity and issue forth. 

The people of this region from the earliest times were known as the 
most vigorous, most warlike, most implacable, most subtile, most treacher- 
ous, most cultured, and fondest of blood for its own sake of any Ameri- 
can tribes known to history. The decimated crew of ChirikofiPs vessel, 
the first to touch on those shores, was a type of what many successive 
explorers suffered without having wronged the savages, and an exam- 
ple of a temper in the latter which even yet has hardly cooled. 

It is, however, undesirable to carry these speculations beyond that 
point where they may excite investigation and inquiry, if not antago- 
nism of a healthy kind, in the minds of others. I therefore bring them 
to a close. 

In terminating the discussion of this material I desire to express my 
obligations to Prof. B. F. Baird, Director of the National Museum, for 
facilities for study and inspection of material, and to Messrs. J. K. Good- 
rich, of the Museum, and J. C. Pilling, of the Bureau of Ethnology, for 
kind assistance in details bearing upon the preparation of this paper. 





Fig. 1 (16139). — White marble labret, obtaiued from the uppermost layer of the 
shell heaps at Port MoUer, Aliaska Peninsula, by W. H. Dall; (page 91). 

Fig. 2 (16138). — Shale labret, from the same layer and locality; closely resembling 
the Tlinkit kalushka. Collected by W. H. ball ; (page 91). 


AXNL'AI. ItF-roRT 1882 IT.. V 




Fig. 3 (14933). — Ancient Aleut labret, from uppermost layer Amaknak cave, Una- 
lashka Island. Collected by W. H. Dall ; (page 91). 

Fig. 4 (12991).— Another similar to the last, and from the same locality. Collected 
by W. H. Dall. These two are carved of walrus-tusk ivory. It is uncertain 
whether these were worn by males or females, as none such have been in use dur- 
ing the historic period; (page 91). 






Fig. 5. Woodeu maskoid from Mortlock Island, Caroline group, from a specimen on 
deposit in the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. Fifrured 
by permission of the director, Prof A. S. Bickmore; (page 101). 

Fig. 6. Same in profile. (Page 101). 






Fig. 7. — Profile view of a wooden maskette, from New Ireland, figured from a speci- 
men deposited in tbe American Museum of Natural History, New York City. Fig- 
ured with the permission of the director, Prof. A. S. Bickmore ; (page 102). 






Fig. 8. — Front view of a woodeu maskette, from New Ireland, near New Guinea, from 
a specimen in the Ameiican Museum of Natural History, New Yorli City. Figured 
by permission of the director. Prof. A. S. Bickmore ; (page 102). 

Figs. 9, 10 (20651). — Front view and section of a wooden maskette, from Levuka, 
Friendly Islands. Presented to the UnitedStatesNationialMuseum by H. S. Kirby; 
(page 101). 






Figs. 11,1SJ. — Wooden luaskoid caiviug, from New Ireland, neai- New Guinea, in the 
South Seas. Profile and front views showing the serpent biting the tougiio of 
the etfigy. From a specimen deposited in the American Museum of Natural His- 
tory, New York City, and figured by the kind permission of the director, Prof. A. 
S. Bickmore ; (page 102). 



MASKOin I'noit xi;\v iueland. 



Fig. 13. — Wooden mortuary luaskoid, from the figure in E. G. Squier'e Peru (page 90), 
found in a burial iilace at Pachecamac, Peru, and now forming part of the collec- 
tion of the American Museum of Natural History, New York City. (This figure 
is inserted in the text, page 104. ) 

Fig. 14 (fi.^)37C). — Similar maskoid, from near Lima, Peru ; presented to the United 
States National Museum by G. H. Hurlbut ; (page 104). 



^ .- ■? s" 





Fig. 15 (22930). — Doll sbowiug the mode of wearing, the maskette head-dress fig- 
uretl below it. Presented to the U. S. National Museum by Maj. J. W. Powell, 
who obtained it at the Moqui villages in Arizona ; (page 105). 

Figs. 16, 17 (22942). — Front and rear of Moqui maskette head-dress used in dances ai 
the Moqui villages. From a specimen in the U. S. National Museum. Collected 
by Maj. J. W. Powell as above; (page 105). 


ANXUAI, UF.rOKT 1882 n.. XII 




Fig. 18 (2659). — Mask from the northwest coast of America in the U. S. National Mu- 
seum, collected by R. R. Waldrou of t he U. S. exploring expedition under Wilkes; 
(pages 109, 114). 

Fig. 19.— Dancing mask used by the Makah Indians, of Cape Flattery, Washington 
Territory. From a figure by J. 6. Swan ; (page 107). 

Fig. 20.— Another ditto; (page 107). 

Fig. 21 (20578). — Dancing mask from Bellabella, British Columbia, collected forthe 
U. S. National Museum by J. G. Swan ; (page 116). 







Figs. 2'2 (30210). — Dancing mask from Nutka Sound, Vancouver Island, collected for 
the U. S. National Museum by J. G. Swan, front aud profile views; (page 117). 

Fig. 83. — Dancing mask used by the Indians of Cape Flattery, Washington Territory. 
From a figure by J. G. Swan ; (page 107). 

Fig. 24 (2658).— Mask from the northwest coast of America, collected by Mr. Scar- 
borough during the United States exploring expedition under Wilkes; (page 113). 



30210 I 

26SB. 24 

India:} masks from the northwest coast of America. 



Figs. 25-27 (30211). — Frout and profile views, and diagram of lattice etc., of a dancing 
mask with movable wings (only one wing is shown), from Nutka Sound, Van- 
couver Island, collected by J. G. Swan, for the U. S. National Museum ; (page 








Figs. 28, 29 (20570).— Front aud profile views of dancing mask, representing a .:)ird's 
head, with movable lower jaw; obtained for the U. S. National Museum from the 
Bella-bella Indians, British Columbia, by J. G. Swau ; (page Uu). 

Fig. 30 (2714).— Dancing mask used by the Makah Indians, of Cape Flattery, 
ington Territory; collected by J. G. Swau for the U. S. National Museum ; (page 








Figs. 31, 32 (,2dii92). — Dancing mask obtained from the Haida Indians of the Klem- 
malioon village, Prince of Wales Islands, Alaska, for the U. S. National Museum 
by J. G. Swan ; (page 114). 

Figs. 33, 34 (3020!'). — Dancing mask representing a death's head used by the Nutka 
tribe of Indians at Barclay Sound, Vancouver Island ; collected for the U. S. Na- 
tional Museum by J. G. Swan ; (page 115). 

Fig. 3.5 (1419). — Similar mask from theMakah Indiana at Cape Flattery, Washington 
Territory; collected by J. G. Swan; (page 116). 

Figs. 36, 37 (2fi61). — Shamanic mask representing the "Thunder bird," obtained on 
the northvest coast of America by the U. S. exploring expedition under Wilkes; 
(page 119). 








Figs. 38, 39 (23440). — Dancing helmet from the Makah Indians at Neeah Bay, Wash- 
ington Territory ; collected for the U. S. National Museum by J. G. Swan ; (page 

Fig. 4U. — Maskette representing a bird's head from the same locality as the preced- 
ing ; from a figure by J. G. Swan ; (page 107). 

Figs. 41, 42 (21573). — Haida (?) dancing mask; collected for the U. S. National Mu- 
seum by Dr. White, U. S. A. ; (page 115). 







Figs. 43, 44 (20890). — Dancing helmet of the Haida Indians; collected at the Klem- 
mahoon village, Prince of Wales Islands, Alaska, by J. G. Swan for the U. S. 
National Museum ; (page 116). 






Fig. 45 (2666). — Dancing maskette, showing the moile of wearing the kalushka 

obtained (from the Haida Indians?) on the northwest coast of America during the 

U. S. exploring expedition under Wilkes; (page 119). 
Fig. 46 (20581). — Daucing maskette, representing the face of a woman with a small 

kaluska, obtained from the T'sirapsian Indians, of Port Simpson, British Columbia, 

for the U. S. National Museum by J. G. Swan; (page 118). 






Fig. 47 ^'2662). — Front view autl .section of niaskette collected on the northwest coast 

of America during the United States exploring expedition nnder Wilkes, liy E. 

Very, U. S. N.; representing the beaver totem; (page 118). 
Fig. 48 (9259). — Maskette representing the otter and frog, front and profile \ie\v8, 

obtained from the Tliukit Indians of Sitka by Dr. A. H. Hoff, U. S. A., for the 

U. S. National Museum; (page 118). 


axxi;al repout 1882 pl. xxi 




Fig. 49. — Iroquois mask used by the order of " Falsefaces," from a figure by L. H. 

MorgaD, in the Fifth Annual Report on the State Cabinet by the Regents of the 

University, Albany, 1852, p. 67; (page 144). 
Fig. 50 (56470). — Shamanic rattle used by the Haida, from a specimen obtained by J. 

G. Swan at Port Townsend, W. T., from a Queen Charlotte Island Haida, showing 

the shaman, frog, and kingfisher with continuous tongues; (page 111). 






Figs. 51-53 (UO-M'i). — Front aud rear views and section of mask used by the lunuit of 

Prince William Sound, Alaska, presented to the U. S. National Museum by the 

Alaska Commercial Company; (page 1"26). 
Figs. 54-56 (20235). — Front, rear, and profile views of a mask used by the Innuit of 

Prince AVilliam Sound, Alaska, presented to the U S. National Museum by the 

Alaska Commercial Company; (page 125). 
Figs. 57, 5b (16089). — Ivory carving, natural size, from the shell heaps of Port Miiller, 

Aliaska Peninsula, collected by W. H. Dall for the U. S. National Museum, aud iig- 

ured for comparison with the preceding ; (page 126). 






Fig. 59 (20266). — Maek used by the Innuit, of Prince William Sound, Alaska, pre- 
sented to the U. S. National Museum hy the Alaska Commercial Company ; 
(page 128). 

Figs. 60, 61, 62 (20268). Front and rear views and restored lattice of Innuit mask from 
Prince William Sound, presented to the U. S. National Museum by the Alaska 
Commercial Company ; (page 127). 







Figs. C3, 64 (20269). — Frout and rear views of luuuit mask from Priuce William 
Souud, Alaska, presented to the U. S. National Museum liy the Alaska Commer- 
cial Company ; (page 126). 

Fig. 65 (20264). — Front view of Inuuit mask from Prince William Sound, Alaska, 
presented to the U. S. National Museum by the Alaska Commercial Company; 
(page 127). 

Fig. 66 (24328). — Maskette, representing a seal's head, obtained from the lunuit of 
Saint Michael's, Norton Sound, Alaska, for the U. S. National Museum by L. M. 
Turner ; (page 133). 


iXXL'AI, KKl'OKT 1882 TI.. XSV 

N. ^^ .srHfa, . .^ 




Fig. 67 (16iJt)3). — Inuuit maskette obtained at Saint Paul, Kadiak Island, Alaska, 

made by the Kaniagmut Inuuit, and presented to the U. S. National Museum 

by W. H. Ball ; (page 1^8). 
Fig. 68 C24334). — Front view, section, and enlarged views of accessories of lunuit 

mask obtained at Saint Michael's, Norton Sound, Alaska, for the U. S. National 

Museum, by L. M. Turner; (page 133). 


AKNUAL liEl'OllT 1682 I'l.. XXVI 




Fig. 69 (37130). — Finger mask worn by the lunuit women on the forefinger during 
dances; collected for the U. S. National Museum, by E. W. Nelson, on the lower 
Kuskokwim River, Alaska; (page 132). 

Fig. 70 (38646). — Innuit maskette worn during legendary pantomimic dances by 
the natives of the Yukon and Kuskokwim deltas; collected for the U. S. National 
Museum, at Big Lake, near Cape Rumiantsotf, by E. W. Nelson ; (page 135). 


AN-xuAL nr.roiiT 1882 fl. xxvii 






Fig. 71 (A). — Aleutian dancing mask, used during social festiv.ale among the Aleuts, 
showing the method of wearing the labret then in vogue. From a figure in 
Sauer's account of Billings' Voyage, plate si, iigure not numbered; 179'2 (page 

Fig. 72 (B). — A grotesque mask used on similar occasions, showing the cleat-shaped 
liibret described by early u.avigators. C indicates the same labret in profile. 
From a figure iu Sauer's account of Billings' Voyage, plate xi, figure not num- 
bered ; (page 141). 

Fig. 73 (13002).— Aleutian death mask, obtained from a rock shelter where the dead 
were laid, near Delaroft' H.arbor, Unga, Shumagiu Islaud.s, Alaska. Obtained and 
presented to the U. S. National Museum by W. H. Dall; front and both profiles 
shown; (page 142). 







Fig. 74 (7G04). — Aleutian death mask, from rock shelter, near Delaroff Harbor, Uuga 
Island, Shumagiu Islands, Alaska; collected by Capt. Charles Eiedell, and pre- 
sented to the U. S. ISfational Museum by W. H. Dall; front and right profile 
views; (page 142). 

Fig. 7.5 (794G). — Aleutian death mask, from the same locality; collected by Dr. T. T. 
Minor, U. S. R. M., and presented to the U. S. National Museum ; front and left 
profile views ; (page 142). 


AXXL'Ai. i;EroRr 18S2 tl. xxix 









[This 13 given to explain tlio pronunciation of the Indian words in tbo foUowinii papul ] 

a, as in father. 

'a, an initially exploded a. 

a, as iu tehat. 

% an initially exploded &. 

a, as in hat. 

c, as sh in she. See s. 

0, a medial sh, a sonantsnrd. 

c (Dakota letter), as ch in church. 
^, as th in thin. 

5, a medial 5, sonant-surd. 
^, as th iu //le. 

e, as iu thei/. 

'e, an initially exploded e. 

6, as in get. 

'6, au initially exploded 6. 

g, as in go. 

g (in Dnkota), gh. See x. 

li (iu Dakota), /;/(, etc. See q. 

i, as in machine. 

'i, an initially exploded i. 

1, as in pin. 

J, as z iu azure, or as j iu French 

^[, a medial k, a sonant-surd. 
k', au exploded k. 
5, as vg in sing. 
bn, its initial sound is expelled 

tVom the nostrils, and is scarcely 


o, as in no. 

'o, an initially exploded o. 

d, a medial b (or ])), a sonant-surd. 

p', au exjjloded j). 

q, as German ch in ach. See h. 

s, a medial s (or z), a sonant-surd. 

s (iu Dakota), as sh in she. See c. 

^, a medial t, a sonant-snrd. 

t', an exploded t. 

u, as 00 in tool. 

'u, an initially exploded u. 

n, as 00 in foot. 

n, a sound between and n. 

ii, as in German h'dhl. 

X, gh, or nearly the Arabic ghain. 

See g. 
dj, asj iu judge. 
tc, as (;/( in church. See 6. 
tc', an exploded tc. 
qo, a medial tc, a sonant-surd. 
qs, a medial ts, a sonant-surd. 
ts', au exploded ts. 
z (in Dakota), as z in azure, etc. 

See j. 
ai, as iu aisle. 
an, as 010 in coio. 
yu, as n in tune. 

The following have the ordinary English sounds : b, d, h, k, 1, m, n, 
p, r, s, t, w, y, and z. A superior u (") after a vowel nasalizes it. A 
plus sign (-^) after any letter prolongs it. 

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




Chapter I.— Introduction 211 

E.arly migrations of the (]'egih.a tribes 211 

Sub.seqnent migrations of tbc Omabas 213 

Present state of the Omabas 214 

Chapter II.— The State 215 

Differentiation of organs in the State 216 

State classes 210 

Servants 217 

Corporations 218 

Chapter III. — The Gentile System 2li) 

Tribal circles 211) 

The Omaha tribal circli' 219 

Rules for pitching the tents 220 

The sacred tents 221 

The sacred pi pes 221 

Gahige's account of the tradition of the pipes 222 

A^-ba-hebe's account of the same 222 

Law of membership 225 

The Weji" cte or Elk gens 225 

The Inke-sabe or Black shoulder gens 228 

The Haiiga gens 233 

The (patada gens 236 

TheWasabe-hit'ajIsubgens 236 

TbeWajiuga-(j'ataji subgens 238 

Thoxeda-it'aji subgens 239 

The jjei" subgens 240 

The Kanze gens 241 

The Ma^f^inka-gaxe gens 242 

The xe-sinde gens 244 

The x^-da or Deer-head gens 245 

The Ing(fejide gens 247 

The Ictasanda gens 248 

Chapter IV. — The Kinship System and Marriage Laws 252 

Classes of kinship 252 

Consanguineous kinship 253 

AfSnities 2.')5 

Marriage laws 255 

Whom a man or woman cannot marry 256 

Whom a man or woman can marry 2.57 

Importance of the subgentes 258 

Remarriage 258 

Chapter V. — Domestic Life 259 

Courtship and marriage customs 259 

Domestic etiquette— bashfulness 262 

Pregnancy 263 

Children 265 



1 -a'.;p 

Chapter V. — Domestic Life — Continued. 

Standing of women in society 266 

Ciitaiuenia 2C7 

Willows and widowers 267 

Riglits of parents and others 268 

Personal habits, politeness, etc 269 

Meals, etc 271 

Chapteh VI.— Visiting Customs 276 

Chapter VII.— Ixdustrial Occupations 28:i 

Hunting customs 283 

Kisliiug cnstoms 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. — Regitlative 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 

Eeligious law 368 


Plate XXX. — Map showing the migrations of the Omahas and cognate 

tribes 212 

XXXI. — Teutof 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, <ic., iu the tribal assembly 224 

14.— liike-sabe tent 230 

15. — luke-sabe style of wearing the hair 230 

16. — luke-sabe Gentile assembly 231 

17. — The sacred pole 234 

18. — AVasabe-hit'aji style of wearing the hair 237 

19. — x^-'^'ude style of wearing the hair 244 

20. — The weawa" 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 i)ipe 

dance 278 

23. — The position of the pipes, the ear of corn, &c 279 

24. — Decoration of child's face 2':'0 

25. — Showing positions of the long tent, the pole, and rows of " ja" withiu 

the tribal circle 295 

26. — Figures of pumpkins 306 

27.— The Webajabe 310 

26.— The Weubaja" 311 

29. — Front view of the iron 311 

30.— OldPonka fort 314 

31. — Diagram showing places of the guests, messengers, etc 315 

32. — The banauge 336 

33.— The sticks 336 

34. — Na^ba" au ha 336 

35. — (J'abiti" au ha 337 

36. — Diagram of the play-grouud 337 

37. — The stick used in iilaying ja^ii"-jahe 338 

38. — The wa((iglje 33tj 

39. — The stick used iu playing I"ti"-bu}a 341 

40. — The waq)(eq^te 'a"sa 352 

41. — The Ponka style of hauga-5(i'a''ze 359 

42. — The Omaha style of hauga-3[i'a"'ze 361 

3 ETH — 14 


By J. Owen Doksey. 


§ 1. The Omaha Indians belong to the (/Jegiha gronp of the Siouau 
family. The (pegiha, group may be divided into the Omaha-(pegiha and 
the Kwapa-(|Jegiha. In the former are four tribes, speaking three dia- 
lects, while the latter consists of one tribe, the Kwapas. The dialects 
are as follows: Paiika, spoken by the Ponkas and Omahas; Waoaoe, 
the Osage dialect ; 5ja"ze, that of the Kansas or Kaws, closely related 
to the Waoaoe; and Ugaqpa, or Kwapa. 

§ 2. (|)egiha means, "Belonging to the people of this land," and answers 
to the Oto " xoiwere," aud the Iowa " j^oeiiiwere." Mr. Joseph La 
Fleehe, who was formerly a head chief of the Omahas, also said that 
(pegiha was about equivalent to " Dakota." When an Omaha was chal- 
lenged in the dark, when on his own land, he generally replied, " I am 
a (pegiha." 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 aui a Ponka," as tlie case might be. 

§ 3. The real name of the Omahas is " Uma"ha"." It is explained by 
a tradition obtained from a few members of the tribe. When the ances- 
tors of the Omahas, Ponkas, Osages, and several other cognate tribes 
traveled down the Ohio to its mouth, they separated on reaching the 
Mississippi. Some went up the river, hence the name Uma°ha°, from 
3]ima°ha", " to go against the wind or stream." The rest went down 
the river, hence the name TJgdqpa or Kwdpa, from ugdqpa or ug4ha, " 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, inhabit- 
ing an extensive peninsula, on the Missouri River. 



On this peuinsula was a high mountaiD, wiiich the Kansas called 
Ma^-daqpaye and Tce-dunga-ajabe ; the corresponding Osage name be- 

Subsequently, these tribes ranged through a territory, including 
Osage, Gasconade, and other adjacent counties of the State of Missonri, 
perhaps most of the country lying between the Mississippi and the 
Osage Eivers. The lowas 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 Winue- 
bagos. A recent study of the dialects of the Osages, Kansas, and 
Kwapas discloses remarkable similarities which strengthen the supposi- 
tion that the lowas 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 
lowas, 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 suc- 
cession of villages, consisting of earth lodges. 

Thence they journeyed towards the Big Sioux River, where they made 
a fort. They remained in that country a long time, making earth lodges 
and cultivating fields. Game abounded. At that time the Yanktons 
dwelt in a densely wooded country near the head of the Mississippi ; 
hence the Omahas called them, in those days, " Ja°'a^a ni'kaci°ga, 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 i^ole (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 i)resent ; and these gentes were in existence long before 
they cut the sacred pole. 

After leaving the lake, known as "Waqifexe gasai' (jja", Where they 
cut the sacred i)ole," they traveled up the Missouri River till they ar- 
rived at Ni-ugacude, White Earth River. They crossed the Missouri, 

' The writer was told by an Osage that Ma^iaqpaiie was at Fire Prairie, Missonri, 
where the tirst 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, ill T. 50 N., R. 28 W., at the town of Napoleon, Jackson County, Missouri. 
This could not have baeu the original Ma°4aqpa^;e. Several local uaiiies have been 
duplicated by the Kansas in the course of their wanderings, and there ai-e traces of 
similar duplications among the Osages. Besides this, the Omahas and Ponkas never 
accompauied 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 senaratiou at the mouth of the Osage River. 



J* UE L J C XJX^Il-B^^ 



1. Winnebaj;o habitat. 17. 

2. lowababitat. 1?^. 

3. Arkansas habitat. 19. 

4. Kwapa habitat, after tho separation from the Omahas, etc. 20. 

5. llouto uf tho Omabas. Ponkas, Kansas, and Osages. 22, 
G. Their habitat at the mouth of the Missouri Eiver. l3, 

7. Tbeir course along that river. 24. 

8. Tlieir habitat at the mouth of Osage River. 25. 

9. Subsequent cnurso of the Osages. 26. 
10. Subserineut course of the Kansas. 27. 
n. Course of tho Oiuahaa and Ponkas, according to some. 28. 

12. Tbeir course, according to others. 30. 

13. Where they met tho lowas. 31. 
H. Course of ihe three tribes. 33, 

15. Pipestone qnarrv. 35, 

16. Cliffs 100 feet high on each bank. 37. 

Fort built by the three tribes. 

Lake Andes. 

Sloutli of Whiti- River. 

Mouth of the Niobrara River. 

Omaha village on Bow Creek. 

Iowa village on Ionia Creek. 

Omaha village xUauga.jiuga and Zande bu:i,a. 

Omaha village at Omadi. 

Omaha village on Bell Creek. 

Probable course of the lowas. 

Omaha habitat on Salt Creek. 

Omaha habitat at Ane nat'ai ifa". 

Omaha habitat on Shell Creek. 

Omaha habitat on the Elkhoru River. 

Omaha habitat on Logan Creek. 

Omaha habitat near Bellevue. 


above this stream, and occupied the country between tbe Missouri and 
the Black Hills, though they did not go to the Black Hills.^ After 
awhile, they turned down stream, and kej^t together till they reached 
the month of the Niobrara, where the Ponkas stopped. The Omahas 
and lowas continued their journey till they reached Bow Creek, Ne- 
braska, where the Omahas made tlieir village, the lowas 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 pres- 
ent town of Ponca. 

Bj- 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 " j^i^au'ga jifi'ga," and the lake near by is called "(Jjix- 
ucpa"-ug(fe," because of the willow trees found along its banks. 

In the course of time the lowas 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 lowas, when 
they crossed the Missouri, and left the Osages and others. The Otos 
were first met on the Platte Eiver, in comparatively modern times, ac- 
cording to Mr. La Fl^che. 


§ 4. After leaving jji-c(anga-jiiiga, where the lodges were made of wood, 
they dwelt at Zand6 bu;a. 

2. Ta°'wa"-'4an'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 Ta°wa°-;auga. While the people were there, A^ba- 
hebe, the tribal historian was born. This was over eighty years ago. 

6. Thence they went to AueuAt'ai fa", a hill on the -west bank of the 
Elkhorn Eiver, above West Point, and near Bismarck. 

7. After five years they camped on the east bank of Shell Creek. 
S. Then back to Ta^wa^-jaiiga, on Omaha Creek. 

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

10. About the year 1832-'3, they returned to Ta^wan-jaiiga, on Omaha 

11. In 1841 they went to Ta^'wa-'-jiiigd fa°, The Little Village, at the 
mouth of Logan Creek, and on the east side. 

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


12. lu 1843, they returned to Ta^wa" -^aBga. 

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

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 lauds, was 
ceded to the Wiunebagos, when that tribe was settled in Nebraska, and 
is now in Dakota County. The southern part, the present Omaha res- 
ervation, is in Burt County. The Omahas have not decreased in popu- 
lation 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 18G9; but some of them, under Mr. La Fl^che, 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 exiiense 
of their occupants. 


§ 6. "A state," said Maj. J. W. Powell, in his presideutial address to 
tlie Antliropological Society of Washinstoii, in 1882, " is a body politic, 
au organized group of ineu with au established goverumeut, aud a 
body of determined law. In the organization of societies units of dif- 
ferent orders are discovered." Among the Ouiahas and other tribes of 
the Siouan family, the primary unit is the gens or clan, which is com- 
posed of a number of consanguinei, claiming descent from a common an- 
cestor, 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 " Haiiga-cenn," and the second, " Icta- 
sanda." (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 
HaQgacenu gentes never meet by themselves apart from the Icta-sanda 

Next to the half-tribes are the gentes, of which the Omahas have ten. 
Each gens in turn is divided into " u^iig^asne," 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 sub- 
gentes in each gens in former days. The subgentes seem to be com- 
l)osed of a number of groups of a still lower order, which are provision- 
ally termed "sections." The existence of sections among the Omahas 
had been disputed by some, though other members of the tribe claim 
that they are real units of the lowest order. We find among the Tito"- 
wa" Dakotas, many of these groups, which were originally sections, but 
which have at length become gentes, as the marriage laws do not afl'ect 
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 Fl^che, a Ponka by 
birth, who spent his boyhood with the tribe, there are but seven gentes, 
one having become extinct; while the Wajajeand Nuqe, which are now 
the sixth and seventh gentes, were originally one. For a fuller discus- 
sion of the gentes see the next chapter. 

The state, as existing aonong the Omahas and cognate tribes, may be 
termed a kinship state, that is, one in which "governmental fnnctions 
are i)erformed by men whose positions in the government are deter- 
mined by kinship, aud rules relating to kinship and the reproduction of 



the species constitute tlie 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 re- 
gulated, 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 difl'erentiation 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 o^' units and the si)ecializatiou 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, wei'e necessary among the Omahas for marriage purjioses, as 
is shown in §§ 57, 78, etc. The recent tendency has been to centraliza- 
tion or consolidation, whereas there are strong reasons for believing that 
each gens had four subgentes at the first ; several subgentes liaving 
become few in number of persons have been united to the remaining 
and more powerful subgentes of their respective gentes. 

The third mode of difterentiatious of organs in the State is " by uiul- 
tiplicatiou 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 organisation are found in the constitution of the 
State, " those relating directly to the government, called major organ- 
izations, and those relating indirectly to the government, called minor 
organizations." The former embraces the State classes, the latter, cor- 


These have not been clearly differentiated. Three classes of men have 
been recognized : Nikagdhi, waniice, and cenujiii'ga. 

In civil affairs, the nikagahi are the chiefs, exercising legislative, ex- 
ecutive, 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 surround- 

uonsEv. I 


iug of a herd of bnflalo, they have extraordinary powers couferred on 
them. (See §§ 140 and 297.) 

The cenujinga, 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 assemblj-, 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 Hanga men, appear to be both religious and civil. Of 
these two men, jja(fi''-na"paji said : " The two old men, Waka°'-ma"(|;i° 
and jeha°'ma°^i°, 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 Fleche denied 
this, saying that these two old men are the servants of the Hanga chief, 
being only the keepers of the sacred tents of his gens. J. La Fleche 
and Two Crows said that while there were some "nikaci"'ga qub6," 
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 nikaci''ga qube, they meant ex- 
orcists 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 (pixida gens, and part of the Nikadaona gens are said to be war- 
riors. Among the Omahas, both the captains and warriors must be taken 
from the class of cenujinga, 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 ofiQcers 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 ne- 
gotiations 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 § 210.) 


There are no slaves; but there are several kinds of servants called 
wag;iq(j;a°. In civil and religious affairs, the following are wagiiq(f;a". 
The two keepers of the Haiiga sacred tents are the servants of the 
Hanga chief. (See above, § 295, etc.) One of these old men is al\\ays 
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 (fatada Qujja man is the servant of the keepers of the 


sacred tents. (See § 143.) Some of the Wasabe-hit'aji men are serv- 
ants of the Weji"cte gens, acting as such in the sacred tent. (See §§ 
23, 24.) Some of the luke-sabe men are the servants of the Haiiga 
when they act as criers (see §§ 130, 136, etc.), and so is a j^a^ze man 
(§ 152). The wanace are the servants of the chiefs. The wag(J;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 police- 
men. (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 jiart of it. 

The Omahas are organized into certain societies for religious, indus- 
trial, and other ends. There are two kinds, the Ik.igeki^6 or brother- 
hoods, and the tjkikune(|^e, or feasting organizations. The former are 
the dancing societies, to some of which the doctors belong. A fuller 
description of them will be found in Chapter X. 

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



§ 9. Tu former days, whenever a large cainxiing ground could not be 
found, the Poukas 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 encamp- 
ment has been to pitch all the tents in one large circle or horseshoe, 
called "hu(j;uga" by the Indians. In this circle the gentes took their 
regular places, disregarding their gentile circles, aud pitching the tents, 
one after another, w:ithin 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 kind- 
red. 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 di- 
rection, some in another. On such occasions the regular order of camp- 
ing 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 Hangaceuu, 
and the others were known as the Ictasanda. Tlie Haiigacenu gentes 
are as follows : W6ji°cte, Iiik6-s4b6, Haii'ga, ^atada, and ^ja^'ze. The 
Ictasanda gentes are as follows : Ma^'^iiika-gdxe, j^e-siu'de, jfl-d^, 
Iug((;6-jide, and Ictasanda. 

According to Waha°-^i5ge, the chief of the jje-sinde gens, there used 




to be oue hundred and thirty-three tents pitched by the Haugacenu, 
and oue hundred and forty-seven by the letasauda. This was probably 
the case when they went on the hunt the last time, in 1871 or 1872. 

Fig. K.— Tbe Omaha tribal circle. 


HaSgacknu gentes. 


■We,ji°cte, or Elk. 






(f atada : 

a. Waaabe-liit'aj! 

';. Wajiuga.<atajl 

c. x«-<Ja-it'ajI. 

d. 36- 'i». 




F. Man^iiika-gase. 

G. le-slniie. 
H. xa-da. 

I. Ing(f.e.ji(le. 
K. Ictasanda. 

The sacred tents of the Weji^cte and Hafiga gentes are designated by ai>propriate 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. 


§ II. Though they did not measure the distances, each woman knew 
whereto pitch her tent. Thusa^ja^ze woman who saw a Weji^cte 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 ajiart 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 neigh- 
boring gentes wei-e too far apart or too close together. In the first case 
the women of one gens might say, " Move along a little, and give us 
more room." In the other they might say, " Come back a little, as there 
is too much space between us." When the end gentes, Weji"cte and 


Ictasanda, were too far apart there was sometimes danger of attacks of 
enemies. On one occasion tbe 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 giveu how to pitch the tents. 

When the tribe returned from the hunt the gentes encamped iu re- 
verse order, the Weji"cte 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 subgeutes, all members of any subgens 
having their lodges set up in the same area. Thus, in the Iiike-sab6 
gens, there are some that camped next the Weji^cte, and others next 
the Haiiga; some of the HaQga camped nest the liike-sabg, and others 
next the (Jlatada, and so on. (See §73.) 

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


§ 13. The three sacred tents were pitched within the circle and near 
their respective gentes : that of the Weji^cte is the war tent, and it was 
placed not more than .50 yards from its gens ; those of the Haiiga gens 
are connected with the regulation of the bufl'alo 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 HaSga gens, though Haiiga, 
in ancient times, appointed the lOke-sabg gens as the custodian of 
them. (J. La Flfeche and Two Crows.) The Inkesabg 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 Haugacenu, the Inke-sabe, (|)atada, and \ja"ze, and four 
of the Ictasanda, the Ma"(('ii)ka-gaxe, j^e-.siude, j^ada, and Ictasanda. 


The two sacred pipes still in existeuce are kept by the Inkesabg geus. 
These pipes are called "Isiniba waqtibe," Sacred Pipes, or "Niniba 
jide," Eed Pipes. They aie made of the red pipestone which is found 
in the fiVinous red i)ipestone quarry. The stems are nearly flat and are 
worked near the mouth-piece with porcupine quills. 


§ 15. Gahige, of the liike-sabfi feens, 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 follow- 
ing: 1. IQkesabe; 2. xe-da-it>aji sub-gens of the (patada; 3. Ma^f.iiika- 
gaxe; 4. x^-"''^ 5 ^- X'^'^i"*^'® > ^- Ictasanda; 7. Haiiga {sic). In order 
to reach the Haiiga again the seven old men had to go partlj' around 
the circle a secoiul time. These are the gentes that had pipes and 
chiefs at the first. The chiefs of the three remaining gentes, the We- 
ji°cte, 5ja°ze, and liig^e-jide, were not made for years afterward. He 
also said that the buffalo skull given to the xe-da-it'aji was regarded as 
equivalent to a sacred pipe. 

The writer is iucliued to think that there is some truth in what Gahige 
has said, though he caunot accept all of his statement. Gahige gives 
one pipe to the Hangagens; Two Urows intimated that his gens was 
the virtual keeper of a pipe. But A"ba-hebe's story shows that it was 
not a real pipe, but the flrebi'aud for lighting the pipes. In like man- 
ner, j^eda-it'aji has not a real pipe, but the buffalo skull, which is con- 
sidered as a pipe. Hence, it may be that the men who are called 
" keepers of the pipes " in the ^a^ze, Ma"(j;inka-gaxe, x^da, xe-siude, 
and Ictasanda gentes never had real pii)es but certain objects which 
are held sacred, and have some connection with the two pipes kept by 
the Iuke-sab6. 


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

The uld meu m.ide seven pipes and carried them .iroiind the tribal circle. They 
first reached Wcjincte, who sat there as a male elk, and was frightful to behold, so 
the old men did not give him a pipe. Passing ou to the Inke-sabe, they gave the first 
pipe to the head of that gens. Next they came to H<auga, to whom they handed a 
firebrand, saying, " Do thou keep the firebrand," i. c, " You arc to thrust it into the 
pipe-bowls." Therefore it is the duty of Haiiga to light the pipes for the chiefs {sic). 
When they reached the Bear people they feared them because tbey sat there with the 
sacred hag of hlack bear-skin, so they did not give them a i^ipe. The Blackbird people 
received no pipe because they sat with the .siiered hag of hird-skins and feathers. 
And the old men feared the Turtle people, who had made a big turtle on the ground, 
so they pas.sed them by. But wheu they saw the Eagle people they gave them a 
pipe becanse they did not fear them, and the buffalo was good. (Others say that the 
Eagle people had started oti' in anger when they found themselves slighted, but the 
old men pursued them, and on overtaking them they handed them a bladder filled with 
tobacco, and also a buffalo skull, saying, " Keep this skull as a sacred thing." This 


appeased them, andtliey rejoined the tribe.) Nest the old men saw the jia"ze, part 
of whom were good, and part were bad. To the good ones they gave a pipe. The 
Ma°(tilika-gaxe peojile were the next gens. They, too, were divided, half being bad. 
These bad ones had some stones at the front of their lodge, and they colored these 
stones, as well as their hair, orange-red. They wore plumes (hi"(ipe) in their hair 
(and a branch of cedar wrapped around their heads. — La Fleche), and were awful 
to behold. So the old men passed on to the good ones, to whom the}' gave the 
fourth pipe. Then they reached the j,e-sindc, half of whom made sacred a bufl'alo, 
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 X'l-'Is^ (A^ba-hebe's own gens !) were good, and they 
obtained the sixth pipe. The liigife-jide took one whole side of a bufl'alo, 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 disobe- 
dient, 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 Flfecbe aucl Two Crows say that " Weji°cte loved bis waqube, 
the inii[asi, or coyote, aud so be did uot wish a pipe " which pertained to 
peace. " Hauga does not light the pipes for the chiefs ", that is, be does 
not altcays light the pipes. 

§ 17. The true division of labor appears to be as follows : Hanga was 
the soiu'ce of the sacred pipes, and has a right to all, as that gens bad 
the first anthority. Haiiga is therefore called " I(J;ig<('a°'qti akd," as he 
does what he pleases with the pipes. Hanga told luke-sabe to carry 
the pipes around the tribal circle ; so that is why the seven old men did 
so. And as Hanga directed it to be done, liike-sabe is called " Afi°' ake," 
The Keeper. Ictasanda fills the pipes. When the Ictasanda man who 
attends to this duty does not come to the council the pipes canuot 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. Haiiga, or 
rather a member of that gens, lights the pipes, except at the time of the 
greasing of the sacred pole, when be, not Ictasanda, fills the pipes, and 
some one else lights them for him. (See § 152.) These three geutes, 
Hanga, liike-sabe, and Ictasanda, are the only rulers among the keep- 
ers of the sacred pipes. The other keepers are inferior ; though said to 
be keepers of sacred pipes, the pipes are not manifest. 

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

§ IS. The two sacred pipes kept by Iiike-sab6 are used on various cer- 
emonial occasions. When the chiefs assemble and wish to make a de- 
cision for the regulation of tribal affairs, Ictasanda fills both pipes and 
lays them down before the two head chiefs. Then the liike-sabg keeper 
takes one and the x^ tia it'aji keeper the other. Iiike-sab6 precedes, 
starting from the head chief sitting on the right and jiassing around 



half of tbe circle till he reaches an old mau seated opposite the head chief. 
This old man (one of the Haiiga wag(J;a) and the head chief are the only 
ones who smoke the pipe ; those sitting between them do not smoke it 
when Inke-sabg goes around. When the old man has finished smoking 
Inkesabe 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 
tbe head chief on the left he gives it to him, and after receiving it from 
him he returns it to the i:)lace on the gronnd before the head chiefs. 

When Iiike-sab6 reaches the old man referred to j,e-da-il'aji starts from 
the head chiefs with the other pipe, which he hands to each oue, in- 
cluding those sitting between the second head chief and the old man. 
Xe-da-it'aji always keeps behind Inke sab6 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 bowrls by thrusting in a stick. (See §§ 111, 130, 296, etc.) 

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

§ 19. Frank La Fltehe told tbe 
following : 

The sacred pipes are not shown to the 
commou people. AVlieu my father was 
about to be installed ahead chief, Mahi^-zi, 
whose duty it was to fill the pipes, let one 
of them fall to tbe ground, violating a law, 
and so preventing the continuation of the 

ceremony. So my father was not fully in- 
FlG. 13.— Places of tbe chiefs, etc., in the tribal . , _., '. , , „ ,, „„_*i„ 

assembly. itiated. When the later fall was partly 

A -The tiTit head chief, on the Ieft_^ B.-The see- „oije Mahi"-zi died. 
ond head chief, on the right. C— The twoHafiga ° 

wai^^a, one being the old man whom liike-sabe Wacuce, my father-in-law, was tlie Inke- 

causes tu smoke the pipe. D.-The place wbere , » tppTif t nf the nines When the Otos 

the two pipes are laid. The chiefs sit aronnd in ^aoe Keepf r or tne pipes, vvuen lue uios 

a circle. E.— The giver of the feast. visited the Omahas (in the summer of 

167ci), the chiefs wLshed 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 l)y tbe chiefs to the keeper of the pipes previous lo the opening of the bag. 

But none of the seven chiefs know the formula. Wacuce was unwilling to break the 

law; but tbe chiefs insistid, and he yielded. Then Two Crows told all the Omahas 

IJresent not to smoke the small pipe. This he had a right to do, as he was a HaiSga. 

Wacuce soon died, and in a short time he was followed by his daughter and bis eldest 


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 tbe seven chiefs 
did not know their part of the ritual. 



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


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

The word "Weji°cte" cannot be translated, as the meaning of this 
archaic word has been forgotten. It may have some connection with 
" waji°'cte," to be in a had humor, but we have no means of ascertaining 

La Flfeche 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 ditt'ereut parts of the 
body. But when a member of this gens dies he is buried in moccasins 
made of deer skin. 

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

Some say that 'A"-wega°(j;a is the head of those who join in the wor- 
ship of the thunder, but his younger brother, Qaga-ma"f i", being a more 
active man, is allowed to have the custody of the Ing^a"^e and the 
Iiig(fa"haiigac'a. J. La Fleche and Two Crows said that this might be 
so; but they did not know about it. Nor could they or my other in- 
formants tell the meaning of Iug^a''^6 and Iiig^a''haiigac'a. Perhaps 
they refer either to the wild-cat (iQg(J;aiiga), or to the thunder (i5gi|;a°). 
Compare the Ictasanda "keepers of the claws of a wild-cat." 
3 ElH — 15 


§22. The sacred tent. — Tlie sacred teut 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(f,a"ti used to be the keeper of it, but be has resigned 
tbe charge of it to the ex-chief, Mabi" ^■iQge. 

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 wacfixabe, 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 !}ihaba 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 4ihaba 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 car- 
ried 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'aji sub-gens of the (|)atada. (See § 45, etc.) 

§ 23. Service of the scouts. — "When a man walks in dread of some un- 
seen danger, or when there was au alarm in the camp, a crier went 
around the tribal circle, saying, "Maja"' i(f;6gasanga t6 wi 4^i"he-f !" I 
who move am he icho xoill know irhat 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 po- 
licemen, 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 encouuteriug the foe, and sometimes they v. ere obliged 

DoiisEY) THE ELK GENS. 227 

to flee to reach home. This service of the young men was considered 
as equivalent to going on the war path. 

§ 2i. 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 re- 
moving 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 Flfeche 
and Two Crows do not know the formula, but they said that the follow- 
ing one, given me by a member of the Ponka Hisada (Wasabe-hit'aji) 
gens, may be correct. The thunder god is thus addressed by the Pon- 
kas : " Well, venerable man, by your striking (with your club) you are 
frightening us, your grandchildren, who are here. Depart on high. 
According to jj^^i"na°p6ji, one of the Wasabe-hit'ajl, 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 Fl^che 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 iuvoked by war chiefs, those war chiefs are 
not always members of this gens, but when the warriors return, the 
keejier 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 Soit 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 (t. e., those of a grown elk in 

Other proper names. — The following are the other nikie ^ names of 

3. Nikie names are those referring to a mythical ancestor, to some part of his body, 
to somo of his acts, or to some ancient rite which may have been established by him. 
Niliie names are of several kinds, (o.) The seven birth names for each sex. (6.) 
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 ex- 
isted 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. 


the Elk gens : Elk. Young Elk. Standing Elk. White Elk (near by). 
Big Elk. 'A^-wega^^a (meaning uncertain). B^a^-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 Eump (of an elk). Walking 
Full-grown Elk. (Elk) Walks, making long strides, swaying from side to 
side. Stumpy Tail (of an elk). Forked Horn (of a deer). Water-monster. 
The Brave Weji°cte (named after his gens). Woineti's names. — Female 
Elk. Tail Female. Black Moose (?) Female. Big Second-daughter (any 
gens can have it). Sacred Third-daughter (Elk and liike-sabg gentes). 
Iron-eyed Female (Elk and Haiiga gentes). Land Female (Elk and 
(fatada gentes). Moon that Is-traveling (Elk, liike-sabg, Haiiga, (fatada, 
and 2ia"ze gentes) ; Na°-ze-i"-ze, meaning uncertain (Elk, (patada, and 
Deer gentes). Ninda-wi° (Elk, (fatada, and Ictasanda gentes). Names 
of ridicule. — Dog. Crazed by exposure to heat. Good Buffalo. 

§ 26. According to j,e-da-u(};iqaga, the chief A°pa"-}anga, 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 trans- 
mitted from a mythical ancestor. 

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


§28. This is a Bufl'alo 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 

For iustance, when, in any household, a child is named Wasabe-jiBga, that name can- 
not he given to any new-horn child oi' that geus. But when the first hearer of the name 
changes his name or dies, another hoy can receive the name Wasabe-jinga. As that 
is one of the seven hirth names of the Wasabe-hit'ajl it suggests a reason for having 
extra nikie names in the gens. This second kind of nikie names may have been hirth 
names, resorted to because the original birth names were already used. This law ap- 
plies 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 iguorance, the two girls must be distinguished by adding to their own names 
those of their respective fathers. 


(wlio died in 1SS2), and Duba-ma''iJ;i°, who "sat on oiii^osite sides of 
the gentile fire pi ace. ^' Gahige's predecessor was Gahige-jiiiga or Icka- 

C red t ion myth, tokl 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 Fl^che and Two Crows never heard 
this, and the following was new to them :) 

Mythical origin of the Iiike-sab6, as related by Gahige. — The liike- 
sab6 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 

§ 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 privi- 
leged decoration. Then the dying person was addressed thus : "You are 
going to the animals (the buffaloes). Tou are going to rejoin your ances- 
tors. (Ani;a dtibaha hn6. Wackaii'-ga, i.e.) Tou 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 Fltehe and Two Crows say that nothing is 
said about four souls, and that " Wackau-gS," is not said; but all the 
rest may be true. See § 35 for a similar custom.) The " hanga-iii'a°ze," 
or privileged decoration, referred to above and elsewhere in this mono- 
graph, 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 lij} and the 

§ 30. When the tribe went on the buflfalo hunt and could get skins 
for tents it was customary to decorate the outside of the principal liike- 
sabi5 tent, as follows, according to j^e-da-ucfiqaga : Three circles were 
painted, one on each side of the entrance to the tent, and one at the 
back, opposite the entrance. Insid e each of these was painted a buffalo- 
head. Above each circle was a pipe, ornamented with eagle feathers. 

Frank La Fl^che'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 
§§ 40 and 153.) 

A model of the principal j,e-da-it'aji 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. 

Ifilce-saM style of wearing the hair. — The smaller bo.vs have their hair 
cut in this style. A A, the horns of the buffalo, being two locks of 



hair about two inches long. 
It is about two inches lonsr. 

B is a fringe of hair all around the bead. 
The rest of the head is shaved bare. 

Fig. 14.— Frank La FK'che's sketch of the luke-sahe tent, as he saw it when he went on the huffalo 


§ 31. Siihgentes 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 Fl^che, that there were then three sub- 
gentes in existence, Wa(figije, Wata"'zi-iide (I'atitji, and Naq<f'^-it*abi'iji ; 
the fourth, or Ieki(j'&, having become extinct. 
Now (1882), La Fleche and Two Crows give the 
three subgentes as follows: 1. Wafigije; 2. 
Niniba t'a"; 3. (a part of 2) Ieki(('e. The second 
subgens is now called by them " >Yata"'zi-ji'de 
(f'ati'iji and Naq^e it'abaji." "j^a"(f'i"na"ba and 
Nagu or Wafanase are the only survivors of the 
real Niniba-t'a", Keepers of the Sacred Pipes." 
(Are not these the true Naqfeit'abajl, They 
who cannot touch charcoal? I. e., it is not their 
place to touch a fire-brand or the ashes left in 
the sacred pijies after they have been used.) 
" The Sacred Pipes were taken from the ances- 
tors of these two and were given into the charge of Ickadabi, the pater- 
nal grandfather of Gahige." Yet these men are stillcalled 2slniba-t'a°, 
while " Gahige belongs to the Wata^zi-jide (•ataji and Naqfe it'abaji, and 
he is one of those from whom the Ieki(j;6 could be selected." 


]5. — luke-sahS style 
wearing the hair. 




In 1878 La Fl^clie also gave the divisions and taboos of tlie Iuke-sab6 
as follows: "1. Niniba t'a° ; 2. Wata^zi-jide <fatajT; 3. j^e-h^sdbg 
it'^ji; 4. xe-^6ze^atdji;" but he did not state whetherthese were distinct 
subgentes. The j^e-he-sabiS it'ajl, Those who touch not black horns 
(of buffaloes), appear to be the same as the j,efeze ^ataji, i. e., the 
Wa^igije. The following is their camping order : In the tribal circle, 
the Wa^igije camp next to the Haiiga gens, of which the Wacabe people 
are the neighbors of the Wa^igije, having almost the same taboo. The 
other Ifjke-sabg people camji next to the Weji°cte 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 dooD 
and the others on the right. 

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

Gahige's subgens, the Wata°zi jide ^ataji, 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 iu his hand. 

The leki^e are, or were, the Criers, who went around the tribal ciicle 
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 be- 
stowed without regard to that, according to La Fl^che 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 

Fig. 16. — The Iflke-sabS GentUe Assembly. A. — 
The Wa^igije, or Waq\Sbe giixe ak4, under Duba- 
ma"iti°. B.— TheWata^zi-jide^atajI; the lekiiJS, 
and the Naq^-it'abajL These were under Gahige. 


'iown in the water or iiaws 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 Si-j{a°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 "Knobbj' 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 Gaqa^a-naji", explained by 
the clause, " :jeniigawi"dqtci, jug(^e <ping6, 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 hirth-names (see § 64), given by Gahige, are as follows : 
Qi(f-a-i"^ (meaning unknown to La Fl^che and Two Crows; word doubted 
by them). Eagle Neck. Waji°-hauga, He who leads in disposition. 
Ki°ka-:(afiga, the first bird heard in the spring when the grass comes 
up (the marbled god wit?). Bine Neck (denied by La Flfeche and Two 
Crows). Eabbit (La Fltehe and Two Crows said that this name be- 
longed to the Haiiga gens). Ash tree (doubted by La Fltehe and Two 
Crows). A birth-name of this series could be used instead of the cor- 
responding one of the gentile series, e. g., Gahige could have named 
his son, Uka^adig^a", either Sijia°-qega or Waji°-haiiga. There were 
similar series of birth-names for girls, but they have been forgotten. 

§ 33. Principal liike-sabS names. — I. Men. — (Buffalo that) Walks 
Last in the heard. (Buffalo) Euns Among (the people when chased by 
the hunters). Four (buffaloes) Walking. Black Tongue (of a buffalo). 
The Chief. Eeal 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 Eabbit. Eabbit (also in Haiiga 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) Eunning (with the sacred pipes 
during the Hede-watci). Skittish ButtaloCalf. Foremost White Buf- 
falo 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 fi-om the 
rest. He who makes one Stagger by pushing against him. He who 

'Probably Qiij-'a-hi", as the Osages have QUcta-hi", Eagle Feathers. 


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 Eed 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. Visi- 
ble one that has Eeturued, and is in a Horizontal attitude. Precious 
Buffalo Human-female. Buffalo Woman. 


§ 34. Hafiga 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 Haiiga people 
camp next to the Iuk6-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 
Haiiga people were buffaloes and dwelt beneath the water. When they 
were tliere 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 tirst birth-name, Niadi-icta-ugab^a. Emerging from the water, 
they lifted their heads and sa-sr the blue sky for the first time. So they 
assumed the name of 3;efa-gaxe, or " Clear sky makers." (La Fl^che, 
in 1879, doubted whether this was a genuine tradition of the gens ; and 
he said that the name Niadi-icta-ugab<j!a was not found in the Haiiga 
gens ; it was probably intended for Niadi-ctagabi. This referred to a 
buffalo that had fallen into mad and water, which had spoiled its flesh 
for food, so that men could use nothing but the hide. Two Crows said 
that Niatlictagabi was au 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 "hauga- 
j[i'a°ze." 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 walk- 
ing." (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, 
Ufuci-naji". 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 " wfiwaspe," having a share in the regulative system 



of the tribe, as they coutain two objects which have been regarded as 
" Wakanda ^ga"," partaking of the nature of deities. 

These objects are the sacred pole or " waqcf.exe," and the " !)e-sa'"-ha.'' 
The decoration of the outside of each sacred tent is as follows : A corn- 
stalk 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 103.) 

Tradition of the sacred pole. — The " waqcfexe," " ja"' waqiibe," or sa- 
cred pole, is very old, having been cut more than two hundred years 
ago, before the separation of the Omahas, Ponkas, and lowas. The 
Ponkas still claim a share in it, and have a tradition about it, which is 
denied by La Fleclie and Two Crows. The Poukas say that the tree 
from which the pole was cut was first found by a Ponka of the Hisada 
geus, and that in the race which ensued a Ponka of the Maka'' gens 
was the fii'st to reach the tree. The Omahas tell the following : 

At the first there were no chiefs in the gentes, and the jieople 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 re- 
ported 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 i)ole 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. it. — The sacred pole. 

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

E.— The aqande-pa or hi»-qpc-i(tiba", made of the down of the mi«xa (a swan. See the Ma'iiuka s^ix ) 

f- — The scalp, fastened to the top, whence the proper name, Nik'umi"je, Indian-man's (scalp) couch. 

Two Crows said that the pole rested on the scalp when it was in the 
lodge. The proper name, Mi"-wasa», referring to the mi°xasa" 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. Thougli a scalp is flisteued to the top, 
the pole has nothing to do with war. But when the Omahas encounter 
enemies, any brave man who gets a scalp may decide to present it to 
the sacred pole. The middle of the pole has swan's down wrapped 


around it, and the swan's down is covered with cotton-wood bark, over 
which is a piece of ^^ha (buffalo hide) about 18 inches square. All the 
^eha 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 cere- 
mony lest there should be a deep snow when they traveled on the next 

When Joseph La Fl^chelost 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 Wa- 
ka-'-ma"^-.!". (See § 295.) 

The other sacred tent, which is kept at present by Waka°-ma°^i", con- 
tains the sacred " •}e-sa'"-ha," the skin of a white buffalo cow, wrapped 
in a buffalo hide that is without hair. 

Joseph La Fl^che had two horses that ran away and knocked over 
the sacred tents of the Hauga gens. The two old men caught them and 
rubbed them all over with wild sage, saying to Frank La Fl6che, " If 
you let them do that again the buffaloes shall gore them." 

§ 37. Suhgentes 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 xe-sa°-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 some- 
times spoken of as being "Ja^'ha-a^i^ica"," Pertaining to the sacred 
cotton-wood bark, is the " Waq(fexe a^i°"' or the "Ja"' waqube a^i"'," 
Keepers of the Sacred Pole. When its members are described by their 
taboos, they are called the " x^ waqube ^at4ji," Those who do not eat 
the ":)a" or buffalo sides; and "Mioxa-sa" (|;at4jl" and "j;6ta° (|!at^ji," 
Those who do not eat geese, swans, and cranes. These can eat the 
the buffalo tongues. The second subgens, which is often referred to as 
being" xe-sa^'-ha-^^fica"," Pertaining to the sacred skin of the white 
buffalo cow, consists of the Wacdbe or Han'gaqti, the Eeal Hanga peo- 
ple. When reference is made to their taboo, they are called the " j^e- 
^6ze fatilji," as Ihey cannot eat buffalo tongues; but they are at liberty 
to eat the " ija," which the other Hauga cannot eat. In the tribal circle 
theWacabe people camp next to the luke-sabg gens; and the Waq(J;exe 
a^i" have the Qaj[a of the (f atada gens next to them, as he is their serv- 
ant and is counted as one of their kindred. But, in the gentile circle, 
the Waq^exe a^i° occupy the left side of the "council-fire," and the 
Wacabe sit on the opposite side. 

§38. Style of tcearing the hair. — The Hafiga style of wearing the hair 
is called " ^e-naii'ka-baxe," referring originally to the back of a buffalo. 
It is a crest of hair, about 2 inches long, standing erect, and exti-nd- 
ing from one ear to the other. The ends of the hair are a little below 
the ears. 


§ 39. Birthnames of boys, according to ja^i°-na''paji. The first is 
Niadi ctagabi ; tbe second, Ja°-gap'uje, referring to the Sacred Pole. 
It may be equivalent to the Daliota Tca°-kap'oja (Oag-kaiioza), mean- 
ing that it must be carried by one unincumbered with much baggage. 
The third is named Ma° peji, Bad Arrow, i. e., Sacred Arrow, because 
the arrow has grown black from age! (Two Crows gave this explaua- 
tioa. It is probable that the arrow is kept in or with the " ;e-sa°-ha.") 

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

§40. Principal Hanga names. I. Men. — (Buffalo) Makes a Dust by 
rolling. Smoked Yellow ("Yellow Smoke"). (Buffalo) Walks in a Crowd. 
He who makes no impression by Striking. Eeal HaQga. Short Horns 
(of a bufl'alo about two years old). (Bufl'alo 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 
"nide" by walking. Grizzly bear's Head. Standing Swan. He (a buf- 
falo ?) who is Standing. (Bufl'alo ?) That does not run. (Buffalo) That 
runs by the Shore of a Lake. Seven (bufl'alo bulls) In the Water. 
Pursuer of the attacking foe. Scalp Couch. Pointed Rump (of a buf- 
falo?). Artichoke. Buffalo Walks at Night. A Buffalo Bellows. Odor 
of Bufialo 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 Hu- 
man-female Buffalo in the distance. 


§41. This gen occupies the fourth place in the tribal circle, being be- 
tween the Hanga and the^a^ze. But, unlike the other geutes, its sub- 
gentes have separate camping areas. Were it not for the marriage law, 
we should say that the (patada was a phratry, and its subgentes were 
gentes. The present leaders of the gens are jedegahi of the Wajiiiga- 
^ataji and Cyu-jifiga of the Wasabehit'aji. When on the hunt the four 
subgentes pitch their tents ia the following order in the tribal circle : 
1. Wasabehit'aji; 3. Wajiiiga ifataji; 3. xe-da-it'aji; 4. 3;e-'i°. TheWa- 
sabe-hit'aji are related to the Haiiga on the one hand and to tbe Wa- 
jiiiga-^ataji on the other. The latter in turn, are related to the j^e-da- 
itaji; these are related to the 5[e-'i°; and the ^e-'i" and ^a^ze are re- 


§ 42. The name of this subgens is derived from three words : wasabe, 
a black bear ; ha, a sTcin ; and it'aji, not to touch ; meaning "Those who do 





not touch the skin of a black bear." The writer was tokl in 1879, tliat 
the uju, or principal man of this subgens, was Icta-duba, but La Fleche 
and Two Crows, in 1882, asserted that they never heard of au " 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 Agaba-wa- 
cuce, the father of jja((;i°-na"paji. Hupecfa'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 (repre- 
senting the different kinds of thunders "?) are the prints of bear's paws. 
This painting was not a uikie but the personal "qube" or sacred thing 
of the owner. The lower part of the tent was blackened with ashes or 

§ 44. *S7i//e of irearinfi the hair. — Four short locks are left on the liead, 
as in the following diagram. They are about 2 inches long. 

Birth-names of hoys. — ja(f-i"-na"paji gave 
the following : The fii'st son is called Young 
Black bear. The second. Black bear. The 
third. Four Eyes, including the ti'ue eyes aud 
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 Fleche 
said that this is a Ponka name, but the 
Omahas now have it.) The sixth, Nidaha", 
Progressing toward maturity {sic). The 
seventh, lie turns round and round suddenly 
(said of both kinds of bears). 

§ 4.5. Sections of the suhgens. — The Wasabe- 

,.,,.. , T -1 1- ^ i- ,■ Fig. 18.— Wasabe-hit'ajl style of 

hit'aji people are divided into sections, ja^i"- wearing th? hair. 

na»paji 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. Aud when a man kills 
a black bear he says, "I have killed a raccoon." The j'oung black bear 
is said to cry like a raccoon, hence the birth-name Mijia-xage. The 
writer is inclined to think that there is some foundation for these state- 
ments, though La Fleche and Two Crows seemed to doubt them. They 
gave but two divisions of the Wasabehit'aji ; 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'aji 
proper, and the Quj[a, *. c, the Raccoon people. 

When they meet as a subgens, they sit thus in their circle : The 
Wasabe-hit'ajl people sit on the right of the entrance, and the Qujja 
have their places ou the left. But in the tribal circle the Quj[a people 


camp uext to tbe Haiiga Keepers of the Sacred Pole, as the former are 
the servants of the Haiiga. The leader of the Qajja or Singers was 
himself the ouly one who acted as qiijia, when called on to serve the 
Haiiga. ja(|;i°na''paji's half-brother, Hupe^a, commonly styled x^-da- 
u^iqaga, used to be the leader. Since the Omahas have abandoned the 
hunt, to which this oflice pertained, no one has acted as qu5ia ; but if 
it were still in existence, the three brothers, Dangerous, Gihaji, and 
Ma°-^i'u-ke, are the only ones from whom the qujja could be chosen. 

Qujia men. — Dried Buffalo Skull. Dangerous. Gihaji. Black bear. 
Paws the Ground as he Reclines. Young (black bear) Runs. Mandan. 
Hupe^a. Laugher. Maqpiya-qaga. j^ailga-gaxe. Crow's Head. Gray 
Foot. J. La Flfeche said that Hupe^a, Laugher, Maqpiya-qaga, and 
j^aiiga-gaxe were servants of the Elk gens ; but ja^i°-na"paji, their 
fellow-gentile, jilaces them among the Quija. (See § 143.) 

In the tribal circle the Wasabe-hit'aji proper camp next to the 
Wajinga-^ataji. These Wasabe-hit'aji are the servants of the Elk peo- 
ple, whom they assist in the worship of the thunder-god. When this 
ceremony takes place there are a few of the Quj[a people who accom- 
pany the Wasabe-hit'aji and act as servants. These are probably the 
four men referred to above. Though all of the Wasabe-hit'aji proper 
are reckoned as servants of the Weji''cte, only two of them, <ja^i"- 
na°paji and Sidama°(fi°, take a prominent part in the ceremonies de- 
scribed in §§ 23, 24. Should these men die or refuse to act, other mem- 
bers of their Section must take their places. 

Wasabe-hit'aji men. — He who fears not the sight of a Pawnee. White 
Earth River. Four Eyes (of a black bear). Without Gall. Progress- 
ing toward maturity. Visible (object?). Gaxekatiifsa. 

Qu:;[a and Wasabe-hit'aji women. — Da°abi. Da^ama. Land Female. 
Mi"hupeg(J;e. Mi°-^a°i"ge. She who is Coming back in sight. Weta"ne. 
Wete wi°. 


§ 46. This name means, "They who do not eat (small) birds." They 
can eat wild turkeys, all birds of the mi^xa or goose genus, including 
ducks and cranes. When sick, they are allowed to eat prairie chickens. 
When members of this subgens go on the warpath, the only sacred 
things which they have are the g^eda" (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 Fl^che and Two Crows do 
not deny this; but they know nothing about it. 

Curious custom during harvest. — These Wajinga-^atajT call themselves 
" The Blackbird people." In harvest time, when the birds used to eat 
the corn, the men of this subgens proceeded thus: They took some 
corn, which they chewed and spit around over the field. They thought 


that such a procedure would deter the birds from making further inroads 
upon the crops. 

Wacka°-ma°(^i° of this subgens keeps one of the great wafixabe, or 
sacred bags, used when a warrior's word is doubted. (See § 190.) 

§ -1:7. Sections and subsections of the siibgens. — Wani;a-waqS of the 
j;,ada gens told me that the following were the divisions of the Wajinga- 
^ataji ; but La Flfeche and Two Crows deny it. It may be that these 
minor divisions no longer exist, or that they were not known to the two 

I. — Hawk people, under Standing Uawk. 

II. — Mang(J;iqta, or Blackbird people, under Waji°a-gahige. Sub- 
sections: (a) White heads. (&) Red heads, (c) Yellow 
heads, {d) Bed wings. 
III. — Maug^iqtaqude, 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, Maiigf iqta, Black- 
bird. 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 Flfeche). The sixth. Gray Hawk. The seventh. White 
Wings. This last is a Ponka name, according to La Fltehe and Two 

Wiijiiaga-^ataji 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 
Movnig 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 souud 
"Gh+ !" in thundering. Bird Chief. 

Wajiiiga-^atajT women. — (Female eagle) Is Moving On high. Moon in 
motion during the Day. Turning Moon Female. Mi°daca°-f i°. Mi°- 
tena. 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 liike-sabg gens, §§ 30, 32.) The writer was told 
that their uju or head man in 1879 was Maiige-zi. 

He who is the head of the Niniba t'a°. Keepers of a (Sacred) Pipe, has 
duties to perform whenever the chiefs assemble in council. (See Sacred 
Pipes, § IS.) 


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

§ 50. Birth names of boys. — The first was called Dried Eagle. ,^a^i°- 
na°paji said that this really meant " Dried buffalo skull ; " but La Fleche 
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 Stibgens. — Lion gave the following, which were 
doubted by La FIfeche and Two Crows. I. Keepers of the Pipe, or 
Workers, under Eaglet. II. Under The-Only-Hanga, are Pidaiga, Wa- 
djepa, and Ma°ze-guhe. III. Under Real Eagle are his son. Eagle makes 
a Crackling sound by alighting on a limb of a tree, Wasaapa, Gakie- 
ma°(jii°, and Tcaza-^iiige. 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 j,e-da-it'aji. 

THE hE-'I". UB turtle 8UBGEN8. 

§ 52. This subgens camps between the j^e-da-ifaji and the jja^ze, in 
the tribal circle. Its head man in 1879 was said to be j,enugaja°-^iuke. 
3[e'i° 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 oft' 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 Flfeche 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 j)ainted on the 
outside of the tents. (See the ISke-sab6 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 ihird, 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 

Sections of the subgens. — Lion gave the following as sections of the 
5je-'i°, though the statement was denied by La Flfeche and Two Crows. 
"The first section is Big Turtle, under jahe-^ad'6, in 1878. The sec- 


ond is Turtle that does not flee, under Cageska or i^istuma°(}'i°. The 
tbird is I'ed-breasted Turtle, under xeiiugaja"-(J;iDke. The fourth is 
Spotted Turtle with Eed Eyes, under Ehna"ju\vag^e." 

Turtle men. — Heat makes (a turtle) Emerge from the mud. (Turtle) 
Walks Backward. He Walks (or continues) Seeking something. An- 
cesiral 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 Eed Eyes. Young Turtle- 
carrier. Buzzard. He who Starts up a Turtle. 

One of the women is Egg Female. 


§ 54. The place of the 5[a°ze or Kansas gens is between the ^je-'i" and 
the Ma''^irikagaxe in the tribal circle. The bead man of the gens who 
was recognized as such in 1879 was Za°zi-mande. 

Taboo. — The ^^a^ze people cannot touch verdigris, which they call 
" wase-^u," green clay, or " wase-cju-qude," gray-green clay. 

Being Wind people, tbey flap their blankets to start a breeze which 
will drive oft' the musquitoes. 

Stibgentcn. — La Fltehe and Two Crows recognize but two of these: 
Keepers of a Pipe and Wind People. Tbey assign to the former 
jNIaja^bafi", Maja°-kide, &c., and to the latter Waji°-^icage, Za°zi 
inande, and their near kindred. But Lion said that there were foursub- 
gentes, and that Maja°ha^i° was the head man of the first, or Niniba 
t'a°, which has another name, Those who Make the Sacred tent. He 
gave Waji° ^-icage as the bead man of the Wind people, Za°zi-mandeas 
the head of the third subgens, and Maja°-kide of the fourth ; but lie 
could not give the exact order in which they sat in their gentile circle. 

A member of the gens told the writer that Foui- Peaks, whom Lion 
assigned to Za''zi-mand6's subgens, was the owner of the sacred tent : 
but he did not say to what sacred tent he referred. 

Some say that .Maja"l,a(f-i" wa< the keeper of the sacred pipe of bis 
gens till his death in 1879. Others, including Frank La Flfeche, say 
that Four Peaks was then, and still is, the keeper of the pipe. 

According to La Flfecbe and Two Crows, a member of this gens was 
chosen as crier when the brave young men were ordered to take part in 
the sham fight. (See § 152.) "This was Maja°ha (|;i"" {Frank La Fleche). 

§ 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. 
3 ETH— IC 


White Grizzly bear near at hand. He started sviddenly to his feet. 
Heartless. Chief. Four Peaks. Hair ou the legs (of a buffalo calf 
takes) a withered appearance. Swift Wind. Wind pulls to pieces. 
He Walks In the Wind. Buftalo that has become Lean again. Lies 
at the end. Young auimal Feeding with the herd. He who makes an 
object Fall to i»ieces 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 tack Gray. 


§ 56. This gens, which is the first of the Ictasanda gentes, camps next 
to the ga^ze, but on the opposite side of the road. 

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

The name Ma°^inka-gaxe means " the earth-lodge makers," but the 
members of this gens call themselves the Wolf (and Prairie Wolf) 

Tradition. — The principal uikie of the Ma"(J;inka-gaxe are the coyote, 
the wolf, and the sacred stones. La Fleche 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 Flfeche 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 an- 
cient days to be used for conjuring enemies. The Usage tradition men- 
tions 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 Fleche and Two Crows do not 
know this, but they say that it may be true. 

§ 57. Subgentes. — La Fleche and Two Crows gave but two of these: 
Keepers of the Pipe and Sacred Persons. This is evidently the classi- 
fication for marriage purposes, referred to in §78; and the writer is con- 
fident that La Fleche andTwo 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 (^auge-ska, the latter being the chief of the geus. Cange- 
ska said that there were three subgentes, as follows : 1. Qube (includ- 


ing the Wolf people?). 2. Mniba t'a°. 3. Mi^'xa-sa" wet'dji. Lion gave 
the following : 1. Mi' 5iasi (Coyote and Wolf people). 2. I'i"6 waqiibe, 
Keepers of the Sacred Stones. 3. Niniba t'a°. 4. Mi"'xa-sa" wet'dji. 
According to CaHge-ska, Qube was the name given to his part of the 
gens after the death of Black Bird ; therefore it is a modern name, not 
a hundred years old. But I°"6-waqube 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 jLaqie-tigiJ;e, 
whose predecessor was Hu-^agebe. CaQge-ska, of the second subgens, 
is the successor of his father, who bore the same name. Uckadaji is the 
rightful keeper of the Sacred Pipe, but as he is very old Ca"ta''jinga 
has superseded him, according to ja^i°-na"paji. Mi^xa-ska was the 
the head ot the Mi°xa-8a° wet'ajl, but Manga'aji has succeeded him. The 
name of this last subgens means '' Those who do not touch swans," 
but this is only a name, not a taboo, according to some of the Omahas. 

Among the Kansas Indians, the Ma°yinka-gaxe people used to include 
the Elk gens, and part of the latter is called, Mi^^xa unikaci°ga. Swan 
people. As these were originally a subgens of the Kansas Ma°yiuka- 
gaxe, it furnishes another reason for accepting the statement of Lion 
about the Omaha Mi°xasa°-wet'aji. 

§ 58. Birth-names of hoys. — (ja^i''-na''paji gave the following, but he 
did not know their exact order : He who Continues to Travel (denied 
by the La Fleche 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 sud- 
denly. 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 graz- 
ing with a herd. IL I"'ewaqube subgens. — White Horse. Ancestral 
Kansas. Thuuder-god. Village-maker. Brave Second-son. Black 
Bird {not Blackbird). Big Black bear. White Swan. Night Walker. 
He whom they Eeverence. Big Chief. Walking Stone. Red Stone. 
^ja^i°-na°paji said that the last two names were birth-names in this 
subgens. III. Niniba-t'a° sM&fire?Js. — He who Hushes into battle. Young 
Wolf. Saucy Chief. IV. Swan subgens. — He whom an Arrow Fails 
to wound. Willing to be employed. A member of this gens. Tailless 
Grizzly bear, has been with the Ponkas for many years. His name is 
not an Omaha name. 

Names of women. — Hawk-Female. New Hawk-Female. Miacte-cta°, 
or Miate-cta°. Mi°-mi;ega. Visible Moon. (Wolf) Stands erect. White 
Ponka in the distance. Ponka Female. She who is Ever Coming back 
Visible. Eagle Circling around. Wate wi°. 



§ 59. The x«?-sinde, or Buffalo-tail gens, camps between the Ma^cfiuka- 
gaxe and the j,a-da gentes in the tribal circle. Its present chief is 
Walia"-()-irige, son of Takunakicf'abi. 

Taboos. — The members of this gens cannot eat a calf while it is red, 
Iiut 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 heai^.—FranhLaFUcJie. (See §§ 31, 37, and 49.) They cnn- 
not eat the meat on the lowest rib, '}e(fi}-ucag^e, because the 1 ead of the 
calf before birth touches the mother near that rib. 

/Style of wearing the hair. — It is called " j^aihi"-miixa-gaxai," Mane 
marie muxa, i. e., to stand up and hang over a 
little on each side. La Fleche and Two Crows do 
not know this style. 

§ 60. Birth names of boys. — ja(J'i" iia"pajl was un- 
certain 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). (BuffaloCalf) Unable to Run. Little 
Fia. 19— xe-ainde stylo ouc (bufialo calf ) with rcddish-yellow hair. 

of weariuj; the hair. ^ -t, r. 7 _i -t-^ • a_i 

§ 01. ISitbgentes. — For marriage purposes, the gens 
is undivided, according to La Fleche and Two Crows; but they ad- 
mitted that there were at present two parts of the gens, one of which 
was Tlie 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 Fleche 
said that all of tlie jje-sinde had the sweet medicine, and that none were 
allowed to eat calves. 

§ 02. Names of men. — Wild Sage. Stands in a High and marshy place. 
Smoke Coming back Regularly. Big ax. (Buffalo) Bristling with Ar 
rows. Ancestral Feather. Orphan, or, (Buffalo bull) Raises a Dust by 
I'awing the Ground. Unable to run. (Body of a buffalo) iJivided 
with a kuife. Playful (?) or Skittish Buffalo. Little one with reddish- 
yellow hair. Dark Eyes. Lies Bottom u])wards. Stands on a Level. 
Young Buffalo bull. Raises his Tail in the air. Lover. Crow Neck 
lace. Big Mime. Buffalo Head. He who is to be blamed for evil. 

Names of women. — Mi"-akanda. Sacred Moon. White Buffalo-Fe- 
male in the distance. Walks in order to Seek (for something). 



§ G3. The place of tbis geus in the tribal circle is after that of the 
[£e-siiKle. The chief of the gens is Siude-xa°xa". 

Taboo. — The members of this gens cannot touch the skin of any ani- 
mal 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. 

Suhgenfes. — La Fleche and Two Crows recognized three divisions of 
the gens for marriage purposes, and said that the Keepers of the Sacred 
Pipe were " ujja"ha jiijga," a little apart from the rest. Wani;a-waqp, 
who is himself the keeper of the Sacred Pipe of this gens, gave four 
subgentes. These sat in the gentile circle in the following order: On 
the first or left side of the " fire-place" were the Niniba t'a°, Keeper.'^ of 
the Pipe, and Jiiiga-gahige's subgens. On the other side were the 
Thunder people and the real Deer people. The Keepers of the Pipe and 
Jiiigagahige's subgeus seem to form one of the three divisions recog- 
nized by La Fleche. Wanija-waqe said that his own subgens were 
Ea;jle people, and that thej- had a special taboo, being forbidden to 
touch verdigris (see 3;a°ze gens), charcoal, and the skin of the wildcat. 
He said that tiie members of the second subgens could not touch char- 
coal, in addition to the general taboo of the gens. But La Flfeche and 
Two Crows said that none of the x^^a could touch charcoal. 

The head of the Niniba t'a" took the name Wanijawaqg, The Animal 
that excels others, or Lion, after a visit to the East ; but his real Omaha 
name is Disobedient. ja^i"-gahige is the head of the Thunder sub- 
gens, and Slnde-xa^xa", of the Deer subgeus. 

§ 64. Birth-names for boys. — Lion said that the following were some 
of the Eagle birth-names of his subgens (see luke-sabg birth-names, 
§32): The thunder-god makes the sound "4ide"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 some- 
thing (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 Puck. Horns like pha- 
langes. Deer Paws the Ground, making pajallel or diverging indenta- 
tions. Deer in the distance Shows its Tail White Suddenly. Little 
Hoof of a deer. Dark Chin of a deer. 

§ Co. Ceremony on the Jifth day after a birth. — According to Lion, there 
is a peculiar ceremony observed iu 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 subgeus 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 gen- 
tile circle and the privileged decoration is made on the face of the child 


with "wase-jidenika," 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 aiv 
rubbed stripes as long as a hand on the arms and chest of the infant. 
All the x^tl*! people, even the servants, decorate themselves. Eubbing 
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 sub- 
gens, and those persons in the other subgentes who are related to the 
infant's father through the calumet dance, are the only ones who are 
allowed to use the privileged decoration, and to wear hi°qpe (down) in 
their hair. If the infant belongs to the Pipe subgens, charcoal, verdi- 
gris, 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 tiiis you must 
not touch." The verdigris symbolizes the blue sky. 

La Fleche 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.' He puts the spots on the child, 
and gives it its name ; but there is no breech-cloth. 

§ C6. Names of men. I. Pipe subgens. — Chief that Watches over some- 
thing. 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, mak- 
ing the sound " stapi." Pawnee Temi)ter, 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 
Fleche). Heart Bone (of a deer; some say it refers to the thunder; J. 
La Fleche says that it has been recently brought from the Kansas). 
Fawn gives a sudden cry. Small Hoofs. Dark Chin. Forked Horns. 
(Deer) Lea^js 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 

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. WhiteTail. Daz 
zles 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, 

"^Tliis agrees substantially with the Osage custom. 


Black Hair on a buck's Abdomen. Two Buffalo bulls. Eed Leaf (a 
Dakota name). Black Crow. Weasel. Young Elk. Paw- 
nee Chief. 

. IV. Deer subgens. — (Deer's) Tail shows red, now and then, in the dis- 
tance. While-horned animal Walking Kear by White Neck. Tail 
Shows White Suddenly in the distance. (Deer) Stands Eed. (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 iinimal. 
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 servanf in his gens at pres- 
ent. 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 Flfeche and Two Crows said that there were no serv- 
ants of this sort in any of the gentes. 

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

N^nmes of teamen in the gens. — Eona-maha. Habitual-Hawk Female. 
Hawk Female. Precious Hawk Female. Horn used for cutting or 
chopping (?). Ax Female. Moon-Hawk Female. Moon that is Fly- 
ing. Moon that Is moving On high. Na°z6i°ze. 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 ex- 
crement became red". (They must have eaten buffalo berries, not wild 
cherries. La Fleche.) A°ba-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 Iug(J;ejide men give the following 
explanation: " x^jinga Idai t6di, iiag(fe zi-jide ^ga°": i. e., "When a 
buffalo calf is born, its dung is a yellowish red." 

The place of the lug^e-jide in the tribal circle is next to that of the 
j,a-da. Their head man is He-musnade. 


Taboo. — They do uoteat a buffalocalf. (See xe siude gens.) It appears 
that the two Ictasauda buffalo gentes are buffalo calf geutes, aud that 
the two Hangaceuu buffalo gentes are connected with the grown buffalo. 

Decoration of sldn tents. — This consists of a circle painted on each side 
of the entrance, withiu which is sketched the body of a buffalo calf, 
visible from the flanks up. A similar sketch is made on the back of the 

§ 68. Birth names of boys. — These are as follows, but tlieir exact order 
has not been gained : Buffalo calf. Seeks its Mother. Stands at the 
End. Horn Erect with the sharp end toward the spectator. Buffalo 
(calf ?) Rolls over. Made dark by heat very suddenly. Ma°zeda", mean- 
ing unknown. 

Subf/cntes. — Theliig^ejidearenotdividedfor marriage purposes. Lion, 
however, gave four subgentes; but he could not give the names and ta- 
boos. He said that Eorn 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 fouith. 

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

Names of women. — Moou-Hawk Female. Moon Horn Female. (Buf- 
faloes) Make the ground Striped as they run. Walks, seeking her o^ n. 


§09. The meaning of " Ictasauda" is uncertain; though Say was told 
by Dougherty that it signifies "gray eyes." It probably has some ref- 
erence to the effect of lightning on the eyes. The place of the Ictasanda 
is at the end of the tribal circle, after the IQg^e-jide, and opposite to the 
Weji"cte. The head of the gens is Ibaha"bi, sou of Wanujiige, and 
grandson of Wacka"hi. 

Taboo. — The Ictasauda people do not touch worms, snakes, toads, 
frogs, or any other kinds of reptiles. Hence they are sometimes called 
the " Wagcficka nlkaci°'ga," or Eeptile people. But there are occasions 
when they seem to violate this custom. If worms trouble the corn af 
ter it has beeu 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, Lhiuking that the corn will 
not be troubled again— at least for the remainder of that season. 

§ 10. Birth names of boys. — Ibaha»bi said that the first son was called 


Gangig(febiia", wliicli probably lefei's to tLuudei' tbat Is passing by. The 
secoud is, The Thmidei-god is Eoaring as he Stauds. The third, Big 
Shoulder. The fourth, Walking Forkedlightuiug. The tifth, The thuu- 
der-god Walks Eoariug. The sixth, Sheetlightniug Makes a Glare in- 
side the Lodge. The seventh, The Thunder-god that Walks After others 
at the close of a storin. 

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 Eoars. 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 dif- 
ferent places. 

§71. iSubgentes. — For marriage purposes the gens is divided into 
three parts, according to La Flfeche and Two Crows. I. Niniba-t'a", 
Keepers of the Pipe, and Real Ictasanda, of which j^e-ujia°ha, gawaha, 
Waji"-a"ba, and Si (fedejiSga are the only survivors. II. Waceta°, or 
Eeptile people, under Ibaha"bi. III. Ing((!a°, Thunder people, among who 
are Di(|;a"be-a"sa and Wanace-jiiiga. 

Lion divided the gens into four parts. I. Niniba-t'a°, under j,e-uiia"ha. 
II. Real Ictasanda people, under VVaji''-a"ba. III. Waceta" (referring 
to the tliunder, according to Lion, but denied by Two Crows), Eeptile 
people, under Ibaha"bi. 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, i)utting them on the left side. IV. The Eeal Thunder 
people are called. Those who do not touch the Clam shell, or, Keei)ers of 
the Clam shell, or, Keepers of tjie Clam shell and the Tooth of a Black 
bear. These bind a clam shell to the waist of a child belonging to this 
subgeus, when he is forward in learning to walk. (See §§ 24, 43, 45, 
and 63.) 

At the time that Wauija waqg gave this information, March, 1880, he 
said that there were but two men left in theNinibat'a", j^eujia^ha, and 
5jawaha. Now it iipjiears that they have united with Waji"a"ba and 
Si(j;ede-jiiiga, the survivors of the Ictasandaqti. j^e uj(a"ha, being the 
keeper of the Ictasanda sacred pipe, holds what was a very important 
offlce, that of being the i)ersou who has the right to fill the sacred pipes 
for the chiefs. (See §§ 17 and 18.) j^eu5|a'^h,i does not, however, 
know the sacred words used on such occasions, as his lather, Mahi"zi, 
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 
tilled 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 vil- 


lage, sayings, " You who wish to have your children's hair cut bring 
them." Then the father, or else tbe mother, would take the child, with 
a pair of good moccasins for the child to put on, also a present for the 
keei)er oi'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 eacli 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 bufi'alo liide. Then the old man put the little moccasirs on the 
child, who had not worn any previously, and after turning him around 
four times he mldre.ssed him thus : " j^ucpaha, Wakan'da f.a'^^i^6-de 
i[&ci ma"(Jnri'ka si d^ag^6 tat6 — Grandchild, may Wal:anda pity you, and 
may your feet rest for a long time on the ground!" Another form of the 
address was this : " Wakan'da (fa'efi^e tat^ ! Ma°(fiii'ka si a(fag^e tat^. 
Giidihega" hnd tat6 ! — May WaJ^anda pity you ! May your feet tread the 
ground! May you go ahead (?. e., may you live hereafter)!" At the 
conclusion of the ceremony tlie parent took the child home, and on 
arriving there the f;ither cut off the rest of the child's hair, according to 
the style of the gens. La Fleche 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 
writf r has not been able to ascertain whether this referred to any par- 
ticiilar gens, as the Ictasanda or to the whole tribe. " It is the duty of 
Waji^-a^ba, of the Real Ictasanda, to cut the children's hair. The 
Keepers of the Tipe and the Real Ictasanda were distinct subgentes, 
each having special duties." (Frank La Fleche.) 

§ 72. Names of men. — j^e-ui[a°ha (Sentinel Buffalo Apart from the 
herd) and his brother, g^^alja, are the only survivors of the Keepers of 
the Pipe. Haiig;i-cenu and Mahi°-zi (Yellow Rock) are dead. 

II. Reallctasanda people. — Waji°-a"ba 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. 

HI. Waceta" 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 Nebras- 
ka). 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-jifiga (Small Reptile?) 


Wace-ta" (Standing Eeptilel) Wace-ta^-jifiga (Small Standing Rep- 
tile?). (Snake) Makes himself Round. Sheet-lightning Flashes Sud- 
denly. Forked lightning Walks. Thuudermakes he sound "z-f!" Black 
cloud in the liorizon. Walks during the Night. White Disposition 
(or, Sensible), fcjoio of the foot. He got the better of the Lodges (of 
the foe by stealing their horses). Ibaha°bi (He is Known) gave the 
following as names of Ictasanda men, but J. La Fl^che and Two Crows 
doubt them. Large Spotted Snake. (Snake) Makes (a frog) Cry out (by 
biting him)."= Small Snake.'' (Snake) Lies Stiff. Big Mouth. Black 
Rattlesnake. (Snake that) Puffs up itself. 

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

Names of women. — Da"ama. 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.' 

^These names are found in the corresponding Ponka gens, the Wajaje or Osage, a 
rei>ti]e gens. 

' 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, Oraahas, Ponkas, Osages, Kansas, and Kwapas, for which con- 
siderable material has been collected. 



§ 73. Joseph La Fleche and Two Crows recognize four classes of kin- 
ship : 

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 aihuities of the consort, as well 
as those of the son's wife or daughter's husband. 

3. Weawa" 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. </., the Weji°cte and 
IDke sabe gentes are related ; and the Weji"cte man whose tent is at the 
end of his gentile area in the tribal circle is considered as a very near 
kinsman by the luke-sabg man whose tent is next to his. In like manner, 
the Iiike-sabB Wa^igije man who camps next to the Hanga gens is a brother 
of his nearest HaDga neighbor. The last man in the Haiiga area is the 
brother of the first ^atada (Wasabe-hit'aji), who acts as Qusja for the 
Hanga. The last (|)atada ^e'i" man is brother of the first g^a^ze man, 
and so on around the circle. 

Two other classes of relationship were given to the writer by mem- 
bers of ttiree tribes, Omahas, Ponkas, and Missouris, but Joseph La 
Fleche and Two Crows never heard of them. The writer gives author- 
ities for each statement. 

5. Nikie kinship. "Nikie" means ''Something handed down fjom 
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 Omah.i Weji°cte or Elk gens, told the 
writer tliat he was related to the Krinsas Elk gens, and that a Weji"cte 
man called a Kansas Elk man "My younger brother," the Kansas man 
calling the Weji"cte " My elder brother." 

Icta(|;abi, an liike sab6, and Ckdtce-yin'e, of the Missouri tribe, said 
that the Omaha Weji"cte calls the Oto Hotatci (Elk gens) "Elder 
brother." But Big Elk did not know about this. He said, however, 
that his gens was related to the Ponka ]Srij[adaona, a deer and elk gens. 

Ix;ta((;abi said that Omaha Iiike-sab6, his own gens, calls the Ponka 
(pixida "Grandchild"; but others say that this is owing to intermar- 
riage. Icta(fabi also said that Inke-sabe calls the Ponka Wajaje " El- 
der brother" ; but some say t'.iat this is owing to intermarriage. Gahige, 




i EGO, a male. 

A Fatber group. I"(ladi, my father. 
(-^ Mother group. I'lua^Iia, m\j mother. 

n Grandfather groap. WUigu" my grandfather. 
c/j Graudinother {»roiip. Wii^a", my grandmother. 

C Son group. Wijifige, my son. 
C^ Daughter group. Wijange, my dauphUr. 
)_/J^ Graudchitd group. Wijucpa. my grandchild. N. B — D denotes a graud- 
8on, and .(y/, a granddaughter. 
E Ehler brother group. \ViJi"f.e, my elder hrothi r. 
V Younger IiiothiM' grnup. Wisauga, my younger brother. 

^—^^^^ Sister group. Wijange, my sister. This term is also used by EGO, a 
female, for "My younger sister"; but EGO, a male, does not distin- 
guish between elder sister (O ) and younger Biater(ci« ). 
G Sister's son group. Wi|a"cka, my sis/e/s son. 
j^ Sister's daughter group. Wijija", my sister's daughter. 
H Mother's brother group. Wiiiegi, my mo/Aw's brother. 
^^^ Father's eUter group. Wi^imi, my father's sifter. 

Aftiuity groups in this part of the plate : 
a Wile's brother or sister's husband group. Wijaha", my brother-in-latv. 
^ Wife's ^i8■cr or brother's wife group. Wihanga, my poleiitial wife, 
c Son's wife group. Wi^iui, my son^a wife. 
d Daughter's husband group. Wijaude, viy daaghltr^s hmhavd. 


i KOO, a female. A. C;/, B, q^, C, ^ D. 0, 

E Elder brother group. Wijiuu, viy elder brother. 
E Elder sister group. Wija"^^e, my tlder sister. 
^tJ5( Yomigcr histev group. Wiiauge, viy yoitvgcr aiater. 
I Brother's sou group. Wi^ucka, my brother^s son. 

F, II, and 


(-^ Brother's daughter group. VVi4UJauge, my brolhrr^H daiiyhlvr. 

Affinity groups iu this part of the plate : 
See above for explanation of ^ and d. 
e Husband's brother group. Wici'e, my potential husband. 
/ Ilusbatid's Mister group. Wiciy^a", my husband's si^ta: 



of the Iiike-sabg gens, calls Standing Grizzly bear of the Pouka Wajaje 
his grandchikl ; and Standing Buffalo, of the same gens, his son. So 
Ictacfabi's statement was incorrect. 

Icta^abi and Ckatce-yiiie said that Inke-sabS calls the Oto Ariiqwa, 
or Buffalo gens, " Grandfather ; " and that the Oto Eutce or Pigeon gens 
is called " Grandchild" by liikesabi?. 

Some said that the Omaha Wasabe-hit'aji called the Ponka Wasabe hi- 
t'aji "Grandchild"; batjj4^i°-na°p^ji, of the Omaha Wasabe-hit'aji, said 
tliat his subgens called the Ponka Wasabe-hit'aji "Younger brother"; 
and (pixida and Wajaje "Grandfather." Hui)e(f;a, another member of the 
Omaha Wasabe-hit'aji, said that Ubiska of the Pouka Wasabe hit'aji was 
his son ; Ubiska's father, his elder brother (by marriage); and Ubiska'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 Wajinga-(};ataji said that he called Ke5[re5e, 
of the Oto Tuna"'p'i° gens, his son ; the Ponka Wasabe-hit'aji, his elder 
brother; the Kansas Wasabe and Mi^a, his fathers; the Kansas Eagle 
people, his fathers; theKansasTurtle people, hiselder brothers; the Oto 
Eiitce (Pigeon people), his fathers; the Oto MakAtce (Owl people), his 
sisters' sons; and the Winnebago Ho^tc (Black bear people), his fathers. 

Omaha i\Ia''(fiiika-gaxe calls Yankton-Dakota Tcaxii, " Sister's sons," 
but Tcaii'kut^, Iha-isd^ye, Watc^u°pa, and lkmu°', are "Grandsons." 

jQa-da calls Oto j^o6xita (Eagle people) "Grandchildren"; and Ponka 
Hisada " Grandfathers." 

Icta^abi said that Ictasanda called Ponka Maka"' "Mother's brother"; 
but Ibaha"bi, of the Ictasauda gens, denied it. Ibaha'^bi 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 ihan himself, and " My younger brother," if the latter were 
Ibaha"lii's junior. Besides, Ibaha"bi takes, for example, the place of 
Standing Bear of the Ponka Wajaje ; and whatever relationshii> Stand- 
ing Bear sustains to the Hisadii, (|)ixida, Nikadaona, etc., is also sustained 
to the members of each gens by Ibaha"bi. 

G. Sacred Pipe kinship. Gahige, of the Omaha lnke-sab6, said that 
all who had sacred pipes called one another " Friend." Ponka Wacabe 
and Omaha luke-sabe speak to each other thus. But Joseph La Fleche 
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 afiBnities are ad- 
dressed 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. Eoman let- 
ters denote males and script letters females. Some necessary excep- 
tions to these rules are shown in the Legends. 


§ 75. Peculiarities of the Charta. — The most remote ancestors are called 
graudfathers and grandmothers, and the most remote descendant is ad- 
dressed or spoken of as a grandchild. 

My brother's children (male speaking) are my children, because their 
mother {(^) can become my wife on the death of their father. My 
brother's son (I) and daughter (^), female speaking, are my nephews 
and nieces. A man calls his sister's children his uejAews and nieces (G 
and ^^ ), 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. orf. sp.) 
is my mother's brother (H), because his sister (^3;^ ) can be my father's 
wife. The son of an " H " is always an " H " and his sisters and daugh- 
ters are always ",^;;;^'s." The children of (^^''^ 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 ((^or (^^), and their children are my sister's children (G 
and '-^^^ "). 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 grand- 
mother, so her brother is my grandfather. 

§ 70. IJ'rom 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 

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 ot my fathers or mothers, or 
whom my fathers or mothers call their fathers' sisters. 

T, a male, call all males my sons who are the sons of my brothers or 
of my potential wives, and the sisters of those sous 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 sis- 
ter's children are my children as their father is my potential or actual 
liusband. 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 grand- 
children 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 


AN-NUAL hefort 1882 PL. xxxm 




, . _ , /1\ A A A 

a^ C4 Df D§ a (I i4 B c \C (n-d d § C S C £ B(J a 4 a^ Cif. 



§J) D 

-c w iiji iw B 



Affinities of f EGO, a male: 
^ Wiyaijil-a", TTif/ Tcf/f. 

a Wife's brother {ironp. Wijalia". my ivift's brother, 
■fi Wife's Bister group. Wibau'ga, vii/ potential w'ift'. 

Tbongli "My wife's niotbcr's si&ter's biisbantl" is wijiga", my grand- 
father (see B"). that term, as api)li<'il to bim, is seemiugly without rea- 
son.— Joseph La I'LfeCHE. 

The husband <if my wife's aisler (/^ ) is not always my consaugninity, 
but if be is a kiusman, I call him my elder (E) or younger (F) brother. 
Affinities of i EOO, a female: 
% Wieg^ange, mi/ huabaml. 

e Husband's brother group. Wici'e. my potential husband. 
/ lIuBbaud'a sister group. Wicfi[a", my hmhand^s 8ieter. 

The wife of "e" is my sister (wija"^e or wi jange), my father's sister 
(wijimi), or my brother's daughter (wiiujafige). if related to Ego, a 
female. This kinship will be expressed by E, \^. C/r, or Os ac- 
coiiliug to circumstances. Bee ^ in the chart. 

Affinities common t(t both sexes: 

B Giandfather group. Wiiig"". "'.'/ graiul/nlher. 

<^/J GrutHlnmtbcr group. Wij[a", my granOmother. 

r SoTi's wife group. Wi|iui, my «ow's wife. 

d Daughter's husband group. Wijande, in y (hi ugh ter's husband. 

C Son group. Wijinge. my eon. 

Sp Daughter group. Wijafige my daughter. 

D — ^^ Grandchild group. Wi^ucpa, my gratidvhUd {D, \( nisi]e] (^ . if female). 



or real busbands of my sisters; and tliey are uiy potential husbands, 
when Ego is a female. 


§ 77. Any female is the potential wife of Ego, a male, whom my own 
wife calls her ija'><fe (E), itauge (c^), itimi {^^ ), or itujange {3/). 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-ill law who is my sister's husband (a). But while my sis- 
ter'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 1 if my daugh' er (C^), my 
niece {j^ or ^ ), or of my grandchild (/^ ), and his father is my son- 

When I, a male, or female, call my daughter-in-law's father my grand- 
father, 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 afiflnity 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 
sou, nephew, or grandson). The corresponding female afiflnity is my 
grandmother (or mother-in-law). 


§ 78. A man must marry outside of his gens. Two Crows, of the Haiiga 
gens, married a Weji"cte woman ; his father married a j^e-siude woman; 
his paternal grandfathei', a Hanga man, man-ied a Wasabe-hit'aji wo- 
man ; and his maternal grandfather, a xe-sinde man, married a x^da- 
it'aji woman. His son, Gai°'-baji, a Haiiga, married an liiliesabfi wo- 
man ; and his daughter, a Haiiga, married Qi(J;ii-gah]ge, a x^"da man. 
Caa"', a brother of Two Crows, and a Haiiga, married a x^da woman, a 
daughter of the chief Sin'tlc-xa^'xa". Another brother, Mi°x4-ta°, also 
a Hanga, married a ^a°ze woman. 

Joseph La Flfeche's mother was a Ponka Wasabe-hit'aji woman; hence 
he belongs to that Ponka gens. His maternal grandfather, a Ponka 


Wasabe-bit'iiji, married a Ponka Wajaje womau. Her father, a Waja je, 
married a Poiilia JIaka" woman. 

Two Crows, being- a Hauga, cannot marry a Haiiga woman, nor can 
lie m.irry a j^e-sinde woman, as tbey are all his kindred through his 
mother. He cannot marry women belonging to the Wasabehit'aji and 
xe-da-it'aji subgentes (" ujiig^asne") of the (patada gens, because his 
real grandmothers belonged to those subgentes. But he can marry 
women belonging to the other ^atada subgentes, the Wajingafataji 
and 5£*^^'i") '^'^ tbey are not his kindred. In like manner Jose])h La 
Fleche cannot marry a Ponka VVasabe-hit'aji woman, a Ponka Wajaje 
woman, or a Ponka Maka" woman. But he can marry an Omaha Wasa- 
be hit'aji woman, as she belongs to auother tribe. 

Gai"baji cannot marry women belonging to the following gentes: 
Hauga (his father's gens), Weji°cte (his mother's gens), ^e-sinde (his 
paternal grandmother's gens), Wasabehit'aji, and j^e-da-it'aji. 

Gai"-bajl's sou cannot marry auy women belonging to the following 
gentes : liike-sabe, Haiiga, Weji°cte, j^e-sinde, or that of the mother of 
his mother. Nor could he marry a Wasabehit'aji or j^e-da-it'aji wo- 
man, 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 aud 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 j,a-da for luke-sab6. 

Two Crows cannot marry any Inke-sab6 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 x* da wo- 
man belonging to the subgens of Qi^a-gahige, his son-iulaw, but he 
can marry any other xa-da woman. As his brother Caa°, had mar- 
ried a x^i-da womau of Siude-xa°xa"'s subgens. Two Crows has a right to 
marry any ^ada woman of her subgens who was her sister, father's 
sister, or brother's daughter. He has a similar privilege in the 5ia"ze 
geus, owing to the marriage of another brother, Mi°xa-ta". 

An Oaiaha Hauga man can marry a Kansas Haiiga woman, because 
she belongs to another tribe. A Ponka Wasabehit'aji man can marry 
an Omaha Wasabehit'aji woman, because she belongs to a different 


A man cannot marry any of the women of the geus of his father, as 
tbey arc his grandmothers, aunts, sisters, nieces, daughters, or grand- 
children. He cannot marry any woman of the subgens of his father's 
mother, tor the same leason; but he can marry any womau beh)nging 
to the other subgentes of his paternal grandmother's gens, as tbey are 
not his kindred. The wouien of the subgens of his paternal grand- 
mother's mother are also forbidden to him ; but those of the remainiug 
subgeutes of that gens can become his wives, provided they are such 


as have uot become his mothersin-law, daughters, or graudchiklreu. 
(See § 7, 120, etc.) 

A mau cauDot marry auy womeu of his motlier's geus, nor auy of his 
maternal grandmother's subgeus, 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 subgeus of 
the husband of his daughter, niece, or granddaughter. 

A mau cannot marry any of his female affinities who are his ij^a", be- 
cause they are the real or potential wives of his fathers-in law, or of 
the fathers-in-law of his sous, 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 in- 
cludes his wife's sister's daughter's daughter. 

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

He cannot marry his sister's husband's sister, for she is his ijuepa. 
He cannot marry his sister's husband's father's brother's daughter, as 
she is his i^ucpa ; nor can he marry her daughter or her brother's daugh- 
ter, for the same reason. He cannot marry his sister's husband's (broth- 
er's) daughter, as she is his sister's potential daughter, and he calls her 
his i^ija". 

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 i4iga° (including her consanguinities, her father- 
in-law, her brother's wife's brother, her brother's wife's father, her broth- 
er'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 i^ande. 


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 
ihaiiga, being the ija°(fe, i;auge, i^imi, or i:^ujaiige of his wife. And vice 
versa, any woman can marry a man who is the husband of her ija"(J;e, 
i^ange, i;imi, or ijujaiige. If a man has several kindred whom he calls 
his brothers, and his wile has several female relations who are his 
ihanga. the men and women can intermarry. 
3 ETH — 17 



Were it uot for the institution of subgeutes a mau would be com- 
pelled to marry outside of his tribe, as all the womeu would be his kin- 
dred, 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 thej- cannot intermarry. 


§ 79. A man takes the widow of bis real or jDotential brother in order 
to become the stepfather (i^adi jiflga, little father) of his bi'other's chil- 
dren. 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." 




§ SO. Age of puheriy 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 six- 
teen ; but those who are slow to mature marry when they reach seven- 
teen. (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 be- 
trothed in marriage from their infancy. * * * Between the ages 
of nine and twelve years the young wife is occasionally an invited visit- 
ant at the lodge of her husband, in order that she may become famil- 
iarized with his company and his bed." But such is not the case among 
the Omahas according to La Fl^che 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 daugh- 
ters 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 maiTied." 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 maj- ciirrj* 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 pur- 
pose are generally given bj' some old man who wishes to get a very 
young girl whom he is doubtful of winning. When a man courts the 



girl directly this is unnecessary. Then be gives what he pleases to her 
kindred, and sometimes they make presents to blm. 

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. Sucb a man gets 
his father to call four old men, by wbom he sends four horses to the 
lodge of the girl's father. If the latter consents and the girl be willing 
be consults his kindred, and sends bis 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 
bis son. When the girl is sent away by her parents she is plaied on one 
of che 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 ±hree years. 
Sometimes the girl pretends to be unwilling to marry him, just to try 
bis love, but at last she usually consents. 

Sometimes, when a youth sees a girl whom he loves, if she be willing, 
be says to her, " I will stand in that place. Please go thither at night." 
Then after her arrival be enjoys her, and subsequently asks her of her 
father in marriage. But it was different with a girl who bad been 
petulant, one who bad refused to listen to the suitor at first. He might 
be inclined to take his revenge. After lying with her-, be might say, 
"As you struck me and hurt me, 1 will not marry you. Though you 
think much of yourself, I despise you." Then would she be sent away 
without wiuuing him for her husband ; and it was customary for the 
man to make songs about her. lu these songs the woman's name was 
not mentioned unless she had been a " mi"ckeda," 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 bouse. 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 ; butsbewould 
take care not to let the wrong one catch her. La Pl^che and Two 
Crows nuuutain that this is not a regular Ponka custom, and they are 
sure that the girl (a widow) must have been a " mi^ckeda." 

§ 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 
bis 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 bis daughter!" 
They would ridicule him for his behavior. La Flfecbe 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 an- 
other 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 cap- 


tiiie could take place, as the womau would be sure to alarm her people 
by her cries. 

§ S3. Customs suisequent 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 life's parents the father calls his daughter's kindred 
to a feast and distributes the presents among them. By and by, per- 
haps 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 oT 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.^ 

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. Yon can then have her to aid you with your work." Should 
the first wife refuse the man cannot marry the other woman. Gener- 
ally no objection is ofl'ered, 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 man- 
age household affairs, and she controls the distribution of food, etc., 
giving to the other wives what she thinks they should receive. 

§ ."^5. 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 awhile to visit one of his other wives. But Dougherty was misin- 
formed 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. 

PolyaMry. — 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. 

§ SO. Permanence of marriage. — Amoni; the Santee Dakotas, where 
mother-right prevails {?), a wife's mother can take her from the husband 

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


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 
uuliiud 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 sijite of the warnings of 
her kindred, who have said to her, " He is maleficent; do not take hiiu 
for j'our husband." When such a woman repents, and wishes to aban- 
don her husband, her male kindred say to her, "Not so; still have him 
for your husband ; remain with him always." Thus do they ])uuish her 
for not having heeded their previous warnings. When they aie satis- 
fied with each other they always stay together ; but should either one 
turn out bad, the other one always wishes to abandon the unworthy 

"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 iiresent through whom he can inquire. 

lu 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 dosired 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 h.'sband 
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 tli:!l liis mother-in-law was 


seated there, he turDcd 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 
jierson enters a dwelling in which his sou-inlaw is seated, the latter 
turns his back, and avails himself of the first oi)i3ortunity 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 daugh- 
ter, 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." 
{Lortffs Expedition to the Roclty 2Iountains, Vol. I, pp. 253, 254.) The 
Dakotas have this custom and call it "wLstenkiyapi." 


§ 88 The woman, when she perceives that the catamenia does not 
recur at the expected period, begins to reckon her pregnancy from the 
last time that she "dwelt alone." As the months pass, she says. " Mi"' 
gdna b^i"'," 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. Coiivade, Foeticide, and Infanticide. — Couvade is not practiced 
among the (pegiha. Fceticide is uncommon. About twenty-two years 
ago. Standing Hawk's wife became enctiiife. He said to her, "It is bad 
for you to have a child. Kill it." She asked her mother for medicine. 
The mother made it, and gave it to her. The child was still-born. The 
daughter of Wacka"-ma°(f;i° used to be very dissolute, and whenever 
she was jiregnant she killed the child before birth. These are excep- 
tional cases ; for they are very fond of their children, and are anxious 
to have them. Infanticide is not known among them. 

§ 90. Accouchement. — The husband and his children go to another 
lodge, as no man must witness the birth. Only two or three old women 
attend to the patient. In some cases, if the patient be strong, she 
" takes" the child herself, but requires assistance subsequently. Should 
the woman continue in pain for two or three days without delivery, a 
doctor is sent for, and he comes with a medicine that is very bitter. 
He departs as soon as he has caused the patient to drink the medicine. 
There are about two or three Omahas who know this medicine, which 
is called Niaci^ga rnaka", Iluman-heing medicine. The writer saw one 


of these roots at the Kaw Agency, Indian Territory. It is used by 
the Kansas. The doctor never comes of his own accord. After hav- 
ing 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 Fl^cho said that the 
women do not tell about the cessation of the flow. Wlteu 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 her- 
self, whereas a son can take care of himself, as he is strong." Mr. Ham- 
ilton 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 uikie name. (See the account of the ceremony in the j^ada gens, 
when a child is four days old, § 05.) Sometimes it is put into the 
cradle or board in two or three days ; sometimes in about a week. 

Nnrsing. — 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: "Ster- 
ility, 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 Fl^che and 
Two Crows declared that there are many cases of barrenness. Chil- 
dren 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 mauj'. 



§ 92. Diseases of children. — Summer complaiut from teething is rare. 
Diarrhea, however, occurs frequently, even in cbihlren who walk, and 
when they are about four feet high. This may be accounted for as fol- 
lows: their mothers' milk or other food disagrees with them. Dough- 
erty 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 b3- soap suppositories. This is not the case now, accord- 
ing to La rierhe and Two Crows ; and the writer never heard of its 
prevalence when he resided among the Ponkasand Omahas. 

§ 93. Adoption of children. — The Omaha idea of adoption differs from 
ours. Amemberof the same gens, or one whoisa 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 hisson. A°pa°-ska, of the Weji°cte 
gens, gave his son, Bi°ze-tig^e, to his chief, Mahi^-^iuge, to be his son and 
servant. Mahi°^ii5ge having received his kinsman, the latter has be- 
come the keeper of the treaty between the United States and the Oma- 
has. This boy is about sixteen years of age. 

Omaha adoption is called " ci^gi^g," to take a person instead of onc^s 
oicn child. This is done when the adopted person resembles the de- 
ceased 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 Fltehe'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 inter- 
posed, being her uncle by adoption, and forbade her departure. (See 
§§ 118 and 1L>6.) 

§ 94. Glot'iing 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 buflalo 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, ac- 
cording 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, mocca- 
sins, and a small robe. 

§ 95. Uhild life. — The girl was kept in a state of subjection to her 
mother, whom she was obliged to help when the latter was at work. 
When she was four or five years old, she was taught to go for wood, 
etc. When she was about eight years of age, she learned how to make 
up a pack, and began to carry a small pack on her back. If she was 
disobedient, she received a blow on the head or back from the hand of 


her mother. As she grew older, she learned how to cut wood, to culti- 
vate 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 
libertj' allowed him ; and at an early age he was furnished with a bow 
and blunt arrows, with which he practiced shooting at marks, then at 
birds. He had his sports as well as the girl, though it was not usual 
for many boys and girls to play together. If a boy played with girls 
(probably with those who were not his sisters), the Ponkas referred to 
him as a " mi^quga" or hermaphrodite. Both sexes were fond of mak- 
ing houses in the mud, hence the verb, ^igaxe, to male lodges, to play 

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

When a boy was seven or eight years old he was expected .to un- 
dergo 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 pro- 
longed 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 Eiver. 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. 


§ 9G. The women had an equal standing in society, though their du- 
ties ditiered widely from what we imagine they should be. On cold 
days, when the husband knew that it was difiicult for the woman to 
pursue her usual occupations, he was accustomed to go with her to 
cut wood, and he used to assist her in carrying it home. But on 
warm days the woman used to go alone for the wood. The women 
used to dress the hides at home, or at the tent in which she was 
staying when the people were traveling. When a woman was strong 
she hoed the ground and planted the corn ; but if she was delicate or 


•weak, her husband was willing to help her by hoeing with her. The 
woman did the work which she thought was hers to do. She always 
did her work of her own accord. The husband had his share of the 
labor, for the man was not accustomed to lead an idle life. Before 
the introduction of fire-arms the man had to depend on his bow and 
arrows for killing the buftaloes, deer, etc., and hunting was no easy task. 
The Indian never hunted game for sport. 


§ 97. The sexual peculiarity was considered as " Wakan'da^a'^ica'^," 
pertaining to WaMnda. In the myth of the Eabbit and the Black 
Bears, Mactciuge, the Eabbit, threw a piece of the Bhick 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 house- 
hold, 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 di- 
ameter. 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 afiected can 
stay with her in the small lodge, if she knows the circumstances. Dur- 
ing 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 ob- 
solete. 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 F16che 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 aiter the death of her husband before marrying again. This was 
done to show the proper respect to his memory, and also to enable her 


to wean her infant, if she had one by him, before she became enceinte 
by her next husband. When a woman disregarded this cuistom 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 pe- 
riod, 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. Xow, if 
widows are ui der 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. 

§ 09. Stepmothers. — Some are kind, others are cruel. But in the lat- 
ter 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 kin- 
dred 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 sim- 
ilar 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 author- 
ity 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. JjfiqS, or Refugees. — They have no special rights, as such; but 
they share the privileges of the people with whom they dwell, and with 
whom they sometimes intermarry. Omahas have joined the Ponka 
tribe, as in the case of Ma°tcu-sinde-^iiige, and Ponkas have been in- 
corporated into the Omaha tribe, as in the cases of Jabe-skS, jenicka, 
and Mr. La Fleche himself. 

§ 103. Isinu. — An isinu 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 liusband or of the wife. He is also called a wama"he. 


Wama'^'he and Ama^he. — The owner of a lodge, whether a mau or a 
woman, is the ama°he, and the isinu is the wama"he, who has uo lodge 
of his own, and is obliged to ask for shelter of some one who is more 
favored than himself. While the wama°he 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 iu for the benetit 
of his host and the household. Sometimes the ama°he gives a skin 
teut to the wama°he, who then goes elsewhere, as he has a lodge of 
his own. 

Only those men are celibates who cannot get wives. There are uo 
single women, as the demand is greater than the supply. 


§ 104. Personal habits. — The Omahas generally bathe (hi(fa) 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 ilissouri 
Eiver and bathes, or else he rubs snow over his body. In winter the 
Omahas heat water in a kettle and wash themselves (ijig^ija). This oc- 
curs iu some cases every week, but when a person is prevented by much 
work it is practiced once in two or three weeks. There are some who 
are not so particular about washing. One chief, Wacka^-ma^cfi", was 
nickamed "The man who does not wash his hands,'' and his wife was 
styled " The woman who does not comb her hair." Wacka°-ma°^i" 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 specimeu, " qade-mi- 
qahe," 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 ob- 
served it. La Fl^che 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 iu 
the myths. Cedar twigs are still dropped on the hot stones to cause a 

§ 105. Politeness. — When friends or kindred have not met for about a 
mouth they say, ou meeting, "Hau! kag6ha," Ho! younger brother, 
" Hau ! uegiha," 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 childieu, 
especially when they have been separated for any time, or when they are 
about to part. When the chief. Standing Grizzly Bear, met Peter Pri- 
meau, Ma°tcu-hi-"qti,and Cahieifa at Niobrara in January, 1881, he em- 
braced them, and seemed to be very deeply affected. La Fl^che and 


Two Crows did not know about this custom, which may have beeu bor- 
rowed by the Pookas from the Dakotas. 

When persons attend feasts they extend their hands and return 
thanks to the giver. So also when they receive presents. When fiivors 
are asked, as when the chiefs and brave men interpose to prevent the slay- 
ing of a murderer, each extends a hand with the palm towards the would- 
be avengai's, or he may extend both hands, calling the people by kin- 
ship titles, with the hope of appeasing them. If a man receives a 
favor and does not manifest his gratitude, they exclaim, " Waj^-^iuge 
aha""!" — 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 bj^ name. When men return from war 
the old men, who act as criers, halloo and recount the deeds of each war- 
rior, 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 ihe latter, Na"be-fii[U, of the Wajaje gens, stopped at 
the house of Ma"tcu-4anga, who had distinguished himself in the fight. 
Na°be-^i5[U gave a yell, and after leaping a short distance from the 
ground, he struck the door of the house with the blunt end of the spear, 
exclaiming " Ma^tcu-ijanga, you are a Wajaje!" In making presents, 
as after returning from war, the donor can mention the name of the 

People never mention the names of their parents or elders, ot their 
i4iga'', ij[a", etc. A woman cannot mention her i^inu's name ; but if her 
isaiiga (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 bo 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 


gi ass and placed it on the ground, so that the woman might drink with- 
out soiling her dress. Such occurrences have been common. 

§ 106. RospUality. — 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-comei", 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 unin- 
vited 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 hus- 
band's permission. He replies, "Yes, do it." 

Here and there iu 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 iu 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 Fl^che. 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 iu the evening after they pitched the tents. 
But if they moved the camp early iu the morning, as in the summer, 
they had three meals — breakfast, before the camp was moved; dinner, 
when they camj)ed 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, 
thej' sometimes had three meals a day, if the days were long. They ate 
ja(dried buft'alo meat), (janujia (fresh meat), and wata^zi (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 iu water, and rubbed 
them dry with twisted grass. The trader's story in Long's Expedition to 


the Rocky Mountains, Vol. I, pp. 322, 323, if true, relates to some otber 

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

§ 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 bj' 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 (Jmahas. 

§ 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 "^abehi." 
One kind is called " na^'pa-^aii'ga ^jabe-hi," or "large cherry ^ab^hi'"; 
but the species of which the tea is made is the ^ab^-hi, which spreads out, 
resembling twigs. It grows on hills, and its large roots hinder the break- 
ing 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 lowas. 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 
oi a Pawnee, but this was evidently done for the purpose of winning a 
reputation for bravery." 

§ 111. Feasts.— See §§ 81, 83, 100. 119, 121, 130, 143, 151, 187-8, 195-G, 
217, 219, 240, 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 Haiiga. And whenever any im- 
portant matters, such as the ceremonies connected with planting corn, 
required deliberation, it was the duty of the Haiiga chief to prepare a 
feast and invite the chiefs and other guests. (See §§ IS, 130.) On or- 
dinary occasions, any one can have a feast. (See § 24(3.) Then the 
principal guest sits at the back of the lodge, opposite the door, on the 
right of which are the seats of the wagi|;a. the host's seat being on the 
left of the entrance. As the guests enter they pass to the left and 
aroitnd the circle, those coming taking seats next the wagfa, and 


the last ones aniviug fiuding 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 reputa- 
tion for generosity, and perhaps au election to the chieftainship ; also 
for social and other purposes. 

The Mandan feast.— Tha 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 com- 
ing, the last one who arrives is punished. He is compelled to eat a 
large quantity of food, G, 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 pan- 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 sec 
oud 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 someone 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 jjood humor. 
None but old men or those in the prime of life belong to this society." 

Sometnnes 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 warpath, 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 occui)y that 
part of the lod^e next to the door, having their beds on each side of it. 


(See § 106.) Cliildreu have their beds at the back of the lodge, opposite 
the eutrauce. When there are luauy childreu and few adults, the for- 
mer occupj' most of the circle. 

Eacli member of the household pushes the sticks of wood together 
("abada"") 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 d(jor 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 " wacuce,'' meaning also 
" to be brave." This is apparently the primary meaning, as a gener- 
ous man is addressed as one who does not fear poverty. He is re- 
garded as the equal of the man who fears no enemy. Generosity can- 
not be exercised toward kindred, who have a natural right to our as- 
sistance. All who wish to become great men are advised by their kin- 
dred to be kind to the poor and aged, and to invite guests to feasts. 
When one sees a i)Oor man or woman, he should make ijresents, such 
as goods or a horse, to the unfortunate being. Thus can be gain the 
good will of Wakauda, as well as that of his own people. When the 
Omahas had plenty of corn, and the Ponkasor 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 custom- 
ary among thesi' and ether 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 § L'92.) 

Prior to the advent of the white man, the Omahas had a custom, 
which was told the writer by Frank La Fltehe. When one man wished 
to favor another by enabling him to be generous, he gave him hoises, 
which the latter, in turn, gave away, entitling him to have his cars 
pierced as a token of his generosity. The act of the first man was 
known as " ni^a gibaq^uki^g," causing another man to hare his ears 

§ 11-t. 01(1 age. — Old age among the Omahas does not encounter all 
the difficulties related by Dougherty {Long, 1, pp. 25(3, 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 amuse- 
ment 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 


when their provisious gave out, they coukl gather the ears of com, aud 
procure some of the dried pumpkins and 4a (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 abaud n 
(waa-'fT) their aged people, lest Wakanda should punish them when they 
were away from home. They always placed them (ifa^'wafg) near their 
village, where thej- made their home during the winter. 

They do not grow gray early, though Mr. Hamilton saw some chil- 
dren that were gray. But gray hairs are of such rare occurrence tliat 
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 Ictasauda or Wajaje man should touch a 
snake or smell its odor. 

§ 115. Preparation for a journeij.— 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 bluli; and prays to Wakamfa to grant him a joyful aud 
stout heart as well as success. (See § 105.) 


§ lie. Medicines or fetiches talen along. — Some of tlie <|)eg'iba used to 
take tlieir respective mediciues with tbem, saying, " Our medicines are 
wise; they cau tallr like meu, and they tell us how many horseiS we are 
to receive from the peoi^le 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 villnge 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, Dako- 
tas. Pawnees, and other tribes act thus when they visit. 


§ IIS. The Calumet Dance. — The generic term is "wAwa"," in (pegiha, 
answering to the j^oi were " waya""' we" (the specific of which is " Aki wa"," 
j,oiwere, akiya"we), to dance the calumet dance for any particular per- 
son. But the word makes no reference to dancing or singing. It is 
equivalent to •' waqiibe eki(j;e," to mal:e a sacred Mnshij). He who wishes 
to confer this degree is called " wdwa° akA," 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 "awa"i akii," who becomes the adopted son of the 
other man. 

§ 110. The preliminary feast. — When a man contemplates adopting 
aiiotlier 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, 
"Wi'nvama" ka"'b^a. l^wi^'^ixi'dai-ga " — / icish to dance the calumet 
dance for some one ; look ye around for ?«fc' (and see who would be the 
projier object). But if he has already selected the person, he says to 
the chiefs, "^\wama" ka"'b(fa. I"(}'i"'wa"Ja'"bai-ga" — / wish to dance 
for him. (iee for me if lie is the proper one. Sometimes thej' reply, 
■'Let him alone! He is not the right one, as he is bad;" or, "Ni'aci"- 
ga (('i" jiiajl ha. Ji"'iiji. Akiwa^'jiga" — The man is bad. He is proud. 
Do i.ot dance for him. But should the chiefs give their api)roval, the 
man sends a messenger to tiie one whom he intends to honor, having 
intrusted to him a bufl'alo bladder containing tobacco, which is sent as 
a present. When the messenger reaches the place, and delivers his 
message, the awa"i aka calls his kindred together to lay the proposi- 





tion before them. Sometimes he says, " I am poor. Do not come." lu 
that case the messeuger returns home, and the dance does not take 
place. But if the awa"i aka approve, and his kindred give tlieir con- 
sent, he sends the messenger back with a favorable reply. In some 
instances, when one man has asked another to dance the calumet dance 
for him, the other one has replied, "Why should I dance it for you? 
Why should I give such a privilege to a bad man ? " 

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

§ 121. Description of the pipes, etc. — The fol- 
lowing is a description of the calumet pipes : 

In the place of a pipe-bowl each weawa" 
has the head and neck of a " mi"'xa dahi"-;u,'' 
or green-necked duck, xfext to this, on the 
upper side of the stem, are (yellowish ) feathers 
of the great owl, extending about six inches. 
Xext are long wing-feathei s 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 be- 
low the fur of the rabbit. This horsehair is 
attached in two otlier places, and tied in a 
similar manner. The three tufts are equi- 
distant, say, six inches apart. 'Sear the last 
tuft is the head of a wujin'ga-da, woodcock (?), 
the nose of which is white, and the head 
feathers are red. The bill is tui-ned towards 
the mouth-piece.^ 

The head of the duck is secured to the stem 
by the "ha-jide," which used to be made of 
deer or antelope skin, but since the coming of 

'-' Frank La Fleche said tliat be bad seen three beads of wajingada on one i)ii)e, aud 
that the number varied from one to sis. There was no part of the neck of the bird, 
aud the lower mandilile was removed. In this respect only the above figure does not 
represent the Omaha pipe. 

Fig. 20.— The 




Fig. 21— Eattles used in the Pipe dance. 

the white men a i^eceof red blauket or ludiaii cloth has been substituted. 
Xext to this are suspeuded the two " we^a " or eggs, which are two 
1ii"qpe, or plumes of the eagle. Bat the ludians compare them to the 
egg or to the eaglet iu the egg, to which the adopted child is also likened. 
The child is still immature; but by aud 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 '* maca" i^aze (-a"," made of deer or an- 
telope 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 whit-e, being those of a female eagle ; and the pipe-stem is dark blue. 

§ 122. There are two gourd 
rattles, one for each pipe. Each 
gourd is about tive inches iu 
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 strii)es 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 je-ncxe, 
or buftiUo 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, 
flue piece of the skin of a deer or antelope, arranged so as to be opened 
very easily aud with the ends dangling a little.'" 

§ 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 I'ough or shriveled. If grains are 
Fio.22-ThT^akota style of ^^ntiug ou oue row or sidc, the ear is rejected. 
omrha''3?n"therfpe dance'''' ^^^ ^he pcoplc Cat the coru, SO it is regarded as a 

mother. (See § 1C3.) 
These sticks are reddened with wase-jide nika, or Indian red. The 
longer stick, which is nearer the ]>ipes, is stuck about four inches into 
the ground, aud i)rqjects a few inches above the ear of corn. The 
other stick is fastened to the oi)posite 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 " jaha- 

'" Tills Is tlie regular Omaha style. The above figure shows the Dakota style. 
Oue of this kiiid was giveu to Frank La Flfeehe Ijy au Omaha to whom he had given 
a horse. 



fisa"'," which is wrapped around them all. Tliis fastening is made of 
the plaited or braided hair taken from the head of a buffalo. An eagle 
plnnie (hi"qpe) 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 

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

§ 12Jt. Feastimj 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 awa"i ama say to them, "Come, O fathers, sing 
ye." They do not sing over an hour, pei'haps 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 fur two days, during which time the visitors are feasted. 
Sometimes they continue the feasts for three days. 

Gifts btstoiced. — The day after the feasts, which is generally the third 


day, the principal visitor gives presents to his host, who collects all 
of the people of his village or tribe. He addresses the chiefs, saying, 
'• My father has bronght these things to me." Then he gives the pres- 
ents 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 witli 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 prin- 
cipal 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 ecpial 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 ijrincipal visitor 
has the right to distribute the horses among his party. 

§ 1-0. The dance. — The next day two of the servants of the principal 
visitor are selected to do the dancing. They must be men who are 
"cka"' fipi," i. e., skillful in imitating the movements and acts of the 
war eagle, its flying, etc. When it is windy a screen is set np, 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, 
" (p6 af awa"' te ha'," 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 
stnyiug. "When one of the men came to the house of Mr. La Fieclie 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 

Fig. 24. — Decoration of the child's face. 

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 hanga qi'a"ze, and a stripe down the nose." An eagle plume 

11. — The hange >[i'a"ze 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. 


or hi°qpe is placed in its hair. The child i-eceives 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 sa.vs to tiie child, 
" We give you a sacred thing. Do not have a bad heart. We make you 
sacred, we set you apart. We have I'eceived this custom from Wa- 
kanda. We give you a sign, and henceforth no one can say that you 
are poor." 

The child so adopted is called " Haii'ga (finke " during the dance. 
Compare the " htiu'ka (huijka)" of the Dakotas. 

There is no regular order of sitting. The drummer aud singers sit 
in the middle, and the child is with them. Near them are the two 
dancers, who wear no clothing but breechcloths. Both have the hauga 
j[i'a°ze painted in red on their fiices. Each one holds a gourd rattle iu 
his right hand. It contains hard seed, beads, or fine gravel. In their 
left hands are the calumet pipes. They dance for about au hour, imitat- 
ing the actions of the war eagle, preserving at the same time a con- 
stant 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 pres- 
ents which j'ou have promised. They will go soon." Then the people 
bring the horses and other presents, which they bestow upon the visit- 
ors, 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, iu which case one day is spent in feasting, one iu 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. Adoptiun and privileijes of the child. — This child is ever after 
treated as the firstborn, taking the place of the real first-born, who 
calls him "ji°<|;(§ha," elder brother. The wawa" ak4 shares his piop- 
erty with this adopted son, giving him presents, and never refusiug 
him anything that he may ask of him. In like manner, the real father 
of the child makes presents to the real son of the wawa"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 Fleche aud Two Crows 
uever 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 maj' say to C, 
" My father, A, danced for you. Do you dance for me in the person of 
my son, D." So the kiushi\i used to be kept up, generation after geu- 


eration, if they liked one auother ; but if tbey did not agree, it was al- 
lowed to disa})pear. (See Kiusbij), § 78.) 

A child is danced for but ouce by the same party. Should tbey come 
again, there are uo 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 adojited. 

Frank La Fleche said, " Caflge-ska danced this dance for my father, 
who therefore, called him ' father' ; and I, too, call CaQge-skii uiy father. 
So all the Weji"cte i)eoi)le (being my father's gens by adoption), called 
Caugeska, 'father' for four years. Then the kinship ceased. During 
that period it would have been unlawful for any of my family to inter- 
mairy with the gens of Oaiige-ska." 

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


§ 127. Industrial occupations among the (pegiba 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 Kegulation 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 oi'der to obtain it one is 
obliged to resort to weapons, traps, farming implements, &c. ; and to 
prepare it for a meal, there are several jirocesses 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 ^Var 
Customs (especially defensive warfare) and the Practice of Medicine. 
(See Chapters IX and X.) 

Tlie following are connected with theEegulatiou of Life : The Govern- 
ment and the Law. (See Chapters XI and XII. ) 

The following relate to the Sustenance of Life. 


§ 128. Kinds of huntitig. — There are two kinds of hunting known 
among the (fegiha. One is c;dled "abac," answering to the j^.jiwere 
"kinaiijira," and the "wotihni" of the Uakotas. 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 oauiii. 
The other kind is the " ^e une," when all the people go in a body, with 
their families, moving from place to place as they seek for herds of 
butliiloes. This latter is often called " gaq^-a"' " by the Omahas and 
Ponkas, and " jjiqra"' " by the j^oiwere tribes. 

§ 129. Huntinfi seasons. — The summer hunt was not nndertakeu till 
the corn and i)umpkius had been planted, the weeds cut, and the beans 
gathered. The time for the return was when the wind blew open the 
"jilqcazi," the sunflowers and the flowers of other species of the "ja," 
which was about the first of September. It was only during the sum- 



mer Luut that the tribe camped iu the tribal circle on the open prairie. 
The faW or winter hnut gave a name to the season when it began "t'a°- 
g'd'if.a,",'' the hunting fall, or later fall, as distinguished from "fa" "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 iu 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 " m6-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 Ai^ril. 

§ loO. Preliminary Jeast heldhefore the departure for the summer hunt. — 
The principal chief or head man of the Hanga gens pre])ared a feast, to 
which he invited all the chiefs and brave men. An liake-sabg man was 
sent as iekicfe (crier, herald) or wiig(j;a (messenger) around the village, 
and lie called to each guest to bring his bowl and spoon. When the 
guests had assembled at the lodge of the Hanga 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, ac- 
cording to their rank. After them were seated the braves, as far as the 
entrance, on the left side of which sat the giver of the feast, while on 
the right side were the wag^a (Waka°ma"(j;i" and j,eha°-ma°(!;i", the 
keepers of the sacred tents of the Hanga), 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 11 1.) 

The object of the council was explained by one of the head chiefs say- 
ing, "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, 
" Cqecti g(;;ita°i jp, wata"' zihi cti g(j;ita°iiii,dubaja°' jilja^wa'-'ha^tai" — 
When they have prepared their caches and have worked [i. e., examined) 
their C'^rnstalks, 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 suf&cieutly cooked the wagf a removed 
the kettles from the fire. Then one of the head chiefs called a young 
man by name, saying, " Cha° c6te we'fitaii' gil," Handle that kettle for 
us. Then the young man holding a spoon iu his right baud 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 iu 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 


Theu the food was served out to the guests, the best portions of it 
beiug placed before tlie chiefs. Each persou who received a portiou 
thaulced thehost, using theapi)ropriate kinship term, as, " Hau ! ji"f'(5ha ! " 
Thanhs! elder brother! — "Hau! kag^!" Thanks! younger brother! — 
"Hau! negiha!" Thanks! mother''s brother! The old men present 
thanked the host, chiefs, and young men. Food is precious to tbem. 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 ket- 
tles instead of bowls. The feast ended, smoking succeeded, after which 
the guests rose in succession, thanked the host, and pa.ssed out of the 
lodge in an orderly manner, beginning with those on the left of the en- 
trance and fireplace. These passed in single file before the head chiefs, 
and round the rest of the circle of the guests, till they reached tlje en- 
trance 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 suu as he appears to revolve around the eartli. Thecriers 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 i)ack-saddles and litters, and mended moccasins and other cloth- 
ing. The young men spent part of the time in dancing iu honor of the 
"watcigaxe :^i un^^6 akA," the men at whose lodges the dancing socie- 
ties 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. Be- 
fore starting the place for passing the night was determined and an 
Ifike-sabe man was sent through the village as crier saying, "Maja"' 
ga(;uadi^a}ite,ai,a(fa+!'"— T/ic]/ say^ indeed, that you shall pitch the tents 
in tlittt land which is out of sight! He described the location of the 
place as he made this proclamation, so that the abae-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 mor- 
row before the departure of the hunters. 


§ 133. The HtK^iu/u or Tribal Circle.— {See §§ 9-12). Thej- generally 
selected some place uear a stream, aud they tried to fiud a level spot 
large enough to allow the formation of a single hu(f;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 w^ma^ciha, of which there were two or three for 
each tent. They were used for drying the ^anu^ja 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 i)ole 
across them. Tlie pieces of meat were hung across the transverse pole 
of each wama°ciha. 

After the setting up of the tent of one of the keepers of the wa^ixabe 
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(j;a° or directors of the hunt. — The chiefs always ap- 
pointed 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 " waciibe." 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 pur- 
sued. 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 disre- 
garded 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 Ictaijjabi, Nugcl, aud Duba-ma°i(;i", of the Inke-sab6 gens, and a 
fourth man, whose name has been forgotten. Icta^abi succeeded his 
father as the principal director.'^ 

§ 135. When the people stopped and camped for only a single night, 

'^These directors were not necessarily Ifike-sabS men. Tbe wacabe and pipe were 
always abandoned whon the people were about to return home. The order of cere- 
monies varied. Sometimes the sacred pole was anointed after the first herd of buffa- 
loes 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 grouud on a hill. 


the act was called ■' nji;" but wheu they stopped at a place for two or 
more days, the act was known as "epaze." This latter happened wheu 
the horses were tired or the weather was had. '■ Ujl diiba siita° da°'- 
ctea"' >[I, 6pazai" — When they had camped hut one night at each place for 
four or five nights, tuey stopped to rest for two or more days. 

§ 13G. Appointment of the scouts. — It was generally two or three weeks 
after the departure from the village that they reached the country 
where the buttalo abounded. Jleanwhile, the people were frequently 
iu need of food, so it was customary for some of the men to leave the 
camp each morning to seek game of any kiud for the sustenance of the 
tribe till the buffalo herds were surrounded. This service, too, was 
sometimes called "abac," and, also, " wada"'be ^e," to go to see or scout; 
and the men were " iiba^-ma" or " wada^'bema." Before their depart- 
ure they were summoned to the Wacabe tent by Tc^hic, the aged liike- 
sab6 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, Tcahic said, 
"Gai"-baji 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!" 
Wheu the sons are large enough they go themselves as scouts wheu 
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 prox- 
imity, 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 iu motion, they made signs with their blank- 
ets or robes. (See First Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology. 
Sigu 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 je-sa^-ha is kept. As soou 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 ou such occasion till they reached the sacred tent ; and 
wheu they reported, they did not say, " We saw buffalo." They had to 
say, if they discovered a herd, " T3'ci4jii^6-dega", ^6-i eb^^ga°" — I may 
have deceived my.self but I think that they icere bufialoes. The words 


are prouonnced very deliberately. "Bow many were there?" said the 
directors. The reply niigtt be, " I think about forty." 

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

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

§ 13S. Return of the scmits when the people are momng. — If the people 
were moving along when the scouts came iu sight, the four directors 
proceeded iu advance to meet the scouts, and the liike-salie crier ac- 
companied them. He marched behind the directors till they met the 
scouts, when he advanced to the front, and received the leport from 
one of the scouts, who spoke iu a whis]>er. Then the crier whispered 
the news to the principal director, who stood on his left, and he wins 
leered it to the next director, and so on. After the crier told the tirst 
director, the former stepped backward several i>aces to the rear of the 
four directors, and lay down with his head pointing iu 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 i)roclaimed thus : "(|'azige te, ai a((;a+!" That is, 
" They say indeed that you shall halt!" The tents were pitched im- 
mediately, 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 
ja^i"-wasal)L' dance. Chapter X.) 

§ 140. Council and aiipointment 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 ja or sides of buffalo meat. 
You will take a ja for me." (See § 15L) A council was held by the 
chiefs and directors, and having decided to surround the herd, police- 
men were a]ipointed. These wanace were selected from the wahehajJ 
or brave men. They had no work to do till they were near the herd. 
Then they had to watch the people to keej) them from scaring ofi" the 
herd by moving before the proper time. All who disobeyed them were 
severely punished. Cada^ice, an aged Omaha, who is now lame and 
palsied in one limb, was once strong and highly esteemed by his people; 
but he violated the rules of the hunt, and all the policemen flogged him 


SO nnmercifully that he never fully recovered from the effects of his 
punishment. The offense was committed when the people had been un- 
successful in iinding 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, com- 
pelling 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, j'ou 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 attack- 
ing party was always led by two men carrying the sacred objects be- 
longing 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 hunt- 
ers, 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 oue 
proceeding in a course nearly the shajie 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 op- 
posite side. Then the attack began. The bearers of the pipe and 
standard were called " 'A°'sagi-ma," the sicift 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 pi'o- 
ceeded 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 obbged 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 boil- 
iug 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 se- 
cured by tying pieces of green hide to the ends of each bow. The bow 
3 ETH 19 


aud its burden was placed on the back of the owner while the greeu 
hide or bow-string went across the chest. Then the young men ran 
quickly iu 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 Haiiga sacred tents boiled the hearts aud tongues. As 
soon as they were done an liike-sabii 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 HaSga men did not attend, so, when there were many 
tongues, and few chiefs were present, .«ome of the brave young men 
were invited to assist in consuming the sacred food. None of the Wa- 
cabe Haiiga could eat the sacred tongues, though any of the other 
Haiiga 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 cornerof his robe 
(the wai°hahage or lower jjart) 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 pi'ohibitious of 
the use of a knife or bowl during that season. 

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

While the guests were eating certain sacred songs were sung. Ac- 
cording to La Fleche and Two Crows, the singers were two of the Wa- 
cabe Haiiga and the ^atada man who acted as qujja ; but Frank La 
Fleche says that the singers were the Haiiga guests who ate the 

The liike-sabe 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, aud lasted till daylight, according to 
A'"ba-h6be, the tribal historian. From him the wi-iter gained an incom- 
plete description of them. First were the corn songs : 1. "I clear the 
laud." 2. "I put iu coru." 3. " The corn comes up." 4. "Ukit'et'a", 
It has hladesP 5. Q^ii 6(J;a°be, The ears appear." 6. " WahAba najiha 
t'a". The ears have hair, i. e., silk." 7. Egi(f;e a"'(j;ispa°. At length we 
try the cars, squeezing them icith the fingers, to see if they are ripe." 8. 
"Egi^e jut'a" 3J1, At length it is ripe." 9. " figif e wahtlba ai^'^ija, At 
length we pull off the ears from the stalks." 10. " Egi^e wahiiba a"'((;iga, 
At length tve husl; the ears." 11. " Egiife wahdba ii^'(^\ci>\, At length we 
shell the corn." 12. " figic^e wahdba a^'^ate, At length we eat the corn." 

Then followed the buffalo songs iu similar order, of which were 


the following : " Sig^e wada^'be, The tracks are seen." " jj6 wa(la°'be 
ag^i, They have come back from seeing the buffalo." "^jabe ^jild'fi a(J;ai', 
They have gone to the hill that is near by." * * * "j^e wi° aii h&, 
I have wounded a buffalo." " Hiiqpaqpa ma^ifi"', He tvalks coughing 
repeatedly." This last refers to a habit of wounded buffaloes, they cough 
repeatedly as the blood pours forth. 

La Flfeche aud Two Crows say that they never attended these feasts, 
so they cannot give the words of the songs. Frank La Flfeche says, 
"None besides the Haugas and chiefs can give you correctly all of the 
songs of the corn and bufi'alo, as it is looked upon as sacrilege to sing 
these songs. The young people are strictly foi-bidden 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 Haiigas 
aud the chiefs were performing the ceremonies of the pole. Tou may, 
but I very much doubt it, get it all from one of the Haugas 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." I my- 
self would like to know it all, but I have never ouce 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 P'-kug^i a^i"', Wacicka a<|;i"', Was6 a^i"', etc., for amuse- 

§ 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 arrow-heads appearing in such 
cases on the o^jposite 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 dis- 
tinguished from those of other men by peculiar marks, he had no difiS- 
culty in recovering them after the slaughter of the herd, and by means 
of them he could tell which animals were killed by him. Hence quar- 
rels respecting the right of property iu game seldom occurred, and the 
carcass was awarded to the more fortunate person whose arrow pierced 
the most vital part. 

§ 14G. Frank La Fl^che killed his first buffalo when he was but sev- 
enteen 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 bufalo. — When plenty of buffalo had 

"The Osages have an account of theorgin 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 ti-adition of any Osage gens. 


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 say- 
ing 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 !)e-mau'ge or chest, one share ; the '}e-na'"qa 
or hump, one share ; the !>e-ju' or front portions of the body, two shares, 
with each of which was j)ut a foreleg; the !}e-j6ga or thighs, the hinder 
portions of the body, two shares ; with one was put the je-nlxa or 
paunch, with the other, the ^e-cibe 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 Flfeche, " the first man who reached a slain buffalo had for 
his share, if the animal was fat, one of the 'je-ju and the !je-nixa ; but if 
it was lean, he took one of the !je-jega and the je-nixa. The second man 
that reached there received the other je-ju, and the third had the je- 
mange. The foitrth one's share consisted of the !ja°'he or je-cibe and 
the other ^e-jega. But if the slayer of the animal wished any of these 
parts he could keep them. The :>o-di or liver was good for nothing." 

Should only one buft'alo be killed by a large party, say, thirty or more, 
the slayer always cut up the body in many pieces of equal size and di- 
vided 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 carv- 
ing, 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'daha", I give it to youJ^ 

§ 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 " ugaqe^a te," or all the intestines, includ- 
ing the paunch, ;e-cibe, etc., and put them aside for the women to un- 
coil and straighten. 

§ 149. Kinds of buffaloes eaten. — During the winter hunt young buf- 
falo bulls were eaten, as they were fat, but the full-grown bulls were 
never eaten, as their flesh was too hard. So in summer the young bulls 
were not eaten for the same reason. Buffalo cows were always in 


good condition for eating, and so were the "}e-mi''qiiga" or hermaphro- 
dite buffaloes. The lattter had very long horns. 

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

§ 150. Disposition of the various parts of the buffalo. — With the excep- 
tions of the feet and head, all the edible parts of the animal were car- 
ried to the camp and preserved. The brains (we^iq^i) were taken from 
the skull for the purpose of dressing (fiqcfi) the skin or converting it 
into leather. These skins, which were obtained during this season, 
were called "ija'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 buflalo, except the skin, to the camp if it was at any moder- 
ate distance, and it was their duty to prepare the meat, etc., for keep- 
ing." But Frank La Fl^che 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 ;e-maiige inte strips about two inches wide, 
called " wasnege." But those who knew how would cut them in three, 
long slices (waga) 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 ani- 
mals. The meat, in its dried state, was closely compressed into quad- 
rangular packages, each of the proper size to attach conveniently to 
one side of the pack-saddle of a horse. The dried intestines were inter- 
woven together into the form of mats and tied up in packages of simi- 
lar 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 Chap- 
ter VIII, § 164.) 

§ 151. Ceremonies of thanksgiving prior to the return home. Anointing 
the sacred pole. — It will be noticed that on the way to the hunt, and until 
the time for the greasing or anointing of the sacred pole, the Wacabe 
tent is the more important one. But after that a change occurred. The 
keeper of the other sacred tent, in which is the sacred pole, became the 
master of ceremonies, and the keeper of the Wacabe tent acted as his 
assistant. When the people had killed a great many buffaloes they 
were willing to return to their home. But before they could start they 
must take part in a religious ceremony, of which a partial description 


follows. The keeper of the pole sent a crier to summon the chiefs, who 
assembled and decided to perform the sacred rites. For this purpose 
a "^a" 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 " 5i-u(J;igije " or "ji-ufipu" (high or low tent) a tent-pole or else a 
forked stick (isag(}!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 
(Tcahic) 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 dis- 
tance." 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 -'ja" or their 
equivalents, if they could afibrd them. Then came the young men whom 
the crier had named when they first saw the buffaloes. (See § 140.) 
JEach one brought a "(je-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 ";a,"a gun, a fine robe, and a kettle. Each piece of "ija" 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 wahehaji took "i^a," and also horses or goods, as their offer- 
ings. The keeper of the pole, who could not eat the " ^a," then called 
on the keeper of the Wacabe tent to act for him ; and the latter then 
proceeded to arrange the pieces of the " ^a" before the pole. Selecting 
the two pieces that were the fattest, he placed them before the pole, as 
the "uuda'^'hauga" 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 wasonly onerow of the "ja" 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 seat a man of his gens to 




the liike-sabg gens for the two sacred pipes. These were taken by the 
Haiiga man to the long tent for future use. In the mean time, the prin- 
cipal pieces of the ja 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 snug : "A"'- 
ba i^dug(f6qti waa"' gfi°i," They sat singing throughout the day. (See 
§ 143 for what Frank La Fleche says on this point.) When the anoint- 
ing was completed the remaining ^a were collected, and divided among 
the Hauga 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. 

According to some, the keeper 
of one of the Haiiga 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 Tnen in a row. 
(The writer suspects that ten chiefs, 
one from each gens, and the two 
keepers of the Haiiga 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 
l)ole, in hoi)e 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 ^ja^ze gens 
(in modern times Mitciiqpejiiiga or Maja°'ha-(j!i° held this office) was 
ordered by the keeper of the pole to summon the stout-hearted young 
men to engage in the combat. Mitcaqpe-jinga used to go to each brave 
man and tell him quietly to come to take part in the tight. According 
to some he jiroclaimed thus : "Ye young men, decorate yourselves and 
come to play. Come and show yourselves." Then the young men as- 
sembled. Some put on head-dresses of eagles' feathers, others wore 
ornaments of crow feathers (and skins of coyotes) in their belts. Some 

Fig. 25. — Showing positions of the lonj; tent, the 
pole, and rows of "'ja" witbin the tribal circle. 

Lpgentl.— 1, The tent; 2, The pole i 3, The rows 
of :ja. 


decorated their horses. Some were armed with guus ; 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 

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 fig- 
ures in the shape of men, which they set up in front of the long tent. 

After the young men assembled they rode out of the circle and went 
back towards a hill. Then they used to send some one on foot to give 
the alarm. This man ran very swiftly, waving his blanket, and saying, 
" We are attacked ! " All at once the horsemen appeared and came to 
the tribal circle, around which they rode once. When they reached the 
Weji°cte 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 "^a" 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 Hanga 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 ije-sa^-ha was ever 
exposed to public gaze during this ceremony or at any other time. 
Frank La Fltehe 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 IQke-sabS tent. 

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


§ 153. The Hede-icatci. — Sometimes the ceremonies ended witli tlie 
sham fight, in whicli event the people started homeward, especially 
when they were in a great hurry. But when time allowed the sham 
light was followed by a dance, called the Hede-watci'. When it occurred 
it was not under the control of the keepers of the two sacred tents, but 
of the liike-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 ISke-sab6 men, 
accompanied by one of their women, went in search of a suitable tree. 
According to La Fleche 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 Flfeche 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 Fleche 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 particu- 
lar direction, as was the case when the Dakotas procured the ti'ee for 
the sun-dance." 

In the sun-dance, the man who dug the " uj^^i" 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 Flfeche could not tell whether there 
were similar requirements in the case of him who dug the ujeji for the 
pole in the Hede-watci ; nor could he tell whether the man was always 
chosen from the liike-sabe gens. 

When the men who bore the tree reached the camp they planted it 

"None of the questions answered by Frank La Flfeche were asked by the writer 
while Joseph La Flfeche 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. 


ill the njc4i, '^ or bole iu 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 Flfeche 
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 prepar- 
ation for the Hede-watci. In like manner, Miss Fletcher told of num- 
erous songs and dances, not part of the sun-dance, which preceded that 
ceremony among the Dakotas. 

The liike-sabg 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 Flfeche. Nearly all the 
young men and boys wore nothing but their breechcloths, 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 liike- 
sabg 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. Itis not certain which lilke- 
sabg men acted as singers, and which ones beat the drums and rattles. 
When Frank La Fltehe 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 Flfeche, Two Crows, and Big Elk agreed 
ill 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 im- 
portant places in this dance; each one was carried on the arm of a young 
man of the gens, but it was not filled."' These two young men were the 
leaders of the dance, and from this circumstance originated the ancient 
proper name, j^a^^i^-na^ba. Two Running. According to Prank La 
Fltehe, these two young men began tlie dance on the west side of the pole, 
standing between the pole and the singers. The songs of this dance 

■^This word "ujeji" appears to be the Dakota "otceti,"^re-^Zace, expressed in 
Omaha notatiou. As the household fire-place is in the center of the lodge, so the 
tribal fire-place was iu the center of the tribal circle. 

"> Frank Fa Flfecbe said l.hat the two pipes used iu the Hede-watci were the weawa", 
from which the ducks' heads were removed, and instead of them were put on the red 
pipe bowls of the sacred pipes. (See 5i 30.) 


were sacred, aad 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 pecu- 
liar 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 jiipes, and, having taken the pipe by the stem, he held it toward 
the man to whom he desired to give his horse. The man thus favored, 
took the end of the stem into his mouth without touching it with his 
hand and pretended to be smoking, while the other man held the pipe 
for him ("ui^a°"). The recipient of the gift then expressed his thanks 
by extending his hands, with the palms towards the donor, sayiug, 
" 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 abont 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 to- 
ward the pole; the young men threw theii-s forcibly in sport, and cov- 
ered the heads of the singers and musicians, who tried to avoid the mis- 
siles ; This ended the ceremony, when all the people went to their re- 
spective 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 buflalo. In such cases each party made its camp- 
ing circle, but without pitching the tents according to the gentes ; all 
consanguinities and affinities tried to get together. Those who belouged 
to the party that did not have the two sacred Haiiga 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 per- 
formed 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 oc- 

§ 156. Two tribes hunting together. — Occasionally two tribes hunted 
together, as was often the case with the Omahas and Ponkas. Frank 
La Fleche 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, ^e-sa°-ha, nor sacred 


tents, though they claim a share in the sacred pole of the Oinahas, and 
they have sacred pipes. 

§ 157. Hunting party attacked by foes When a hunting party was sud- 
denly 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 con- 
cealed 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 house- 
holds 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 i)eople 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 iu 
advance of the main body. These rianners 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, " lkima°'^i° a,g^i\, hu°+ ! " — The mes- 
sengers have come back, halloo ! In the course of a few days all of the 
people reached home ; but there were no religious ceremonies that en- 
sued. 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 Pou- 
kas 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 "^e-^i^i"" or ribs, with which were given the 
fore legs and the ":^e-na°'qa" or hump. Two parts were the "^e-j^ga" 
or thighs, i. e., the hind quarters. When the party consisted of five 
men the ^e-na^qa 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 "!)e-ju" 
or fore quarters were two parts, with which went the fore legs. The 


?ejega or hind quarters made two more parts, with one of which went 
the paunch, and with the other the entrails. The je-na^qa was the fifth 
part ; and when the elk was large a sixth share was formed by cutting 
off the "^emange" or chest. 

Frank La Flfeche does not know how the black bears used to be di- 
vided, as there have^been none found on the Omaha reservation for the 
past fourteen years. ' 

§ 160. If one shoots a wild turkey or goose (mi°xa), 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 ap- 
plies 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 miifasi (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 bysharpeninglong 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 " n^size gdxe," 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 horse-hair, 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 Elver : 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 


Hu-bigide,iceirs or traps for catching fish. — La Fl^che and Two Crows 
do uot 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 "^ixe-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 inter, 
stices, 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 : !^iiz6, or Missouri 
catfish; hu-i-bu^a, " roundmouthed-flsh," or buffalo-fish ; hu-hi"'pa, or 
sturgeon; hu-dasn^de, "long-nosed fish," or gar; and the hu-g(f6je, or 
" spotted fish." The last abounds in lakes, and is generally from 2J to 
3 feet long. It has a long nose. 


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

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

At harvest one of the keepers of the Haiiga sacred tents (Frank La 
Fleche thinks it is the Wacabe or j^e-sa^-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 Haiiga gens. 
After they decide that planting time has come, and at the command of 
the Haiiga 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(f!4 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 Iiike-sab6 people cannot eat red corn. This may 
have some connection with the consecration of the seed-corn. 



§ 164. Meat— They ate the "qa," or dried meat of the buffalo, elk, 
deer, but seldom tasted that of the beaver. They cut the meat in slices 
(w4ga), which they cut thiu (mab^ej[a), that it might soon dry. It was 
theu dried as explaiued iu § 150. Before drying it is "';a iiuiia," wet 
or fresh meat. The dried meat used to be cooked on glowing coals. 
When the meat was dried iu the summer it lasted for the winter's use, 
but by the next summer it was all consumed. In the X'^da and Weji°cte 
geutes venison and elk meat could not be eaten, and certain parts of 
the buffalo could not be eaten or touched by the Inke-sa^be, Hauga, 
Xe-dait'aji, ^esinde, and liigfejide. (See §§ 31, 37, 49, 59, and 67.) 

The marrow, wajibe, was taken from the thigh bones by means of nar- 
row scoops, or w^bagude, which were made out of any kind of stick, 
being blunt at one end. They were often thrown away after being 

The vertebrae and all the larger bones of the buffalo and other ani- 
mals are used for making wahi-weg^i, hone grease, which serves as but- 
ter and lard. In recent times hatchets have been used to crush the 
bones, but formerly stone axes (i°'-igaga" or i^'-igacije) were employed, 
and some of these may still be found among the Omahas. Now the 
Omahas use the i°'-wate, a large round stone, for that purjjose. The 
fragments of the bones are boiled, and very soon grease arises to the 
surface. This is skimmed off and placed iu 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 stom- 
ach of a buffalo, which has been dried, and is known as '*inijeha." 

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 bo adhering to them. Then 
they were dried. According to Two Crows, the iiig^e, or dung of the 
bufliilo, is not " b((!a°-piaji," 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 Flfeche 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 geutes: Dried fish, slugs, dried crickets, grass- 



hoppers, or other insects, and dried flsh-spawn. Nor do they ever use 
as drinks flshoil or other oils. 

§ 106. Corn, Wata°zi. — La Fleche and Two Crows mention the follow- 
ing varieties as found among the Omahas : 1. Wata°'zi ska, white corn, 
of two sorts, one of which, wata'"zi-kiig(J;i, is hard ; the other, wata^'zi 
ska proper, is wat'^ga, or tender. 2. Wata°'zi^u, blue corn ; one sort is 
hard and translucent, the other is wat'ega. 3. Wata^'zi zi, yellow corn; 
one sort is hard and translucent, the other is wat'ega. 4. Wata^'zi 
gfeje, spotted corn ; both sorts are wat'ega ; one is covered with gray 
spots, the other with red spots. 5. Wata°'zi ^u-jide, a " a reddish-blue 
corn." 6. Wata^'zi jidgqti, " very red corn." 7. Wata°'zi igaxxixu, zi 
ki jide ihdhai, ugdai ^ga", figured corn, on which are yellow and red 
lines, as if painted. 8. Wa(fdstage, of three sorts, which are the "sweet 
corn" of the white people; wa^astage ska, which is translucent, but not 
very white ; wa^astage a^, which is wat'ega and yellow, and wacfiastage 
■^u, which is wat'ega and blue. All of the above varieties mature in Au- 
gust. Besides these is the Wajiit'a°-ku((;6, "that which matures soon," 
the squaw corn, which first ripens in July. 

§ 167. Modes of cooking the corn. — Before corn is boiled the men call 
it wata°'zi siika, raw corn ; the women call all corn that is not boiled 
" savage." Wata^zi ski(f6, 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^uga" or"wab^uga cjaiiga," because 
the corn ear (wahaba) is put whole (b^uga) into the kettle. It is boiled 
with beans alone, with dried meat alone, with beans and dried meat, or 
with a buffalo paunch and beans. 

Sometimes the sweet corn is simply roasted before it is eaten ; then 
it is known as "wata°'zi skifg uha°-baji, sweet corn that is not bolled.^^ 
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 after- 
Avards packed away for keeping in parfleche cases. The grain prepared 
in this manner has a shriveled appearance and a sweet taste, from 
which the name is derived. It may be boiled for consumption at any 
time of the year with but little trouble, and its taste closely resembles 
that of new corn. Sometimes it is boiled, shelled, and dried without 
being roasted; in this case, as in the preceding one, it is called " wata°'zi 
ski(j;6 uha°i, boiled sweet cornJ' 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 " wafiskiskida, 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 waifi- 
skisklda was considered very good food. 

Dougherty said, "They also pound the sweet corn into a kind of 


small lioiniuy, wbicli when boiled iuto a tliick musb, with a proper pi'O- 
portion of the smaller entrails and jerked meat, is held iu imich esti- 
mation." 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'onude or wan^onud*5^6, is prepared from hard corn by 
boiling it in a lye of wood ashes for an hour or two, when the hard ex- 
terior sidn nearly .slips oft" (uAonude). Then it is well washed to get rid 
of the ashes, and rin.sed, by which time the bran is rubbed off (bioimde). 
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 Are to roast (.j6'a°he), instead of being covered 
with the hot ashes. 

\Vanin'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. TLe 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 buft'alo paunch, or dried meat. 

When they wish to make waniu'de-g4sk6, 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 iu 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 mnsh alone, and baked in the ashes 
with or without the corn husks. 

(pib^ubifuga, corn dumplings, are made thus : When the corn' has 
been pounded iu 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 "uig(f;uze," very 2cafery, and is eaten as soup with the 

Another dish is called " A°'bag^e." When this is needed, they first 
boil beans. Then, having pounded corn very fine in a mortar, they 
l)onr 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' tlie kettle is overturned, and the a^bagfe is 
pushed out. 

Wacaii'ge is made by parching corn, which is then pounded in a mor- 
tar; after which the meal is mixed with grease, sou]) made from meat, 
and pumpkins. Sometimes it is mixed, instead with honey. Then it is 
made up into hard masses (^iskiski) with the hands. Dougherty 
says that with wacaiige and waninde "portions of the ;e-cibe, or smaller 
intestines of the buffalo are boiled, to render the food more sapid." 
3 ETH— — 20 



§ 108. Melons, pumplilns, etc, Saka(fu(le uke(|;i°, tlu'coiunion wateniu'loii, 
was known to tlie Omalias before the coniinir of tlie white men. It has 

a green rind, wliieh is generally stripetl, 
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. 

Waja"', — The native kinds 
are three: wa^a"' qti, wa;a"'-knkuge, and 
waja"' muxa. Wa:(a"-qti, the real ijump- 
kins are generally greenish, and "bicka," 
round but slightly flattened on sides like 
turnips. They are usually dried, and are 
called "wa;a'"-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 
wa4a" uiuxa are never dried. Some are 
white, others are " sabS ^u ega", a sort of 
black or dark blue," and small. Others, 
the wa4a"'nii'ixa g(f'eje,are spotted, and are 
eaten belore they become too ripe. In 
former days, these were the only sweet 
articles of food. Sometimes i)umpkius are 
baked on coals (jeg((-a°). 

Modern varieties are two: The wata"- 
niu'de bazu and the wata"'-jide. The Oma- 
-Fi^'uroa or inmjpkiDs. has uevcr jilant the latter, as they do not 
Thewaja'>(|(iisattiie top; thenextis regard it as desirable. They plant the 

the waia'Miiuxa; iho third is the wa?a»- , . , . „ , ,. \ 

iide; andtlioliottomonc, the waja° ninde former, wllicll IS iroin - tO 2^ ICCt lOUg, and 

Dazu. " 

covered with knots or lumps. The native 
l)umpkins ai-e 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 ^ecibe or bufi'alo entrails ; but they can be boiled with 
a buffalo paunch, beans, dried meat, and with any preparation of corn. 

§ 109. Fruits and berries. — Taspa"', red haws, are seldom eaten ; and 
then are taken raw, not over two or three at a time. Clumps of the haw- 
thorn abound on Logan Creek, near the Omaha reserve, and furnish the 
Omaha name for that stream, Taspa'"hi baje. 

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

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

},[aride, i)lums, though dried by the Dakotas, are not dried by the 
(/"egiha and j^oiwere, who eat them raw. 

Fig. 20.- 


]sr;i"'|i;i, cbuke cherries, are of two kinds. The larger oues or iia"'pa- 
jafi'ga, abound in a region known as jiz4babebe, in Northwest Ne- 
braska, where they are very thick, as many as two hundred being found 
on a single bush. Some of the bushes are a foot high, others are about 
two feet in height. The choke-cherries are first pounded between two 
stones, and then dried. The smaller variety, or na"'pa-jiii'ga, grow on 
tall bushes. These cherries are dried. 

Gube, hackberries, are the size of black peppers or the smaller cher- 
ries (na°pa-jii3ga). They are flue, sweet, and black. They grow on 
large trees (Celt-is occidetitalis), the bark of which is rough and inclined 
to curl up. 

Agcfankamauge, raspberries, are dried and boiled. Bacte, strawber- 
ries, are not dried. They are eaten raw. 

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

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

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

§170. iVw/s. — The " bude" 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 t le 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 " ndjube," 
cooked till ready to fall to pieces. Then they are mixed witli wild honey, 
and are ready for one to eat. They are "ib^a°qtiwd^6," capable of 
satisfying hunger to the utmost, but a handful being necessary for that 

A^'jinga, hazel nuts, are neither boiled nor dried ; they are eaten raw 
The same may be said of " '4^ge," black walnuts. 

§ 171. Fruits were preserved in wild honey alone, according to J. La 
Fl^che. 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 gar- 
den vegetables ; but now many of the Omahas and Ponkas have raised 
many varieties in their gardens. 

§ 172. Boots used for food. — The uug(fe or Indian turnip is sometimes 


louiul, aud at others elliptical. Wheu the Omabas to dry it, they 
pull off the skiu. Then they cut off pieces about two iucbes long, and 
throw away the bard interior. Then they place these pieces in a mortar 
and pound them, after which they dry them. When thty are dried 
they are frequently mixed with grease. Occasionally they are boiled 
with dried meat without being pounded. The soup is very good. 

Nil ukef i°, or Pomme de terre, the native potato, is dug in the winter 
by the wouieu. There are different kinds of this root, some of which 
have good skins. Several grow on a common root, thus : Ql^^'^J^ These 
potatoes are boiled ; then the skins are pulled off, and they are dried. 

The "si"" is an aquatic plant, resembliug the water-lily. It is also 
called the " si°'-uk6(|iiii," being the wild rice. lu order to prepare it as 
food it is roasted under hot ashes. 

The other rice is the " si"'-wauin'de " ; the stalk on which it grows is 
the " sii'-wauin'debi," a species of rush which grows with rice in 
swamps. The grain is translucent, and is the jmncipal article of diet 
for those Indians who reside in very cold regions north of the Ponkas. 

Si"'skuskuba, which some Ponkas said was the calamus, is now very 
rare. Few of the Omabas know it at present. They used to eat it after 
boiling it. Frank LaFlecbe said that this could not be calamus, as the 
Omabas called that maka°-niuida, and still eat it. 

§ 173. Beans.— Besius, hi°b(fii5'ge or ba°b^iii'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: 
"bu^a-hna^i, b^^ska 6ga°," tliey are generally curvilinear, and are some 
what flat. 

La Fleche and Two Crows speak of many varieties, which are pro- 
bably of one and the same species : " Hi^b^iiige sab6 g(|;ej^, beans that 
have black spots. 2. Ska g^ej6, those with white spots. 3. Zi'g(|;ej6, with yellow spots. 4. Jide gfeje, those with red spots. 5. Qude 
g^eje, those with gray spots. 6. Jidgqti, very red ones. 7. SAbgqti, 
very black ones. 8. Jide c4be ^ga", those that are a sort of dark red. 
9. Ska, white. 10. j^u 6ga° s4be, dark blue. 11. Ji' 6ga" sdb6, dark 
orange red. 12. Ska, ugfe 16 jide, white, with red ou the "ug(|!e" or 
part that is united to the vine. 13. Hi ug();e te sab6, those that are black 
on the " ugfe." 14. ^u gfeje ega", blue, with white spots. 15. A°pa" 
hi° ega°, qude zi ega", like the hair of an elk, a sort of grayish yellow. 

The hi"b(f;i""abe, or hi°bf inge ma°tanaba, wild beans, are not planted. 
They come up of their own accord. They are flat and curvilinear, and 
abound under trees. The field-mice board them in their winter retreats, 
which the ludians seek to rob. They cook them by putting them in hot 

§ 174. xejawe is the name given to the seeds and root of the Nelum- 
bium luteiim, and is thus described by an Omaha : The je^awe is the 
root of an aquatic plant, which is not verj' abundant. It has a leaf 
like that of a lily, but about two feet in diameter, lying on the surface 


of tbe water. The stalk comes up through the middle of the leaf, and 
projects about two feet above the water. Ou top is a seedpod. The 
seed are elliptical, almost shaped like bullets, and thej' are black and 
very hard. Wheu 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. Hi°'qa is the root of a sahi or water grass which grows be- 
neath the surface of Lake Nik'umi, near tbe 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 fre- 
quently eat it in sport, after i)ulling off the skin. Two Crows says that 
adults never eat it. J. La Fl^che never ate it, but he has heard of it. 

§176. Savors, favors, etc. — Salt, niski^g, was used before the advent 
of the whites. One place known to the Omahas was on Salt River, near 
Lincoln, Xebr., which city is now called by them "Ni-skif6." At that 
place the salt collected on top of the sand and dried. Then the Omahas 
used to brush it together witii feathers and take it up for use. What 
was on the surface vvas very white, and fit for use; but that beneath 
was mixed with sand and was not disturbed. Eock 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-ski^6 sagi ^a°, Where the hard salt isJ" In order to get 
this salt, they broke into the mass by punching with sticks, and the de- 
tached 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. Drinlis. — The only drinks used were soups and water. Teas, 
beer, wine, or other fermented juices, and distilled liquors, were un- 
known. (See § 109.) 

§ 178. Narcotics. — Native tobacco, or niui. The plant, ninihi 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 F16che saw some of it when he was small. Its leaves were "!^u- 
qude 6gaV' :i 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 investi- 
gations 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 
nini of the Omahas and Poukas was a native plant. 

Mixed tobacco or killickinnick is called ninigahi by the Omahas and 
Ponkas. This name implies that native or common tobacco fnini) has 
been mixed (igahi) with some other ingredient. " This latter is gener- 
ally the inner bark of the red willow (Gornus sericea), and occasionally 


it is composed of sumac leaves {Rhus glabrum). When neither of these 
can be had the inner baric of the arrow wood (Viburnum) or nia"'sa-hi 
is substituted for them. The two ingredients are well dried over a fire, 
and rubbed together between the hands." (Dougherty, in Lomfs Expe- 
dition, I.) 

" In making ninigahi, 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 can- 
not get dogwood or sumac they may use the bark of the ma"sa hi or ar- 
row-wood. The bark of the (fixe sagi, or bard willow, is not used by the 
Omahas." (Frank La Fleche.) 


§ 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 outbuildings, public granaries, etc. Each house- 
hold stored away its own grain and other provisions. There were no 
special tribal or communal dwellings, but sometimes two or more fami- 
lies occupied one earth lodge. When a tribal council was held, it was 
in the earth lodge of one of the princii)al chiefs, or else two or three 
common tents were thrown into one, making a long tent. 

There were no public baths, as the Missouri Eiver 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 bor- 
der of the hide. These holes had been cut with a knife. While the 
hide was still green, the woman scraped it on the nnder side by push- 
ing a w^bajabe over its surface, thus removing the superfluous flesh, 
etc. The w^bajabe was formed from the lower bone of an elk's leg, 
which liad been made thin by scrajiing or striking (" gab(-ejia"). 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 tipper end, and this 
27.-TheWeta,iabe. was secuFcd to thc . arm of 

the woman just above the wrist. 

When the hide was dry the woman stretched it again on the ground, 
and proceeded to make it thinner and lighter by using another imple- 



iiKMit, called tlie weiibrija", wliicb slie moved townrd.s ber after the iiiau- 
iier of an adze. This instrument was formed from an ellc horn, to the 
lower end of which was fastened a piece of iron (in recent times) 
called the w^'u-hi. 

When the hide was needed for a summer tent, leggings, or summer 
clothing of any sort, the wcubaja" was applied to the hairy side. 

The Wenbaja". 

(1 ) The horn. (2.) The iron (siile 
vii-w). {3 1 Sinew tied around the 

Kin. 20.— Front view of the iron. 
It is about 4 inches wide. 

When the hide was sntticiently smooth, giease was rubbed on it, and it 
was laid out of doors to dry in the sun. This act of greasing tlie hide 
was called " wawefi(j(i," because they sometimes used the brains of the 
elk or buffalo for that purpose. Brains, w<^f iqfi, seem to have their name 
from this custom, or else from the primitive verb fiqfi. Dougherty 
stated that, in his day, they used to spread over the bide the brains or 
liver of the animal, which had been .carefully retained for that 
and the warm broth of the meat was also poured over it. Some persons 
made two-thirds of the brain of an animal sufflce for dressing its .skin. 
But Frank La Fleche says that the liver was not used for tanning pur- 
poses, though the broth was so used when it was brackish. 

When the hide had been dried in the sun. it was soaked by sinkincr it 
beneath the snrtace of any adjacent stream. This act lasted about two 
days. Then the hide was dried again and subjected to the final opera- 
tion, which was intended to make it sufflciently soft and pliant. A 
twisted sinew, about as thick as one's finger, called the weifiklnde, 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 waf iklnde. 

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



§ 182. The ludians say that Ictiuike was he who taught their ances- 
tors all their war customs, such as blackening the face. (See myth of 
Ictiuike and the Deserted Children in Contributions to N. A. Ethnol- 
ogy, Vol. VI, Part I.) 

Origin of icars. — Wars generally origiuated in the stealing of horses 
and the elopement of women, and sometimes they are in consequence of 
infringing on the huntiug-grouDds 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 unlil-e 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 (pegiha and other tribes have no standing armies. Unlike tiie 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 dis- 
banded as soon as home is reached. They had no wars of long dura- 
tion; 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 ou the Ouiahas (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 uika-^iq6 ^6, 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 Urul6 and Ogala Dakotas, June 17, 1872, Huta"-gi'hua°, a woman, 
ran with them most of the way, brandishing a knife and singiug songs 
to incite the men to action. The women did not always behave thus. 
They generally dug pits as quickly as possible and crouched in them 
in order to escape the missiles of the combatants. And after the fight 


they used to seek for the fallen enemy in order to mutilate tbera. 
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 yeniialia excidemnt. But the writer 
never heard of the (|;egiha women's having acted iu this manner. 

§ 185. Preparation fur the attack by the foe. — About thirty-two years 
ago the Dakotas and Poukas 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 Omahasmade ready that night, having sent a ciier around the tribal 
circle, saying, " They say that you nuist make an intrenchment for the 
children. Thefoe will surely come ! " Then the people made an embank- 
ment around the greater jiart of the circle. It ^vas about 4 feet high, 
and ou the top were planted all the tent jtoles, the tents having been 
l)ulled down. The tent poles were interlaced and over these were fas- 
tened all the tent skins as I'ar 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 Fl^che, who was present daring the fight, says that the em- 
bankment did not extend all around the circle, and that the area pre- 
viously occupied by the tents of the end gentes, Weji°cte, Ictasaiida, 
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 
peopleagain, "Theysay 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(j;ihnucka into which the women and children retreated. 

§ 186. Old Ponlca Fort. — At the old Ponka Agency, iu 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 Fleche 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 Y'anktous were in Minnesota, and the tribes who fought the 
Ponkas were the Rees, Cheyennes, and P^dauka (Camanches). Then 
the only Dakotas out of Minnesota were the Oglala and the Sitca°xu 



or Briiles. The former were on the White River and in the region 
of the Blii.!k Hills. The latter were in Nebraska, at the head of the 

The fort had but one entrance. The situation was well chosen. The 
embankment occupied the greater jiart of a semi detached blufl'. In 
front, and at one side, was the low bench of lind next to the Missouri; 
at Ihe 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. 
Tl'en 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. Ija Fleche pronounced it substantially correct : 

One mile to ihe 
Missouri Jtiver 

Fig. 30.— 01(1 I'ouka fort. The Mi.^somi Kivei- i.s u^pitU of it. 




§ 187. The first proposiliou to go on the war-patli cannot come 
from tbe cbiefs, who, by virtue of their office, are bound to use all 
their iuflueuce in favor of ])eace, except under cir„unistauces of extra- 
ordinary provocation. It is generally a young man who decides to 
undertake an expedition against the enemy. Having formed his ])lan, 
be speaks thus to bis friend : " My friend, as I wish to go on the war- 
l)atli, let us go. Let us boil the food for a feast." The friend having 
consented, the two are the leaders or uuda"'hariga, if they can in- 
duce others to follow tbem. So they find two young men whom they 
send as messengers to invite those whom they name. Each wagfa or 
messenger takes one half of the gentile circle (if tbe tribe is thus en- 
camped), and goes quietly to the tent of each one whom he has been re- 
([uested to invite. He says at the entrance, without going in. " Kageba, 
(|-ikui ba, ciV"fm]n'-i"ti^:'— My friend, you are invited (by such and such a 
one), after he has been occupied awhile. If the man is there, his wife 
rejdies to the messenger, '-(/'ikage na'a'" be," Your friend h-ars it. 
Should the man be absent, the wife must rcjdy, "(/'ikage (/-iilgee he; 
cubi tate.'"—yourfrie7id is not {here) ; he shall go to you. These invita- 
tions are made at night, and as quietly as possible, lest others should 
hear of tbe least and wish to join the expedition ; this, of course, 
refers to the organization of a nuda" jinga or small war-party, which 
varies in number from two persons to about ten. 

§ 188. Sm<(ll war j'arty.— After tbe return of the messengers, tbe 
guests assemble at the lodge or tent of their host. The places of the 
guests, messengers, and nuda^baiiga 
are shown in the diagram. 

The two wcku or hosts sit oppo- 
site tbe entrance, while the messen- 
gers have their seats next the door, 
so that they may pass in and out 
and attend to tbe fire, bringing in 
wood and water, and also wait on 
tbe guests. Each guest brings with 
him bis 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 
tbe war-path." Then tbe young men 
say: "Eriend, in what direction 
shall we go " ? The host replies, " We desire to go to tbe 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 

Flo. 31. — A, tbe mula"lia£ig^, or captains ; B, the 
waff^a. or messengers : C, the guests : D. the food 
in kettles over the tiie. 


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, ^jd^in-ua^piijl 
said that he boiled fresh venison. 

Accordiug to j^a(fi°-na°paji, 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, includ- 
ing the giver of the feast. This is denied by La Fleche and Two Crows. 
(See § 19G.) 

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 ihe proper 
time, each messenger takes up a bundle of the grass and hands it to 
the nuda"haiiga on his side of the fire-place. When the nuda°haSga 
have wiped their faces and hands they hand the bundles to their next 
neighbors, and from these two they are passed in succession around to 
the door. Then the bundles are put together, and handed again to one 
of the nuda"haiiga, for the purpose of wiping his bowl and spoon, pass- 
ing from him and his associate to the men on the left of the lire place, 
thence by the entrance to those on the right of the fire-place to the 
nuda"haiiga. 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(f;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 
inio 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 Wakauda, 
or deity of the thuuder, who is supposed by some to be the god of war. 
One says, "Nuda"liaiig4, wi"^' t'6a(f^6 taminke." — O icar-cMef! I icill Jctll 
one. Another, "Nuda^haiiga, caii'ge wdb(j;ize ag^i." — ivarchief '. I 
have cowe hack icith horses which I have taken. (This and the following 
are really i)rayers for the accomplishment of the acts mentioned.) 
Another: "Nada°haugd, d4 wi" b(j'i(ia"." — icar-chief! I have imlled a 
head., and broken it off. Another, " Nii(la"liangA, ilsku U((iiza"qti wi" 
b(j.nze ha." — war-chief! /, myself, have taken one by the very middle of 
his scalp-lock. Another, ' Xj (|;iuge'qti, niida°haiig4, wi"' ub^a"'." — 
war chief! I have taken hold of one who did not receive a wound. And 
another, " Abag(^aqti ede ubifia"' lut." — He drew back as he was very 
doubtful of success (in injuring me?), but /(advanced and) took hold of 
him. Those sitting around and gazing at the speakers are laugh- 
ing. 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 tile out at the entrance. 
Each one has to go all around before he leaves the lodge. 

no"sEi-J SMALL WAli PART^'. 317 

§ 189. This feasting is generally continued four days (or nights) ; but 
if the occasion be an urgent one the men make liasty preparations, and 
may depart in less than four days. Each nuda»haiig^ 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 failst he host may tell some of the wag^q^a" 
or servants (who may be the messengers) to go after game. 

§ 190. Preparation for starting.— E-Ach. warrior makes up a bundle com- 
posed 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 prejiared by 
the women several days in advance of the time for departure. If the war- 
riors leave in haste, not having time to wait for the sewing of the mocca- 
sins, the latter are merely cut out by the women, ja^i'i-na^paji 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 oi)posite 
arm. La Fl^che and Two Crows deny this, but they tell of such medi- 
cine in connection with the jaf.i°-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 sus- 
pected by any one. The leaders do not wish many to follow lest they 
should prove disobedient and cause the enemy to detect their prox- 

Another rea.son for keeping the proi)osed ex])edition 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 warpath. 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 pi-esents 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 Eth- 
nology, Vol. VI, Part I.) 

The next day the people in the village say, "Ha°'adi nuda"' a(/;a'-bi- 
keam^." — It is said that last night they tcent 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 al-o wear plumes in their hair and gird themselves with macaka", 
or women's pack-straps. All must fast for four days. When they have 
been absent for that period they stop fasting and wash their faces. 

§ 192. Uninvited followers. — When a man notices others with weapons, 
and detects other signs of warlike preparation, should he wish to join 


the party be begs moccasins, etc., from bis kiudred. Wheu be is ready 
he goes directly alter the party. The t'ollowiug day, when tbe warriors 
take their seats, tbe follower sits iu sight of them, but at some distauce. 
When one of the servants spies him he says to his captain, " Niida"- 
baflgil, f (34a akA wi"' atii hfi." — tear chief! this one in the rear has come. 
Then the captain says to all the warriors, " Hau, uikawasa"', ibaha°- 
ba hi°be cti ^awdi-gS. Ma"' t6 ctl w6gaska°(!;4iga." — Ho, warriors .' rec- 
ognize him, if you can, and count your moccasins (to see if yon 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 be may say, " Hau, uikawasa"' ! ui eiliicjii" gi te 
afi°' gii-gii. Agudi ca^'ijaiiga ncixiijiificfg i[\, gaha ac^iija" ga°'(|;ai jji, ca"' 
6ja° mi"' ha." — Ho, warriors ! go for him that he may bring icater for you. 
If he wishes to lie on you {i. e., on your bodies) lohen the big wolves {or tbe 
foe) attach you, I think it is proper. Then the scout goes after the fol- 

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 per- 
sisted 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 aban- 
doned tbe expedition. 

§ 193. Officers. — A small war i)arty has for its chief officers two nuda"- 
banga, partisans, captains, or war chiefs. Each nuda^hanga has bis 
nuda°'hauga-q^6xe or lieutenant, through whom he issues bis orders 
to the men. These lieutenants or adjutants are always chosen before 
the party leaves the village. After the food has been boiled the giver 
of the feast selects two brave young men, to each of whom he says, 
"Nuda°'haiiga-qf6xe hui"' tate," You shall be a nuda"h<ingaq^exe. 

In 1854 Two Crows was invited by four others to aid them in organ- 
izing 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 cap- 
tains. Two Crows refused tbe gifts, and persisted in his design, win- 
ning the position of first captain. Wanace jiiiga was the other, and 
ja^i°-na°paji and Sinde-xa"xa° were the lieutenants. In this case a 
large party was intended, but it ended in the formation of a small one. 
For the change from a small party to a large one see § 210. 

§ 194. Large war party. — A large war party is called " Nuda^'bi"- 
cjah'ga." La Fl^che 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, wheu fifty men were col- 
lected for an expedition which was prevented by tbe chiefs. Such par- 


ties usually number uue or two liuudred lueu, aud .soiut-tiiues all the 
fighting meu 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 dis- 
tance, and the warriors go on without them. This moving with the 
whole camp is called "Awaha°qti ^(:',"or "agaq^a°qti ife," 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, aud besides these there must be at least 
two more nnda^haiiga ; but only the planner and his friend are the 
nuda°hanga liju. 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, 1 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 suft'ered that all the men assembled, including the 
chiefs. This was the day after Wabaskaha had told his story. Then a 
pil)e (the war pipe) was filled. Wabaskaha extended his hands toward 
the people, aud touched them on their heads saying, "Pity me ; do for 
me as you think best." Then the chief who filled the sacied pipe said 
to the assembly, " If j'ou 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. De 
cide 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 con- 
stantly 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. 

§ 190. Feast. — Lt was customary for the guests invited to join a large 
war party to go to the lodge designated, where four captains sat oppo- 
si:e 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^ixabe 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- 


patb they used to ((lixabe or strip off the feathers of red, blue, nud yel- 
low birdt^, aud put them iuto the sacred bags. There were five bags of 
( his sort among the Ouiahas. The principal oue is kept by Wacka"'- 
uia"(j:i", of the Wajiiiga ^'ataji subgeus of the (|J^tada. It is filled with 
the feathers aud skins of small birds, aud is wrapped in a :(ahu])ezi, or 
worn teut-skiu. This is the principal one. The second one is kept by 
the daughter of j^ahe-jiSga, of the luke sab6; because the peoi)le pity 
hei', 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 M^hi" ^iii'ge 
of the Weji"cte gens. The fourth, when in existence, was kept by xid6- 
nia"(f'i", of the j^ii da gens. And the fifth was made by Wabaskaha, of 
the lngi/!e'jide gens. This, too, is no longer in existence. According to 
La Fleche and Two Crows, the only wa^ixabe used in war are made of 
ihe (skin and feathers of the) g(feda°', or pigeou-hawk, the i"'be jaQ'ka, 
or forked-tail hawk, and the nickucku, or martin. All three kinds 
were not carried by the same war party. Sometimes one man carries 
an i°be-jaDka, and the other a nickucku ; at other times one carries a 
g^eda", and the other an i^be-jaiika or nickucku. ^ja^i" ua"paji 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 iu warm weather. 

At the feast, the three wa^ixabe are put iu the middle of the lodge. 
The keepers take their seats, aud 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 ja^i°-na°paji : 

"Wi-;i'-ga" ii;i°'-pe-\va'-(6 e-ga"', 
Wi-}i'-ga" na'i'-pe-wa'-i^e o-ga"', 
We'-ti" ke g^i'-hao-lia" ^i, 

Nao'-pe w^-(f6 ." 

"As m J' grandfather is dangerous, 
As my grandfather is dangprous, 
When he brandishes his club, 
Dangerous ." 

When he had proceeded so far ja^i^-na^paji 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 wast6gistu 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 eujoy the feast. 

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


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

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

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

According to jafii^-na^pajl, 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 interchange- 
able) may be ordered to make an " uj6;i" in the center of the circle, by 
pulling up the grass, then making a hole in the ground. Then the sa- 
cred 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 Wandce. — 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 seen to teu) 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 wandce- 
nuda^'hanga, or captains of police, are appointed, to whom the princi- 
pal captains say, "Wandce (fantida°haii'ga tat^," Tou shall be cap- 
tains of the police. Each of these wandce-nuda'"hariga has several 
wandce 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 wandce-nuda^'haiiga. When the 
wandce see that the men are straggling, they cry, " Wa°<; ! wa''< 1" 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 wada°'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 " skida," 
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 
3 ETH 21 


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 nuda'^'haiiga-jifi'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 fol- 
low the warriors and those who are the servants of the captains. Each 
captaiu 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 be- 
come 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 at- 
tacked 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 cajjtaius go ahead to meet them. Having reported whether 
they have seen traces of an euemy 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, ad- 
dressing the warriors thus : " Ho, warriors 1 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 <ja^i°- 
na°pajl, 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 wanAce nuda°hanga, as he danced around the 
marching warriors, that is doubted by La Fl^che and Two Crows, who 
said that one of the nuda^hanga was not always singing and dancing 
around the others. The song, as sung, differs from the spoken words. 

Nau'-ku-^^ han'-^i-'-bi-go-f (t. e., Na"''-ku-^e-an-^i'"-i-ga) 

Na>''-ku-^6-ha°'-^i''-bi-go + 

H6, mi-dao-hau-gi, fja^'-be t6 

U-^hi-ta-m^-ji no + (i. e., Uabita-majl fi^Sa u-f !) 

N<i-da°-hafi-g4 na"'-ku-^6-ha»'-^i'^bi-go + 

It may be translated thus : 

O make us quicken onr steps ! 

make us quicken our steps ! 

Ho, O war chief! When I see bim 

1 shall have my heart's desire ! 

O war chief, make us quicken our steps t 

One of the sacred songs which follows is from the j;oiwere language, 
and was sung by an Omaha captain. It is given as sung in tlie 

D0E8ET.] scotrre — SONGS — order c«" encamping. 323 

Omaha notation of the j^oiwere. The meaning of all the words cannot 
be given by the collector. 

M»°'-^i" ^ h6 ga+we-f- he-h6 ! (Ma">-^i°, for ma-nyi, totvalk.) 
Ma"'-^!" ^e h6 ga+we+he-hel 

Tc6-do na-hilt (Tee-^o naba, buffalo bull, he who is, or, The buffalo bull.) 
Ma"'-^!" ^ h6 ga+we+ he-h6 ! 

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

§ 203. The Mijjasi watci 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 (sa^ki^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 sta- 
tions they lie down and watch for any signs of the enemy. 

At the command of the nnda^hanga-q^exe the camp is formed in a 
circle, with the lire in the center. The warriors are told to go for wood 
and water, and the servants of the captainsprepare couches for their re- 
spective 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 thft warriors to build a 
grass lodge. For tent poles they cut many long saplings of bard willow 
orof 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 in- 
terlaced. Then they cover this frame with grass. When wood is very 
scarce the saplings are placed further apart. 

Unlike the lowas, 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^txabe-u^uba^ig^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 mijiasi. 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 com- 
rades 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. 


§ 205. New names ta'ken. — When tbe warriors Lave been four nights 
on the way, excluding the night of departure from the vilhige, the war- 
riors generally take new names. But if any one likes his old name he 
can retain it. According to La Fleche 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 <ja^i°-na''paji, 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 shoul- 
ders, and leads him all around the circle, following the course of the 
sun. When he has finished the circumambulation (which is denied by 
La Elfeche and Two Grows), 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, Ciide- 
g4xe, when the chief, Nuda°'-axa, received his present name : " He is 
truly speaking, as he sits, of abandoning his name, halloo ! He is in- 
deed speaking of having the name Criesfor the war-path, halloo! Te 
big headlands, 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 Naji°'-ti^e, 
and he has promised to take the name Nuda^'-axa, halloo !" The origi- 
nal (pegiha will be found on pages 372, 373 of Part 1, Vol. YI, " Contribu- 
tions to N. A. Ethnology." According to the Omaha ^a^i°-na°paji, the 
following proclamation was made when he received his present name; 
but this is disputed by La Flfeche and Two Crows : 

" Heis indeed speaking of abandoning his name! He is indeed speak- 
ing (as he stands) of having the name, He-fears-not-a-Pawneewhen-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 


send it to you tbat ye may hear it, halloo ! O ye big hills that move, I 
tell you ami 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 fol- 
lowing promises, all of which were not used for the same person : 
" Wati^ ida"badiqti wi°' na^'pgqti ta°' wdgaq^ 'i$6 ta° d^a ! — He speals as 
he stands of striking down one in the very 7nidst of the ranis of the foe, icho 
shall stand in great fear of him!" "Wati^ uhan'geqti tg'di wi"' w^gaq^ 
'1^6 ta° dfa! — He is speaking of striking down one at the very end of the 
ranks of the foe!* " Wati^e uka^'ska fda^badiqti wi°' w^gaq^ 'i^6 ta" 
df a ! — He is speaking of striking down one in the very middle of the 
enemy^s ranks, having gone directly towards him." " Wati^e uhaii'gadiqti 
wi° t'^waki^ '1^6 ta° Af a ! — He is speaking of slaying one at the very end of 
the enemy's ranks!" " Gaza^'adiqti wi" u ^iiig6 ucfa"' 'i^6 ta" dfa! — He 
is speaking of taking hold of one without a wound right in the midst of the 
foe {i. e., when surrounded bj' 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 laud 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-ja", of the 3^a°ze gens : 

"Wa-na'-q^i^-ai X-^a-'a"' <^i-^i'^c6-i'^te 
Xi-nu-h^, ^a-a^'-^a ca°' ^^^i^-c^. 
He-b^di-ja°', C^a"-jin'-ga kri^6 a^i" gl-a!" 

Hasten! What are you doiug that you remain away so long? 
Elder brother, now, at length, you have left him behind. 
O Hebadi-ja"! be returning quickly with a young Dakota! 

La rieche and Two Crows never heard this song; but they do not 
dispute its correctness. It was told the writer by ^a^i^-na^paji. 

§ 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. 

ja^i^-na^pajl says that they then give the scalp-yell, and each one re- 
peats what he has promised to do on meeting the enemy ; but this is dis- 
puted by La Fl^che and Two Crows. 


§ 209. Capture of horses. — Two men who are active go to steal horses 
from the enemy. This departure is called "ijigaqd afai," they have 
gone to get the better of (those in) the lodges (of the enemy), and is 
explained by "wama^'^a" a^ai," 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 offi- 
cers must make an attempt. These officers may be either the captains 
or the lieutenants. Sometimes a youth steals oflf 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 ja^i''-na''paji 
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 attaxiTiing 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 Tank- 
tons, in 1854, and had discovered the proximity of the foe, he first 
sent one of the lieutenants, <ja^i°-na°pajl, to count the lodges. On his 
return, another lieutenant, Sln'de-xa^'xa", 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 
Slnde-xa^'xa" to make a final examination. Having ascertained the lo- 
cation of the sleepers, they returned to their party, and began the attack 
at midnight. When j,ah6-jiiiga and Niku^ib^a" 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, sayingtbat the Cheyennes 
were in the camp near at hand. Then many of the Omahas joined the 
small party changing it into a nuda°hi"-{)anga. 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 
outsideof the viUage, they crawled towards it in perfect silence, goiugby 
twenties, each one holdingthe hand of the man next to him. The captain, 


Niku^ib^a", or Gia^habi, had a sacred bag, which he opened (four times, 
said Big Elk) with its mouth towards the foe, that the wind might waft 
the magicinfluenceof the bag to the lodges, and make the sleepers forget 
their weapons and their warlike spirit (denied by La Flfeche 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^a° 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 lender (the wa'i^'ba") once, 
whereupon all of his party gave the scalp-yell (ug^d'a'a), and began the 
fight by shooting at the lodges. (See § 193.) 

Bach 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'ci- 
b<iji of the j^e-slu'de gens, we read thus : " At length the warriors de- 
tected 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 with 
yellow earth and white clay. Icibaji picked up the pieces dropped by 
the others, and the war-chief made his back yellow for him, in imita- 
tion of the sparrow-hawk. Then the warriors pulled off their leggings 
and moccasins, which they gave to Icibaji to keep. When Icibaji, hav- 
ing 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, Icibaji 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 
w ould 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 sou's body was. He rushed headlong 


amoug the combatants, who were standing very thick, and at last per- 
ished with his son. 

§ 213. Return of the war-party. — On the way home the booty is di- 
vided, j^a^i^na^paji said that " They stop for the night at a point 
about two miles from the village," but La Flfeche 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 gi-ass afire. 
On seeing this the villagers say "Nuda"' ama' agii, eb^e'ga". Usai." — 
I thinlc that the warriors are coining hack. They have set the grass afire. 
^a^i°-na°paji 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 Fl^che and Two Crows said that there is no difference in the mean- 
ing of the colors of the smoke, though d6je jide or red grass, siduhi, 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 unsuccess- 
ful 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 iu 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 che 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 " W6watci," 
or Scalp-dance. Before the dance, however, the successful warriors re- 
ceive the rewards or insignia of valor from the nuda°haiiga who has the 
three wa^ixabe (jaii'ga or wast6gistti. 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 waf 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, " Wi°'ake. Wakan'da 
akd ibaha°i." — I tell the truth. Wakanda knows it. As he SHys this, 
he holds up his right hand towards the sky. Then he addresses the 
wa^ixabe itself, as follows : " Hau, i°c'dge-ha ! eddda" uwibfa t^imiiike 
(fia'^ja, i(fausi'cta''-mdjl uwib^a t& miuke." — Ho, venerable man ! though 
I will tell you something, 1 will not lie when I tell it to yon. When 
he says this, lie 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 ou 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 


of falsehood, and did not do in the fight that which he has claimed for 

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, " j[dxe mi^ag(fa"'te ha," You shall 
wear the croio in your belt. Sometimes he adds, '' S^b6 <f!ajiickaxe te. 
3[^xe 4jaja ^a^iickaxe te ha." — You shall blacken, yourself. You shall 
male spots on yourself, resembling crows' dxing. This warrior must blacken 
his body, and then mark here and there spots with white clay. 

<ja^i°-na°paji said that the second who took hold of a foe had the fol 
lowing 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, "M^ca°-ska, ^jdhi^-wdgfa" dfagfa"' te ha." — You shall 
sticJc in your hair white eagle feathers, and wear the deer's-tail head-dress. 
La Fleche and Two Crows said that this man was allowed to wear the 
^ahi°-wag(f!a° alone on his head, and to put the crow in his belt. 

According to ja^i^-na^xjajl, 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, " xAhi^-w^g^a" mdca° 
^iiig^ d^ag^a"' te ha," You shall wear the ^ahi"-wag^a° without any feath- 
ers. But La Fleche 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 ^ahi" wag^a" without any other decoration. 

jafi°-na°paji said that he who disemboweled a fallen enemy with a 
knife was i)ermitted 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 ^£a^i°-na°paji, he who killed a foe was rewarded in sev- 
eral ways. He could wear the ^ehuqfabe" necklace, called the " gadd- 
daje waci°', and was addressed thus : " Gadddaje waci"' na^'^ap'i" te 
ha," You can wear the !)ebuq^abe necldace. " Ma°'-u^ubaski 4i((;ag^^a te 
ha," You shall carry the ramrod on your arm. " j[ahi°-wag(|;a° sia"(f6 
a^agfa"' te ha," You shall wear the ^ahi^-w ag^a° alone in your hair. 
(These were disputed by La Fltehe and Two Crows.) "Ma°'sa gasii ji- 
de(j;e na°fap'i°' te ha," You shall near an arrow shaft, scraped and red- 
dened, suspended from your neck. (Confirmed bj' La Fleche and Two 

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. 

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


All who had parts of scalps were told to wear !jahi°-wag^a° on their 

§ 215. The scalp dance (of the women). — Oue of the women had to 
carry the scalp around on a pole during the dance. This act is 4i^a- 

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 them- 
selves in gay attire, decorated themselves with various ornaments, 
wore head-dresses of ijeji^hi^de, painted their cheeks, and reddened the 
d^ugdza" 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, " W^watci 
aii'kif e tal, " 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 "kidqpaqpAg^a" (moving in 
and out among themselves) and "Ikif ibf a°" (mixed, in disorder), as they 
pleased. Sometimes they danced all night till the next morning; some- 
times 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 Hefucka dance (of the men). — The corresponding dance for 
the men is the He^ucka.'' The only members of the Hef ucka dancing 
society are such as have distinguished themselves in war, and boys whose 
fathers are chiefs. When Frank La F16che was a boy he was admitted 
to the Hecfucka solely because his father was a chief. 

"The first four to take hold of the foe were decorated with the ^ahi°- 
wagfa" 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. 

" Known among the Kansas as the Ilucka, aud among the Osages as the Ia3i(fii"ck,a. 


"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, "nusi-Aqfa" (over 
the left shoulder and under the right arm), and carried their whips on 
their arms. 

"All these were promoted to the rank of wanAce or policemen, to act 
as such during the buflalo hunt." {La Fleclie 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 Fleche.) 

Mr. J. La Fleche gave the following as a very ancient song of this 

dance : 

" Wakan'da akd a'^sifi'ge te, ai ^ga", 
A^^-iu'ge tilmifike." 

" Wakanda having said that I shall not be, 
I shall not be." 

In this song, "A°^iii'ge ta'miiike" is equivalent to " At'6 timiiike," T 
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, UbiskS, see pp. 380, 381, 
Part I, Vol. VI., Contributions to N. A. Ethnology. 

§ 217. The He-watci. — The concluding part of the He^ucka was called 
the "H^-watci." 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 gen- 
erally 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 sud- 
denly 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 visi- 
tors when the Egi'a^-watcigaxe was danced. (See §271.) Pointing in 


various directions with his club or hatchet, with which he struck the 
ground each time, he said, "Maci^ga wi" ga^'a" :" I did tJnis toaman; 
"Maci^gawi" &q<^\,'" I killed a man ; "Niaci°ga wi° nh^a''," I took hold 
of a man; or some other expression. When he finished the Hefucka 
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 ja^i°-na"pajl, recorded in Part I, Vol. VI, Contri- 
butions to N. A. Ethnology, the narrator says : " All the people danced 
in groups, dancing the Mandan dance. I rode the horse which I liad 
brought home. I painted my face and wore good clothing. I hit the 
drum : ' Ku-f !' I said, ' Let Wdqa-n^ji" 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 suc- 
cessful or not, the captains invite the warriors \o a feast. The war- 
riors, 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 cap- 
tains) to a feast. 

§ 220. A battle may be ended either by the death of one of the prin- 
cipal 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 in- 
stead of a flag of truce. (See Punishment of a murderer, § 309.) 

§ 221. Treatment of the woundedfoes. — 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 i>eace 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 Gahige-jiu'ga, father of Wacuce, of the 
luke-sabg gens, was a small boy he was captured by the Ponkas as 
they were fighting with the Omahas, who were camped near their ad- 
versaries. The Umahas having overcome the Ponkas, tlie latter sent 
the aged Hau'ga-ckdde, whom the Omahar, 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 F16che 
as illustrating the bravery of his people : 

An old man had a son who reached manhood, and went into a fight. 

"otisz^:] MANDAN DANCE BRAVERY. 333 

from which he returned wounded, but not dangerously so. The sou 
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 sou 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, " Wil! ki ga^'^aqti k6- 
ana. Giitg^a iigaqfe (Jsaja-' te, eh4 (f a^'ctl."— Tf Ay •' ''e Ues as if he felt a 
strong desire to reach home! 1 said heretofore that you were to lie 
facing that way. So takiug 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, tJwah^haji m^, were of two sorts. 
To the first class belonged such as had given to the poor on many occa- 
sions, and had invited guests to many feasts, being celebrated for the 
latter as " w6ku-cta°." To the second class belonged those, who, be- 
sides having done these things many times, had killed several of the 
foe and had brought home many horses. In connection with war cus 
toms, see Property (Chapter XII), and Eegulative Industries (Chapter 

Another protective industry is the practice of medicine. (See Danc- 
ing Societies, Chapter X.) 


§ 225. Riddles, Wd^ade. — "Niaci°ga wi° ni kg'di hi ^ga", da^'be i[I, 
xag6 gi. Ed4da° a? — A person having gone to the water, and looked, at 
it is coming back weeping. What is thatf^ The answer is, "(f6x6 am6. 
Ni kg i^ijai y(i, a^i"' agii y(l, ga'6"6. l5 xag6, 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. 

jah6 !)aiig4qti wi° 6dedi^i» ^V}i, q^ab6 Aba6qtia° ! CaQ'ge gdediaraa; 
hi" sAb6, jide ctl, skS. cti. IndMa" a?" — There is a mountain that is cov- 
ered with trees. Horses are moving there; some hare black hair, some 
red, and some white. What is it f The answer is, "A person's head is 
the mountain ; the hairs are trees, and lice are the horses." 

" Gaw6xe wi" gdedi^a". Ind^da" st ? " — There is a place cut up by gul- 
leys. What is it ? Answer : Wa'ujiSga Ind6 ha, An old woman's face. 
(It is furrowed with wrinkles.) 

§ 22G. Proverbs, Wiu^a. — Sometimes they say of an obstinate man, 
" Wanija ^ga" aha°," He is like an animal, meaning that he is "naside- 
^iug6." Another ancient comparison is this: "J6 6ga° ^ha°. Wana"'- 
pajl dha°." — He is like the membrum virile! He fears the sight of noth- 
ing! 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, "ajjida- 
tclje," regardless of the consequences to others or to himself. 

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

Ictiuikeqtia'"i, He is like Ictinike; i. e., he is very cunning. Mijja 
da nvijiagi^ai. The raccoon wet his head. This refers to one who talks 
softly when he tries to tempt another. 

§ 227. Puns. — Two youths accomiianied 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 : " Sab6 a"^a°'da ^a^'ja, ga"'adi i^isdbe ha." — Though I was born 
black (sabS), now you suffer (i^isabe). 


§ 228. Plumstone shooting, 3^a"'-si kide. — This game was thus de- 
scribed by Dougherty. "Five plumstones are provided, three of which 
are marked on one side only with a greater or smaller number of black 



dots or lines, and two of them are marked on both sides; they are, how- 
ever, 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 coun- 
ters 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 jja'^-si gS. Their number va- 
ries. 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 plaj'ers 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 

§ 229. BanaQ'ge-kide, Shooting at the banange 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 " Mdxu," 
Marked with a knife, or " Mdg^eze," Gut in stripes icith a knife. The 
second is " S^b6 t6," The black one. The third is "Aki^itg," Crossing 
each other. The fourth is " Jiiig4 tc6," The little one, or " Mdxu jiug4 
tc8," The little one marked with a knife. The players agree which one 



of tbe figures shall be "waqx'ibe" for the game; that is, what card- 
players call '' trumps." 
Tbe 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, "Xa"ba"'a ii ha," Iha ve wound- 
cdittwice. If three figures have been 
hit, he says, " (^'abfi" a ii ha, "I have 
icounded three. Twenty arrows or 
sticks count as ablanket, twenty-five as a gun, and onehundred as ahorse. 
§ 2.30. j^abe-gasi, Bleii's game of hall. — This is played by the Omahas 

riG. 33.— The sticks. 

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 tbe 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 be- 
tween the posts at A. On the 
otlier hand, if the party rei»rtv 
Fig. 34.— xa"ba"auM. scnted by A sec that the ball is 

in danger of passing between the posts at D they try to divert it, either 

towards E or F. 


mkn's gamks: banaSge-kide, etc. 


The stakes may be leggings, robes, arrows, necklaces, etc. 
lost by the losing side, and are distributed by the winners 
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 uhe 

The game used to be 
played in three ways : (1.) 
Phratry against phratry. 
Then one of the players was 
not blindfolded. (3.)Village 
against village. The Omabas had three villages after 1855. 

All are 
in equal 

lj:abil;i" au La. 

Gahige's village, where most of the people were. Wi" 

Bi-kii de was 
d. ja'-ge was Stand- 

Fic. 36.— Diagram of the play -ground 

ing Hawk's village, near the Mission. Ja"-(fa'-te was Sanssouci's village, 
near Decatur. Fraidi La Fleche remembers one occasion when Wi"- 
djage challenged Bikude to play ^, and the former won. (3.) 
\Vhen 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 uian 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 Wabaonade. 

§ I'Sl. jaf'i" jahe, or Sticlc cmd ring. — jafi"-jahe is a game played 
by two men. At each end of the play-ground, there are two "bi'na,'' 
or rounded heaps of earth. 

A ring of rope or hide, the wafigije, 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. 
3 ETH 22 


If the hoop turns aside as it rolls it is not so difficult to thrust a stick 
through it. 

The stick (A) is about 4 feet long. D is the end that is thrust at the 
hoop. BB nre (he gaqa or forked ends for catching at the hoop. CO 

A '° 

JTlG. 37. — The stick used in playing (iiitf-.i"-jabe. 

are made of ha nasage, w^abasta uasage ika°ta", stiff hide, fastened to 
the forked ends with stiffs "weabasta," or material nsed 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 
Fig. 3f-Tbe end D Is thrust through it. When both sticks catch the 

^aigije- iioop neither one wins. 

The stiikes are eagle feathers, robes, blankets, arrows, earrings, neck- 
laces, &c. 

§ 232. Wabaonade, the tcomen^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 "gabazu" 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 
playground and act as uhe giuaji" for the women, as boys do for the 
men in ^abe-gasi. 

Each player has a webaonade, a very small stick of hard or red wil- 
low, 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 eflorts of her opponents, tries to 
throw it still further, and closer to her "home." The stakes are buf 
falo 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 j^abe-gasi. 

§ 233. Ja"-(j;iiwa, iStich- counting, is played by any number of persons with 
sticks made of deska or siduhi. These sticks are all ])laced 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 ex- 


cei)tiou of horses, aiij-thiug may be staked which is played for iu ba- 

§ 234. Ma°-gadaze is a game unknowu among the Omahas, but prac- 
ticed 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 Le 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. V"-nti'", 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, " (fiiig^e ha," It is 
icanting." He throws it far aside and forfeits his stakes. Three moc- 
casins remain for the rest of his friends to try. Should one of them hit 
the right one (uska^'ska" uti°', or uka°'ska uti"')? lie 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; tea sticks, a gun; one, an ar- 
row; four, a knife or a pound of tobacco; two, half a pound of tobacco. 
Buft'alo 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 

§236. Shooting arrows at a viark is called " Ma" kide. " The mark 
(nacabeg^e t6) 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 ar- 


row hits squarelj- at the mark it wins eight arrows or perhaps teu, ac- 
cordiug to previous agreement. When no arrow hits the mark squarely 
and one touches it, that arrow wins. And if there is ueither an arrow 
that hits the mark squarely nor one that barely touches it, theu the near- 
est 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 iu 
the game ueither one wins ; but if the equidistant arrows are ou the 
same side both win. Sometimes they say, " Let us finish the game 
whenever any one hits the mark squarely." Theu he who thus hits the 
mark wins all the arrows staked. 

§ 237. Shooting at a moccasin. — Hi°be kide is a boy's game. An arrow 
is stuck in the ground and a moccasin is fastened to it. Bach boy lides 
swiftly by and shoots at the moccasin. The game resembles the pre- 
ceding one. 

§ 238. Ma^miiqpe, The game of dislodging arrows, is common to the 
Omahas, Ponkas, lowas, 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 i)lay. 
The game has become obsolete among the Omahas as there are no ar- 
rows now in use. 

§ 239. Ma"(j;i"'-bagi, Wahi-gasuug'-ife (Omaha names), or Ma"-ibagi 
(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'de gasnug'-i^e is a game similar to Ma°^i°-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 ar- 
ranged 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 ou. 

§ 241. I°'-ti" hxk^a, 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-riugs; or, if they have no stakes they agree to hit once ou the 


head the boy whose stick goes the shortest distance. The sticks are 
thrown as in Ma"fi"-bagi. 

§ 242. JDirwfj.—Bojs dive and see wlio can go the farthest nntler wa- 
ter. Some put grass in their months previous to diving ; and when they 

Fig. 38.— The stick used in playiD;; l°ti"-bma. 

get under water they blosv through the grass, causing bubbles to rise 
to the surface and mark their course. He who goes the shortest distance 
can be sti'uck by the winner with the robe of the latter. 

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

Children strike one another " last," saying, " Gatca"',"i. e., " So far." 

j^ahafija is played by two persons. A's left hand is at the bot- 
tom, 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 '• j^nhn- 
(•ija" twice as they raise and lower the hands, they release them and nit 
at each other. The Kansas call the game Taleska. These two customs 
were observed among the Ponka children. 

§ 244. Games with playinr/ 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 fa- 
miliar 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 fol- 
lowing is one to which they seem to be particularly devoted: 

'' The idayers 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 per.sons 
make each a trick, they ]day together until his trick, when the 
other takes a stick. The cards are again dealt and the process is con- 
tinued 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 Ihem. 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 Qujja for the service of the keepers of the sacred tents of the 


HaSga (see Hunting customs, § 143), the singers for the Hede-watci, 
who were Iiike-sab6 men, and the musicians for the dancing societies, 



§ 246. Feasting societies or iJkiliune^g (called Ukiijunefe by the Pou- 
kas) 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 pro- 
ceedings. 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 Plfeche 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 sou, Frank ; and other men were allowed to send their sons as 
proxies. This society is now extinct. TLe 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, " Hi"be hi° t'a"". Hairy Moccasins." To this belonged Hidaha, 
of the Elk gens, Huta"ta°, of the Ictasauda, 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 Fl^che. (See §§ IS, 
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, in- 
cluding those connected with the practice of medicine. 2. Those that 
are " uwaciice-a^d^ica''," or connected with bravery and war. 3. Those 
that are " ujawa-c>d(j!ica"," 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 Wacicka aifsi^'-ma or Wacicka a((;i°'- 
watcigaxe is the name of the principal society. The j^oiwere name for 
it is " Waciickanyi." 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. <ja^i"na°paji spoke of it as one that was " waspe," well-behaved. 


Mr. J. La Flfeche and Two Crows used tbe following expressions with 
reference to it : " iJniju gaxai,'' (7 tended tu pride ; " ligactafika gdxai,'' 
it tended to temptation; "uma"(f-,a° gasai," it tended to theft; "iimi"- 
((•ig^a" gaxai," it tended lo concupiscence ; " iqta-bua°i," they used to 
abnse persons ; " watci," cum aliquibus coirernnt. The dancers used to 
dress so as to attract those of the opposite sex. The leaders or " i(^ig(f a" " 
of the dance are G^eda^-naji" and jedegahi. The other members whose 
names are remembered by Two Grows and others are Wacka"-ma"fi", 
Duba-ma^ij-.i", Maja°-kide, Cange-ska, Jiiiga-gahige, Ha"-akipa, the wives 
of Gfeda^naji", jede-gahi, and Wacka°-ma"^;i°, ^^e-baha's mother, and 
3;a°ze-haiiga's mother's sister. " Besides these are Muxa-naji", Jiiiga 
gahige's mother, Wacka°-ma°i^i"'s son, Uma°ha°-ta"wang^a° and many 
others." (Fragile La Fleche.) The full number is nineteen. All the 
chiefs can belongto this society, and their younger brothers, wives, eldest 
daughters, and sisters' sons are eligible. Waha°-^iiige's larger wife, 
A'^pa'^-^auga's sister, used to be a member. 

Not over five can carry otter skin bags in the dance. Four of these ai e 
Duba-ma°^i'', Jiuga gahige, Cailge-ska, and Maja°-kide. G(feda"-naji" is 
one of the two that can carry bags made of the skins of the sifiga or flying- 
squirrels. Ha°-akipa carries a bag made of the skin of a mij[a-ska or 
"white rac300u." This is a modern addition. ja^i°-na°paji said that 
some have bags of the skin of the maza^he, 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 F16che and Two Crows said that this kind 
of bag was not used by the Oniahas. The parents of Gfeda"-uaji'' 
(xesa" 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-ugaqixe," 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 i^laced cross- 
wise in the mouth of the animal. 

§ 24:9. 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 intermis- 
sion of a few days they may have the dance again, if they wish ; then, 
after a similar intermission, thej' 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 " qu^ja," part of whom, however. 


are members of the society. Two are appointed to beat the drums, aud 
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, aud hav- 
ing 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, " Wi ab^i"' t4minke. Nikaci°'ga wAga- 
zu'ga", abfi"' t^mirike. U^uka°pi t6ga° abif!!"' tdminke." — I iciU have 
him. IioiU have him, as he is an honest man. I iinll have him, as he will 
be a fine looking jierson. 

§ 251. Dress and ornaments of tite dancers. — Two Crows says that they 
used to wear deerskin leggings. He says that there is no uniform dress 
for members of either sex. jacjii^-na^paji gave the following : The men 
wear red leggings, of which each leg comes down over the moccasiu 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 jeji^hinde.'^ This jeji"^- 
hi^de part is fastened over the legging-ilap on the outer side of each leg, 
and is " zazade " (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<)!ig<j;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, extend- 
ing from each side of the mouth to the jaw, and similar stripes are drawn 
down on the sides of the nose. x*ii'°'i'°'l*^ head-dresses are worn, aud 
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 dawn the flaps or hi°b6diha of the moc- 

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, ex- 
tending all around the neck of the garment ; leggings with an abun- 
dance of ribbon embroidered on the flaps; short garters of !)eji"hi''de and 
bead- work; moccasins dyed black and ornamented with porcupine 
work, and a red or black blanket. 

jj^-ugacke Tai", ear-bobs, are worn. 

"Yarn of various colors intervoven. 


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 stylesof ])uttiug the i>ainton 
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, accoi-ding to ja(|'i"-na"-paji. There 
are different steps in the dance, and each jjerson keeps time with the 
beating of the drums. 

jaf.i''-na''paji says that the wacicka is as thick as a pencil, and is 
abouta half an inch long. It is white. It is generally shot at the candi- 
date by a member who is not one of his kindred, though the kinsman may 
do the shooting. It is generally given " waf ionaji," 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 him- 
self on the back of hishead 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 iu the mouth of the otter (that is, in the hi-ugaqixe), ex 
cept when the owner wishes to shoot it from his mouth (atacaudidatef), 
according to ^ja^io-na^paji. But J. La Fleche and Two Crows say that 
the wacicka is spit into the mouth of an otter when thej' 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: "Ten ! ten! tcu! tcu ! tcu ! " (iu thirty -second notes). 
Each pue 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 iu 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 " gaDUiide" 
{i. e., have made the wacicka come out of their throats by hitting them 
selves on the back of the neck), they return to their places in the circle, 
and the four who shot at them step iuto the center and are shot at by 
a third four. When the second four have " gaonude," 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 iu the dance, and the " iiwa- 


weq^qa." This uwavreqaqa or iqta was never witnessed by J. La Fleche 
and Two Crows. No one ever said to them, " I saw the uwaweqaqa iu 
the Wacicka dance." Bnt 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 un- 
willing 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 oc- 
curred during some part of the dance is more probable after a compar- 
ison of the season for this dance with the Ponka phrase, " Wibe, d^je 
t'a". A°(j;aii'giqtd ! " — ^^y little sister (or my female friend), grass abounds. 
[Let) us delight in each othe) ! Frank La Fleche 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. 

§ L'5.j. When Frank La Fleche witnessed the public ceremony in the 
lodge the members were stationed all around the circle. The four can- 
didates 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. 

§ I'oG. The T'lnuji^i fZf/Hce.— P'-kugfi a^i"' ma, or Qubd i"'-kug((;i aif-i'^'- 
ma, Thesociety of those icho have the translucent stones. jja^i"-na"paj'i says 
that this is a bad dance, the members being " wAspaji." Each member 
hasoue of the i"kug(fn, with which heor she shoots at some one else. These 
i"-kug(|:i are small stones which are translucent and white. The mem- 
bers of this society claim the power of shooting secretly any some one 
with deje or sidiihi,aud making him lame, ^ja^i" na"paji also says that 
they sometimes shoot persons secretly with " :)ama'"," which is a piece 
of the intestine of a wolf, and about six inches long. This produces 
fatal consequences. Frank La Fleche has heard this asserted, but it 
is denied by Joseph La Fleche and Two Crows. They do not know 
about the following, for which jaf i''-na°ijaji is the authority : "In order 
to shoot the i"-kug(J;l, 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 dis- 
tance, 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 " iki^ib(f!a°," mixed, or intermingled. 

Drums, rattles, etc., are used, as in the Wacicka a(f;i". 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 


tlie\ do for the Wacicka a^'i". The men wear many plumes in llieir 
hair, and carry fans made of eagles' wings. They have no regular pat- 
terns for painting themselves; but they use as paint eithef " wasejide- 
nika" (Indian red) or " ma°(j;iiika-qude " (gray clay). 

The only surviving leaders of this society are x^nuga and Sihi-duba. 
Among the members are B(fa"-ti, j^and-una°ha", Uif a"be-'a°sa, Cage-sk;!, 
j,aqiewa^6-jiriga, j^a-sa°, Inigaui, Maja°kide, Siqude, Nilnde-wahi, and 
some women. According to J. La Fl^che, this is one of the dances that 
are considered " waqube." It is obsolescent. B(J;a"-ti, Sihi-duba, and 
j^and-una"ha" are the waze^e or doctors who treat biliousness andfevers • 
but they do not go together to visit a patient. 

§ 257. The Buffalo dance. — j^e-ifaecfe-ma. The society of those icho have 
supernatural communications icith 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 
be transmitted to his son. Two Ci-ows 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 "(;e icfae^e," which 
has been the duty of others. 

Until recently, the four doctors of this society were as follows : Ni- 
(f^ctage, the principal doctor, now dead ; Two Crows (now the principal 
one), ja^i°-gahige, of the x^f^'^? ^"<^ Zizika-jiiiga, of the liikesabe. 
Two Crows gives portions of the medicine to the other doctors, and 
they "wezecfg," administer it to the patients. A°ba-hebe used to be a 
doctor. The other members whose names have been obtained are these: 
Duba ma"(fi", xe-nj]a"ha, Icta-q(f-u'a, xemigaj'^" f 'fil^e* I°c'age-wahi^e, 
and Gackawaiig(j!e. x*'^!"' Ji"»'''' "o^' dead, was a member. 

§ '258. Times for dancing. — After the recovery of a patient, the mem- 
bers 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 mem- 
bers of the Horse and Wolf dancing societies to join them ; but the lat- 
ter can never dance independently of the Buti'alo dancers. 

<ja^i"-na°paji 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 thej' 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, mak 
ing a line 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."-" If this is not done by the members of the Buffalo so- 
ciety, it is probably done by others, and jja(j;i°na"paji has made a mis- 

5° In tlie Osage tradition, coru was derived from four buffalo bulls. See J^ 31, 36, 
123, and 163. 


take ouly iu the Dame of the society to whicb they belong. "The fog 
occurred ou the fourth day after Siqude, of the I°-lcugf i society, treated 
a patient. He used to predict the fog; and the patient was caused to 
walli. I never heard of the doctors, spurting water to cause the fog." 
(Franl- La Fleche.) 

§ 259. Painting and dress. — The men rub ma"f iiilia sab6 (black earth) 
or ma°f iiika :;uqude (a greenish gray earth) over their bodies and arm- 
joints. Some ru b earth (ma°^iiika-sab6 or ma°^niika -^u-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 iu addition to these robes with the hair outside. 
Some wear buffalo tails fastened in belts. Some have sticks of red wil- 
low with the leaves on, which they use as staffs iu the dance. Each of 
four men used to put the skin of a buffalo head over his head, the horus 
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 neck- 
laces of "c(^hi°," that is, the old hair, either of a bull or that of a cow, 
which has been shed Those who do not wear these 46hi° necklaces, 
wear "ja"^qa." 

In former days, no women participated; but now about two are jires- 
ent at the feast, though they do not join in the dance. They wear robes 
with the hair outside, according to ^a((;i°-ua''paji. No gourd rattles are 
used. One man acts as "qujja," 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. — Cah'gei^aecf^-ma, The sociefi/ of those who have 
supernatural communications icith 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 iu the 
daoce of the Wacicka a(f;i°ma. They whiten themselves, rub earth on 
their shoulders, and Indian red on some parts of their bodies. They 
wear necklaces of horses' maues, from each of which a feather is sus- 
pended. 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 

Members. — Wacuce was a member. Those now living are G^eda"-uaji", 
Eona" hauga(whohasnohorses!),Wata°uaji",Maja''-kide, Ui(!;a"-be'a°sa, 
ja-sa"-naji°,Tcaza-^niige, Cyu-jiuga (who wears a necklace), Hacima"(f'i°, 
Waq^a-^uta", Une-ma°^i°, Wani4a-waq6, Ta-i-kawahu, Jiiiga gahige, ^le- 
baha, etc. Accordiug to Mr. J. La Fi^che, this dance is now obsolete. 

§201. The Wolf dance. — Ca^Ljaiiga-ifaef^-ma, The society of those who 
hare supernatural comimtnications with Wolves, The members of the 


Wolf iJance. These meu cauuot dauce except with the buffalo ilanceis, 
and with the consent of the latter. Two Crows has seen them dance 
but twice. He and J. La Fl^che do not know much about them. 

In this dance there are no women, and none are doctor.s, accordiug to 
La FIfeche and Two Crows. No shooting is done, though the dancers 
act mysteriously. They wear wolf skins, and redden the tii)s of the 
wolves' noses, according to ja(f'i°na°paji and Frank La Flfeciie (but de- 
nied by Two Crows). They paint their bodies in imitation of the " blue 
wolves, ca°jauga-}vi-ma ^ga^-ma^a"." Those who have held enemies, 
or have cut them up, paint the hands and wrists red, as if they were 
bloody. Others whiten their bauds, wrists, aukles, 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. 

§ 1'62. The Grizzly hear dance. — Ma^tcii-i^aeif^-ma, Those who have su- 
pernatural comtmtnications with grizzly hears, also called Ma^tciig^xe 
watcigaxe. The dance in which they -prerend to he grizzly hears. This 
has not been danced for about ten years, so La Pl^che and Two Crows 
cannot tell who belong to the society. In former days there were wo- 
men that belonged, but in modern times none have been members. 

This dance is spoken of by La Fleche and Two Crows as an " uckade," 
a sport or play, and an " lijigaxe," a game. It is danced at any season 
of the year that the members decide upon ; and all the people can wit- 
ness 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, speak- 
ing 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 anddress. — Theyniakethewholebodyyellow, wearing no cloth- 
ing 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. Some- 
times 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 (bi°qpe). 
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 ^a(J!i°-wasabe or Witcita dance. — ^jii(/;i''- wasdbe watcigaxe 
ik4geki<j;6, The society of the Witcita or jd^i°-wasdbe (Black bear Paw- 

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 eit some of the medicine, and smell 
the rest. Similar customs are found among the Pawnees and Ponkas. 


A mau tliioks, " I will boil," and be invites to a feast those who bave 
the medicine of the Witcita society. On their arrival he says, " ou 
snob a day we will dance." Two or three men boil for the least 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 Fleche 
has witnessed this, and says that it closely resembles the public cere- 
mony of the Wacicka society. 

§ 264. PMiit and dress. — The breech-cloth is the only regular gar- 
ment. Two Crows and La Flfeche say that all whiten their bodies and 
legs all over; but ja(('i"-na°pnji 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 "^ikaqude" 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 "^ikaqude" skin ou the ai-m, 
while others carry the skin of the "ma"(J;iii'kac6Iia," 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. "Maka^'-jide ha u^'iiha baqtflqta uusi- 
aqf a-hna"!" — The red medicine icitli the shin adhering to it (being about 
three inches long) is tied up in a bundle, ichich is worn " nusi-aqf'a," 
//Ae 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 ''qu^ja." 

Members. — Only one wonum belongs to this society ; but the male 
members are the following : G(J-eda°-naji", ja(J;i"-gahige, Muxa-naji", j^e- 
u;[a"-ha,Za°zi-mande,Wajifiga, gui-ti(j;a°,Qi^;a-gahige, xenuga-ja°-(|;ii5ke, 
Zizika-jiflga, ^laxe-na^p'!", Oage-duba, Eoua^-haiiga, Ag(J!i°-duba, Jiil- 
ga-gahige, and Waji"-^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. Watci-wa^upi. — This society has not had a dance for about 
thirty years among the Omahas. It is like the dance of the Wasejide 
a(f;i"ma, which has a medicine that resembles that of the jafi^-wasabe 
in its use. During the day women danced with the men ; but at night 


the men danced alone. This is said to be one of the ancient tribal 

§ 266. Was6-jlde a^i^'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^iipi. ^a^i°-na°paji says that the dance is 
sacred. La Fleche and Two Crows have never seen it. They invite the 
members to a feast, as do the Wacicka a^'i°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 ex- 
ception. [Frank La Flfeche says that men do take part in this dance, 
and that the women do not carry the medicine.]^' 

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 jacfu^-na^x^aji, 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 tire, 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 Ha'^'he watci ( j,oiwere, Ha^'he waci) is not " The 
Night Dance," as its name implies. It is an ancient dance, which is 
not used now. According to ja^i^^a^paji, it is "qub^ 4ta," vert/ 
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 Urows and 
La Flfeche say that it is " uwahehajl, nua;A^ica°, « bravery dance, jyer- 
taining 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. 

3Ir. J. La Fleche said that there was some connection between this 
society and the Ifig(j;a°-ifae<J;e-ma. 

The Hede-watci was a "nikie dance," which occurred on a festival, 
and in which the whole tribe particiiJated. (See §153.) 

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

The Mij[asi watcl, or Coyote dance, is described in the chaiJter on 
War Customs, § 203. 

-'The Kansas hare the Maka" jiidje.Red Medicine, ami the Osages theMaka" oiijse 
vratsi", Red Medicine Dance. The leader of the latter is a man. The Kansas used 
to have the Wase jide a^;i"-m.a. 



The HecJ'iicka dancing society is described in the chapter on War 
Customs, §§ 214, 216. 

The He watci is part of the He<f-uclva dance. (§ 217.) 

§ 2C8. T'e gaxe watci, The dance of those expecting to die. — This has 
not been observed for fifteen years by the Oiuahas. It is explained 
thus, "Ukit'e jjicte, at'e tauiinke, efega" ega" iiwatcigaxe gaxai." — As 
one thinJcs, ' I icill die if there are any enemy, ^ they male the dance. 

This is the men's dance, being " wacuce-a^iif ica"," 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 " waqfeqfe-' a"s:l" in their hands as they dance. 
These objects resemble the " waqfL'xe-(('aze," but there is a different 
arrangement of the feathers. 



-The waq<;'eqre-'a''sa. 

All paint themselves as they please, and carry "^ahanujja dexe" or 
rattles made ot green hide. 

§ 269. The Make-no-fight dance. — Mil^a w^itcigAxe, the " Nape-sui- 
kagapi " 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 Fleche and Two Crows have heard of it, but have not 
seen it. ja(J;i"-na"paji says " I have not seen it since I have been grown. 
It was in use here long before mj- time." It is a bravery dance. 
Drams are beaten. The dancers hold gourd rattles, and each one carries 
uuiuy 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 char- 
coal. 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 han- 
dles. They rushed among the foe and stabbed them before they could 
draw their bows. 

§ 270. jja-ug^a" Watci, The dance in which buffalo head-dresses icere 
put on, has long been obsolete. It was a bravery dance. ja^i°-na"paji 
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 buftalo 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 

§ 271. Egi'a"-w^tcigiixe, T//e Visitors' dance of relating exploits. — When 
a friendly visit has been made horses are given to all the visitors who 


are iuvited to dance. " figi'a" wa((;dtcig4xe tai," You will dance the dance 
of exploits. The visitors sit iu a circle and the membei's of the home 
tribe sit outside. A drum, sticli, a " crow," and a chib 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, "Hi! hi! hi!" 
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 siich inter- 
vals 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 
iu all. Some tell their exploits two or three times, i. e., they may re- 
quire 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 Hef ucka dance, 
§ 217.) This is not danced very often. 

§ 272. The Ohost dance. — Wandxeifaef 6-ma are those who have super- 
natural communications with ghosts. The dance is called Wandxe 
if a^^e wdtcigdxe. Formerly the Poukas had this dance, and the Oma- 
has saw it and coveted it ; so they took it. It has not been danced by 
the Omahas for about forty years. La Flfeche and Two Crows never saw 
it, but they have heard of it ; and they speak of it as " iiqtaji ; eddda" 
Igaxewafdji," «MdesjV«&/e; totally unfit for any use. But jjafi^-na^paji 
says that it was an " liwaqube," 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 

§ 273. The PadanJca dance. — The PMauka watci (Camauche dance?) has 
not been held among the Omahas since (ja(f;i°na°paji can remember. 
The Omahas bought it from another tribe, and had it a long time. 
When Mr. J. La F16che was small, he saw a little of it. He and Two 
Crows have heard about it. The drum was struck ; the dancers red- 
dened their bodies with Indian red ; they wore head-dresses of crow 
feathers or of the large feathers of the great owl. Each one carried 
the " ^acdge " or rattles of deers' claws. 

§ 274. The Hekdna dance. — This was introduced among the Omahas by 
the Otos when they visited the former tribe in August, 1878. The Otos 
call it " He-ka°'-yu-hd." It is found among the Sacs and other Indians 
south of the Omahas. This is the dance iu which the young people of 
both sexes participate, and it is called " iimi°figf a°," 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 
3 ETH 23 


a girl whom he admires he boils for a feost, and iuvites the guests. 
All the yoiiug meu 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 lai-ge earth-lodge, in the middle ol which a fire 
is kept up, and candles are placed on supports around the walls. Some- 
times the boys blow out the lights all at once alter 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 yonth wishes to court a girl, he waits till the girl approaches 
him ia 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 her's. Every time the drumming stops, 
the dancers in each pair change places, but they still face each other. 

■V\'hen a woman or girl wishes a man as a partner, she takes him by 
the hands when hegetsclose to her in the dance. 

AVhen a distant " mother's brother " meets one whom he calls his 
niece, he may address her thus in sport : "A°w<'itcigaxe tai, wihe ! " /. 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 orna- 
ment, 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 au 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 
meu and those in the prime of life belong to this society. All are ex- 
pected 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.) 

§ 270. The Tulmla 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 


those of the other chiuce, but the .sougs aucl dauces are differeut. The 
behavior of the members is uot as good as that of the members of the 
Mandau society, though quarreliug 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 " walieknzi "' or " wa- 
qi^exe-<l"Aze, of which the eud leather on the bent part of tlie pole is white, 
and the iDole is wrapped in a piece of otter skin. 

§ 277. The Sim dancehns not been practiced among the Oniahas. They 
can give no account of it, tliough some of the ceremonies of the Uede- 
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 "nje;i," 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 " Wana wiitcigaxe," or Beyying 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. PonM dancing societies. — The Ponka men have two other danc- 
ing societies: the Gak'exe (which the Omaha Duba-ma"((,-i" says is the 
same as the Hi°sk4yuha of the Dakotas) and the (J/adiixe. No informa- 
tion has been gained respecting these societies. 

The Ponka women have three dancing societies: the Pa-^ata", the 
Gat'ana, and the Ma^'zeskil na^'p'i" ( who wear silver necklaces). 



§ 280. Regulative industries are such as pertaiu to the goveruineut'ol 
the tribe, embraciug all orgauizationswbicli are " wewasi)ea;a^ica"," 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 (Cbaj). Ill), religion, and government, with the 
last of which is associated the law^ With the latter may be classed the 
sacred tents, sacred iiijies, chiefs, etc. A term of broader significance 
is " Wakandaja^ica"," Pertaining to or derived from Walanda, the Deity 
or Superior Being. Most of the things which are wewaspea;a(J;ica" are 
also W;ikauda4a((;ica°, but tbere are things which are Wakauda^a(f-ica° 
that are not directly connected with the government of the state, c. </., 
the law of catameuial seclusion. 

§ 281. Governmental instrumentalities. — The following wewaspe or 
government instrumentalities are regarded as Wakanda^afica": The 
sacred pipes, including the war pipe, the calumet pipes, the sacred pole, 
the sacred ;je-sa"-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 feast- 
ing 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 dif- 
ferentiated in the Omaha state. There is a still further functional 
division running through the legislative, executive, and judicial depart- 
ments, 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 Gustoms, 
Chapter IX.) 

§ 2S3. There does not seem to be a distinct order of in'iests who per- 
form 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(fa" 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 




of the sacred pipes, and the wa^a" are of a civil character. The chiefs 
are religious ofiBcers during the buffalo hunt ; they are always praying 
to Wakanda, and showing the pipes to him. They do not act as lead- 
ers of the hunt, which is the office of the waf a°, 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 18^0. The 
head chiefs have generally been chosen from the Haugacenn 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-janga, The Elder Gahige, commonly called Wajinga-sabe, 
Black Bird, of the Ma°(j;iiika-gaxe (an Ictasanda) gens; and jjC-sa"- 
i°c'age, The Elder x^-sa", or The Venerable man, Distant-white Buffalo, 
of the ^atada {Haugacenn) gens. II. x^"***^" i°c'age (continued), and 
A°pa°-skg, White Elk, of the Weji^cte (a Hangaceuu) gens. III. jjs- 
sa° i^c'age {continued), and A°pa''-:jaiiga, Big Elk, of the Weji°cte 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 TJha°-jiiiga or Wah^xi, called Icta-4aiiga, Big 
Eyes, by the white men. The latter was an Ictasanda man. He mar- 
ried a sister of G(feda"-nnji°, and this was one reason why the latter 
succeeded him as one of the principal chiefs. V. In 1843, A°pa"-;aiiga 
jinga, the YoiangcB Big Elk, of the Weji°cte gens, and Gfeda°-naji°, 
Standing Hawk, of the (patada gens. Another reason for the appoint- 
ment of the latter was -the friendship existing between his father, j^e- 
sa°, and Taikitawahu. ' VI. On the death of A^pa^-^aiiga, his adopted 
son, Icta-ma°z6, Iron Eyes, or Joseph La Fleche, was made his sue 
cessor, and so he and Gi(;eda°-naji" 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. — Xest to the nikagahi uju are the uuder 
chiefs, or nikagahi, of whom the number in each tribe varies from time 
to time. When both of the head chiefs retire from offlce or die there 
is an entire chaugeof the subordinate chiefs; all must resign, and others 
must be elected to fill their places. Thus when A°pa°-4aiiga jiiiga and 


Gfeda" naji" succeeded to the bead cliieftainship, iu 1843, fully sixty 
subordiuate chiefs were appointed. Among these were A"ba-hebe, of 
the x^"*^^ gens; Ictaduba, of the "Wasabe-hit'aji subgens; jasi-duba 
and Za"zi-mande, of the 3;a°ze gens; Ta"wa"-gaxe, of the Ma^finka- 
gaxe gens ; and jja(fi"-gahige, of the x^da. Some chiefs have been ap- 
Ijointed by the United States Government, and so have been recognized 
as chiefs by the United States agent in bis 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 ap- 
pointed by the United States about the year 1869. Caiige-ska was made 
chief in the place of Ta^wa'^-gaxe ; Il)aha"bi, instead of his father, 
Wauu^iige, of the Ictasanda gens; and Wani^a-waqe, the keeper of the 
sacred pipe of the x^^^^ '^^^ the third. 

In 1878 the following were the chiefs who met the agent in councils: 
G^eda"-uaji" aud his brother, jjede-gahi, who were considered the head 
chiefs by some; Ma"tcuna"ba, of the Haiiga ; Gabige, of thelnke-sab6; 
Mahi"-(fiuge, of the Weji"cte; Wacka"-ma"((;i", the third ^atada chief ; 
Gauge ska, Wani:)a-waqe, and Ibaha"bi. The last three always ap- 
peared 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 
youug men or progressives. 

§ 28G. Omaha chiefs elected in March, 1880. — These were elected by an 
assembly of the whole tribe, iu open council, aud by a show of hands. 
All are of equal rank, there being no principal chiefs : 

jede-gahi (of the chiefs' party) and Na"pewa(f-e or Cyu-jiiiga (of the 
young men'sparty), of the (f atada (G(|'eda"-naii" and Wacka"-ma"fi" were 
depo.sed). Gahige (of the chiefs' party) aud r)uba-ma"(j'i" (of the youug 
men's party), of the luke-sabe. ^jaxe-fa^ba, or Two Crows (of the youug 
meu's party), and Icta-basude (of the chiefs' party), of the Haiiga. The 
latter was substituted for his aged father, Ma"tcu-na"ba. The only 
Ictasanda chief elected was Caiige-ska, of the Ma"^iiika-gaxe. Mabi"- 
<fiiige, Waui^awaqe, and Ibaha"bi were ignored. 

A few months later three more were elected : Siude xa°xa" instead of 
Wani;a-waqe, of thexa-da; AVaha" f iuge, of the xe-sinde; and Ibaha"- 
bi, 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 Onuihas. (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 iu any of the deliberations. (See § 290.) 

§ 288. Who can he elected chiefs. — As a rule, they must be such as 
have won a good reputation in the tribe. A generous mau, one who 
has giveu 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 aud aged, of those who are not kinsmen. Some- 



times a mau is elected who has not led a good life ; but tUey make him 
chief with the hope that the uew resjiousibilities restiug on him may 
sober him, and make him a wise mau. Sometimes a mau succeeds to 
the chieitaiuship through the efibrts of some kiusmau or affinity who 
is a chief or head chief. 

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

§ 289. Sacred or mysterious rites pertuininy to the initiation or inaugura- 
tion of chiefs. — (1). Among the Poukas. Ma"'egahi, of the Hisada, told 
the following : Muxa-naji" of the Wacabe, Ce-naji" of the Maka", (pa'ega" 
of the Nuqe, Si-(j'iuge of the Maka", Ma''zesi-ugada'" (of the half-breed 
band), and Canugahi of the (pixida, carry the six sacred pipes four times 
around the tribal circle. Muxa-naji" 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 i)ipes 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 be- 
come 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 

Nuda"-axa's account of the ceremonies 
at the time of his electiou is as follows: 
When an old chief resigns, a tent is set up 
iu 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 
hai5ga-i[i'a"ze or privileged decoration is 
painted on the skull, into the nostrils of 
which some sprigs of wild sage ai'e thrust. 
All the chiefs paint the hauga-iji'a^ze 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, 
iu imitation of the buffaloes. The retiring chiefs say to their successors, 

Fig. 41.-Tlie Ponka style of 
bauga-!li ■a"ze. 


"Qub6i[ifdi-gft!" i.e., "Cause yourselves to be sacred by means of the ani- 
mals that you see in your dreams when you fast." When they have left 
the hirge 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-naji° of the Maka°, He(-icije of the Xuqe, 
j£a^i°-gahige (of the Wajaje?), Muxa-uaji° of the Wacabe, a Nikadaona 
man, and Cauugahi 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 Cenaji° arrives at the teuts 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-naji° ad- 
dresses a few words to each of the candidates who are not the sons of 
chiefs, but to those who are the sons of chiefs manj- words are spoken. 
I belonged to this latter class, so all the old men said to me, " Ni;a 
l^ibijia" tat6 ! I°c'^ge ci tat6! ^iMi giihi, ^iji°'^',e gAhi, ^i^iga" gAhi, 
^mustdqti ^ida°'be ma'^^i'^' tai ! Wtigazuqti ma°(fi"' ga°'f a-ga." i. e., "You 
shall have you 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, " Ca°," Enough ! Then the 
crier proclaims, " Oa°' A^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 inaug- 
uration 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 : " Gifijfa" 
it6(|;a-ga ! I5gi(j!e e'di ^agcjii"' te ha ! " i. e., " Make room ! Beware how you 
sit there ! " By and by the two principal chiefs came, stepping very delib- 
erately, and took their places at the head of the circle of those within 
the large tent. 

(2) Among the Omahas, as told by La Fl^che and Two Crows: 
Only one old man goes once around the tribiil circle. He starts from 
his own gens, the Iiike-sab6, 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 Weji^cte tent last of all. 
The men of each gens assemble by themselves. Some are afraid to un- 
dertake the chieftainship, saying, " It is difficult ; I am unwilling." If 
a candidate is " naxide-(|;in'ge," or " wiispaji," /. c, disobedient or ill-he- 
havccl, the men of his gens can iireveut 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 buflalo skull are similar 
to what happens among the Poukas, with a few exceptions. The chiefs 
do not redden their armpits, elbows, and the toes of their moccasins, 
and the haiiga-jii'a'=ze is slightly difi'erent. 



Fig. 42.— Tbc Omaha style of haiiga- 

The only clotbiug worn by the chiefs dnriug this ceremony consists of 
moccasins, leggings, breech-cloths, and buffalo robes, with the hair out- 
side. The place of meeting is the earth-lodge 
belonging to one of the principal chiefs. Be- 
sides 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 
Hauga who keep the sacred tents, sit by the 
door, as the wag(J;a, to get wood and water, 
and to attend to the boiling of the food for 
the feast. The rest of the peo])le, iucludiug 
the brave men and the young men, are not 
invited to the feast, but they can sit outside 
the lodge. When the crier says, " Ca° af a, 
u+ ! " the candidates know that he refers to 
them, so they and the people hasten to the 
earth-lodge. (See Fig. 2, § 18.) 

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 as- 
signed 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 re- 
tiring chiefs, esceiit 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. 

Wlieu 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 i)rincipal 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. L>o not lie lest the 
people speak of you as lying chiefs and refuse to obey you." 

§ 290. The tribal assembly or coHmil. — This is composed of the chiefs 
a'oue. 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 as- 
sembled, they are not always invited to a feast ; but the two sacred pipes 
were always carried around the circle. (See § IS.) 

The priucipal 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 


do you decide ou ? " or " Do joa decide what shall be doue." If cue 
after another refused to express au opinion, tUe two principal chiefs con- 
tinued 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. [/., if they had any 
grievance against the members of another gens. 

§ 292. Powers of subordinate Chiefs. — Chiefs had certain rights, among 
which were the follow ing : 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 keei>ers of the Haiiga 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 combat- 
ants 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 occui)ied by the tribe, to the Uuited 
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 
l)rivate 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. Xo chief 
had a right to deprive a hunter of au auimal 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 fol- 
lowing : 1. The right to order thfi 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 
iihiefs were obliged to resign. 

§ 295. Potcers of the Keepers of the Sacred Tents. — They had certain 
dutica to perform during the buffalo hunt. They had the care of the 
sacred tents, witli their contents, the pole, and sacred skiu. They acted 


as wag((.-a for the tribal assembly, iu which they had seats, but without 
the right to joiu in the deliberations. Thej- were expected ou such oc- 
casious to attend to the fire, to bring in wood and water, and to super- 
intend the lioiling of the food for the feast, whenever one was given to 
the assembly. (See § 8.) 

§ 290. — Powers of the Keepers of the Sacred Pipes (see Chapter HI).— 
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 po- 
licemen for each chief. They could strike any of the disobedient per- 
sons, 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 buttalo. 

§ 298. Religion. — Religion may be considered as not fullj 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 i-eligion 
of the Omahas cannot be given iu this paper. It is connected with the 
practice of medicine, mythology, war customs, gentile system, etc. 


§ 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. Govern- 
ment law. 5. International law. 6. Military law. 7. Eeligions law. 

Crimes may be committed against personal law, jjroperty law, cor- 
poration law, government law, international law, military law, and re- 
ligions 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 consanguinitj' and affinity are considered as bars to 
intermarriage. The m.arriage of kindi-ed 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. 

3Iarriage by elopement has been practiced, but marriage by capture 
or by duel are not known. (See § 82.) 

Xage, 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(fai, accidental Mlling, 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 bis life may be taken by the kinsman of the victim with- 
out a trial before the assemblj' 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 



the embraces of tweuty or thirty meu successively; she is then abau- 
tloued. But this never happeued wheu the womau had any immediate 
kindred, for if she had any such kindred in the tribe the husband woukl 
be afraid to punish his wife in that manner. A womau thus punished 
became an outcast; no one would marry her. 

(h) Prostitution. — In 1S79 there were only two or three women iu the 
Omaha tribe that were known as mi°ckeda or public women. Of late 
years, according to La Fleche and Two Crows, there have been many 
mi°ckeda, but it was not so formerly, when the Indians were the only 
inhabitants. A father did not reprove his daughter if she was a 
mi°ckeda. 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 au arrow at her, and if they killed her, nobody could 

(c) Fornication. — This is not practiced as a rule, except with women 
or girls that are mi°ckeda. So strict are the Omahas about these mat- 
ters, that a young girl or even a married women walking or ridiug alone, 
would be ruined iu character, being liable to be taken for a mi"ckeda, 
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 
womau 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 iu which the women and girls participate. 
This has occurred recently ; and does not apply to all the females pres- 
ent, but only to a few, and that not ou 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 iHcdirasda. — A man or boy who suffered as a victim 
of this crime was called a mi°-quga, or hermaphrodite. La Fleche and 
Two Crows say that the mi"-quga is "gfa^^i"," foolish, therefore he acts 
in that manner. 

(e) Eape. — 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 Gia"ze-(fiiige, 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 viohited 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 ac- 
cident, as when two meu wrestle, iu 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 bodj'; but this is a punishment 
and not a ci'ime. La Fleche and Two Crows never heard of teelh 
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 " waniaji," that 
is, unable to cause pain. 



§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 laud 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 bis 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 
laud. Laud is like water and wind, " wc(J-i"wi"-(('i'a-wa(j'f'," what cannot 
he 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, 

(&) 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 Gen- 
tile System, Chapter III.) 

(c) Ho\iseliold 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 hou.sehold. 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 hiui in cut- 
ting it up. (See §§ 1-47, 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 jiossessory right to such a 
tract or tracts of land as the members of his family or household culti- 
vated ; and as long as the land was thus cultivated, his right to its en- 
joyment was recognized by the rest of the tribe. But he ccmld not sell 
bis 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 : " Ew^ku 


ka"'b(|:a. I°wi"'bau-ga." i. e., "I wish to iuvite them to a feast. Boil 
for me." 

3Iembers 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 wonld not refuse. When the borrower 
had fluislied using it, he returned it to the lender, for he would be 
a.shamed to keep it as his own. There never was a case of refusal to 
return a borrowed article. If the nse 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 re- 
turned to the latter his property, the lender would say to him, " Keep it ! " 

§3U5. 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 fol- 
lowing 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 stepsons generally deprive her of all the property, 
because they fear lest she should go elsewhere and marry. 

§306. Crime against iiroperty 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 whiijped 
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 bivffalo hunt, quarreling, and fight- 
ing. The violations of the rules of the buffalo hunt were also regarded 
as crimes against religious law. 



(See War Customs, Military Law, aud Visiting Customs.) 
§307. Mode of making peace with another tribe. — When tlie Omabas 
wislied to make peace, wliicli was termed, "making tlieland 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 thi