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N.A.SOC. L 953 s 


Alfred Mareton Tozzer 
1877 - 1954 






P^C 8 10]< 




American fluseum of Natural 

H istory . 

Vol. XI, Part III 






Published by Order of the Trustees. 


N. ^..: c. L- ^^3 s 


By Robert H. Lowie. 



In 1907 I was able to secure only a few salient facts concerning the 
military societies of the Crow, but in 1910 they formed the principal sub- 
ject of investigation during nearly three months* work at Lodge Grass and 
Pryor, Montana. The following summer I succeeded in obtaining some 
supplementary data, both at Lodge Grass and in the Big Horn district. 
My method was to inquire of every informant what societies he had be- 
longed to in the course of his life and to ask for a description of them. I 
discovered very soon that nearly all my authorities had been members of 
either the Lumpwood or the Fox society and that the other Crow organiza- 
tions had either very few or no living representatives. Accordingly, so 
far as the latter are concerned, I often had to content myself with second- 
hand information. On the other hand, about the Foxes and Lumpwoods 
I gathered together a considerable mass of material until it waa impossible 
to get additional points from new informants. Even with regard to the 
other organizations on which information was meager, I fear that it is no 
longer possible to add anything of moment to the results here presented. 

As will be clear to readers of the first chapter, the present paper does 
' not exhaust the subject of Crow societies and dances, but deals only with 
organizations related to the military and age-societies of other tribes. 
This limitation may seem inconsistent with the plan of other papers in this 
series. The reason for it Kes in the fact that, while in some other tribes it 
is difficult-lCL^pparRtP the militigy from other organizations, among the 
Crowthey stfmdjmt^ts a^ clearly defined group. The chapters on the Hot 
Dance and Clowns have been included for purposes of comparison with 
other tribes. 

My interpreters were the same to whom acknowledgment has already 
been made in the introduction to my Social Life of the Crow Indians, but 
the work on military societies was conducted more particularly with the 
assistance of James Carpenter, Robert Yellowtail, and Henry Russell. 

A slight change in orthography should be noted. In the present paper 
"b" and "d" are not nasalized; "m" and "n'*, weakly nasalized; "m" 
and "n", fully nasalized. 

Robert H. Lowie. 
March, 1913. 



' Page. 




The Crow System 




. 155 

j Foxes 

. . . . .155 


.... 163 

Mutual Relations 

. . . • . 169 

Big Dogs 


. • . , . 175 

Muddy Hands 

.... .183 

Hambier Society 


r-, 1 

. , . . . 186 

Bull Society .... 

"' ' * 

• . . .189 

Crazy Dogs .... 

-* r i. 

. 191 

Crazy-Dogs-Wishing-to-Die . 



. 193 

Half-Shaved Heads 


■ - 

. . .. < .. 196 

Muddy Mouths and Little I 


. • 

. . ,199 

Crow Owners c . 



. . . .199 

HOT DANCE . . . 



CLOWNS . . . 


. . . .207 

TEXTS . . . . ' . 


. . . . 212 


Text Figures. 





(a) Hammer Society Staff ; (b,'c) Model of Hammer Society Emblem; (d) 
Straight Staff of Fox and Lump wood Societies; (e) Hooked Staff of Fox 
and Lumpwood Societies 

Dewciaw Rattle . . . 

(a) Crazy Dog Rattle; (b) Muddy Hand Sash; (c) Hot DancG Stick 

Hot Dance House at Lodge Grass ....... 

Hot Dance House Frame 

Clown in Full Costume . 

Boy in Clown's Disguise . . . 



The Crow System. 

For convenience' sake the societies that form the subject of this paper 
may be collectively referred to as "military societies." The earliest refer- 
ence to them dates back to 1804, when Lewis and Clark discovered a Dakota 
society of men pledged to foolhardy conduct and learned that this was 
organized in imitation of the societies of the Crow.^ Probably about two 
decades later Beckwourth noted the existence of the rival Dog and Fox 
societies.^ In 1833 Maximilian enumerated eight Crow organizations — 
the Bulls, Prairie-Foxes, Ravens, Half-Shaved Heads, Lumpwoods, Stone 
Hammers, Little Dogs, and Big Dogs.^ When I first visited the Crow in 
1907, I learned of only four societies of this type, — ^Foxes, Lumpwoods, 
Big Dogs, and Muddy Hands. These are likewise the only ones described 
by Mr. Curtis in his recent work, though he refers in addition, without 
giving names, to boys' organizations modeled on those of the older men.* 
Persistent inquiry among practically all old Crow informants enabled me, 
however, to obtain, not only all the names of Maximilian's list, but also 
two or three additional ones. 

From even the imperfect glimpse afforded by a comparison of the sources 
just mentioned, which is in some measure supplemented by the information 
recorded in the following pages, one principle may be regarded as safely 
established. We must view the Crow system of military societies as under- 
going considerable changes in the course of the nineteenth century, and the 
changes on the whole do not appear to be closely connected with the in- 
fluence of civilization. In other words, there is no reason to suppose that 
changes of a similar nature have not taken place ever since societies of this 
type existed among the Crow. 

Roughly sketched, the development of conditions seems to have been 
the following. In 1833 there were eight societies, as noted by Maximilian. 
Of these, at least two, the Foxes and (Big?) Dogs had a few years before 
stood to each other in a position of mutual rivalry. Some of the societies 

1 Lewis and Clark, I, 130. 
» Bonner, 183, 188. 

* Maximilian's native terms show that his Prairie-Foxes are identical with my Foxes, 
his Ravens with my Crow Owners, while his untranslated " Pftdachischi " obviously stands 
for maraxi'ce, Limipwood. Maximilian. I, 401. 

* Curtis, IV, 13-27. 


148 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI ^ 

began to decrease in membership and later practically passed out of exist- 
ence, leaving the Big Dogs, Foxes, Lumpwoods, and Muddy Hands. Prob- 
ably between 1840 and 1870, the Foxes and Lumpwoods rose to ascendancy 
as the two great rival clubs par excellence, and attracted some of the member- 
ship of obsolescent organizations. At different times new societies origi- 
nated, generally in imitation of the Hidatsa. As the Hidatsa were more 
frequently encountered by the River Crow than by the more southern 
bands of the tribe, the former sometimes had organizations not yet shared 
by the Many Lodges and Kicked-in-their-bellies. This recent Hidatsa 
influence must of course be carefully distinguished from the possible influ- 
ence of the early association of the Crow and Hidatsa, which will be treated 
at the close of this series of papers. Some of the newly introduced societies 
were possibly never adopted by the two southern bands, and in every case 
accidental causes may have led to a transformation or re-modeliijg of the 
adopted features. 

Elsewhere I have pointed out that when a society is borrowed by a tribe 
it tends to assume a different aspect because it is re-moulded in accordance 
with the established system of the borrowing tribe.^ 

The history of the Crazy Dog society among the Crow shows how acci- 
dental causes bring about differences even within the same tribe. Accord- 
ing to all accounts, the River Crow got this society from the Hidatsa, 
probably in the early seventies, when the influence of the Foxes and Lump- 
woods was waning. About the same time the Hidatsa introduced the Hot 
dance. In the Many Lodge camp all those who did not join the Hot dance 
became Crazy Dogs, and at once there was duplicated the rivalry that had 
formerly obtained between Foxes and Lumpwoods in the very specific form 
to be described below (see p. 169). Thus, the Crazy Dog society of the 
Many Lodges became quite different in this particular ^rom the Crazy 
Dog society of the River Crow simply because the southern Crow did, and 
the northern Crow did not, model the new societies according to the Lump- 
wood-Fox pattern. However, before long practically all the Crazy Dogs 
became Hot dancers. The Hot dance is performed to-day by four distinct 
clubs, which have been described elsewhere. How the Hot Dancers were 
split up in this way, is not quite clear to me. Characteristically enough, 
the old spirit of rivalry still persists, at least at Lodge Grass, between two 
of the clubs, — the Big-Ear-Holes and the Night Hot dancers.^ 

The changes that are thus known to have taken place within a limited 
period are a warning against direct psychological interpretations without 

» Lowie, (b), 70. 
» Lowle, (a), 243. 

1913.] Lovyie, Crow Military Societies. 149 

regard to historical considerations. In a former paper/ on the basis of the 
information first obtained, I believed that the Crow, like the Cheyenne, 
had only four warrior societies. I called attention to the fact that the 
Kiowa also had four coordinate organizations of this type, and that in the 
Arapaho and Gros Ventre series a quartet of societies stands out as the well- 
defined and probably oldest part of these systems. My covert suggestion 
was that the number of these societies had been affected by the ceremonial 
importance of the number four. It is, of course, quite possible that this 
idea may at one time or another have had some influence. For example. 
Gray-bull tells me that of the four Hot dance clubs, three were introduced 
from the outside and a fourth added by the Crow on their own initiative, 
in which case the mystic properties of the number four may conceivably 
have had some influence. However, it is clear that it had no fundamental 
significance in the development of the Crow system when we remember 
that what happened among the Crow is a gradual reduction in the number 
of societies to the Big Dogs, Muddy Hands, Foxes and Lumpwoods, with 
the two last-named coming to overshadow the rest. The way in which 
particular societies lapsed into non-existence, became allied with or merged 
in others, and adopted special features from other societies, will be dealt 
with in the descriptive sections of this paper. It is clear that most of these 
happenings were not due to any inherent law underlying the development 
of human societies. That special conditions effected certain differences 
in the development of the Crazy Dog society, for example, is intelligible 
enough, but neither the character nor the localization of the differences 
could have been foretold on abstract psychological or sociological grounds. 

If any general principle is illustrated by the history of Crow societies, 
it is the one already referred to, — the great formative power of a once 
established pattern. In practically all the societies we find the same 
method of electing officers and parading through camp; the scheme of officers 
was, roughly speaking, common to nearly all the societies; and police duties 
of the same kind are known to have been assumed at different times by the 
Foxes, Lumpwoods, Crazy Dogs, Muddy Hands, and Muddy Mouths,^ and 
may have been exercised by several of the rest. Such uniformity is intel- 
ligible only on the " pattern theory. " 

The societies here dealt with have been provisionally designated as 
"military." They were that in some measure, but the term covers only 
a part of their activity. It is true that military duties devolved on some 
oflScers in each of the better-known societies, that martial regalia were 

1 Lowie, (c), 89. 
« Lowie, (a), 229. 

150 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

employed, and that the idea of martial glory was very prominent. Never- 
theless, we must remember, as does Professor Kroeber in discussing a cor- 
responding Arapaho feature, that war loomed so large in the consciousness 
of the Plains Indian that it could not help coloring his every activity. 
There is neither evidence that war parties were ever composed of members 
of a single society nor that war parties, by becoming more than merely 
temporary associations, developed into military societies, as I once sug- 
gested and as seems to have actually happened among the Dakota.^ 

While the evidence is against regarding the societies under discussion 
as of exclusively or fundamentally military character, there is practically 
none at all to indicate any religious or esoteric features. In other tribes 
the origin of military societies is explained in fairly elaborate myths gener- 
ally recounting a supernatural revelation, and the corresponding dances 
are at least in part of the nature of religious performances. Among the 
Crow the origin accounts are meagre and trivial, and the dances seem to 
have been performed solely for amusement. 

The absence of the religious factor in the dances of the military societies 
appears most clearly when they are compared with certain other, genuinely 
ceremonial performances of the Crow. Thus, the planting and harvesting 
of the sacred Tobacco plant, which devolves on members of a number of 
Tobacco societies, is a religious duty accompanied by ritualistic observ- 
ances. The same applies to a Medicine Pipe dance of the Pawnee hako 
type, and to an obsolete Horse dance formerly practised by the River Crow. 
In the Bear Song dance all those individuals who had in their bodies such 
animals as bears, eagles, horses, and the like, would come together and dis- 
play the supernatural presence within them, which was made to protrude 
part of its body from the performer's mouth. This ceremony resembled 
the dream cult performances of the Dakota inasmuch as all who had had 
a similar religious experience joined in a demonstration of their mystic 

The military societies are then certainly not religious bodies and are 
only in part military. It is further clear that they were not organized on 
the basis of clan membership and that their connection with police duties 
was incidental. If I understand the conditions correctly, the military 
societies of the Crow were at bottom clubs resembling those which now 
take part in the Hot dance, — associations held together by a strong bond 
of comradeship, the members helping one another as the occasion isirose 
and meeting frequently for purely social purposes. This conception is 
supported by the fact that at least some of the Big-Ear-Holes and Night- 

1 Lowie, (c), 93-95. Wissler, this Volume, 64, 67. 

1913.] Lowie, Crow Military Societies. 151 

Hot-Dancers of today regard themselves as the modern representatives of 
the Lumpwoods and Foxes respectively. It is more strongly corroborated 
by the mode of entrance into the clubs and the military societies. Here, 
however, my data are at variance with those of Maximilian, and the con- 
tradictor v evidence must be discussed in detail. 

Some writers have interpreted Maximilian's statements to mean that 
the Crow had age-societies. Maximilian nowhere expressly states that 
they had, but he does attribute to the Crow the same method of entering 
the military societies as that discovered by him among the Mandan and 
Hidatsa. That is to say, according to him, membership was purchased, 
and the buyers in part payment surrendered their wives to the sellers. 
The following concrete data collected by myself shed light both on the 
supposed age-grade character of the Crow societies and on the alleged 
method of entrance by purchase. 

Bear-gets-up had four Lump wood brothers who were killed by the 
Dakota when he was a little boy. The Lumpwoods gave him presents to 
make him take the place of his brothers, and he joined at the age of 23 or 
24. Later, when the Hidatsa introduced the Crazy Dog society, Bear-gets- 
up joined it without giving up his membership in the Lumpwood society. 
When his Hidatsa comrade died, Bear-gets-up left the Crazy Dogs. Lone- 
tree's uncle, a Crazy Dog, froze to death; the Crazy Dogs met and gave 
property to Lone-tree, then about twenty years old, in order to make him 
join. He consented, and never joined any other organization. Arm- 
round-the-neck and an anonymous informant had Lumpwood brothers 
who were killed, and were accordingly taken in by the Lumpwoods to fill 
the vacancy. For a corresponding reason Shot-in-the-arm and Sitting-elk 
were made to join the Fox society. One-horn had been offered presents by 
the Foxes as an inducement to join their society, but when a Fox brother 
of his had been killed. One-horn joined without accepting any gifts. When 
One-horn was 26 years old, one of his brothers, a Fox, was killed in battle. 
Sharp-horn originally entered the Fox society, because one of his brothers, 
a member, had been killed. When another brother who was a Lumpwood 
had been killed, he joined the Lumpwoods. Bear-ghost's father had been 
a Muddy Hand; upon his death Bear-ghost took his place. The history 
of Child-in-the-mouth's affiliations is especially instructive. As a boy 
he joined the Foxes, of which organization several of his brothers were 
members. When another brother, who belonged to the Muddy Hand 
society, had been killed, Child-in-the-mouth became a Muddy Hand. 
Later still, one of his Fox brothers was killed, and he accordingly re-joined 
the Foxes. Bull-chief had an uncle belonging to the Big Dog society and 
accordingly also joined. Later one of his maternal uncles who was a Fox 

152 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

was killed, and then the Foxes gave Bull-chief presents, thus making him 
join their niunber. Shot-in-the-hand was also taken into the Fox society 
to fill a slain uncle's place, and never changed his affiliations. Gros- 
Ventre-horse at first was a Liunpwood from choice, but when a Fox brother 
of his had been killed, the Foxes gave him presents and he became a Fox. 
Old-dog, when a young man, was taken in by the Foxes, but later a Lump- 
wood was killed who resembled him so closely that the other Lumpwoods 
wished to have my informant take his place and accordingly made him 
join by presenting him with gifts. He always remained a Lumpwood. 
All of Black-bull's brothers were Foxes. Several of them died and one was 
killed, so the Foxes asked Black-bull to join, which he did remaining with 
them all his life. Fire-weasel was at first a Fox. When he was about 
thirty years old, the Dakota stole all his horses. His fellow-Foxes refused 
to help him, but the Big Dogs offered him horses and property, and thus 
made him join their society, to which he always remained faithful. Old- 
alligator first joined the Big Dogs to take a dead brother's place, later 
another brother who was a Lumpwood was killed, so the Lumpwoods took 
in my informant. Bear-crane joined the Liunpwoods because he liked 
the way they hallooed and sang. 

In connection with the foregoing enumeration the following abstract 
statements by natives should be taken into account. 

If a member of a society had been killed by the enemy, his fellow- 
members offered presents to a brother or other close relative of the slain 
man in order to make him fill the vacancy. This was done even if the 
brother was already a member of some other organization. If the brother 
of the slain man was but an infant, his parents themselves might say, 
"JWhen this child grows up, we will have him join the Fox society. " No 
matter how young he was, the boy was then considered a Fox. If the 
parents made no such declaration, the Foxes (or other societies) neverthe- 
less kept the boy in mind, and when they considered him old enough, they 
went to his lodge in a body and said, " We wish you to replace your relative. 
So-and-so, who was a member and was killed. " This seems to have been 
by far the most common way of joining a military organization. More 
rarely, a man who liked the songs and dances of a society or had brothers 
who were members simply joined without any formality or any payment 
from or to members. Sometimes, Bell-rock informed me, a society would 
give presents to a man to make him join even without his brother's being 
killed. Their motive in such a case was to get among them a man of great 
bravery who might take away the rival society's songs (see p. 174). 

To sum up briefly. Entrance into the Lumpwood, Fox, Muddy Hand, 
Big Dog, and Crazy Dog societies was not based on purchase, but on the 

I -^L. 

1913.] Lowie, Crow MxtUary Societies, 153 

contrary was most frequently accompanied with gifts from the society to 
the new member, who was generally invited to fill a vacancy caused by 
the death of one of his relatives. The payment of an initiation fee was 
strongly denied to have taken place under any circumstances so far as the 
military societies are concerned. Such a fee is exacted, on the other hand, 
by the Tobacco societies. Even here, however, the novice does not re- 
place an older member, but is simply added to the membership. The 
notion of a collective purchase of membership by a group replacing 
another group is apparently quite foreign to the Crow. It is also clear 
that membership had nothing to do with age. Under normal conditions 
a man remained with a society once entered for the rest of his life; he 
changed his affiliations only if aggrieved at some action of his fellow-mem- 
bers, or if induced to join another society for special reasons. 

The evidence just presented may be challenged on two grounds. On 
the one hand, we do not know definitely, whether the same rules held for 
the long obsolete societies on which information had to be obtained from 
non-members, such as the Little Dog and Crow Owner organizations. 
Secondly, it is conceivable that all the military societies on which informa- 
tion was obtained changed their rules for admission during the interval 
between Maximilian's visit and the period recollected by my informants. 

So far as the first objection is concerned, the indications are that the 
military societies in question did not differ fundamentally from those 
which survived them. Maximilian himself groups them all together in 
one class. It would be conceivable that in such organizations as the Bulls 
and the Muddy Mouths, which were probably or certainly derived from the 
Hidatsa, the Hidatsa mode of purchase should assert itself, but there is 
no positive evidence to that effect. 

The second objection seems quite untenable. Several of my oldest 
informants in 1910 were about 90 years of age. Accordingly, they must 
have had accurate knowledge of what the military societies of 1840 were 
like. Moreover, the Hidatsa, with whom intimate relations were main- 
tained throughout the nineteenth century, preserved their system of pur- 
chase and age-grades so long that all elderly Hidatsa informants are still 
able to expound its principles. In view of this fact it appears to me in the 
highest degree improbable that within a few years after Maximilian's visit 
the system of entrance described by him should have been supplanted by 
a quite different system based largely on the substitution of a relative for 
a deceased member, and should have wholly disappeared, so that not a 
single Crow recollects anything about purchase or the surrender of wives 
as an entrance requirement. 

When we consider that Maximilian's stay among the Crow was very 

154 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

brief and that many of the Crow societies coincide in name with those of 
the Hidatsa and Mandan, we can readily understand how he came to conceive 
of the Crow organizations in terms of the Hidatsa-Mandan system which 
he had an opportunity to study with greater care. We may then safely 
disregard his evidence and view the military societies of the Crow as social 
clubs that did not require a formal adoption by purchase. 

Although, as already noted, Maximilian does not expressly describe the 
Crow organizations as age-societies, it is quite possible that arguing by 
analogy he had come to regard them as such. Indeed, statements in the 
following pages might be used to support such a view. For I was told that 
the Big Dogs were mostly old men; that the Bulls were all elderly or old 
(though there is some contradictory evidence) ; that the Crow Owners were 
all elderly men; that the Muddy Mouths were middle-aged; and there is 
no doubt that the Hammer society was composed exclusively of boys. 

In order to settle this question I must revert to definitions developed 
in a previous paper. ^ For the purposes of discussion in the papers of this 
series I imderstand by "age-class" a group composed of all the male or 
female members of approximately the same age. An "age-society" is 
one of a progressive series of organizations, admission into each of which is 
partly or wholly dependent on age. According to these definitions, the 
Hammer society was an age-class because it embraced practically all the 
young boys of the tribe. The other Crow organizations with apparent 
claims to the title of age-societies were neither age-classes nor age-societies 
in the period of which we have any knowledge. They were not age-classes 
because none of them united all the old or middle-aged Crow Indians. 
They did not unite all the old or middle-aged people because, as explained 
above, men normally remained in the Fox, Lumpwood and some other 
societies all their lives. The absence of tribal age-classes becomes further 
clear from the fact that some of these last-named societies were subdivided 
into groups of young, middle-aged, and old men (see pp. 156, 164). As there 
is no evidence of any relative grading of the Big Dog, Bull, Crow Owner 
and Muddy Mouth societies, either with reference to one another or to the 
Lumpwoods, Foxes, etc., it is equally clear that they cannot be regarded 
as age-societies, that is to say, they are not from this point of view com- 
parable with the Hidatsa and Mandan series. 

The statements as to the age of the Big Dogs, Muddy Mouths, Crow 
Owners, and Bulls become intelligible when we remember that the members 
of a society may all be of about the same age because of certain qualifica- 
tions involving incidentally the age factor. Thus, among the Assiniboine 

1 Lowie, (c), pp. 78 et. seq. 


1913.] Lowie, Crow Military Societies. 155 

the demand that members of certain organizations should be well-to-do 
excluded most young men, although the explicit principle of association 
was not that of age. Secondly, if some of the Crow societies were adopted 
from the Hidatsa, as is practically certain in several cases, it would not 
be unnatural for the new Crow society to resemble its Hidatsa prototype 
as to the age of its members. Thus, the Crow Owners represented the 
oldest Hidatsa group in Maximilian's day and are said to have been at 
least elderly men among the Crow. The interesting problem that presents 
itself in this connection is whether there would not be at least a tendency 
for the age-factor to disappear in a borrowed society because of its assimila- 
tion to the Crow scheme. This probably did occur in the Big Dog society. 
Though the members originally may all have been old men in imitation 
of the Hidatsa Dog society, vacancies were filled, within the memory of 
my informants, in the customary Crow style, which obviously led to the 
admission of yoimger men. A thoroughgoing assimilation to the tribal 
pattern must inevitably have resulted in the elimination of the age factor. 
A full treatment of relevant problems, however, involves the discussion 
of the evidence from neighboring tribes and must therefore be reserved 
for the final paper of this series. 

Foxes and Lumpwoods. 

As explained above (p. 148), the Foxes and Lumpwoods had become 
the most important military societies in the decades immediately pre- 
ceding the breakdown of the old tribal life. Accordingly, there were far 
more Indians who could give first-hand infonnation about the Foxes and 
Lumpwoods than about other organizations, and the traits of Crow mili- 
tary societies will become clearer by beginning with a description of these 
two. They are treated in the same chapter because of their curious mutual 
relations. A good account of their activities has been published by Mr. 

The membership of the Foxes was estimated by Bell-rock at one hundred, 
while the Lumpwoods are said to have been far more numerous. 

Foxes, The various accounts for the origin of the Fox society (lExuxke) 
are all very meager. Child-in-the-mouth says that the society was organ- 
ized by a man from the south. Sleeping one night in the course of a journey, 
he saw many foxes come towards him, lie down, and sing Fox songs. When 
he first organized the society, the members were all young men, but later 

I Curtis, IV, 14-20, 31-34. 

156 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

older people also joined. Another narrative accounts for the origin of 
both the Fox and Lumpwood organizations. A Crow once went on a 
buffalo hunt. He killed a great many head. On his way home he camped 
and had a revelation. He saw four sticks of pine wood wrapped with 
otterskin. Two of them were hooked, and two were straight and deco- 
rated with eagle feathers at the end. On returning the visionary cut his 
hair short, so as to leave a central ridge, and plastered the shorn part of 
his head with white clay. He also took bear guts, tanned them, painted 
them with red stripes, and put them on his head. He organized both the 
Foxes and the Lumpwoods, but the latter cut their hair short only in front. 
According to one informant, a young man while out fasting heard a coyote 
song, and on his return took his comrades to a large tipi, where he taught 
them his song. They liked it, and as there was no admission fee other men 
joined and the Fox society developed. Still another statement is to the 
effect that the Foxes were so called because one old man, in accordance 
with a revelation he had received, was wont to hold up a fox skin while 
dancing the Fox dance.^ 

An occasional remark made by some informants, that the Foxes used 
belts of kit-fox skins, or fox-skin capes with the tail hanging down the back, 
or tied strips of such skins to their braids or other parts of the hair, is the 
only intimation of a badge for the rank and file of the society. The most 
frequent statement was that there was absolutely no distinction in dress 
between the Foxes and the Lumpwoods. The fox-skin cape is said to have 
been made by cutting the skin into halves and uniting these so as to leave 
a slit for the head. According to one statement, the Foxes painted one 
side of the face red and the other yellow, while they put black and yeUow 
paint on their bodies. The Lumpwoods, according to the same informant, 
used pink paint. 

In dancing the Foxes formed a circle and moved to the left, each member 
making a low jump with both feet. 

The Fox society was diWded into a number of minor groups. Three 
such divisions were given by Bell-rock: the Foxes (iExuxke), Little Foxes 
^lExuxkiEte), and the Bad Ones (bSkawlE). These groups were in some 
measure age-classes. The youngest members, boys of about 18 or 20, 
were called ha kaicVB because they played about and joked in a noisy man- 
ner. The IJttle Foxes were about 30 years of age. The Foxes proper were 
quiet, gooil-humored men of mature age. When Bell-rock joined the Foxes, 
he Ix^caine at first a ba kawVs, later he pjassed automatically into the groups 

» Grmy-bua coice said that all the societies were originated by the mythical Old Man 


1913.] Lowie, Crow Military Societies. 157 

of older members. It is important to note that in point of dress, emblems, 
songs, and eligibility to office, there was no difference between the members 
of these different age-groups within the Fox society. From several accounts 
it appears that the bd kam's had a special function. If the wife of a Lump-, 
wood refused to go with a Fox at the time of the annual wife-stealing (see 
p. 169) on the ground that she had never been his mistress, the Fox was 
obliged to prove his former relationship with her. If he succeeded in doing 
so, the hd kauri' e abducted her by force. Sitting-elk gives but two age- 
groups: the hdkawi'E and the Big Hats (iktjp'isa'te). When the former 
felt that they were old enough, they simply transferred themselves into the 
' other division. The hdkamfE all sat together in one part of the society's 
lodge, joined by two of the older men selected by them. They were young 
and still childish. Whenever they attended a feast, they acted like child- 
ren, taking meat before it was cooked, and playing about in the lodge. 
The two older men were supposed to think for them. As soon as a song 
was sung, all the hdkamfs immediately rose and danced. They contin- 
ually joked. The older members did not at all resent their actions, but 
liked to see the boys enjoying themselves. Child-in-the-mouth gives the 
same divisions as Sitting-elk, but adds a number of additional groups of 
more recent origin: the Fat Foxes (iExuxk'ir^pe), the Foxes without 
Sweethearts (fExuxke bi'E hire'te), and the Many Hearts (iExuxke da'saho ). 
This informant was at first a hd kam'E, then a Big Hat, and still later a 
We hire'te. Fire-weasel gives a similar list, but omits the Many Hearts 
and includes Bell-rock's Little Foxes and Foxes. From this oldest inform- 
ant's statements, however, it appears that these additional divisions were 
not age-classes, but simply groups of intimate friends designated collectively 
by nicknames. Thus, if, say, from five to ten comrades had never stolen any 
Lmnpwood women, they were called " Foxes without Sweethearts. " Simi- 
larly, a group conspicuous by virtue of their corpulence would be called 
"Fat Foxes." Black-bull said that the "Big Hats" mentioned by some 
were also not a definite subdivision but merely a group so nicknamed be- 
cause its members were the first to wear the large black hats sold by the 
traders. He recognizes but two real subdivisions, the hdkaunfE and the 
Foxes proper, of which he at first joined the former, later passing into the 
second group. 

The officers of the Fox society, as of all other military societies, were 
officers only in the sense of having special duties on the battlefield which 
involved great personal risk. Accordingly, they enjoyed a certain prestige 
and in some cases special privileges at feasts. They were said to be ce'*k'uk, 
"doomed to die."^ 

1 Literally, "they cause to die," from ce, "dead," and kuk, "they make." 

158 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

Their general attitude is reflected by the following song^ though it is 
not certain that this was peculiar to the officers of the Fox society as dis- 
tinguished from other members: — 

iExuxkEkatu'we, bacbl'Ewak, ce'wak. 
You Foxes, I want to die, thus I say. 

The officers of the Foxes included two leaders (bas^); two men bearing 
hooked staffs (marack-tipe) wrapped with otterskin; two men bearing straight 
staffs (maratdtse) similarly wrapped; two rear or "last" men (ha'ake or 
ha'kace); and one or two alcdvfcire. The last named, who were said by 
some informants to have been present in every society, were expected to be 
bravest of all. As a compensation for the risks they incurred, they were 
permitted to select what food they wished at a feast and to eat it before 
any of the other members had begun eating. Some informants gave a 
somewhat different list of officers. For example, Bear-gets-up enumerated 
only five: two with .hooked staffs, two with straight staffs, and one man 
in the rear. Other variations appear in the accounts quoted below. How- 
ever, the list of eight officers mentioned above, with supplementary 
akdyfcirCy was given more frequently than others and impresses me as 
representing the normal state of affairs. 

All officers in all the societies were elected in the spring, and their term 
of office ended with the first snowfall. Sometimes, however, a man was 
re-elected the following spring. 

The four staff-bearing officers, when in battle, were expected to plant 
their staffs in the ground, and to stay by their standards at the risk of their 
lives. If, however, some friend plucked out the staff, an officer was per- 
mitted to flee, though he might never tear out the stick himself. Gray-bull 
says that the hooked-staff bearers were allowed to run a short distance 
before making a stand, while the straight-staff men might not run at all. 
It was also more disgraceful for the latter to shirk their duty than for the 
hooked-staff men. Others deny any difference in duty or prestige between 
these two kinds of officers. An officer who failed to live up to the rule 
against fleeing from the enemy was held in contempt and said to be 
VmExwEk, in the condition of a menstruating woman. 

The hooked-staff generally consisted of two parts: a straight shaft 
of pine wood stripped of the bark and an arch formed by a red willow stick 
which was lashed to the pine. The shaft terminated in a point; there was 
no spear head of stone or iron at this lower end. A considerable part of 
the shaft was wrapped with otterskin, and from the end of the arch, as well 
as from each of two or three points on the staff, a pair of little otterskin 
strips hung down (Fig. le). The shaft of the straight-stick was also of 

l/rwie. Crow Miliiary SocietiM. 

Pig. 1 a (fi0.1-39411,,fc (50.1-3043), rf (60.1-393B). e (60.1- 
3940). a. Hammer Society Staff; 6, c. Model of Hammer 
Sodet; Emblem; d. Straight Staff of Fox and Lumpwood 
Sodetica; e. Hooked Staff of Fox and Lumpwood Societies. 
Lengtiofo, 2,S7m.; d. 03 cm.; a, 2 m. 

160 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

pine and similarly decorated, but was in addition topped by an erect eagle 
feather (Fig. Id). The Crow did not prize the stick itself, but set a high 
value on the otterskin. Usually the new officer's parents paid a horse for 
an otterskin. Muskrat bought one for an elk-tooth dress when her son 
was made an officer. Accordingly, while all former officers I visited had 
discarded the staffs once borne in battle by them, several individuals still 
kept the otterskin wrapping and were able to make the models here shown 
with the skins once used on real standards. Child-in-the-mouth says that 
the hooked, as well as the straight, sticks symbolized trees that are too heavy 
to be lifted. 

The method of electing officers and customs incident to other occasions 
are illustrated by the following accounts. 

Black-bull was elected a leader for five different seasons. In the spring, 
according to his statements, the old men notified all the Foxes to assemble 
in a certain tipi. When all had arrived, the old men went outside and dis- 
cussed who might make a good officer. One of them then took a pipe, and 
entered the lodge. Standing in the center, he looked round for two men 
who might be chosen for leaders. He offered the pipe to one of them, who 
either accepted and smoked it in token of his willingness to take the posi- 
tion, or refused it on account of the risks assumed. At the time when 
Black-bull was chosen, several men had declined the honor. Black-bull 
had already taken part in three battles and had fought well, so the pipe 
was offered to him, and he accepted it. When the second leader also had 
been chosen, two additional officers were selected in the same fashion: one 
to bear the hooked-staff, and another the straight-staff. Next, a third 
pair was selected for bearing standards identical with those just mentioned. 
Finally were chosen the rear men, who, like the leaders, were without 
badges of office. After the election, four willow sticks were brought from 
the brush; two of them were bent down at the top and given to the men 
selected as hooked-stick bearers, while the remaining two were given to the 
straight-staff bearers. The bark was peeled from these willows and then 
wrapped round the wands in imitation of the otterskin wrapping that was 
to be permanently attached to them; from three points strips of bark were 
suspended so as to hang down freely. The leaders then assumed their 
places, abreast of each other; behind them stood the first pair of staff- 
bearers followed by the rank and file of the society, including the drummers; 
next came the second pair of staff -bearers; and the two hd'ake constituted 
the rear. In this order the Foxes marched through camp, singing their 
songs. The parents of the young men chosen as standard bearers now 
cast about for otterskins, for it was necessary that before the end of the 
parade each of the four officers in question should be provided with one 

1913.] Lovxie, Crow MUitary Societies. 161 



entire otterskin to wrap about his pole. When the four skins had been 
secured, the members divided into four parties of equal number, each of 
which followed one staff-bearer to his lodge. There they helped cut up the 
otterskins into strips and wrap them round the poles. A man who had 
carried the stick in former years took it and recounted what exploits he had 
performed while holding office. He concluded his speech as follows, address- 
ing the new officer: "I should like you to do the same that I did and to 
strike the enemy. We know you are a brave man. We wish you to fight 
for your people." According to Gray-bull, the stick might be made by 
the new officer himself. The knife used by the man cutting the otterskin 
was painted black to symbolize the coup struck by him. The trimmer of 
the skin kept the knife and also the awl used in stitching the strips of otter. 
After singing for a while, they all went home. Then, some time after this, 
someone occasionally asked the Foxes to come out and dance in the open 
air.^ The Foxes went out with their drums and formed an unclosed ring. 
The four staff-bearers would turn their backs to the other members during 
such dances; they were the only ones privileged to act in this way. From 
this time on the officers were expected to be continually on the lookout 
for enemies. If the enemies pursued the Crow, the officers dismounted 
to make a stand against them. They were also eager to strike the first 
coup against the enemy. When Black-bull was a leader he succeeded in 
striking the first blow, thus taking away the Lumpwoods' songs (see p. 174). 
Sitting-elk says that at a general meeting of the society, in the spring, 
four old men remained outside the lodge and chose the officers for the next 
season. They came in, and offered a pipe to one man after another. A 
member declining the pipe would say (according to One-horn): "I am 
afraid I am not strong enough." If all refused to smoke, the electors went 
outside and again discussed the members. When they reentered, someone 
was obliged to accept the pipe and thus become one of the leaders. Four 
provisional badges of office had been leaned against the lodge; they were 
peeled willow sticks to which bark had been tied at three distinct points. 
Normally, the two leaders had no badges. But sometimes a man refused 
to accept office on the ground that he had already served as a leader during 
the past season. In this case, the electors might take one of the provi- 
sional straight-sticks and give it to the first leader, presenting the second 
leader with a hooked-stick. Thus, the number of officers was reduced, there 
b^g only one additional staff-bearer of either kind. The hd'ake were 
then chosen. The members would refuse for a long time to become officers 

1 Bull-chief stated that all the societies danced four times between each spring and the 
first snowfall. 

162 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

of this class, because of the great dangers to which they were exposed. 
Sometimes the electors would stealthily touch their lips with the mouth- 
piece of the pipe, thus compelling them to smoke and become hafake. When 
the pipe offered by the electors to potential officers, no matter of what kind, 
had been repeatedly refused by all the members of the society, strenuous 
measures were resorted to. Thus, at Gray-bull's election to the hooked- 
staff office, the pipe had circled round several times without being accepted 
by anyone. Finally Gray-buU's comrade seized him by his hair-bang, 
pulled him up, and made his lips touch the mouthpiece. 

Child-in-the-mouth gave the following account of the Fox society, 
which is translated from a Crow text: — 

When I was a boy I used to shoot at a target of green grass wrapped with sinew. 
Once, while I was doing this, a man came to me, and said, **You, too, I will make a 
Fox." He caught me, he led me into a lodge. It was the season when the grass 
is sprouting. They were giving out hooked-sticks; they gave them to four ^ young 
men. These bought otterskins and wrapped them round the sticks. When this 
was all over, they wished to dance. First they elected two leaders, then two men 
with hooked-sticks, then two more with hooked-sticks, then two hd'ake. The people 
stood in a ring, and inside they danced. What they had done against the enemy, 
they acted out, and they told about it. They beat a drum, so that all could hear it. 
These two leaders were supposed to strike the first blow when the people met the 
enemy; they must not be afraid. People took note of whether they were killed or 
not. If they were not afraid and struck the enemy, people liked it very much. If 
all the other members fled, the owners of the hooked-sticks dismounted. They 
planted their poles in the ground, and must not run. If they did not run and did 
not get killed, people liked them. If they did not nm and got killed, all of us Foxes 
grieved very much. If the people were pursued by the enemy, the ha'ake must 
turn about and chase the enemy. They were supposed to kill enemies. If they 
should get killed, it was the same way, we cried and grieved. If one was slain and 
the other came out alive, we mourned the one slain, we liked the one living. If these 
hok'oke killed an enemy, we liked it very much. 

When a Fox had been killed, whether he was an officer or a private, the people 
got there and stretched out his body. They dressed him in all his clothes, and 
painted his face. Crying, we moved towards him. We sang. Some cried all the 
way, half of us sang. The drum was beaten while we walked and sang. We wished 
to cry. We got together. They distributed pointed arrows. Then they did what- 
ever they pleased. Some ran the arrows into their knees, others into their upper 
arms, some jabbed their foreheads. All the friends, who saw him killed grieved. 
Any of them might cut themselves with knives. All the dead man's relatives also 
hurt themselves. Some gashed their faces. Afterwards his comrades threw back 
the cover of his face, and looked at his face. They cried bitterly, then they sat 
down. These friends hung all his clothes upon lodge poles. They stepped back, 

1 This Is contrary to all other statements, according to which there were only two officers 
with hooked-sticks and two with straight-sticks. 

1913.] Lowie, Crow Military Societies. 163 

crying. They sat down. Then the clothes were distributed. All his property was 
distributed. Then they went home. His relatives loaded his horses. Then they 
went to the burial site. Whether it was on a tree, or in the rocks, or on a hilltop, they 
laid him there. His relatives remained there, crying. If they killed any member 
of the tribe that killed the young man, they were quits. They painted the face 
black, and tied the scalp to a pole. One held it. They danced, moving towards the 
camp. They danced hard. They were glad. Then their mourning was over. 

Lumpwoods. The origin of the society and of its name (maraxi'ce) ^ 
is variously accounted for. According to Hunts-to-die, the Indians of 
long ago divided into two parties for a kicking-game. The two sides got 
angry at each other and began to steal each other's wives. One division, 
the later Lumpwoods, made an emblem composed of a knobbed club about 
4 feet long, whence their name. Pretty-enemy said that the Lumpwoods 
were originally called Half-shaved Heads, but that on one war expedition 
a member carrying a knobbed club struck the first coup, and accordingly 
the entire society changed its name in honor of his weapon. Bell-rock had 
heard his father say that the Lumpwoods originally had for their emblem 
a club carved at one end into a horse's head, with bells round the neck. 
Old-dog mentions a similar stick carved into a buffalo head, but adds that 
it was merely a single man's medicine, the owner praying to it when the 
people were hungry. It was, therefore, neither an officer's emblem nor 
the badge of the entire society. 

The following version (Birds-all-over-the-ground) accounts merely for 
the origin of the staffs of the society, not for the knobbed stick referred to 
in its name. Long ago half of the Crow went south. They were met by 
the enemy and were massacred. A certain man, who had lost his parent 
in the fight, went about crying until he came to a moss-grown lake. Prairie- 
dogs were living about the lake. The Crow lay down by one hole. He 
heard someone hallooing inside and people talking loud. A man came 
out of the ground with four reeds, and went towards the lake. He came 
back with them. Many men came out of the ground. The first one to 
ascend selected four men and gave them the reeds. Then he took out red 
and yellow paint, and painted all the members' faces. They danced and 
sang. They also had a dewclaw rattle (see p, 177). This was the beginning 
of the Lumpwoods. 

The last part of this tradition is possibly not authentic, as the dewclaw 
rattle is generally spoken of as a peculiarity of the Big Dog society. 

So far as the knobbed club is concerned, there was certainly no such 

» I follow Curtis in the iise of the term "Lump wood." xi'cc means *'a lump," or 

164 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI ^ 

emblem in recent times. ^ Two of the officers carried hooked-staffs and two 
others straight-staffs, which were quite similar to those employed by the 
corresponding officers of the Fox society and bore the same names. The 
two leaders (bas^) and the two rear officers (ha'ake) had no badges. In an 
exceptional case, mentioned by Sharp-hom, no hooked-sticks were given 
out at the election of officers, because the members bearing these emblems 
had been killed during the preceding season and the sticks had been taken 
by the enemy. The following year, however, there were again two officers 
with hooked-sticks and two with the straight-sticks. 

Bell-rock said that the Lumpwobds sometimes substituted spears 
wrapped with plain white buckskin for the otter-wrapped straight-staffs. 
The use of long switches glued to the back of the hair by the Lumpwoods 
was emphasized by several informants, but does not seem to have been at 
all distinctive. The same applies to several other articles of their personal 
decoration. Accordingly, it appears that there was no badge peculiar to 
all members of the society, while the regalia of the officers were identical 
with those of the Fox society. 

The Lumpwood dance, however, differed from that of the Foxes. The 
members merely danced in their places, alternately moving the right arm 
as far back as possible and again bringing it to its normal position. Speak- 
ing of the Foxes and Lumpwoods, and apparently referring to both, Muskrat 
said that one man was equipped with a whip, with which he lashed the 
members to make them rise and dance. 

Within the Lumpwood society there were minor divisions, some ap- 
parently based on age, corresponding to those existing in the Fox organiza- 
tion. Red-eye enumerated the Lumpwoods-withoat-Sweethearts (maraxfce 
bi'E hire'te); the Tall Lumpwoods (maraxfce hdtskite) ; and the Old Lump- 
woods (maraxice ma+isa'te). Bell-rock, who, however, had not been a 
Lumpwood, also gave three divisions : the maraxice, the Half -shaved Heads 
(itsu'sa tsiricu'tse), and the Wholly-shorn Ones (daxo'xu a). Hunts-to-die, 
a Lumpwood, substitutes the Little Rumps (isisiEte) for the last division. 
He himself joined the Little Rumps because his brother belonged to that 
group, and he always remained with them. From this it appears that these 
groups resembled the nicknamed subdivisions of the Foxes rather than the 
Fox age-groups. Sitting-elk, a Fox, said that in the Lumpwood society 
a group of young members known as the Young Foxes took the place of 
the hakawi'E of his own organization. According to Bear-gets-up, all 
members of the Lumpwood society were called "Liver-Eaters" 

1 However, one of the offlcers in the corresponding Hidatsa society carried a stick carved 
at one end into a buffalo head. One Hidatsa informant said that the Lumpwood society 
existed prior to the separation of the Crow and Hidatsa. 

1913.] Lowie, Crow MUitary Societies, 165 

(ak'ateru'uce), but later he said this name might have referred only to the 
older members. Gray-bull thought the younger Lumpwoods were called 
**Bad Faces" (IsxawiEMbicfe) because they used too much heavy ground 

The method of appointing officers, to whom the term (c^*k-uk) is ap- 
plied as in the case of the Fox officers (see p. 157), is illustrated by the fol- 
lowing personal accounts. 

Old-coyote was only fifteen years old when he joined this organization. 
His father was also a Lumpwood. One day, in the spring of the year when 
Old-coyote became a member, a crier notified all the Lumpwoods that a 
meeting was to take place in a certain large tipi. All assembled there, and 
Old-coyote took his seat in a corner. Four old men selected the officers, 
one of them carrying a pipe. First they chose the two leaders. Then they 
offered the pipe to my informant. He pleaded that he was too young and 
did not know whether he was brave enough to resist the temptation to flee, 
but they insisted. Three times he declined the pipe, but the fourth time 
they seized him by the hair and pulled him so that his mouth touched the 
stem, thus forcing him to smoke. In this way Old-coyote was made one 
of the straight-staff officers. He thought he should not come out alive if 
he encountered any enemies. Provisionally four willow sticks had been 
peeled, and bark was tied to them in imitation of the real emblems. Old- 
coyote's father cried out for some otterskin, and secured one, for which he 
paid one of his best horses. The society marched through camp, and the 
parents of the four staff-bearers prepared an abundance of food, for one 
fourth of the members followed each of these newly-elected officers to his 
lodge, where they were entertained while completing the otter-wrapped 
stick that was to take the place of the bark-wrapped substitute. A certain 
member who had successfully carried such an emblem in battle wrapped the 
otterskin round the staff, rose, and made some such address as the following: 
" I had such a stick in war and had good luck. I hope this man will do the 
same. " Then he handed the wand to the new officer. As a compensation 
for his services on this occasion the former staff -bearer received four differ- 
ent kinds of property. That spason Old-coyote struck a Sioux with his 
staff and captured his horse. Having come out of the engagement success- 
fully, he gave four additional presents to the otterskin-wrapper, telling him 
at the same time what he had accomplished in battle. 

Young-jack-rabbit gave the following account of his election as an 
officer. After the two handsomest men had been elected leaders, the two 
old men who acted as electors filled pipes and went about the lodge, offer- 
ing them to the members. 

166 ArdhropfAogical Papers Anuricun Museum of Xatural History. [\"ol. XI, 

All declined to smoke, then they came towards me. Some one aj^ed them 
"Whom are you looking for?" They answered, "For Yomig-jackn^bit." I 
wtLB seated in the back and tried to hide. They brought the pipe to me, but I re- 
fused to accept it, saying I did not wish to take it. One of the pipe-ofiferers was my 
own elder brother. He seized me by the hair, hit me on the chest, and said, "You 
are brave, why don't you smoke the pipe?" He wished me to die, that is why he 
desired me to smoke the pipe.* He said, "You are of the right age to die, you are 
good-looking, and if you get killed your friends will cry. All your relatives will cut 
their hair, they will fast and mourn; your bravery will be recognized; and your 
friends will feel gratified." I took the pipe, and began to smoke. They asked me, 
whether I wished to have a straight or a hooked-staflf. I decided in favor of the 
latter. My comrade also smoked the pipe. After the election of officers we all 
went outside. A hooked willow stick was presented to me. I went home with my 
friends. My brother had an otterskin there. A man who had at one time killed 
an enemy, whi^e bearing a hooked-staflf, cut the skin into strips, wrapped these 
about the stick, and did the necessary sewing. My mother gave me all my old 
clothes. I put on a blanket of beaded buflfalo-calf skin fringed at the bottom and 
sides, and tied round the neck with a string. We all went outside, the leaders in 
front. An old man slapped me on the chest, saying, "Now you are a brave man. 
When the enemy pursue, you must get oflf and keep them back. K you are willing 
to do this, dance backwards when we have a dance." I dressed up in my best 
clothes. That day I thought I looked handsome. The old men sang songs in praise 
of me. A man named Pretty-white took my hooked-stick, made incense of isi root, 
and rubbed the smoke over the staflf. This man had owned such a stick in his day, 
and he said aloud, "One day when we fought the Cheyenne I had a hooked-stick 
and went through . the Cheyenne line without being shot. I wish my brother may 
do the same." Then he returned the staflf to me. 

When a Lumpwood was killed, the old members gave each of their 
fellow-members an arrow or two, and a butchering-knife. The corpse was- 
laid outdoors, arrayed in the dead man's best clothes. Everyone knelt 
down and cried for some time. The closest friends of the slain warrior cut 
of! the last joint of one finger. The others ran the arrows through their 
flesh in the way characteristic also of the Sun dance torture, and left them 
sticking there for some time during their lamentations. Some ran arrows 
through their arms and legs, others drew blood from their foreheads. If 
some of the younger men shrank from lacerating themselves, the officers 
cut them so as to draw blood. For a time the members danced towards 
the corpse. Finally they stopped and seated themselves. The parents of 
the dead man then gave presents to the members as a remuneration for 
their mourning; if some Lumpwood had drawn more blood from the head 
than the others, he received a more valuable gift. 

The activities of the Lumpwoods were not exclusively military. After 

1 This did not Indicate any personal animosity on the elder brother's part, but simply a 
deslro to have Young-Jaclc-rabbit distinguish himself. 

1913.] Loiviet Crow Military Societies, 167 

the first snowfall, Bear-gets-up explained, the Lumpwoods would have 
frequent meetings. They would gather in one lodge of an evening and stay 
there for supper. The next evening they would come together in another 
lodge. If a Lumpwood was adopted into a Tobacco society or bought a 
medicine-pipe bundle, his fellow members assisted him in the purchase. 
The Lumpwoods of the River Crow and of the Many Lodges felt like brothers 
towards one another whenever they met. Thus, four Many Lodge Lump- 
woods once hunted buffalo for Bear-gets-up 's benefit. 

The custom of haihaftuE (literally, "joking with each other") was origi- 
nally a characteristic of the Big Dogs. But at one time the Lumpwoods 
bought it from this society and have practised it since then. Hunts-to-die 
says that a Big Dog once initiated two old Lumpwoods into the custom, 
renouncing it in behalf of his own society. When the two Lumpwoods 
died, two other old members were chosen in their place. These were con- 
sidered the head-jokers. When any member had been killed, these were 
expected to inflict more cuts upon themselves and to draw more blood than 
their fellow-members. Four head-jokers were still living in Pryor in 1910, 
namely. Hunts-to-die, Fox, Sharp-horn, and Red-eye. Fire-weasel said that 
the hathaftuE had been given away by the Big Dogs before his time, the 
occasion being that of a Big Dog chief initiating a Lumpwood into the 
ownership of a medicine-pipe bundle. Nevertheless, he states that the 
Big Dogs reserved the right of joking occasionally, though no longer as 
regularly as before. Sitting-elk gives a somewhat different account of the 
transaction. At the time when the Big Dogs still practised haibaftuE one 
Big Dog adopted a Lumpwood into the Tobacco society. Then all the 
Lumpwoods brought property for him and addressed him as "father." 
They asked him to let them have the hathoftuE privilege and requested that 
the Big Dogs should renounce it. BathaftuE simply consisted in the privi- 
lege of members to jest about the recent loss of another member's relatives 
to the mourner's face. The mourner might not get angry, provided the 
jesters were fellow-Lumpwoods. According to Bear-gets-up, no jokes 
were made about the death of a wife's brother or of a sister's husband. 

If a member had lost a half-witted brother, some other member, as soon 
as he had discovered the fact, would address the mourner, saying, "Your 
brother has died, you will not be able to get another like him." If the 
half-witted person had any peculiarities of action, the joker imitated them. 
The mourner was not permitted to get angry, but was expected to laugh 
at the jests. Recently, when the Indians were going to the Agency for a 
Fourth of July celebration, a half-witted boy named Eating-fish died. 
His brother, Yellow-face, said that he was having bad luck and turned back. 
Thereupon a Lumpwood asked another in Yellow-face's presence, "Why 

168 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

is Yellow-face turning back? '' The other replied, " He is going back to eat 
fish.** On the Little Big Horn Charges-strong was driving Bear-wolf's 
(his brother's) corpse to the burial site. Bear-wolf had been a noted 
leader in war. Charges-strong was met by a Lumpwood who had already 
been informed of his fellow-member's loss. This Lumpwood said, "Stop, 
I wish to talk with you. How much will you take for your apples in this 
box?" Charges-strong laughed and made no reply. "Why do you not 
answer? What have you in this box? " '* A man." "Who is this man? " 
" Bear-wolf." " Oh, I thought it was a box of apples." This joking may 
be kept up for as long a period as the members please. A similar story 
was told by Fire-weasel. A Lumpwood who had lost his mother was going 
to bury her on a hill. Accordingly, he packed the corpse on a horse's back, 
and followed behind, crying. Another Lumpwood met him, and called out 
to the leader of the horse, "He! Why don't you stop? That young one 
is after his mother, he wishes to talk with his mother. " Sitting-elk nar- 
rates that the jester might say to the mourner, " Your sister (or mother, 
etc.) is dead." The mourner would reply, "I eat the flesh," ^ t. e., "The 
flesh of the dead person is still fresh. " The mourner could not get angry at 
the joker's speeches, on the contrary he liked to hear them. 
Several instances were recounted by Bear-gets-up : — 

At one time all the members of the Lumpwoods were motherless except Two- 
whistles and White-buffalo. These two generally made fun of the others for not 
having a mother. When we had moved to a new camp site, White-buffalo asked 
the first man he met whether he knew of any Lumpwood lodging with his mother. 
The man repeated the question to the first Liunpwood he met, and that evening one 
of the Lumpwoods told his fellow-members about White-buffalo's query. Then all 
waited for a chance to make fim of White-buffalo whenever his mother should die. 
One night she died, and White-buffalo came into the society's lodge looking for two 
men to help him bury her. Then I told him, "It is very good for you not to have 
any mother. You will never more say, *ig -a" .* I am very glad your mother is dead; 
you will be like myself, motherless. " Thus I got even with him. 

Another Liunpwood lost his wife. Two or three fellow-members helped him 
bury her. Then they sat down with him for a while, and one of them said, to the 
moimier, "You will not have a wife today, shall you?" Thus they joked- at that 
very place, but the mourner did not mind it. 

One time I went to the Agency for rations. A number of old men were seated 
there, smoking. I rode up and dismounted, not yet knowing that an uncle of mine 
had died thereabouts. Several Lumpwoods were among those present, and one of 
them said, "Your uncle has died." Another said, "Uncle-dead, get off here and 
take a smoke." 

1 iru'cec bu'ciK. 

« Vocative form for "mother." 

1913.] Lovnej Crow Military Societies. 169 

Mutual Relations, Between the Fox and Lumpwood organizations there 
obtained a feeling of rivalry that was quite free from any personal hostility. 
This feeling was principally revealed in two ways: in war, and in the at- 
tempt to steal the wives of the other society's members (bats'u'Era+u).^ 
It was also manifested in some games, in which the Foxes with their 
wives were pitted against the Lumpwoods and their wives. More recently 
the Night-hawks have played against the Big-Ear-Holes on such occasions. 

Theoretically a Fox or Lumpwood was entitled to kidnap a woman only 
if he had been previously on terms of intimacy with her. If she had had 
nothing to do with her supposed lover, she would tell him he lied and refuse 
to go. But if she untruthfully denied her former relations, at the same 
time abusing her one-time lover, he and his comrades seized her by force. 
In practice it is obvious from various statements that men often alleged 
intimacy though it had never obtained and wrongfully abducted women by 
force. Whether a woman had any children, was of no account so far as 
her abduction was concerned. Once a Lumpwood stole a Fox woman with 
her infant. The child was put on a baby board and carried about by a 
Lumpwood, who danced with it. When it cried, this man ran to the mother, 
who then nursed it. 

Least of all might a woman's husband offer resistance to the kid- 
napper or show any grief or resentment at her abduction. Such cases are 
indeed on record, but the husband invariably lost prestige, was derided in 
song, and was liable to have his blankets and property destroyed by the 
rival organization. Most disgraceful of all was it for a man to take back a 
woman as his wife after she had been kidnapped. Such a man was nick- 
named a "holder of a crazy woman." He immediately lost caste. No 
matter how high his standing had been before, he was looked down upon 
for the rest of his life. Gray-bull said that after a man had had his wife 
stolen, the boys kept watch lest he should clandestinely attempt to visit 
or re-marry her. I^ he was caught in the act, he was tied up, and dog or 
other excrements were rubbed all over him. Besides, the rival society 
also exercised the privilege of cutting up the blankets of every member in 
the offender's organization. Accordingly, when the offence became known, 
the offender's fellow-members ran away with their blankets, but were pur- 
sued by the rival society. 

The following instances illustrate the Crow point of view. On one 
occasion the Foxes came to the lodge of a Lumpwood named Small-legs 
for the purpose of stealing his wife. Small-legs was a prominent man in 
his organization; he was usually first to challenge the rival society by halloo- 

1 6a<a, "each other"; w'£, "wife"; ara' +u, "taking away." 

170 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

ing in the spring, and had himself captured two women from the Foxes. 
He was living with his elder brother. When a Fox seized Small-legs ' wife, 
this elder brother pulled out a knife to prevent his sister-in-law's abduction. 
However, he was held back by his own relatives, who reproved him, saying, 
"In cases like this one does not act in such a manner. They will surely 
make a song about you; you should not have done this. " The woman was 
accordingly taken away, but after some time, when her captor had turned 
her away. Small-legs re-married her. This greatly incensed his brother, 
who thus addressed him : " You have disgraced both me and yourself. Go 
away, I don't wish you to live here any longer.'' The Foxes made up the 
following song to commemorate the occasion: 

huri'Etkata, bi'E iVetariK- iru'ukacec. i'ik-e race'k. 

Small-bones, woman you cry like, always insisting on it. His elder brother 

I'ike e^sak. 

wished to kill, his elder brother disowns him. 

On another occasion the following song was made about a husband who 
had gone out of the camp crying over the loss of his wife: — 

"i'itsic, bardskawi ari'Ewawik-, i'wewawik*. karaVa'tsewik*. 
Pole-crot<3h, I shall make him grieve, I shall make I shall cause him 

him cry. to run. 

Once, Red-eye told me, a Lumpwood stole a Fox's wife. By way of 
revenge the husband cut the legs of . a fine horse belonging to the Lump- 
wood. The Lumpwoods then made up this song: — 

" iExuxkakatu'we, ci'ritset pa'ck'ok. kawihirEk ko'tdak." 
"You Foxes, the horse's legs are cut. Wrong you have done. " 

On another occasion the Lumpwoods stole another Fox woman. The 
abductor owned a fine buckskin horse. Some Fox, the Lumpwoods did 
not know who, killed this horse. The Lumpwoods composed this song: — 

"iExuxkakatu'we, axu'atsic e're ducara!" 

"You Foxes, buckskin's filth eat!" (imperative) 

A Lumpwood who had taken back a kidnapped wife was derided in 
these terms: — 

" maraxicekatu'we, da'kaker^tba'wik, du'o awaxbe Vik. " 

"You dear Lumpwoods, I '11 make their children parentless, your wives I 

shall marry." 

For a similar offense Straight-arm was thus ridiculed : — 

" a're-tatsewe u'e kurutsim. kandakure ka'otem, du'E hu'kawe." 
"Straight-arm his takes back. Keep her it is well, your let her 

wife wife come. 


1913.] Lowie, Crow Military Societies. 171 


There was only one way a woman could normally evade abduction by 
a former lover, — by throwing herself on his generosity. Sometimes a 
woman said to the man who called for her, "Yes, I was once your sweet- 
heart, but I beg you to let me alone." In such a case she was generally 
not taken away. Sharp-horn said he was going to steal a woman once, 
but her parents begged him not to take her and so he desisted. 

If a man expected his wife to be kidnapped, he generally stayed away 
from his lodge lest he should suffer the agony of having her taken before 
his eyes, which was considered an especially grievous affliction. Should 
he, however, be in the lodge at the time her kidnapper called, the ideal 
mode of conduct for him was to assume an air of bravado and order his wife 
to go with her former lover. 

The details of an abduction probably varied with different cases. Ac- 
cording to Bear-gets-up, a man would first send a messenger to his former 
sweetheart and have her appoint a certain place and time when she was to 
be taken. Muskrat said that after the selection of officers the girls were 
eager to find out whether their sweethearts had got hooked or straight- 
sticks. The two societies had a public parade and dance. The drummers 
went into the middle of the cirde formed by the members, while the stand- 
ard-bearers pointed their staff at the onlookers as if to shoot them. Then 
some of the Lumpwood women would tell their Fox lovers, and vice versa, 
to call for them. When the dance was over, a Fox would peep into a Lump- 
wood 's Lodge, and say to the woman, " I am coming for you now. " Then 
the girl would leave her husband, and follow her lover. 

According to all accounts, the members of the two societies would cry 
at each other, " Hu, hu ! " as a challenge indicating that they were about to 
begin the stealing of the other side's wives. Then those who had mistresses 
in the rival society's lodges would try to kidnap them. It would have been 
considered disgraceful for a man to steal the wife of a fellow-member. 
After Charges-camp had joined the Lumpwoods, another Lumpwood 's 
wife asked him to become a Fox in order that he might steal her, but he 
refused to do so. 

At the time Gray-bull received his crooked lance from the Foxes, he 
had a pretty wife. A Lumpwood came for her, and though she clung to 
Gray-bull, he bade her go with his rival. " If you have ever been married, 
you know how this felt, " said the informant to the present writer. After 
his wife's departure Gray-bull was disconsolate. He did not sleep for 
four nights, for he was constantly thinking of his loss. On the fourth day 
he came to, painted and dressed up, and went to the dance ground. He 
began to look for Lumpwood women he might steal. One of the Lump- 
woods had two wives, but one of them had been concealed. The other 

172 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

woman readily consented to follow Gray-bull, and took her daughter with 
her. Gray-bulFs relatives gave her an elk-tooth dress and painted both 
the woman and the girl. The Lumpwood husband was so deeply aggrieved 
that he became a Crazy-Dog-that-wishes-to-die (see p. 193); he stayed in 
his lodge singing the death chant. One night he came to Gray-bull 's lodge, 
shaking his rattle, and stuck his hand inside the tent. Gray-bull was terri- 
fied because of the ferocity of the Crazy Dogs and said, " I will send back 
your wife to you. " He kept his promise, but as soon as the woman re- 
turned her husband tore off his Crazy Dog sashes and fled towards the 
mountains. Ever after he was looked upon with contempt. The woman 
took away with her one of Gray-buU's best horses, as well as the dress, 
which was decorated with 500 elk teeth. 

When a woman had been stolen, the abducting society would cry out: — 
"One of the Lumpwood (or Fox) girls has married one of us Foxes (or 
Lumpwoods) of her own accord ! " They took her to a lodge belonging to 
their society, where they continued drumming, singing, and dancing most 
of the night. She was the only woman present on this occasion. Her lover's 
relatives treated her for the time being as if she were an ordinary bride, 
bringing her an elk-tooth dress and other garments. Early the next morn- 
ing an old member went through camp, shouting, " We are going to have a 
good time today, get your horses and prepare for today's big dance!" 
Then the stolen woman dressed up in her new clothes, for she was now to 
be exhibited publicly by her captors. All the members painted as though 
for a war expedition, and the woman's face was painted with red stripes. 
She was made to sit behind a member who had earned the title of akhapl'cere, 
that is to say, one who had once saved another Crow from a pursuing enemy 
by taking him up on horseback behind himself. If any other Fox or Lump- 
wood rode with the woman, the members of the rival society rode up and 
threw him down from the horse, at the same time deriding him. It was 
further necessary that the feat should have been accomplished on the war- 
path, not in defending the Crow camp against an enemy, for in the latter 
case the danger was accounted less great. Moreover, the horse on which 
the woman rode must necessarily be one that had been picketed by the 
enemy and stolen by cutting the rope. If the horse had been stolen in any 
other way, the riders were thrown off, the bridles torn, and the horse was 
turned loose. While the rest of the party seems to have paraded in the 
regular line of two abreast, with leaders and rear officers in their proper 
places, the dkbdpi^cere and his companion remained outside of the line. 
Thus all proceeded to the center of the camp, where the society formed a 
circle and danced, the woman and her escort remaining on the outside. 
This was continued until evening. The rival society would look on during 

1913.] Ixrwie, Crow Military Societies. 173 

this public performance in order to show that they were indifferent about 
the loss of one of their women. Finally the members of the kidnapping 
organization returned to their lodge, and the woman was placed in the 
custody of her lover, who generally dismissed her after a short period. 

The following narrative by Strikes-at-night (Bull-weasel's mother), 
a River Crow, is interesting because it presents the facts of the hai- 
s'vfEfd +w custom from a woman's point of view. 

My husband was a great warrior. He was a Fox. The Lumpwoods and the 
Foxes were stealing each other's wives one season while my husband was on the war- 
path. Before I had married, another man had courted me with gifts of beef and 
horses, but I married Bull-weasePs father. Now this suitor came with other Lmnp- 
woods to get me. I was afraid they were going to take me by force, so I sneaked 
away to the hills, where a woman was mourning her dead son. Another woman came 
with me for the same reason; she was the mourner's sister-in-law. It was she who 
planned the way to escape. "My sister-in-law,'* she said, "goes out every morn- 
ing to fast; let us go with her. " We all got mourning blankets and early every day 
we went out together up the hills, where no one could find us. We were not so far 
but that we could hear the Lumpwoods hallooing and see them searching for women 
to steal. When the "showing-off" ceremony was done, we saw the abductor take 
the stolen woman to his home. We fasted and watched up there all day. We had 
no water. In the coiuse of the day the mourner's relatives came to bring her food 
and water. Then we two others hid, begging her not to tell about us. When the 
relatives had gone, we all feasted on what they had brought. At night we returned 
to camp with the mourner. Momners then slept in very small tents, deprived of all 
decoration. We slept in such tents and sneaked out with the mourner early the next 

My husband returned with Big-ox's war party, and I saw him looking for me. 
The people told him I had fled in order not to be taken away. He never came near 
me because he did not wish to be present when I should be kidnapped. One night 
I stealthily approached him. He told me that if the Lmnpwoods came for me while 
he was present he would let me go, but if I hid it would be well. I thought that if 
the camp were moved during the period of wife-kidnapping I should have no way of 
escape. They really did move. My husband painted me all up, and I rode his 
horse. Now they planned to catch me, but my husband's sister warned me and 
bade me go with her, saying that then they would not take me. The Lmnpwoods 
were in the rear of the line of march, riding abreast and making a show of six Fox 
women they had captured. I was riding with my sister-in-law when the Lmnp- 
woods approached. My sister-in-law would not let me rim away, but they were 
coming fast and I got scared and broke away. Some tents had already been pitched 
by the Crow in the van, and I ran into the lodge of a woman whose husband was a 
Fox. She helped me imsaddle my horse, turned him loose, and covered me up with 
parfleches. There I lay. I heard the Lumpwoods outside. They had taken the 
wife of a man who had been living with her peacefully for several years. He got 
fiu-ious and was going to kill her with an arrow as she was being shown off. He let 
fly and barely missed her. The Lumpwoods all scattered. They took revenge on 
the Foxes by cutting up their robes into strips and poimding their horses' feet. 

Towards evening we heard a shot. We saw a man running back and forth, rais- 

174 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

ing a blanket and throwing it ofif several times to indicate how many Crow had been 
killed. He did this three times, then we could not count any more. We thought 
the Many Lodges had been wiped out. We learned that they had had war parties 
out in two directions and that all the warriors had been killed. The woman who 
had been shot at by her husband had lost two brothers. Our whole camp mourned. 
Thus the wife-kidnapping ceased, and I escaped. 

Muskrat, another woman, says she was safe from molestation because 
her husband was a Fox while all her brothers were Lumpwoods. She does 
not approve of the custom of wife-kidnapping. Her husband kidnapped 
. no less than nine wives of the Lumpwoods, but all of them afterwards left 
him or were sent away. Muskrat herself had trouble only with the eighth 
of these women, who once jerked off a blanket from her and her husband. 
Muskrat told her she was crazy and took the blanket back. 

Certain songs used in the kidnapping of wives are said to have been 
dreamt. One year, just before the commencement of the wife-stealing, a 
Fox dreamt this song: — 

"baki'E baracte kom, ba'wik. baracte kom. bare'wik." 

"My sweetheart is the one I love, I will meet him. I love him. I shall go. *' 

The words of the following song are also put into a woman's mouth: — 
"batsimecik-, diri'atsk-atdare. datsinetdetk. 
"I am married, you think. You are as if not married. 

iExuxke Itum, baki'wake.'* 

The Foxes are good-looking, I have them for sweethearts." 

After all the wives amenable to capture had been stolen, the Foxes and 
Lumpwoods went on the warpath. The societies now tried to score against 
each other by striking the first coup against the enemy. That is to say, 
each tried to get ahead of the rival society; it did not matter to them whether 
the Big Dogs or Muddy Hands took precedence of both. This rivalry 
made the members fearless. Ordinarily it would be considered an affront 
if the Foxes sang Lumpwood songs or vice versa. But if a Fox struck an 
enemy before any of the Lumpwoods, the Foxes were privileged to "take 
away the Lumpwood songs," that is, to adapt words composed for the 
occasion to the Lumpwood tunes. In practice the stolen songs were only 
used two or three times. Muskrat said that the words of the stolen songs 
were changed in mockery of the vanquished rivals and that the hooked 
and straight staffs of the latter were also taken by the coup-striking organiza- 
tion. The latter part of this statement, however, remains unconfirmed. 
The members of the society outdone in the manner described might not 
use their songs until they had struck the first coup in another engagement. 

The following incident, narrated by Sharp-horn, illustrates the spirit 

1913.] Lowie, Crow Military Societies. 175 

of rivalry that obtained between the two societies when fighting against 
the enemy. At one time the enemy occupied a high butte surrounded by 
flat country. They dug holes, and were prepared to fight the Crow. A 
Fox hooked-staff officer went up some distance, but then lay down with 
his standard. A brave member of the Lumpwood rank and file asked, 
^' Has any one struck the enemy yet? " " No, it is pretty diflftcult. " Then 
the Lmnpwood snatched away the Fox officer's pole, went up the hill, and 
struck an enemy with it. He left the standard over a hole on the butte, 
ran back, reached his people in safety, and challenged the Foxes to recover 
their emblem. None of them dared go for it. When the party came back 
from the war, the Lumpwoods took away the Foxes ' songs. In such a case, 
the Foxes were obliged to borrow the songs of other societies. Red-eye 
gave me the following song composed by Lumpwoods in derision of the 
Foxes when a hooked-staff oflftcer ran away from the enemy : — 

" f Exuxkaka tu'we, dak^re batsa'tsk. batse't ce'wi'Eruk. " 
"You Foxes, you ran away fast. A man must die anyway." 

Young-jack-rabbit says that on one occasion he charged the enemy and 
struck the first coup. Accordingly, he was going to take away the Foxes' 
songs, but his younger brother was a Fox and claimed the first coup for 
himself. Young-jack-rabbit's associates protested, saying that the Fox 
had not earned first honors, but seeing it was his brother Jack-rabbit yielded 
the point. 

Two Lumpwood hooked-staff men were killed in two successive years, 
and in the third year one of their straight-stick officers was killed. The 
Lumpwoods then mocked the Foxes for their cowardice, because they did 
not lose any of their officers (Gray-bull). 

With the first snowfall the spirit of rivalry apparently disappeared, and 
the two societies lived together in perfect amity until the next spring. 

Big Dogs. 

I was able to find but a single man who had been a member of the Big 
Dog (micg-isa'^te) organization, viz.. Fire-weasel of Pryor, supposed to be 
^3 years of age (in 1910). 

According to Fire-weasel, as well as others, this society originated with 
the Hidatsa. An Hidatsa was traveling towards another tribe when he 
saw a dog on the trail before him. Going over a hill, he heard some songs 
and discovered that it was the dog that was singing them. The dog was 
very old; its songs were those of the subsequent Big Dog organization. 

176 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI > 

Thus began the society, which was joined by most of the Hidatsa and Crow 
chiefs. Every member carried a stick enclosed in a cover of tanned buck- 
skin, from which there hung down deer-hoofs or dewclaws serving as rattles^ 
In recent times tin cones took the place of the dewclaws. This emblem 
is called maxaxore'. It proved impossible to secure a specimen that had 
actually been used by the Big Dogs, but a rattle fashioned on the same pat- 
tern, which had been used by one of the Tobacco organizations and was,, 
accordingly, of a much more sacred character was piu*chased at Lodge Grass^ 
This maxaxore' (Fig. 2) is distinctly shorter than the form used by the 
Big Dogs and is far more elaborately decorated, with plumes, strings of 
beads, and ermine skin; the small bags below the ends of the stick enclose 
tobacco seeds. The Big Dog rattle was about two feet long and had 
attached to it little hawk bells in addition to the dewclaws. 

As a rule the members were old, there were a few young ones. The 
latter were chosen in place of relatives who had been Big Dogs and had 
died in battle. 

Every spring the members gathered in a large lodge. The chiefs re- 
mained outside debating about the choice of officers. They filled a pipe,, 
entered the tent, and offered the pipe to various young men, who either de- 
clined the offer by refusing to smoke, or accepted, together with the pipe, 
the honors and dangers of office. First the old men selected two leaders 
(bas^), then two rear men (ha'ake); next two sash wearers (iExtsewicfe) ; 
another pair of sash-wearers; and finally the two men wearing bearskin 
belts (naxpitse ihe'rupte). The belt men hesitated for a long time before 
taking the pipe, for they were expected to be bravest of all and were fairly 
certain to be killed. They must walk straight up to the enemy regardless 
of danger and were never expected to retreat. At any feast of the society 
the belt wearers ate before the Big Dogs, for if any one preceded them he 
would be killed even before these two officers. It was only after the 
naxpits^ ihe'rupte ^ had eaten their fill that the other members began to eat. 
This seems to indicate that they correspond to the akdu'cire of other or- 
ganizations (see p. 158). During dances the belt wearers carried quirts. 
At the end of the performance they went round and touched each member 
with their whips, whereupon all were permitted to take their seats. Bear- 
gets-up said that some men would continue to dance as a sign of bravery 
after being touched by the whip. Then the whippers would lash them more 
vigorously. Fire-weasel himself served as a sash-wearer. The sashes 
(lExtue; singular, lExtse) were of red, blue, black, or green flannel, and seem 
to have been quite similar to those of the Muddy Hands (see p. 184). 

1 naxpits6, bear; ihi'rupe, waist; ihfi'rupte, round the waist, belt. 

Lowie, Craw MHitary SoeUlUs. 

Fig. :; (8O.1-3KQ0). Dewclaw Ratllc. 

178 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

After the election of officers the Big Dogs marched through the camp. 
They divided into four groups, each of which went to the home of one of 
the sash-wearers, where food had been prepared for them. Here the sashes 
were completed for their wearers and were then suspended from a pole 
outside the lodge. Later, they were put on by their owners, and all the men 
within marched outside to meet the three other groups. Then all joined 
in a dance, started by the belt men seizing a sash-wearer *s emblem and 
pulling it forward. 

When the Big Dogs wished to have a dance they called out to all mem- 
bers to dress and paint up and to assemble in a certain tipi. The member 
who owned the finest lodge yielded it to the society for that occasion. Be- 
yond the dewclaw rattles and the officers' emblems no special regalia seem 
to have been obligatory. All dressed in their best clothes, some wearing 
scalp-shirts and buckskin leggings fringed with scalps. Those who had 
frequently struck the enemy daubed yellow paint on their shirts and leggings, 
and striped their arms and legs with red paint. Some Big Dogs wore war- 
bonnets, while others had owl feathers tied in a bunch to the back of the 
head. Round the neck all wore a whistle, which might be blown at will 
during the dance. The moccasins were sometimes trimmed at the top with 
skunk skins. The dance itself, like that of the Foxes, consisted of a leap- 
ing motion, but differed in that the leap was forward and that the perform- 
ers separated so as to dance individually instead of lining up in a row or 
ring. Moreover the bodies were leaned forward more than in the Fox 
dance. During the singing of the last song, the Big Dogs jumped up more 
vigorously than in the preceding dances. Sometimes the Big Dogs assem- 
bled in the night and went through the camp, singing. Any woman that so 
desired might follow and join in the songs. When they came to a chief's 
lodge, they formed a circle outside and sang a song. Then the chief would 
say, " Come in, and sing inside the lodge. " When they had entered, their 
host would order food to be cooked, and entertained them. Sharp-horn 
furnished the additional information that, before setting out on their noc- 
turnal procession, the members took a rawhide, ran holes along the edge, 
and passed a rope through them. Then they stood up in a circle, beating 
the hide with their dewclaw rattles. Thereupon they went through the 
<jamp, halting at different lodges. The tent-owner came out and handed 
them a pipe or presented them with food. The songs on this occasion do 
not seem to have differed from those ordinarily sung by the Big Dogs, that 
is, they were not apparently chants eulogizing the prospective host. 

A Big Dog who had been killed was brought to the camp and dressed 
\ip in good clothes. A bed was arranged for him outdoors. Each member 
sang and danced, moving towards the corpse. When at the foot of the bed. 

1913.] Lome, Crow Military Societies. 179- 

each performer knelt down and cried, whereupon he drew back some dis- 
tance. Then all sat down on the ground. The parents of the slain man 
gathered together leggings, shirts, and other property, and distributed them 
among the Big Dogs as a compensation for their mourning ceremony. If 
the slain man had been a sash-wearer, any member could take up his stick ^ 
and sash and run about with them in front of the other Big Dogs. After 
the dead man 's burial these regalia were given to another member. During 
the mourning celebration the following words were sung: 

hi'raka ta, batsirexbiiEk, bare'wik'. 
Comrade, I dismount, I am going towards you. 

The Big Dogs took turns with the other military societies in policing the 
tribe during the communal hunts. This service lasted for one season. If 
any one person scared the game away the Big Dogs went after him and 
whipped him. Everyone was afraid of them. The following Big Dog 
song, said to have been sung when the people were moving towards the 
game, is probably associated with these police functions: 

Micekatu bare'k- . hiren bar^xuk . xatsi'sa . bare'k*. 
Towards the buffalo I am going. These are singing. Don't move. I am 

On two subsequent occasions Fire-weasel in part modified the informa- 
tion first given by him. He reduced the number of officers to nine, viz. 
two leaders, four sash-wearers, two rear officers, and one quirt-bearer. The 
last of these was said to have worn a belt of bearskin, to have been the 
bravest member, rescuing those whose lives were endangered in battle, 
and he was identified by my informant himself as the Big Dogs ' akdvfdre. 
At a dance he would rise, seize one of the sash-wearer's sashes, and begin 
to dance, leading the sash-wearer behind him. Then the other members 
also danced. When the songs had ceased, all stood still, those who had 
whistles blew them, and the remaining members clapped their mouths with 
their hands. Then the quirt-bearer touched each man with his whip and 
thus made them sit down. During a public parade he stayed among the 
singers. While the others were dancing, he was permitted to sit wherever 
he desired, and in general he might act as he pleased. When the members 
met in a lodge he always sat near the door, this seat being reserved for him. 
In the distribution of food, the belt-wearer preceded all others, being fol- 
lowed by the leaders, the sash-wearers, rear officers, and finally by the rank 
and file. Of the sash-wearers, two wore only one sash, the others two 
sashes apiece. When marching, one officer with a single sash had for his* 

» It is not clear to me what is referred to by this term. * 

180 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

mate an officer with two sashes. Originally, the sashes were made of raw- 
hide, later red cloth with black stripes was used. 

The Big Dogs had no subdivisions into age-groups corresponding to 
those of the Foxes, Lumpwoods, and Muddy Hands. 

Anyone joining must first get a dewclaw rattle. He might ask a former 
member for his; no payment was made for it. It was also permissible to 
make a rattle for one's self. If a member was killed by the enemy, his 
friends kept his rattle. His body was laid outdoors and dressed up. The 
Big Dogs first paraded through camp, singing, then they approached the 
<;prpse. The slain man's parents or wife led his horse, whose mane and tail 
had been docked, towards the paraders. Whoever mounted the horse on 
this occasion pledged himself to act like the dead man and to be so brave as 
to be killed. Sometimes one or two men got on the horse and rode round 
the other members, shouting. All the members took arrows, and stuck 
them into their legs or heads. For this each one received gifts from the 
parents. The members then went to bury the dead man for his parents. 
They either put the corpse on a burial stage, or deposited it in the rocks. 

In the tribal hunt the Big Dogs sometimes acted as police. If any in- 
dividual made a prematiu*e move so as to scare the game, the Big Dogs 
gathered together and went after him. They addressed him as if talking 
to a dog, saying, "Stop, go back!" The offender then halted. Next they 
asked him gently, " Why are you moving away? " If the man gave a gentle 
reply and obeyed orders, everything was well, but if he answered in angry 
tones the Big Dogs whipped him, sometimes so hard that he could not move. 
In advancing upon offenders, the officers of the society took the lead. 

Information in part supplementary, in part contradictory, to that de- 
rived from Fire-weasel was supplied by Gray-bull, who, while not a former 
Big Dog, proved an excellent authority on most matters connected with 
the ancient life of his people. According to Gray-bull, all Big Dogs wore 
the owl feather headdress and carried the dewclaw rattle, the latter taking 
the place of the drum used by other organizations. The list of officers and 
their order of marching as given by Gray-bull is somewhat different from 
Fire-weasel's. The two leaders were followed by a single pair of sash-wearers, 
after whom came the rank and file. Behind these marched a single belt- 
wearer who was accompanied by an officer of different character called 
akblretsirixi e (iu*ger) or itsiratsekaH (quirt-owner). Next came two 
akdu^cire, and finally the two rear officers. 

The leaders were expected to take the initiative in any emergency. If 
the enemy were protected in pits, it was the duty of the leaders to make a 
charge against them. On the other hand, if the Crow were fleeing from the 
enemy, these officers were under no obligation to dismount and make a 

1913.] Lovjie, Crow Military Societies. 181 

stand, though they voluntarily might do so, and frequently did. The 
iExtsewic^ wore each two sashes of red flannel crossing in front. If the Crow 
were fleeing from the enemy, the sash-wearers were permitted to run with 
the other men. But just as soon as they heard a fellow-tribesman utter a 
cry for help, they were obliged to turn back and rush to the rescue at the 
risk of their lives. They either surrendered their horses to the endangered 
comrades or took them up behind themselves, or turned their horses loose 
and fought in defense of their friends. The naxpitsi ihWrupte wore a belt 
of bearskin with the legs and claws left on. If the Crow were victorious, 
no special duties devolved on him. But if the Crow were being pursued, 
it was his duty immediately to descend from his horse and attempt to arrest 
the progress of the pursuers. If he ran with the rank and file, someone was 
sure to cry, "Get off!" Then he must dismount and stand. Should he 
have persisted in fleeing in spite of this admonition and succeeded in making 
his escape, he was thenceforth treated as a coward and outcast, regardless 
of his former reputation. The belt-wearer painted his body with mud and 
bunched up his hair in imitation of a bear's ears. This officer almost always 
lost his life in battle. When the society performed its dance, the belt* 
wearer remained seated, thus indicating that he would not run away in an 
engagement. As soon as his mate, the akbiretsirixi e, saw him seated, he 
rushed towards him and whipped him in order to make him rise. In battle, 
if the quirter saw his comrade defying the enemy, he would either quirt 
him, thus absolving him from the duty of making such a stand, or he must 
himself stand beside him and aid him against the enemy. The akducire 
were expected to die, no matter what happened. To return alive was to 
become the laughing-stock of their fellow-tribesmen. Gray-bull recalled 
a number of akducire who had been killed in battle, but not a single one 
that had acted in a cowardly manner. Naturally enough, more of them 
were killed than of any other officers. Owing to their exposure to excep- 
tional dangers, the akdU'dre were privileged to eat before any of the other 
Big Dogs at meetings of the society. They might taste a little of each of 
the kinds of food provided for the occasion, and ate as much as they wished 
of the kind preferred. When they had eaten enough, they spread out their 
blankets on the ground and sat down. Only then were the remaining mem- 
bers i>ermitted to distribute the provisions. The rear officers were expected 
to stay behind the other Crow when these were pursued by the enemy, and 
to keep back the piu*suers. 

Gray-bull stated that a boy could be taken into the Big Dog society as 
soon as one of his relatives who had been a member of the organization 
died or was killed. If the brother of the slain member was still an infant, 
the Big Dogs waited until he was old enough to understand what was 

182 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

going on. The mode of filling vacancies was similar to that of the Night- 
hawks today. At the election of officers an old Big Dog lighted a pipe, 
pointed its mouthpiece at one of the young men and said, "Take a smoke! 
I wish you to become a leader. " If the young man consented, he smoked 
from the pipe in silence. Often it was difficult to induce a man to accept. 
If a man declined office, he would say, " I am a coward, I am afraid to die. ^' 
The members knew that if they put the pipe to their lips they were not 
expected to live until the next year. Sometimes the pipe-bearer went 
through the entire circle without finding a willing candidate. Then some 
of the young men would get excited and take the pipe. 

One-horn said that the leaders were chosen for their " strong hearts, " 
that is to say, they were expected to be cool in times of excitement. The 
sashes were of red flannel, but terminated in a white tip. Though the sash- 
wearers were expected to be brave they were permitted to move about, 
while the officers with bearskin belts must not move from their position in 
battle. The leaders wore no badge, only their personal medicine objects. 
The term of office for all officers lasted from early spring until the first snow- 
fall. Except in special cases of reelection, new men were selected for the 
following year. The society could hold meetings at any time, but did so 
more particularly when a Tobacco ceremony or Sun dance was performed 
in the tribe. 

In 1907 I was informed that the Big Dogs at one time united with the 
Lumpwoods against the Foxes and Muddy Hands for the purpose of steal- 
ing their opponents' wives, but that the Big Dogs reconsidered the matter 
and thereafter never took any part in such proceedings. An Indian from 
Reno further told me that the ten officers of the Big Dogs were expected to 
strike the first blow in battle, so as to take precedence of the Foxes. As all 
my informants in 1910 limited the feeling of rivalry to the Fox and Lump- 
wood organizations (see p. 169), I should consider the information previously 
obtained as erroneous, were it not for the testimony of Beckwourth as to 
conditions in the twenties of the last century : 

A feud now broke out, which had been long brewing, between two different parties 
in our village, one of which worshiped foxes, and the other worshiped dogs. The 
warriors of the latter party were called Dog Soldiers, of which I was the leader; the 
other party was led by Red Eyes. The quarrel originated about the prowess of the 
respective parties, and was fostered by Red Eyes, on the part of the rival company, 
and by Yellow Belly , a man in my company.* 

According to several informants, a custom of the Lumpwood society 
known as hatha' tue was originally a peculiarity of the Big Dog organiza- 
tion (see p. 167). 

1 Bonner. 183. 

1913.] Lome, Crow Military Societies. 183 

Sometimes the Big Dogs would go up on a knoll to sing and dance there 
and would make their sweethearts fetch water for them. In the spring 
or summer, when many buffalo hides had been tanned, the young unmarried 
women would call the Big Dogs (or some other society) to some big tipi. 
There each man would have a woman partner to sing with. When all had 
sung, each couple by themselves, they distributed food and feasted. They 
sang Big Dog songs. If any couple wished to sleep in the lodge overnight 
they were permitted to do so. 

Muddy Hands. 

The Muddy Hands (ictse cipi's) did not dance very frequently, accord- 
ing to Gray-bull's recollection, as a rule only at the time of the Tobacco 
ceremonies. In this respect it differed notably from the Fox and Lumpwood 
societies. It resembled these, however, in assuming police functions from 
time to time; in fact owing to the fearlessness of His-horse-is-white, one of 
the members, they acted as police for several successive seasons. One- 
horn, Gray-bull, and Old-dog placed the number of sash-wearers at two; 
however, none of them had been a member. One-horn said that the sash- 
wearers wore each two sashes of red flannel, which were so long as to trail 
along the ground when their owners were afoot and to touch the ground 
when they were mounted. (Fig. 3b). During a dance. Old-dog said, the 
sash-wearers were led round by their trains. 

The most valuable account of thb society was derived from Bear-ghost, 
one of a very small number of one-time members I was able to find. He 
did not know any tradition concerning the origin of the organization. 
There were three age-classes within the Muddy Hand society : the ci'paktsic^ 
(They-put-guts-round-their-heads-for-hats); the ictse cipt's proper; and 
the e'capi e ^ (They-have-sacks-round-their-necks). These groups repre- 
sented the boys, middle-aged men, and old men respectively. A man 
entering from another society joined the division corresponding to his age. 
The officers of the Muddy Hands were two leaders, four sash-wearers, two 
rear officers, and two akdu'cire. The leaders were expected to perform 
brave deeds at the commencement of an action while the rear officers were 
to be the last men to flee. The akdu'cire were supposed to be the bravest 
members and must not run away at all. If any Crow fell from his horse, 
they were expected to help him escape. On account of their obligations 
they were permitted to eat before all other members of the society. The 

1 From e'ce, sack; and d'pe, neck. 

Anthropological Papers American MtMeum of Nalwral HUtory. [Vol. XI, 

a Crazy Dog RatUe; b Muddy 

1913.] Lowie, Crow Military Societies. 185 

45ash-wearers were not limited to any particular form of bravery. In the 
spring all the members gathered in one lodge. Four old men stayed out- 
doors and decided upon whom the choice for oflScers should fall. On enter- 
ing, they offered the pipe to the candidates selected in exactly the same 
fashion that was in vogue in the other military associations. Then some 
members went to the woods and brought back bark peeled from willow trees. 
By uniting several strips of bark it was possible to make a kind of bark 
sash with a loop and trailer. These bark sashes were passed over the heads 
of the sash-wearers-elect. Then the Muddy Hands went outdoors, singing 
And dancing through the camp, whereupon the society divided into four 
sections, each going with one of the sash-wearers. Within each new officer 's 
lodge there was a big piece of cloth, the size of a blanket. A man who had 
distinguished himself as a sash-wearer rose and told of his deeds while an 
officer. Then he cut up the cloth into appropriate strips about 5 inches 
wide, and sewed them together to make the sash sufficiently long. Finally 
he made a slit and put the sash over its owner's head. Then all went out 
to dance outdoors for the purpose of showing the people the men who 
had been elected officers. 

If an officer ran away instead of assisting his fellow-tribesmen, other 
people made fun of him and called him a coward; he could only redeem his 
honor by being brave in the next battle. On the other hand, an officer who 
fought bravely and got away in safety was held in esteem and was likely 
to become a chief if he kept up his good conduct in subsequent engagements. 
The sash-wearers had no sticks with which to fasten their emblems to the 
ground. The term of office was a single season, that is, from early spring 
till the first snowfall. 

A curious custom was peculiar to the Muddy Hands. They never put 
out a fire, either on the prairie or in the camp, though others might do so 
for them. The fire symbolized the enemy. In exceptional cases a very* 
brave man might dismount to extinguish a fire, but this signified a pledge 
of special bravery, namely, never to flee from an enemy in battle. The 
existence of this custom was also known to non-members, such as Sitting- 
elk and Sharp-horn. 

At a time which Bear-ghost sets at about forty. Fire-weasel at about 
forty-five years ago (1910), the Foxes came to the Muddy Hands with a 
pipe, offered them smoke, and begged them to join their organization. The 
Muddy Hands consented, and thus terminated their existence as a dis- 
tinct society. In consequence of the union Bear-ghost lost his wife as she 
was promptly stolen by a Lumpwood. Sharp-horn relates that the cir- 
cumstances connected with the union of the two societies were the follow- 
ing. One season the Lumpwoods stole many more women from the Foxes 

186 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI ^ 

than the Foxes were able to capture from them. The Foxes accordingly 
called on the Muddy Hands with a pipe, asking them to join their organiza- 
tion and unite in a reprisal against the Lumpwoods.^ The Muddy Hands 
consented, but even at that the re-enforced Foxes could not steal many 
Lumpwood women, for the Muddy Hand contingent failed to capture any 
women whatsoever. The Lumpwoods made up a song mocking their 
rivals: — 

batse'm o'pi'kuEc; be'rerusak bare dusa'rawa! 
To these men they gave smoke; they may eat (Lmnpwood) dung, their men- 
tulae eat I 

Child-in-his-mouth confirmed most of Bear-ghost's statements. He 
added that the sash-wearers had caps made from dried bear guts painted 
red; the guts of bears were taken because these animals are so strong and 

Charges-camp mentioned a detail not given by other informants. At 
Muddy Hand performances two men dressed up in their war suits, wearing 
their medicines on the head and carrying their weapons. A pole was stuck 
in the ground and a buffalo robe, hair side out, was tied to it. This pole 
represented the enemy. The two men rode up against the pole and struck 
it with their coup sticks, or enacted such other deeds as they had performed 
in war. The same informant said that the Muddy Hands were mostly old 
people and were all expected to be brave as old people cannot run fast. 

Hammer Society. 

There can be no doubt that this boys' organization is identical with 
Maximilian's Stone Casse-Tete society. It derived its name hv/ptsakey 
"Hammer Owners," from a diamond-shaped or pointedly elliptical object 
called " bu'ptsaj*^ which was perforated so that it could be stuck on a long 
staff. Several models which I had made were all of wood, and Gray-bull 
declared that the Crow never used any other material, but bu^ptsa also 
means " a stone hammer " and the model of an emblem of the corresponding 
Hidatsa society is of stone. On seeing the Crow models Mr. Harlan I. 
Smith was struck with the resemblance of the buptsa to the problematical 

1 I find a note that, according to Fire-weasel's wife, the Lumpwoods stole some of the 
Muddy Hands' wives and that therefore the Muddy Hands, about fifty in number at the time 
joined the Foxes. However, the weight of authority is in favor of the statement in the text. 
Still another account by Black-bull has it that the Big Dogs were acting as police one season. 
The Muddy Hands wished to go in a certain direction, contrary to the Big Dogs' orders. 
The two societies fought each other with clubs. Then the Muddy Hands joined the Foxes, 
and were then strong enough to go where they pleased. 

1913.] LowiCf Crow Military Societies. 187 

objects known to American archaeologists as bannerstones. The staflf 
illustrated in Fig. la, is painted with white clay. Its hu'ptsa is decorated 
with yellow and red paint, the former being represented by diagonal, the 
latter by vertical shading. An unperforated bvfptsa of ovoid shape is shown 
in two positions in Fig. 1, b and c, the diagonal lines again representing 
yellow, while blue is indicated in the upper view by vertical and in the 
lower by horizontal lines. 

Pretty-enemy says that long ago the little boys, while playing, got some 
milkweed balls and pierced them with sticks. When they grew up, they 
founded a society and put bark, instead of the milkweed balls, on their 

Charges-camp states that long ago a very old man, having lost his son, 
went out on the prairie to mourn. He had a vision of many boys, four of 
whom carried the wands emblematic of the society; there was one leader and 
one rear officer, both older than the rest, who corresp^onded to the leader 
and rear officer of the other military organizations. These boys were en- 
gaged in a sham battle. On the old man's return to camp, he organized 
the boys according to the vision received. 

The following account deals with the annual meeting of the society. 

In the spring the boys used to assemble and depart from the camp, each 
carrying with him a piece of dried meat. They built a fire and feasted by 
themselves, then they decided to meet on the morrow for the purpose of 
distributing the officers' staffs. The next morning they gathered in a cer- 
tain lodge. Four willow poles were cut and laid outside against the tipi. The 
two oldest boys went outdoors to discuss the officers to be selected. They 
reentered with a pipe, and chose successively the leaders, rear officers, four 
staff -bearers {hu'ptsake proper), and four akdv/cire. The manner of election 
was identical with that of the other societies. In leaving the lodge, each 
man was asked to which staff -bearer *s home he wished to go. The society 
was thus subdivided into four groups, the members of which followed the 
bu'ptsake to their lodges. Here the sticks were finished and decorated, 
whereupon there was dancing, singing, and feasting. The four groups then 
re-united outdoors for a common dance, which continued until dark. Then 
the society went to the lodge of each of the four staff-bearers, formed a 
circle outside, and began to drum and sing. The father of the officer came 
out, and handed a pipe to the young braves, or invited them inside for a 
feast. The akdu'cire were expected not to be afraid of buffalo, wolves, 
mountain-lions, or any other kind of animal. They were to take their sticks 
and count coup on these animals as though they were enemies. The 
bvfptsake were about sixteen or seventeen years old. It is clear that they 
sometimes took part in actual battle, in fact Gray-bull says they were more 
reckless than other warriors. 

188 Anthropological Papers American Mitseum of Natural History, [Vol. XI^ 

Fire-weasel said that practically all the young boys joined the hvfjptaakei 
two older boys were there to instruct the others and to make the f oiu* wands 
for the officers, who were supposed to be especially brave in the sham battles 
fought by the members. When the boys grew older, they entered one of 
the other societies. According to Gray-bull, the number carrying hu'ptsa 
was two, but from other statements this seems doubtful. 

Child-in-the-mouth said that the paint used on the body was yellow,, 
red, and blue, corresponding to the decoration of the bu'ptsa. There were 
seasons when the boys met real enemies and struck coups with their em- 
blems. The following is a specimen song: — 

batse' tsiri'ka tuEc, ba'wik*. 

The men are afraid of the enemy, I am going to meet [the enemy]. 

Older men also joined sometimes and went on war parties. Gray-bull 
remembers an occasion on which a hvf'ptsake slain by the enemy was 
mourned by his fellow members. His body was laid on the ground, 
propped up against a buflfalo skin backrest. His emblem was planted near 
the corpse. Picked members of the society gave vent to their lamenta- 
tions, and sang songs. During this performance a young man named Rides- 
the-spotted-horse approached the scene merely as a spectator. He was 
always lucky in battle, though well-known for his dauntlessness. The 
slain man's father stopped Rides-the-spotted-horse's horse, put his hand on 
his head in token of pleading, and offered gifts to the rider. Then he thus 
addressed him : " You know how I have been treated by the Sioux, I depend 
on you to repay them. " For a while the young man made no reply, kt 
last he said, " You have appointed me to die. I will die just in order to 
revenge the death of your boy." Then they plucked out the dead officer's 
emblem, and gave it to Rides-the-spotted-horse. All those present cheered. 
The old man cried again. Then he picked out Gray-bull, pressed his head, 
gave him a shield, and prayed for vengeance. After some consideration. 
Gray-bull also expressed his willingness to jeopardize his life for the sake of 
retaliation. Though quite sincere in his determination to die, however, he 
came out alive and struck a coup. Rides-the-spotted-horse ran into the 
thickest part of the Sioux ranks, struck a coup, and got back in safety, 
though his horse was killed under him. One of the other hv/ptsake officers 
was killed. Apparently the mourning father wished Gray-bull to risk his 
lif^ again, and offered him all kinds of property, but Gray-bull's brothers 
watched him closely and would not allow him to make another dash. 

If some member did not attend a meeting, the bu'ptsake all went to his 
lodge and stood there until the delinquent's father pacified them with a 
gift of food and the offer of a pipe to smoke. 

1913.] Lovne, Crow Military Societies. 189 

Bull Society. 

The native name of this society was generally heard tn'rukapd, not 
Unfrwpaki (from tsi'rupe, **bull/' and aH, "owner")* as might be expected 
by analogy with bu'ptsake and pe'raiaaki, and as it was actually heard in 
several cases. Probably metathesis has taken place. 

This society was, according to most informants, derived from the 
Hidatsa; only Gray-bull is of opinion that it originated with the Dakota. 
The bulk of the evidence supports the view that the members were elderly, 
or at least of mature years. Bell-rock sets their age at about 50, Gray-bull 
at 65. Nevertheless, the Bulls are said to have acted as police ^ (Gray-bull) 
and to have taken part in miUtary activity. They always bore themselves 
well in battle until a certain engagement north of Pryor, when they were 
driven down a low cliff, whence they were called "Bulls-chased-over-the- 
cliff." The mockery thus incurred put a stop to the society. This seems 
to have taken place about forty years ago. 

According to Gray-bull the mode of electing oflScers did not differ from 
that of the other societies. The members met in the spring, a pipe was 
pointed at different men, and these might either accept or decline the prof- 
fered honor. Those who kept quiet while others tried to put masks on their 
heads became the mask wearers (see below). 

Varying opinions are expressed as to the number of officers. Accord- 
ing to Child-in-the-mouth, there were two leaders and two rear officers as 
in other societies, and two men wearing buffalo heads as masks; the last- 
named impersonated blind bulls, which were supposed to be very fierce. 
Charges-camp sets the number of mask wearers at from one to four. Sharp- 
horn at four, while Gray-bull and Bull-chief say there were two. There is 
general agreement, however, that those wearing the masks were the fool- 
hardy members "made to die." Bull-chief's text (p. 214) seems to identify 
them with the leaders, but Gray-bull insists that the two leaders were dis- 
tinct and had no special regalia. Lone-tree mentions but one leader and 
one rear officer. Sitting-elk alone speaks of two whippers wearing bear- 
skin belts. When the singing began at a performance of the society, all 
members were expected to rise and dance. If any one failed to do so, the 
belt wearers whipped him. When the musicians abruptly ceased to sing, 
the dancers were obliged to remain standing until the belt wearers touched 
them with their whips. Bear-gets-up recognizes two kinds of officers: two 
mask wearers and two officers who merely wore skin caps topped with horns. 

« Bear-get»-up doubts this. 

190 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

From some statements it would appear that all the rank and file wore such 
caps; according to others, they all wore red flannel aprons with little bells 
and had sleighbells on their belts or below the knee. Their bodies were 
blackened with charcoal. 

The performance of the Bulls was very popular. The following account 
is based in the main on Gray-buirs narrative, which was supplemented by 
other informants. 

About sunset the Bulls would have a herald proclaim that all members 
should gather in one lodge and paint up. A drum was beaten to make them 
hurry. They placed a large kettle with mud in the center of the lodge, and 
the Bulls painted their faces and bodies with it to represent the mud on 
buffalo in a wallow. They decorated their legs with anklets of buffalo skin 
with the hair, and put on other finery. The mask wearers plastered the 
hair and horns of their masks with white clay. When ready, the musicians 
beat their drums, and the Bulls began to parade, the leaders in front, fol- 
lowed by the rank and file, while about six (sometimes as many as ten) 
drummers brought up the rear. One man would carry water in a large 
vessel. Those who had dismounted in battle had the privilege of wearing 
buffalo tails, which were made to stand up erect. They snorted at the other 
dancers and made them retreat. The mask wearers imitated wild bulls, 
snorting and charging the crowd. The water-carrier held out Jhis vessel 
for the performers. Some of these played shy, stuck out their tails, and 
ran away, snorting and prancing. Those who wished to die came up, 
looked at the water, bellowed like bulls, drank, lapping up the water, and 
shook it off like bulls. The women, some of whom helped in the singing, 
clacked their tongues in praise of these braves, who walked off pawing the 
ground. Pounded-meat once drank from the kettle and refused to go away. 
Others came to drink, but he kicked at them and beat them off, until one 
of the officers hooked him,- whereupon at last he trotted off. After the 
dance he mounted his horse and said, "Whenever you are afraid of going 
against the enemy or vacillate, I will go straight toward them. If you re- 
treat, I will dismount and fight afoot. " 

Sitting-elk said the water was carried by a virtuous woman selected for 
the purpose. Charges-camp also stated that it was a woman that brought 
the water. According to all informants, the act of drinking symbolized 
the drinker's pledge not to flee from the enemy. 

During the dance the Bulls carried shields, gans, and lances. Some wore 
war-bonnets. Those members who had executed some notable deed re- 
counted it and went through a mock performance of it. Thus, a man who 
struck a coup would count coup on one of the spectators. Those who had 
been wounded in battle approached the audience and went through the mo- 

1913.] Lowie, Crow MilUary Societies. 191 

tion of being shot. Many of the dancers discharged their guns. Fire-weasel 
said that, although not a member, he once participated in a Bull dance to 
the extent of recounting some of his exploits. One-horn went so far as to 
state that any one was free to join the Bulls, even though he was already a 
member of the Fox or Lumpwood society. However, from the statements 
quoted above I conclude that this probably refers only to participation in 
the public performance of the Bulls and does not mean that the Bulls did 
not form a definite organization. 

All the dancers pretended to be bulls. Some tried to frighten the women 
and children. Boys looking on would sharpen sticks and prod the Bulls 
with them, who would jump and snort like real bulls. Sometimes they 
would jump up with both feet, sometimes with each foot alternately. 

Crazy Dogs. 

In order to distinguish this society from the Crazy-Dogs-Wishing-to- 
Die (p. 191), the members are sometimes called "Long Crazy Dogs,'* 
micg-S warafttxe hdtskite. According to the almost unanimous testimony 
of my informants, the society was derived by the River Crow from the 
Hidatsa about thirty-five years ago. Bell-rock thought it was of Dakota 
origin, but Fire-weasel explained that while the Dakota had taught it to 
the Hidatsa, the latter were the ones to introduce it among the Crow. 
While several informants said that it was confined to the River Crow, it is 
clear that the Many Lodges adopted and re-modeled it (see p. 148), as shown 
in the following narrative by Gray-bull. 

All the Many Lodge men who did not join the Hot dancers went to Plenty- 
coups' Lodge and formed the Crazy Dog society^ I also joined. The custom of 
wife-stealing had been abandoned by the Foxes and Lumpwoods. We met in the 
spring and made a long sash with a slit for each of two officers. Punching a hole in 
baking-powder cans and putting beads inside, we made rattles of them. The dance 
was similar to the Hot dance. At the close of a song, all raised their rattles and 
shook them, the eagle feathers on them producing a fine effect. During the dance 
those wishing to give help in battle to the two officers "doomed to die," seized the 
trains of their sashes. After the dance we all assembled in the evening and circled 
round the camp, where we were sometimes invited to partake of a feast indoors. 

One night we were parading in this way, and the Hot dancers were doing the 
same. The cry of challenge was sounded, "Hu, hu, hul" The next day the wife- 
stealing was to begin. Plenty-coups said, "We'll strike the first blow, I'll capture 
some women directly." He talked the matter over, and we proceeded on horse- 
back, riding double. Plenty-coups got off at Bear-claw's lodge, where he peeped 
in and saw Bear-claw's wife alone. He said, "Come on, I want to marrj' you." 
She took her blanket and went out. Plenty-coups had her ride behind his comrade. 

192 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

The Crazy Dogs cheered: "Here is one coming already!" They began to sing and 
rejoice so much that the tipi began to shake. The captive was considered Plenty- 
coups' wife, and Plenty-coups' sisters brought an elk-tooth dress for her. The men 
said " It is all over, let us go out and dance. " The woman 's face was painted yellow, 
with red stripes across to represent Plenty-coups' coups. On account of my war 
record I was asked to ride on horseback, while the rest remained afoot. They told 
me to do as I pleased and take my partner behind me if I wished. I put on my 
ermine-skin shirt, had my partner sit behind me, and took the lead. Granulated- 
eyelids had once dismounted in a battle against the Sioux, and another man had 
taken him behind him. Now Granulated-eyelids was chosen to take the kidnapped 
woman on his horse.^ He rode not in the line of march, but alongside in order to be 
conspicuous. I also had the privilege of riding about out of line, while the spec- 
tators gave vent to shouts of praise. One of the Crazy Dogs' wives was captured 
by the Hot dancers while looking on at the performance. The Crazy Dogs would 
not go home then, because they did not wish to have their wives stolen before their 
eyes. The Hot dancers could be heard rejoicing. The Crazy Dogs then appointed 
ten men, among them me and Strong-heart, to steal more women. I went to a 
lodge and ordered my friend to peep in. He saw a young woman sewing there. We 
both entered and sat down by the door. I called her, speaking for my partner, and 
said, "My partner wants you." She said, "He is my lover, but I will just shake 
hands with you without going." She begged not to be taken, but her lover insisted. 
Then she consented, put down her sewing, took her blanket, and said, "You are 
obstinate about it, let us go." One of our party of four then gave a signal to the 
other Crazy Dogs, also calling her husband and crying, "We have got her, she is 
going to marry us! " All the Crazy Dogs then beat drums and shook the lodge poles 
for joy. They made the woman sit in the rear of the lodge, and Strong-heart's sister 
gave her finery and an elk-tooth dress. 

The Hot dancers were about to show off their captive. The Crazy Dogs said, 
" Let us look at it for a while, before dark we shall capture four or five of their women." 
The Hot dancers were dressed as they are nowadays; they had a big dance until dark. 
We forgot all about the many Hot dancers' wives we were going to capture. Only 
Strong-heart abducted one woman, but her mother came later and took her away 
again. That night one of our wives was stolen. We kidnapped three women alto- 
gether that season and paraded with two of them. 

On another occasion I peeped into a lodge while a woman was cooking for her 
husband, who gave me a friendly greeting. She said to me and my companion, 
"You are ghosts,^ I will not go with you." I got angry, walked in, and said, "Your 
husband is no person, come with me!" She ran behind her husband. I seized her, 
so did my companion, and we dragged her to the door. Her husband held on to her 
waist calling for aid, and was dragged along with his wife. I seized her husband 
and bade him desist. The woman's brother said to us, "You are ghosts, she wants 
her own husband." He seized a butchering-knife and said, "Some of you shall die 
for this." Then we let go and fled, but the woman's husband was considered weak- 

1 I suspect that this passage was slightly misinterpreted and that it was Granulated- 
eyelids who had saved another Crow from the enemy by taking him on his horse. See p. 172. 

2 This is a grave insult. See Lowie, (a), 245. 

1913.] LowiCy Crow Military Societies. 193 

Gray-bull says that among the River Crow the Crazy Dogs never in- 
dulged in wife-stealing, and this is confirmed by Lone-tree, a member of 
that society and local division. 

There is some difference of opinion as to the number of officers. This 
may be due to a difference between the local bands. Lone-tree said there 
were a single leader, a single rear officer, and about 25 ordinary members. 
The leader was expected to advance against the enemy and never to retreat, 
while the rear officer would dismount to make a stand if the enemy were 
pursuing the Crow. The leader wore a cap of buckskin with furbished deer 
horns, and trimmed with weasel skins in the back. The rear officer wore a 
sash of red flannel, decorated with beadwork. The election of these officers 
took place in the spring, and their term was a single season. They were 
chosen as in the other societies, some man filling a pipe and offering it in 
turn to various members until someone accepted. 

Old-dog says there were sometimes two and sometimes four sash-wearers. 
Another informant speaks of two leaders, four sash-wearers, and two rear 
officers, to which Sitting-elk adds two men who whipped members into 
dancing and two akdvfdre, Bear-gets-up says there were foiu* sash-wearers 
and four men wearing the horned caps; in addition a leader was chosen to 
direct the dancing. All the members, according to him, had skin rattles 
of either the spherical or the ring-shaped type. (Fig. 3a.) 

The Crazy Dogs frequently acted as police, and according to Old-dog 
were especially strict in that capacity. Prairie-Gros-Ventre said the 
members were all young. They used dark-red and light-red paint, as well 
as white clay. Those with war records wore weasel-skin shirts, otherwise 
all were dressed alike. 


Ordinarily these Crazy Dogs are not dbtinguished in name from the 
Crazy Dog society; when the context alone would fail to prevent mistakes 
they are referred to as micg-e wara'axe akce'wi uk (Crazy Dogs who wish 
to die). As so many of the military societies, not only of the Crow but also 
of other Plains tribes, had one or more officers pledged to conduct them- 
selves with special bravery, it might naturally be supposed that the Crazy 
Dogs now to be discussed were simply officers of the society treated above. 
However, practically all informants denied any connection between the 
death-seeking Crazy Dogs (who cannot be said to have formed any or- 
ganization) and the Crazy Dog society, and this view is corroborated by 
the recent introduction of the Crazy Dog society (see p. 191) while the 

194 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

custom of seeking death as a Crazy Dog individually seems to be relatively 
old. Nevertheless, the rattles and sashes employed seem to have been 
similar in both cases, and Child-in-the-mouth also considers the songs 

When a man for some reason became tired of life, he announced himself 
a Crazy Dog. This implied that he must thenceforth "talk crosswise" 
(iri'wat bakare'), that is, express the opposite of his real intentions and do 
the opposite of what he was bidden. His most essential duty, however, 
was to rush into danger and deliberately seek death. This obligation, 
curiously enough, was limited to one season. If at the end of this period 
he had by chance escaped death, the Crazy Dog was absolved from his 
pledge, unless he voluntarily renewed it for another season. Thus, One- 
horn's father-in-law was dissatisfied with the way rations were issued by 
the Government and became a Crazy Dog; the first year he failed to get 
hurt, but he did not wish to live any longer, again assumed the insignia and 
manners of a Crazy Dog for the following season, and was killed. Natur- 
ally, while the number of Crazy Dogs varied from year to year, it was never 
very great. During some seasons there was no one that was especially 
eager to court death; on the other hand, One-horn remembers as many as 
five Crazy Dogs at one time. The usual number seems to have been two. 
Hunts-to-die, however, made the statement that long ago there were as 
many as ten Crazy Dogs who went to war; one of them was killed, accord- 
ingly the rest also succeeded in being slain.^ 

The most renowned of all the Crazy Dogs was I sacpitdakc (Young- 
cottontail-rabbit), who was killed within the memory of men still living. 
His story is known throughout the tribe, and all the incidents in the fol- 
lowing narrative ^ by Itsu'ptete were repeatedly confirmed by other old in- 

At the old Agency (on the Yellowstone) they were issuing goods. It was there 
that I first came to know a Crazy Dog. When the people were seated* before the 
distribution of goods, a youth came riding on horseback, holding his blanket by his 
stomach. He used his quirt for a rattle. He came into the circle and began to 
sing. "What is this?" "This is a youth who has been shot in the knee. His knee 
is sore. He would like to be like other young men and wishes to die, that is why he 
acts like this." Then for a long time we did not see him. One evening he 
came out, looking powerful. All of us were eager to see him. He made a rattle of 
baking-powder cans;' inside he put beads. It rattled mightily. There was a fine 
chain on his horse's bridle. His horse could not be seen, he had so much to carry. 
The youth came, with his gun in his belt. He had a wrist-band of silver-fox skin. 

1 Compare the description io Curtis, iv, 13-14. 

« Recorded in the original. See p. 215. 

* Other informants say that rsacpftdake used a rawhide rattle. 

1913.] Lowie^ Crow Military Societies, 195 

He wore a switch and had little braids in front. He had a very fine necklace and shell 
earrings. His horse was a bald-faced bay that pawed the ground vigorously. We 
looked at him; the whole camp liked him. He went through the camp singing and 
swinging his rattle. We did not know he talked crosswise. One man said to him, 
''Don't dancel" He got o£f in front of a lodge. His drummer held a drum like 
this one, and began to sing. The Crazy Dog danced. ''I will test myself, I wish 
to die; I wish toknow whether it will be well." He shot down at his foot. ^ "Well, 
I think it will be so, " he said. The women liked him very much. He danced every 
evening. When the Crow moved camp, he sang. When they camped again, he 
went through the camp singing. The old women cheered him lustily. He always 
sang at night. When they went on a hunt, the people regarded him as a dog. When 
they went to kill buffalo, the Crazy Dog went along hallooing. As these dogs act 
when they see a cow, so he acted in sight of the buffalo. They killed many buffalo 
and butchered them. The youth packed his horse. When the people camped, he 
went through the camp singing. On the next day they moved, and camped in a 
coulee. One of the young men was thrown off his horse, which ran away. He rode 
back to the old camp site to catch the runaway, and found a party of Sioux. There 
were a few young Crows with him. They drove the Sioux into the bed of a creek; 
there were breastworks there. The Crazy Dog got there; he wished to die. He 
went to the edge of the breastworks and shot down at the Sioux, then they killed hink. 
It began to rain violently. The Crazy Dog was lying in the rain water until day* 
light. The next day we got there, and found him l3ang in the water. The people 
wrapped him up and set him on horseback. They conducted him to camp, crying 
all the way. All the camp mourned grievously. They erected a four-pole scaffold 
to lay him on, and they planted a lodge pole, to which they tied the Crazy Dog's 
sash. We moved without him. This is how he was killed. His drum, looking like 
this one, was hung on the scaffold. 

Hunts-to-die knew of another Crazy Dog, who lived in his grandfather's 
time. He was the handsomest Indian ever seen, and was called Good- 
crazy-dog; his real name was He-strikes-the-enemy-with-his-brother. At 
one time the Sioux attacked a Crow band, killing all, including some of 
Good-crazy-dog's relatives. Good-crazy-dog said, "I am going to die, I 
will be a Crazy Dog. '' He bought red flannel for the sashes,^ making one 
for each side. He made a rattle out of a buffalo paunch, and tied eagle 
feathers to one end of it; inside he put beads and little stones. He wore a 
fine war-bonnet on his head and tied skunkskin ornaments to his moccasins. 
His necklace was of bapd'ce shells, and his earrings of sea-shells. In the back 
he wore a switch and in front little braids of hair. He rode a fine spotted 
horse with docked tail; for its trappings he sewed together red and green 
flannel. When he rode through camp, he began to sing and the old women 
cheered him. He was killed in battle. 

Spotted-rabbit told the following story about a namesake of his who 
had also been a Crazy Dog. 

I Of. Curtis, IV, 14. 

> Sometimes one of the sashes was blue, and the other red. 

196 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 


When Spotted-fish died, he left fifty head of horses to be distributed among his 
clansmen and fifty to his stepson, Spotted-rabbit. This happened in the autumn. 
Spotted-rabbit told the people he would catch up with his father in a short while. 
Accordingly, early in the spring, he became a Crazy Dog. He wished to die before 
his fifty head of horses were gone, for no one tended them as his father had done. 
Both his father's and his own clansmen tried to dissuade him, but he paid no atten- 
tion to them. He bartered several of his horses for red flannel and a war-bonnet, 
made himself a rattle, and went singing through the camp. People saw he was 
going to die and felt sorry for him. The Crow moved along the Missouri toward 
North Dakota. Some mornings they would find him lying with married women 
who came to sleep with him. One day, after going through the camp singing, he 
dismoimted and sat down. His mother had some little rawhide bags filled with ripe 
plums. She handed them to him saying, "An old lady brought this for you. You 
had better eat and give some to your brother." He untied the .bags, pulled out a 
few plums, looked at them, and said, "I began to be a Crazy Dog early in the spring 
and did not think I should live so long. Yet here I am today eating plums.'' He 
was eating some of the plums, and so was his brother, when the people said, "Some 
one is coming over there, they look like Dakota." Spotted-rabbit gave his brother 
a rope and bade him fetch his horse. His brother ran and got the bob-tail pinto 
always ridden by Spotted-rabbit. Their mother bade a girl get a horse for her, 
which she did. Spotted-rabbit mounted and rode through camp, singing, followed 
by his mother. The Crow went toward the hills where the Dakota were. They 
espied a humpbacked Dakota Crazy Dog and stopped, but Spotted-rabbit went 
straight on toward the Dakota, who was waiting for him. The Dakota shot Spotted- 
rabbit in the breast, and kiUed him. Then Double-face leaped on the Dakota and 
took away his gun, and another Crow killed him. Spotted-rabbit's mother was 
there. She had her son's body thrown on a horse and led him back. She told them 
that he had become a Crazy Dog on account of his father's death. She told them to 
prepare his body so it would not be spoiled and that she would bury him with his 
father near the site of Ft. Smith. So they prepared a travois, and all moved to- 
ward that direction. But they found plenty of buffalo and told the mother they 
needed the food and would hunt while there was a good chance and lay the corpse 
in a tree crotch until the next year. So they laid him on a big tree by the river. 
The next year they wished to bury his body, but they found that beavers had cut 
the tree and nothing could be found of Spotted-rabbit but a looking-glass deposited 
with his corpse.^ 

Half-Shaved Heads. 

Pretty-enemy, a woman, said that long ago the Foxes would punish a 
woman who re-married after her husband's death by taking away all her 
property. On one occasion the second husband got angry, and organized 
an opposition party named the Half -Shaved Heads (itsu'sa tsiricu'tse). 
This name referred to the shaving of the head with the exception of a central 

1 When my informant had been a successful war leader, he was named for the Crazy- 
Dog Spotted-rabbit. 

1913.] Loyrie, Crow Military Societies. 197 

ridge. The Half-Shaved Heads wished to stop the maltreatment of women 
by the Foxes. They made crooked willow sticks wrapped with willow bark, 
for they had no otterskin then. This took place before the acquisition of 
horses. A Half-Shaved Head stole the wife of one of the Foxes; thus there 
started a feeling of rivalry in the matter of wife-stealing, for the Half- 
Shaved Heads were the predecessors of the Lumpwoods, which name they 
afterwards assumed (see p. 164). In early times the stolen woman was made 
to straddle a stick instead of a horse, and a dance was performed by way of 
celebration. The two rival parties decided that thereafter they were not 
going to abuse women as the Foxes had done, but would steal each other's 
wives. Big-snake and Old-dog also identified the Half -Shaved Heads with 
the Lumpwoods. Another informant considered the Half-Shaved Heads 
as an originally quite distinct society; but in fighting against the enemy the 
Lumpwoods noticed their bravery and asked the Half-Shaved Heads to 
unite with them, which they did. Previous to this union the Half -Shaved 
Heads had carried coup sticks instead of the straight and hooked-staffs of 
the Lumpwoods. 

Bull-chief said this societv existed before he was born. The members 
did not really shave their hair. WTien dancing they would circle round in 
one direction, while their two leaders moved about inside the circle in op- 
posite directions to show that they were not afraid of the enemy. They, 
or some other officers, carried hooked-staffs wrapped with otterskin. 

Muddy Mouths and Little Dogs. 

Several informants, such as Lone-tree and Fire-weasel, simply identify 
the Muddy Mouths (i'i cipiE) with the Little Dogs (micgiEte). Child-in- 
the-mouth said the Muddy Mouths were subdivided into three groups 
oorresponding to formerly distinct societies: the Muddy Mouths proper; 
the Little Dogs; and the Crow Owners (see p. 199). Maximilian, it should 
be noted, mentions the Little Dogs, but not the Muddy Mouths, as a Crow 
society. This confirms the view advanced by Sitting-elk and others that 
the Little Dog society antedated the Muddy IMouths among the Crow, and 
that the Little Dogs of the River Crow band learned the Muddy Mouth 
dance of the Hidatsa, afterwards assuming that name. According to Old- 
dog, the Muddy Mouth dance was confined to the River Crow. 

When Sitting-elk was old enough to ride on horseback, the River Crow 
band, to which he belonged, visited the Hidatsa. They camped in a circle, 
and towards sundown the Hidatsa chief notified his people that they were 
going to have a dance in the Crow camp. The Hidatsa came, singing and 

198 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

beating drums. Some had painted their body black, others their arms, 
still others the face between nose and chin. They carried warclubs, gmis 
and spears with them. They began to dance. Two men bore romid 
rattles, similar to those employed in thie Tobacco dance, with feathers at- 
tached to the top. Each of these officers occupied a position at one ex- 
tremity of the line of dancers. When the singing had ceased, all stood still. 
The rattlers then began to shake their rattles and walked forward so as to 
cross each other's paths, singing at the same time. The singers then re- 
simied their chant. When the rattlers wished to put an end to the per- 
formance, they simply stood still, without crossing paths. Thus the dance 
was closed, and the Hidatsa went home. That night the Crow discussed 
the dance they had witnessed and expressed their desire to own it. Before 
they departed from the Hidatsa, their hosts accordingly gave them the 
dance. There were no officers besides the rattlers, nor were any members 
pledged to special bravery. There were no young men in the society, most 
of the Muddy Mouths were chiefs or people of distinction. A Lmnpwood 
could not at the same time be a Muddy Mouth. Sitting-elk did not know 
whether there was an adoption ceremony when a man entered. 

Sharpnhom also denies that there were any officers expected to die in 
battle, saying the organization existed solely for dancing. On the other 
hand, Child-in-the-mouth says that all members were expected to be brave. 
Black-bull and Child-in-the-mouth agree that the Muddy Mouths were 
mostly middle-aged men. Black-Bull says that in dancing the society 
divided into two equal groups, the members of which stood abreast, facing 
each other. The two chiefs of the society stood between the two subdi- 
visions with their rattles, and began to sing. Then they danced, passing 
each other. Just as they did so, every one shouted, and the members also 
began to dance. Black-bull thought this was an old Crow society; it passed 
out of existence before the Muddy Hands joined the Foxes, — a little over 
forty years ago, all the members having died or lost their lives in war. 

Child-in-the-mouth saw but one performance of the Muddy Mouth 
dance, which, oddly enough, he says resembles the Hot dance (p. 200). 
There was one officer wearing a bearskin belt and carrying a quirt; when 
the dance was over the performers remained standing until touched with 
the quirt. There was no special costume for the members; they did not 
wear very good clothes, — generally donning nothing but red breechcloths. 
Some carried tomahawks as a token that they had used them to strike 
enemies, others had warclubs with skunkskin grips. The distinctive paint 
consisted either of mashed charcoal mixed with ashes or of black mud. It 
was either daubed over their mouths or put in streaks across the eyes. The 
Muddy Mouths, like other societies, sometimes acted as the tribal police. 

1913.] Lovne, Crow MilUary Societies, 199 

Before one of their dances every tribesman tied up his dogs, for if any dogs 
pursued them while dancing the Muddy Mouths struck them down or shot 
them. The fact that the Muddy Mouths sometimes policed the camp was 
confirmed by another informant. 

Nothing is said in the preceding notes relating to the Little Dog society 
before its adoption of the Muddy Mouth dance. Bear-gets-up, however, 
said that the Little Dogs had either two or four oflScers wearing long sashes 
of red flannel, and two others who carried a board of the length of a man's 
arm, notched on one side and trimmed with crow feathers. He did not know 
whether these officers were "doomed to die" and whether they were elected 
in spring meetings such as were characteristic of most other Crow societies* 

The last stage in the history of the Little Dog-Muddy Mouth organiza- 
tion was referred to by Lone-tree. When the members had become few 
in number, they joined the Crazy Dogs. As the Crazy Dogs were pri- 
marily a River Crow society, this confirms the view that the Muddy Mouth 
dance was peculiar to the northern division of the tribe. 

Crow Owners. 

Sitting-elk said that all the members of this society had died oflfeven 
before the Little Dogs. When a boy he witnessed one of the Crow Owners' 
(pe'ratsak^) dances. The performers had their bodies painted red and wore 
stuffed crows round the neck, the tails of the bird being spread out on the 
wearer's shoulder. The men were all elderly but not very old men. 

Fire-weasel, though older than Sitting-elk, said that the Crow Owners 
had disappeared long before his time. His wife had heard from her grand- 
mother that a Crow Owner carried a long pole with a single eagle feather 
on the top, while to the center there was fastened a string of crow feathers 
perforated for stringing at the butt-end and trimmed at the top. Some 
members had poles with feathers from top to bottom, others carried crow- 
feather fans decorated with quillwork. Whether any of these were officers, 
my informant was imable to tell. 

BuU-all-the-time gave the following as a Crow Owner's song: 

awdxbiwaciTc'ata, diawdxbawiEk, bo'wik-. 
Camp-mateSi I want to marry you» I shall come. 

The same informant said that the Crow Owners had a herald, officers 
"doomed to die" who wore sashes, and others who prepared food for the 

Child-in-the-mouth stated that the Crow Owner society, like the Little 
Dog, Muddy Mouth, Bull, and Crazy Dog societies, as well as the Hot 
dance, was derived from the Hidatsa. 

Anthropoloffical Papera American Museum of NatUTol History. [Vol. XI, 


It has already been stated that the Hot dance (ba taw€ disliE) was in- 
troduced by the Hidatsa about thirty-five years ago and is practised today 
by four ciubs, — the Night Hot dancers, Big-Ear-Holes, Last dancers, and 
Sioux dancers. At first there was also a. group of Day Hot dancers, but it 
was discontinued and later the two last-named clubs appeared. The dance 
does not correspond to the Hot dance of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara 
described by Maximilian, but is identical with the Omaha or Grass dance of 
other tribes.' Dr. Wissler* has pointed out that the Oglala perform this 

Fig. 4. Hot Dance House Frame. 

dance in a log structure bearing some resemblance to an earth lodge. This 
type of dance lodge, with modern additions, also prevails among the Crow 
(Figs. 4 and 5), which confirms what we know of the history of the diffusion 
of this ceremony among the Plains tribes. 

Old-coyote, a Crow from Pryor, gave some information as to the intro- 
duction of the Hot dance. When he was a young man, the Crow visited 
the Hidatsa. One Crow had learned the songs of the Hidatsa Hot dance 
and sang them. His tribesmen liked the songs very much, and during the 

re derived tmra the ol 

1913.] Loime. Crow Military Societies. 201 

winter they performed the dance without having the appropriate para- 
phernalia, but following the instructions of the one Crow singer. In the 
spring they got together in a lodge one day and drew a picture of 
the "crows," drums, drumsticks, and of the chief and men dancing toward 
the kettfe. This picture they sent to the Hidatsa in care of several men, 
bidding them visit the Crow. The messengers returned, saying that the 
Hidatsa would come in the fall with all the regalia. In the fall the Crow 
moved from Clark's Fork, and a Hidatsa came to herald the arrival of his 
tribe. The Crow rode to meet them between Clark's Fork and Pryor. 
The Hidatsa were camped near Red Lodge Creek. The next morning the 
Hidatsa agreed to give all the regalia to the Crow. The olHcers selected 

Fig. 5, Hot Dance House at Lodge Graa.". 

the Crow Indians to whom they wished to give their paraphernalia. The 
Crow decided to give their visitors in return about 600 horses and some 
other property in addition. 

A Reno informant derived the dance from the vision of a young man who 
was fasting for four days by a lake. At last a crane came toward him, made 
a crane-head stick and a belt of coyote skin, turned into a human being, 
danced, and instructed the visionarj'. The young man brought back the 
crane-head stick and it has since been used in the Hot dance. During the 
feast two young men dance up to the kettle containing dog meat {see p. 203) 
and dip in their crane-head sticks to symbolize eating. One of these sticks 
is illustrated in Fig. 3c. As the Hot dance is undoubtedly of Hidatsa 

202 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI^ 

origin, the Reno informant must have meant either that his visionary was* 
an Hidatsa or that he was a Crow who merely added some special features 
to the dance. 

From Scolds-the-bear I obtained the following account of a Hot dance 
performance as practised at the period of its introduction. 

When the members wished to have a Hot dance, one man beat a drum 
three or four times in succession, while the others merely sang. Then the 
first drummer would rise and say, " Let us have a dance tomorrow. " The 
two dance chiefs, who always sat in the center of the rear, called for the 
crier and bade him select two men for the office of killing and cooking two 
dogs for the next day's dance. They also requested the crier to call ten 
officers to cook food for all the people. Ten others were named who were 
not regular officers. These were to form a ring of cloth goods and to lend 
what property they could for the festive occasion. The crier made this 
announcement: "I am going to announce the dance four times to-morrow. 
If any one enters after me, I shall make him prepare the dog the next time'* 
(as a punishment). 

The next morning the crier rose at daybreak and called for the ten 
officers to put up cloth and prepare the lodge. They did and planted a 
long lodge pole with a flag in the center. The second time the crier shouted: 
''Take a bath and comb your hair!" The third proclamation was: "Paint 
yourselves and put on your best clothes!'* The fourth time the crier said: 
" Go to the ring where the dance is to take place. " After the last announce- 
ment the crier waited outside for a fairly long time, then he entered the site. 
The drum used was held sacred and at first only two special officers were 
allowed to touch it. One of these held as an emblem a drumstick decorated 
with feathers and ribbons. The crier had the privilege of punishing the 
ordinary members, but not the two drum men. After the two drummers 
had hit the drum four times, the singers sat in a circle round the drum and 
were then permitted to hit it. The drum was made by the Indians; its 
head was of deer hide or horse hide. The dancers came in and suspended 
the dance regalia from the lodge poles: two whips, eight "crows", and two 
buffalo horn headdresses topped with eagle feathers and decorated in front 
with weasel skins. 

The first song sung was a signal for the officers to take down the sus* 
pended regalia. They danced round the pole three times and then took 
down the regalia. After the dance they gave presents to any one they 
pleased. The second song was for the chiefs, who followed the example 
of the other officers. The third song was for the crier alone. The fourth 
song was for the drummer, the fifth for the drumstick-owner. Each of these 
got up and danced. Four women had been appointed to sit near the drum 


1913.] Lotviey Crow Military Societies. 203 

and help in the singing. A song was sung for them, but the women merely 
gave away presents without dancing. The next song was for all the 
oflScers, who rose, danced, and gave away presents. The chiefs next bade 
the crier announce that the rank and file might dance. Two whippers now 
took positions at opposite ends of the dance ground and struck anyone 
with their whips that did not dance. If, however, they made anyone bleed, 
they gave him a horse. 

The dog-killers put the kettle with the dog meat near the entrance. 
The crow-wearers sat down, one of them in front of the others. The first 
song was sung four times. During the singing of the first four songs th^ 
crow-wearers merely swayed their bodies. At the fourth song they rose, 
danced backwards, and finally approached their crows with out-stretched 
hands. When near them, they made an upward motion. They danced 
four times to the same song, and then girded on the crows. They danced 
to the side where the dog was lying. Three times they danced toward the 
dog, the fourth time they passed by it, the last man picking up the kettle, 
lifting it, and circling it round four times before laying it down. The man 
who sat in front of the crow-wearers held a plate. Another man, called 
the " dancer-toward-the-meat, '* danced and put the meat into the plate. 
The meat-dancer and the plate-holder took each one of the dog heads and 
put them in two different places. Each of these men was considered the 
head man of one of the two quartets of crow-wearers. These two selected 
four renowned warriors each. These warriors were not supposed to eat, 
but merely sat there. Then the food-distributors first served the selected 
men and officers, and then the other j>eople. In distributing food they 
started from the drums. Everyone received his share, but no one ate. 
One officer, the "feeder," had a sharp-pointed stick trimmed with bead- 
work, from the end of the handle of which eagle tail-feathers were hanging 
down. The plate-holder, after completing his work, returned to his seat 
with the plate and was the first to eat. Then followed the "feeder,'* who 
swayed his body three times in accompaniment to his song, and rose to 
dance at the fourth intonation of it. Towards the end" he suddenly ceased 
to dance with the cessation of the drumming and pointed his stick towards 
the north. As soon as the drumming was resumed he began to dance again 
as before. When the drumming ceased again, he pointed his stick west- 
ward. The third time he danced toward the north, and at the end he went 
toward the center and pointed the stick toward the east. Thus he moved 
roimd in a circle, covering one quadrant of it during each song. He came 
straight to the dog and made a motion over it with his stick. He broke 
oflf a morsel of the dog meat, impaled it on the stick, pointed it at the four 
quarters and gave it to the plate-holder to eat, Next he broke off another 

204 Anthropological Papers American Mvseam of Natural History. [Vol. XI^ 

morsel and gave it to another dancer. Then he took other morsels and 
gave them to the two chiefs. He served each of the oflScers in the same 
manner. If any of the men had had sexual intercourse the previous nighty 
he would not take into his mouth the morsel offered. The feeder would 
take such a man into the middle of the ring, where the people clapped hands 
and jeered at him. Formerly, such men would not even wear the " crows, "^ 
but merely carried them in their hands. The plate-holder rose and walked 
up to one of the eight selectmen. He said, "I have put these men here 
because they are renowned for doing such and such a deed. That is why I 
have given them dog food to eat. Now you may all eat.'' Then all the 
members began to eat. 

After the feast the eight renowned men had the dogs' skull bones laid 
down and danced toward them, at the same time imitating exactly the part 
they played in battle. Then they all stood in a row, and each in turn re- 
counted his deeds. When the chiefs wished to stop the dance, they ex- 
pressed their thanks to the crowd, the people responded, and at this the 
dancing ceased. One of the crow-wearers had the prerogative of leading 
out of the dance ground. This man put a blanket near the door. Four 
times he danced toward it, the fourth time he passed out, picking up the 

The chief dancers held their offices for about a year, though sometimes 
for a longer period. A meeting of all the oflScers would be called. Then 
someone would say, "Now we will give up our regalia, and do you others 
do likewise. " The next time a dance was held the two crow-wearers were 
appointed to pick out new oflScers. The rank and file did not know any- 
thing about it beforehand. Then all the ofiicers resigned their regalia and 
whatever else pertained to their ofiices. 

Child-in-the-mouth gave a somewhat different list of officers from 
Scolds-the-bear's: two leaders; two men with big drums; four crane-stick 
bearers; eight crow-wearers; two criers; two pipe-fillers; one man for sing- 
ing the last song; four women to help in the singing; two whippers; two men 
wearing war-bonnets; two men with long sticks trimmed with feathers from 
top to bottom; one man with a stick representing a fork wrapped with beads 
and with a scalp at one extremity; one flag man, whose flag is hoisted on a 
pole; and one man wearing a red-fox skin round the neck. The man with 
the forked stick dances first before the distribution of food and dips his 
stick into the bucket with dog meat, then the four brave men lick off his 
stick, whereupon he orders all the other members to eat. One of the eight 
crow-wearers who has been wounded in battle goes out ahead of the rest at 
the close of the dance. The crane-sticks were supposed to be carried in 
battle to strike enemies with. 

1913.] Lotvie, Crow Military Societies. 205^ 

Additional data were furnished by Gray-bull. Originally there were 
but four, crow-wearers, but now there are eight (at least in Lodge Grass). 
The other oflScers were: two men wearing war-bonnets; one with a pointed 
ceremonial wand; one herald; one whipper; one pipe-bearer; one drummer; 
and one man with an American flag. The two head men (= bonnet- 
wearers?) decide when a dance is to be held and give away each a horse. 
When the society parade through camp anyone who feels inclined will give 
away the gelding he rides. Then they go into the dance lodge. It is com- 
pulsory for everyone to eat a little dog meat. After a certain time the door 
of the lodge is shut and no one may leave the dance ground except those 
who were at one time shot in battle. If these lead out, the rest may follow, 
otherwise a fine must be paid. In case of physical necessity the head men 
may give permission to a person to go out. Any officer may give away re-^ 
galia at a dance, thus "adopting" the one to whom they are presented. 
The women singers may also "adopt" their successors by resigning in their 
favor. The one adopted pays gifts to the adopter, aggregating possibly 
$100 in value. 

I now add a few observations of my own. One late afternoon during^ 
Fourth of July week (1910) I saw a procession of men dressed up, wha 
passed from lodge to lodge, planting a stick in front of each one. This was 
explained to be a requisition of food for the Hot dance feast. Gray-bull 
said the custom was called tn'rukajpi (cf. p. 189) and was copied from the 
Sioux. It had nothing to do with the Bull society of the Crow. On an- 
other occasion all members of the four clubs were expected to participate 
in a Hot dance. After a summons four marshals were appointed, one rep- 
resenting each club, who were to punish the laggards. These were either 
obliged to pay a fine or were thrown into the creek. My own interpreter, 
who was working with me at the time, was among the guilty ones, but I 
pacified the officers by a small gift. One man, I heard afterwards, was 
actually thrown into the water. The most impressive thing in the Hot 
dance performance to an outsider is the extraordinary generosity with which 
property of all kinds is given away to the aged and poor of the tribe, as well 
as to visitors from other tribes. Women can be seen staggering away under 
loads of blankets presented to them and their husbands. Horses are ridden 
directly into the dance house and presented to old people. In 1910 I saw 
one man take off all his clothes but the gee-string and give them away in 
the presence of a large crowd. In former times this was also the occasion 
for "throwing away" wives. ^ 

As now performed, the Hot dance is sometimes made to alternate with 

1 See Lowie, (a), p. 223. 

206 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

a squaw dance of quite recent introduction, the Owl dance (po'pEte dis6E). 
Gray-buU thinks it came from the Mandan and Ankara, but probably it 
was, as others assert, borrowed from the Cree. It is practically identical 
with the kwd^pakin, which the Lemhi Shoshone derived from the Cree about 
twelve years ago, except that partners do not pay each other for dancing. 
As seien in Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1907, the Owl dance was performed in 
the following way. At first the men and women sat on the ground. Sev- 
eral men in the center of the dance ground began to beat small hand-drums. 
Then a woman went about, whipping first the women and then the men 
by way of admonishing them to rise and dance. The women formed a circW 
^d at first danced by themselves. Then some man would select one or 
two partners, placing his hand round her or their waists, while his partners 
clasped him in the same way. The general motion of the dancers was a 
cflockwise glide, but a few dancers formed an arc of a smaller circle con- 
centric with the larger one, and moved in a contra-clockwise direction, 
facing the dancers of the outer ring. 

1913.] Lovne, Crow Military Societies. 207 


The clowns (akbi'arusacari^a^) are not permanently organized among 
the Crow and are not at all connected with the system of military societies. 
Nevertheless, I give the data obtained on the subject in this place in order 
to facilitate reference for comparative purposes. 

The clowns' performance can nowadays be seen once a year, during the 
week of the Fourth of July celebrations; formerly it took place in the spring. 
While attending a Tobacco adoption ceremony at Lodge Grass on July 3rd, 
1910, my attention was called to a disturbance outside. Two men were 
•dashing through camp dressed as clowns and riding a horse appropriately 
caparisoned. They were followed by the younger men. I was told that 
the clowns did not go through the customary i>erformance, because the 
spectators had identified them. 

The man who takes the initiative in the arrangement of the performance 
bids his friends meet in the brush, bringing with them gunnysack, mud, 
-and leaves. They make leggings of gunnysack and one-piece shirts with 
an oi>ening for the head. Mud is used instead of body-paint. A mask is 
made out of cloth, sUts being cut for the eyes and mouth, and is blackened 
with charcoal. There is only one face to this mask.* The nose is some- 
times fashioned out of mud and stuck on, at other times it is simply marked 
with charcoal. When the clowns have disguised themselves so as to be 
•quite irrecognizable they leave their hiding-place and approach the camp. 

As soon as the people catch sight of them, they cry, " The akba'arusacarica 
-are coming I" The clowns walk as if they were lame and act as clumsily 
-as possible, so that the spectators cannot refrain from laughing at them. 
The people crowd in on the performers to watch their antics. One of the 
<ilowns is dressed up as a woman, wearing a fine elk-tooth dress; he is obliged 
to walk, talk, and sit like a woman, and is stuffed so as to simulate preg- 
nancy. Among the clowns there is a singer who has been provided with a 
torn drum, the worst that could be found. The songs may refer in jocular 
fashion to the rivalry of the Fox and Lmnpwood societies, the following 
being a sample: 

" lExuxke itsi'ra xlce, itsl'ra xfce. " 
"Foxes' feet broken feet broken."' 

1 As nearly as I can analyze the word, it seems to mean "woman-impersonator." 

s The Assiniboine clown masks are two-faced. 

s This is the translation given in my notes. Though the meaning is not quite dear to 
jne. I should now suppose the translation to be "The Foxes* horses have swellings" (on 
their feet?). 

208 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI^ 

The clowns attempt to make fun of any one they like, regardless of his 
distinction, because everyone is laughing at them. The spectators try 
to identify the actors and to inform one another who they are. Then the 
clowns act like monkeys. They talk to one another in whispers and bid 
one another dance so as to make the people laugh. In addressing the crowd 
they disguise their voices. As soon as they see the singer pick up his drum,, 
they walk about, preparing to think up some antics. The singer takes up 
his drum as if to beat it, but merely rattles it, at the same time heaving a 
grunt. The impatient onlookers cry out, "Dance, we wish to see you 
dance!'' The clowns have prepared willow bows and arrows, or worthless 
old firearms, with which to frighten the people while dancing. When start- 
ing out on their expedition, they have selected and abducted the ugliest 
horse, crooked-legged and swollen-kneed, that they could find. Ugly as 
it is, they have tried hard to enhance its unattractiveness by turning dowa 
its ears and tying them with willows, plastering its face with mud or mask- 
ing it, and putting gunnysack leggings on its legs. Slits are made in the 
mask for the eyes. The owner of the horse does not know it has been^ 
stolen until he sees it in the public performance, where it appears ridden 
by the "woman," who sits behind another clown. This rider with his 
arrow or gun motions to the spectators, signaling to them not to press too 
close but to keep their distance. Usually the people heed these admoni- 
tions, which are seconded by the "woman." When the drum is finally 
beaten, the clowns scatter, each dancing as ludicrously as possible. After 
a while the drummer gets excited and throws his drum away on one side 
and his drumstick in the opposite direction. He then begins to dance all 
alone without any music. When his companions see him acting in this 
fashion they likewise recommence to dance without drum or chant. Fin- 
ally all the performers stop except one clown who refuses to cease dancing 
and thus attracts the attention of the spectators, who cry out, "There's 
one dancing still!" The other clowns turn around. Then the horseman 
bids his companion dismount and dance, but "she" refuses and clings to 
her partner, who becomes enraged and pushes her head, whereupon she 
gets down and begins to dance. Her companion now makes preparations 
to dismount, but purposely falls off and pretends to be badly hurt. After a. 
while he dances with his weapons, then he proceeds to get on horseback 
again, but intentionally overleaps so as to fall, and again acts as if seriously 

Some wags in the audience are in the habit of asking questions and 
making such remarks as, "These fellows must have come from a great 
distance." The clowns answer by means of signs that they have come 
from very far indeed and are tired out as a result of their journey; some— 

Loune, Crow Mitiiary Socielies. 

Eig. 4. Clown Id Full Coatiune 

210 Anlkropotoffical Papers American Museum of Nalural History. [Vol. XI, 

times they say they have come from the sky. Then some one may ask, 
"How many nights did it take you to get here?" By way of reply the 
clown begins to count up to hundreds and hundreds, and would never stop 
were it not for the drummer, who seizes him by the back, saying, "You are 
mad, you do not know where we have slept. " Then he throws him down. 
The clown pretends to fall headlong, but stops after a while, and begins to 

Pig. 7. Boy In Clown'a DIaguIse. 

laugh. In fact he pretends to die laughing and kicks his feet up in the air. 
When all the clowns are tired, they decide to leave. The horseman 
then attempts to clear the way for them, but the spectators shout, " Dance 
some more!" At first he refuses, but they cry, "For the love of your wife 
behind you, dancel" Then he bids the drummer sing again, and the dance 

1913.] Lowie, Crow Military Societies. 211 

recommences. After a while they make an effort to get away, the rider 
driving away the audience, but there is such a crowd that they can only 
gQ about 50 yards. Here they are obliged to halt and repeat the perform- 
ance. About every 50 yards they are obliged to dance again. They go 
the full length of the camp until they reach their starting-place, but it takes 
them a long time. Little boys, as well as older ones, crowd about, trying 
to identify the performers and i>elting them with dung. While the out- 
siders are being held off by the horseman, the clowns make a run for the 
thickest part of the brush in order to prevent recognition, doff their cos- 
tumes, dress in their usual clothes, scatter in all directions, and at last slink 
back into camp.^ 

For the account just quoted I am indebted to Prairie-Gros-Ventre, who 
takes a prominent part in these proceedings. He purposely omitted as 
tending to discredit his people a feature, which in the olden days figured 
very conspicuously. This deficiency was supplied by Crane-bear: Equiti 
magnum ex salicis cortice et luto membrum virile eifictum esse, ilium cum 
"muliere'' cum ex equo desiluisset in terram prostrata apud vulgi risus 
coire simulasse; mentulae fictae longitudinem intervallum inter carpum et 
cubitum aequasse. 

Fig. 6 shows Prairie-Gros-Ventre posing in a clown's costume after 
painting his body with mud. He is wearing a canvas mask and is holding 
up a mock shield. In July 1911 a group of young boys dressed up as clowns 
one afternoon and rode to the dance house, where a performance of the Hot 
dance was going on. They dismounted, entered, and, to the amusement 
of the spectators, began to dance. In Fig. 7 one of these clowns is shown 
as he appeared just outside the dance house. 

1 I am not sure to what extent all the details of the performance described above are 
still observed. 

212 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 



kambiawukusa t miri'tse fcirucdilt, maraxice lExuxke ace' ru'pet 

In the spring willows when they can peel, the Lumpwoods the Foxes tents two 

Irutsik* fek. icg* ewtiEn mardxkici ruk. miri'tsec copga'cEt dapdxsk 

they would fill. Inside the tent they would sing. These willows four they cut 

aru'iruk. kon du'ciruEk, dii'pet u'pe' cik- upiEk, du'pet maratdtse 

and would bring. Then they peeled, two ends they would crook, two straight 

diEruk. karako'wi'ot isa'*ke ico'pum binEn awa'tEk, i'ptse awo'riEk. 

they would make. When they had done, old men four at the door sat, a pipe 

they would fill. 

isa'kce ama^* tsire te tsitsi'rimk. 6'pec kararaxiot, isa'kce ar'ftse 

Young man foolhardy they would hunt. Tobacco when they Ut, young man brave 

ari'Ek. o'pi' tse wi'ot, "sa'pe^" tet. "base' k- 6'k," hut. "e," 

they would take to. To make smoke when they wished, "What?" he said. "The lead- 
er this is," they said. "Yes," 

hak. 6'pec ici't, kurutE'k. ihe't a+i't. "e," hak. ku* ici'k*. 

he would say. The tobacco when he had smoked, they took it back. Another he 

took it to. "Yes," he said. He would also smoke. 

het kan nu'pta bas^ ko'+iruk. kan nu'pta di'ut maratdtsec 

Then two leaders they were. Two when they had made, straight sticks 

ku*kdn ara'wiimk. akbarakure' ci'Et akbao'pi'tse ku ci'ek. isa'kce 

then they would begin. The stick-bearer was separate, the one who made to smoke he 

was separate. A young man 

o'pi'k- ut dfEt, "co'ke ko de'ri ?" hut. "marack- tipe ko baku/* 

when they offered smoke and he did it, "Which will you have? " they said. 

"Crooked stick that give me," 

hek-. het ku'ot, kura'k-datsi'k. ihe't o'pi*k- ut diEt, "bar^ co'ke 

he said. Then when they had given, he hold it would. Another when they offered 

and he did it. * ' Stick which 

k« 6 re'ri?" hut. das batsa'tsit, maratatsec k- 6 kari'k*. het 

do you wish?" they said. His heart if it was strong, straight stick that 

he asked for. Then 

ku' ku'ot, ku* kura'k-datsi'k-. het hiren du'pec ku'ko'tseruk. het 

to him they gave it, he would hold it. Then these two the same way did. Then 

hir^n barec' d(imatEk kowi'ot, baru'sEk. ko wi'ot, asa'rEk asa'+uc 

these sticks they distributed when they had done, they ate. When they had done. 

they went out, this lodge 

biriEkatE 6''kapiiru6t batsa'tsik-. marack- uperek marat^tserEk 

right at the door circle they stood a large one. Crooked sticks and straight sticks 

1913] Lowie, Crow Military Societies. 213 

ak^ bats' dxpEk ack« awatsu'duptEko iru'iruk. het icbirExba'kuE 

owners with each other on each side of the circle they would stand. Then their 


mapuxte icbaruE dpariE kom tsitsI'rEk iEctsirfik, aru'Ek. hireM 

an otter their sticks wrapping that was they hunted for, they bought, they 

brought it. These 

bare'c kucdaxtsl'ruk. het i+ac^'reta disE'k; ace'c ari'kEcdu 

sticks to them they tied it. Then with them through the camp they danced; the 

lodge troin which they came out 

kakari'Ek. karako' irfiEk. hir'en mar^-l'ck-ue aka'k i'+araxtsi'- 

they would go back. Then thfey stood. Those (former) stick owners (?) ^ with 

them honors 

wice dutEk, hiren hira'-akec dxpEk asa'+u kucda'k. barusu'kj 

had take them. these who now had them with their lodges to they went. 

They ate. 

hin'e waptixtem bare' kuc daxduEc, ducipEk batsuEte daxkapifik. 

This otter stick to they had tied, they untied, sweotgrass they smoked for incense. 

hin*e wapuxtec i +6'riuk. bitsim i+ata'wiom ku'kotu'k. 

This otter they incensed. A knife with which they were going to trim they did 

the same. 

batEcdE f^tsik-a'tbio ku*ko\u'k. karako'n I'k-uxatse^ tsik- a'tEk, 

Awl with which they were going to stitch they did the same. Then each sewed, 

ak'atsiEc kuku't, bare'c dpariiik. acg« ewtiEn mardxum, ak*-i +- 

the trimmer him they gave back, the stick he wrapped it round. Inside the lodge 

they sang the one who with it 

araxtsi'wicec kura'k tdtsk*at irisE'k. kowlEk, ari'araxtsiwice 

had honors holds it, alone with it ho dances. He has done, the one who had honor 

with it 

i+itsiwa'k. hin*e' hira'kee i'watsiwaka'kuEk, i sacaraxtsiwice* 

with it recites. Ttiis who now had it he prays for him, soon honors have to make (him) 

tsewl'ek. da kowi'ot I'k-uxktse asa'rEk, akbar^xbasfe kuc duok. 

he wishes. Then when they have done, each one goes out, the first singer to him 

they go to. 

het o'*kapiEk, mardxEk, mardxEk kowi'Ek acS'reta basa'+iruk. 

Then they form a circle, they sing. Singing. when they haved one, through the 

camp they would run. 

hire bas£+upi*k*uEc basa+uk. da karatsi' o'*kapiEk disu't, 

These first who were offered smoke lead. Then again they form a circle they dance, 

mirExba'ke fk-o watsa'tsik*. hir^n marack-tiperek maratatserEk 

people look a great many. These crooked sticks straight sticks 

ake'c mitdc disu't. bi'E dittiE watsa'tsik. kota rari'o acu'pe di'ut, 

owners In opposite directions they danced. Women cheered greatly. In the same 

way they continued to do until they got to the end of the dancs (?) 

ko'wi'ek, e'tcireruk. 

They had done, they would scatter. 

» Probably this should be taken with the following syllables, as below: ak'V + araxtsV- 
wicSc, "those who had honors with them." 

214 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 


tsl'nik'ap^ araxtia *tse ko iri'-awax bitsiwe'wik-. irEpasue 

Bull-owners' society that you with I shall talk about. First they (?) 

araxtia*tse kan di'o-was^ batsfrekapu k isa'kce aMa+isa'terEk aMa'- 

society when they made first they picked out young men the old ones the 

iEtErEk ar'itse karako' di'uk. da'aco'rindEk hawo'tsiEt dici-wl'ot, 

young ones the bMt thus they did. Sometimes at night when dance they wished, 

o'otsiec dici'imk. hire' isi'Ek kon disu'k. mirExba'ke flc-awio 

that night they would dance. Fire large they made, there they danced. People 

to see wished 

matsa'tsik. tsi'ruk'ap^ distiE itsik'icik*. disuE hawatatatsika atEk. 

very badly. Bull-owners' dance was fimny. They danced not very often. 

it diciru'sue kukd hin'^ bir^c ka-mirExba'ke matsa'tsik-. biriE 

Before they would dance already (?) this at fire people many. Entrance 

sd*tseruk. h§t ka-mardxut bik-uku'iruk birE'xe dituexlesa-ratsik-. 

they would make. And when they sang we would hear dnuns sounding plainly very. 

kuka'ken wirExba'ke iwatsisamk. het birE'xe dittia do'cxarawit. 

Then people would be anxious. Then the drum sound as it came nearer and 


kanwi watsisaruk. bire' arasa'cie di'ut awakuut. bin' e ba a*ka'acec 

we would be anxious. Fire glare when they came within, we looked. This great 


ma+iilrettariEk ka'+iruk. da hin*e bire' arasa'^ciEc di'ot, 

very silent would remain. ? this Are where the light was when they had come, 

o'wopi iru'ok. het icbasa'+u du'pte karahe're isa'kce aMa+e*- 

a square (straight line) they stood. Then their leaders two among them young 

men the 

tsiretgaace. karako' rii'pet icbase'ruk. base' iru'pte xaxuE 

foolhardlrst. Then these two were their leaders. Leaders two all over 

u'karitsi ruk. icg-ak^o kure'eruk. bice' a'^cu e i'sarEk duxtut, 

were painted with white clay. Their lances they would hold. Buffalo heads and 

faces thej- stuffed, 

iru'pte tsici'mk. hin'e dxioc awa'tut, hiren icbasa'+uc du'pte 

both would wear them. These members when they were all seated, these their 

leaders both 

kuk awa'tsisa ruk. bic^' tsi'se icfsa ktiEn ^xaruot tsi'suE tdtaka+- 

would not sit down. Buffalo tail their rump in the middle they stuck it the tails 


iruk. haw^'se kuk bice' a'acu o tsisu'k. ismina'tilE kura'+f ^ruk, 

they would be. The rest buffalo horns they wore. Their shields they 

would hold. 

1913.] Loivie, Crow Military Societies. 215 

is'ti'wutbaraxa+u a'apa. tsl haM o'xkape ko tsisE'k. icg-ak^o 

their guns also. Sometimes some war-bomiets wore. Their lances 

wiciruk. da disu't cu*pa' iru'iruk. hin'e cu*pa' iru'oc, here haM 

they would have. When they danced, four times they stood up. This four times 

while they stood, among them some 

hire' kuc ba +e'*k-ukuts ki iruk. ara i'tsExo hire' a'*xa kandi- 

toward the fire would act war deeds. Until the fifth time the fire round they 

ci'iruk, h§t kuk kan hire' a'axe i' 'k*uxpa a'*ku^iruk. het tdxekut- 

would dance. And fire round in a circle they kept going. And when they 


kan, ko'MNeti'iruk; ba+e'*k-ukotskilerEk, nu'pte kar*i'waxkotbilk. 

it never ceased; they acted as if in war, both ways we did. 

aNdistie tsl'ruk'ap^ ba'+i'irE hS'ren akba e*k-ukotske ee itsiwS'eruk. 

Where they danced the Bull-owners at any time, among them those who acted their 

deeds they would tell about them. 

kari'waxkotu'k aNdistiE. 

Thus they did where they danced. 


iExuxpec ko marii'usa +u micg-e wara'axe karare'wa'tse 

At the Old Agency there they were distributing goods, Dog Crazy I knew 

wasakok. karawa'tuE itba'ruMatsesa +u, isa'kce itsi'rakine k*, 

first. They were seated before the distribution, a young man was riding a horse, 

isa'ace ere'tiEk, isacki'ritse isi'puxek*. karakd'n bire'rem hira' 

his blanket he held by his stomach, his quirt he made his rattle. Then into the 

circle he came, now 

mieg'^ wara'axe awdkak. karako'M mardxiM awtjeta reM. "Sape?" 

Dog Crazy I saw. Then he sang inside (the circle) he went. "Who is it?" 

huM. isa'kce icu'ce xlcec, u'wok, ba+o'ritsik-. cewiEk, ik-6tse'k-. 

they said. The youth's knee swollen^ he had been shot. he was envious of others.* 

He wished to die, that is why he did it. 

karak5'n aw^kuretk. de'ra d*paM icba Itsi'tsek. hu'M matsa'tsk. 

Then for a while we did not see him. Then one evening his clothes he put on 

He came powerful. 

ack'Otd wirExba'ke awakawiawuM matsa'tsk. karako'n is'i'ipuxe 

The whole camp the people we wanted to see him very much. Then his rattle 

hir^n i warapo'xiuc^ ko rlfik, awtiE maruka'te ko riEk. xawuEM 

these baking-powder cans of those he made it. inside beads that he made it. 

It rattled 

« Because he could not go out afoot on war expeditions with other yoimg men. 

216 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

matsa'tsk. isa'cg'C iExtsuwatfe i'ita aratsirl'awicfe, ftsi*g-ak isa'cg-e 

very much. His horse's bridle 7 fine chains had. he put it on. His horse 

ba+e'+i f+acfeak. ict^xiE ihe'rEp peri'Ek huk. is'i'puxe 

what it has on on account of that, they cannot see HA His gun in his belt 7 he came. 

His rattle 

tsi'suxpe ctsire'Exe f*tsi*tsek*. iwirExba'ke iclE rfEk, axfe nu'wire 

end of the tail yellow (light) he put on (for a wrist band). He himself his wig made, 

forehead little braids 

rfEk. iExbtiEte rfEk. iExbtie bire+axi're ftsi*g-ak. bapa'*ceM 

he made. His earrings he made. His earrings shell he put on. Necklace 

a'^piEk ftsi watsa'tsk. isa'cg-e hiciM is^ tsiEk, aw^ tsik-e' 

he put roimd his neck handsome very. His horse red (bay) bald-faced, the ground 

it pawed 

watsa'tsk. aw^kuM, ack-ot^ icitsiuM. de'ra ace'reta reM, maraxEk 

mightily. We saw him, the whole camp liked him. Then through the camp he 

went, singing 

hu'M, is*i'V^xe xatsisk hu'k. bar^ ara'xtEk iri'wat bakara'k. 

he came, his rattle swinging he came. We did not know he talked crosswise. 

huk. bats^M hWii, "dicisatarfl*' heM. aciM birffin i'k-uxpik- 

He came. Man this, "Do not dance!" he said. Lodge at the door he dismoimted. 

karakon isa'kceM, isakuM^M, karako'n mar^xik-, birE'xe hirlate 

Then the young man. his drummer, then sang, a drum, like this 

kura'k, mardxik-. dicfk-. "Wtsire ci*k-a'tbik-. bacbi'Ewak, 

he held, he sang. He danced. "I will test myself. I want to die. 

ko'otdaxil co'otdEk eVa*tsewik«." itsa'aken awaso*pik. "ft'sic 

right whether or not I will know." At his foot down he shot. "Tt is well 

da'tsik*." he'*tseruk. bi'E icltsiuM matsa'tsk. a'*patatse dici'k*. 

I think," he said, it is said. The women liked him very much. Every evening 

he danced. 

Apsa'ruke rtlatuk, mardxik*. xaxtiE karfciut, ace'reta mardxEk 

The Crow moved, he sang. All camped, through camp, singing 

dek-. ka'rikate dituE watsa'tsk. o'otsiEt mardxtatsik*. 

he went. The old women cheered him mightily. At night he always sang. 

ba akure'wiuM, micg-^x kuM. fExtiie itsi'gak, itsi'rakinek*. bats€ 

When they wished to himt, they regarded him as a dog. His sashes he put on, he 

rode a horse Men 

xaxtie batse'ra'+uk, bice' dape'wi+uk. aru'ute ko i wakure'wiuk. 

all to hunt went, buffalo they wished to kill. Arrows that they wished to hunt with. 

micg-^ wara'axec k-6'tpak, dek. hir^M micg-^ bice'tsirfe fk<ak. 

This Crazy Dog hallooed, he went. These dogs cattle when they see. 

1 His horse's trappings were so extensive as to cover it completely. 

1913.] Ltmiet Crow Military Societies, 217 

kuc basa'iriEc, k'Otse'k-. bice' a*napi'uk, bahawdxuk. isa'ck«uE 

toward them are wont to run, thus did he. Buffalo many they killed. They butch- 
ered. Their horses 

Atsipfe+uk. ace' ici'uM, mardxek acS'reta rek* de'ra tsira'kccM 

they packed. The people they pitched tents. Singing through camp he went. Then 

next morning 

du'atuM, aras^'tcM ko riwaci'uM. isa'kceM isa'cg«e xapi'fik. 

they moved, a coulte there we camped. A yoimg man's horse was lost. 

ari'Ectsici'k. andce kuc dek*. andce he'rin acba'+ihe' fk-ak. 

He went back. The old campsite to it he went. Old campsite in enemy he saw. 

kara'k. pacfk-. isa'cg-e kara'k. awarE'k ace' hik-. "acba'+ihe' 

He ran away. He fell off. His horse ran off. Afoot camp he came to. "The enemy 

anace k*6ru'k/' he'*tsenik. karako'n kus'u'watuM. Apsa'ruke 

old campsite are there," he said, they say. Then they (the Crow) charged them. Crow 

isa'kce kocdaka'teM batsl'+uk. batdape'wi'+uk. kuru'M 

young men several fought, they wished to kill each other. They chased 

a'*ck«a tEM awtien minaxtu'k. micg'c' wara'axec karahi'k. ce'wi'Ec. 

them into a gully (7) inside fortifications. This Crazy Dog got there. He wished to 


minaxts^ a'^kakate hi'fik, awtis'SoxpiM, karako'n dapl'uk. ko'ota 

Fortifications to the edge he got. he shot in there, then they killed him. Then 

xara'k i'k'ecik«acik-. micg*^ wara'axe biMbtiEn ma'^tsik. o'otsiEc 

it rained violently. The Crazy Dog in the water lay. In the night 

k-6'matse a'* a'cik*. tsira'kce burabi'uM. biMbtiEn ma'tsik*. 

there he lay tiU daylight. Next morning we came there. In the water he was 


■dparil; rink, itsi're aru'ok. dtitEk itsi're, dtsip^ok. naka'+uk. 

Wrappings they made. A horse they brought. They took him. on the horse 

they packed him. They led him. 

I'warari'uk. ace' ari'+uk. ace' xaxue i'wuM matsa'tsk. mare' 

They cried all the way. To the camp they brought him Camp entire cried very 

much. Sticks 

pdtuk, kon du'usa+uk. hu'ru co'piuM I'rim pdtEk, i'Extse 

they planted, there they laid him. Legs four (a scaffold) a lodge-pole they 

stuck in, his sash 

kiicdaxdu'k. awitc buru'Etuk, ba'+uk. karako'n napi'uk. 

they tied to it. Without him we moved, we went. That is how they killed him. 

icbirE'xe hiri'ate kori'iciuk andu'usa+u. karako'wik-. 

His drum like this they hung where they buried him. This Is the end. 


By Robert H. Lowie. 



The following paper is based on field notes secured during two trips to 
Ft. Berthold Reservation, North Dakota. The earlier visit (part of August 
and all of September, 1910) was very largely devoted to the age-societies 
of the Hidatsa and Mandan, while the second stay (August, 1911) gave an 
opportunity for checking the information previously obtained. My main 
object was to gather data that would throw light on the basis of the Hidatsa 
and Mandan systems of age-societies, and so far as essentials are concerned 
I believe the facts still obtainable are presented in the following description. 
The Hidatsa data are naturally more satisfactory than those from the 
Mandan because of the greater number of trustworthy informants. Indeed, 
though according to the native matrilineal mode of reckoning there are 
still living a fair number of "Mandan'' among the Ft. Berthold Indians, 
very few indeed are of pure Mandan blood and the younger generations 
have been greatly influenced by the Hidatsa. Thus, I was unable to get any 
young person who did not sj>eak Hidatsa better than Mandan, and the 
Mandan texts were taken down with the aid of my Hidatsa interpreter. 
More particularly, none of my male Mandan informants had himself ad- 
vanced beyond the lower societies of the Mandan series, while among the 
Hidatsa I was still able to gather first-hand information from Poor-wolf 
on the Black Mouth and Dog organizations. 

One difficulty, connected with the mode of presentation adopted in this 
volume, must be touched upon. The organizations described in this series 
of papers naturally form but part of a larger whole with which they are 
organically connected. Without a knowledge of that whole, or at least 
of related cultural phases, complete understanding of the military societies 
seems out of the question. This applies, of course, to the Oglala and Crow 
no less than to the Hidatsa and Mandan, but the general culture of both 
of the former tribes is better known and of lesser complexity than that of 
the Village tribes of the Missouri. From an account of the Hidatsa and 
Mandan age-societies exclusively it might appear that the ceremonial 
surrender of wives to sellers of membership is peculiar to these organiza- 
tions, but here we are in a position to see that what we have is simply the 
special application of a tribal principle of action (see p. 228). Similarly, 
the great importance of the father's clansfolk in the purchase of membership 


222 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

results from the special social relations obtaining between an individual 
and his father's clan, which appear with equal clearness in the strictly 
religious and esoteric rites not dealt with in this paper (see p. 226). In 
other cases, the problems are more obscure. What are the relations to one 
another of the several Buffalo dances and ceremonies? Is the Goose society 
primarily connected with a tribal com ceremony? How shall we interpret 
the activities of the male singers in the women's societies? Have the Ari- 
kara exerted any influence on the development of the Mandan and Hidatsa 
societies? These are but some of the most obvious questions that arise, 
and to which at best only a partial answer is now possible. Fortunately 
considerable material on various phases of Mandan and Hidatsa culture 
has already been amassed by Rev. Wilson, the present writer, and others, 
and the prosecution of further researches in the field seems assured, so that 
many of the problems will doubtless be solved in the course of time. 

It gives me pleasure to express my gratitude to Mr. C. A. Shultis and 
his family for their kind hospitality during both my visits. To Rev. Gilbert 
L. Wilson, my predecessor in this field by several years, I am indebted for 
permission to use his notes taken under the auspices of the Museum, as well 
as for many practical hints when we met on the Reservation. My principal 
interpreter was Edward Good-bird, a full-blood Hidatsa. He understands 
Mandan, though he does not speak it perfectly. He addressed the Mandan 
informants in his own tongue, and they answered in theirs. Poor-wolf's 
statements were interpreted by Joe Packineau. 

Robert H. Lowie. 
April, 1913. 




The Hidatsa System . 

Notched Stick Society 

Stone Hammers 

Hot Dancers 

Kit-Fox Society 


He'rero'ka i'ke' 

Little Dogs 

Half-Shaved Heads 

Black Mouths, or Soldiers 

Crazy Dogs . 

Ravens .... 

Dogs .... 

Buffalo Bulls 

The Mandan System . 

Cheyenne Society 

Kit-Fox Society . 

Little Dog Society 

Crazy Dog Society 

Crow Society 

Half-Shaved Heads 

Black Mouths 

Bull Society 

Dog Society 

Old Dog Society 

Coarse Hair Society . 

Black-Tail Deer Society 

Badger Society 

Skunk Women Society 

Enemy Women Society 

GroosE Society 

Old Women Society 

Gun Society 

River Women Society 

Cheyenne Women Society 

White Buffalo Cow Society 








Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI» 


Text Figures. 

1. Instrument of Notched Stick Society 

2. Staff and Hammer of Stone Hammer Society 

3. Emblem of Stone Hammer Society 

4. Stick of Fox Society 

5. Stick of Officer of Lumpwood Society 

6. Flat-board of Hidatsa Lumpwood Society 

7. Bow-spear of Lumpwood Society .... 

8. Stick of Black Mouth Society .... 

9. Hidatsa Dog Dancer (Maximilian's Atlas) 

10. Cap of Mandan Kit-Fox Society .... 

11. Mandan Half-Shaved Head Dance (Maximilian's Atlas) 

12. Mandan Bull Dance (Maximilian's Atlas) 

13. Head Ornament of Enemy Women Society . 

14. Duckskin Head Band of Goose Society 

15. River Society Head Ornament .... 

16. White Buifalo Cow Women (Maximilian's Atlas) . 

17. Skunkskin Head Band of White Buffalo Cow Society and Head Band of 

Kit-Fox society . . . 

18. Head Band of White Buffalo Cow Society, front and back view 





The Hidatsa System. 

Although the accounts of my Hidatsa informants differed on a number 
of points, I secured lists of societies agreeing fairly well with Maximilian's, 
as shown in the following comparative table. The identification of Maxi- 
milian's "Enemies'* with the "Black Mouths" rests on the Prince's own 
identification of this Hidatsa society with the Mandan "Soldiers." So far 
as the discrepancies in my two series are concerned, it is necessary to note 
that Poor-wolf gave the societies in the order in which he had acquired mem- 
bership,^ while Butterfly enumerated them in what he considered theoreti- 
cally the proper order. 

Mr. Curtis gives a list of societies without regard to their relative rank. 
His series agrees with mine except that he mentions, in addition to the 
others, a mida-itsi^kita, "Wood-root," organization not referred to by any 
of my informants. The functions of this body are said to have resembled 
those of the Black Mouths inasmuch as both were police organizations.^ 

While the Hidatsa societies resembled the military organizations of the 
Crow in names, regalia, and certain distinctive activities, the Hidatsa 
system was radically different in that the societies, as indicated in the table, 
formed a graded series, membership (or rather ownership) of each society 
being secured through a simultaneous purchase by one group of age-mates 
from an older group. 

The old men who had passed through all the societies and had no more 
dances to buy were called "Stinking Ears" (a'ku'xiri 'tsi). Wolf-chief 
added the information that they were also called "Badger society" (awaka'- 
paru'wa+l'ri), but on another occasion he declared that the Badger society 
was not an Hidatsa but a Mandan institution. 

Buyers and sellers were regarded as standing to each other in the cere- 
monial relationship of "sons" and "fathers."^ The purchase was collec- 
tive inasmuch as all members of the purchasing class contributed to the 
initial payment, and individual inasmuch as each purchaser, so far as 

1 The only society in his list of which he was not a member is the Kit- Fox organization. 

« Curtis, IV, 182. 

» As the terms "father" and "son" recur again and again with this purely ceremonial 
meaning, they will hereafter be printed without quotation marlLs. When used for blood 
relationships, these terms will be accompanied by a qualifying adjective or phrase whenever 
misunderstandings might otherwise arise. 


226 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

possible, selected one of the sellers — almost always a clan father ^ — for 
his ceremonial father, whom he was expected to present with special gifts 
and to entertain for a certain number of nights prior to the final acquisition 
of membership privileges. 

The choice of a clan father in this connection is explained by the social 
importance of the relationship between an indi\ddual and his f ather^s clans- 
men. In this resj>ect the Hidatsa resembled the Crow.^ Among the 
Hidatsa a clan father was always treated with reverence and frequently 
presented with gifts. Before a battle a man would ask his clan father to 
paint his face and put a medicine feather on his head. The clan father 
would give personal names to a clansman's son; more particularly would he 
bestow on a brave clan son the name of a distinguished warrior belonging 
to his (the father's) clan. Ceremonially, the father's clansfolk played an 
important part in the performances of the esoteric fraternities. An Hidatsa 
who wished to perform the Sun dance, or Wolf ceremony, required certain 
sacred articles, and these he would ask a clan father to provide. Before 
putting up a sweat lodge in the Woman-Above ceremony. Wolf-chief was 
asked to offer a pipe to a woman of his father's clan. Thus, the prominence 
of the father's clan relatives in the purchase of the age-societies is not sur- 

In Rev. Gilbert L. Wilson's notes there is a statement by Wolf-chief 
that: — 

This chosen society relationship continued only for the ceremony of initiation 
while the son or daughter was taking the society-parent's place. 

Thus, my father whom I chose in the Stone Hammers was Deer-head. He was a 
Midipadi, and one of my band ^ fathers. I chose him for my father in the transfer of 
place and rights in the Stone Hammers, especially in the transferring to me of my 
new-made stone. But these relations ceased the next day after the j&nal night of the 
ceremony because Deer-head had then ceased to be a Stone Hanmier. I still called 
Deer-head my father, but by this I now meant only my band father. 

This statement confirms my own impressions, but I believe a man fre- 
quently selected the same clan father for his ceremonial father at successive 
purchases of societies. There are certainly indications that such was the 
case among the Mandan (see p. 304). 

The fact that an own father's brother or clan brother was addressed as 
father by the Hidatsa somewhat obscures the attitude of a son to his father 
after the initiation, but in the strictly parallel case of the women's societies 

1 Member of his own father's clan. 

* Lowie. (a), 201. 

8 Rev. Wilson's term "band" corresponds to my "clan." 


Loiuie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 


HiDATSA Age Societies. 

Maximilian (ii, 217-19) 



1. Notched Stick 
' (miraraxu'xi) 

1. Stone 

(Wi'wa Ohpage) 


Stone Hammer 
(mi'i mE+a'paki) 

1. Ditto 



Crazy Dogs 
(maculca wara'axe) 

7. do. 

2. Big Sabres 


3. Lump wood 

3. Ravens , 
(Haidero'hka-Xchke) * i 


4. Little Prairie Foxes 


(i'Exoxka i'ke' 

2. do. 

5. Little Dogs 


4. Little Dogs 

(macu'ka kari'cta) 

6. Old Dogs 



(macu'ka i*k6) 

9. do. 

7. Bow Trances 



Half-Shaved Heads 

5. do. 

8. Enemies 



Black Mouths, or Soldiers 
(i'i cipi'E) 

6. do. 

9. Bulls 


10. Bulls 

(ki'rup i*keO 

10. Ravens 



8. Ravens 

(peritska i'ke') 

the matter is perfectly clear, an own father's sister or clan sister being 
normally called not "mother," but "aunt.'' Says Wolf -chief (again quoted 
from Rev. Wilson's field notes) : 

1 Hairy-coat mentioned a he'rero'ka society; without determining its place In the series, 
he mentioned it after the Stone Hammer, Fox, Lumpwood, Little Dog, and Crazy Dog socie> 
ties, and directly before the Half-Shaved Heads. The native name was translated ' ' Imitators 
of Crow Indiana." 

228 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

My sister, when she entered the Skunk Women's society chose Crow-woman for 
her "mother." Crow-woman was a Midipadi, and was therefore my sister's band 
aunt. During the ceremony of initiating my sister, Crow-woman was my sister's 
"mother." Yet the next day after the transfer had been completed, if Buffalo-bird- 
woman met Crow-woman in the village, she would address her not as "mother," 
but as "aunt." 

There were seven Hidatsa elans and they were grouped in two larger 
divisions or phratries, — the Four-clans and the Three-clans. This group- 
ing, according to Hairy-coat, influenced the initial procedure in the purchase 
of a society inasmuch as the prospective buyers always offered seven pipes 
to the group of sellers, the pipes representing the clans. If the members 
of one of the seven clans represented in the sellers* group refused to sell, 
the society could not be bought. 

One of the features of the purchase which Maximilian emphasizes in 
his description of the Mandan system, but obviously considers of equal 
importance among the Hidatsa, is the ceremonial surrender of the pur- 
chasers' wives to the sellers. This was carried so far that if a young man 
chanced to be single, he would make a long journey to some friend in another 
village in order to borrow his wife for the purpose. The friend would then 
take his wife with him, accompany the buyer, and make the surrender in 
his stead. Sometimes three or more wives were offered to the same father.^ 
My best Hidatsa authority. Hairy-coat, confirms these statements for his 
own tribe. A single man, according to him, would borrow a fellow-clans- 
man's wife, as it was customary for members of one clan to help one another 
in the purchase of an organization by gifts of horses and what not. Hairy- 
^coat also said on another occasion that the Stone Hammers, not being as 
yet married, would borrow the wives of their older "friends" (see below), 
ibut this view remains unconfirmed. From various statements I get the 
impression that while the buyers of an age-society were expected to offer their 
wives to the sellers, the latter, for fear of bad luck, rarely exercised the privi- 
lege thus granted them. This is concretely illustrated by an incident in 
the course of a Mandan purchase (see p. 304). One Hidatsa informant, 
however, thought that fathers did in most cases avail themselves of the offer 
except when the wife was a relative of his, in which case he would refuse to 
go outside with her and would pray for both his son and his son's wife in 
the lodge. 

This surrender of wives in the purchase of age-societies seems to be 
merely a special application of an established custom. Lewis and Clark, 
as well as Maximilian, refer to this surrender as a feature in a tribal buffalo 

» Maximilian, ii, 143. 

1913.] Louriet Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 229 

ceremony. According to Maximilian, a woman covered only by her robe 
would approach one of the most eminent tribesmen, stroke his arms from the 
shoulder downward, and thus invite him to accompany her to a secluded 
spot. He might avoid intercourse by presenting her with a gift, which, 
however, was rarely done.^ Elsewhere Maximilian says that on other 
occasions individual Indians eager to obtain the blessing of another man 
before some undertaking would offer their wives in essentially the same 
manner.^ Hairy-coat said that sometimes clan fathers were invited to a 
feast by their clan sons apart from any purchase, and the latter would then 
offer their wives to them. Clan fathers who had no sp>ecial powers to pray 
as a result of a vision would not go with the women. If a father refused 
four times, his son would say, "I'll consider you an old enemy," thus making 
it necessary for the father to yield. 

A surrender of wives is also described by Say in the following passage: 

We were informed that on some particular occasion, a large enclosure was con- 
structed in the village of the Minnetarees, which was covered with jerked meat, 
instead of skins. The distinguished warriors who were concerned in the ceremony 
about to take place, deputed some of their party to sunmion a certain nimiber of the 
handsomest yoimg married squaws of the village, who immediately repaired to the 
meat-covered lodge, with the consent of their husbands. The squaws were then 
disrobed in the midst of a considerable nimiber of the bravest of the Minnetaree 
warriors; and after the conclusion of some ceremonies a brave entered, leading by 
the halter a very fine horse. He selected a squaw, whose beauty struck his fancy; 
and advancing to her, he laid the cord of the halter in her hand. She accepted the 
present, and immediately admitted him to her favour. Other warriors appeared in 
succession, leading horses, all of which were very readily disposed of in the same 
manner. This ceremony occurred during the day, and in the presence of the whole 

It is not quite certain whether every purchaser surrendered his wife to 
a seller, as would appear from Maximilian*s data and the statements of 
one of my Mandan informants (p. 304), or whether, as other native accounts 
seem to indicate, this offer took place only when some special demand was 
made of the father, for example, that he present his son with part of his 
individual medicines. 

In addition to the, at least potential, relationship of fathers and sons 
that normally obtained between adjoining age-groups, there was a relation- 
ship between each group and the group directly above their fathers that was 
not unlike the relationship of our college freshmen and juniors as united 
against sophomores and seniors. The members of the two groups were 

1 Lewis and Clark, i, 245; Maximilian, ii, 266. 
* MaximiUan, ibid., 181. 
» James, ii, 60. 

230 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI> 

makVraku e, "friends." The fact that the fathers desired to exact as high 
a purchasing price as possible resulted in a certain opposition between the 
interests of adjacent groups. One of the chief functions of a "friendly" 
group was to aid the buyers in the accumulation of prop>erty sufficient to 
satisfy the sellers. This relationship was mutual, and accordingly obtained 
not so much between the societies as such as between certain groups of 
individuals. That is to say, if we denote the societies by letters, society A, 
in buying society B, was aided by society C. The aided group — then in 
possession of society B — was not ipso facto on terms of " friendship " with 
society D, but remained in that relationship with the group of individuals 
that had assisted them and returned the favor when that group purchased 
society D. 

The "friendship" described was not restricted to two groups. None 
of my informants had reached the highest grades, and it was accordingly 
impossible to investigate the relationship of classes beyond the first four 
by an objective statement of each one's relationship of "friendliness" at 
each stage. However, the native theory on the subject became clear from 
Hairy-coat's account. Beginning with himself, this informant enumerated 
ten representatives of successively older groups, viz. (1) Hairy-coat; 
(2) Kidney; (3) Red-hip; (4) Poor-wolf; (5) Red-kettle; (6) Four-bears; 
(7) Long-hair-man; (8) Cherry-necklace; (9) Stirrup; (10) Prairie-dog. 
The groups of all those whose names correspond to odd nmnbers were 
"friends" of one another; the same applies to the representatives of all 
even-numbered groups. Hairy-coat further illustrated the matter by 
arranging a series of five vertical sticks in a row and placing in an upper row, 
but in the interspaces of the lower set, five other sticks. Regardless of rows, 
sticks to the right of others then represented relatively higher groups; 
any stick thus represented the fathers of the next stick to the left, while the 
sticks in each row together represented all the groups linked by the bond of 

The members of the women's societies were apparently similarly united 
in two moieties, which were on "friendly" terms with the two moieties of 
men's societies; but it proved impossible to determine precisely on what 
principle certain groups of women became affiliated with certain groups of 

Buffalo-bird-woman said that as a member of the Eneriay Women 
society she was a "friend" of the female Stinking Ears and the Skunks 
and would help the former buy the Old Women Society (ka'ru paru'wa+ 
f ri.)^ Among the men's societies her "friends" were the Bulls, who in her 

1 According to others, this was a secret ceremonial organization not related to the age» 
societies at all. 

1913.] Lowie^ Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 231 

day also owned the Half-Shaved society because they had never sold it; 
the Foxes, and the Black Mouths. On another occasion, however, she 
enumerated as her male "friends" the Foxes, Bulls, and Stinking Ears. 
Calf-woman said that the following women's and men's societies, respec- 
tively, were mated as "friends": Skunks and Stone Hammers; River 
Women and Lumpwoods; Buffalo Women and Black Mouths; Goose 
Women and Crazy Dogs; Cheyenne Women and Little Dogs; Enemy 
W^omen and Lumpwoods. Wolf -chief regarded the Stone Hammers, Lump>- 
woods, Crazy Dogs, Skunk Women and Goose Women as forming one 
moiety of "friends"; and the Foxes, Small Dogs, Black Mouths, Stinking 
Ears, and Enemy Women as forming the other. Contradictions in the 
lists of "friendly" societies are not smT)rising when we remember that the 
friendship was not between societies as such, but between certain groups, 
and that the relative positions of the societies doubtless differed somewhat 
at different periods (see p. 233). When Buffalo-bird-woman was a Skunk 
(was buying the Skunk membership?) she was help>ed by Son-of-star and 
his group, then Stone Hammers. Red-top at that time was a Lumpwood, 
and Small-ankle either a Dog or a Black Mouth, and these groups were also 
her "friends." Later, when Wolf -chief was old enough to buy a society, 
he and his group also became her " friends." It did not matter what society 
Small-ankle's, Red-top's, and Wolf-chief's groups bought respectively, 
Buffalo-bird-woman's group would always assist them. 

When, at the sale of a society, one of the fathers received special gifts 
from his son, he might keep these presents, but it was considered proper to 
distribute part of them among his " friends." Societies were also wont to 
send delegations to their "friends'" feasts and dances. Thus, in Wolf- 
chief's day, the Enemy Women invited the Foxes to their feasts, and vice 

Sometimes a young man was invited to accompany his "friends" when 
they bought a higher organization. He would then have the right of par- 
ticipating in the purchase and accordingly in the rights of members of the 
purchased society. That is to say, he would then belong to a society much 
higher than that of his age-mates. This seems to have happened to Butter- 
fly, though his statements on the subject are somewhat confused. If I 
understand him correctly, he was a Fox, but for some reason did not join 
his mates in the purchase of the Lumpwood society. At a later period he 
was asked by a "friend" to join in the purchase of the Black Mouth society, 
which, accordingly, he did. Thus, he bought the Black Mouth membership, 
selecting for his father a clan father, Plenty-antelope. Having never sold 
his Fox membership, he was thus at the same time a Fox and a Black Mouth. 
A perfectly clear statement of a corresponding case was made by Wolf- 

232 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

chief. Wolf -chief was asked to join Yellow-coyote, a "friend," in the 
purchase of the Black Mouth membership. They selected Yellow-bear 
for their common father and feasted him for a number of nights. Finally, 
he called them, entertained them and presented them with clothes, two 
flat-boards and head-ornaments with eagle feathers. Yellow-coyote said 
to Wolf -chief : "You are young, but I asked for your help. I wish you to 
keep all these things." Wolf-chief was very glad and paid Yellow-bear a 
two-year-old colt; to his " friend " he gave one of two lances he had received. 
Wolf-chief considers himself a full-fledged Black Mouth as a result of this 
purchase. He feels that he should have the privilege to make Black Mouth 
regalia and to receive pay like other Black Mouths if any other group should 
attempt to purchase this society. 

If the practice just described, of allowing younger "friends" to partici- 
pate in a purchase, had been at all common, it would of course have ob- 
literated the age character of the societies. Such cases, however, were 
apparently individual exceptions. Another anomaly, not connected with the 
"friendly" relationship, occurred in the Bull society, into which it was 
customary to admit a single very young boy (see p. 291). Apart from these 
two types of exceptional instances, the feeling of affiliation with one's age- 
mates in the buying of membership was very strong. Even when, for some 
reason, a man had not joined in the purchase of a society, there seems to 
have been a feeling that he ought to belong to that body, though he might 
not regard himself as fully entitled to membership. Thus, though for some 
obscure reason Poor-wolf had not participated in the collective purchase of 
the Stone Hammer society by his age group, he was nevertheless permitted 
to join them later, make an emblem for himself, and sell it together with his 
coevals. However, the notion that membership was based on purchase was 
not absent even in this case, for Poor-wolf spoke with great reluctance 
about this society, because he felt that both his son-in-law and my inter- 
preter, having acquired membership in the approved way, had a superior 
right to tell about the Stone Hammers. 

The mode of collective purchase of membership by and from age-groups 
inevitably made the societies age classes. But this objective fact may be 
interpreted in two different ways. We may assume either that the Hidatsa 
subjectively conceived all the societies to correspond to definite ages; or 
that the age of members of a society at a particular period of Hidatsa his- 
tory was immaterial provided only that they were all age-mates who had 
collectively acquired membership. If the given correlation between a 
definite society with a definite age expressed the subjective native point of 
view, that correlation should of course be. permanent. In order that it 
should be permanent, both the order of entering the societies and the length 

1913.] Lowie^ HidcUsa and Mandan Societies, 233 

of membership in each society should be fixed. Under these conditions, the 
minimum age of members of the nth society would be determined by the 
formula m + ai + 02. . . .On-i, where m is the initial age, and ai, 02, etc. 
represent the length of membership. If the i>eriod of membership were 
constant, the formula would be m + a (n-1). On the other hand, it would 
not follow from the permanence of the correlation that the societies were 
at bottom definite age classes; for the subjective attitude of the natives 
might still be that the association was an incidental one. 

Slight derangements of the order are d, priori highly probable. If a 
new society were adopted from another tribe, the tendency would be to 
incorporate it in the series. On the other hand, some societies may be sup- 
posed to have passed out of existence through the death of most of the 
members. Thus, the rank of the societies and the age of the members would 
tend to vary somewhat in the course of time. It is probable that in a tribe 
settled in several villages there would be a certain amount of local variation 
-even at the same time. Nevertheless, all such minor alterations would not 
necessarily affect the age of members when gauged in the rough way custom- 
ary among Indian tribes. There are, however, facts indicating that more 
far-reaching changes took place. Poor-wolf, for example, never belonged 
to the Lumpwood, Kit-Fox or Little Dog societies, yet he was able to enter 
the Black Mouth and Dog organizations, which are unanimously admitted 
to have been of high rank in the series. WTien Hairy-coat's group had sold 
the Stone Hammer society, they wished to buy the Kit-Fox society, but the 
members refused to sell. The Kit-Foxes of that period also owned the 
Crazy Dog society, and accordingly Hairy-coat's group tried to buy that 
society, but again the older group declined to sell, always demanding addi- 
tional payments. When their offer had been spumed three times, the 
jwospective buyers went to the next older group and bought the Little Dog 
society from them, thus omitting both the Kit-Fox and the Crazy Dog 
grades. Indeed, previous to this purchase the sole survivor of the Ravens — 
Maximilian's oldest society — had offered to sell his membership to Hairy- 
coat's group, though Hairy-coat was only about 17 at the time. 

These instances, and especially the one last mentioned, already indicate 
the subjective native point of view. If to be a Raven is to be an old man, 
it is a contradiction in terms to conceive of yoimg boys acquiring the Raven 
membership. On the other hand, if the sole condition of Raven membership 
is its collective purchase, then there is no reason why men of any age what- 
ever should not acquire it. Consistently applied, the principle of purchase 
as the dominant principle would mean that any age-group might buy any 
society, and this would occasion an indefinite shifting of rank. Neverthe- 
less, within the historical period the shifting was, after all, limited. The 

234 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

offer to sell the Raven society to a group of young men was clearly abnormal. 
The Stone Hammers appear as the youngest or next to the youngest society 
both in my lists and in Maximilian's, and in general there is considerable 
agreement as to the ranking of societies. I believe there is no psychological 
difficulty in supposing that the mere fact of a certain grading having once 
been established would tend to preserve a definite order except for minor 
changes due to the causes mentioned. Moreover, it seems plausible that 
the objective association of a certain society with a certain age, if continued 
long enough, would retro-actively establish a subjective feeling that the 
men in some particular society ought to be young men, or men of some other 
fairly definite age. If the Stone Hammer society was by convention the first 
to be bought by a group of boys, then the Stone Hammer society would very 
likely come to be regarded as a boys' organization. 

The native attitude towards these societies appears most clearly from 
an examination of the second condition for the essential correlation of ages 
and societies. No matter how crude or how refined an age-gradation may 
be, it is obvious that a man cannot belong to an age grade below the highest 
for an indefinite period, nor can he at the same time belong to two distinct 
grades. On the other hand, if membership means oimiership through 
purchase, *a man can hold membership simultaneously in an indefinite 
number of societies. Even if the order of entrance were fixed, he might 
then buy successively, but within a space of time the shortness of which 
would be determined only by practical considerations, each and every one 
of the societies and hold them all at the same time. Oddly enough, the 
breakdown of ancient customs that generally obscures our understanding 
of primitive life has in this instance helped to lay bare the psychological 
attitude of the natives. Owing to changed conditions it frequently hap- 
pened during the nineteenth century that the groups which would normally 
have purchased certain societies never attempted to do so. The question 
arises. Did the members of these unbought societies lose their membership 
with the lapse of time, or did they retain it indefinitely? The evidence 
secured, which accumulated entirely without leading questions and greatly 
surprised me, seems convincing. Poor-wolf, at 90, still considered himself 
a member of the miraraxu' xi, which he had joined at 7; of the Crazy Dog 
society, which he had joined at 20; of the Half-Shaved Head society, which 
he had joined at 27; and of the Dog society, which he had joined at about 
45. Wolf-chief and Butterfly still regard themselves as members of both 
the Fox and the Black Mouth societies. Hairy-coat still considers himself 
a Little Dog. Old men could not regard themselves today as members of 
societies they entered when boys or young men if the societies represented 
age grades; and this assumption becomes quite absurd when we find the 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 235 

same individuals claiming simultaneous membership in several organiza- 
tions. If, on the other hand, membership is simply a matter of purchase, 
then a man can oion membership of every society he has ever purchased but 
which for some reason he has never sold. It is, indeed, the invariable ex- 
planation of the Hidatsa themselves that they belong to such and such 
organizations because they have never sold their membership rights. This 
point of view coincides absolutely with that expressed by members of the 
women's societies, and also by both men and women of the Mandan societies. 
The \dew that purchase was at the basis of the Hidatsa-Mandan system 
explains certain peculiarities in Maximilian's Mandan data. His state- 
ment that all the higher classes might at the same time belong to the Sol- 
<iiers' group ^ becomes at once intelligible. So does the fact that while 
the Mandan of his time were divided into six dancing societies graded 
by age, there were two supplementary dances — the Half -Shaved Head 
dance held by the Soldiers and sold to the Hahderucha-Ochata before they 
were old enough to become Soldiers; and the Old Dog dance held by the 
Bulls and sold to the Dogs before these were permitted to become Bulls.^ 
That the Half-Shaved Head dancers were regarded as forming a distinct 
society by Maximilian himself is clear from his identifying them with the 
Hidatsa Half-Shaved Head society.' What happened in the case described 
by this author is evidently that a certain group had acquired the Half- 
Shaved Head membership and, before selling it, had purchased the Soldier 
membership, thus owning both at the same time. In accordance with the 
secondary psychological attitude produced by the fact that a certain order 
had been and was customarily followed (see p. 234), they naturally would 
sell to the next younger group not their most recently acquired membership 
but the one they themselves had purchased before obtaining the Soldier 
membership. The double membership of the Soldiers noted by Maxi- 
milian, though in i>erf ect consonance with the system as here described, was 
■accidental and temporary, for of course just as soon as the Soldiers had sold 
the Half-Shaved Head dance, they were Half-Shaved Head dancers no 
longer. It had simply happened in Maximilian's day that a particular 
^oup had bought the Soldier society before disposing 6f their Half -Shaved 
Head membership. A corresponding explanation suffices for Maximilian's 
Old Dog dance, which is said to have been bought by the Dogs from the 
Bulls before the former were permitted to become Bulls.* It would have 
been equally consistent with the native system if each group of age-mates 

1 Maximilian, ii, 141. 

« Ibid.. 144, 274. 

» Ibid., 218. 

« Ibid.. 144. 

236 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI^ 

had held but a single society, in other words, if there had been eight, instead 
of six, groups, as there happened to be at that particular period. 

To sum up. The Mandan and Hidatsa men's societies were forms of 
property purchased in a preferential, though not obligatory, order by groups 
of age-mates, whose constitution remained practically the same at successive 
purchases. Through this mode of purchase the societies, viewed objectively, 
became age-grades, but from the native point of view within the period of 
which we have any knowledge they were primarily not age-grades but 
purchasable commodities. A question that remains unanswered is why 
there should have been any grading of the societies at all. As the data, 
from other tribes shed some light on this problem, it will be taken up at 
the close of this volume. 

The historical relations of the Hidatsa societies will also be more profit- 
ably discussed in a subsequent paper. At present suffice it to state that the 
relationship was more intimate with the Crow and Mandan organizations 
than with those of other tribes. 

Certain aspects of the Hidatsa societies not connected with their age 
character remain to be briefly touched upon. 

In the first place, the importance of the religious factor in the Hidatsa 
men's societies must not be overestimated. There can be no doubt that 
this factor is more prominent than in the corresponding organizations of the 
Crow. The Hidatsa origin traditions give much greater emphasis to super- 
natural revelations than do the purely fragmentary accounts of the Crow; 
certain of the regalia had a sacred character of their own; and there is in 
general greater complication of ceremonial observances. Nevertheless, 
there was probably nothing esoteric about these organizations. After having 
obtained data on the military societies, one is immediately struck by the 
change of attitude on the part of a non-Christian native when requested to 
discuss the medicine bundle performances. Ordinarily there will be an 
absolute refusal to di\nilge anything concerning these genuinely religious 
ceremonies, while even the most conservative Hidatsa speak with great 
freedom concerning the military societies. 

On the other hand, the importance of the military and social factors 
will become apparent from the description of the several organizations. 
Police functions were not assumed alternately by the several Mandan and 
Hidatsa societies as among the Crow, but were restricted to the Black 

1 According to Mr. Curtis, a Wood-root society of the Hidatsa also exercised police 
duties (see p. 225). ' 

1913.] Loxme, Hidaisa and Mandan Societies, 237 

Notched Stick Society. 

When Poor-wolf was seven years old, he joined the Notched Stick 
society (miraraxu'xi). Together with other boys of about the same age, 
he bought the privileges of membership from the group of older boys then 
in possession of them. For twenty nights the buyers were obliged to enter- 
tain the sellers. On the twentieth night a ("friendly"?) woman was made 
to stand up by the sellers; she held in her hand a bundle of willow twigs, 
painted red at the top and enclosing a central stick of greater length, which 
was spotted in the middle. This woman danced, and the buyers were 
obliged to pile up property until the heap reached the woman's forehead. 
The sellers tried to press down the heap of goods, while the buyers attempted 
to swell it as high as possible. When the pile had reached the required 
height, the goods were removed, and the process recommenced until four 
piles had been accumulated and taken away. The buyers sometimes 
added a tent in order to increase the height of a pile. Poor-w^olf *s group was 
assisted in this purchase by members of some higher group, who considered 
themselves friends of the buyers. During the tw enty nights preceding the 
consummation of the purchase, the sellers discussed matters with the buyers, 
and instructed them about warfare and other affairs. The final step was 
taken when each boy, on the last night, approached an individual of the 
upper grade, thus selecting him for his father, and presented him, according 
to his means, with a horse, a gun, or a bonnet. Each novice was free to 
select whomsoever he pleased for his special father, though the entire group 
stood in the relationship of sons to the entire group of sellers. The son 
approached his father and said, " My father, you must give me a feather to 
tie to my head." The father, if sufficiently distinguished, might fulfil 
the fequest himself, otherwise he would call upon a brother of his, who 
thus addressed the son: "After belonging to the Notched Stick society 
I did so-and-so." He then tied a feather to the novice's head, told him 
of a vision received by himself, gave him his own paint, and expressed the 
hope that the boy would grow up to be an old man and would be successful 
on the warpath. 

At the time of the smallpox, most members of the Notched Stick society 
died, including Carries-arrows, in whose earth-lodge the meetings were 
held. Poor-wolf's group never sold the membership to a younger genera- 
tion, hence Poor-wolf, aged 90, still considers himself a member of this 

Poor-wolf states that there were two officers: one owning a "male," 
the other a "female" stick. In apparent contradiction to this, he also 

238 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

says that both were purchased by Carries-arrows. The "female" stick 
(animi'ga) was called miraraxu'xi, "notched stick," the musical instrument 
employed at dances, from which the organization derived its name. An 
ordinary stick was rubbed up and down the notches. The unnotched side 
of the miraraxu'xi seems to have been encased in rawhide. The "male" 
stick (arugi'rupi) was called mira'ru'witsiy "smooth-stick" (or "snapped- 
stick?"). At meetings it was smoked vd\h incense of peppermint and pine- 
needles, and then made to rest on two forked sticks. The incense caused 
the weather to become foggy, no matter how fine it had been before. For 
singers, the boys selected three or four of the most competent men among 


Fig. 1 (60.1-4356). Instrument of Notched Stick Society. Length, 127 cm. 

their fathers. When the singing commenced, the boys clapped their hands 
to their mouths. 

Wolf-chief never belonged to this organization, but his father, Small- 
ankle, was a member in his day, and had described the emblem of the 
society to his son as a stick about 3 feet long, notched in the upper section. 
Another stick of ash-wood was employed as a rasp, while a rawhide acted as 
resonator. The notches on the lower stick represented a snake's backbone. 
A model that may not be quite accurate, because not made by a member of 
the Notched Stick society, is shown in Fig. 1. 

Buifalo-bird-woman told me that her own father. Small-ankle, as well 
as his older brother, had belonged to this society. Their sister, whose 
name was Red, was the singer. This organization was sacred. In buying 
the society, a great deal of property — robes, quillwork, and eagle feathers — 
was collected for the sellers, each of whom also had food presented to him 
on four successive nights. On each of these evenings four songs were sung 
then the meeting broke up. The fathers had their "friends" come in to 
share the food brought to them. During these meetings, a fire of dry wil- 
lows was maintained by the buyers' female relatives. On the fourth night 
the sellers instructed their sons how to rub the notched stick, which was 
placed on a pile about 2 feet high so as to be seen by everyone present. It 
was shaped like a snake, with two horns in front; it also had two front legs 
and two hind legs. The fathers said to their sons : " This stick has two horns, 
you must give up two articles." Then two sons rose and laid two articles 
on the stick. The fathers continued : " It has four legs, give up four things." 

1913.] IxywiCf Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 239 

Then four articles were added. In similar fashion, one object was added for 
the tail, and another for the head. During the four days' entertainment 
there was always a thick fog in the village. This fact is referred to in a song, 
which my informant remembered hearing her aunt sing: — 

"awaci'a rahare'm; cSwa'+its." 
" The haze is continuing; I say so." 

After the period of feasting, the sons received their regalia from the fathers, 
to whom each purchaser paid a horse, a gun, an eagle feather, or the like. 
Only one man got the notched stick; he was also the one in whose lodge 
the members met. Buffalo-bird-woman says that this society originated 
in Awaxa'awi.^ The notched stick was always rubbed downwards. 

Stone Hammers. 

Two stories were referred to by Poor-wolf as native accounts of the origin 
of this society. According to the one rejected by this authority, the society 
was organized by the mythical hero called Mo'*tsawitsi tsic (Coyote-chief), 
I'tsi*ka-ma'hiric (First-worker), or Ita'xga-detac (Old-man-never-dies). 
The approved story refers the origin back to a young man's vision. The 
spirit appearing to this man gave him a convexly diamond-shaped object 
(mi'i mE + u'paki). One half was painted red, representing the Sun and 
his path; the other w;as painted black, representing the Moon and her trail. 
The reddened (?) section was further decorated with a half -moon figure, 
the other by a cross representing the morningstar. The spirit told the 
-dreamer that if he should organize the society, his children should grow 
up and enjoy good luck. 

Wolf-chief gives the following origin legend. One day a young man from 
the village at the mouth of the Knife River went up-stream to a high hill, 
which he ascended in order to get a vision there. People had tried to obtain 
-a revelation there before, but the hill had always seemed to them to sink, 
and they had fled in terror. The young man had heard of the hill, and for 
that reason he went there. He began to cry, continued doing so, and looked 
about. The hill did not move at all. In the night he went to the woods 
to sleep. The next morning he again ascended the hill and acted as before, 
but the hill did not move. For the night he retired to the same place as 
before. The third day passed in the same way. On the fourth day, toward 
sunset, when he was still crying, he heard a loud noise inside the hill. The 

1 The village nearest the Missouri of the three villages on the Knife River described by- 
Maximilian (II, 212). 

Anthropologirtd Papers Am 

1 Museum of Natural Hiatory. [Vol. Xl» 

young man said 
have run away. 

Fig. 2 (50.1-43*2). 3tllff.^d 
Hammer Of stone Hammer.So- 
cleCy. Length or stafT. IM^cm, 

"Many young men have come here to get a vision and 
I wish to stay in order to see whether I shall get killed 
or shall get a vision." The noise ceased, and 
the hill no longer moved. Then the man said, 
"There is not much danger, I just heard a 
noise. I think the others who ran away 
merely heard the same thing." He went 
homewards. As he passed along the wood he 
heard some one shouting. Listening and 
looking about, he caught sight of a mi'n 
ittihe' (a lodge covered with bark and earth) 
in the wood. He went thither, and saw a 
group of young men, who seemed to be laugh- 
ing and amusing themselves. As he ap- 
proached them, one of them cried out to 
him, "Come in and sit right down!" The 
visionary looked round, and saw that all the 
men present were young. He watched them 
closely, and noticed that each of the men was 
holding a stone hammer in his hands. Some- 
one said, " Show the other side ! " The vision- 
ary then noticed a star. As the young men 
turned their stones, the visionary observed 
that a line was cut on them, and he thought, 
"This is the path on which the Moon and the 
Star always travel." The same man as before 
then spoke. "Now, we will show you the 
stones we carry. These are for a society of 
young men able to fight the enemy and to 
conquer them. We know what you are seek- 
ing, this is what you have wished for." They 
sang. Each one shouted, rose to dance, and 
with one hand raised his stone in any direction. 
Suddenly the visionary fell asleep, and was as- 
one dead. His eyes were moist; after a while 
he opened them again, and felt as well as ever. 
He saw about him a great many little birds. 
Then he fell asleep as before. When he awoke, 
he was alone in the woods. Neither lodge nor 
bird was to be seen. He went back. He had 
learned what was to be done, and thought he 


Loune, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 


had seen a great vision. "As soon as I return, I will start the society, so 
that young men may have the power of fighting against the enemy." He 
tried to organize the society, but at first he was imable to recall the songs. 
After a while, however, he had a dream during which he again saw the 
society and heard its music, and so he re-learned the songs. Then he got 
all the young men of the tribe together, and founded the organization. No 
name had been given to the stone in the founder's dream, but he himself 
thought that as it was of stone and had a handle it should be called 
" stone hanuner." He got a soft stone, cut it into egg-shape, perforated it 
in the middle, and stuck a five-foot stick through it, so that about fourteen 
inches of the shaft projected beyond the stone at the top. In accordance 
with his vision, he left two or three branches on his stick (see Fig.^2). 

Fig. 3 (50.1-^342ab). Emblem of Stone Hammer Society. Length, 9 cm. 


After giving the young men instructions, he said, "Young men, I [do 
this because this stone has the power to make you good men. When you 
have completed the sticks, bring them back to my lodge. We shall 
keep them all there to sing and dance with." When they returned with 
their emblems, he tied young hawk feathers along the sticks. He also 
marked the stone with representations of the new-moon and the star, and 
with Unes representing their paths (see Fig. 3). Then he wetted pulverized 
charcoal, and rubbed it all over the gtone. He selected some older men for 
musicians, letting them practise the appropriate songs. At first they had 
no drum, but merely hit the ground with a stick; later they got a drum. 

242 Anthropological Papers American Museum o} Natural History. [Vol. XI ^ 

The visionary said, **I will sing two songs. At the third song, everyone 
shall get up and dance. Everyone of you sing, but do not dance. When I 
approach the end of my song, all of you shall shout, for thus I saw it in my 
vision." Accordingly, after his second song, everyone shouted. He con- 
tinued as follows, "Now, at my next song, each of you shall get up and 
•dance, raising your emblems in all directions. While you dance, think of 
teing good men and of fighting against the enemy." He sang once more. 
All the members rose, danced, and raised their stones. After a while they 
stopped. The dance was performed many times, so that all the members 
learned to sing and dance properly. The people of the village watched 
them and thought, " That is a great man, he has seen a great vision." When- 
'Cver enemies came to the village, this society always went to the front and 
struck the enemy with their emblems. Some of the members became 
noted warriors by repeatedly striking coups in this way. The founder 
had been instructed never to get older men into the organization. When 
some of the members got to be about 30 years of age, they were considered 
too old, and a younger group bought the society from them. All this 
happened very long ago. Since that time the society was kept up until a 
Jew decades ago. 

To this narrative, secured in 1910, Wolf -chief added a few supplemen- 
tary statements when the story had been read to him a year later. He then 
said that the feathers used for the decoration of the sticks were those of a 
sharp-clawed species of hawk, that the star side of the stone hammer was 
painted red, which symbolized the sunrise, and that the moon side was 

Still another origin legend was given by Wolf-chief's sister, Buffalo- 
bird-womau. A very long time ago a young man named Ga'riwapi tEc 
("Grandson") traveled among the Indians and gave them instructions. 
Some of the people had small eyes and mouths, as well as webbed hands, 
all of which he transformed into their present shape. He destroyed man- 
eaters and other monsters. When he finally returned to the Five Villages, 
he found that his people had only one miserable society. They were able 
to sing nothing but the words, "House-hole, sunbeam." Grandson wished 
to found an organization. His father was the Moon, and he himself the 
Morningstar, accordingly he made a small egg-shaped stone object, and 
marked on it himself as a star, and his father as the new-moon. Then he 
called all the young men together, sang songs for them, and gave to each of 
them a stone. 

A fourth tradition was related by- Hairy-coat. When the Hidatsa had 
become people they did not at first have any dances or other forms of 
amusement. Some beings dwelling in the sky thought they would descend 

1913.] Lawie, Hidalaa and Mandan Societies. 243 

and instruct the Hidatsa. There were three of them: the Sun, the Moon, 
and the Momingstar. They taught songs to the Hidatsa to make them 
strong, and admonished them not to permit the knowledge of the songs to 
die. out. They had an egg-shaped stone object, perforated and set on a 
staff. Tlie Sun incised two marks on the stone, filling them with red paint. 
On one side was a representation of the new-moon, and on the other that 
of the star; the moon side was painted black, the star side red. The stick 
was decorated with a collar of red and yellow quill work, with young eagle 
or young hawk tail-feathers, and with a fancy strip of buckskin, trimmed 
either with gulls' wings or colored wings. The three deities taught the 
Hidatsa to dance outdoors in the village, with the singers in the center* 
The dancers were told to move towards the left. At the third song, they 
were informed, the villagers would pelt them with stones, but this should 
serve to make them strong like stones. At the fourth song they were to 
keep their hands on their backs and then the i>eople would again cast stones 
at them. On the other hand, the three gods gave the Stone Hammers the 
right to steal food. Before doing so they must go round the village with a 
drum and proclaim their intentions, crying, "Hide your food under your 
pillow and lie on it, for we'll take it.'* Then people would hide their food 
but the boys would steal it during the night. 

When Wolf-chief was about fifteen, all his friends assembled to buy the 
Stone Hammer society from the older group then owning it. For four 
nights, the buyers entertained the sellers. Wolf-chief, for example selected 
from among the sellers one of his clan fathers, thus making him his indi- 
vidual father, and supplied him with food each night. On the morning 
following the fourth night, each son was invited by his father, made him an- 
individual payment, and received from him a society emblem. Wolf-chief 
paid his father a blue blanket, a robe, a big kettle, beaded leggings, and a 
shotgun. Others made presents of horses. Wolf-chief's father, Deer-head, 
was very glad to receive the presents, narrated his own vision to his son, 
prayed in his behalf, and surrendered to him his own war medicine, which 
consisted of a plume. He said, " Do not fear the enemy, son, bullets shall 
never touch you. You may also have my own name, Deer-head; your 
society shall call you by this name.'' ^ This prophecy was fulfilled: Wolf- 
chief always tied the plume to his head in battle and was never hit by the 
enemy. In 1911 Wolf -chief added that only boys having clan fathers in 
the sellers' group were expected to provide food for an individual father, 
and that some who had clan fathers were too poor to feast them. In either 

1 Among the Hidatsa names were generally bestowed by clan fathers. When Wolf- 
chief returned from a successful war expedition, Butterfly, another clan father, dubbed him 
••Wolf-chief" after a famous warrior of an earlier generation. 

244 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

case the purchaser did not receive the stone hammer emblem, but was 
obliged to go to the mountains, get a revelation about the enemy, and then 
manufacture an emblem for himself, patterning it after those of his more 
fortunate associates. However, I get the impression from other accounts 
that these conditions were very unusual. It seems rather improbable that 
a boy should be unable to find a single clan father in the sellers' company, 
and as both relatives and "friends" of each purchaser rendered assistance, 
the furnishing of food was not likely to present any difficulty. Neverthe- 
less, in the account given to Rev. Wilson and quoted below. Wolf-chief 
states that of the forty purchasers of the Stone Hammer membership in his 
group only about eighteen selected individual fathers. 

In 1911 Rev. Wilson secured an admirably full account of the purchase 
of the Stone Hammer society by Wolf-chief*s group. The following sum- 
mary of Rev. Wilson's notes may well find a place here. 

The prospective buyers filled a pipe, and after choosing a spokesman proceeded 
to the Stone Hammer lodge, where they sat down between the door and the fireplace. 
The leader went to the rear and deposited the initial gifts, packed in four or five 
bundles, and a pipe. Facing the Stone Hammers who were seated in a semicircle 
in the rear, he said: "Fathers, we want to buy your songs! See all these goods. 
They are all that we have been able to get together. We ask you to take them, and 
to light this pipe. We want to have your songs. Light this pipe that we may know 
that you accept." Then he sat down with the rest of his group. A Stone Hammer 
replied that the goods were not sufficient to purchase his society. The would-be 
buyers then debated among themselves whether it was possible for them to get more 
property from relatives or friends. Several thought they could, left the lodge, and 
came back with additional gifts, which were laid down with the rest. The spokesman 
of the sellers said the presents were still hardly enough, but as the buyers had 
done the best they could he would consent to sell and asked his group whether they 
agreed with him. When they had expressed their consent, he lit the pipe, and 
carried it to the Stone Hammer on the right end of the semicircle, who smoked it 
and passed it to the left. When the pipe had been smoked dry, the Stone Hanmier 
spokesman returned it to the buyers' spokesman, then went back to the rear, and 
thus addressed the younger group: "Our sons, tomorrow evening you must fetch a 
feast and they will make ready to give you your stone hammers and teach you the 
songs. Four nights they will teach you the songs and you shall bring a feast for 
them each night. By that time you will have learned all the songs and. they will be 
yours." The boys then left and returned to the lodge they had started from. Those 
who had special gifts to give to individual fathers as payment for the stone hammers 
then decided whom they were going to choose for their father. About eighteen of the 
forty were able to do this. Then, in accordance with the sellers' instructions, the 
boys selected six officers to hold the four lances and the two rattles the society was to 
receive on the last night of the purchase. 

The next day, before simset, the novices assembled in the same lodge as before. 
The parents of some had already prepared food with which to feast the sellers, so the 
boys who were going to have fathers went home to get it, returning to the lodge with 

1913.] Lovrie, Hidataa and Mandan Societies. 245 

their kettles. All went to the Stone Hammers, and the boys with food arose and 
offered it to their fathers, each sa3dng, "Father, make me my stone!" The food was 
passed along the semicircle, all the Stone Hammers helping themselves. The 
buyers who had no individual fathers remained seated. Some women and children 
came in, and sat at the right of the door (for one entering), while the novices were 
at the left. Three of the older "friends" of the buyers sat with the sellers and shared 
the food. When the fathers had done eating, they called to their sons to take back 
their dishes. Wolf-chief's father thus addressed the people: "Listen, my friends, 
to what I have to say. To this my son I now give my name, hereafter he shall be 
called Deer-head." Then to Wolf-chief he added: . "Son, I will make you your stone. 
I will begin tomorrow. You shall receive it when we get through the four nights' 
feasting." Those boys who had relatives among the women spectators then asked 
them to take their kettles home. After the feast, the sellers smoked from the one 
pipe owned by the society, but a few of the buyers had brought pipes with them and 
offered them to their fathers. Finally, one of the sellers rose and said: "Our sons, 
we are now going to sing. You who want to learn, listen to us. You must learn 
these songs. When we get through, we will go, expecting to gather here again 
tomorrow evening, and you must again fetch us a feast as you have tonight. So also 
for the third and fourth nights. When we are then all through, the following day, 
by daylight, we will take you out in the village to dance. You shall be the ones to 
dance that time. As I have said, we are goiug to sing. You may listen, or you may 
join in the singing if you wish. And now, friends, let us begin our singing." Two 
musicians with hand-drums and seven other singers sat in a circle in the rear of the 
lodge, between the semicircle and the two rear main-posts, and began to sing and 
drum. Some of the fathers rose and danced. Finally, the gathering broke up. 
The buyers went back to Wolf-chief's lodge, practised some of the songs heard, and 
at last went home. 

On the second evening the boys assembled with their gifts of food as on the 
previous night, went to the Stone Hammers, and offered them the food as before. 
One of the buyers also offered them a pipe. The sellers told the buyers they might 
dance or siug when the music began, but the boys were too bashful to dance, though 
they sang a little. About four of the fathers danced. When the dancing and 
singing was over, the novices went away to practise the songs as before. 

The following morning Wolf-chief's individual father called him to his lodge, 
showed him how far he had progressed with the manufacture of the stone hammer, 
and feasted him. In the evening the novices feasted their fathers as before. One of 
the latter rose and admonished his group to complete the emblems by the following 
eveniug. Then he asked the buyers to dance to the musicians' singing. Some of the 
fathers themselves danced, and the novices rose to take part until all of them were 
dancing. One of the Stone Hammers said, "Sons, I am glad to see you dance. 
You do very well! That is the way! Do not be afraid or ashamed, but dance!" 
Finally, one of the "friends" said: "You are about to have your stones. These 
Stone HammCTS are yoimg men who are always foimd where they may strike the 
enemy!" The novices went home, and practised the songs nearly all night. 

On the fourth evening the fathers were entertained by their sons as on previous 
nights. The fathers' female relatives brought fuel, and the novices were asked to 
start a fire going. Upon request, the boys came forward, that is, behind the rear 
main-posts of the lodges, facing the musicians, who were now seated in the extreme 
rear in the same semicircle with the other sellers. The novices danced to six songs. 

246 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

all of them at once joining a few fathers who rose to dance. After the dancing the 
owner of the lodge rose and delivered a speech. First he exhorted the sons who had 
individual fathers to pay for their emblems what property they could spare, — a horse 
if possible. Then he pointed out two especially brave Stone Hammers and urged the 
novices to emxilate their example. Turning to his own group, he told them they were 
to give the stone emblems to their sons on the following day, and suggested that 
those who had had visions should tie an object seen in the vision to the stone and pray 
in behalf of their sons. Finally, he requested one of the " friends ^^ to address the 
novices. The "friend'^ told the boys they were to receive the emblems on the next 
day, and urged them to be brave in war. He was followed by a Stone Hammer, 
who again reminded the buyers that tomorrow they would get the stones and own 
the society. He explained the origin of the organization and reminded the women 
present that the yoimg men about to become Stone Hammers would protect them 
against the enemy. " Now, my friends, we will sing again and we will sing more than 
any other night. Thus our sons may learn all the songs thoroughly." Then the 
music and dancing began, the novices at once taking part. The fathers who danced 
recited the war deeds they had performed as Stone Hammers, the implication being 
that the new members were to do likewise. Many songs were sung, and after the 
meeting the boys disbanded without practising as they had done on previous nights. 
The next morning Wolf-chief was called to his father's lodge, made to sit behind 
the fire, and feasted. Then the father showed his son the emblem he had made for 
him. He went to his medicine bimdle, took out an eagle tail feather, and tied it to 
a string. He had had a vision of a man wearing such a feather tied to his scalplock 
in battle and escaping injiuy. This vision he recited to Wolf-chief, telling him that 
if he wore it and prayed in battle he woxild not get hurt. Then he tied the feather to 
Wolf-chief's scalplock. Wolf-chief went home to get special presents to pay for the 
stone emblem and returned with the gifts. The father accepted them, and told 
Wolf-chief to meet the sellers in the afternoon in a certain lodge, where all the buyers 
were to assemble, painted up and in full dress. Wolf-chief returned home, where his 
own father, Small-ankle, instructed him how to paint, though he thought his cere- 
monial father might have done that for him. The other novices all got together and 
were summoned to the sellers' lodge with their new emblems. These were all leaned 
against a rope stretched between the two rear main-posts. The fathers were now 
seated on the left of the door (for one entering) with ten of their older "friends." 
Women gathered on the right. The fathers and novices sang and danced. The 
fathers' "friends" reminded the boys that the Stone Hammers were expected to fight 
the enemy. Then one of the fathers told the novices to go outdoors to dance, and 
warned them that the villagers would pelt them with stones after the close of the 
performance. The novices proceeded in single file, followed by ten fathers in one row, 
the four fathers in the center holding drums. The fathers sang, and the whole 
village looked on. Some of the women wept, thinking that some of the boys would 
soon die in war. In front of one lodge the novices formed a circle, the fathers forming 
another within. The fathers sang and beat drums, and the boys danced. Many 
men urged the boys to be brave. After several songs the procession moved to another 
open space, where the dance was repeated. It was performed in two other places in 
the village, and before the end of the fourth dance, the people got ready to pelt the 
dancers. The fathers moved out of the circle and stepped aside, shouting to the 
novices to run away to their lodge. The novices broke their circle and dashed away 
as fast as possible, while everybody threw sticks and small stones at them. When 

1913.] Lowie^ Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 247 

they reached the lodge, some were bleeding and weeping, though not seriously hurt. 
Most of the fathers entered the lodge, and one of them made a final speech, telling 
the boys that they now owned the society and in war should use the feathers tied 
to their stones. At night he instructed them to enter the lodges of the village and 
steal food. The new members then disbanded, agreeing to meet in Wolf-chief^s 
lodge later on. The boys were too much afraid to steal anything that night and the 
next, but on the third night they stole a little sugar. 

Water-chief, though a Mandan, nevertheless bought the Hidatsa Stone 
Hammer society with Wolf -chief *s group, having been one day summoned 
to join his Hidatsa friends. They collected property in a heap, each one 
contributing his share, which consisted of shirts or blankets. This property 
was carried to the Stone Hammer lodge and deposited before the members. 
A pipe was also placed before them. Then, to quote Water-chief: 

In token of their consenting to sell, the fathers took and smoked the pipe. Then 
they said to us, "We give you this society, we also give you the power to steal. We 
shall pick out whatever clothes of yoiu^ we want for ourselves." They stood up and 
came towards us. One of the fathers approached me and wished to take from me a 
pretty beaded necklace. Being still only a boy, I cried and did not wish to give it 
up. He caught me by the back of the head, made me bend down, and struck me, 
saying, "This is what ought to be done to you if you wish to keep your property." 
Then he pushed me away. " This you must remember when you steal. I am making 
you a good thief." After the surrender of our clothes we went home. 

From Poor-wolf's and Joe Packineau's statements it appears that the 
buyers were at the sellers* mercy, for the latter might stipulate any length 
for the period of entertainment and* always manifested the greatest reluc- 
tance about giving up their membership, protesting that they were very 
much attached to their songs and dances. In order to propitiate the sellers, 
desirable presents were offered, then one of the buyers would rise and say, 
"Fathers, we should like you to cut off so many nights.'' Then some 
father would get up and remit so many nights. The manner in which 
"friendly" groups might aid and abet the purchasing class is illustrated 
by the following story. When Packineau's group bought the Stone Hammer 
membership, one of the sticks with the stone emblem was set in the ground, 
and the buyers were obliged to heap up property four times to the height 
of the stone. In this transaction the buyers were assisted by the Lump- 
woods, the lowest society ranking the sellers. When it seemed impossible 
to reach the mark indicated, the boys, at the suggestion of their Lumpwood 
"friends," threw a bonnet on the pile of goods, thus barely reaching the 
level of the hammer. The Lumpwoods then cried out to the sellers, " Your 
sons are clever!" 

Hairy-coat's group numbered about forty when they bought this society. 
He was the youngest, being only about 14 years old, and the oldest was 17. 

248 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

Each member contributed to the initial gift made to the sellers. Hairy-coat 
gave a robe made from the skin of a yearling buffalo calf, others con- 
tributed arrows and bows, quivers, and guns. My informant cannot recol- 
lect whether anyone paid a horse. His group amassed three piles of goods 
as a compensation for special privileges they desired to exercise in connection 
with the theft of food. In the first place, they wished to knock down the 
person robbed by them if he came to their lodge in anger. Secondly, a 
member thieving in an earth-lodge and finding a naked woman there should 
be permitted to possess her while asleep; if she awoke and held him, how- 
ever, his associates should have to pay a ransom. Thirdly, members 
of the group were to have the right of stealing food not only in the dark, as 
was customary for Stone Hammers, but also in the daytime. 

In practically all the societies the final consummation of the purchase 
was signalized by a parade through the village and a public performance 
of the dance, during which several of the fathers acted as musicians. When 
the Stone Hammers held their first outdoor dance, all the people came to 
see them. The boys formed a circle and began to move clockwise, holding 
their hammer wands in the left hand. Buffalo-bird-woman says that one 
older "friend,'* a member of the Crazy Dog society, joined in the dance. 
Hairy-coat remembers that as he was standing in the circle he noticed that 
the villagers were armed with stones and mud, and he heard someone say, 
''Those boys steal our meat, I want to hit them." He thought this was 
merely an attempt to scare the new members, but at a certain song the spec- 
tators began to pelt- the dancers. These, however, did not run away, but 
continued to dance until the close of the song. While pelted, they held 
their emblems over their shoulders. They learned that the object of this 
custom was to make the dancers strong. 

When the Stone Hammers prepared for a dance, Hairy-coat says, they 
painted their faces with white clay to represent the white stone used for 
their hammer. A few painted one side of the face red to symbolize the sun, 
others used yellow or black paint over the entire face. This looked very 

Though mere boys, the Stone Hammers attempted to distinguish them- 
selves in battle. The words of their war song were: "I am on the earth 
just for a little while,'' that is to say, "When there is a fight, I must die." 
They regarded themselves as of stone and accordingly did not dread the 
enemy. Some struck first coups in battle, and some even acted as war- 
captains. White-buffalo was the bravest Stone Hammer known to Wolf- 
chief. In one encounter he was wounded in the leg and had a horse killed 
under him, but he simply mounted another and rode so close to the enemy 
that this second horse was also killed. Once he led a war party, captured 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 249 

a scalp and struck two coups, but was killed by the enemy. Wolf-chief 
himself took part in war expeditions while a member of this organization. 
The year after he had become a Stone Hammer, he joined in the pursuit 
of two enemies. The Stone Hammers got far ahead of the other Hidatsa. 
A comrade of my informant's shot one of the fugitives, but Wolf-chief him- 
self dismounted and scalped him. When he returned, the people said that 
the young men had earned honor marks. In the second war after Wolf- 
chief's entrance into the society, the enemy, mmibering about 100, attacked 
Ft. Berthold village, but were repelled. Wolf -chief went in pursuit of them 
caught up with one man and shot at him, but missed him. The enemy 
stopped, but Wolf-chief's horse ran on, and he got close to the fugitive lines. 
All of them fired their guns at him. The smoke resembled that from a 
prairie fire. My informant's horse was killed, but the bullets did not touch 
his body. Two years later he again fought some enemies in the Bad Lands, 
struck a coup, and scalped one man. 

As repeatedly indicated above, the licensed theft of food was one of the 
distinctive activities of this organization. In accordance with their origin 
traditions. Wolf-chief and Hairy-coat ascribe the institution of the custom 
to supernatural birds and to the celestial visitors of the Hidatsa, respectively. 
Before the stealing could take place, it was necessary that public announce- 
ment be made, so that the villagers could hide their food. After the proc- 
lamation had been made, the young men ran to their lodge, i>elted with 
earth by the people of the village. There were generally boys in each 
household who betrayed the secret of the hiding-place. Moreover, the 
Stone Hammers possessed the mysterious power of casting a deep sleep 
over the persons robbed, so that their presence generally remained un- 
detected. In some cases, a spy might report that a woman had dug a pit 
in the ground for her food, covered it with a board, and lain down to sleep 
on it, so that it seemed impossible to steal the food. Then the boys would 
go to the lodge, lift the woman from the board, steal her provisions, and 
still escape unnoticed. Usually the people who were robbed did not dis- 
cover the theft until the following morning, when they looked up at the 
smokehole or went outdoors and found hanging there a parfleche emptied 
of its contents, but often filled with moccasins or some other compensatory 
gift. It is necessary to note that only food was stolen; even the food 
receptacles, as just stated, were not taken away. When preparing for these 
expeditions, the thieves tied all their hair in front and painted their faces 
yellow or black. If a Stone Hammer anticipated difficulty in the under- 
taking he painted on his face the symbols of the star and new-moon marked 
on his society emblem, and duplicated the incised marks representing the 
sun by drawing lines obliquely from the forehead across his face. 

250 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XT^ 

In order to enter an earth-lodge, a Stone Hammer either removed a 
part of the porch, or was lowered in a basket through the smokehole. In 
the latter case, if the inmates of the lodge were found, stirring, the thief 
merely jerked the rope and was inmiediately raised out of danger. By 
the same device the thief might have the stolen provisions raised in install- 
ments before finally making his exit in the same manner. If by some chance 
a thief was caught, a heavy ransom had to be paid for his release. On the 
other hand, if people detected their loss only the next day, they merely 
laughed and showed no resentment. 

After executing thefts in various earth-lodges, the thieves met, cooked 
the purloined food, ate it, and returned to their homes before daybreak. 

Sometimes a man would voluntarily bring meat to the Stone Hammers,, 
saying, "You are brave young men; I am bringing you dried meat for your 

Water-chief gave the following, rather realistic picture of a thieving- 

After the completion of the purchase we marched through the village, and made 
this annoimcement: ''We are going to steal to-night. Hide your parfleches!" 
We went about, repeating the words of this song many times. Finally we returned 
to our lodge. One of the older members spoke to us as follows: "Gro in pairs, all of 
you!" I selected Woimded-face for my partner. We went together to the village 
and saw light in one of the earth-lodges. As soon as we got to the door, we looked in 
and saw a woman making bread. We said, ''We'll try to steal that, it has a pleasant 
smell." We watched all night. When done, the woman put her bread into a dish- 
pan, placed it inside a box, and hid it. We noted the place. "Friend," said I, 
"we shall surely get it." She covered the box with a dry skin and put some heavy 
object inside. We saw all her attempts at hiding the food. We ran off some little 
distance to watch the smoke-hole in order to see when the fire would be out. Then 
we returned. Woimded-face removed a log far enough for me to crawl in (for I was 
still small) , then I entered. As soon as I was inside, he called me back, and whispered, 
"Unbar the door!" I did so. Wounded-face continued, "Be careful, go very 
slowly, or they will catch us." I went ahead; at every step I heard my arms and 
leg-joints creaking. I raised the bar with a noise. "Be careful, grasp it at the 
bottom, and lift," said my partner. I obeyed. Wounded-face entered, and both 
of us advanced towards the food. Our bones were creaking. We proceeded very 
quietly along the edge of the earth-lodge. Part of the way I took the lead, imtil we 
got to the biscuit box. We were in a hurry to get the food. I raised the hides, and 
reached down for the biscuits. The top one I gave to Woimded-face, who began 
eating it then and there. He found that it was as yet uncooked. The flour covered 
his mouth and breast with white. He said to me, "You run faster than I, take the 
pan, I'll lift the door and give you a sign when I am ready, then you must nm out."^ 
So I got ready, raised the cover, and lifted the bread. When I had done that, I 
pushed the cover off, no longer caring what noise I made, and ran off. I ran towards 
the river. Wounded-face said, "Run hard! If they catch us, they will take away 
all our clothes." So we ran hard, and reached the river. We jumped from the 

1913.] Lovrief Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 251 

bank into the water and waded along the bank for a while, then we climbed up a hill 
and continued to run. We got back to the lodge of the society. Each pair of 
members had stolen something, — sugar, dried meat, or other provisions. After 
the feast, towards daylight, we went home. 

The following morning the owner of the lodge I had stolen from summoned me 
to his home. Though I was afraid, I went. When I arrived, I looked aroimd and 
saw Wounded-face already seated there. I sat down near him, expecting to be 
questioned regarding the meat. Our host gave us each a platter with food. When 
we had eaten, he filled a pipe for us. When we had smoked, he said nothing, and I 
thought that he was not going to reproach us for the theft. All three of us smoked, 
laughing and talking at the same time. I was glad at his not making mention of the 
last night's doings. But when we had done smoking, I knew he was going to ask us 
about the stolen food, and got frightened again. At last he said, "Last night some- 
one stole all our baked biscuits. You are my friends, perhaps your society did this, 
and I wish you to tell me who were the thieves." I did not answer, but Woimded- 
face, pointing at our host, said, "You are not acting as you should. You ought to 
say to your wife, 'Give these boys some biscuits and coffee.' Yet you did not say so. 
I know you can afford to entertain us in this way: it would not kill you at all." 
"Very well," said our host, "I am very glad, my younger brothers, that you tell me 
what I ought to do. The matter is settled now. You must not have any bad feel- 
ing against me." Then we went from the lodge, and thereafter no longer were 
afraid of the man whose meat we had stolen. 

In Wolf-chiefs group White-buffalo was the best thief. He would 
enter any earth-lodge, and, guided by his sense of smell, could detect the 
hidden meat or other food. Wolf -chief was too nervous to make a good 
thief; his heart began to palpitate and the joints of his legs creaked when 
Drum tried to teach him to steal. Drum thought there was some good meat 
in Big-black's lodge. Accordingly they went thither and entered by remov- 
ing a log behind the entrance passageway. Drum bade Wolf-chief walk on 
tiptoe around one side of the circle of posts, and himself walked round the 
other side. Touching the posts, my informant had gone about halfway 
when he came to a basket. Wishing to seize it, he upset a number of tin 
cups belonging to the Dog society, which came toppling down with a crash. 
All the inmates of the lodge woke up and said, "Oh, there are thieves in 
here!" Wolf -chief ran about in the dark, unable to find the exit and pur- 
sued by the people. Drum showed him where the door was and both suc- 
ceeded in making their escape. Drum made fun of Wolf-chief for not 
knowing how to steal. 

252 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

Hot Dancers. 

Maximilian identifies the Hot dancers (ba tsawe') with the Stone Ham- 
mers. This view was not confirmed by my informants, who stated that the 
membership was bought as in the military societies, but did not assign to 
the organization a definite place in the Hidatsa series. According to the 
Prince, the ceremony resembled that of the Mandan (see p. 308) in that the 
performers danced barefoot on glowing embers and took out meat from a 
pot of boiling water. The hands, as well as a part of the forearms and the 
feet, were painted red. 

MaximiUan (II, 144) says that the Hidatsa obtained the dance by 
purchase from the Arikara — a statement corroborated by Hairy-coat 
but denied by others who regard the dance as indigenous. According to 
Wolf -chief, an Hidatsa going to receive a vision saw a raven singing and 
dancing. He noticed the feathers on the raven's back. He saw the raven 
go forward, put his bill into the vessel, and take it out again. On another 
night he saw many people dancing in a lodge. The dancers had a raven- 
skin tied to the back of their belts. A kettle of boiling water was to be 
seen over a fire. Each dancer, in turn, put his hand into the kettle, and, 
when he got back, a certain man seemed to rub something on his hands. 
This man knew what kind of a weed to grow for medicine that would pre- 
vent injury. He chewed some of the medicine, and spat it on the per- 
formers' arms. Flat sticks with honor marks were raised aloft in dancing. 

Hairy-coat says that all the Hot dancers painted themselves with red, 
yellow or black colors. At the back of the head they wore an ornament 
composed of two eagle feathers and owl wing-feathers. The lower part of 
the face was painted black, while the upper part might be painted according 
to each dancer's wishes. One or two oblique bars across the face symbolized 
the striking of enemies. If the upper portion of the face had been decorated 
with yellow paint, these bars were in red, otherwise in black. 

There were five oflScers. The two head men sat in the center; one of 
them was painted red, and the other yellow. The latter had a red lightning^ 
line on both legs, both arms, and across the chest. Both head men painted 
their bodies with a red sun in front and a red new-moon in the back. A 
third man, partly painted with black, acted as food-distributor. He had a 
red star on his breast and a green new-moon on his back, the rest of which 
was daubed yellow. Two other oflScers, also decorated with lightning lines 
and a moon design, bore pipes. When the members ate together, the 
oflScers were the first to be served. Buffalo-bird-woman says that two meu 
wore raven-skins in the back. 

1913.] Lome, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 253 

When a dance was held, a big fire was built and slices of half-dried meat 
were boiled in a kettle suspended over it. A hide scraped clear of hair was 
stretched out flat behind the fire. The officer who was painted black 
came to the fireplace, chewed some medicine, and spat it first on his hands, 
and then into the kettle. Then he plunged his hand into the vessel, ex- 
tracted a piece of meat, and threw it on the hide. The other members 
followed suit until all the meat had been taken out. No one ever burned 
his fingers. By way of joking a man sometimes put a piece of hot meat 
on a friend's back, for he knew the medicine would prevent scalding. 

When they wished to smoke, one pipe-bearer went upon the roof and 
began to sing, facing south, while someone inside was beating a drum. At 
the close of his song, the pipe-bearer went towards the west, raised his pipe 
and again began to sing. He repeated the performance on the north, and 
finally on the east, side of the roof, then descended, and passed the pipe to 
the other pipe-carrier, whereupon he began to dance round the fireplace. 
One of the head men knocked off the charred part of a burned stick, chewed 
medicine, picked up the hot charcoal with his mouth and approached his 
friend, who lit the pipe with the charcoal. Then the head man replaced 
the charcoal near the fire. This performance was also undergone by the 
second pipe-bearer. Finally, smoke was given to the chiefs.^ 

In dancing, members advanced the left foot and sometimes raised the 
right hand as if to strike the kettle. 

For the words of one song Wolf-chief gives the following: 

" ba tsawe' ciwo' mi hi'ts." 
"Hot [One] has come to me.'' 

Wolf-chief thinks this dance may possibly be identical with the Grass 
dance, or that they are only different variations of the same performance; 
the raising of the sticks and the songs seem to him noteworthy similarities. 
According to the same informant, two causes operated to make the dance 
obsolete: the smallpox, which destroyed many of the members, and the 
fact that there were only two songs, so that the people soon tired of the 

KiT-Fox Society. 

MaximiUan merely informs us that the members of the Kit-Fox society 
(i'Exoxka) i'ke' when parading, wore otter and wolf skins. Hairy-coat — 
himself never a member — says that all the Kit-Foxes wore kilts similar 

i It is not clear, which of the officers are referred to here. 

254 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

to those of the Bull society, edged with eagle feathers and decorated with 
three kit-fox skins, one in the rear and one on either side. This kit-fox deco- 
ration he actually saw on but one member, but Bear- 
looks, who had initiated my informant's brother, said 
that all might use it. Tlie body was painted yellow 
or pink. All members apparently wore a rawhide 
(or cloth) head band decorated with a nimiber of kit- 
fox jaws sometimes painted yellow and green; jaws 
placed in juxtaposition faced each other. This head 
band does not seem to differ from that in use among 
the Mandan (Fig. 17). These head bands may have 
been considered sacred to some extent, for Wolf-chief 
says that smoke was offered to them. Hairy-coat 
mentions a necklace made of the whole skin of a 
raven, the bill and tail being tied together. At one 
time it seems that the Kit-Foxes shaved off their 
hair on the sides so as to leave a central roach and 
one lock in the front, but one informant limits this 
practice to but two members, while others speak of 
individual variations in the decoration of the hair. 
Thus, Hairy-coat's half-brother merely imitated the 
roach effect with a buffalo mane; those making this 
substitution combed their hair back stiff. When the 
hair was cut, the shaved portions of the head were 
daubed on one side with red paint and on the other 
with yellow paint, and in this case, according to 
Hairy-coat, the members wore ear ornaments of 
dragon-fly shape. Another informant states that the 
shaved parts were plastered with white clay and 
yellow paint. Small tufts of hair and the perforated 
spindle-shaped ornaments known as "hair-pipes" 
hung down over the fox-jaw head band. At the back 
of the head some members wore a bunch of feathers 
colored red. 

According to Poor-wolf, there were two rattlers, 
two men with hooked spears wrapped with otterskin, 
and a single officer bearing a spear wrapped with 
wolfskin. Wolf-chief mentions but one hooked spear 
officer, but adds two officers with straight sticks. 
Fig. 4 (50.1-4319). Hairy-coat is the only one to speak of two spear-bows 
Length, 184 cm. * similar to those of the Half-Shaved Heads; he had 

1913.] Lowie, Hidaisa and Mandan Societies. 255 

never purchased the Kit-Fox society and is thus more liable to err than 
other informants on the subject of this organization. Fig. 4 shows a 
hooked stick wrapped with wolfskin, which is said to have belonged to 
Packs-wolf's brother. More recently it had been used by a woman in a 
dance, introduced among the Hidatsa by the Dakota. 

In battle the hooked-stick men would sing a certain song as an indi- 
cation of their next move, namely, the planting of their emblems into the 
ground. The rank and file then prepared to aid them, for regardless of 
danger these officers were not supposed to flee from the enemy unless their 
spears were plucked out by a fellow-tribesman. 

The order in which these oflScers marched relatively to one another and 
the privates during a public procession was fairly definite, though it is 
given somewhat differently by the several informants. 

According to Wolf-chief, the Kit-Foxes marched two abreast, with the 
exception of a trio in the rear and the officer bearing the hooked spear 
wrapped with otterskin, who walked in the center, by himself. At the 
head of the procession walked the officer carrying the hooked-stick wrapped 
with wolfskin, accompanied by one of the rattlers. At the end of the line 
were the two straight-staff bearers, and apparently beside them the second 
rattler. Poor-wolf put the wolf-stick bearer in the center, and the two 
rattlers behind and before the two otter-stick officers respectively. On the 
other hand. Hairy-coat confirms Wolf-chief*s statement as to the leader, 
but speaks of a hooked-stick officer in the rear. 

The rattles were originally made of rawhide, but in Wolf-chief's day 
they were made of tin cans, enclosing stones and decorated with horse-tails 
attached to the top of the handle, which projected above the can. 

The bent staff (miraracku'pe) borne by Wolf -chief 's leader was hooked 
at the top, wrapped with wolfskin, and decorated at four points with pairs 
of wolfskin strips, — one pair at the end of the hook and the others at 
points on the shaft. The upper half of the stick was painted red. The 
hooked otterskin-stick seems to have been quite similar save for the sub- 
stitution of otterskin at corresponding points. The straight staffs are de- 
scribed as long, wrapped with black and red cloth, and decorated at the top 
with two erect eagle feathers. The otterskin on the staffs represented the 
otter's activity, and the wolfskin the strength of the wolf as an enemy, the 
red paint on the stick symbolizing the blood of his prey. Whoever owned 
this stick had good luck in counting coup on the enemy. 

Like the head bands of the privates, the oflScers' regalia were in some 
measure regarded as sacred; at feasts the members, after offering food to 
the north, also made offerings to the hooked-sticks and other emblems 

256 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

Normally the Kit-Fox society was bought by a group of young men after 
the Stone Hammer society and before the Lumpwood membership. This, 
however, was not necessarily the case. Thus, Poor-wolf, for some reason 
never joined the Kit-Fox society, and mention has already been made of a 
case where the exorbitant demands of the selling group induced the prospec- 
tive buyers to obtain the membership of an ordinarily higher organization 
(p. 233). After the smallpox, Hairy-coat states, there was but a single 
survivor belonging to the Kit-Fox society, named Bear-looks, and the 
organization would have fallen into desuetude had not the members of the 
informant's half-brother's group purchased the membership from Bear-looks. 
Here, then, the continuation of the society was hanging by a thread; and 
it may readily be imagined that previous to white influence warfare some- 
times produced similar results and completely wiped out a society from its 
place in the series. 

The fact that in the last-mentioned case there was but a single seller did 
not interfere with the essentials of the customary purchase proceedings. 
The purchasers piled up property for Bear-looks as an initial payment, and 
Bear-looks instructed them in the appropriate songs and dances. He was a 
good singer and was in the habit of beating not the drumhead but the drum 
hoop. He got the assistance of other people, — presumably for preparing 
the regalia for his sons. While putting the wolfskin on the leader's staff, 
he sang this song, which an officer was expected to sing in planting his 
emblem in the ground: — 

"Iwara'kic maha'*kuts. hi'ro' ware' ta wits." 

"I shall stay here (live) but a little while. Right here I will stay.^' 

Another song was sung in putting on the otterskin : — 

"i'Exoxkao, mi i'riwawa'h^rek ce ici'Ets, hiro' ware' tats." 
"Foxes, myself if I want to save that is bad, hence I will not go." 

In teaching the boys to dance, the old man sang as follows: — 

"awa'haca waki' wawa'hets." 

"Scattered I lie I wish," i. e. "I wish to lie with my bones 


Another song was of the same type: — 

"batsete i'ruts bare'wits." 

"A man should die, I will go." 

Still another song is of quite a different character: — 

"na'kirahe ici'skatits, bare'wits." 

"Your husband is very bad, I'll go (away with you)." 

1913.] Ijotvie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 257 

Poor-wolf gave a somewhat fuller account of the purchase transactions. 
While he and his comrades were Stone Hammers, their fathers acquired the 
Lumpwood membership. Accordingly, the Stone Hammers went to them, 
and asked for how much property they would sell the Kit-Fox society. 
They replied, " You boys must gather together property, and we shall then 
tell you whether you have heaped up enough for buying the Kit Fox society. 
The younger men went back, and collected plenty of calicoes, shirts and the 
like. One day, when a great amount had been amassed, they took it over 
to their lodge. Then one of the Foxes inspected the pile and said it was 
about large enough. Accordingly, the Foxes consented to sell. For four 
nights the sons feasted their fathers and learned their songs. On the fourth 
night the fathers decided which of the sons were to become officers, for they 
knew which were the bravest warriors and also the best singers. The offi- 
cers-elect presented horses to their fathers. Sometimes an officer elected 
in this way was slain in battle. In this case the successor was appointed 
by the society, and he was not expected to pay for getting the position. 
On the final day of purchase, the Foxes paraded about the village, followed 
by the fathers who sang for them. The members marched at a very rapid 
pace. As Hairy-coat put it, "They trotted like kit-foxes.'' Whenever 
they desired to halt, the leaders turned to form a circle. The fathers went 
into the center of the circle with their hand-drums, and the Foxes danced 
to their songs. For this occasion the members were arrayed in their best 
clothes and wore switches. A few had fox-jaw head bands; some used red 
paint, others yellow paint. As they stood there, their relatives piled up 
presents for each one in recognition of their bravery in fighting the enemy. 
These gifts were turned over to the fathers in the center of the circle. At 
four of these halting-places the Foxes performed their dance, then they 
returned to their lodge. On their return the fathers gave them a drum, as 
well as further instruction in singing. They said, " We have done with 
this society, it is yours.'' There were about thirty young men who bought 
the society with Wolf-chief, who was then 26 years old. They continued 
performing the Fox dance until they became acquainted with the Grass 
dance; then they gave it up, because they preferred the new dance. How- 
ever, Wolf-chief still considers himself a Kit-Fox, because the membership 
was never purchased of him. 

An account given by the same informant a year later expands but also 
contradicts his previous utterances on some points. In the latter narrative 
he states that all the kettles of food provided by the purchasers in enter- 
tainment of the sellers were given collectively and distributed by the sellers 
among themselves. The regalia were not made by the fathers, but by the 
buyers themselves, and it was the latter that appointed officers according to 

258 ArUhropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

their bravery. If one of the men named declined the office, another was 
asked to take it. Those who accepted the position responded, suggesting, 
but without expressly stating, that they should have to be brave. Thus, 
Foolish-crow took one of the sticks, saying, " I think I must die some time.*' 
Wolf-chief, in taking one of the rattles, remarked, " Well, I like to sing any- 
way; I do not know whether I shall die in battle.'* Buffalo-paunch in 
taking the stick wrapp)ed with otterskin, said, "I do not know whether I 
shall strike an enemy, but at all events I like to have the stick." Lame- 
bull took one of the straight sticks and said, " This feathered stick looks well, 
it will help me with the girls." The rattlers had four songs, the hooked- 
staff officers each had one, but the straight-staff bearers did not have a 
distinctive song. 

As already stated, certain officers were under special obligations to act 
bravely in the face of the enemy, which duties are also indicated in the 
words of their songs (see p*. 256). All the Kit-Foxes, however, strove to 
distinguish themselves and to rescue comrades exposed to danger. This 
feature is illustrated by the following statements. 

A Fox bearing the otter-lance once charged against the Sioux, who were 
entrenched behind breastworks, and was killed after lancing one enemy. 
Another Fox rushed in, and saved the lance. When the Indians returned, 
they marveled at the slain man's bravery, and mourned his loss. His 
friends mourned, but after a while they prepared a great feast, and desired 
someone to take his place. Old men were summoned to a council. Half- 
fat was present. The dead warrior's lance was stuck in the ground. Before 
the assembly had had an opportunity to discuss the matter, Half-fat gave 
the war-whoop several times, and seized the spear. Half -fat joined the next 
war party. They located a large Sioux camp, and prepared to make a 
charge in the daytime. Half-fat was carrying the first spear, and took off 
its case (?). He had his hair shaved and dressed; feathers were tied to 
his hips, and the fox-jaw head band encircled his forehead. He rubbed 
wetted yellow paint over his hair, and daubed red paint in between. When 
he was ready, he sang his war song. All his comrades began to cry, as they 
expected to lose him. They charged at daybreak. Half-fat approached 
the enemy, planted his lance in the ground, and would not move. The 
Sioux whipped him till his face was bleeding. Then another Fox, named 
Fur-on-his-homs, made a dash against the Sioux, plucked out Half-fat's 
lance, and ran back to his own lines, followed by Half-fat. Later Half-fat 
charged against the Sioux breastworks, and again stuck his spear into the 
ground. The enemy shot him in the head; he was killed, and toppled down. 
Half-fat's war song was ever since kept by the society. In another fight, 
a Fox riding the same horse with his father-in-law noticed that some Hidatsa 

1913.] LowiCt Hidaisa and Mandan Societies. 259 

warriors had been hurt by the Sioux, and immediately started back again to 
face the enemy. 

In the winter the Foxes danced in their lodge, in the summer they went 
outdoors. On some evenings, when they had gathered in the lodge for a 
feast, they allowed old people to join in the repast. These guests were wont 
to call up members by name, and say, "You have a great many enemies. 
You will not live long, but try to be men." 


This society is called by Maximilian "die Bande der grossen Sabel, 
la bande des grands sabres" and forms the second in his series of Hidatsa 
age-societies. In dancing they carried sabres in their hands, from which 
fact MaximiUan argued that the organization was probably of recent 

The translation of the native name of this society, miraxVci was for a 
time involved in considerable doubt. My interpreters at first translated 
it " baskets," which would coincide with that of the third society in one of 
Clark's two lists of Arikara organizations.^ I, however, felt confident from 
the similarity with the Crow maraxi'ce that the meanmg was "Lumpwood," 
which is also that obtained by Curtis.^ Further questioning seemed to me 
to establish the correctness of this rendering beyond doubt. Wolf-chief 
remarked that this society was in existence before the separation of the Crow 
and Hidatsa, and his sister said it had been introduced by the Crow. It 
must not be assumed, however, that the Limipwood organizations of the 
two tribes bear a very close resemblance to each other. In particular, one 
trait highly characteristic of the Crow society is lacking in its Hidatsa 
counterpart. Poor-wolf, as well as other Hidatsa, knew of the Crow mara- 
xi'ce custom of stealing wives (see p. 169), but said that it was never 
practised by the Hidatsa. It was at one time suggested to introduce the 
custom, but the old men vetoed the proposal. 

Hairy-coat says that one day long ago the people in a village were hungry. 
Two young men went out to get a vision. The miraxVci society was re- 
vealed to them by buffaloes in human shape, bearing the emblems described 
below. The buffaloes instructed the young men how to dance and sing, 
and bade them unite all the boys of their age in order to instruct them in 

1 Maximilian, ii, 217. 

2 Clark, 355. The Hidatsa word for "basket" is however differently accented: mira" 

» Curtis, IV, 182. 

260 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

turn. On such occasions, they prophesied, it would always rain for a short 
time, and as a matter of fact Hairy-coat declares that in his day it always 
began to rain a little whenever the Lumpwoods beat their drum. The 
visionaries were informed that the flat-board was to be used in striking 
enemies. In addition to the buffaloes the young men also saw birds in a 
tree and their nest; the latter is represented by the drum of the organiza- 
tion, and many miraxi'd songs belong to the birds. When the animals 
that appeared to the visionaries had done instructing them, some rose into 
the air as birds, others turned into buffaloes, bears, or snakes. 

The close association with the buffalo indicated in this origin tradition 
persisted in later times. Poor-wolf says that the Lumpwoods were wont to 
pray to the buffalo for good luck and constructed pens into which they 
Avould drive the buffalo. Wolf-chief and his sister mention one of their 
^ancestors. Yellow-horse, who went out on the prairie to fast. His knobbed 
'(" lumpy '0 miraxi'd stick, which Lumpwoods took with them in their 
<iuests for supernatural power, revealed four songs to him, by means of 
which he was able to lure buffalo into a pen. These songs were inherited 
in the maternal line. Wolf-chief himself used some of them in the chase. 
In organizing a buffalo hunt. Yellow-horse had the young men pile up stones, 
and then bade them chase the game toward a steep bluff, while he himself 
sang his mystery songs to entice the buffalo where he wanted them. The 
buffalo were chased down the cliff. When the people got there. Yellow- 
horse said to them, " Do not go near, I want my wife to come here.'* When 
his wife arrived he bade her jump on top of the buffalo and then come back. 
She said she thought it was too dangerous, but when he insisted she obeyed. 
Some of the buffalo were still alive, one of them being an albino. Neverthe- 
less, she came back safe. The people thought Yellow-horse had great 
power. They had killed a great number of buffalo. They piled up meat, 
and built a lodge there. Hence the name " Horse-pound Point " was given 
to a spot near Ft. Berthold. 

The rank and file carried as emblems of the society unknobbed sticks 
(mir'E i tawatu') with representations of animal faces. These common 
sticks did not necessarily represent buffalo. The last of the men carrying 
a stick of this sort had on it a representation of a bear, and he was supposed 
to be slow in his movements. However, if the Hidatsa had surrounded an 
enemy and were afraid to approach him as he stood at bay, this officer was 
expected to advance against him. At the end of each stick there was a 
tail, above which the Lumpwoods tied some medicine "belonging to the 
buffalo,'' called aHvfreehe which was used for incense and from the descrip- 
tion may have been identical with the Is'e' root of the Crow. One of the 
sticks, borne by an officer marching in the center of the field during a parade. 

1913.1 Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandati Socieliee. 261 

had a protuberance at one end, from which the society probably derived 
its name and which represented a buffalo head (Fig. 5), 

At the back of the head each member wore an ornament made of weasel- 
skin strips, called i tuwara'xawi, which was decorated with beads or horn- 
shells. All Lumpwoods also wore crowns of bear-gut; at the tying place, 
on the right side, two hawk feathers were attached. 

Certain individual variations in costume were due to the membera' 
visions. Thus Hairy-coat, having had a revelation from a buffalo, painted 
a large horn on the back of his robe, the point being directed towards the 
right. For similar reasons some used wooden whistles, though according 

to another statement all such whistles were obtained from a single Lump- 
wood who had received a vision from an elk. Slight changes were also 
prompted without special reason. For example, at the time of Hairy- 
coat's purchase white eagle feathers were tied to the wooden emblems 
for embellishment. Probably the decoration of switches with the entire 
skins of small hawks and other birds (Hairy-coat) is likewise in no way 
essentially connected with the Lumpwood society. 

There were two officers carrying flat-boards (mirixa'pi), one leading the 
procession, the other in the rear. Amodelof a flat-board, made by Butterfly 
and approved by Hairy-coat is shown in Fig. 6. Hairy-coat says that the 
projecting comer of the flat-board represents a buffalo hooking with one 
horn, and the entire board a buffalo. One side of the board was painted 

262 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. .Vol. XI, 

red, the other yellow. On the red side four pairs of slanting black Hnes 
represented honor marks, and the other side was similarly decorated; 
according to Butterfly, the X-shaped figure in the model, as well as the ob- 
lique lines, denote the striking of an enemy, while the angular horsetrack 
represents a stolen horse. The grip of these boards is said to have been 
wrapped with buckskin, to which a dry buffalo tail was attached. Little 
clusters of beaver claws and hoofs of young buffalo were secured to the board, 
which was also perforated at intervals for the attachment of buckskin 
strips decorated with eagle feathers. The leader wore moccasins, the heel 

Fig. 6 (50.1-6008). FlBt-bO&rd of BidatBa Lumpwood Society. Length, 7S cm. 

and the outside of which, on the inner side of the foot, were painted red to 
symbolize the enemy's blood. Near the ankle a wolf-tail was tied to th& 
moccasin ; at the near end this tail was wrapped with red cloth and buckskin, 
while at the other end shortened raven wing-feathers were attached. As 
the ra\'en wings represented a scalp, only men who had scalped an enemy 
were pri\-ileged to use them for decoration; a man who had caught an 
enemy with his hands might both use the raven feathers and redden his 
moccasins. The leggings ^ were of tanned antelope skin dressed without 
the hair. Both sides were fringed and decorated with gull-wing quill work 
in blue or yellow patterns. A band of rawhide about two fingers in breadth, 
similarly decorated, was tied round the knee. A breechclout was worn, 
and to the left side of the belt there was attached a bunch of bison taib cut 
short at the bottom and hanging down to the muscle of the lower leg. 

1 It la not clear nhelher the folloiting Etittements of the p&ragniph were meant to refer 
odI; to the two offlcers or to the members geaerally. 

1913.) Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 263 

Four officers carried bow-apeara, the heads of which represented __a 
buffalo's sharp horns. One of the bow-spears was double-headed and repre- 
sented a young bull moving quickly in a fight; it 
was borne by the drum-carrier. In marching the 
officers always bore their bow-spears in the left 
hand, so that the spear point slanted toward the 
right. The bow was about 6 feet in length, painted 
a light pink, bent in the center and at the top, and 
supported a slanting spear head of sheet iron. The 
square bottom of the head was fixed in the spUt end 
of the bow. by means of buckskin string and was cut 
into four times on each side, an additional oblique 
cut being made on each side. The incisions thus 
produced were intended to lacerate an enemy. Both 
sides of the spear head were partly filed and then 
subjected to fire, which turned the filed sections 
blue, then the remaining portions were painted pink 
or light blue. Hairy-coat painted the four inches 
at the tip of his spear head red in order to show 
that he had struck an enemy. His bow was decora- 
ted on both sides with an incised, uncolored lightning 
line. The bow had glued to it several fleshed birds 
and parts of birds — bluebirds, red woodpeckers, 
ducks, etc. — and was decorated with bunches of 
feathers. The bowstring was of the kind of thread 
used for snares and supported a number of fine 
eagle plumes disposed at intervals along its length. 
A model of the type of bow used by this society is 
shown in Fig. 7. 

Six officers not referred to by any other inform- 
ants are mentioned by Butterfly. Two of them bore 
hooked staffs, and two of them straight-staffs. The 
hooked-staffs are described as wrapped with otter- 
skin and decorated with feathers and strips of skin 
like those of the Fox organization. The straight- 
staffs were wrapped with wolfskin, and had eagle 
feathers at the top; the upper half was painted red. 
Two whippers {i'ki aku^e) had quirts, occasionally 
wrapped with foxskin; when young men, instead of 
dancing, remained together near the center of the 
lodge, these officers whipped them into taking part ^s. ^ <50.i-4353>. 

. . i_ J Bqw-spear of Lumpwood 

m the dunce. s„„;^ L™,ih.iS7cm. 

264 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

Probably officers became such automatically at the time of purchase, 
that is, through the fact that their individual fathers had owned the appro- 
priate regalia. Thus, Hairy-coat received a bow-spear from the clan 
father he had selected for his special father. If a vacancy occurred through 
death, someone said, "Our friend has died, I wish one of you to take his 
bow-spear *' (or other emblem) . Then the emblem was passed from member 
to member until some one man offered to keep it. 

Hairy-coat was about 23 or 24 years old when his group bought the 
miraxVci membership. This agrees fairly well with the statements of other 
informants with the exception of Poor-wolf, who said that the buyers 
were middle-aged men. Poor-wolf, however, never belonged to the society, 
and his remark is refuted even for the period of his youth by Maximilian's 
statement that the Lumpwoods were boys of fourteen or fifteen. 

Moreover, Poor-wolf undoubtedly errs in denying that the Lumpwoods 
bought the organization from a group of fathers. Thus, Hairy-coat says 
that while some of his associates contributed horses to the initial payment, 
he himself gave a horse only to his individual father; that the fathers were 
feasted in. the usual way; that the buyers offered them their wives; and that 
the sellers provided their sons and their sons* wives with clothing. During 
a public performance there were four halts in the village, and while the 
members stood up, the fathers sat down within the circle, facing southwest. 
Butterfly's account is more specific. According to this informant, the 
prospective buyers brought property to the sellers, and filled a pipe for 
them. Two leaders, who, however, were not regarded as officers, decided 
whether the membership should be sold. Then the fathers also determined 
the number of nights on which they should be entertained. Usually about 
ten nights were fixed upon, on each of which the buyers all supplied their 
fathers with kettlefuls of cooked food. A few of the sons moreover offered 
their wives to their fathers. On the last morning a buyer went to his 
father, bringing him a horse, and saying, " Father, I wish to take your place 
now." Then the father replied, " Very well, bring your wife here.'* When 
the wife had arrived, the father prayed in behalf of both husband and wife. 
Then he opened up his medicine bundle, took out some. object seen in a 
vision by himself, and burnt incense. He raised the image over the smoke, 
and sometimes he sang. Addressing the sacred object, he requested it to 
preserve his son from danger. Besides, he furnished both his son and his 
son's wife with complete suits of clothing. In the afternoon of the same day 
the new members paraded around the village. The order in which the 
Lumpwoods marched on this occasion was as follows (Hairy -coat). The 
leader carried a flat-board and was followed by the first bow-spear officer; 
next there were a number of privates bearing their sticks; behind whom 
marched the second bow-spear bearer; after some more of the rank and file, 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 265 

in the middle of the procession, came the owner of the knobbed stick, fol- 
lowed by ordinary members; then there came the third bow-si>ear officer, 
with a number of ordinary Lumpwoods, followed by the member with the 
bear-face emblem; the drum carrier with the double-headed spear; and 
finally the second flat-board officer brought up the rear. The Lumpwoods 
marched in single file and were supposed thus to represent a procession of 
the buffalo. As Butterfly adds several officers to the list given by other 
informants, he also makes some additional remarks on their position in the 
line. He places his first hooked-staff bearer directly behind the leader; 
the straight-staff bearers and the second hooked-staff officer might occupy 
any position they pleased. 

The new members were followed by some of the fathers, who were to 
act as singers on this occasion and formed a single file of their own. As 
soon as the leader of the Lumpwood line turned to form a circle, the singers 
took their places inside with their hand-drums. In recent times white 
I>eople residing near the Agency then brought gifts of paint, kerchiefs, and 
looking-glasses. The relatives of the dancers also brought property, which 
was turned over to the fathers. After returning to their lodge, the members 
danced there. 

With the other organizations the Lumpwoods shared the military 
and the courting features, both of which found expression in their songs. 
The following song was sung during nightly serenades, on which occasions 
women joined the members: — 

" mi'Ekua'kape ta'ruca bare'wits.'* 
" My sweetheart he is not, still I will go. 

Buffalo-bird-woman remembers the following words, sung on similar 
occasions: " She may be sleeping, but still she is laughing." Another song, 
somewhat obscurely worded, represents a woman speaking to the hus- 
band she is deserting in favor of her lover: — 

"di wa tawapiwa + i'c, kowi'hirets bare'wits." 

"You are my day, it will be no more, I will go." 

The follo\^nng song is connected with the vision of a member whose suit 
had been spumed by a young woman: — 

"maro'ka ku'opikaca i'topa, waci Eraha'c 'tate', 

"Elk young buck with four (teeth), thus he said, 'Father, 

biri'kiku'ore, tate' ! '' 
you hear me. Father.' " 

As a dance song Hairy-coat recited the following: — 

" mi'reca wawaki'E mama'hak, ma'ro oha'wika tits." 
"MyseK I fight I want, I am very tired." 

266 ArUhropfAogiad Papera American Museum of Xatural History. [Vol. XI, 

Danct*s were frequently held in Hair\'-coat*s lodge. There the wooden 
emblems were hung up in a bunch. Once, while the Hidatsa were away, 
the enemy came, burned the \-illage, and stole the emblems. Hairy-coat 
found ten of them on the enemv-'s trail. 

Pa^.'ks-wolf says that, while dancing, members put their arms behind 
them, letting their hands rest on the rump. According to Hairy-coat, 
there was a preliminary dance within the lodge before the Lumpwoods 
marched out into the village. At first only the members participated. At 
the end of each song the members raised aloft whatever insignia they were 
holding in their hands. 

The following social feature was mentioned by Hairy-coat in connection 
with his account of the Lumpwoods, but was at the same time said to be 
shared by other organizations. On some nights all the members sent for 
their wives. Then water was poured on the fire, and in the darkness each 
man seized and hugged someone else's wife. 

He'rero^ka i'ke'. 

Maximilian speaks of the H aider ohka-Achke, and translates "die Raben- 
Bande, la bande des corbeaux." This is somewhat strange, as the (quite 
different) name of the highest of his societies is translated in exactly the 
same way. According to my inte^reter, the meaning of he'reroka i'ke' is 
" Crow Indian Imitators,'' and as the Crow were known as Gens des Cor- 
beaux it seems probable that Maximilian confounded the meanings through 
this circumstance. 

What may have been the place of the organization in the series at the 
time of my informants was not ascertained. Maximilian describes the 
members as youths of seventeen or eighteen. The following meager data 
were supplied by Hairy-coat. 

The organization originated with the Crow, among whom it was also 
called "Black Eyes." It was sold by Bear-looking to Kidney's group. 
Hairy-coat says the members resembled the Small Dogs and the Dogs in 
wearing a bunch of owl feathers together with two eagle feathers in the back 
of the head. The real object of the buyers was to purchase the Kit-Fox 
membership. Bear-looking was the only Kit-Fox sur\dving the smallpox, 
accordingly he appropriated the entire heap of goods. However, he received 
hut little food from the purchasers, and wives were not surrendered to 
him. After the goods for the Kit-Fox society had been offered, Bear-look- 
ing suggested that the purchasers should also T^uy the he'rero ka, which was 
done forthwith. 

1913.] Lowie^ Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 267 

Hairy-coat does not recollect any lance emblems. He remembers that 
his father's mother's brother wore a sash and thinks that there were four 
insignia of this type. There may have been a whipper. The musical 
instruments consisted of rattles. The dancing resembled that of the Crazy 

Little Dogs. 

From his ignorance of an origin myth Wolf-chief infers that the Little 
Dog society (Macu'ka kari'cta) was of alien, possibly of Ankara, origin, 
but this is contrary to his elder sister's opinion, which is shared by Hairy- 
coat. The last-mentioned authority states that the dogs originated the 
society. They approached an Hidatsa village, howling like wolves but 
at the same time simulating sounds of the human voice. The villagers went 
out to see them and found them transformed into human shape and wearing 
the regalia of Little Dog officers. The dogs said, "This will help you to live 
with greater ease and to enjoy yourselves." The same dogs also gave the 
society to the Mandan and Arikara, but these tribes had in addition to the 
other insignia two feathered lances not shared by the Hidatsa. 

Poor-wolf did not regard this society as part of the graded series, but this 
is contrary to the statements of all other informants and of Maximilian. 
Poor- wolf had never belonged to this organization. 

Maximilian says that the Little Dogs wore sashes of blue or red cloth. 
Buffalo-bird-woman also regards the sash (maa'piruti) as an emblem com- 
mon to all members, while others say their use was restricted to four officers. 
The sashes are described by Wolf-chief as made of either red cloth or a long 
strip of skin dressed without the hair. They were slipped over the head by 
means of a slit, crossed the breast, and trailed down to the ground; in the 
center of the back they were decorated with bunches of owl feathers. A 
sash was obviously regarded as a sacred object; Hairy-coat still preserves 
his Little Dog sash together with his medicine bundles. This informant 
received his sash when the former owner had died. Apparently the privi- 
lege of wearing such an emblem was associated with the duty of special 
bravery, for when the sash was offered him Hairy-coat at first refused to 
take it, but finally accepted it, saying, "I want to die, I will keep it." 
Hairy-coat took this sash with him, went away from the village, and abstained 
from food and drink for seven days. The next year he again fasted for 
seven nights and also cut one of his fingers in two places. During his first 
quest for power the sash gave him a song. It hung in the air unsupported, 
and fastened to it was a man's hair, — the symbol of a chief's honor-marks. 
In the second quest Hairy-coat saw a bull coming out of the ground to 

268 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

embrace him and give him a victory song. In commemoration of the vision 
my informant made a backrest cover of buffalo skin with the horns. The 
next fall he again fasted seven days and cut off two finger joints. He saw 
the Moon and the Stars. About sunrise, as he was crying, he heard a voice 
call out, but looking across the ground he could not see any one. Looking 
higher, he saw the sash in the clouds. When it hallooed for the third time 
he saw it floating unsupported in the air, covered with the hair indicative 
of honor marks. It sang these words : 

"di'wa iVaha"kuts." 

"You stay, I too stay." /. e., "I subsist on you." 

In battle, this song gave courage to Hairy-coat. He would first raise 
his sash, slip it on, and then spur his horse straight into the enemy's lines.^ 
Whenever my informant donned his sash, he thought of an enemy cocking 
his gun or preparing to let fly an arrow at him, but this did not daunt him. 

One officer mentioned by Hairy-coat bore an elkhom whip. This man 
was expected to be the last man to flee. If the Hidatsa were pursued by an 
enemy, it was the whipper's duty to dismount and give aid to those wounded 
or in danger. If he was killed, another man took his place. 

Besides the sashes, Maximilian mentions feather-ornaments worn on 
the head. Poor-wolf describes this ornament as a circlet of raven feathers, 
with an eagle feather in the center, worn in the back of the head, while 
Wolf-chief says the feathers were those of an owl. Hairy-coat gives addi- 
tional data as to hair-dressing, but it is not certain that they are distinctive 
of the Little Dogs. The members wore switches, brushed their hair pom- 
padour-fashion in the center, and cut it short at the sides. Horn-shells — 
or, if such were lacking, hair-pipes — were tied to the braids, seven wire- 
wrapped horn-shells above, eight below, and a small strap was hanging 
down beneath. 

Each member wore, suspended round his neck by a buckskin string, a 
whistle made from the wing-bone of a young " white-head'* eagle and 
wrapped with colored bird-quillwork. Several buckskin strips terminating 
in quillworked loops hung down from the whistle, and gum was put into 
the upper part of the instrument. 

Wolf-chief says that some of the Little Dogs wore no shirts and used 
red body paint. The blankets were red in Hairy-coat's time, and decorated 
with bands of beadwork; some wore buffalo robes with a two-foot fringe 
at the bottom. Buffalo-bird-woman says that one member painted the 
center of his robe with a yellow circle surrounded by dog tracks. 

1 At this point of his narrative, Hairy-coat paused to give smoke to his medicines, 
because he had been telling of his visions. 

1913.] Lome, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 269 

At the time of Hairy-coat's initiation, the buyers were told to make 
rattles for themselves, as the sellers said they had not had the time to make 
them. They were instructed to use one of two shapes, either the globular 
or the loop-shaped type. The latter was edged with red cloth and shortened 
raven wing-feathers. The handle was wrapped with red cloth. In shaking 
rattles, the Little Dogs always moved them from right to left. 

Hairy-coat's group of Stone Hammers had vainly attempted to buy the 
Kit-Fox and Crazy Dog societies (cf. p. 233). Then the Stone Hammers 
found that the still higher Little Dogs were willing to sell their membership 
and indirectly informed them that they were desirous of buying it. The 
Little Dogs gathered together and dispatched three ambassadors to request 
the younger men to come over and buy their society. Accordingly, the 
members of the Three-Clans in the Stone Hammer society filled three pipes, 
and the members of the Four-Clans filled four pipes. The Stone Hammers 
then proceeded towards the Little Dog lodge, one representative of each 
phratry carrying the three and the four pipes respectively. In the lodge 
the Little Dogs were ranged in a curve on the left side. The pipes were 
deposited in the place of honor. Then the group of younger men piled up 
the robes constituting the initial pajinent and were requested to take seats 
on the opposite side to that of the Little Dogs. Bear-nose, one of the 
officers, rose first, lit the set of three pipes and passed them to the Three- 
Clans, while Wolf-eye did the same with the set of four pipes and passed 
them to the Four-clans. At the same time these men said to the Stone 
Hammers, "These songs we agree to sell to you.*' And to their fellow- 
members, they said, " Sing for them." 

Compared with the accounts of purchases of other organizations, Hairy- 
coat's narrative shows some gaps at this point. However, this may be due 
to certain anomalous conditions, the smallpox having greatly reduced the 
number of fathers. My informant explicitly stated that wives were not 
surrendered on this occasion. He jumps from the above quoted statements 
to the account of the first public parade. 

The Little Dogs were seated in the lodge, with their wives behind them. 
All the women were dressed up, wearing sheepskin dresses and painted robes ; 
their hair and face was painted, and they wore bracelets of beads and rings 
of yellow wire. During the dances the men ogled the wives of other mem- 
bers. The fathers sang for the new members. At the beginning of a song, 
when the drum was beaten in a preliminary way, all the members clapped 
their mouths. At the close of each song the drums were raised and shaken 
so as to produce a rattling noise. Then the people yelled, and after the 
shouting blew their whistles. Before the beginning of the next song, the 
whistles were blown again. Four songs were sung indoors, then the Little 

270 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

Dogs marched out. One of the sash-wearers led the procession, another 
was in the rear, but in front of the whipper, who came last of all, while the 
two remaining sash-wearers were placed at equal distances from the leader 
and rear man respectively. The members whistled as they went along. 

The Little Dogs marched to the first halting-place, and a few of the 
fathers who were acting as singers and had distinguished themselves by 
their honor marks went into the center and recounted their deeds. First 
they began to sing, while the new members clapped their mouths, whistled 
and shouted. These were the words of the song: — 

"ma+iha' waki'rits." 
"Enemies I hunt." 

Two of the fathers began to dance. Then one of them, Bear-nose, said, 
" Stop and listen. I want to tell you something you should try to do your- 
selves.*' Then one father told how he had struck an enemy and taken 
his lance, closing the narrative with the words, " That is an easy thing to do. 
Sons, you will do likewise. My friends, the singers, all saw me do it." 
Wolf-eye next recited how he had scalped an enemy and taken his gun, 
and what deeds he had performed on several war expeditions. 

The Little Dogs marched on to a second halting-place. One of the 
fathers, Blue-stone, danced within the circle, while the Little Dogs again 
merely whistled and rattled. Blue-stone recounted how he had taken an 
enemy's gun, ending with the words," It was easy, and you willdo the same." 
Then he told of a scalp he had taken. Next Prairie-chicken-bear told how 
he had given aid to a fellow-tribesman in danger. " I did not strike a coup, 
but I did what was right, so I tell you, and you will do the same" During 
all the public performances the people of the village were watching from the 
tops of the earth-lodges. 

At the third stopping place Tearless-eyes danced and told of his deeds. 
This time the Little Dogs also danced, and then marched so as to approach 
their lodge. Another halt was made on the way. There the singers again 
sang, "I am hunting enemies." Raises-hearts told his coups, then the 
Little Dogs re-entered their lodge and walked round the inside, marching 
towards the left, while the fathers remained standing near the fireplace. 
No one sat down. The whipper, Bull-hoop, got inside the circle and began 
to whip the members, saying, "Now, friends, I do not wish to whip you 
always, but I shall die soon, and then someone else will keep this whip." 

Before the return of the Little Dogs, food had been prepared in their 
lodge. A rawhide rope was stretched across the lodge and the officers' 
regalia and members' head-ornaments were tied to it. A father offered 
food to these emblems, then Bear-nose said, "Whoever gets a sash shall be 

1913.] Lowie^ Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 271 

privileged to select for himself whatever piece he wishes from the meat 
offerings of the Goose Women society. He may also pick out meat when 
any man comes home from a hunting trip or when people are gathered for 
his feast, and his attendants will carry it off for him. Whenever you wish 
to sell the society to younger men, you may do so.'* Then there was a 

Thereafter, the Little Dogs went out to have a public parade whenever 
they felt inclined, but then they might sp)end a whole afternoon standing 
in one open place in the village before they returned to their lodge. For 
their lodge they used that of any member which was of convenient size. 

Hairy-coat still considers himself a Little Dog. 

Whenever the Little Dogs gathered together they were joined by four 
of the best single women of the tribe, selected by the members themselves. 
The Little Dogs never married these girls, and always addressed them as 
*' maraku'Ec,'* a term otherwise applied only to male friends. The four 
young women occupied the place of honor during meetings of the organiza- 
tion. W^henever the Little Dogs had an abundance of food, they in\'ited 
their women comrades to join them in their feasting and singing. If the 
women's relatives had food, they in turn were wont to invite the society. 
If the Little Dogs won any women's belongings while playing the moccasin 
game, they turned them over not to their wives but to their female comrades. 
In general, they treated them with great kindness. If such a woman mar- 
ried, she might still attend meetings provided her husband did not object. 

The Little Dogs were as active as other societies in courting youn^ 
women, and this is reflected in several of their songs, though obviously there 
was no essential relation between this phase of the members' lives and their 
belonging to this particular organization. Among these songs are the 

* ma ruwats^, mari'kiku e, baki'rits." 

* Sweetheart, you hear, I hunt." 

* mara*ta'cerE, diawa'kawah&,'kuts, iwa'rEoha'wits." 
' My sweetheart, I look at you always, I am tired out." 

' hira ka'cere, bare'wits." 
*At last I consent, I'll go." 

The last of these songs was sung by the members in the daytime, the 
"words being directed to their sweethearts. While singing it, the Little 
Dogs stood in a circle on the roof of their lodge, and at the end they yelled. 
Before singing again, they blew their whistles. The words are supposed 
to be spoken by a woman. 

Once Hairy-coat and the other Little Dogs, while far from the village 

272 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

on a buffalo hunt, got on Thunder's Nest Hill, put on coats of red cloth with 
wire trimmings on the breast and sleeves, and prepared to sing. They 
tied together sticks to form a small tipi and borrowed the rattles of the 
Crazy Dogs, then they sang the last of the preceding songs. 

Once the Little Dogs went round at night singing in front of various 
lodges. Hairy-coat had not joined them, so they came to his house and 
cried, "Send out your wife." So Hairy-coat sent her out, bidding her 
join in the singing and submit to whatever treatment the members wished 
to give her. Not all men were equally brave in such an affair; some would 
go out together with their wives and join the society. Under such circum- 
stances the following song was. sung: — 

" mara'tacS re, ita'^ mare'ts." 
"My sweetheart, I am going." 

Another song sung outside of lodges is given as follows: — 

" ita' hi're mira'waheruk, mare'wits." 
"Well! if you want me, sweetheart, I'll go." 

Half-Shaved Heads. 

The Half-Shaved Head society (tsu'ta kirakcu'ki) according to Poor- 
wolf, originated with the Crow, a view in which Buffalo-bird-wpmin coin- 
cides. The Crow visionary received the ceremonies from a procession of 
birds, whose songs and dances he learned. Hairy-coat said that the name 
of the society originated in a member's vision. This man saw a buffalo 
bull, which had its hair shaved off. Accordingly, the visionary shaved 
half his head, and as he was very brave the rest of the members, without 
imitating him with regard to shaving, adopted the name by which they 
afterwards became known. The visionary had a war club with a solid yellow 
stone and a buffalo tail attached to the end of the handle. Half of the stone 
was painted red, and the remainder with white clay. He painted his face 
red all over, and on the left side a tail of spotted old eagle feathers was made 
to stand up erect. The hairs of a buffalo mane were strung together for a 
necklace, which was painted half red and half white. 

Maximilian, who expressly identifies his Hidatsa Bow Lance society 
with the Mandan Half-Shaved Heads, merely says that the members wore 
feathers on the head, and carried bow-spears in the hand. According to 
Hairy-coat, members marching outdoors carried guns, which they fired 
during their procession. All walked two abreast,^ men in similar costumea 

» Woman's expression of surprise. 

2 This rule was not absolute, as is shown by other statements. 

1913.] Lome, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 273 

beside each other. Thus, if two members both had coats of red cloth with 
gold braiding, or if both wore war-bomiets, they would march together. 
These bonnets were the usual caps with horns, weasel-skin strips, and stream- 
ers. One man rode horseback, dressed as though for war and with hair 
tied in front; the horse frequently shied on accoimt of the shooting (Hairy- 
coat). The same informant later spoke of several horsemen, all warriors 
of distinction, who wore sacred feathers and honor marks on their headd. 
The horse's tail was turned up and shortened by tying. According to Buffalo- 
bird-woman's recollection, the members wore the hair loose on one side and 
tried to tie it so as to give an appearance of no hair on the other. The shoot- 
ing of the guns was part of the impersonation of enemies by the society. 

The leader bore a hooked stick called miWaatake\ "white stick," but 
painted red; it was wrapped with wolfskin, and pairs of wolfskin strips, 
about a foot long, hung down from three points on the shaft. The last man 
in line carried a similar lance wrapped with otterskin. Sometimes Pobr- 
wolf, as leader, and the rear oflScer with the otter-wrapped spear took the 
lead, walking abreast. 

Two other officers had bow-spears resembling those of the Lumpwoods 
except that red cloth took the place of bear-gut (Hairy-coat). A more 
detailed account of these emblems {miru'xi Vti'a " big-toothed bow," or 
miru'xi ha^tski, "long bow") is given by Poor-wolf. A weasel skin with 
the head was wrapped round the grip of the bow, so that the head was above 
the holder's fingers. Above the weasel a mallard skin was glued to the bow^ 
then there followed the skin from the neck of a woodpecker the skin of a 
yellow bird, a white bird, and another mallard. A symmetrical arrange- 
ment of skins was made below the weasel skin. To four points on the bow 
eagle tail-feathers were attached, while the sides of the bow, throughout 
its length, were decorated with magpie feathers. These bow-spears were 
buried with their owners. The officers carrying them generally walked ia 
the middle of a society procession, though not, as a rule, next to each other. 
However, Poor-wolf recollects one occasion when they walked abreast iu 
lead of the other members, who followed in single file. 

Butterfly sets the number of hooked-stick carriers at four and speaks 
of two additional officers with flat-boards not mentioned by other inform- 

The only niusical instruments used were hand-drums. 

Poor-wolf bought the society at the age of 27. He remained in it for 
nine years, but one year after his entrance his group bought the Black 
Mouth society so that during eight years the same body of men held both 
memberships. (Compare page 235.) 

Though no detailed account of the mode of purchase was secured, it 

274 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

did not, in all probability, differ from that obtaining for the other men's 
organizations. Thus, there are statements that the fathers gave their sons 
some medicine in the form of a head ornament, or sacred paint for a war 
charm, and that the fathers sang for the buyers at the first public parade. 

Before going outdoors for a dance, the members planted the hooked-sticks 
on the roof of their lodge as a sign for the people of the village. 

The society frequently met for the discussion of martial affairs, but 
dances were not held very often. WTien someone made a suggestion to that 
effect, the members prepared their regalia and held a dance. It was only 
for their public performance, however, that they used all their insignia. 
On such occasions they marched outdoors, proceeded through the camp, 
formed a circle at each halting place, and performed a dance there, finally 
returning to the lodge. The simple indoor performance might take place 
during any season of the year, while the public dance might be held only in 
the summer. 

On a certain occasion the lances emblematic of the society were stuck 
into the ground, and one of the Fathers offered a piece of the best meat to 
them, at the same time addressing each lance in succession as follows: — 

"mi'ritirut^ tse'ca di'xuwEts, hawa'te ciga'go maki'Eruk, 
Lance wolf you, my young man fights 

i'rikit a mawa'hets. tsagi'ha ma'riamama'hats a'riwaki a, ma'- 

we do not them touched. Best we wish to get along in the fight, we wish to 


aruwa'ca a'kiraruk mari'atsats tsagi'ha, ma'ta ciga'ga i'rikita 
liave luck good luck we want it good, all our young men. we don't 


wish to be touched. 

This prayer was followed by a feast. No special payment was made to 
the man reciting it. 

Black Mouths or Soldiers. 

Wolf-chief and Hairy-coat think that the Black Mouth (i'i cipi'E) 
society originated not with the Hidatsa, but with the Mandan. The 
former's sister and Packs-wolf are of the same opinion. Maximilian does 
not state the age of the Hidatsa Soldiers but as they form his eighth divi- 
sion, they must have been middle-aged or elderly men. Hairy-coat, how- 
ever, bought his membership at about thirty, and so did Poor-wolf, who 
remained a Soldier for fourteen years. 

1913.] Lomie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 275 

Two officers carried emblems known as raven-lances 
(pe'ritska mi'ratirute) (Fig. 8). Each lance was black- 
ened, and the spear head was ordinarily carried point- 
ing upward. Below the spear head there was a bunch 
of owl wing-feathers, to which strips of otterskin were 
attached, and fastened to these were some raven wing- 
feathers. This decorative arrangement appeared at 
three points on the lance. A strip of otterskin was 
wrapped spirally round the shaft, which remained partly 
exf)osed. At the bottom of the lance there was a raven 
head with bill pointing downwards. The tail of a raven 
was fastened to the head. The lancers were not elected. 
If a man's father happened to have a raven-lance, the 
buyer automatically became an officer through pur- 
chasing an officer's membership (Poor-wolf). 

In battle, if the enemy pursued the Hidatsa, a raven- 
lance officer was expected to sing his song, invert his 
emblem, and plant it in the ground. Then he might 
not retreat until one of the rattlers or some other fellow- 
tribesman plucked out the lance for him. If, however, 
the officer's rescuer was not a member of the society, he 
removed all the decoration of the emblem and returned 
merely the bare shaft with the spear head. The officer 
was then obliged to go to the father from whom he had 
purchased the lance and have him decorate it once more. 
If the father had died, some member of his group was 
approached for the same purpose. 

Each of two other officers carried a flat-stemmed 
pipe, red on one side and black on the other, decorated 
with quill work and a dyed horsetail. These men were 
expected to adjust quarrels and preserve peace in the 
tribe. According to Poor-wolf, the black and red colors 
represented night and day, bad will and good will, 
respectively. All the spirits were represented by the 
pipe. The members prayed to the pipe that their 
children should grow up, and asked it for plenty of 
buffalo. Invariably the following prayer was addressed ^^^ ^ ^_ 

to it: "When I fight, I wish to defeat the enemy easilv." 4354). stick of 

While Poor-wolf was a Soldier, one of the pipe- f^^ ^^J^ ^^ 
bearers was killed, and Poor-wolf was chosen in his cm. 

276 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI, 

place.^ The other pipe-bearer was Eneiny's-dog. As the latter was the 
older of the two, he generally filled the 'pipe and recited the appropriate 
prayers. Poor-wolf took the unfilled pipe before a dance, burned sweet- 
grass for incense, and held the pipe over it. Then he filled his pipe, lit it, 
burned sweetgrass once more, relit the pipe, and offered it in succession to 
God (?), the West Wind, North, East, and South Winds, the Earth and all 
the spirits, invoking a blessing on the society of Soldiers. 

There were two rattlers. Originally their emblems were of rawhide, 
but at a later period baking-powder cans were substituted. The rattles 
were shaken not from right to left, but forwards. 

Poor-wolf, alone of my informants, mentions a couple of "death-men" 
(d8 ruxpa'ka), wearing, one a red, and the other a white, bonnet. During 
a fight they separated, each leading one half of the Soldiers, who in turn 
were followed by the Fox society. The "death-men" must never retreat 
so long as they were woimded only in the arms and legs; they were allowed 
to turn back only when injured in the breast or back. 

The rank and file carried a sort of tomahawk (mi'rE i *boptsa' — sharp- 
pointed wood) consisting of a knife-blade set in a wooden stick near the 
turn of its tapering bent end.^ 

Packs-wolf said that the Black Mouths painted the lower part of the 
face black, and drew a slanting line from the forehead across the face. 

Hairy-coat says that a public parade was led by one of the raven-lance 
oflicers, the other bringing up the rear. In front of the second lancer and 
directly behind the first marched the two rattlers respectively. The pipe- 
bearers occupied the center of the line, separated or immediately followed 
by the herald of the organization. According to Poor-wolf, however, these 
officers led in marching out of the lodge. 

When Poor-wolf's group wished to buy this society, the Soldiers pro- 
tested, saying, "You are going too fast, you have only recently acquired 
the Half -Shaved Head society." It took the Half -Shaved Heads nearly 
a year before the Soldiers would listen to their proposal. As there were 
seven clans in the Black Mouth organization, the buyers were obliged to 
make a preliminary offer of seven pipes, and of as many horses. Later, 
the fathers were entertained for more than twenty nights. The two " raven- 
lances" were planted in the ground, and the buyers were ordered to pile 
up property to the height- of these sticks. Further, the fathers placed two 
calumet pipes (i'ikipi i'cuwatu ) in the rear of the lodge. On the last night 
one of the Soldiers rose, and addressed the purchasers as follows: "My 

1 This happened three years after Poor- wolfs purchase of the society. 

« Hairy-coat said that the Assiniboine had two blades in a corresponding emblem. 

1913.] LowiCi Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 277 

sons, today the whole village — men, women, and children — belongs to 
you. These pipes do not wish for anything wrong, they are bearers of good 
will, they want nothing but what is good, they are peace-makers. If any- 
thing goes wrong, these pipes will settle matters. Those two raven-lances, 
on the other hand, are soldiers, they want to die." On the last day, each 
buyer took a gun or a horse to his father. After a little while, in the course 
of the same day, the father called his son and his son's wife to his lodge, 
conversed with them, gave them food to eat, and presented them with new 

It seems that one of the fathers of the members might act as drummer 
for the Black Mouths even after the first public procession. Before going 
into the village to dance, there was a performance indoors. The father's 
first song was "Pipe-bearer, get up!" When he sang his second song, the 
pipe-bearers rose and danced very slowly. Next the lancers seated nearest 
the door rose and danced. The father sang: "Ravens, you are scared to 
death. You will not die. I am the one that wishes to die." Finally, 
the old man sang: "All, get up! Ravens wish to be soldiers!" Then all 
rose, and danced in their places. All bore the weapons they would carry 
on the warpath. The following song sung by a father on such an occasion 
was recited by Poor-wolf; Wolf -chief, who corrected it, said it belonged to 
the raven-lance ofiicers. 

"hira'tsa o'hewa tiri'a, waru'xtaru, cewa'+its." 

"Hidatsa these when they run, they are crazy, thus say I." 

Poor-wolf says that the rattlers began to sing, the fathers acting as 
drummers took up the chant, and the rattlers then advanced so as to cross 
each other's path. According to Hairy-coat, the rattlers merely advanced 
the left foot and vigorously shook their instruments at the end and before 
the beginning of a song and it was the lancers that advanced, crossed each 
other's path, turned round and crossed again. The pipe-bearers and other 
members did not change their position while dancing. The following song 
was given by the same informant: — 

" ta'wi tg'hu-u te'iruts." 

" No matter how many will die, let them die." 

The Black Mouths acted as a police force. Whenever some difficulty 
arose in the tribe or between friendly tribes, this society tried to effect a 
reconciliation. At certain times they forbade people to go on the warpath. 
On a buffalo hunt they punished those who transgressed the rules of the 
chase. If, however, the punishment was taken in good part, the Soldiers 
made a compensatory payment to the offender. The following accounts 
may serve as concrete illustrations of their activity. 

278 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

Once the Arikara and the Assiniboine were at loggerheads; an Assini- 
boine had been killed by an Arikara man, and an Ankara woman had been, 
killed by an Assiniboine. Poor-wolf summoned the Assiniboine and 
Arikara chiefs, took his pipe and two war-bonnets, met the chiefs, and said, 
"This is the Soldiers* pipe. If you do not listen to me, I shall call the 
Soldiers.'' He put one bonnet on the head of each of the chiefs, and con- 
tinued as follows : " Now my friends, I am an Hidatsa and can call on the 
Crow for assistance. But I belong to this River, where I raise com. My 
friends, the Arikara, also raise com, and so do theMandan.'* Then, look- 
ing at the Assiniboine, he said, " You also belong in part to the River, and 
I want you to be friends and smoke the pipe." They agreed to smoke, and 
thus peace was established. 

During the same winter, five Mandan arrived with as many sticks 
representing horses. They brought the message that the Yanktonai de- 
sired to make friends with the Hidatsa. Poor-wolf knew that several 
Hidatsa had been killed by the Sioux, and said that he did not know about 
the matter. He went to the relatives of the slain person, and gave them 
horses. The Soldiers had a meeting. Poor-wolf said, "We are not afraid 
of the Sioux, but if you consent we will let them make peace." At last they 
consented, and the peace offerings were accepted. A year later, the Sioux 
fought the Crow and made one Crow a prisoner. Upon Poor-wolf*s inter- 
ference, the Crow was allowed to return to his people. 

When people tried to go cherrying while enemies were near, the Black 
Mouths prevented them from going. Similarly, they sometimes stopped 
war parties. They would issue an order, " People, stay in the village, don't 
go away too far." Then, if anyone disobeyed them, leaving at night to 
hunt or go on the warpath, the Soldiers burned down his house, or punished 
him in some other way. Thus, a man named Snake-coat went on the war- 
path against the orders of the Black Mouths. They assembled, went out, 
and killed many of his horses. Then they returned to the village and began 
to shoot into the air. The people all fled into their lodges. The Soldiers 
said : " We wish to know if there is anyone that wants to help the man whose 
horses we have killed. If so, let him come out and fight. We stop you 
from going away for your own good; if you do not obey, we shall punish 
you." They then sang their Black Mouth songs. When the war party 
came back, the culprit said, " I knew they had killed my horses." Then 
the Soldiers gathered together and gave him as many horses as they had 

If anyone startled the game prematurely during a buffalo hunt. Poor- 
wolf thus addressed his Soldiers: "Do not break his guns and do not hit 
him, but take his blankets, cut them up, and scatter the strips. If you 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 27^ 

break his weapons, you take away his means of fighting the enemy. Don't 
give your bows and guns to another tribe." However, it is clear from the 
accounts of others that there were chiefs of the Soldier society who did not 
scruple to deprive an offender of his weapons. When Wolf-chief was only 
fourteen, he disobeyed the orders of the Soldiers and went rabbit-hunting. 
He shot at a scabby bull that happened to come his way, but was overtaken 
by two policemen, who cut up his robe and confiscated his flintlock. In 
this instance the gun was returned to Wolf-chiefs father, who had previ- 
ously told his son, however, that the police had acted within their rights. 
Wlien a Mandan named Bear-on-the-water went hunting contrary to the 
decree of the Hidatsa police, they seized his bow and broke it, and also 
took away his arrows. However, as he did not get angry, they gave him 
another bow and a set of arrows. 

Once one of Buffalo-bird-woman's brothers went out on a bluff and shot 
one of the buffalo in a herd when he should not have done so. The Black 
Mouths hooted, " U',u'+ il" Straightway they assembled, whipped the 
offender, and broke his gun. On another occasion, on a cold day, the 
father-in-law of Hides-and-eats* blind daughter went out hunting with his 
son and killed two buffalo. The Black Mouths began to shout, and people 
knew they were going to punish someone. They began to cut up the 
hunter's meat, and to throw it away, but the young man pleaded with them, 
saying, " Fathers, my children are hungry, that is why I went out hunting. 
Please cease, and I will give you a horse." He also filled a pipe, and placed 
it before them. Then they permitted him to take his meat home. Another 
man who had hunted alone had his tent cut into pieces; he ran away. 

Sometimes individual Black Mouths seem to have acted in a rather 
arbitrary manner. Once, when a fort was to be built, the women were 
ordered by the Black Mouths to construct the fortifications. Buffalo-bird- 
woman was working with her mother, when a Black Mouth came along and 
shot at her in order to frighten her. He did this merely because he was a 
joking-relative. My informant decided to get even with him by making 
a quill work suit for him, which would oblige him to give her a horse in 
return. On another occasion, the Mandan and Hidatsa Black Mouths 
again ordered the women to work on the fortifications, and pointed out 
some weak spot to them. Buffalo-bird-woman and four of her comrades 
were frightened and ran away, but the police told her she need not be afraid, 
but should merely finish her work. After a while, however, an Arikara 
Black Mouth came there and bade Buffalo-bird-woman go away. She 
pushed him back, and he stumbled and fell. He rose full of wrath, but some 
Hidatsa policemen seized his gun and explained the affair to him. My 
informant then completed her share of the work. When her father and. 

280 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

brother heard of the incident, they were going to kill the Ankara, but the 
Black Mouths told them that he had not had a chance to injure her, so the 
matter was dropped. On another occasion a Black Mouth named Ree 
ordered a woman to go for poles, but she refused. Then he shot her in the 
back so that she was burned by the powder. Her relatives became angry, 
but were stopped by the pipe-bearers. 

Boiler relates that Poor-wolf, as head of the " soldier band," going his 
rounds to see that his orders were obeyed, knocked down with his tomahawk 
several women who did not seem disposed to heed them.^ 

Crazy ^ Dogs. 

The Crazy Dog (macu'ka wara'axi) society. Poor-wolf states, was de- 
rived from the Northern Cheyenne. A Cheyenne named Lean-elk dreamt 
it, and gave it to the Hidatsa before Poor-wolf's time. This informant 
identifies the organization with the Assiniboine No-flight society, but in 
all probability the resemblance is of the vaguest character. 

Buifalo-bird-woman thinks this was considered a chiefs' society, but 
as her brother estimates the members' age at twenty and as Poor-wolf 
himself bought membership at that age this seems highly improbable. 

Poor-wolf in 1910 still considered himself a member because he had never 
sold his membership. 

Some or all of the members had loop-shaped rawhide rattles, to which 
honor marks were attached. Thus, a horsetail dyed yellow symbolized 
the theft of a horse, while an eagle feather referred to the striking of a coup. 
Wolf-chief, who thinks that every member wore a sash, says that corres- 
ponding honor marks were fastened to this emblem as well as to the rattle. 
During a dance the performers wore eagle wing-bone whistles round the 
neck and might carry what weapons they chose (Poor-wolf). Some mem- 
bers, Buifalo-bird-woman remembers, had spears, which were sometimes 
obtained from the fathers, but not necessarily so. The spears were 
decorated, with short raven wings. Very few of the Crazy Dogs wore 
shirts. The body was painted white or red. 

Two officers in the society wore caps with sections of mountain-sheep 
or buffalo horns, and trimmed with weasel skins. When two villages came 
together, there were naturally four of these officers. Hairy-coat is inclined 
to think that there were four of these men in every Crazy Dog organization. 

1 BoUer, 303. 

» Good-bird regards the term wara'axi as a Crow word, which means "fooUiardy, 

1,913.] Lowie, HidaUa and Mandan Societies, 281 

The horns were painted white and the tips were wrapped with quill work and 
decorated with strips of weasel skin. Owl wing-feathers were attached 
below the horns. The cap was tied by neck-strings of otterskin. If I 
understand Hairy-coat's statements correctly, a band of red cloth, about 
4 inches in width, was attached across the cap. It was decorated with 
white beadwork, and three rows of raven wing feathers nearly covering the 
cloth. In the back an eagle wing-feather was fastened to a strip of red 
cloth so as to hang between the shoulders. Buffalo-bird-woman says that 
raven feathers were tied between the horns of the headdress. 

Two other oflScers wore a pair of sashes of red cloth, crossing in front 
and trailing on the ground behind. When one of these sash-wearers died, 
the society met to api>oint the bravest among them as his successor. The 
man selected usually declined the honor for a long time, but it was finally 
forced upon him. When the others fled, the officers were expected to make 
a stand. Their song was, *' This is the way I sing when I want to die." 
Butterfly says that the sash-wearers attached their individual war charms 
to their sashes. 

Hairy-coat and Buffalo-bird-woman mention another officer bearing a 
whip, while Butterfly says there were two men with whips. The quirt had a 
wrist-loop of foxskin and a handle of elkhom. 

• ' 

The officers ^ of the Crazy Dogs and Dogs shared the right to approach 
the scene of a feast, point at what food they wished with their lances and 
knives respectively, and carry it off to their society. In later times. Poor- 
wolf declares, each society had two officers empowered to exercise this 
privilege, but originally this was a prerogative of the two societies men- 
tioned. "When the Goose Women society had hung up dried meat, two of 
us went over there and touched the food. Then the waiters of our society, 
following behind, took the food that had been touched to our society's 

It was not possible to secure a good account of the method of purchase. 
Poor-wolf contributed to the initial pile of property paid by his group to the 
selling Crazy Dogs, but did not have an individual father. Joe Packineau 
explains that this sometimes occurred when a man endeavoring to get 
officer's regalia from one of the fathers was somehow prevented from receiv- 
ing them. More probably, Poor-wolf had no clan father in the sellers' 
group (see p. 244). 

Butterfly says that the Crazy Dogs befriended the young boys who had 
not yet acquired membership in any society and would invite them to their 

I AU of them? 

282 Anthropological Papers American MtLseum of Natural History. [Vol. XI^ 

Wolf-chief*s brother-in-law kept the lodge of the organization, and so 
my informant, then about 12 or 13 years old, saw the dances. All the mem- 
bers were Hidatsa. On the morning preceding a dance, the Crazy Dogs- 
went to hunt buflPalo. They brought all the ribs to the society lodge; 
the rest of the meat was taken home. An entire rib-piece had a shari>ened 
stick run through it, and was then suspended over a fire for roasting. Three 
ribs were prepared in this way, and altogether there were thirty-six pieces^ 
of meat. While dancing, the members stooped; they did not remain in 
one place, but walked about. Towards the end of a song, the musicians, 
beat their drums faster, then all straightened up and yelled. While dancings 
the Crazy Dogs sounded their whistles and rattles, making a great noise* 
Women were invited to join in the singing. 

Hairy-coat says that the members tried to act like dogs. 

For an officer's war song. Hairy-coat sang the following words: — 

" Mi wats^wa, ma+iwiti'arecats." 
"I am a man, I do not desire help." 

The two following songs are obscurely worded, but have reference to 
women's utterances, the first being the speech of a girl who had intended to 
marry her sweetheart but was sold to another man : — 

" mi wakuwaca'waciru wa." 
''I did so(?)." 

"iwa'ra+oha'wits, hi're, mare'wits." 
"I am tired out, say, I'll go." 


The Raven society (pe'ritska i'k^) is the highest of Maximilian's soci- 
eties. It passed out of existence so many years ago that even Poor-wolf 
had never witnessed a public performance of the Ravens, though he had 
seen some dances held indoors. At one time there were many members, 
but Hairy-coat, Buffalo-bird-woman and Wolf-chief recollect having seen 
but a single survivor of the organization in their youth. His name was 
He-has-ears. He always wore a necklace made of the whole of a raven- 
skin, with the head on the left and the tail on the right side; a piece of red 
cloth was held in the raven's mouth, and a small piece of rawhide hung down 
the shoulder. While Buffalo-bird-woman thinks that all Ravens had such 
necklaces, Wolf-chief is of opinion that the number of members wearing 
them was limited and that the general emblem of the society was a raven- 
skin head band; no shirts were worn and the body was painted black. 

1^13.] Lowie^ Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 283 

Maximilian says that every Raven bore a long lance wrapped with red 
doth and trimmed with hanging raven feathers. In the same passage he 
further remarks that the members wore beautifully decorated garments, 
feather-decorations, and war-bonnets, but there was nothing distinctive 
about these methods of adornment, and such costumes might even be bor- 
Towed from other organizations. 

Poor-wolf and Hairy-coat limit the number of spears to two. The em- 
blem was described by Hairy-coat as follows. The shaft was of blackened 
ashwood, about 6^ feet long, with a spearhead 1 foot in length, which had at 
one time been fashioned out of flint, but was in later times of tin or steel. 
To the shaft there was attached a flap of black cloth, four inches wide and 
Tunning along the entire length of the stick; the strip of cloth was perforated 
at intervals, so that it could be secured to the shaft by means of buckskin 
strings. Sleighbells were fastened to the cloth in a vertical line, and on the 
outer side the cloth was again perforated for the attachment of a great num- 
ber of raven tail feathers,^ through all of which there ran a string of the sort 
xised for snares. The spear was called ye'ritska i'ta mi' re pard^pa, " Ravens' 
wood with flying thing" (= "like a flag'*)- 

When Hairy-coat was about 17 and a member of the Stone Hammer 
organization, He-has-ears offered to sell his Raven membership to the 
Stone Hammers. He bade the young men bring him a drum and sleighbells 
and had them sit down in a curve. He told them that he had been one of 
the spear officers, while his friend Road-maker had been the other. In 
battle the enemy always endeavored to capture these emblems. He-has- 
ears struck two enemies with his spear, but was outdone in bravery by Road- 
maker. He told Hairy-coat that if he was touched and ever saw blood from 
a wound he should immediately fall dead. If an officer happened to be 
away in time of war, some other Raven took his emblem and tried to conduct 
himself as beseemed his office. Though his voice was cracked as might be 
expected of an old man, He-has-ears began to sing for the young men and 
asked them to dance in accompaniment: "When I sing, dance like the Kit- 
Foxes, throw out your chests, bend your backs, hold your arms slightly 
flexed,^ and dance either with both feet or advance one before the other. 
All of you, yell like ravens." His song was the following: — 

" pe'ritska mi, mi i'ka, huts. 
"Raven am I, me look at (as) he (the enemy) comes." ^ 

When the Little Dogs discovered that the old man had offered to sell his 
Raven membership they decided that they might as well get the property 

1 Poor-wolf said that white and black feathers alternated. 

* Not quite as though held akimbo. 

» Aclosely similar song was: "The Raven comes to see me." 

284 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

that would have to be paid in the event of the purchase, and offered the 
Little Dog society to the Stone Hammers. The Stone Hammers agreed 
to buy it and accordingly became Little Dogs instead of Ravens (see p. 269) ► 

If anyone during a battle began to sing, " If anyone makes a stand, I, too, 
will not flee," all the Ravens stopped and made a stand (Buffalo-bird- 

Poor-wolf thought the Raven society was in some way connected with 
driving buffalo into a corral. 


Three or four years after becoming a Soldier, Poor-wolf,. at the age of 
about 45, became a Dog (macu'ka i*k^).^ In being adopted into this organ- 
ization, candidates paid heavily, and Poor-wolf more so than the majority 
because he became an officer. Accordingly, he gave his father two horses. 
In 1910 Poor-wolf, then about 90 years old, declared he was still a Dog, 
having never sold his membership. He also said that he was the only sur- 
viving member. 

The following account was secured from Hairy-coat.^ A man once saw a 
vision and painted his robe accordingly, daubing it yellow and cutting a 
fringe of seven strips. He saw two dogs standing in the clouds at daybreak, 
and a yellow dog on the ground was looking up at the sky and hallooing at 
them. The celestial Dogs came down to visit the Yellow Dog, and asked 
him, "Why are you hallooing at us?" The Yellow Dog was very glad to 
meet his visitors, and replied, " Well, you were looking at us, so I began to 
halloo and the other dogs followed suit, for both you and we are dogs." 
Then the Yellow Dog said, " Do you first instruct the people, then I will 
instruct them next. Let us come to an agreement first." One of the 
Celestial Dogs said, "I thought of this first, so I wish to be the leader." 
" Yes," said the Yellow Dog, " but if there is anything you cannot do, I will 
do it." The Celestial Dog said, "On the robe I wear I will cut two long 
strips and make them hang down, and I will tie a small owlskin to the top 
of the strips. I will paint my body a light red; on the front of both arms 
and legs, I will put red paint terminating in three forks. A whole foxskin 
shall be tied to each ankle; the head and tail shall be joined, with the tail 
dragging along the ground. On the left side I will wear a sash of red cloth, 
two hands in width, and on the right side a similar sash of black cloth. 


1 The translation given by my interpreter is "dog-imitators." 

> The description of regalia in Hairy-coat's narrative is given in the appropriate para- 
graph below. 

1913.] Lome, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 285 

He continued to enumerate the other portions of his costume, and he and 
the other Celestial Dog, who acted as his attendant, proceeded to prepare 
their regalia. The sash in some way represented a travois, and as a dog 
cannot put a travois on himself, the Celestial Dog was supi>osed to have an 
attendant who shpped the sashes over his head. 

The Yellow Dog asked whether the Celestial Dog and his attendant were 
ready. The attendant said, "You hallooed at us, and we know that you 
belonged up there as well as on the earth. I will belong to the earth, because 
I put the travois on the Real Dog. I will join you, for I represent the 
Indian.'' They instituted the custom of "backward speech," which the 
Attendant practised in talking to his master. The Yellow Dog said he 
should dress himself and should not regard anything as sacred. If meat was 
being dried, he would take some down, and the birds in the air, as well as 
the dogs on the earth, should enjoy it. They then instructed the Hidatsa 
how to dress and dance. The Attendant said the Indians might have five 
sashes as a dog had five claws, but if they preferred they might use but four. 
The Real Dog told the people that during a performance of the Dog dance 
the members might lock the door of their lodge and freely indulge their 
passions in the dark, irrespective of ties of relationship, as dogs also dis- 
regarded such considerations. This license was to be granted in view of the 
dangers incurred by the Dogs in battle. 

Wolf-chief, like Hairy-coat, regards this as an Hidatsa society. An 
Indian, bom of a woman, but knowing that he was descended from wolves, 
started the Dog organization. He composed the songs. He said, "We 
will call just one man ' Real Dog.' " He made four caps for the members; 
eagle wing-feathers (afterwards superseded by those of the magpie) were 
fastened to the caps, and in the center a tail-feather was made to stand up 
erect. "This," said he, "shall be the sacred headgear." The dancers 
wore no shirts, and painted their bodies with red paint. Before the wet 
paint had dried, they scratched it with their fingers. The face was Hkewise 
painted red, and near the mouth canine teeth were indicated by paint. 
Some members tied a bunch of split owl feathers to the back of the head, 
so that they stood up erect. All of them wore sashes and carried the rattles 
already described. The founder of the society said, "My name is Yellow 
Dog. When you fight enemies, and the Real Dog goes forward, you must 
say, ' Go ahead, and jump at the enemies.' Then he shall turn back. But 
if you say, ' Come back, don't go near the enemies,' then he must go right 
into their midst. You must teach future generations, you must not let 
the organization die out; always keep one Real Dog." 

Wolf-chief's version terminates in a somewhat obscure account of four 
bad dogs living in the Hidatsa village at the time the Dog society was intro- 

286 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 


•duced. One would jump up high to get meat down from a rack, another, 
which had a big swelling on the forehead, went into lodges to steal meat, 
a third dug holes in earth-lodges, which was a sign that someone would 
die. People wished to kill these dogs, but they turned out to be very 
strong. Though wounded, they did not die. When the Yellow Dog was 
asked, why such bad dogs grew up in the village he replied, " You must not 
kill them. They are dogs, but their power is greater than that of other 
animals." He called their names. "So-and-so, and so-and-so, and so- 
and-so, shall go to heaven when they die. I shall go there also. After I 
shall have gone, the dogs in the village will cry and look up to the sky. They 
will do so early in the morning, at noon, and in the evening; they cry to me." 
According to Wolf-chief, the dogs of the village were actually wont to howl 
as the Yellow Dog had predicted. At daybreak one dog would howl, and 
the other dogs joined in, all looking up at the sky. At noon they did like- 
wise, and a second repetition took place after dark. 

Each member wore a whistle suspended from his neck by means of a 
buckskin string decorated with quill work; the whistle was from the wing- 
bone of an eagle (Poor-wolf) or of a swallow (Hairy-coat). The .rank and 
file had headdresses of owl feathers with one or two eagle feathers in the 
middle. All members carried a ma+lxaxd'ri rattle, which consisted of a 
stick about 14 or 16 inches long, covered with buckskin with a fringe of 
deer (Hairy-coat) or buffalo calf (Maximilian) dewclaws. In Fig. 9 there 
is a picture of a Dog dancer, reproduced from 'Maximilian's Atlas. 

Hairy-coat speaks of but one Real Dog (macu'ka ka'ti), wearing two 
sashes, and of three other officers wearing one sash a piece. The skins of a 
species of owl (hi'*te) were tied to the sashes. One of the sash-wearers 
represented the mythical Yellow Dog. These four men were further dis- 
tinguished from the rank and file by their headdress (maxi'te) which con- 
sisted of a buckskin cap completely covered with magpie feathers. From 
the center of this headdress there extended two very long magpie tails. 
Other magpie feathers were strung together and sewed to the edge of the 
cap, and then in corresponding concentric rings up to the crown. In the 
front an eagle feather had tied to it an eagle plume, while down the back 
there extended a whole eagle tail of twelve feathers. Little strips of weasel 
skin were glued to the magpie tails. 

Poor-wolf and Buffalo-bird-woman speak of two Real Dogs, and to 
them alone the latter informant ascribed the use of the magpie headdresses. 
Poor-wolf says that the owl feather headdresses were worn by all members 
when dancing indoors, but were exchanged for the caps with magpie feathers 
when the Dogs prepared for a public performance. 

Poor-wolf mentioned, in addition to the two Real Dogs, one Lone Dog 

Lowie, Hidatsa arid Mandan Socieliea. 

Hidataa Dog Dancer. (MaxlmlllaD! 

288 Anthropological Papers American Miiseum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

(macu'ka i'*tsEgic). Wolf-chief thinks the Lone Dog belonged to the Crazy 
Dog organization and was a man who wished to die. All three of Wolf- 
chief's officers had knives, of which the handle was supposed to be a bear's 
jaw. Whenever one of the other societies, notably the Goose Women's 
society, had a feast, these three officers had the privilege of going thither, 
touching with their knives some of the meat prepared for the occasion, and 
having this food carried away for their own use by their attendants.^ 

According to Hairy-coat, the Real Dog was the only member to wear 
a foxskin roimd each ankle, and he always had a knife hanging by his wrist, 
which represented a dog's tooth. The attendant referred to in the origin 
myth did not wear a sash, but was expected to dress the Real Dog (see p. 285). 
In case of danger the attendant was supposed to pull back the Real Dog. 
At a sale of the Dog membership referred to by Hairy-coat, the Real Dog 
who had just disposed of his office stood up by the door and thus addressed 
the purchasers : " I '11 tell you something. Select a man to take care of the 
Real Dog, for all dogs have a person to keep them and take care of them. 
Whoever takes care of this one must be brave and prepared to rescue him 
from danger." Volunteers were called for, and finally Almost-a-wolf sat 
down beside the new Real Dog. 

The Real Dogs acted by contraries. One Real Dog, named Bloody- 
mouth, according to Buffalo-bird-woman, would put red paint on his body 
and feet in the winter time, and walk about naked, save for a breechclout 
and his cap, and with nothing but a whistle and a flint knife. He went 
through the village to the woods, and back again, to show that he was a 
Real Dog. Some power he possessed prevented his feet from freezing. 
Wolf -chief remembers his father telling of a similar power, peculiar to the 
Real Dogs, to take out boiling meat from a kettle without injury to the arms 
and hands. This feature was certainly characteristic of the Hot dance 
(page 253). 

It was necessary for Real Dogs to express the contrary of their meaning 
in speaking to others, and a like rule was obligatory on others addressing 
them. If a Real Dog met his girl in the wood and she addressed him with 
the words, "Come, Real Dog," he turned about and went away. But 
if she forbade him to approach, he ran up to catch her. At a feast of their 
society the Real Dogs were beaten with sticks to make them come into the 

In battle the attendant was to hold back the Real Dog, but when there 
was great danger, he would say, "Go now!" Then the Real Dog might 

1 In describing the Mandan and Hidatsa corn ceremony, Maximilian writes: "cifters 
kommen auch wahrend dieser Ceremonie ein Paar Manner von der Bande der Hunde, zerren 
ohne Umstande ein grosses Sttick Fleisch von den Gertisten herab und nehmen es mlt. Da 
sie Hunde und angesehene Manner sind, so kann man Ihnen dieses nicht wehren" (ii, 183). 


1913.] Lowie, Hidataa and Mandan Societies. 289 

flee. If, on the contrary, the enemy seemed cowardly, the attendant would 
say, "Well, there is great danger. Then the Real Dog went forward. 
When Hairy-coat's father had bought the office, the former incumbent thus 
prayed to the Celestial Dogs: "I hope that my son will die immediately. 
I do not wish him to live long. If he wishes for anything, I hope he will not 
get it, or only after a long time.'' 

Wolf -chief narrated the following tale illustrating the " backward speech'* 
feature of the Real Dog office. 

Once the Cheyenne had come towards an Hidatsa village and killed a 
party of hunters. The Hidatsa were only a few in number, and sent for aid 
to the Assiniboine, then camped on the Yellowstone. The Assiniboine 
came, and the Hidatsa asked one of their shamans to pray. The shaman 
had a rawhide rope stretched, and ordered all the guns to be leaned against 
it. Then he put down the barrel of one gun, and blood dropped from it. 
"This is a good sign." He sang a song, and repeated the procedure with 
every other gun. He issued the rule that none should walk in front of the 
guns, but one man, a Real Dog, paid no attention to this prohibition, 
picked up some cooked food from there, and said, "Tomorrow is the day 
for me to die, I do not care whose food this is. If I want it, I'll have it. 
He wished to disobey orders. People said, "He will surely be killed. 
The Real Dog said, "Why, you sent me there, you should have told me the 
opposite of what you meant." Afterwards an Hidatsa shaman prayed. 
He picked up some sage leaves, rubbed them with his hands to form a ball, 
sang, raised his hands to his head, then lowered them again, and showed 
the inside of his hands, which were all black with the exception of the 
finger points, which were all white. " This color shows that I shall lose ten 
men, but I shall yet be able to arrange it differently. Get me ten eagle 
feathers." They could find only nine feathers. He said, "It is not so bad 
after all." Again he sang, rubbed sage leaves, and showed his hands: nine 
of his fingers were black, and one white. "Well, because you brought me 
nine feathers, only one Hidatsa man will be killed tomorrow. But I have 
some captives from other tribes, and I shall have one of them slain instead 
of an Hidatsa." The allies went close to the Cheyenne camp, and at day- 
break they attacked them. The Real Dog went into the enemy's camp, 
they heard him and awoke. The allies killed all the Cheyenne. The Hid- 
atsa lost only one captive and the Real Dog, whose body was found cut to 
pieces, while the Assiniboine lost thirty men. Since that time people knew 
that when they wished to call back a Real Dog, they must bid him go for- 

Before a dance, the Real Dog would carry meat on his knife, walk to- 
wards the four quarters, then return and put the meat down on the ground 
in the center of the village. Tearless-eyes, Hairy-coat's father, obtained 

290 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI ^ 

the meat from one of his clan fathers. The Yellow Dogs, and later the 
other Dogs, of the village would come and devour the meat. One statement 
by Hairy-coat seems to indicate that the Yellow Dog officer might come 
from his own house and eat of the food, as he did not respect sacred things 
(see p. 285). He wore a sash on this occasion, and his body was painted 
red all over. 

Before beginning to sing, the Dogs howled like dogs. The first member 
to enter the lodge was the Real Dog, who was followed by the Yellow Dog. 
There was a single double-headed drum hollowed out of a log. At first 
the members only blew their whistles. Wives were seated behind their 
husbands. Then the attendant holding the Real Dog's sash whipped him 
AS he would a dog, then the Real Dog rose and began to dance, still held by 
his keeper, who whipped him a little at the close of the song, whereupon 
both sat down. The other Dogs shook their rattles during the dance, in 
which they also took part after the Real Dog had begun. At the close of 
the song all the Dogs stood blowing their whistles, then they returned to 
their places and sat down. The other members admonished the attendant 
not to forget to save the Real Dog whenever he was in danger. The dancers 
carried bows of elk and mountain-goat horn. 

The dance continued until nightfall, when the doors were locked. Then, 
in the dark, while the fathers ^ of the members were continuing to sing, the 
Real Dog seized any of the women present and embraced her. The other 
Dogs followed suit. Degrees of relationship were disregarded, and no 
woman might refuse to yield. Tearless-eyes once caught hold of one of his 
mothers-in-law, who cried out, but was quieted by other people, who told 
her not to cry as she was merely submitting to the rule. Another man 
caught a young woman, who afterwards turned out to be his sister. When 
the Dogs had done, the doors were opened, and the women ran off. 

In a public parade the members marched in single file, except for the 
Real Dogs, who walked abreast. Sometimes the Real Dogs took the lead, 
at other times their place was farther back. The Dogs would say, " Who- 
ever kills a Sioux or strikes the first coup, shall be feasted by us.'' Once 
Enemy' s-dog struck the first coup, and was accordingly entertained by the 

The following are Dog songs : — 

"awa'he maxu'ats; awa'he maxu'ats cewa'+its." 
"This earth is my body; this earth is my body.^ I said so." 

"hirice maki'ric. miri'tets." 

"This is what Hook for. So I begin to get frightened." 

1 This clause would seem to indicate that the custom here described was practised at the 
time of the purchase of the organization. 

2 That is, "When I die, my body will be dust." 

1913.] LowiCj Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 291 

Buffalo Bulls. 

The Bulls (ki'rup i*ke') fonned one of the highest age-grades, neverthe- 
less Hairy-coat estimates the age of members in his day at but little over 
thirty. It was customary to have one junior member, and Hairy-coat 
himself was chosen at the age of eight years, " because they knew my father 
loved me and would feast them." Apparently he was admitted free. He 
did not state whether he was the first junior member ever taken into the 
organization; at all events, when the society was sold two years and a half 
later, the junior membership was sold like any other. For some years 
after the sale Hairy-coat continued to associate with the group he had 
belonged to when they were still Bulls. Whenever his father returned from 
the chase, he had rib meat cooked and bade his son invite these older men. 
On such an occasion the boy would get an old man to herald that the former 
Bulls were invited to Hairy-coat's father's lodge. In return the older men 
also invited Hairy-coat to their feasts. This association was not dissolved 
until the time when Hairy-coat's proper age-group purchased a society.^ 

Poor-wolf said that some Bulls were old, while others were young. In 
1910 Wolf -chief explained that the Bulls were "friends" of the Lumpwoods 
and that thus old and young people might sometimes dance together. A 
year later the same informant thought that the Hidatsa Bulls were " friends "^ 
of the Kit-Foxes, while the Bull society of the Mandan stood in the same 
relationship to the Crazy Dogs of that tribe. 

The Bulls had several women comrades who helped them in singing 
and occasionally prepared a feast for them. Wolf-chief remembers three 
women who acted in this capacity. They called themselves Buffalo Bull 

No complete origin tradition could be secured. Hairy-coat says that 
the society was given to the Hidatsa by the buffalo bulls themselves and 
that it was shared by the Sioux and Assiniboine. Poor-wolf derives the 
use of the Blind Bulls' masks from a personal vision. 

The mode of purchase was the one customary in all the age-societies. 
Seven pipes were offered by the prospective buyers, — four for the Four- 
clans and three for the Three-clans in the sellers' group. The Four-clans 
discussed among themselves how much property was to be demanded and 
how many nights they should be feasted, and the Three-clans conducted 
a corresponding discussion .^ If the members of one phratry could not 

1 This seems to have been the Stone Hammer society. 

2 This mode of deliberation by phratries was also customary in matters of tribal im- 
portance according to Hairy-coat. It was followed, for example, in the construction of a 
winter village. 

292 Anthropological Papers American Miiseum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

agree, they might decide to leave the decision with the other phratry. 
The office of a BHnd Bull was acquired in the usual automatic fashion 
noted with regard to the offices of other organizations (see p. 264, 275, 301). 

Hairy-coat for some reason did not have to buy his junior membership, 
but some years later he sold it at the same time as the older Bulls disposed 
of their membership. In spite of his youth a pipe was offered to him, and 
he was requested to give his consent to the sale. Then a boy belonging 
normally to the age-group just above his own was assigned to Hairy-coat 
for his son. 

All the members, with the exception of a horseman and two officers, 
wore the same headdress, consisting of a cap made from the skin of a buffalo's 
head above the eyes. In the back this cap extended a trifle below the neck, 
and in front it was tied with chin-straps. From the cap there rose two 
buffalo horns, cut short at the bottom, with their tips approaching each 
other; they were perforated so that they could be fastened to the skin with 
buckskin strings. 

Two officers, known as Blind Bidls (ki'rup ictare'ci*kfe), wore a mask 
consisting of the skin of a whole buffalo head with the mane and horns. 
Blue glass was put in place of the buffalo's eyes, and below them were the 
eyeslits for the wearer. The nose — or, according to Buffalo-bird-woman, 
the entire lower half of the mask, from the nose downwards — was painted 
blue. The Blind Bulls carried spears decorated with long feathers tied at 
the top, as well as with horsetails dyed yellow. Pieces of weasel skin were 
tied to the shaft, all of which was painted black. The spear head was over 
a foot in length and was held pointing downwards. These spears were called 
ma^+ita' i'cui*ti'e; "arrow-feather-large." 

A few members tied a dried buffalo tail to the back of their belts so that 
it stood up erect. These, after dancing forward, would run back again, 
hold their right horns with their hands, and act as if they were going to 
hook some of the people. In war these men were obliged to make a stand 
against pursuing enemies (Wolf -chief). Accordingly, they would address 
the people as follows : " You see my tail in the air because I am brave. Once 
the enemy were pursuing us. I got so angry that my tail rose erect, and I 
turned about to chase the enemy.'* A statement by Hairy-coat seems to 
imply that all Bulls wore tails. 

During a parade one member wearing no headdress proceeded on horse- 
back. In this case, however, the horse had sections of horns with a piece 
of buffalo skin fastened to its head, and a piece of rawhide painted yellow 
was attached to its face. The rider carried a shield and wore a skirt. 

Members wore a skirt or kilt of red cloth extending just below the knees; 
at the bottom it was edged with tin cones, and directly above the cones 

1913.] Lotvie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 293 

small bells were fastened to the cloth. Shu-ts were not worn, and the body 
and arms were painted with blue clay. All carried guns and wore what 
honor marks they possessed. Thus a man who had killed an enemy tied 
a scalp to his gun and painted a line with white clay for each man slain. 
If a Bull had been wounded, he would whittle the center of a stick so that 
the shavings were still attached at one end, and tie the stick to the hair 
on his cap. If woimded in the chest, he would put red paint from lip to 
chin. Finger-prints on both sides of the breast indicated that an enemy 
had been seized by the person thus decorated. 

Anyone that had ever driven the Sioux from their breastworks, or had 
entered a Sioux tipi, was permitted to enter the dance lodge before the other 
members. In dancing, the Bulls stamped their feet. When performing 
outdoors, they acted fiercely. If anyone of them had slain an enemy, he 
might run up towards the spectators and discharge hb gun. Anyone 
wounded in battle had the privilege of kicking his neighbor in the dance. 
The Blind Bull — Wolf-chief speaks of but one officer of this type — did 
not seem to hear the drumming and singing, but merely walked and jumped 
around. When the Bulls danced, a vessel with water was put in the center 
of the village, and some food was placed beside it. After the Bulls had 
ceased to dance, someone said, "Whoever has helped to take a wounded 
man out of the fray, may come forward and drink water." Then those 
who had done so got up and drank of the water; generally there were very 
few of them. In later times whiskey was put into the vessel. Wolf-chief's 
father once went to the vessel, and said, " Over there, in the west, the enemy 
were pursuing us. One woman was lagging behind. I turned back and 
saved her life.** Then he drank of the liquor. After drinking, he said, 
*'At the Knife River confluence the enemy were pursuing us. I halted, 
I did not run. The enemy stopped. The bravest of them approached. 
I shot and killed him." Then the speaker took another drink. After this 
public performance the Bulls returned to their lodge. 

294 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI^ 


The Mandan System. 



Both from Maximilian's account and the statements of my own inform- 
ants it appears that the Mandan system of men's societies closely resembled 
that of the Hidatsa. In both cases there was a series of graded organiza- 
tions, the membership, or rather ownership, of each of which was acquired 
by collective purchase. The method of buying membership was practically 
identical, and among the Mandan as well as among the Hidatsa the sur- 
render of the purchasers' wives to the sellers formed a conspicuous feature. 
Owing to the collective manner of obtaining membership, practically all 
tribesmen belonged to some one of the societies. If a boy of a certain age 
did not yet belong to any organization, he was, according to Water-chief, 
derided as a " Finger-in-his-eye (ista wdtke). After selling their last society 
the retired members, as among the Hidatsa, were known as " Stinking-ears 


According to Black-chest and Wounded-f ace, the institution of " friendly 

organizations described for the Hidatsa (p. 229) also occurs among the 

Mandan, but this is denied by Painted-up for both men's and women's^ 

organizations. Unfortunately this important point must remain undecided. 

There can be no doubt that within the period known to my informants 
membership in a society was primarily, on the Hidatsa plan, a matter of 
purchase, not of age. Because, for example, the group that normally woidd 
have purchased the Kit-Fox and Little Dog societies failed to buy either 
from his own class, Black-chest at 62 considers himself a member of these 
organizations, which he joined at 20 and 25 respectively. 

Owing to the very small number of Mandan who survived the epidemic 
of 1837 and the intimate relations of the survivors with the Hidatsa, the 
accounts of my Mandan informants may be largely colored by Hidatsa 
influences, so that Maximilian's data are all the more valuable and will be 
summarized in the following sections. Of the societies enumerated by my 
Mandan informants but not given by Maximilian, the Kit-Fox and the 
Little Dog organizations may be assumed to have been adopted fr6m the 
Hidatsa in recent times, for both occur in Maximilian's Hidatsa list. In 
preparing the following comparative table I assume, for reasons already set 
forth (p. 235), that in Maximilian's day there were distinct Dog and Half- 


LotviCt Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 


Shaved Head societies. Black-chest's enumeration differs from that by 
Wounded face merely in the omission of the Old Dog, Coarse Hair, and 
Black Tail Deer societies and in the reversal of the relative positions of the 
Buffalo Bull and Dog societies. 

Mandan Societies. 

Maximilian (II, 139-144). 


1. Cheyenne Society (co'ta o'xat'e) 

2. Kit-Fox Society (o'xox'atoc) 

3. Little Dog Society (rnini'sinik 6'xat'e 

1. Foolish Dogs (Meni'ss O'chka 

4. Crazy Dog Society (mini's'o^xka 

2. Crows, or Ravens (Hahderucha 

3. Half-shaved Heads (I'schoha Kako- 

4. Soldiers (Chara'k O'chata, or Kau'a 

5. Black Mouth Society, (i'he psi'here 
o'xate, or nunia'k xarak o'xat'e) 

5. Dogs (Meni'ss O'chata) 

7. Dog Society (mini's o'xatoc) 

6. Old Dogs (Meni'ss-Chah-Ochata) 

8. Old Dog Society (mini's xixe' o'xat'e) 

7. Buffalo Bulls (Bero'ck-O'chata) 

6. Buffalo Bull Society (mero'k o'xat'e) 

8. Black-Tail Deers (Schu'mpsi O'chata) 

10. Black-Tail Deer Society (cu'psi 

9. Coarse Hair Society (baca'ca o'xat^e) 

Cheyenne Society. 

Wounded-f ace's group bought the Cheyenne society (co'ta o'xat'e), 
at the request of the men owning it, when my informant was about 10 or 12 
years old. Calicoes and tanned goods were gathered, and with them a 
pipe was taken to the sellers. One of these smoked the pipe to show that 
they were willing to dispose of their membership. 

296 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

Every member Had a head ornament consisting of a roimd piece of raw- 
hide with a bone feather holder. Two officers wore moderately wide aprons 
of red cloth edged with eagle feathers hanging down. Each of two other 
officers had a sacred bow with two arrows, one painted red and the other 
black. Two officers bore a spiked club (o'o kahiri' 'ka), the spike being of 
horn. The sacred bows and arrows were for use against the enemy; they 
never missed their aim. For some reason no paraphernalia were suppHed 
to Wounded-face's group, and they did not exercise their membership 
privileges because older men who shoidd have taught them the appropriate 
songs died. All the members of this society were Mandan, but the organiza- 
tion originated with the Dakota or Cheyenne. Black-chest independently 
made the statement that the society was not really of Mandan origin. The 
co'ia o'xafe regarded the Foxes as their fathers, and the Little Dogs as their 

Water-chief said that members wore two eagle feathers rising from the 
back of the head. Before his group bought the society, five older Mandan 
called them together, and said, "We wish to give you a society." Then 
property was collected and brought to them. The same night they sang 
songs, to which the young boys danced. After the dance, the sellers ad- 
dressed their sons, saying, " You are growing up now. You must go against 
the enemy. Try to be brave and conquer the enemy." 

Kit-Fox Society. 

The following account of this society (o'xox'atoc) was given by Black- 

When we bought this society, all of us were unmarried. We wished to buy this 
society. Our fathers said, ** These foxes have ten claws on their front legs, so we 
wish you to give us a ten days^ feast.** I selected Good-bear, one of my clan fathers, 
for my individual father. The members of the River Women society were our 
"friends"; one of these, Black-head, was my individual "friend." 

When the River Women had gathered together, we went to them and thus 
addressed them: "We wish to make friends with you. We desire to buy a society 
and wish you to help us and give us some blankets. We wish to know whether you 
are willing to do so." The women debated the request, and each one declared that 
she would contribute her blanket. Then we said, "Well, now each of you shall say 
which one of us you are willing to help." Then Black-head designated me. She 
was no clan aunt of mine. 

We borrowed Broken-horn's earth-lodge for our meeting and brought kettles of 
food there. Black-head also brought a kettle of food there. We boys came in on 
the left side and sat down in an ellipse. We could hear our fathers singing as they 
approached our lodge. They entered it on the right side and sat down. Their 
wives, who were to assist in the singing during the ten nights* entertainment, were 
grouped behind their husbands. 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 297 

When our fathers had sat down, one of our number, Wounded-face, rose and said, 
**Well, comrades and women friends, listen. We have brought our food here, and 
we wish to select our fathers tonight. Do each of you rise and set your food before 
your father." Then each of us rose, picked up his kettle, and walked past the door- 
side of the fireplace to his father. I picked out one of my clan fathers and gave him 
my kettle; then I returned to my place. Black-head, who had watched my move- 
ments, then came forward and brought her kettle to the man indicated as my father. 
Those purchasers who had no clan fathers among the sellers selected anyone they 
pleased for their individual father. The fathers ate of the food, leaving some for 
their wives, who emptied the kettles and returned them to their husbands. Then 
Good-bear called me by name and said, "Come, son, and get your kettle." I went 
towards him and stood before him. Then Good-bear prayed to the supernatural 
powers: "I have gone through the Oki'pE ceremony myself and have undergone 
great hardships for your sake. In other ceremonies I have also undergone suflfering. 
Before I underwent this suffering, I thought you would help me whenever I could not 
do something by my own power. I have no power to give honor marks, therefore 
I ask you to help me by securing honor marks for my son." Then I took both 
kettles and went back to my place, where I returned to Black-head her own kettle. 
Each of the boys acted in a similar way. 

After all of us had sat down, our fathers began to sing. They beat drums, but 
did not dance. They sang these words: — 

"maldta^ni mdhuna." 

"You, wake up and come." 

(These words are supposed to be addressed to one's sweetheart.] 

Four times they sang such songs. Then came a second set of songs, during which 
the fathers danced in their places. When they had done dancing, they addressed 
us in obsolete Mandan, saying, "Si! i'kare^xoc!" ("Clan son, daylight is here!") 
Shot-foot, one of the fathers, rose to address us. jHe said, "Si, we wish you to give 
us a ten nights' feast. This will give us time to prepare clothes for you." 

This meeting took place in the evening, each of our female "friends" brought 
in a bundle of willows carried by means of a tump line and a second line passing 
around the breast. The bundles were piled up on the left side of the door (for one 
entering) , and from time to time one of the boys would rise to keep up the fire. This 
purchase took place in midsummer. I was about 20 years old at the time. 

On each of the ten nights the fathers came in in the same way as the first time, 
and the mode of procedure was the same. On the tenth night, the fathers said, " Sons, 
we have done; tomorrow we shall give you your things." On the following morning 
we came back to the same lodge and took our seats, but without any kettles. Our 
women "friends" also came in and sat down. This time, however, we were not 
ranged in an ellipse as before, but sat in the arc of a circle, with our "friends" in a 
similar arc from 4i to 5 feet behind us. Until this day White-bear's house had served 
as the place of assembly for the fathers prior to their approach to our own meeting- 
place, but this morning each came from his own lodge, their wives carrying the clothes 
to be presented to the purchasers of the society. The fathers sat down in a ciured 
line opposite to ours, and their wives took seats behind them. There were about 
thirty fathers; sometimes two boys had the same father. They planted two sticks 
into the ground in the rear (mana'ktata) of the lodge. One of the sticks was hooked, 
and its shaft was wrapped with ottersldn; three eagle feathers himg down from the 
end of the hook. The second stick was straight and also wrapped with ottersldn: 

298 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI ^ 

to the top of the shaft there was fastened a single eagle feather. The bottom of 
both staffs was blunt, but m order to secure them in their places a sharp-pointed stick 
had been previously driven into the ground there. The fathers had two hand- 
drums. The father nearest the door took the hooked stick (ma'nantf skup) which 
had been set at the left side of the straight stick (ma'nactf cuk) for one facing the 
door, and held it in his hand, while the last father in line took the straight stick. The 
two fathers standing nearest the staff-holders bore rattles. The drums were beaten, 
but before the rest of the fathers rose Shot-foot addressed us, saying, "Sons, you will 
keep our society, you will dance today." Then the fathers all rose, and the singing 
began. The staff-bearers advanced towards the boys, shouting, while the rest danced 
in their places. When the staff-bearers had got to the fireplace, the singing ceased. 
Each of the two officers then went to his son and led him to a spot between the two 
main posts on the right side of the lodge (for one facing the entrance), and gave his 
stick to his son. On this occasion Water^hief received the straight stick, and White- 
eye the bent stick. Next Shot-fox rose with his rattle and — this time without any 
singing or dancing — walked straight towards his son. Long-tail, whom he led to the 
place between the two posts used by the staff-bearers and presented with his rattle. 
The second rattler went through a corresponding procedure. Then the wives of the 
four officers who had just disposed of their emblems came forward to give the newly 
prepared clothes to their sons. The spectators, during all this performance, were 
restricted to the space between the door and the two front posts. From among 
these outsiders there now advanced the relatives of the new officers in order to pile up 
property before them or to present small sticks representing the promise to donate a 

The fathers said, "Now, sons, all of you stand up!" All the fathers then walked 
towards us, followed by their wives, who carried the clothing and laid it down before 
the sons. All of us put on the new clothes on the spot. The fathers who had 
surrendered their rattles stood next to their sons, whom they wished to assist in 
singing. The fathers who had owned the two officers' staffs said to the new incum- 
bents: "There is an abundance of enemies; try to be brave!" The fathers who had 
carried rattles said the same to their sons, adding: "You will sing for your society, 
and I must teach you now. When you sing outdoors, you shall circle round to the 
right, and all will follow you." The first rattler accordingly led the procession in a 
circle until he had got near the second rattler, where he stopped and began to sing. 
The second rattler then also sang a song, shaking a tin-can rattle. In the procession 
outdoors the marchers walked at a very rapid pace. 

Four female associates followed the men. These were called "Fox women" and 
had been appointed by their own families to assist the Foxes at their feasts and in the 
singing. They stood outside the circle formed by the society when dancing outdoors, 
but also took part in the dance. These women were unmarried, but later two of 
them, Pumpkin-blossom and Otter, married members of the society. 

After we had marched out of our lodge, we went to an open space east of the 
Round Corral.^ Four of our fathers stepped inside the circle we formed there, 
and sang for us, beating their drums. We danced and then went home. This first 
public dance was the only occasion on which our fathers sang for us. 

After a few days we came together and danced in Water-chief's lodge. During 
indoor performances we sat in an arc round the lodge and did not make use of our 

1 This is the structure described by Catlin and Maximilian as the "ark." 

1913.] Loufie, Hidaisa and Mandan Societies. 299 

regalia. After a few days spent in hunting we again gathered in our meetii^-house 
«nd had an abundance of food prepared. Some time in the spring we went outside 
in our r^alia and danced pubhely, whereupon we would return to the lodge, dance 
-again, and then have a feast. This happened about three or four times a year. 
Frequently members of the society went out at night in their ordinary costume and 
walked from house to house, singing infrontof every lodge. Thb was done to please 
the young women of the village. The four Fox women did not take part in these 
nocturnal processions, but other girls accompanied the men and sai^ with them. 
|_^ I In addition to the rattlera and the staff-bearers, there were two men distinguished 
by their regalia from the rank and file. One of these wore a cap (raapa'caci wa'ah- 
ku'pe) of kit-fox skin, with the ears sticking up.' This officer acted as a sort ot 

Fig. 10. (50.1-4332). Cap of Mandftn Kit-Fox Society. Length, 127 cm. 

spokesman for the society, but was not regarded as the chief of the organization. 
The other officer wore a head band decorated with kit-fox jaws (Fig. 17). 

The Black Mouth society was regarded as friendly to our Kit-Fox group. They 
aat with us when we purchased the society and contributed to the food given to our 
fathers, though not to the property paid to them. When a new rattler did not at 
once leam his song and was accordingly afraid to try it, the Black Mouth officer bear- 
ing a "dance flag" took his place for a while. After the purchase the Black Mouths 
participated in our feasts. Sometimes we got together in the house of Two-chiefs, 
& Black Mouth; if any Black Mouth so desired he might then join us in the dancing. 

Sometimes we gathered instead in the hoiwe of Foolish-soldier, a Stinking-Ear 
(see p. 294). Foolish-soldier acted as our herald. He would get up on the roof of a 
lodge and announce our meeting. 

Bear's-ghost, Crow's-heart, Black-eagle, Sitting-crow, Whit^-owl, and their 
associates should have bought the Kit-Fox society from us. As they did not do so, 
we still own it." 

» Woimded-fftce's cap Is shown In Fi«. 10. 

300 Anihropoloffical Papers American Museum of Nalural History. [Vol. XI^ 

Some additional information on this society was furnished by Wounded- 
face, Water-chief, and Little-crow. Of these, Wounded-face and Water- 
chief belonged to the same group as Black-chest, while Little-crow was a 
member of the group from which the other three informants purchased their 
membership. Black-chest sets his present age at 62, while Little-crow is 
8uppK>sed to be 74. At the time they purchased their meftibership, the age 
of Little-crow, Wounded-face and Water-chief was about 14, 20, and 16 

Wounded-face regards Good-fur-robe, a mythical hero, as the founder 
of the society. Good-fur-robe pulled out two sunflower stalks from the 
ground and presented them to two young men. He instructed them ta 
plant these stalks in the ground during an encounter with the enemy and 
not to retreat from the si>ot. The sunflower and the com, this informant 
added, were essentially one. A similar account was furnished by Packs- 
wolf, who further stated that at a later time lances were substituted for the 
stalks. Though Maximilian does not mention a Mandan Kit-Fox society, 
the following tradition recorded by him as to the origin of the other Mandan 
organizations is very suggestive in view of the statements obtained from my 
own informants. The chief who first ascended to the earth from the sub- 
terranean regions formerly inhabited by the Mandan was named Village- 
smoke, but assumed the name of Good-fur-robe ("die Robe oder das Fell 
mit sehonem Haare, la robe h beau poiF*) after reaching the upper world. 
He founded the societies, beginning with the Dogs. For the Soldiers he 
made two hooked-sticks wrapped with otterskin and two other sticks trimmed 
with raven feathers. The hooked sticks represented sunflowers; the other 
sticks, the com plant. These emblems were to be planted into the ground 
in fighting an enemy and were never to be abandoned.^ 

Water-chief mentions the interesting point that his group bought the 
Kit-Fox organization at the suggestion of the owners. These came to the 
younger men and said, " We wish to give you this Fox society and make you 
our sons." It is quite clear from the other accounts that this fact did not 
affect the initial mode of procedure. A pipe was put before the fathers and 
had to be accepted and smoked by one of their number in the same way as 
when Little-crow's group decided to buy the membership on their own 
initiative. In both cases the fathers seem to have been able to dictate the 
terms of purchase: at the time when Black-chest and Water-chief became 
Kit-Foxes, a ten nights* entertainment was demanded, while in Little- 
crow's day the feasting of the sellers lasted twelve nights. 

Like Black-chest, Wounded-face selected a clan father. Two-crows, for 

1 Maximilian, ii. 162. 

1913.] Lovrie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 301 

his individual father. Wounded-face did not know that Two-crows owned 
two kinds of emblems, — the foxskin cap to be used in dancing and in war, 
and the head band decorated with the lower kit-fox jaws which was to be 
worn when courting young women. ^ On the morning of the final transfer- 
ence of membership rights. Two-crows gave Wounded-face the cap and the 
head band, as well as a shirt, armlets and fringed buckskin leggings. In 
return, Wounded-face paid his father a fast black horse suited for use in 
the buffalo chase and some property contributed by his relatives. I get 
the impression that the transfer of special regalia was automatic; that is 
to say, if the father happened to own certain specific emblems the son buying 
his membership bought ipso facto the regalia owned by the seller. 

Little-crow states that at the public performance the relatives of the new 
members brought presents, which were turned over to the fathers, either 
individually or collectively. In the latter case the fathers proceeded to 
distribute the gifts among themselves. 

In marching outdoors, the first rattler took the lead and was immediately 
followed by the first hooked-staff officer; Wounded-face — presumably as 
the owner of the cap — occupied a central position in the line; the second 
rattler came last, being directly behind the second hooked-staff officer. 
The first rattler selected a site for the dance and turned in order to begin the 
formation of a circle there, at the same time raising his rattle and singing 
very loudly. There was always a special song to be simg prior to the 
drummers' entrance into the circle. This song was taken up by the second 
rattler. While the circle was forming, the singers went within the cir- 
cumference and began to beat their drums. These singers were always 
the members' fathers, if I understood Wounded-face correctly, but it is 
probable that this applies only to the first public performance by a new 
group of members. The songs referred to warlike deeds, and the words 
were, according to this informant, invariably in the Dakota language. 

Little-crow, as aheady stated, considers the head band decorated with 
kit-fox jaws as a badge common to all members; he further states that 
each Kit-Fox had a hair-pipe attached to the left side of the head and that 
six men had their hair roached. The hair-cutting was done by the men's 
fathers. Other informants agree that there were two rattlers and two 
officers with hooked-staffs, wrapped with otterskin and decorated at four 
points with feathers. Wounded-face says that sometimes the second staff- 
bearer carried a straight stick, in which case an erect eagle feather was 

secured to the top of the shaft. Little-crow states that rattles were used 

■ . . , . 

1 This seems to conflict with Black-chest's account, which assigns these emblems to 
distinct oflicers, but Little-crow regards the kit-fox head band as a badge conmion to all 

302 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

outdoors, and drums within the lodge, but this contradicts the accounts 
of others. The rattles were originally made of gourds, but in Wounded- 
face's time baking-powder cans had been substituted. 

The Fox women, according to Wounded-face, were selected by the 
fathers' wives. Their robes were decorated with honor marks earned by 
their male associates. Little-crow mentioned only two Fox women, selected 
by the members themselves, and placed in the middle of the line of march. 

The military element was obviously prominent in the society. Water- 
<ihief relates that on the first public appearance of the new members, each 
one was called by name by the older men and women of the village and 
addressed as follows: "We have numerous enemies, you are the one that 
must fight and try to be a man. You must not forget this when you are 
in a fight." Later in the season, when Water-chief had struck a coup and 
received a wound, his people rejoiced, telling him, " That is what you desired 
to do, you are a brave man." Little-crow declared that the Kit-Foxes 
<]id not dance very frequently, — in fact only when the approach of an 
enemy was reported. Wounded-face, while stating that dances were occa- 
sionally performed solely for the sake of amusement and in order to attract 
the attention of young women, also said that the Foxes danced very often 
in times of war, beginning as soon as a scout had brought the news of an 
enemy's approach. The Foxes tried to be brave in battle. Wounded- 
face recalls an occasion when a very brave enemy, surrounded by the 
Mandan, was holding his foemen at bay; finally, a Kit-Fox advanced to- 
wards him, struck him, and was killed. On another occasion a Kit-Fox 
together with four companions, set out on a war party. All five were killed 
by the enemy. This event was commemorated in song: "Once two ene- 
mies went into the bush. We surrounded them. One Kit-Fox went for- 
ivard, and they killed him there." 

The purely social features of the organization were also conspicuous. 
Public appearances were followed by feasts after the members had returned 
to their lodge. There were occasional horse parades by the Kit-Foxes, and 
the nocturnal processions referred to by Black-chest were of frequent 

Little Dog Society. 

While Black-chest's and W^ounded-f ace's group owned the Fox society, 
their fathers were Little Dogs (mini'sinik o'xat'e) ^ ; that is to say, after 

1 The present meaning of the native term seems to be "colt society," but the older 
informants consider the above rendering correct in the context given and consider the society 
related to the Hidatsa Little Dog organization. Maximilian also translates menisa *'dog." 
A corresponding confusion was encountered in the case of the other Mandan societies named 
for the dog. 

1913.] Lotuie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 303 

surrendering their ownership of the Fox organization, they had acquired 
possession of the Little Dog society. On one occasion, after the lapse 
of about five or six years, the Kit-Foxes were meeting at Woman-ghost's 
house, when someone asked whether they might not buy the Little Dog 
society then. Each one expressed his willingness to purchase it. Then 
they gathered together property for an initial gift, and one man carried 
A pipe to the Little Dogs' lodge. One of the Little Dogs said, "Well, we 
will meet and debate the matter." The messenger returned. As it was 
late, the Kit-Foxes waited for the next day to make their first offerings of 
^oods, and merely went about the village, singing at several earth-lodges. 
On the next day they gathered and notified their friends, the River Women, 
w^ho collected some property for them. This was piled up together with 
some guns contributed by the purchasers themselves, and was then divided 
among them. They waited imtil nightfall, then they went outside, crying, 
and marched towards the Little Dogs' lodge. A leader carried the pipe, 
and, on entering, laid it down before the fireplace. All the property was 
deposited near the pipe, then the Kit-Foxes took seats near the door, in the 
space allotted to outsiders. The Little Dogs were seated in the rear and 
on the sides of the lodge. Iron-eyes, one of the sellers' company, took the 
pipe towards the fire, lit it, and began to smoke. All the Kit-Foxes then 
cried, " Haho' ! We are going to have some songs." According to Wounded- 
iace, the prospective buyers said to their fathers: " We have bought the Kit- 
Fox society of you, but we still have the Dog society to buy from you." 
Thereupon the fathers took the property and bade their sons prepare a lodge 
ior the next evening. Then the Kit-Foxes went back to their lodge. 

The next evening the Kit-Foxes gathered in Two-chiefs' house. They 
had married since their former purchase, and each one had his wife prepare 
food and bring it to the meeting place. The Little Dogs approached the 
lodge, singing on the way. The door of the lodge faced north. The buyers 
had ranged themselves on the right side (for one entering), with their wives 
behind them. The sellers sat down on the opposite side, with their wives 
behind them, and began to sing, using sticks with sleighbells ior rattles. 
"We liked their song better than ours." (Black-chest). Big-thief rose, 
lield up a dried dogskin, laid it toward the fire, faced the fire himself, sat 
down behind the skin, and thus addressed the group of buyers: "Well, 
sons, this dog has five claws on each of its front legs, that makes ten. Its 
hind legs also have ten claws, that makes twenty in all. So we wish you to 
feast us for twenty nights, then we will let you have our songs." ^ 

I "Wounded-face says that the entertainment lasted only fifteen nights, while Water- 
<;hief spoke of a ten nights' feasting of the fathers. When Little-crow, of the group imme- 
diately higher than that of the three informants quoted here and in the text, bought the same 
-society, the entertainment lasted eight nights. 

304 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

After this speech, Big-thief returned to his place. Then all the Kit- 
Foxes rose and brought presents of food to their fathers. Black-chest again 
selected Good-bear for his individual Father, but explains that this was 
not obligatory. Wounded-face was obliged to select a new father, for the 
one chosen by him in purchasing the Kit-Fox organization had been killed 
in battle; otherwise, he says he should have kept the same individual for 
his father in buying all the higher societies. On this occasion his choice 
fell on Little-crow, to whom he presented a kettleful of food as a token of 
his selection. Black-chest states that five of the fathers had been killed 
since the purchase of the Kit-Fox society. 

Black-chest says that on this occasion the River Women did not aid the 
purchasers, as both they and the latter had married. This obviously refers 
to the period of the fathers' entertainment, as the same informant mentions 
a contribution by this women's organization to the initial payment (see 
p. 303). On the other hand, the Black Mouths attended the performance 
and brought food for the sellers. 

At a height of about seven feet from the ground the fathers stretched a 
rawhide rope between the two rear main posts. To each end of the rope 
they attached a whip, and near its center they folded over it two red cloth 
sashes. These sashes were considered sacred. The wife of one of the buyers 
then rose, stripped naked and covering her genitalia with her hands, 
approached the rear of the fireplace. Rising on tiptoes, she seized one of 
the sashes, covered her nakedness again, pressed the sash to her breast 
and hung it up as before. Each one of the buyers' wives went through the 
same ceremony. During this performance the fathers were all singing. 
The women returned to their seats and put on their blankets. Each hus- 
band then said to his wife: " I will give you to my father, for I want his 
song. Perhaps he will pray for us, and it will be well for both of us." 

Then the father and the woman oifered to him went out together. 
Menstruating women were absolved from this performance, for they were 
not supposed to come to the lodge at all on such occasions. As a matter 
of fact, Black-chest says that only very few fathers availed themselves of 
the right surrendered to them, being generally afraid of ill luck if they did. 
The form, however, was gone through by each wife on each of the twenty 
nights. Black-chest's wife told her husband that Good-bear merely took 
her outside, faced west with her and said, "Daughter-in-law, stop and 
stand there." Then he prayed as follows : " My gods, my son has given me 
his wife. I wish that my daughter-in-law may always enjoy a long and 
happy life, and I ask you in behalf of my son that he may conquer his ene- 
mies." After this prayer he bade the woman go back, and both returned 
to the lodge. 

1913.] Lowie^ HidaUa and Mandan Societies. 305 

On the twentieth night Big-thief again took a seat by the dogskin. He 
thus addressed the buyers : " Now, sons, tomorrow this dance will be yours, 
so I wish to ask you for some more pay. Put down one gun to represent 
the killing of anything." Then one of the Kit-Foxes put down a gun. Big- 
thief continued: "This dog has a hide, give us a robe." Then one of the 
Kit-Foxes laid down his robe. "Give us a knife for butchering." Two 
men then rose and put down two butchering knives. "For this head put 
down one yellow cooking-kettle." The buyers sent round for such a kettle 
and finally secured one, which they brought to the fathers. "Put down 
one thing for the head." Then someone laid down a stick trimmed with 
tail-feathers. "Put down one thing for the tail." Then, Black-chest 
thinks, another robe was laid down. "The dog has four legs, put down 
four articles." The Kit-Foxes again did as bidden. 

On the next day there followed the final surrender of membership pre- 
rogatives. This time the buyers sat in an arc, without their wives, who re- 
mained in the spectators' place (see p. 303). The fathers sat on the opposite 
side, singing a bravery song, and the two sash-wearing officers danced, 
-The words of the song were in Hidatsa: — 

" Maha'hkureci ruts. to'ceruca, mare'wits." 

" No one lives forever. Whatever may happen, I shall go." 

At the close of this song the whippers and sash-wearers, as well as all the 
other fathers, surrendered their regalia to their respective sons. As Little- 
crow, Wounded-face's father, owned a lance decorated with a string of 
feathers, Wounded-face assumed the same office (not mentioned by Black- 
chest), of which there was one other incumbent. In addition to the lance, 
Wounded-face received a shirt, a new pair of leggings, a switch and pendants 
for the decoration of both sides of the head; his hair was cut short in front 
by Little-crow. Wounded-face's relatives piled up presents in front of him, 
which he turned over to his father, adding a good horse of his own. The 
other purchasers made corresponding presents to their fathers. While 
Wounded-face speaks of four sash-wearers. Black-chest limits the number 
to two, and Water-chief sets it at five. Water-chief, like Wounded-face, 
received one of the sashes from his father; there was tied to it a small 
package of root medicine to avert danger. This package has never been 
opened by Water-chief. The whippers, according to this last authority, 
lashed members who did not rise to dance at the proper time. Each member 
of the rank and file received a whistle of owl bone about four inches long, 
and a bunch of split owl feathers, with an eagle feather in the center, to be 
hung from the back of the head. These feathers were painted yellow. 

After the transfer of regalia, the fathers went out, with the exception of 

306 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. (Vol. XI, 

three men, who remained to instruct the new members in singing. These 
three fathers stood between the door and the fireplace, but nearer to the 
latter, while the new group of Little Dogs ranged themselves in a three- 
quarter circle in the rear of the lodge. While the fathers sang, the members 
danced, moving both feet at the same time and also raising and lowering their 
arms. Then the Little Dogs proceeded in single file to an open place, the 
singers following in the rear. Wounded-face says that as first lancer h6 
took the lead, while his associate brought up the rear, and that the sash- 
wearers had no special place in the line. All the new members blew their 
whistles while coming out and formed a circle in the open place. The 
three fathers stepped inside the circle. At this first public parade, the old 
people called out the members' names and admonished them to try to die 
soon. Water-chief actually went on a war party soon after the parade, 
and put on his sash, thinking, "If I get killed, my old people will call out 
my name; if I live, I shall strike an enemy." As a matter of fact, he struck 
two women near the enemy's camp, and his people rejoiced. 

After several songs and dances the Little Dogs stopped and went back 
to their lodge, where they sat about and danced. The fathers sent messen- 
gers to summon their sons. Each son then went to his father's house, 
sometimes accompanied by his wife. The father gave his son a present of 
food, which the wife took home; if the son came alone, he took the food 
back to the society's lodge. 

Like other societies, the Little Dogs occasionally went through the camp 
at night singing and waking up the villagers. 

Crazy Dog Society. 

In Maximilian's account the Crazy Dog (mini's'oxka o'xat'e) ^ society 
figures as that of the youngest age group, embracing boys of from 10 to 15 
years of age. In the list of my informants it ranks as the fourth society 
to be purchased, by young men. It was obviously constituted in their day 
by married men ; for they had all married before the purchase of the next 
lower society (see p. 304). Maximilian was told that in former days old 
men had also belonged to the organization, but on the understanding that 
they were never to retreat from the enemy. 

1 The native name is nowadays at first blush interpreted as "Broncho Society.*' Maxi- 
rmilian. however, renders it " die thOrichten Hunde, Oder die Hunde deren Niwien man nicht 
'kennt, (les chlens fols, ou les chiens dont on ne conaait pas le nom)," and this translation is 
:conflrmed on further inquiry. Cf. footnote, p. 302. Yellow-hair explicitly identified the 
Randan mints* o^xka o'xate with the Hidatsa macu'ka ward'^xe (see p. 280). 

1913.] LowiCy Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 307 

The mode of purchase, as described by Maxhnilian, closely resembles 
that followed in buying membership in the other organizations. The boys 
desiring to become members approached the owners, addressed them as 
" fathers," and secured in exchange for blankets, cloths, horses and powder, 
the dances, songs, and regalia characteristic of the society. In this con- 
nection the Prince does not mention the feasting of the fathers, but the 
custom is referred to by my informants: Little-crow's group entertained 
the sellers for thirty, and that of Yellow-hair's husband for twenty nights. 

One noteworthy addition to the purchase ceremony had become possible 
in later times through the change in the age of the members. As the Crazy 
Dogs were no longer boys as in Maximiliapr's day, but married men, the 
surrender of wives as a partial payment was no longer out of the question. 
As a matter of fact, I have no direct statement to the effect that wives were 
surrendered in this instance, but Yellow-hair's account strongly suggests 
that such was the case. -According to this authority, all the women at- 
tended the purchase of the Crazy Dog membership. A rope was stretched 
between two poles and from it were suspended three headdresses and three 
sashes. On each of the twenty nights of entertainment six women removed 
their insignia, took them outside, pressed them to their breasts, and finally 
brought them back and hung them up again. Then six other women went 
through the same performance, and so on. 

In view of Black-chest's statements as to the purchase of the Little Dog 
society (p. 304), I am inclined to believe that Yellow-hair's account is 
incomplete and that the women who took down the regalia and passed 
outdoors were offered as a part payment for the benefits to be derived from 
the fathers. This interpretation is confirmed by Maximilian's repeated 
reference to the wife-offering as a feature common to all the higher societies 
of the Mandan and Hidatsa. 

The badge of all members, according to the Prince, was a whistle made 
from the wing-bone of a wild goose. Yellow-hair says that this whistle 
was suspended from the neck by means of a quill-wrapped string. Every- 
one carried a^ rattle of globular or ring shape. The rattles were trimmed 
with raven wing-feathers. To the back of the head members attached an 
ornament of split raven wing-feathers. Some of the Crazy Dogs wore 
neither shirt nor leggings, but daubed their bodies with yellow paint. While 
dancing, members were permitted to bear lances. 

From the rank and file there were distinguished, in Maximilian's day, 
three officers wearing a long, broad strip of red cloth extending down the 
back, from neck to foot. Yellow-hair also speaks of three sash-wearers j- 
the red cloth was edged with white, and a slit made it possible to slip the sash 
over the head. At the shoulder, near the white edging, there was attached 

308 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

the war-medicine given by the father to the son at the time of the member- 
ship sale. Wounded-face says that there were four sash-wearers. 

Besides the sash-wearers, there were three (Wounded-face again speaks 
of four) officers wearing headdresses of buffalo-skin, decorated with sections 
of horns and strips of weasel skins. The headgears were secured by means 
of neckstrings, which also served to fasten them to the stretched rope at 
the time of the purchase (see p. 307). To the*back of the headdresses there 
were attached strips of rawhide, about 3| feet in length and decorated with 
quillwork. Horsetails, dyed yellow, were fastened to the tops of the horns, 
and occasionally hawk-wings were used for decorating the headdresses. 

Wounded-face is alone in speaking of two additional officers bearing 
lances, that were decorated at the top and center with a bunch of short 
xaven wing-feathers. The use of a feathered string with these lances was 

Yellow-hair mentions four drummers, each of whom gave his drum to 
his son at the time of the membership sale. 

When the purchase had been consummated after the twenty nights' 
entertainment, the fathers, according to Yellow-hair, passed out of the lodge, 
lamenting the loss of their songs, — some of them even pretending to cry. 
On the other hand, the purchasers began to sing and rejoice. They went 
outdoors, formed a circle, and sang there. After a while they returned to 
their lodge, followed by their wives. Supper had been prepared. The new 
Crazy Dogs and their wives feasted, and then went home. On the next day 
the fathers invited the purchasers and their wives, gave them breakfast, 
and presented the men with clothes and regalia and the women with dresses. 
In return, the sons gave horses to their fathers. After this exchange of 
gifts, the members frequently assembled to practise the newly acquired 
dance. The women never danced, but might take part in the singing. In 
dancing the Crazy Dogs jumped up with both feet and shook their rattles 
as an accompaniment to the drums. In a parade, the headdress-wearers 
took the lead, one marching behind the other; the sash-wearers had no 
fixed place. 

Among the Mandan of Ruhptare Maximilian found that the Crazy ^ 
Dogs performed the Hot dance. After a large fire had been built, a number 
of glowing embers were scattered about, and then the boys, stripped of all 
clothing, danced on them with their bare feet. The hands, forearms, and 
feet of the performers were colored red. Sliced meat was boiling in a kettle 
over the fire. When the meat had been well done, the dancers put their 

1 Maximilian writes: "Die kleinen Hiinde, deren Namen man nlclit kennt. ftihren ihn 
auf." The modifying claxise makes it clear that he is referring to the first society of his series. 

1913.] Lowie, Hiatsa and Mandan Societies, 309 

hands into the boiling water, took out some of the meat, and ate it at the 
risk of scalding themselves. Those coming last to the kettle had the worst 
of it, for they were obliged to dig down deeper into the water than their 
predecessors. During the dance the performers carried weapons and rattles 
in their hands. 

I did not obtain any Mandan description of the Hot dance. My Hidatsa 
information is given on p. 253; 

Crow Society. 

Maximilian translates the name of the society Ha'derucha-O'chata as 
*'Crow, or Raven, band." ^ Its members were from 20 to 25 years old. 
Sometimes the younger men had not owned a society for half a year or longer. 
Then one of them went to a Ha'derucha and said to him, " Father, I am poor, 
but I wish to buy of you.'' If the father consented, the yoimg men then 
received the raven feathers worn on the head by the members of the society, 
a double whistle formed of two goose wing bones fastened together, a drum, 
rattle, song, and dance. In this case, as in other societies, a head man 
decided whether the privileges sought by the younger men should be sold 
and he it was that the prospective buyers approached. Then a feast was 
prepared in the medicine lodge for forty nights, and the fathers were enter- 
tained at their sons' expense. Moreover, the purchasers surrendered their 
wives to the sellers every evening until the fathers were satisfied and 
abdicated their membership. 

Half-shaved Heads. 

My Mandan informants did not refer to this society (Ischoha-Kako- 
scho'chata), though it was described by my Hidatsa friends (p. 272). Ac- 
cording to Maximilian, the Hafderuch-O'chata bought the Half-Shaved Head 
dance from the Soldiers before they were old enough to become Soldiers. 
It is worth while to summarize Maximilian's detailed account of the 

The buyers were to entertain the sellers for forty nights. On the first 
night the drum was beaten to call the negotiating parties to the medicine 
lodge. A fire was burning in the center, the women sat along the walls, 
while the white visitors and several noted Soldiers sat in front of the draught- 

^ Compare what is said above about the Hidatsa heWerd'ka society (p. 266). 

310 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History [Vol. XI ^ 

screen. Along the wall to the left sat the remainmg Soldiers, about twenty- 
five in number; while some were clad in fine garments, the majority dressed 
in ordinary clothes. Some exposed the upper part of the body. In the 
center three drummers seated themselves. The purchasers stood on the 
right side of the fire. They were expected to give valuable presents to the 
Soldiers, to feast them and furnish them with tobacco for forty nights, and 
every evening they were to offer them their wives. The sellers approached 
the lodge amidst singing and drumming, and entered with their regalia. 
These consisted of four lances, from 7 to 8 feet long, with an iron head point- 
ing downwards. The shaft was wrapped with broad bands of otterskin,. 
while pairs of otterskin strips were tied to the head and several other points 
on the lance. Two of the lances were hooked, the two others were straight- 
A fifth emblem consisted of a war club with iron point, which was colored 
red and was decorated with several feathers in the back. Further there 
were three lances, decorated alternately with black and white feathers, and a 
beautifully ornamented bow and quiver. At first, the Soldiers remained 
concealed behind the screen, and were merely holding these insignia so that 
they projected into the main space of the lodge. After standing in this 
position, singing and drumming violently, for a while, they entered, placed 
the lances against the wall, and stuck the war club into the ground, near one 
of the main pillars. Then they all took seats along the wall. While the 
singing and drumming was alternately renewed, the purchasers prepared 
their pipes, and handed them to each of the guests in turn, for which act 
they stooped, holding the mouthpiece towards the smokers. When the 
guests had taken a few puffs, the purchasers did likewise, and then carried 
the pipe in regular order, from right to left, to each of the sellers. This 
smoking consumed considerable time; each guest, during this part of the 
performance, was also presented with a little cake of sweet-corn. After 
about half an hour, two of the Soldiers rose and danced towards each other. 
One of them seized the war club, and held it stifliy in his left hand, while the 
right hung straight down. Bending the upper part of his body forward, 
he jumped stiffly into the air with both feet; keeping time with the music. 
The other dancer had fine decorations on his head and legs, and the upper 
part of his body was likewise exposed. He seized one of the otterskin lances, 
which he held, sloping, between his two hands, and both men then danced 
or hopped towards each other. After several minutes the second performer 
put the lance away, and took a seat, while all the other members gave the 
war whoop and gave vent to exclamations of joy, amidst vigorous beating 
of the drum. Then there was silence. The man with the war club ad- 
dressed the buyers, calling them his "sons," and recounted several of his 
martial exploits, whereupon he handed them the war club. One of the 

312 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

purchasers then called him his "father," stroked his arm downwards with 
his hand, took the Weapon out of his hand, and again put it in its place. 
The other dancer followed, recounted some of his deeds, and offered the 
lance to one of the buyers, who received it in the same manner as his prede- 
<5essor, and then put it in its place. The periods of intermission were filled 
with smoking, singing and drumming, but no rattles were used. Two other 
Soldiers also rose, told of how they had stolen horses, medicine bundles, 
or other possessions, from the enemy, and gave two more insignia to the 
purchasers. After this had been done four or five times, the wives of the 
buyers rose. Four of them divested themselves of their robes, quickly 
seized the lances, and carried them, one after another, outside the lodge. 
After a while they brought them in again. This ceremony was repeated 
twice, the disrobed women stroked the arms of the strangers and fathers, 
put on their robes, and passed outside. The persons stroked were expected 
to follow them into the woods. This procedure resembled that of the 
Hidatsa in their medicine festival.^ 

Some time after the purchase Maximilian had occasion to observe the 
<lance of the new Half -Shaved Heads. About twenty of them entered the 
Fort, threw off their robes so as to expose their gaily colored bodies, and 
formed a circle. They were elaborately decorated and carried the insignia 
of the dance, such as the otter-wrapped sticks. One man wore a bonnet 
with horns and ermine strips; another, mounted on horseback, was deco- 
rated with paint symbolizing the blood from wounds. Three Soldiers 
(= Black Mouths) served as musicians. As soon as the drum was beaten, 
the dancers protruded the upper part of their bodies, and leaped into the air 
with both feet, at the same time holding their guns ready for firing. Thus 
they danced in the circle for about a minute, then hallooed, rested for a 
while, and resumed their performance. After receiving some tobacco, they 
■dispersed, put on their robes, and went to Ruptare, where they also danced 
among the Hidatsa.^ A picture of the dance, reproduced from Maximilian's 
Atlas is shown in Fig. 11. 

Black Mouths. 

The native name of this society is l^he psi^here o'xat^e, or numafk xard'k 
d'xaVe, Maximilian calls the members of this society "Soldiers." They 
form the third society in his list, but he states that all the higher classes 

1 Maximilian, ii, 274-277. 

2 Maximilian ii. 286-287. 

1913.] Lowief Hidalsa and Mandan Societies. 313 

might belong to the Soldiers' class, as the police functions devolved on this 
society. However, it was necessary that all members should agree to sell; 
^ single negative voice put a stop to the negotiations. Some individuals 
did not immediately consent to sell when requested in order to exact a greater 
amount of property from the buyers. The Prince enumerates the under- 
takings in which the Soldiers took an important part : changes of village sites, 
buffalo hunts, and other communal movements. More particularly, they 
took care lest anyone should prematurely startle buffalo herds. Anyone 
shooting a wolf or other animal at such a time was maltreated, even if he 
happened to be a chief, and deprived of his gun. In the 'thirties even white 
people living in the vicinity were subjected to the same rules. The Soldiers 
frequently forbade the cutting of trees near the Fort, and took away the 
woodcutters' axes. 

Maximilian says that the Soldiers painted the upper part of the face 
Ted, and the lower black. Their whistle was made of a crane wing bone. 
Two pipes, to be smoked on special occasions, remained in the custody of 
-as many pipe-bearers. A rattle was made from a little tin kettle — appar- 
•ently the baking-powder cans referred to by my own informants — provided 
with a handle. Among the insignia there were two long, straight poles 
wrapped with otterskin and decorated with dependent owl feathers. In war 
these poles were planted in the ground, and must not be abandoned by their 
tearers. A corresponding regulation applied to one other pole decorated 
ivith raven feathers in the manner described and illustrated by Maximilian 
in connection with a Blackfoot society.^ 

The following origin tradition was given by Wounded -face.^ Long ago 
Good-fur-robe assembled the middle-aged men. To the leader he gave one 
•cornstalk, and to the rear man another. "When the enemy chase you," 
lie instructed them, "plant these in the ground and do not run away." 
Sometimes a cornstalk has five branches at the top. Later, a stick with a 
spear head was made to represent the cornstalks; owl wing-feathers were 
tied to its side, as well as crow or raven wing feathers and a raven head. 
It was wrapped with otterskin, and strips of skin were made to hang down 
from several points of the staff to represent leaves of the corn. There were 
two pipe-bearers and two rattlers, the latter taking places next to the spear- 
carriers, while the pipe men marched in the center. While dancing, the 
Black Mouths left their circle open at one side. The order in which they 
marched was : one spear officer, one rattler, the rank and file, the pipe-bear- 
ers, the rank and £le, the second rattler, the second spear officer. The Black 

1 Maximilian, i, 578. 
Cf. Maximilian's version, referred to on p. 300. 

314 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI^ 

Mo^uths were also called " Brave Men's society." They painted their face* 
black. The Goose women used the same painty because their society was- 
founded by the same man. When the time came for singing, the first rattler 
walked ahead and began to sing. Then the drummers took up the song. 
The next time the second rattler acted in the same manner. The raven- 
lance bearers had a special song and dance, during which they crossed each 
other's path. 

One summer, when the society wished to give a performance because 
some Sioux were coming to fight, they stuck two tipi poles into the ground, 
and tied raven-lances to the top. One of the Soldiers cried, " Ka ! Ka ! Ka ! '' 
This was in imitation of crows. Then some other member went outside the 
lodge to see which one had cried. Returning, he said, " It is not a living 
raven, but the raven head on Skunk's lance." Skunk was a very brave 
man. The people said, " We will find out what this means." Then some- 
one took the lances down, and returned them to their owners. Skunk said, 
" Hold on, my fellow-members, I wish to know the reason why my lance is^ 
singing." He got his associate to accompany him, and both lance oflicers^ 
then went through the village, singing this song: — 

" ke'ka, nasara'rooca. mi' 6 watS'roc. 
"Raven, you sing. I want to die. 

"kika're e'henik, o'ota." 
"If you are afraid, go away." 

The people hearing Skunk thought him braver than ever. They said 
to him, " This is your day, do what you wish best." The people encouraged 
Skunk. When the society started outdoors for a dance. Skunk took the 
lead, and again sang. A circle was formed. All the people came to watch 
the performance. Skunk once more sang his song. He danced alone, in a 
slanting line. These were the words of his song: — 

"minukarite, nu'tamina'tare hii'miikac. i'miinah^c." 
" My friends, our enemies are numerous. I am used to it" [that is, to- 


When the time came to fight, Skunk struck many coups. This is what 
the singing of the raven had indicated. 

In addition to the police functions described by Maximilian, Wounded- 
face mentions a special duty devolving on the two pipe-bearers. When 
some villager wished to kill a fellow-tribesman, these officers filled up a pipe, 
and gave him presents in order to make him desist. Acceptance signified 
acquiescence in their wishes. 

Water-chief became a Black Mouth, together with about twenty of his 
comrades, at thirty; generally, however, the members were older. They 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 315 

feasted their fathers for twelve nights. My informant received a tin rattle, 
-as his father had been one of the singers, but, having a bad voice, he gave it 
to another man who was a better singer. When the new members paraded 
about, the villagers called them by name, and said, " You Black Mouths, 
die soon, for you are the bravest of the societies/' The members put black 
paint on the lower part of the face, and black stripes on the body. If a 
<iog came near them during a parade, a Black Mouth who had shot an 
-enemy was permitted symbolically to refer to his deed by shooting the dog. 

Bull Society. 

During their dance the members of the Bull organization (mero'k 
•o'xat'e) wore, according to Maximilian, the upper part of the skin of a 
buffalo head with the horns and the long hairs of the neck. Two men, the 
travest of all and pledged never to retreat from an enemy, wore together 
with the horns a complete representation of a buffalo head; this mask was 
provided with artificial eyeslits, surrounded by iron or tin rings. One 
ivoman attendant walked about during the dance, offering to the two mask- 
wearers water from a bowl. This woman was clad in a fine new suit of 
bighorn skin, and her face was painted with vermilion. The Bulls were the 
only society to use wooden whistles. They had a piece of red cloth fastened 
to the back, as well as the representation of a buffalo tail, and carried weap- 
ons in their hands. The two mask-wearers kept on the outside of the other 
dancers, and imitated the voice and actions of bulls, their shy wheeling 
over towards one side, their manner of looking about in all directions, etc. 
Ehiring the performance of the Bull dance witnessed by the Prince, there 
w^ere nine dancers, who discharged their guns immediately on entering the 
Fort. Only one of them wore the complete buffalo head, the rest wore 
pieces of the skin of the forehead, a pair of cloth sashes, and an appendix 
decorated with feathers, which represented the tail; they carried shields 
decorated with red cloth, and long, beautifully ornamented lances.^ A 
reproduction of Bodmer's drawing of the Bull dance in Maximilian's Atlas 
is presented in Fig. 12. 

Wounded-face had heard that long ago a Mandan, who had a buffalo 
front leg in place of one arm, founded the Bull society. My informant said 
that only a few wore the piece of buffalo head skin with horns, some others 
merely dressed their hair in bunches in front. Still others covered their 
face with a mask, formed by fastening a tanned skin painted yellow over the 

i Maximilian, ii. 315. 

Anikropoloffical Papers American Mueeum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

1913.] Lome, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 317 

buffalo skin, the hair of which, however, was exposed from the wearer's 
forehead down to his chin. The spears carried were not very long, and the 
head pointed downwards. Shields rested on the left arm. Members who- 
had struck enemies, carried guns; if they had used arrows to kill a foe, they 
carried arrows. Wounds received in battle were symbolized by red body 
paint. While dancing in the village, the Bulls jumped around. They 
pointed spears and guns at anyone approaching them, and thereby fright- 
ened young people. Those who had slain enemies enacted their martial 
deeds. For music they used a large drum. 

Calf -woman remembered seeing six women known as "Bull women ''^ 
at a Bull performance; they sat behind the men singers. A woman brought 
in water, but only such members as had saved a woman's life were permitted 
to drink of it. This informant also remembers one of the mask-wearers 
pretending to spear people, and frightening the children, jumping up with 
both legs, and stamping one foot at a time. 

The Bull dance described by Boiler was not connected with the Bull 
society, but formed part of the Okipe as is obvious from comparison with 
Maximilian's and Catlin's accounts of this ceremony.^ 

Dog ^ Society. 

Maximilian describes the emblem of the society as a stick a foot or a 
foot and a half in length, which was ornamented with blue and white beads,^ 
and to which a large number of animal hoofs were attached. To the front 
of the stick there was tied an eagle feather, to the lower extremity a piece 
of beaded leather. The members wore a large cap of colored cloth, to- 
which were attached a great number of raven, magpie, and owl feathers, 
and which was further decorated with colored horsehair and weasel skins. 
Their whistle was large, and made from the wing bone of a swan. Three 
of them wore in the back sashes of red cloth similar to those of the Crazy 
Dog society. A bunch of owl, raven, or magpie feathers — and frequently 
a combination of all three — was attached to the head so as to hang down 
in the back. The three officers referred to were regarded as Real Dogs. 
People would throw a piece of meat into the ashes of a fire, or on the ground, 
and say, "You Dog, eat!" Then they were obliged to fall foul of it and to 
devour it like dogs or beasts of prey. 

1 Boiler, 102-105; Maximilian, ii, 174. 178; Catlin, i, 164 f. 

2 The native name is mini's 5'xatoc. What was said above (p. 306) as to the translation 
of the word mini's applies in this case also. The equivalence of the Hidatsa Dog society 
cannot be doubted, and Maximilian's rendering of the Mandan name supports this view. 

318 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

A dance of the "Dog society*' of Ruptare village that was witnessed by 
Bodmer is described by Maximilian. After a performance in their lodge, 
the members, twenty-seven or twenty-eight in number, advanced towards 
the Fort. Some were clad in beautiful robes or bighorn-skin shirts, others 
in red cloth shirts, or blue and red uniforms. Some exposed the upper part 
of their body, on which coups were indicated in reddish-brown paint. In 
this connection the Prince speaks of four Real Dogs, all wearing huge 
bonnets of raven or magpie feathers, tippled with small white plumes, while 
in the center there was a fan of the tail feathers of a wild turkey or eagle. 
Round the neck each of these officers wore a long strip of red cloth, which 
extended down the back as far as the calves and was knotted in the middle 
of the back. Two additional officers wore similarly colossal bonnets of 
yellowish owl feathers, with dark oblique stripes, and one had a large, horned 
war-bonnet with a feathered streamer hanging down in the back. All 
others were ornamented with a bunch of thickly-set raven, magpie, or owl 
feathers, which was considered emblematic of the society. All members 
wore long whistles, and carried in their left arm some weapon, while the 
hoof rattle was held in the right hand. A circle was formed. In the center 
there was a large drum, which was beaten by five poorly clad musicians; 
in addition to these men, who were seated, two drummers stood on the side, 
beating hand-drums. After whistling in their places in accompaniment to 
the rapid and violent beats of the drum, the Dogs suddenly began to dance, 
dropping their robes to the ground. Several of them danced in the middle 
of the circle, leaning their bodies forward, jumping up some distance with 
both feet and coming down firmly on the ground. The other Indians 
danced without any attention to orderly arrangement, crowding one anoflier, 
turning their faces towards the circle, and occasionally joining in lowering 
the head and upper part of the body.^ 

Wounded-face says that the rattle (wi'o oxEro're) consisted of a stick 
covered with buckskin, to which the hoofs of young buffalo were attached. 
There were two men with sashes, which were half green and half yellow, 
and which were decorated with feathers. The skin cap had magpie feathers 
tied to it in a large bunch, and a white plume was fastened to every feather. 
Two eagle feathers, together with owl feathers, were also used for a head 
ornament. A large whistle was suspended from a wide strip of skin deco- 
rated with quillwork. The body was painted red. All the members carried 
the hoof -rattles, and sometimes they beat a drum or a log with them. All 
the Dogs were portly old men, slow in their dancing. Wounded-face thinks 
the society originated with the Hidatsa. 

1 Maximilian, ii, 309-311. 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 319 

Old Dog Society.^ 

Maximilian, while not including this society in his list of age-classes, 
states that the Old Dog dance was one which the Dogs might buy of the 
Bulls before they were permitted to become Bulls. The Old Dog dancers 
painted their bodies white, and their hands red and black. They wore 
a grizzly skin round the body, and on the head feathers which hung down 
in the back. 

Wounded-face knew nothing of the organization save the name. He had 
heard that they dressed similarly to the Dogs. 

Coarse Hair Society. 

Wounded-face had only heard of this society (baca'ca o'xat'e) from his 
grandfather. There was something sacred about it. A young man going 
on the warpath promised the members to give them a dance provided he 
performed some brave deed in battle. When dancing, the members dressed 
up. On the head they placed a piece of scalp from a buffalo head of the 
size of a human scalp. Hair was attached to the scalp so as to hang over 
the members' faces. They put honor marks on their clothes. The left 
leggings were painted red up to the knee, and black marks were put round 
the lower legs as a sign that the wearer had struck many enemies. Leaders 
in 3^ar who had killed enemies tied human hair to the leggings. For each 
enemy struck in war, a member put one feather on his head. If he had been 
wounded by an arrow, the split feather from an arrow, dyed red, was wo/n 
on the head. A gun wound was indicated by a stick about 9 inches in 
length, and whittled at the lower end so that the shavings remained on the 
stick. The young warrior providing for the entertainment of the per- 
formers filled a pipe for them, and, if possible, presented them with horses 
or eagle feather bonnets. He asked them to pray for him. All the older 
men rejoiced in such a feast. 

It is possible, but by no means certain, that this society corresponds to 
Maximilian's As-Cbo'h-0'chata (Ascho'-O'chata). On the 23rd of Decem- 
ber, 1833, a large number of Indians visited the Fort, led by fourteen mem- 
bers of this society from the village of Ruptare. The entire head was 
covered with a wig of long, flat braids of hair, which fell over the face, 
completely hiding it. Feathers of the owl, raven, and of birds of prey. 

1 minis' xixe' 6'xat'e. 

320 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

each tipped with a thick white plume, adorned the head. One member 
carried a beautiful fan of white feathers, and wore on the head a complete 
swan's tail, each feather of which was decorated with dyed horsehair. The 
members wrapped themselves completely in their robes, and carried bow- 
lances trimmed with feathers, colored cloth, glass beads, and the like; 
most of them had fox skins attached to their heels. Several men beat a 
drum, while the rest formed a circle and imitated the sound of buffalo bulls. 
After they had danced for a while, the spectators threw a quantity of to- 
bacco down for them, whereupon they departed for the village in the woods, 
taking off their wigs on the way. In another place, the Prince mentions 
rattles as well as drums, and states that the bow-lances were also decorated 
with bear guts.^ 

Black-Tail Deer Society. 

All the old men above fifty were, according to Maximilian, members of 
the Black-Tail Deer organization (cu'psi 5'xat'e). Two female attendants 
cooked and served fresh water during a dance. All of the men wore a 
wreath of grizzly claws round the head, and displayed their honor marks 
in the form of feather head ornaments, braids of hair on arms and legs, 
scalps, painting, etc. 

Wounded-face says that the organization originated on the Bad Creek, 
near the Heart River. One day two young men with arrows stayed on a 
high wooded hill by the Creek. They dug a deep pit, put sticks across, 
and covered them with grass. They wanted to snare some animals. One 
morning one of the men went towards the trap. As he drew close, he heard 
signs of a trapped animal. He was glad, looked inside, and saw that he had 
caught a large and very fat black-tail deer. He fitted an arrow to his bow, 
but the deer said, "Don't shoot me." "Why not?" "You are my son, 
you must not shoot me. Make a path for me to get out." The young man 
obeyed, and the buck got out. Then he said, " You are a young man, and 
I know what you desire: honor marks. I have the power to give them to 
you, but you have many other fathers, who will instruct you later." He 
stretched his legs, jumped away, and went some distance. Then he stretched 
his legs again, and sang a song. When his song was ended, he went towards 
a wooded hill. The young man knew there was a house there. It belonged 
to the Deer, and the door closed with a thud. The house was the Black- 
Tail lodge. 

1 MaximUian, ii, 145f., 281f. 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 321 

The young man returned to the village and told the people that he had 
caught and Uberated a deer, but he did not tell them anything else. He 
waited for the good wishes of the Deer to come true. His father, whom he 
told about it, bade him fast. Accordingly, he went into the Deer's wood, 
fasting and crying for two nights. A boy came to him and said, " They are 
calling you." This boy led him into an earth-lodge, where the young man 
beheld many men sitting aroimd. In the center were two girls, each carry- 
ing a pipe pointed towards the door. The Deer sat by the door of his lodge,, 
and tobacco was heaped up before him. The stranger was asked to sit 
near his host, who thus addressed him : " Now, my son, I told you that you 
had a great many fathers. They wish to talk to you now.'' Then each 
old man said in turn, "My son, look at me, and see what honor marks I 
have on my clothes. .These marks are yours." When he at last came to 
the Deer himself, he was addressed thus: "You see what honors we have 
given you. I will add one thing more. If you get wounded, no matter 
where, you shall not die from your wounds. You will get all the honors 
given by your fathers." Then the Deer asked the others, how long their 
son was to live. They allowed the girls to decide. The girls discussed the 
matter, and one of them said, " We want him to be very old and to die from 
old age in his sleep." All the men assented. The host then said, " My son, 
you see this society, but you must not found it immediately, wait until you 
are very old." The girls wore eagle plumes above the ears. All the men 
began to sing, and the young man learned every one of their songs. Finally, 
the Deer said, "When you wish to fight, paint your body yellow, put black 
on both arms as far as the elbow and also from the knees to the feet. Here 
[giving him his own black-tail necklace] is your necklace. If enemies get 
close, they will miss you, for your fathers were never wounded by arrows." 

The young man returned to the village, and became a great warrior. 
When very old, he sent for men distinguished for martial deeds. They came, 
and he explained his vision to them. He told them he wished to found 
the society; all were willing to join, and learned the song3. Then he said, 
"We will get two girls loved by their fathers." They selected two such 
girls, and let them sit in the center, carrying pipes and wearing plumes on 
their heads. 

When very young, Wounded-face saw a very old woman who had been 
one of the Black-Tail Deer girls. 

322 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

Badger Society. 

This society was not mentioned by any of my Mandan friends, but was 
described by Wolf-chief as a Mandan (not an Hidatsa) institution. The 
members were old and but few in number. They did not dance, but as- 
sembled to go into a sweat lodge together, on which occasion they tried to 
fight like badgers and otherwise imitate these animals. In leaving the sweat 
lodge they always proceeded backwards. The sweat bath could never get 
too hot for them. Only those who had sold all other societies took part 
in these proceedings. Like other groups, however, the Badgers attempted 
to sell their membership. Some years ago a single Badger remained, and 
offered to sell his membership rights to my informant, who, however, re- 
fused to purchase them. 

1913.] Lotme, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 323 


According to Maximilian, the Mandan women were grouped in four 
age-societies, and the Hidatsa women in three. Beginning with the young- 
est, the Mandan had a Gun society (Eru'hpa-Mih-Ochata), a River (Passan- 
Mih-Ochata), Hay women (Chan-Mih-Ochata), and White Buffalo (Ptihn- 
Tack-Ochata) society. His Hidatsa societies, listed in the reverse order, 
are the Wild Goose (Bi'hda-Achke), Enemy (Ma'h-Iha'h-Achke), and 
Skunk (Cho'chkaiwi) societies.^ Of these, the Hay society was not men- 
tioned by any of my informants.^ On the other hand, a Cheyenne Women 
society was said to have been introduced among the Mandan in recent times. 
The River and the Buffalo organizations are generally admitted to be 
Mandan societies of old standing, while the Enemy society is unanimously 
considered of Hidatsa origin. In recent times the tribal lines were not 
strictly drawn, so that Mandan women belonged to the Hidatsa Enemy 
society, and Hidatsa women bought the Mandan Buffalo membership.* 
The case of the Skunk, Goose, and River societies is rather different, as 
there is evidence that each of these organizations existed independently 
in both tribes, though the Skunk society is said to be of Hidatsa, and the 
River society of Mandan origin, both by Maximilian and by native inform- 
ants now living. As to the Goose society there is conflict of opinion. Maxi- 
milian lists it only among the Hidatsa organizations, while all of my inform- 
ants are of opinion that it developed among the Mandan and was borrowed 
by the Hidatsa. Hides-and-eats specified that it originated in the Eastern 
Mandan village (Maximilian's Mih-Tutta-Hangkusch). Either alternative 
has interesting implications. If the Goose society originally belonged to 
the Mandan, then all the women's organizations of a sacred character are 
distinctive of that tribe. If, on the other hand the Goose women originally 
formed the highest of the Hidatsa organizations, it is worth noting that they 
were in later times subordinated to the Mandan White Buffalo women,, 
there being general agreement as to the relative rank of the two organiza- 

Matthews ^ speaks of an Hidatsa Fox Women society of which I did 

1 Maximman, ii. 145, 219. 

3 Maximilian tells us only that they wore their best clothes when they danced and sang 
scalp songs. 

» This has also been noted by Matthews, 47. 
♦ Matthews, 155. 

324 Anthropoloffical Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

not even obtain the name. As his spelling of the words for "fox" and 
"skunk" is almost identical, I am sure that this similarity in sound misled 
him. His statement that members were from fifteen to twenty years old 
fits the facts of the Skimk society fairly well. 

Tte mode of entrance into at least the majority of the organizations was 
evidently similar to that in the men's organizations, but though purchase 
of membership was collective, there are indications that sometimes age- 
mates of the buyers did not participate in the purchase. The Skunk and 
Gun societies are said by Hides-and-eats to have had no formal adoption 

The ceremonial relationship between buyers and sellers has already been 
explained (see p. 226). Clan aunts became the buyers' mothers. If an 
Hidatsa buyer could not find a clan aunt in the sellers' group, the latter 
would appoint some member of another clan to act as aunt and mother for 
the occasion of the purchase (BufFalo-bird-woman, Hidatsa). When buying 
the Goose society, BufFalo-bird-woman had an aunt among the sellers, but 
as she was the sister of my informant's husband and lived in the same lodge, 
it did not seem proper to buy the membership from her. Sometimes several 
girls took food to the same clan aunt, who would thus become the mother 
of several buyers. 

That membership meant primarily ownership through purchase seems 
clear from several statements. Thus, Young-beaver still regards herself 
both a Cheyenne and a Goose woman, and Hides-and-eats holds both the 
Goose and the White Buffalo membership, because these informants never 
sold their membership. 

Three of the women's organizations — the River, Goose, and White 
Buffalo societies — are rather sharply separated from the others by their 
clearly sacred character and the cleansing ceremony that concludes their 
performances. The Goose and White Buffalo societies are associated with 
securing food through magi co-religious means. It should be noted, however 
that in both cases the women acted under the direction of a male singer. 
Thus, Calf -woman declared that it was the privilege of the Goose women's 
singers, Wounded-face and Poor-wolf, to tell the tale of the society's origin. 
The Skunk, Gun, and Enemy Women societies, were obviously associated 
w^ith war. To what extent any of the women's organizations had developed 
the social factor, is not clear. Rev. Wilson learned that the Skunks occa- 
sionally prepared feasts for themselves and their "friends." If members of 
the other Hidatsa societies were sick and unable to do their own planting 
they would prepare a feast for their fellow-members, who would come and 
plant all the sick woman's garden for her. 

1913.] LoyrUf Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 325 

Skunk Women Society. 

According to Hides-and-eats, this society (Hidatsa: xu'xke mi'E i*k^) 
differs from several of the others in not requiring an adoption for entrance. 
When the Mandan had killed an enemy in war and rejoiced over it, the 
young girls' parents painted them and bade them dance. The face was 
painted black with charcoal except for a triangular area tapering from the 
<;enter of the forehead towards the nose, which was daubed with white clay. 
An eagle plume was stuck upright in the back of the head. There was a 
single male singer with a drum. A song referring to the enemy was worded 
as follows : " The man formed like a wolf that came must get back home. 
He must be sorry for it. He himself sits bent down." 

Calf-woman, a younger but equally trustworthy source of information, 
■confirmed Hides-and-eats' statements regarding the painting of the face, 
which was meant to suggest the appearance of skunks, and also with regard 
to the occasion for the public dance. On the other hand, she contradicted 
her as to the absence of adoption proceedings. According to Calf-woman, 
the privilege of membership in the Skunk society was acquired in the same 
way as in other women's organizations. For thirty days, or rather nights, 
the prospective Skunks, while learning the appropriate songs and dances, 
entertained those who sold their membership to them, — their "mothers." 
At the close of the thirty nights' feasts, the young girls piled up property as 
s. payment for the acquisition of the society. In this they were assisted by 
the correlated Stone Hammer organization of the young men. In addition 
to this collective payment, each novice, on receiving the plume ornament, 
gave her "mother" a dress or robe, sometimes receiving in return an entire 
suit of clothes. Further, any one who could afford it presented her mother 
with horses. After this final gift, the newly adopted Skunks performed a 
four nights' dance, at the close of which their mothers addressed them as 
" daughters " and provided them with a good supper. In this society there 
was a leader and a rear officer; the former was always the oldest woman 
in the village. The Skunks requited the favor done by the Stone Hammers 
by helping the young men buy the next higher men's society. The Skunks 
were in the habit of going to a famous warrior and singing his praise outside 
the lodge in expectation of some gift from the man thus honored. In this 
way they would proceed from lodge to lodge. The other societies — with 
the exception of the Geese — might do the same, but with none of them was 
it an established practice as among the Skunks. 

Buffalo-bird-woman, an Hidatsa informant, also stated that the Skunk 
society was bought like those of higher rank. The women of whom her 

326 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI> 

own group bought the organization are the group now holding the Goose 
membership. Her "mother'* was Crow-woman, whom, previous to her 
adoption, she had addressed as haca'wi, "my aunt," a term of relationship 
applied to a father's sister or a father's sister's daughter. From the same 
woman my informant purchased, in later years, the privileges of the Grass 
Crown ( = River Women) society and the Enemy Women society. Had her 
"mother" died before Buffalo-bird-woman's purchasing of membership 
in these organizations, she would have selected for her mother some woman 
in the sellers' group who happened to have no ceremonial daughter. Ac- 
cording to Buffalo-bird-woman, the mothers were entertained for only ten 
nights and the "friends" of the Skunks participated in the feast. On the 
tenth night individual presents were given to the mothers. In return 
Buffalo-bird-woman received an eagle plume tied so as to hang down the 
back of the head. The mothers also presented their daughters with good 
clothes. For the fun of the thing two members of the Old Women society,, 
which had aided in the purchase of the organization, joined the newly 
adopted Skunks in their four nights' dance. This informant limits the use 
of distinctive paint to the very small girls in the society. These painted 
their faces black, save for a white streak extending across the nose and the 
forehead, and occasionally prolonged as a band up the head and down the 
back of the head. The older girls painted as they pleased, but when an 
enemy had been killed all the members used black paint. There were one 
or two male singers, who used drums. 

The difference of opinion between Hides-and-eats and other informants^ 
as to whether the Skunk society was purchased or not, is perhaps explained 
by statements made by Buffalo-bird-woman to Rev. Wilson. According 
to her, many girls would not care to join in the purchase of the Skunk mem- 
bership, but as there was nothing sacred about the society any of them 
might come and join later without pay if they so chose. She was then 
regarded as a full-fledged member and was entitled to part of the price paid 
by the next lower group when the society was sold to them. Even if a girl 
had not joined in this way, she was not barred from purchasing the next 
higher society. 

Enemy Women Society. 

In order to join this society (Hidatsa: ma' iha' mi'E i*ke') Hides-and- 
eats paid one blanket and two or three buckets of food. The performance 
of the organization was in commemoration of the warriors who had fallen 
in a recent engagement, and all the songs, chanted by four singers, were 

1913.] Lowie^ HidcUsa and Mandan Societies, 327 

victory songs. The dresses worn by members were furnished by their 
relatives. The hair was worn streaming loose down the back. A crier 
called all the women together. The members marched two abreast. Twa 
long hooked poles were stuck into the ground by a man, and two such sticks 
were afterwards carried by the two leaders, and a similar pair by the two 
women in the rear of the procession. The poles were wrapped with otter- 
skin and decorated with eagle feathers. All the women wore a head band 
decorated with crossing eagle feathers and a bunch of feathers dyed red. 

Hides-and-eats said that this society ought to be entered before the 
White Buffalo organization, but she joined after being a member of the latter. 

Calf-woman joined this society at the age of 23. She described the dance 
as a victory dance. The performers went to the house of different warriors 
of distinction, danced there, and received presents (see p. 325). According 
to this informant, there were only two hooked sticks, one borne by the 
leader, and the other by the rear officer. Two little girls who stood in the 
middle had no badge of office. The members wore ordinary cloth head 
bands, with eagle feathers stuck in horizontally on the left side, just as in 
the head band of the River Women's society. The hair was parted in front 
and dressed like men's, being decorated with hair-pipes, with horn shells 
above, and still higher with a feather on either side. The dance was per- 
formed in four successive nights. Two of the eagle feathers on the pole 
depended from the end of the hooked section, and a pair of feathers was also 
attached at each of two points on the shaft. These poles exactly resembled 
those of the men's Fox society. 

Buffalo-bird-woman says that all the members except two were married 
women, the two being small girls who were always supposed to be in the 
society. My informant herself was one of these, so that she was an Enemy 
even before entering the Skunk organization. When the Enemy Women 
society was sold by her associates, Buffalo-bird-woman was of the proper 
age to enter the Skunk society, which she did, being adopted by her aunt 
Red.^ The Enemy Women society was a very old Hidatsa institution, but 
was not considered sacred. The dance took place originally as a jubilee 
over a slain enemy; in later times it was performed whenever some mem- 
ber, or outsider, provided a feast for the society. In dancing the performers 
approached the fireplace and then moved back again. There was no uni- 
form step; some danced faster, others more slowly. A performance lasted 
four nights. Two leaders carried hooked sticks, the other members wore 
head bands. Sometimes the members marched out of their lodge, two 

» Contradictory statements were made by the same informant in describing the Skunk 
society. See p. 326. 

328 Anthropological Papers American Mxiseum oj Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

abreast, and walked through the village, halting at different places. They 
received gifts at each of the stopping-places. If they so desired, they might 
«nter a men's society lodge and dance there. Five musicians were selected 
from among the best singers in "friendly *' men's societies. 

Before buying the society, Buffalo-bird-woman's group came in to watch 
their prospective mothers perform a dance. Thus, the two groups met, 
<iollectively, for the first time. The buyers accumulated property, which 
was piled up in a heap. Their male "friends" brought a pipe and placed 
it before the mothers, whose male "friends" smoked the pipe. On the 
next evening each daughter brought some food for her mother. This offer- 
ing of food was repeated every evening until the fourth. Then the sellers 
dressed up a male "friend," who wore one of the head bands emblematic 
of the society and held the two hooked sticks in his hands. As the singers 
intoned a song, this man danced without moving from his place. Blankets, 
and other property, were then piled up by the buyers. The heap was sup- 
posed to equal the man's height. Accordingly, the sellers' "friends" re- 
peatedly jumped on the pile to make it as low as possible and cause the 
surrender of additional property by the purchasers. The man with the 
hooked sticks continued dancing. When his body and head were no longer 
visible, the buyers departed and the mothers distributed the property. 
On the fifth night two little girls, about eight years old, were taken into the 
lodge, and dressed up in fine leggings and moccasins, skin dresses, and 
buffalo robes. They also received several belts, beaded necklaces, finger- 
rings and bracelets. Each of these girls was requested to remain in the 
center of the rear and told not to run away. Then they were divested of 
all their new clothes, finger-rings, leggings, other garments and ornaments, 
to the very skin. The girls were greatly embarrassed and sought to cover 
their nakedness, to run away and hide themselves, much to the amusement 
of the older women. On the tenth and last night, each buyer filled a pipe 
and carried some present to her mother's lodge. The mother had prepared 
a feast for her daughter, and also gave her fine clothes for a present. It 
happened at times that a woman had two or three daughters, each of whom 
had to be provided with a new suit. In such a case a woman called on one 
of her male "friends" to provide sufficient clothing, and this man was then 
entitled to a portion of the property given by the buyers to the sellers. 
On the same occasion each novice received her head band (itawaru'wixE). 
Rich "mothers" furnished elaborately decorated head bands. An eagle 
feather was placed on the left side of this crown, and below it five wing 
feathers of the kawi*ka bird ^ supported on a stretching-stick. The right 

1 The quills of the feathers were used to make quill work. 

1913.1 Lome, Hidaisa and Mandan Societies. 329 

side of the head band was decorated with plumes. The ordinary form of 
crown was of grass, more rarely of black cloth; two strings of horn shells and 
beadjpendants were attached for decoration. A woman owning a white 
buffalo skin might wear a crown of this material. 


yi •^- 

Flg. 13 (50.1-4330). Head Ornament of Enemy Women Sodety. Length, 57 cm. 

P^ Maximilian describes the headdress as consisting of pendent shells and 
glass beads secured to the forehead, with a feather extending crosswise. A 
model made by Calf-woman is shown in Fig. 13. 


Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. Wol. XI> 

Hairy-coat said that the Enemy Women society was originated among 
the Hidatsa by Itsi'kawa'hiric, the m>'thical hero. This informant also 
sang the two following songs as belonging to the society: — 

mi'racS'ruc bats§' waki'rits, 
I myself a man I look for, 


hi'ro huts, 
here he comes. 


Woman friend, 

na'cirihito k? 

Will you throw him away? 


your husband fixedly (?) 


i'kata rue, 
he looks at. 

he did it. 

Goose Society. 

Hides-and-eats joined the Goose society (nii'ra i'ke') when she was about 
30 years of age. Calf-woman gives the same for the members' average age, 
though she herself joined at 13, there being two young girls in the organiza- 
tion. Hides-and-eats said there was always one young member; in her 
day it was Calf -woman. The Goose women would cast about for a girl well 
beloved by her parents, and when they found one tried to make the parents 
consent to her adoption into the society; thus Calf-woman was adopted, 
and her parents paid a large amount of property for the privilege. Calf- 

Fig. 14 (50.1-4360). Duckskin Head Band of Goose Society. Length. 54 cm. 

woman herself said that she had been selected by Bells-look-round, one of 
the male singers, who also served as musician for the White Buffalo Women 
society. Calf-woman's father paid a great deal of calico and other property 
to the society. As a badge Calf-woman, as well as the other young member, 
received a head band of a duck skin with the bill (see Fig. 14), while the 
older members all wore narrow head bands of goose skin. The normal 
method of entering the society was for the entire River Women society to 
buy in a body the regalia and other appurtenances of the Goose society. 

1913.] Lovjie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 331 

A mother who had thus surrendered her regalia no longer belonged to the 
society, her place being taken by her daughter. Hides-and-eats' group 
was the last to buy the Goose society, for the next lower group never ap- 
plied for the purchase of the organization, so that Hides-and-eats still retains 
her headband. Accordingly, she still considers herself a member of the 
Goose society; she does not consider herself a member of any of the lower 
societies because she surrendered the privileges of membership to her 
adoptive children when these acquired membership in the usual way, by 

Before the great ceremony of the society could be performed it was 
necessary that someone should have had a dream to that effect. Then the 
members prepared dried meat. Calf-woman says that in the winter some 
woman would always get up, saying, " In the spring, when the snow is off 
the ground, we are going to have a ceremony, we shall have to hang up offer- 
ings on posts." Then the necessary preparations were made. When the 
geese made their first appearance in the spring, meat was suspended from 
a tripod meat-rack set up on the borders of the village. When everything 
had been prepared, the members paraded through the village, halting 
four times on the way to the meat-rack. Each woman carried on her left 
arm an armful of sage enclosing an ear of corn. Calf-woman used to carry 
a pipe, as well as some dried meat and fat impaled on a cottontree branch. 
This pipe and the stick she afterwards placed before one of the singers, who 
lit the pipe, seized the dried meat, and returned it to Calf-woman. This 
was done four times. When the procession had arrived at the place of the 
meat-racks, the members performed one dance. Then there came from the 
village two representatives from each of the men's societies in their full 
regalia. These men were the bravest of their organization ; they approached 
the meat, afoot or mounted (according to the nature of their martial exploits) 
and appropriated the dried meat, in place of which each warrior left one of 
his best blankets or a horse for the Goose woman who had prepared the food, 
i. e., the woman who took the initiative in getting up the ceremony. After 
the performance of the first dance, this woman distributed a great deal of 
meat to the spectators, who must remain on the west side of the lodge. 
After each of four dances this distribution took place. After the last 
dance those who had been newly adopted gave presents to their mothers. 
Then each new member took up her sage and corn, and raced at a dead run 
as fast as possible and back again. The woman who got back first would 
be instructed by the spirits as to the right way of living. The singer to 
whom Calf-woman offered the pipe and meat then turned his robe so 
that the hairy side faced outside, tied a red-fox skin round his head, took 
the pipe to the east, and touched with it whatever dried meat still remained. 

332 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI^ 

Then this dried meat was appropriated by the mothers. When the runners, 
had come back, they cleansed themselves by brushing themselves with sage. 
Then all returned to the village. There a sweat lodge was made. After all 
the women had entered the sweat house, the chief singer also went in,, 
chanted, dipped some sagebrush into water, and sprinkled all the women 
with it. Next the mothers prepared food, and gave it to their daughters,, 
whereupon a general feast followed. 

While the two middle ofiBcers wore the duck-bill head bands, the leader 
and rear ofiBcer wore no distinctive badge. The members on the left side 
of the lodge painted their faces black between the mouth and chin, while 
those on the right side used blue paint. The musicians had drums, but no- 

The object of the ceremony was to make the com grow. The geese and 
the corn were supposed to be one and the same thing. 

Owl-woman's social career is well-nigh unique in that she never joined 
any organization until she was of mature age, when she entered the Goose 
society. She knew of only one other Mandan woman who had not joined 
other societies. When the River women collectively bought the Goose 
society. Owl-woman went along and purchased the membership with them. 
A candidate had to prepare a large quantity of dried beef for her mother,, 
and also presented her with a horse. When receiving the bundle of sage 
with the corn, the novice paid her adopter another horse. According to 
Owl-woman, anyone, man, woman, or child, might volunteer to make an 
offering to the geese, and would then have to prepare the requisite food for 
the ceremony. The society marched out in regular order towards this 
person's lodge, the singers going ahead of the rest. The middle officer nearer 
to the Leader had her face painted blue from the mouth downwards, while 
her mate used black paint. The members halted and danced four times on 
the way. In entering, the rear officer went in first. One of the musicians 
smoked sage for incense near the central fireplace, and all members ap- 
proached in order to scent their blankets. When all had taken their places, 
the person who had pledged the ceremony brought in the calico, or other pro- 
perty, to be presented as an offering, and also paid the incense-burner and 
his fellow-musicians. Then the singers began to sing for the dance. They 
sang four sets of four songs each, with an intermission between each set. 
After the dance, one of the singers took a stick,* impaled some of the food on 
it, and offered it to the four quarters, finally throwing it into the fireplace. 
Before the commencement of the feast, the pledger went to the singers 
and induced them to utter a prayer in his behalf, asking for prosperity, 
victory in war, and the other good things of life. He also went about to 
the several members, and anyone owning personal medicines gave them to 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 335 

the pledger. Then the pledger's property and food were distributed among^ 
the members, and a general feast followed in conclusion of the ceremony. 

Young Beaver said that when she and her comrades bought the Goose 
society they assembled outside the village and erected a long meat-rack. 
Along this each member had a place allotted to her, where she could hang up- 
the dried meat and fat prepared by her. Then they called their mothers, 
and presented them with the food suspended from the rack. In addition, 
those who could afford it gave their mothers a horse apiece, while the poorer 
ones made gifts of calico cloth. On receiving these presents each mother 
put some "black medicine" (a root) into her daughter's mouth. In the 
fall the members put up a similar rack. One man, the corn-singer had 
the power — acquired by purchase — of passing along the rack from end 
to end, touching each portion of meat and singing mystery songs. In the 
spring or autumn any man or woman might give a feast to the society and 
otherwise pay them to perform for the benefit of his or her cornfields. On 
such occasions the host rose and passed from one member to another, and 
any one that owned some medicine put a little into his mouth, at the same 
time praying to the Corn in his behalf: — 

" tawi°'hakehak', te'ha ha'kehara maku'nista. nima'Mihe 

''This is my grandson, long life for me give him. Your blankets 

i'wakise ki'ritkakso'ore." ^ 
I made for you. 

The last part of this prayer refers to the custom of piling up all the 
com in one place and covering it with calico as an offering to the Corn* 
Then some boy would run up, strike the calico as though it were an enemy, 
and snatch it away. 

The two or three hand-drums employed by the society were, according^ 
to the same informant, painted with representations of goose tracks. 

Yellow-hair said that the women who initiated her and her associates 
into the Goose society wei*e the comrades of the surviving White Buffalo 
women of today. At the transfer of the membership privileges, which took 
place, as stated by other informants, close to the meat-rack previously set up> 
the mothers sang four times. During the intermission between the songs, 
the food was given to the sellers. The horses to be paid were tied in a 
near-by coulee. After the fourth time, all the novices rose, and approached 
their aunts, who were holding sagebrush in their arms. The buyers took 
the sage and paid calico for it. Then they also received their Goose society 
head bands. When this performance had been completed, the women went 
back to the village. On the following day the novices danced from morning 

1 This prayer is in Mandan. 

334 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

till evening. The mothers came to the dance ground, and each one called 
her daughter to her lodge, feasted her, and presented her with a fine tanned 
robe and a sheepwkin dress. Four days were spent in this way, then the new 
members stopped dancing. According to Yellow-hair, the Goose women 
were divided into two divisions, the members being distinguished by the 
use of white and dark head bands respectively, and having seats on opposite 
sides of the dance lodge. Each of the two young middle officers belonged 
to one of these divisions. Those wearing white head bands occupied the 
right-hand side for one entering the lodge, while the women with dark head 
bands sat on the left. One special officer, Calf-woman, served food to the 
Corn at every feast. She took a piece of meat and offered it to the Com, 
saying, " You, Corn, eat this. I pray to you in order that the members of 
my society may live long.'* 

In the winter preceding the attempt to purchase the Goose society made 
by Buffalo-bird-woman's group, Yellow-woman — possibly on account of a 
vision — desired to prepare a feast for the members of the Goose society. 
All the other members of her group assisted her by preparing some meat and 
fat. In the spring, when the geese came back from the east, the women set 
up a meat-rack. Then the woman whose prospective mother was leader 
of the Goose women hung up her meat, followed by the other women about 
to buy the society. Anyone that desired to give her mother a horse pledged 
herself to do so by fastening a stick to the meat. When the food had all been 
suspended, the men's societies were heard approaching. The Dogs came, 
blowing their whistles, and the Foolhardy Dogs, Foxes, and other organiza- 
tions likewise appeared. The women cheered them in the manner termed 
Vraraxke, that is, by repeatedly pronouncing the syllable "la, la, la, la" 
with a rapid movement of the tongue. Each society appropriated one 
portion of side-ribs, leaving a blanket in its place. The buyers took pains 
to hide the best pieces of meat until after the men's societies had departed, 
in order to reserve them for their mothers. In the meantime the Goose 
women drummed and danced inside their lodge. The starter of the feast 
took a pipe and a piece of fat on a cottonwood stick, and ran all alone to 
the Goose society lodge. Each of the Goose women was holding in her left 
a,rm sagebrush about 5 feet long and wrapped round a long stick on which 
was impaled an ear of corn. The representative of the buyers placed the 
pipe before the singers. The pipe was smoked and returned, whereupon 
the delegate returned to the meat-rack. This procedure was repeated 
several times. All that day the buyers refrained from eating and drinking. 
The Goose women approached the meat-rack, halting several times and 
dancing each time. When they arrived at the place where the meat was 
suspended, they sat down in a circle and placed, their sagebrush on the 

1913.] Lome, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 335 

ground. The buyers then presented them with portions of cooked meat. 
Each mother thereupon opened a little bag, took from it one seed of corn 
or squash, and gave it to her daughter. To distribute these seeds was a 
privilege of the Goose women. Buffalo-bird-woman and her comrades 
continued to distribute all the cooked food. In the meantime all the 
people had come to look at what was going on, but they were obliged to 
watch from the south and west side, the north and east side of the circle 
being considered sacred. The spectators also received a seed each. The 
mothers rose to dance. Only one man in the village, the Corn-singer 
(ko'xati akupa'+i), was permitted to sing. He wore a foxskin crown, 
and carried a pipe and a cotton wood stick with fat and leaves on it. He 
walked off towards the east. Then all the buyers went to their mothers, 
took the sagebrush out of their hands, and ran, as fast as possible, towards 
the Corn-singer, went past him, and returned to the Goose women who were 
performing their dance. This was done four times. The runners kept the 
sagebrush; for this they made a payment of horses, receiving as a return 
gift a new suit of clothes. Only Buffalo-bird-woman received a calf robe, 
with the hair outside, to be worn during the performance and returned after 
its close. According to my informant, the Hidatsa Goose society, though 
derived from the Mandan, differed from its prototype in that the members 
did not wear duck or gooseskin head bands, but merely carried sagebrush 
in their arms.^ Towards the close of the ceremony the Corn-singer ap- 
proached the rack, took off two of the best pieces, ceremonially brushed off 
all of the portions, and threw down whatever pieces he liked for his female 
relatives to pick up for him. When he had selected what he wished, the 
mothers came, appropriated the rest of the meat, and took it home. These 
proceedings were gone through for three seasons, and the fourth year the 
Goose society would have been definitely acquired by the buyers under 
normal conditions, but that year the Government put a stop to all the old 

An account of a Goose ceremony by one of the earlier travelers in the 
West may be appropriately reproduced here, since it is not generally acces- 
sible and confirms the statements of my own informants: 

After the com had all been gathered in, the Mandan and Minnetaree squaws 
made their Goose Medicine on the level prairie behind the village. This dance is to 
remind the wild geese, now beginning their southward flight, that they have had 
plenty of good food all summer, and to entreat their return in the spring, when the 
rains come and the green grass begins to grow. 

1 Maximilian, who lists thQ Goose society only as an Hidatsa organization, does not 
mention birdskin head bands, but merely states that the members wore a feather trans-^ 
versely across the forehead (ii, 219). 

336 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

The charms of most of the squaws in this "Groose Band" appeared to have faded 
long ago: they were evidently past the bloom of youth, and their voices and tempers 
had not improved in consequence. However, on this occasion they endeavored to 
look their best with the aid of paint and finery, in which respect they are not far 
behind their white sisters of more civilized climes. A row of poles resting upon 
forked sticks is put up, over which are hung in profusion pieces of fine, fat, dry meat, 
which have been carefully saved for this occasion. A band of four or five drummers 
take their seats close to one end, and a double row of squaws next to them facing 
each other. Each woman carried a bimch of long seedgrass, the favorite food of the 
wild goose, and at intervals all get up and dance in a circle with a peculiar shuffling 
step, singing and keeping time to the taps of the drum. 

The spectators keep at a respectful distance and enjoy the fun, which consists 
in the attempts of some of the young men to steal the meat from the poles, in which 
however they are often thwarted by the vigilance of a few wise old "geese" who are 
constantly on the alert to prevent theft. If successful, the meat is carried off in 
great glee to some lodge, where they cook and eat it at their leisure. These exquisites 
are elaborately gotten up with bunches of raven plumes fluttering from their scalp- 
locks, and stripes of white and yeUow clay upon their bodies, comprise their only 

Finally, one of the old men (who have been thumping assiduously on the drums 
all the while) takes his place a few hundred yards off on the prairie, and a grand race 
by the whole goose band foUows. All form in line together, and run around the old 
gander before returning to the starting point. 

The race over, the scaffolds are taken down, a feast prepared, and the meat 
remaining on hand cooked and eaten. For the rest of the day the band danced 
around among the different lodges, and of course paid a visit to the fort before con- 
cluding. On these occasions a few yards of calico or some trifling gifts are always 
expected to be thrown to the "Medicine" by the traders.^ 

It is probable that the Hidatsa and Mandan had several corn ceremonies 
distinct from one another and from the performances of the Goose society. 
Catlin describes a green-corn ceremony involving a dance of four men with 
corn stalks round a kettle with boiling green corn, followed by the ceremonial 
friction of new fire, but his account has been discredited by Matthews.* 
An Hidatsa ceremony performed in honor of the mythical Old-woman-who- 
never-dies, for the purpose of securing abundant corn crops is described by 
Mr. Curtis.^ The corn singer figures prominently in this account but nothing 
is said of a women's society. However, we are told that those were invited 
to participate whose medicines consisted of various birds supposed to be 
children of Old-woman-who-never-dies and therefore pecuUarly appropriate 
to the occasion.^ Say describes a corn dance in which women play an im- 
portant part, but does not identify them with any particular society: 

» BoUer, 147-149. 

« Catlin. I. 188-190; Matthews, 47. 

« Curtis, IV, 148-152. 

« Ibid, 150. 

1913.] Lovnef Hidataa and Mandan Societies. 337 

Amongst the Minnetarees, is a ceremony called the com dance; which, howeverp 
has but little claim to the title of a dance. Notice being given of this ceremony, by 
the village criers, the squaws repair to the medicine lodge, in which the magi are 
seated, performing their incantations, carrying with them a portion of each kind of 
seed which they respectively intend to plant the ensuing season; as an ear of maize, 
some pumpkin, water-melon, or tobacco-seed. These are attached to the end of 
small sticks, which are stuck in the ground, so as to form a right line in front of the 
magi. The squaws then strip themselves entirely of their garments, and take their 
seats before the spectators. The magi then throw themselves into a violent agita- 
tion, singing, leaping about, pointing to the sky, the earth, the sun, and the north 
star, successively. After these paroxysms have subsided, the squaws arise; and 
each one taking her respective sticks, holds them up with extended arms. 

One of the magi being provided with a large bunch of a species of bitter herb, 
dips it in a vessel of water, and sprinkles copiously the seeds and persons of the 
squaws, with much grotesque gesticulation. This concludes the ceremony; when 
the seeds are supposed to be fertilized, and to be capable of communicating their 
fertility to any quantity of their kind. 

The women then assume their clothing, and return home, being careful to deposit 
the fertilized seed with their stock; after which they may proceed to planting aa 
soon as they please.^ 

Finally, Maximilian has described a corn dance common to both Mandan 
and Hidatsa. Though he mentions the Hidatsa Goose society, he does 
not connect it with the corn ceremony, which is described in an entirely 
different connection as one of the principal tribal ceremonies, after the 
Okipe and the buffalo-calling ceremony. Maximilian distinguishes a spring 
and an autumn ceremony. The spring festival was a consecration of the 
plants to be sown, which were symbolized by certain birds sent by Old- 
woman-who-never-dies, the wild goose representing the corn; the swan, 
squashes; and the duck, beans. A great deal of dried meat had been pre- 
pared and was suspended from racks in from two to four rows as an offer- 
ing to Old-Woman-who-never-dies. The elderly women of the tribe, as 
representatives of this deity, assembled near these racks on a specified date 
all of them carrying a stick on which a corncob was impaled. They sat 
down in a circle, planted the sticks into the ground, danced round the racks, 
and again took up the sticks, while some old men were beating drums and 
shaking their rattles. Contrary to Say's statement, Maximilian holds that 
the corn was not sprinkled or moistened, for this was regarded as producing 
a harmful effect on it. While the older women were busy with their perform- 
ance, the younger ones approached them and put into their mouths some 
dried and pulverized meat, each receiving in return a seed of the conse- 
crated corn. In addition three or four seeds were placed into each younger 
woman's bowl, and afterwards these were carefully mixed with the corn 

1 James, ii, 68-60. 

338 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

sown in order to enhance its fertility. The food on the rack fell to the 
old women's share because they represented Old-woman-who-never-dies, 
but frequently some members of the Dog society appeared and appropriated 
large portions of the meat (see p. 288). 

The autumn ceremony was celebrated in order to attract the buffalo 
herds. Then the women performers did not carry corncobs on sticks, but 
entire corn plants. Both the corn and the birds symbolizing the plants were 
called by the name of the female deity, and addressed in prayer as the 
women's mother. They were requested to pity the suppliants, to postpone 
a severe cold, and prevent the game from moving away lest the people 
should be in want of food. When the birds in question began their migra- 
tion southward, or, as the Indians believed, returned to Old-woman-who- 
never-dies, they were supposed to take with them gifts suspended for that 
deity outside the village, — more particularly the dried meat, which Old- 
woman was believed to eat herself. Some poor women unable to make 
other offerings would wrap up and suspend the foot of a buffalo, but these 
gifts were even more acceptable to the deity than any of the others.^ 

While it is impossible to speak with assurance on this point, we can 
readily understand how the Goose society might have become secondarily 
associated with a corn ceremony when we recollect the identification of 
the wild geese with corn and Old-woman-who-never-dies. 

It is evident that the Goose society is of a distinctly more religious 
character than either the Skunk or the Enemy society. According to 
Buffalo-bird-woman, the Goose ceremony shared a feature with the cere- 
monies of two other sacred women's societies of the Mandan, viz. a final 
brushing-off of the performers to divest them of their sacred character (see 
pp. 343, 344). My informant added that there are worms in the corn and 
that these might have got into the performers' bodies unless they had been 
brushed off. 

Old Women Society. 

The Old Women society (ka'ru paru'wa+i ri) is said to have been an 
Hidatsa institution, and Buffalo-bird-woman was the only informant 
that described it in this connection. Though she mentioned it in the same 
breath with the other women's societies and explained how it helped 
"friendly" groups, it was clearly one of the totally different unions of people 
performing sacred bundle ceremonies. It seems that membership was 

1 Maximilian, ii, 182-184. 

1913.] Ixrwie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 339 

secured by BuflPalo-bird-woman's father, and that she herself and her 
brothers bought it of their father, whence she derives the right to tell about 
the society. 

There were about twenty women in the organization. All of them 
painted a red oval on both cheeks, sometimes adding a red oval on the 
forehead; they also put red paint on the shoulders of their dresses. Each 
carried in her right arm a stick of ashwood, about 4| feet in length, to the 
top of which had been fastened a small bunch of sagebrush. The stick 
was painted red. The women carried their robes rolled up under the left 
arm. When dancing, they rested the sticks on the ground, and worked 
their right arms back and forth. A male singer had braided sweetgrass ^ 
hanging down from his shoulder; his robe, which he used as a drum, he 
carried like the women. His drumstick was painted red. When enemies 
had been killed, the society proceeded to the house of a man who had 
struck an enemy. The singer called out the hero's name and the nature of 
his exploit. Then all the women danced. In this way they proceeded 
from lodge to lodge, receiving valuable presents from the persons eulogized. 
This dance was only performed when an enemy had been killed. The 
society also met when Small-ankle, the informant's father, performed a 
sacred ceremony. In this case the ground was cleansed and consecrated. 
The women leaned on their sticks, panting, pretending great fatigue, and 
uttering such sentences as, "I have come from the mountains," or "I come 
from the north." Buffalo-bird-woman, when small, believed that these 
women were spirits. They danced in the lodge. Small-ankle gave each 
performer a tanned robe and some other present, such as a gun. Then they 
danced back towards the door, and rushed out. One of them, a berdache 
(mia*ti) jumped up and tore down some meat suspended in the lodge before 
dashing outside. As soon as the members were outdoors, they acted as 
though demented, dropping their blankets and straying off in all directions. 
After a while they regained possession of their senses, and picked up the 
discarded garments. Once one of the women did not return before the next 
morning, but wandered off into the mountains, led by a sacred spirit-woman 
(ma'xupa mi'E).^ 

» This, my informant had heard, once turned into a bull-snake. 

2 A more complete account of the society was secured from Wolf-chief and shows clearly 
that it must not be classed with the other women's societies. Buflalo-bird-woman's brief 
statement is presented here simply because of her insistence that the Old Women aided their 
"fHends" among the other societies and in that sense belonged with them. 

340 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, [Vol. XI , 

Gun Society. 

Hides-and-eats says that in the Gun society (Mandan: i'rupe o'xat'e) 
there was no adoption. Three men who had guns for their personal medi- 
cine went round the village, selecting yoimg girls for the dance. The girls 
combed their hair loose, stuck featheis in the back like the Skunks,^ put on 
their beaded belts and mountain-sheep dresses, and entered an earth-lodge, 
where they ranged themselves in the arc of a circle. The three men were 
seated between the fire and the screen between the two main poles facing 
the door; they were the singers and drummers. The girls danced up and 
down in their places, seating themselves when a song ended and rising to 
dance when a new one was intoned. At the close of each song one of the 
three men expressed the following prayer: "My sacred gun, I pray to you, 
I wish to conquer my enemies." One of the men rose, impaled food on a 
stick, and cast it into the fire as an crffering to the guns. After a prayer, 
food that had been previously prepared was distributed among the members. 
This food must all be eaten on the spot; it was not permissible to take any 
of it away. At the close of the performance sweetgrass was placed on a 
potsherd with some charcoal and burnt for incense. One of the men went 
round with the sherd, beginning at the right side of the door, and smoked 
each member m turn. 

Sometimes the dance was performed, not in an earth-lodge, but outdoors 
in the village. The Gun women danced only during one month in the 
summertime. The next year the three men selected other yoxmg girls or 
young married women for the performance.^ The object of the ceremony 
was to prevent the recurrence of losses from the enemy. 

From the statements quoted it appears doubtful whether the Gun 
"society" was really a society, though the same term o^xafe is applied to it 
as to the other organizations. 

RrvER Women Society. 

The River Women society (pasa'*mi'he o'xat'e) is called " Grass Crown 
society" (mika'kikii ) by the Hidatsa. 

The following origin legend had been heard by Hides-and-eats: 

1 Maximilian says they wore eagle plumes. 

* Big-cloud, Bull-hom, and White-yoimg-bear are said to have reorganized this society 
before the time of the smallpox. 

1913.] LowiCt Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 341 

Once the Mandan lived underground. A small mouse went about and discovered 
a little hole in the groimd, through which he crawled up and thus came to see the 
surface of the earth. He liked the light and the grass. He returned, and told his 
people about it. They said to Fox, ''You are small enough to get up through the 
hole." So Fox went up. He got to the groimd, looked about, and found everything 
good there. He liked it, and told the three chiefs ^ and their sister. The hole was 
still too small, so the Elk was called. ''You have wide horns, make a little passage 
for us to get through.'' The Elk did as he was bidden, got above groimd, and enjoyed 
the sight. He returned, and told them how good the coimtry above was. Then the 
youngest of the three brothers went up through the opening, and found plenty of 
buffalo and elk. He hunted them, killed a buffalo and took the sinew and paunch, 
which he gave to his brothers on his return. They were very glad to get sinew, for 
undergroimd they had been obliged to use sunflower threads for cordage. All the 
people wished to go above ground. They went to the hole, and found a vine passing 
from their country to the earth. The chiefs climbed up first on the vine. They 
found an abundance of game, and camped near the hole. The people went up, one 
after another, until a pregnant woman tried to climb up and broke the vine. It was 
impossible to readjust the vine, so those behind the woman were obliged to remain 
below. The chiefs' sister had forgotten to take along her elk robe, and called down 
for it to her mother, who was still underground at the time when the vine broke. 
But the woman answered, "You cannot get it now; however, you will find one just 
like it above. When you die, you will come back, and then you will be able to get 
your elk robe again." The girl, accordingly, got a new elk robe above ground just 
like the one left behind. It was tanned soft, without the hair on, and painted black 
on one side; fleshed bluebirds were attached to it. This robe was passed from heir 
to heir until the time of the Ft. Berthold settlement, where Moves-slowly, a Corn- 
singer, kept it by his shrine. 

The Mandan ascended the River and built their villages. They came to a big 
clay hill named Bare-Hill, where no grass grew. Near this hiU they built one village. 
A young man went up the hiU in order to get a vision. On a high hill, on the opposite 
bank of the Missouri, he saw many women dancing. Every time he went up the hill 
he saw the same vision, but each time the women got closer. The fourth time they 
came closer still, they came across the Missouri. When they approached the man»^ 
he saw how they were dressed. They were all mysterious beings. At the same time^ 
some women just like them rose from the Bare-Hill itself, and began to dance. 
They wore crowns of live snakes,* whose necks were striped with different colors. 
Their heads were on the left side of the dancers, the tails on the right. The visionary 
was also able to hear the mysterious women's songs. In accordance with this vision 
he started the River Women society. In the place of the snake crowns, he took 
blue-grass about three feet long and from a triple braid of this material he made the 
head band emblematic of the organization (Fig. 15). Into the left side of the head 
band he stuck in obliquely the tail feather of an eagle. The ends of the crown were 
tied in the middle of the forehead. Kinumakci came to the visionary, and was 

1 The skulls of these three chiefs, according to Hides-and-eats, were still kept by Poor- 
wolf at the time of my -visit. Cf. Maximilian (II, 161): "Noch gegenwftrtig heben die 
Mandans in ihrer Medlcine-Tasche Oder Beutel 3 heilige Sch&del auf, von welchen der eine 
der des genannten Chefs und die anderen die dessen Bruders imd Schwester seyn sollen." 

3 Garter-snakes, according to one informant; according to another, brown snakes about 
3 feet long, which the Indians call "grass-eaters." 

342 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

delighted. He said, "I like this society. I wish to add something to your feather." 
Then he broke off some (unidentified) grass, and tied it to the feather. In the dance 
these feathers were meant to shake. Klnumakci said, "I will give you one of my 
songs." And he gave the man a song quite different from other songs. When 
Kfnumakci had done singing, the visionary told the women whom he had organized 

Fig. 15 (50.1-4329). River Society Head Ornament. Length, 61 cm. 

to take their head bands, untie them, smooth them out, and put them down on the 
ground. The women obeyed, and the head bands turned into snakes and crawled 
away. From that time on the society was kept up. 

Two-chiefs adds to the account as just given that several other beings 
made contributions to the dance regalia. The eagle feathers were distrib- 
uted among the original dancers by the Eagle. The Bear gave them his 
claws to be strung for a necklace. The Mink allowed them to use his skin 
and claws : the two leaders and the two rear officers were to wear mink-claw 
necklaces, while the four middle officers were to wear a minkskin necklace, 
to which were attached bluish shells.^ The organizer of the society selected 
four male singers and picked out for membership a number of women ranging 
in age from twenty to thirty. Calf-woman substitutes the mythical char- 
acter I tsi'kawa'herec ^ for Ki'numakci, and the Otter for the Mink. 

One day Hides-and-eats was called by her friends to attend a meeting. 
This was shortly after the time of the smallpox. Very few of the River 
women had survived the epidemic; all of them had been very old women, 
about Hides-and-eats* present age. The young women called the survivors, 
heaped up property before them, and expressed their desire to purchase the 
society. The older group consented to sell. In this instance the sellers for 
some obscure reason were not considered the purchasers' mothers. Hides- 
and-eats and her comrades remained in this society for ten years. Then 

1 Two-chiefs gives twice the nimiber of oflQcers fixed by Hides-^and-eats. 

2 This is probably the Hidatsa equivalent for Ki'nimiakci. 

1913.] Loioie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 343 

younger women called them and offered them property. " Then we adopted 
them and called them our daughters." Sometimes it happened that a 
single individual wished to join. In such a case she might buy a head band 
from a father's sister and become an additional member without replacing 
anyoije. This, however, was not the regular way of entering the society. 

In Hides-and-eats' time, there were two male head-singers, who called 
in five young men and taught them to sing, for which they received a com- 
pensation and were called "fathers" by the young men. From another 
statement by the same authority it would appear that the five men bought 
the right of singing and drumming from their predecessors in very much 
the same way as the young women bought the right to membership. 

The officers of the society included a leader wearing a necklace of bear 
claws attached to otterskin; a rear officer with the same badge; and two 
middle officers with a loose-fitting white-shell necklace hanging down a few 
inches below the neck in front. There was one special member who sur- 
rendered to the society her earth-lodge to dance in; in Hides-and-eats' time 
this member's name was One-corn-seed. Calf-woman, who was one of 
the officers wearing a shell necklace, kept the dance-lodge, because her 
parents loved her dearly and never refused her anything. The ceremonial 
dance lasted four nights, the actual dancing beginning before sunset. 
The members were expected to remain in the earth-lodge during these four 
nights.^ Some women, however, would clandestinely absent themselves 
and go home. As soon as the other members discovered their absence, they 
went to the woman's house, and sang outside, " Our friend, get up and come 
out here again." The drummers beat their drums, and the members, if 
necessary, seized the truant and brought her back to the dance lodge by 
force. The close of the performance was marked by a cleansing ceremony. 
The musicians tied together peppermint (?) stalks, and with these they 
brushed the members' bodies, from the shoulders down. The object 
of this was to remove the mysterious (xo'pinic) properties with which the 
members were endowed while dancing. In Calf-woman's time only one 
man. Bad-shirt performed this ceremony; he was paid with calico goods 
and food. Painted-up said the brusher was the singer of the Bird ceremony. 
The ceremonial cleansing took place only after the performances of the 
three sacred women's societies, that is, the River women. Goose women 
and White Buffalo women organizations. 

Two-chiefs said that during the four nights' performance the head bands 
were suspended from a rawhide rope passing round the earth-lodge, and 

1 That is to say, they were not to sleep with their husbands. But if any member had a 
little child at home, she might go there to attend to its wants. In this case she was brought 
back to the lodge before daybreak. 

344 Anthropelogicdl Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI^ 

members were expected to sleep below these headdresses. During part of 
the dance the women wearing bearclaw necklaces, (that is, the leaders and 
rear officers) performed alone, and were then supposed to present gifts to 
their own aunts or uncles. The middle officers also performed when a 
special song was simg, and they were expected to make a similar distribu- 
tion of gifts. At the conclusion of the whole ceremony, the members sat 
down in a circle and pteeed their crowns in front of them. A man whose 
personal medicine was the Eagle or the Thunder was simimoned to purge 
first the headdresses, and then the women themselves. Then, after the 
removal of the eagle feathers, which were saved for another occasion, the 
head bands were taken to the outskirts of the village, and abandoned there. 
Buffalo-bird-woman gave the following accoimt of the purchase of the 
River Women, or, as she called it. Grass Crown, society. Her statements, 
she said, also applied to the Skimk society. A male "friend" led the pro- 
cession of purchasers, carrying a pipe ^ to the lodge of the Sellers. The 
girls or women pretended to weep in feigned expectation of the possibility 
that their offer to buy the society might be declined by their mothers. On 
the first evening they merely stated their request, saying "Mothers, we 
desire to get this society, we do not know how to get it." As soon as the 
mothers had consented to give up their society, they pretended to cry, say- 
ing, "We have lost our songs." Then there followed ten nights during 
which the "mothers" were entertained by the purchasers. On the first 
of these nights the aimts * danced four times, whereupon each buyer brought 
a kettleful of food to her aunt. This was repeated every following night. 
On the tenth night, each daughter gave a special present to her mother and 
put a pipe before her, which was smoked, as before, by a male friend, and 
then returned. On the next evening each mother called her daughter to 
her own lodge and gave her a new suit of clothes, including head band, dress, 
and robe. It is not clear whether it was on this or another occasion that the 
mothers served food for their daughters, the statement being that this 
took place after the first dance by the new Grass Crown women. If two 
or three candidates had the same woman for their mother, the latter was 
not a real aunt of all of them. If the mother, in such a case was an officer, 
only one of her daughters received the office. When Buffalo-bird-woman 
bought the society, there were four women having a joint mother, who had 
considerable difficulty in getting together the requisite amoimt of clothing 
for the four novices. The officers were not selected. It depended merely 
on the novice's mother whether a novice became an officer. If the mother 

1 This pipe was smoked by a maie "friend" of the sellers. 
» See p. 227. 

1913.] Lotvie, Hidaisa and Mandan Societies, 345 

happened to be an officer, her badge and office were simply transferred to 
the purchaser. 

The Hidatsa derived this society from the Mandan, but did not con- 
sider it so sacred as the Mandan did. Thus, as stated above, the Mandan 
rule was that women must not sleep with their husbands but must remain 
in the dance lodge during the four nights of the dance. Among the Hidatsa 
only the unmarried members regularly stayed in the dance lodge overnight. 
The married women went home, unless their husbands consented to let 
them follow the Mandan regulation. . 

Although Buffalo-bird-woman denied that the dance was regarded as 
sacred by her people, two features seem to have a religious character. In 
the first place, the annual performance took place after someone having 
had a dream to that effect had given a feast to the organization. Secondly, 
the performance closed with the ceremonial sweating and cleansing. The 
women took off their grass head bands, removed the feathers from them, 
piled up the crowns on the top of the sweat lodge, and went in to sweat, a 
few at a time. Then a man approached, holding in his hand some sage- 
brush with which he brushed off the sweat lodge, singing a song. All the 
women rose and faced him, and he brushed off the women, one by one, 
smging a song for each member. This power, my informant imagined, had 
been acquired by purchase. 

Cheyenne ^ Women Society. 

Yoimg-beaver who had entered the River Women society when not quite 
20, bought the Cheyenne Women membership, with some thirty of her 
comrades, at the age of a little over 30. She still considers herself a member 
of the Cheyenne Women society. 

The name of this organization (co'ota mi o'xat'e) indicates the source 
from which it is said to have been derived by the Mandan. Buffalo-bird- 
woman said that she first heard of the society about 56 years ago (1911), 
and that she joined as the only Hidatsa woman, her father having been 
asked for his consent. Any member who chose might assiune men's garb. 
Some dressed like the Dakota, tying their front braids with otterskin, while 
others affected the long switches of the Crow. From two to four male 
singers were also chosen. At a dance of the organization a man carrying 
an eagle feather fan acted as leader, followed by the women in single file. 
At the intonation of a certain song, the leader held his fan close to his face. 

1 One interpreter translated the native word "Sioux " 

346 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Nalural History. [Vol. XI, 

and turned about. The women also faced about. Then all advanced with 
a kind of shuffling movement the right and the left foot alternately, without 
moving from their places. The musicians, who carried drums, remained 
in the rear. All the women painted their faces and wore feathers in the 
back of the head in imitation of men. They formed a circle, and danced 
forward. A few women cut out strips of rawhide, decorated them with 
beads, and placed them on their heads as though they were horns. This is 
said to have been in imitation of the Cheyenne women. Some young men 
used to watch from the roofs of their lodges. Each member selected one 
of these men to dance with her. After a while his relatives brought calico 
and other goods for his partner in order to ransom him and absolve him 
from the necessity of continuing to dance with her. 

In purchasing the society, the aunts or mothers presented dresses to 
their nieces or daughters while they received horses in return. 

White Buffalo Cow Society. 

The White Buffalo Cow society (pti'take o'xat'e) was the highest of the 
women's societies known to the Mandan and Hidatsa, the Old Women's 
organization (p. 338) really belonging to another category. 

Maximilian says that the members painted one eye any color they pleased 
(most generally azure) and had black tattoo marks between lips and chin. 
Their headdress consisted of a broad strip of white buffalo cowhide worn in 
hussar-cap fashion and topped with a bunch of feathers.^ In Maximilian's 
day each Mandan village had its own White Buffalo organization, and he 
had occasion to observe the performances of both. In the performance of 
the Mih-Tutta-Hangkusch society, seventeen, for the most part elderly, 
women and two men with rattles and drums took part; one of the men was 
holding a gun in his hand. The leader was an elderly woman wrapped in 
the skin of a white buffalo cow. In her right arm she carried cornucopia- 
fashion a bundle of twigs, tipped with plumes, with an eagle wing and a tin 
drinking vessel secured to the grip. Another woman also carried a bundle 
of this type. The men wore no headdresses. Of the women, two had skunk- 
skin head bands, the rest wore headdresses of white buffalo skin decorated 
in front with owl or raven feathers, which were partly dyed red. All women 
had the same face paint, — vermilion on the left cheek and eye, with two 
blue spots on the opposite temple, close to the right eye. The leader was 
wrapped in the skin of a white buffalo cow. All the others except two, who 

1 Maximilian, ii, 145-146. 

1913.] Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 347 

wore robes with the hairy side out, wore painted women's robes. They 
formed a circle, the men began to sing, and the women danced, taking up 
the tune at the same time. They waddled like ducks from side to side, 
raising each foot alternately higher than the other, but not moving from their 
position. After a while there was an intermission, which was again followed 
by a dance. Only the older members had the tattoo marks between mouth 
and chin that were distinctive of the society. When Maximilian saw the 
society from Ruptare perform, there were three male musicians, who also 
wore white buffalo skin headdresses, and none of the women carried bundles 
of twigs. Otherwise the equipment was the same as in the other dance.^ 

-An illustration of the dance of this society, reproduced from Maximilian's 
Atlas, is shown in Fig. 16. 

Boiler's account, which is of considerably later date, contributes the 
important fact that in case of a famine the White Buffalo Cow women were 
expected to make buffalo herds come nearer to the village. A similar 
function is attributed by Catlin to male Buffalo dancers wearing masks 
of a type described in this paper in connection with the Bull society (p. 315). 
Catlin, however, does not connect his Buffalo dance with any organization, 
for though only about ten or fifteen men are said to have joined in the dance 
at one time, he states that every Mandan was obliged to keep a buffalo mask 
for pK)ssible use in the buffalo-calling ceremony on the request of the chiefs.^ 
Oddly enough, both Catlin and Boiler say that their respective Buffalo 
dancers never failed to bring in the herds for the reason that they continued 
their performance for weeks if necessary, until buffalo were actually sighted. 
The dance of the society is thus described by Boiler: 

The different members of the White-Cow band began to assemble, and soon the 
regular taps of the drum notified the camp that the great and important ceremony 
was in full progress. At one end of the lodge sat the musicians or drummers, three 
in number, who were untiring in their efforts, and aided their instrumentation by 
"singing in a monotonous chanting strain. The women, comprising some forty or 
fifty matrons of the village, most of whose charms had unmistakably faded, were all 
attired in their quaintly garnished deer-skin dresses. Each had a spot of vermilion 
on either cheek, and their long black hair, which was carefully combed out and 
dressed with marrow grease, fell full and flowing over their shoulders, confined 
around the forehead with a fillet of white buffalo cow-skin. One of them had a 
white robe (which is very scarce, and held in the highest esteem) wrapped around 
her. This white robe was the common property of the band, and in its great power 
as a "medicine^* were centred their hopes of bringing in the buffalo.* 

1 Ibid., 283-284, 297. 
« CatUn, I, 127-128. 
» BoUer, 218-219. 

348 Anlhropoloffical Papers American Mu»(rum of Natural Hialory. [Vol. XI, 

1913.] LoxmCf Hidatsa and Mandan Societies, 349 

I will now present my own field notes concerning this society. 

Calf-woman joined the White Buffalo women when she was only two 
years old. Two years later she began to take part in the performances. 
Some old women went round the village looking for a female child whose 
parents loved her dearly and had given away a great deal of property in her 
honor. They came to Calf-woman's parents, and these consented to have 
their daughter adopted. Calf-woman's mother gave Brave-woman one 
pony and several blankets on this occasion. Whenever there was a dance 
of the society, a member named Berry carried the newly adopted infant on 
her back. There were about fifty women members, and five men acted 
as singers. The most important dance, or ceremony, of the society took 
place once a year, in the winter, on four successive nights. Sometimes the 
dance was kept up every other night for a month. 

In preparation for the great ceremony the Indians of the village gathered 
an abundance of food and property for the society. Each member had a 
red Une painted on the right side of her face, from temple to eyebrow, and a 
corresponding line in blue on the opposite side. All wore the buffalo skin 
caps emblematic of the organization and put on only on this special occasion, 
and moreover each member wore a buckskin dress and a robe. Three 
officers were distinguished by wearing their robes hair side out. The leader 
of this trio had a white buffalo skin robe; Calf-woman, who walked in the 
center, wore the best calf skin robe obtainable; and the third officer domed a 
coarse-haired robe. In approaching the earth-lodge where the cereniony 
was to be performed, the members halted four times on the way. At each 
stopping-place they formed a circle and danced in the same way as they were 
going to do in the lodge. The leader entered the lodge and made a circuit 
walking to the right (for one entering). A buffalo cow skull had been 
placed at the foot of the northwestern main pole in the center of the lodge, 
and dture was burnt for incense in front of it. A special incense-burner 
conducted the leader to the skull, letting her stand there so that she might 
be smoked, and then led her back again to her place. The two other officers 
mentioned above were similarly treated. North of the door, in a line 
in front of that joining the two southern center poles, sat the five men sing- 
ers. As soon as these musicians began to sing, the leader, the middle 
officer, and the rear officer danced forward to the fireplace, where they 
met, and then danced in position, facing the fire. After they had returned 
to their original places, a special song was chanted. This was a signal for 
the incense-burner to go dancing from member to member and remove 
their robes. Then the dancing began. Every song and dance w?s re- 
peated four times. Towards the close of the first night's performance a 
particular song was intoned, indicating that the paint was to be rubbed off 

350 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

the members' faces. Each performer carried a bunch of peppermint 
(ca'xkuxke) ; at the sound of the special song a motion was made with this 
peppermint as though to remove the paint. Then the paint was actually 
rubbed off with the end of the robe. When the dance was all over, the 
women lay down to sleep in the lodge. Some members fasted all night. 
Before dawn one of the musicians took a long cottonwood pole and attached 
all the headdresses and the middle officer's robe to it. The staff was then 
fixed above the doorway. This was a sign for a big wind and snow to 
drive the buffalo close to the village. At the foot of the pole a buffalo 
skull was deposited. A branch of a tree was painted red, and numerous 
offerings were tied to it and laid on the skull. Thereupon all the members 
rose, went out of the lodge, and passed through the village. They ap- 
proached the lodge in exactly the same way as on the previous day, making 
four stops and dancing at each before reentering the dance-lodge. During 
the day one of the officers prepared all the food required. In the evening 
the performance was repeated, the three officers dancing up to the buffalo 
skull, whereupon the entire society followed suit. In front of the skull they 
placed a ball of mashed corn and a pipie. The leader took the pipe and the 
corn-ball. First she offered the pipe to the musicians, who lit and smoked it. 
Then she distributed the corn among the members, beginning with the one 
nearest to herself and appropriating what remained in the end. Next, the 
rear officer distributed corn twice, and finally the middle officer made two 
distributions. The entire society represented a buffalo herd; the middle 
officer represented the best buffalo and was supposed to get all that remained 
of the corn. The second, third, and fourth nights were all similar so far 
as the feature just described was concerned. Throughout the performance 
there were numerous spectators. 

For the last night each member had to prepare a basketful of mashed 
corn; sometimes this was attended to by the members' mothers. Addi- 
tional food was also brought together. This night was distinguished by the 
use of gourd rattles. All the baskets of corn, as well as the robes and head- 
dresses were placed round the skull. Next a song was sung four times, and 
incense was burned to smoke the robes. Then mashed corn was given to 
the spectators until the supply was exhausted. Some peppermint was 
tied to a short pole. The incense-burner dipped it into a dish of water, 
and sprinkled all the members beginning with the leader and stopping with 
the rear officer. The buffalo skull and the musicians were also sprinkled. 
A little of the food was attached to the end of a short stick and placed in the 
nasal cavities of the skull, then pointed to the four quarters, and finally 
set down on the fireplace. A feast terminated the performance. On this 
last night newly adopted members made valuable presents to their adoptive 

1913.] Lome, Hidatsa and Manilan Societies. 351 

Throughout the ceremony two women whose normal position in the 
circle was on the right side of the rear officer preserved order in the lodge; 
the distinctive badge of their office consisted of a skunkskin head band 
{Fig. 17). 

The object of the ceremony was to lure the buffalo near the fireplace. 
Once, when the performance took place in a clearing in the woods, one buffalo 
came directly to the doorway, and was killed on the spot. During the 
same season a great abundance of buffalo were found in the timber. Appar- 
ently, anyone who was desirous of making the buffalo come could take 
the initiative and ask the society to undertake the performance. 

Any old member could adopt ah many new ones as she wished, and was 
obliged to provide each tyro with a headdress. Calf-woman obtained one 
of these headdresses at the time of her adoption, though she was only two 
years of age. She became the middle officer because her adoptive mother 
gave her the appropriate calfskin robe. The musicians adopted new musi- 
cians who were obliged to pay heavily for the songs. Pour of them had 
drums for instruinentSj while the remaining one used a rattle of buffalo 

352 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI, 

In Calf-woman's day ^ the number of Mandan and of Hidatsa women 
in the society was about equal. The performances ceased, under Govern- 
ment pressure, when she was about fourteen years of age. 

Hides-and-eats, who had served as rear officer, added a number of 
details. It was necessary to join in the wintertime because that was the 
season of the dance. The person who called for the performance of the 
great ceremony must have dreamt to that effect and was expected to prepare 
a great deal of food for the society. If, during the dance, a member went 
outside from necessity and a young man pulled her blanket, she was obliged 
to say, " A wolf has bitten me." If she failed to say this, she was in danger 
of actually being bitten by a wolf. The members were middle-aged, while 
the two women with skunkskin head bands were elderly. Hides-and-eats 
set the number of singers at four; their age was immaterial, but as a matter 
of fact they were about fifty or sixty. They were not identical with the 
musicians of other women's societies. 

Buffalo-bird-woman says that the White Buffalo women were in the 
habit of going round the village in the morning, passing every lodge. One 
member would enter a clan daughter's lodge, and say to her, " So-and-so's 
daughter, give me light" (that is, fire). The clan daughter sometimes 
answered, and sometimes remained silent. Once the informant's aunt 
addressed her as stated above, and she replied, "Yes, I will do so." This 
signified her willingness to provide a feast. The next day, accordingly, 
she brought large quantities of food, invited all the White Buffalo women 
to her lodge, and entertained them. Further, she gave the society a new 
gun as a present, and a piece of calico to be smoked with incense. The 
incense-burner, who also had the privilege of taking off all the members' 
robes and hanging them up, took charcoal, made incense, seized the head 
of the rear officer's robe, shook it, proceeded to the middle officer's,^ and 
repeated the same performance, as she finally did with the leader also. 
She made incense as she passed along the circle of members. Then the 
dance began. All wore their crowns of white buffalo skin on this occasion. 
When the singers commenced to sing, the leader and the rear officer rose and 
danced forward, crossing each other's path. They returned to their places, 
and repeated the performance at the next two songs. At the fourth song, 
the middle officer also rose, and all three danced, facing alternately the 
fireplace and the door, and finally returning to their places. At the follow- 
ing song everyone rose and danced. After the dance was over, the little 
girl approached the rear officer with a corn-ball, and put a little of the corn 

1 This informant is about 56 years old (1910). 

2 This ini'ormant, like Ilicles-and-eats, speaks of but one little girl in the society. 


Loude, Hidalsa and Mundan Sockltes. 


on the nose of the rear officer's skin robe. She did the same with the 
lea<ler's rol>e, tlien she walked back to her plaee and went through the same 
performance with her own robe. This procedure which was regarded as 
an offering to the robes was called o'xkipati. It was repeated tliree times. 
At the last song the ineense-bumer went to the rear officer, and untied her 

rol>e, causing it to drop to the ground. She proceeded to the mi<ldlc ofiiccr, 
and thence to the leiider, uut\'iiig all the rol>es. Tliis dropping of the 
robes symbolized the sheilding of the buff aloes' hiiir. 

Apparently anyone interested in the .succes.s of the buffalo chase might 

354 Anthropological Papers American Museum of NcUural History. [Vol. XI, 

give a feast to the society and make offerings. Buffalo-bird-woman re- 
membered one instance when a white man made offerings to the buflPalo 
spirits before a hunt. He gave the society a butcher knife and other prop- 
erty and thus addressed them: "You, Buffalo women, I give offerings to 
you. I will give you a butcher knife when you cross in the dance. I wish 
to save all these men from getting injured and I desire to get all the meat.'* 
The Museum owns several White Buffalo headdresses actually used by 
members and collected by Rev. Wilson and the present writer. One of 
these is represented in Fig. 18, together with the small notched wooden 
feather-straightener. In the skunkskin head band (Fig. 17) the feathers 
are attached in similar fashion. 


Lowie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. 




ml'*sipasa o'wakarax mi'h5 xat maru'cec. o'waruceki, icakhi" 

Yellowstone River mouth Goose society I bought. We got it, then 

nu'waxkupini mi'ha" 5'cahe enuka axkupini, numa'napekac. merEx 

our crowns goose cut strips that we put on, we danced. Kettle 

oki'herani maratEk isexki ma'skuhini, m5'+ipke, eokarec. i'wa- 
cooked feast making sugar (coflfee or tea) dried meat, these (they made) . 1 

kapekac hi" ma'+ixte nowa'teki "newak kaana." I'wakapekac, 

distributed and calico if there is any "This keep it." I distributed, 

gawi' wakap^kac . 

1 was the distributor. 


mi'xgereki u'u" ma'akcl hera mahi'migak o'oherani suxgarika'- 

Woman some and pointed hill clay-hill they came 

seeroc. mi'isi u'u" ma'kiruxka a'xkupkerec, 

out from there. Woman snakes crown put on, and then 

hi" o'ohereni taka- 

waxgarakc mdxana nupxe I'na^ka'aruc. inup mana merex ka'kerec. 
singer one skin rattle had. Two drum they had. 

nu'maake hera ma'mini hi'rixirt. hero'makoc. 

A man water not drank. He saw it. And then people 

hi" o'ohereni nu'ina"- 


ka kisen na'aku" o'xat isexkerec. hia"'ska hu'na nuca'ni erexkoroni. 

afterwards society made. And that way coming they wanted to get it. 

ma 'oka kieo'keregec. ko 6'xatkares utku'karec. hi" o'ohereni a'we 
Property they gathered. This society to they give it. And then all 

kohii'ne tu'tulioc na'askahana. hi" 

mothers they got that way. And society when they were(?) Eagle 

o'xat keres5'onik ma'' 

a SI na 

hiromakoc. "o'minatatinistore," eheni. kani I'pe okiruskani, a'"we 
came. "I want to join," he said. Then tail feathers he pulled out, all 


kehe'reromakoc. Kinumakci hi'romako c. kani icak 
one by one he gave to them. Kinumakci came. Then he himself 

mo'oklre kahereromakoc. xa'ta'rak eotahi" ma'^si in lis eota o'ki 
head ornament he gave to them. Grass with them Eagle that with them head 


356 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Naiural History. [Vol. XI, 

kereromak5c. ma'kinixkas u'u° a'xkupini mo'oki'keres o'ota nehe- 

he put on. Snakes crown put on feathers with them all 

rekere n5'makoc. hi mato'na hiremakoc. hi u°kaahe kinucani, 
together he did. And Bear came. And claws he took off, 

kahere nomako'c, mi"*kerese ra napini ikererowako c. hi" pextake na 
he gave to them he did. Those women necklaces 7. And Otter 

hiromakoc. pextakenus u"'ut mato'+uks neherekerec. hina^skahere 

came to them. That Otter on bear's claws they put on. That way then 

kihi"' oxat nucekihi mato u"kaas. nupapirEk ta+istuhe a'^taroc 

they did (?), society they got when bear claws. Twenty nights that is all 

o'xatat hi u°'a mardtEk ni'sixkac, hia'terbhereni numa akupenas 
that society that number feast we made. And then our crowns 

eheni mat6'u°ks eheni nukixkukere c, minis nukaherEk. hi o'ohereni 
bear claws they gave to us, horse we gave. And then 

istuhare nixgarEk nuki'inapec, nukixasuxgerekat mati'ixta diku'"cta. 
in the evening about this time we danced, in a circle we go out outside inside (?) 

karupxari erexkiniki inunup nexkereki mat5'+uk napinis in up 
When they wish to go in two by two as they follow bear claws necklace two of them 

kiu^'toc nd^ska kikd'kikaha*' karupxekirikac, diku'usta 

leaders 7 two go in, inside 

kinaapekerikac. mato'+uk ndpini nene ito'opuc ma'ata inak 
they dance there. Bear claw necklace those four of them shell 

kanapin! to'opuc. hiyo'^hareni mato'uk napinfe ito'pca tawahe 
necklace four. And then bear claw necklace four (each) songs 

tukerec. hi** gana'ktikihi it5'ps na'ape kirikac. mu'u'peri'kerekac, 

they had. And when singing four danced. They give presents, 

mi'iharaciri, inupereciri, ma'+ixtereciri u°per^xkerekac, ma'takara- 

blankets, guns, calicoes they give away, shell 

pinikas ta'wahe tu'kerec. icaki'raapekikerekac. hi'* na'apee kixe'k- 

necklace some they had. They made them danco. And dance when 

teki, hi'inak mu'uperekerekac. hi" kixe'ktiki, ma'axkupk^res mo'oca 

they stop, they give away presents. And they cease, their crowns rope tied 

nutite hereni ma'a'kups i'kaskikerec kakini'na. ma'peha aVe 

string they did (?) crowns they tied one after another. Under the crowns all 

mi'ixkeres ha'nakerekac. kawaxkana kEs o'hanakirekac. ito'pana 

women sleep. Singers slept. On the fourth night 

o'maxa hanakirec, o'kape o'tita kerexkerekac. kacekarexteki 5'keres 
together they slept, some of the rest home thoy went. Near daybreak those that 

went home 

1913.] Lourie, Hidatsa and Mandan Societies. Zol 

a'"we oti ecka nupka'ata, nureexkac. o'tii nuro'pxektfki, numa'x- 

all their homes we woke them up, we go along (to the next house). Her house we enter, 


kana kac. "imupa, kita'ni, mahu'na!** kawaxkana'kes no'ota, 

sing. "Comrade, wake up, come I" Singers we are with, 

hi" a'we kiixkerekac tioohita ma'axkup onunisu t. hi" to'pana 

and all come back to the lodge crowns where they keep. And four nights 

nu'mak no'hu'ta ma'rahirexk^rekac. to'pana ne eco kixe'kerec. 

man near they do not go to. On that fourth night that they stop. 

kixe'kehi kama'napikEs a'we maratEk isexk^rec. oohereni ma'axkupo 

When they stop those dancers all feast they make. And then crowns 

a'we kawakirihe'rec. ma'akta ma'axkups naciha nu'nixkerikac. ' 

all they string up. On the groimd crowns behind they stay. 

hi" 5'ohereni nu'maake m^xana ma'niksilks katanickereka ^nehi 

And then man one (with) bird medicine that one 

kami'nepekas, a'we ikaraxukoc o'ohakto'hereni. kixe'ktihi, ma'axkups 

dancers, all he rubs off to the last one. When they cease, crowns 

i'wapsituxs kirueani, ixahanas a'we kirucanani, kicu'eukkrani. kahosta 

their feathers he takes out, those grasses all he unloosens, he straightens out. 

On the prairie 

a'nahinik, patikoc. a'ataroe. 

he takes them out, he throws them away. This is all. 


cahakero nu"tek, minisinik 6xat*e nuru'cec. hia'atere bohareni 

Across the river we were staying, Colt society we bought. And then 

nu"kikiruhereec. a'we hikerec. a'taxka* "ma'karuske hdrenista!" 

we invited friends. All got there. Already "Things collect 1" 

nu"tamahe tuktoc. Mre ictuxki mandc na're'toc. n^pte herEkereki, 

Our song we ought to have. Now tonight tobacco we take over. They will light 

the pipe (?) 

a"'taxkac ma'+usta hire ictuxki nu'tiktoe. "a'we maraciseke 

then already that night we shall all be there. "All mixed-tobacco 

hu"'hu" harenista! maratEke a'we ona atinitooc ku'"nista" hi"ha'- 

plenty have! Feast all your father give ye." Now, 

askat ictuhe tetuki marateke nuku'una nu'wiic. na'aka ictuxki 

that way nights eight feast we gave right along. Next nfght 

nukirucext5'c hinaasekehi ko'ots u"uta hi"athi" hikereec hi" ko'otsut 
we shall get it. That way fathers to them they have come. And to his father 

358 Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History. [Vol. XI. 

hikihi. " Ptama'-ipaxtuke maki'k&uta. ptdmanis^ no a'wati c." 

became. ** My clothes give me mine. My horse here I have out here." 

hi° ko' "newa^k mdraherec" ^heni. mardtEke ku'uroc. / 

And to (?) his father, "This is your food," he said. Feast he gave them. / 

" nehak nihfi'poo c, nehak nihu"cic, iniwacuto oc, mana'nihoc marara- "J 

** This is yom* moccasin, this your leggings, yoiur shirt, your blanlcet, your 


pminuc, mo'orakeskec, mo'onakiruc ni'itak o'racipoc.** . 

necklace your earring, your head ornament, your face-pendants." 

6kc^3 U32 

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