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CHAPTER X.


AMUSEMENTS AND CORPORATIONS.


225. Riddles, Wc̷ade.—"Nacinga wiⁿ n kĕ'di h gaⁿ, daⁿ'be ʞĭ', xag g. Eddaⁿ ă?—A person luring gone to the water, and looked at it is coming back weeping. What is that?" The answer is, "C̸x am. N kĕc̷ijai ʞĭ, ac̷iⁿ' agi ʞĭ, ga'ĕ''ĕ. xag, ai."—It is a kettle. When it is dipped into the water, and one is bringing it back, it is dripping. That, they say, is weeping.

ah ʇañgqti wiⁿ ĕdedc̷iⁿ ʞĭ'jĭ, qc̷ab baqtiaⁿ! Cañ'ge ĕdedama; hiⁿ sbĕ, jde ctĭ, skă ctĭ. Inddaⁿ ă?"—There is a mountain that is covered with trees. Horses are moping there; some have black hair, some red, and some white. What is it? The answer is, "A person's head is the mountain; the hairs are trees, and lice are the horses."

"Gawxe wiⁿ ĕdedc̷aⁿ. Inddaⁿ ă?"—There is a place cut up by gulleys. What is it? Answer: Wa'ujiñga ĭnd hă, An old woman's face. (It is furrowed with wrinkles.)

226. Proverbs, Wuc̷a.—Sometimes they say of an obstinate man, "Wanʇa gaⁿ haⁿ," He is like an animal, meaning that he is "naxde-'c̷iñg." Another ancient comparison is this: "J gaⁿ haⁿ. Wanaⁿ'-pajĭ haⁿ."—He is like the membrum virile! He fears the sight of nothing! This refers to a bad man, who fears not to commit a wrong, but pushes ahead, in spite of opposition, or, as the Omahas say, "ʞida-tcje," regardless of the consequences to others or to himself.

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

Ictnikqtiaⁿ'i, He is like Ictinike.; i. e., he is very cunning. Miʞ da nʞagic̷ai, The raccoon wet his head. This refers to one who talks softly when he tries to tempt another.

227. Puns.—Two youths accompanied their mother's brother when be hunted game. Having killed a deer, the two young men proceeded to cut it up, while the uncle looked on. He made this observation to them: "Sbĕ aⁿc̷aⁿ'da c̷aⁿ'ja, gaⁿ'adi c̷isbe hă."—Though I was born black (sabĕ), now you suffer (ic̷isabe).


GAMES.


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




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

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

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

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

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

229. Banañ'ge-kde, Shooting at the banañge or rolling wheel.—This is played by two men. Each one has in his hand two sticks about as thick as one's little finger, which are connected in the middle by a thong not over four inches in length. The sticks measure about three feet and a half in length. Those of one player are red, and those of the other are black. The wheel which is rolled is about two feet and a half in diameter, its rim is half an inch thick, and it extends about an inch from the circumference towards the center. On this side of the rim that measures an inch are four figures. The first is called "Mxu," Marked with a knife, or "Mgc̷eze," Cut in stripes with a knife. The second is "Sbĕ tĕ," The black one. The third is "kic̷tĕ," Crossing each other. The fourth is "Jiñg tcĕ," The little one marked with a knife. The players agree which one


  
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of the figures shall be "waqbe" for the game; that is, what card-players call "trumps."

Fig. 32.—the banañge.

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

Fig. 33.—The sticks.

Fig. 34.—Naⁿbaⁿau hă.

230. ab-gasi, Men's game of ball.—This is played by the Omahas and Ponkas with a single ball. There are thirty, forty, or fifty men on each side, and each one is armed with a curved stick about two feet long. The players strip off all clothing except their breech-cloths. At each end of the play ground are two posts from 12 to 15 feet apart. The play-ground is from 300 to 400 yards in length. When the players on the opposite side see that the ball is liable to reach A they try to knock it aside, either towards B or C, as their opponents would win if the ball passed between the posts at A. On the other hand, if the party represented by A see that the ball is in danger of passing between the posts at D they try to divert it, either towards E or F.




  
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Fig. 35.—C̸abc̷iⁿ au hǎ.

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

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

Fig. 36.—Diagram of the play-ground.

231. c̷iⁿ jhe, or Stick and ring.—c̷iⁿ jhe is a game played by two men. At each end of the playground, there are two ''bʇa." or rounded heaps of earth.

A ring of rope or hide, the wac̷gije, is rolled along the ground, and each player tries to dart a stick through it as it goes. He runs very swiftly after the hoop, and thrusts the stick with considerable force.


  
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If the hoop turns aside as it rolls it is not so difficult to thrust a stick through it.

Fig. 37.—The stick used in playing c̷iⁿ-jahe.

Fig. 38.—The wac̷igije.

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

The stakes are eagle feathers, robes, blankets, arrows, earrings, neck-laces, &c.

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

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

Each player has a webaɔnade, a very small stick of hard or red willow, about 5 feet long, and with this she tries to pick up the balls by thrusting the end of the stick under the cord. Whoever succeeds in picking them up hurls them into the air, as in playing with grace hoops. The women can throw these balls very far. Whoever catches the cord on her stick in spite of the efforts of her opponents, tries to throw it still further, and closer to her "home." The stakes are buffalo hides, small dishes or bowls, women's necklaces, awls, &c. The bases are from 300 to 400 yards apart. The corresponding men's game is abe-gasi.

233. Jaⁿ-c̷wa, Stick counting, is played by any number of persons with sticks made of dska or sidhi. These sticks are all placed in a heap, and then the players in succession take up some of them in their hands. The sticks are not counted till they have been taken up, and then he who has the lowest odd number always wins. Thus, if one player had five, another three, and a third only one the last must be the victor. The highest number that any one can have is nine. If ten or more sticks have been taken, those above nine do not count. With the ex-


  
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ception of horses, anything may be staked, which is played for in banañge-kide.

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

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

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

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

236. Shooting arrows at a mark is called "Maⁿ kde." The mark (nacbegc̷e tĕ) may be placed at any distance from the contestants. There must be an even number of persons on each side. Men play with men and boys with boys. Arrows are staked. Sometimes when an ar-


  
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row hits squarely at the mark it wins eight arrows or perhaps ten, according to previous agreement. When no arrow hits the mark squarely and one touches it, that arrow wins. And if there is neither an arrow that hits the mark squarely nor one that barely touches it, then the nearest arrow wins. Should there be no arrow that has gone nearly to the mark, but one that has gone a little beyond it and descended, that one wins. Whichever one is nearest the mark always wins. If there are two arrows equidistant from the mark which belong to opposite sides in the game neither one wins; but if the equidistant arrows are on the same side both win. Sometimes they say, "Let us finish the game whenever any one hits the mark squarely." Then he who thus hits the mark wins all the arrows staked.

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

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

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

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

241. Iⁿ'-tiⁿ bʇa, a boy's game among the Omahas, is played in winter. It is played by two, three, or four small boys, each one having a stick, not over a yard long, shaped like the figure. The stakes are necklaces and ear-rings; or, if they have no stakes they agree to hit once on the


  
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head the boy whose stick goes the shortest distance. The sticks are thrown as in Maⁿc̷iⁿ-bagi.

Fig. 39.—The stick used in playing Iⁿtiⁿ-buʇa.

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

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

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

ahac̷ija is played by two persons. A's left hand is at the bottom, the skin on its back is pinched by B's left hand, which, in turn, is pinched by A's right, and that by B's right. After saying "ahac̷ija" twice as they raise and lower the hands, they release them and hit at each other. The Kansas call the game Taleska. These two customs were observed among the Ponka children.

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

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

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

245. Musicians.—These included the musicians for special occasions, as the Quʞa for the service of the keepers of the sacred tents of the


  
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Hañga (see Hunting customs, 143), the singers for the Hede-watci, who were Iñke-sabĕ men, and the musicians for the dancing societies, etc.


CORPORATIONS.


FEASTING SOCIETIES.


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

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

The society of the young men, which became extinct about A. D. 1879, was called, "Hiⁿbe hiⁿ t'aⁿ, Hairy Moccasins." To this belonged Hidaha, of the Elk gens, Hutaⁿtaⁿ, of the Ictasanda, and many others. They invited any one whom they wished to join their society. A pipe was smoked whenever they assembled.

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


DANCING SOCIETIES.


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

248. The Wacicka dance.—The Wacicka ac̷iⁿ'-ma or Wacicka watcgaxe is the name of the principal society. The ɔiwere name for it is "Wacckanyi." This society appears to exist under different names among many tribes besides the Omahas, including the Winnebago, Dakotas, and Odjibwe or Chippewas.

The writer has received conflicting accounts of the character of this dance. ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ spoke of it as one that was "waspe," well-behaved.




  
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Mr. J. La Flèche and Two Crows used the following expressions with reference to it: "ʞiju gxai," it tended to pride; "gactañka gxai," it tended to temptation; "maⁿcaⁿ gxai," it tended to theft; "miⁿ c̷gc̷aⁿ gxai," it tended to concupiscence; "qta-hnaⁿi," they used to abuse persons; "watc," cum aliquibus coirerunt. The dancers used to dress so as to attract those of the opposite sex. The leaders or "c̷igc̷aⁿ" of the dance are Gc̷edaⁿ-najiⁿ and edegahi. The other members whose names are remembered by Two Crows and others are Wackaⁿ-maⁿc̷iⁿ. Duba-manc̷iⁿ, Majan-kide, Cañge-skă, Jiñga-gahige, Haⁿ-akipa, the wives of Gc̷edaⁿnajiⁿ, edegahi, and Wackaⁿ-manc̷in, ʞe-baba's mother, and ʞaⁿze-hañga's mother's sister. "Besides these are Muxa-najiⁿ, Jiñga-gahige's mother, Wackaⁿ-maⁿc̷iⁿ's son, Umaⁿhaⁿ-toⁿwañgc̷aⁿ, and many others." ( Frank La Flèche .) The full number is nineteen. All the chiefs can belong to this society, and their younger brothers, wives, eldest daughters, and sisters' sons are eligible. Wahaⁿ-c̷iñge's larger wife, Aⁿpaⁿ-ʇañga's sister, used to be a member.

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

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

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

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

Before holding the dance one of the members, an old man, says to the leaders, "Do consider the subject; I will boil (for the feast)." They reply, "Yes, we will have it; you can boil." Then the members must borrow two drums, four gourd rattles, and two pillows. These articles must always be borrowed, as it would be wrong for the members to make or furnish them. Four persons undertake the boiling for the feast. Some brave men are selected to act as "quʞa," part of whom, however,


  
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are members of the society. Two are appointed to beat the drums, and four to beat the rattles on the pillows. These six performers are not members of the society.

250. When one wishes to join the society he must proceed as follows: During the day the candidate boils food for a feast, to which he invites all the members of the society. About twilight they arrive, and having partaken of the feast they receive presents from the candidate, who asks them to admit him to their society. If they agree to admit him a feast is appointed for the next day in connection with the dance, when he will be initiated. Before the ceremony, however, the chiefs confer with one another, saying, "W abc̷iⁿ' tmiñke. Nkaciⁿ'ga wga-zu'gaⁿ, abc̷iⁿ' tmiñke. Uc̷kaⁿpi tgaⁿ abc̷iⁿ' tmiñke."—I will have him. I will have him, as he is an honest man. I will have him, as he will be a fine looking person.

251. Dress and ornaments of the dancers.—Two Crows says that they used to wear deer-skin leggings. He says that there is no uniform dress for members of either sex. ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ gave the following: The men wear red leggings, of which each leg comes down over the moccasin in a point. Ribbon-work in two parts that cross over the moccasins shakes when the wearer dances. Two kinds of garters are worn together; one kind is of otter-skin, the other of bead-work and ʇejiⁿhiⁿde.19 This ʇejiⁿhiⁿde part is fastened over the legging-flap on the outer side of each leg, and is "zzade" (extending apart like the sticks of a fan) and dangling. The flaps of the leggings, which are as wide as a hand, contain ribbon-work generally from the knee up, and sometimes the whole length of the leggings. When a member wears no shirt he may ornament his body with a dozen "wac̷gc̷eze," or convoluted lines. These are red, six in front and six on the back; of those in front, two are at the waist, two higher up on the chest, and two on the arm; and of those on the back two are near the nape of the neck, two lower down, and two just above the waist. A red stripe about a finger wide is put on the face, extending from each side of the mouth to the jaw, and similar stripes are drawn down on the sides of the nose. ejiⁿhiⁿde head-dresses are worn, and some have deer's tail head-dresses on their heads, surmounted by very white feathers, which are waving slowly as the dancers move. Two Crows says that they now turn dawn the flaps or hiⁿbdiha of the moccasins.

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

-ugcke iⁿ, ear-bobs, are worn.


19 Yarn of various colors interwoven.
Back to reference



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

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

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

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

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

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

254. None but members can take part in the dance, and the "wa-


  
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wegaga." This uwaweqaqa or iqta was never witnessed by J. La Flèche and Two Crows. No one ever said to them, "I saw the uwaweqaqa in the Wacicka dance." But they have heard persons speak in ridicule of a woman who joined the dance without her husband. Of course, if the woman's husband or other kinsman was present, he would be unwilling for any stranger to abuse his wife or kinswoman. The women admitted to this society were not necessarily the tattooed women.

That there is some foundation for the statement that lewd rites occurred during some part of the dance is more probable after a comparison of the season for this dance with the Ponka phrase, "Whe, dje t'aⁿ. Aⁿc̷añ'giqt!"—My little sister (or my female friend), grass abounds. (Let) us delight in each other!   Frank La Flèche thinks that this is without foundation. He says that four days were spent in the secret initiation, the public ceremony taking place on the last day.

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

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

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

Drums, rattles, etc., are used, as in the Wacicka ac̷iⁿ. Some men wear large leggings as well as breech-cloths; but no gay clothing. The women wear sacques, leggings, red blankets, and bead necklaces; and they redden the parting of the hair and the cheeks somewhat as


  
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they do for the Wacicka ac̷iⁿ. The men wear many plumes in their hair, and carry fans made of eagles' wings. They have no regular patterns for painting themselves; but they use as paint either "wasejide-nika" (Indian red) or "maⁿc̷iñka-qude" (gray clay).

The only surviving leaders of this society are enuga and Sihi-duba. Among the members are Bc̷aⁿ-ti, and-unaⁿhaⁿ, Uic̷aⁿbe-'ansa, Cage-skă, aqiewac̷ĕ-jiñga, a-saⁿ, Inigani, Majaⁿkide, Si-qude, Nănde-wahi, and some women. According to J. La Flèche, this is one of the dances that are considered "waqube." It is obsolescent. Bc̷aⁿ-ti, Sihi-duba, and and-unaⁿhaⁿ are the wazec̷ĕ or doctors who treat biliousness and fevers; but they do not go together to visit a patient.

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

Until recently, the four doctors of this society were as follows: Ni-c̷ctage, the principal doctor, now dead; Two Crows (now the principal one), ac̷iⁿ-gahige, of the a-da, and Zizika-jiñga, of the Iñkesabĕ. Two Crows gives portions of the medicine to the other doctors, and they "wezc̷ĕ," administer it to the patients. Aⁿba-hebe used to be a doctor. The other members whose names have been obtained are these: Duba maⁿc̷iⁿ, e-uʞaⁿha, Icta-qc̷u'a, enuga-jaⁿ c̷iñke, Iⁿc'age-wahic̷e, and Gackawañgc̷e. ahe-jiñga, now dead, was a member.

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

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

ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ says (but Two Crows denies) that "when the corn is withering for want of rain the members of the Buffalo society have a dance. They borrow a large vessel, which they fill with water, and put in the center of their circle. They dance four times around it. One of their number drinks some of the water, spurts it up into the air, making a fine spray in imitation of a fog or misting rain. Then he knocks over the vessel, spilling the water on the ground. The dancers then fall down and drink up the water, getting mud all over their faces. Then they spurt the water up into the air, making fine misting rain, which saves the corn."20 If this is not done by the members of the Buffalo society, it is probably done by others, and ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĕ has made a mis-

20 In the Osage tradition, corn was derived from four buffalo bulls. See 31, 36, 123, and 163.
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take only in the name of the society to which they belong. "The fog occurred on the fourth day after Siqude, of the Iⁿ-kugc̷i society, treated a patient. He used to predict the fog; and the patient was caused to walk. I never heard of the doctors, spurting water to cause the fog." ( Frank La Flèche .)

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

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

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

Members.—Wacuce was a member. Those now living are Gc̷edaⁿ-najiⁿ, Eɔnaⁿ-hañga (who has no horses!), Wataⁿ-najiⁿ, Majaⁿ-kide, Uic̷aⁿ-be-'aⁿsa, a-saⁿ-najiⁿ, Tcaza-c̷iñge, Cyu-jiñga (who wears a necklace), Haci-maⁿc̷iⁿ, Waqc̷a-c̷utaⁿ, Une-maⁿc̷iⁿ, Waniʇa-waqĕ, Ta-i-kawahu, Jiñga-gahige, ʞe-baha, etc. According to Mr. J. La Flèche, this dance is now obsolete.

261. The Wolf dance.—Canʇañga-c̷aec̷-ma, The society of those who have supernatural communications with Wolves, The members of the


  
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Wolf Dance. These men cannot dance except with the buffalo dancers, and with the consent of the latter. Two Crows has seen them dance but twice. He and J. La Flèche do not know much about them.

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

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

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

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

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

263. The ac̷iⁿ-wasabe or Witcitâ dance.—c̷iⁿ-wasbe watcgaxe ikgekc̷ĕ, The society of the Witcitâ or c̷iⁿ-wasbe. (Black bear Pawnees).

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




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

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

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

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

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

Members.—Only one woman belongs to this society; but the male members are the following: Gc̷edaⁿ-najiⁿ, ac̷iⁿ-gahige, Muxa-najiⁿ, e-uʞaⁿ-ha, Zaⁿzi-mande, Wajiñga, Ƨni-tic̷aⁿ, Qic̷a-gahige, enuga-jaⁿ-c̷iñke, Zizika-jiñga, ʞaxe-naⁿp'iⁿ, Cage-duba, Eɔnaⁿ-hañga, Agc̷iⁿ-duba, Jiñga-gahige, and Wajiⁿ-c̷icage.

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

265. Watc-wac̷up.—This society has not had a dance for about thirty years among the Omahas. It is like the dance of the Wasejide ac̷iⁿma, which has a medicine that resembles that of the ac̷iⁿ-wasabe in its use. During the day women danced with the men; but at night


  
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the men danced alone. This is said to be one of the ancient tribal dances.

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

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

267. The Haⁿ'he watc (ɔiwere, Haⁿ'he wac) is not "The Night Dance," as its name implies. It is an ancient dance, which is not used now. ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ, it is "qub ta," very sacred (for persons), and it is danced in the later fall, when the people have killed a great many deer, or many of the enemy. Two Crows and La Flèche say that it is "wahhaji, naʇc̷icaⁿ, a bravery dance, pertaining to men;" but they do not know all the particulars. During the day women danced, and the men sang for them. Occasionally a man joined in the dance. At night the men danced alone. But only those who had been captains, or had killed foes, or had brought back horses, or had been warriors, had a right to take part in the dance.

Mr. J. La Flèche said that there was some connection between this society and the Iñgc̷aⁿ-ic̷aec̷e-ma.

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

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

The Mʞasi watc, or Coyote dance, is described in the chapter on War Customs, 203.


21 The Kansas have the Make jüdje, Red Medicine, and the Osages the Makan ɔüʇe watsiⁿ, Red Medicine Dance. The leader of the latter is a man. The Kansas used to have the Wase jide ac̷iⁿ-ma.
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The Hec̷cka dancing society is described in the chapter on War Customs, 214, 216.

The H Watci is part of the Hec̷ucka dance. ( 217.)

268. T' gxe watc, The dance of those expecting to die.—This has not been observed for fifteen years by the Omahas. It is explained thus, "Ukt'ĕ ʞictĕ, at' tmiñke, ec̷gaⁿ gaⁿ watcigxe gxai."—As one thinks, 'I will die if there are any enemy,' they make the dance.

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

Fig. 40.—The waqc̷qc̷e-'aⁿsa.

All paint themselves as they please, and carry "ʇahnuʞa dxe" or rattles made of green hide.

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

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

271. gi'aⁿ-wtcigxe, The Visitors' dance of relating exploits.—When a friendly visit has been made horses are given to all the visitors who


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

272. The Ghost dance.—Wanxe-c̷aec̷-ma are those who have supernatural communications with ghosts. The dance is called Wanxe c̷ae c̷e wtcigxe. Formerly the Ponkas had this dance, and the Omahas saw it and coveted it; so they took it. It has not been danced by the Omahas for about forty years. La Flèche and Two Crows never saw it, but they have heard of it; and they speak of it as "qtaji; eddaⁿ igaxewac̷aji," undesirable; totally unfit for any use. But ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ says that it was an "waqube," a sacred thing. No women participated. A feast was called, the men assembled, a drum was struck, and they danced. The dancers made their bodies gray, and called themselves ghosts.

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

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

When a young man wishes to have a chance for saying something to


  
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a girl whom he admires he boils for a feast, and invites the guests. All the young men assemble, and the unmarried girls and boys attend, though the girls never go without a proper escort. Mothers take their daughters, and husbands go with their wives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

276. The Tukla dance was obtained from the Dakotas by the Ponkas, who taught it to the Omahas. This dance is for boys what the Mandan dance is for aged men and men in the prime of life. Its rules resemble


  
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those of the other dance, but the songs and dances are different. The behavior of the members is not as good as that of the members of the Mandan society, though quarreling is forbidden. This is a bravery dance. Two women attend as singers. Two men who do not fear death are the leaders in the dance. Each one carries a "wahkuzi" or "waqc̷xe-c̷ze, of which the end leather on the bent part of the pole is white, and the pole is wrapped in a piece of otter skin.

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

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

279. Ponka dancing societies.—The Ponka men have two other dancing societies: the Gak'xe (which the Omaha Duba-maⁿc̷iⁿ says is the same as the Hiⁿsk-yuh of the Dakotas) and the C̸adxe. No information has been gained respecting these societies.

The Ponka women have three dancing societies: the Pa-c̷taⁿ, the Gat'na, and the Maⁿ'zĕskă naⁿ'p'iⁿ (Those who wear silver necklaces).