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

When the people built a village of earth-lodges, and dwelt in it, they did not observe this order of camping. Each man caused his lodge to be built wherever he wished to have it, generally near those of his kindred. But whenever the whole tribe migrated with the skin tents, as when they went after the buffaloes, they observed this order. (See 133.)

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

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


10. The road along which they passed divided the tribal circle into two equal parts; five gentes camped on the right of it and five pitched their tents on its left. Those on the right were called the Hañgacenu, and the others were known as the Ictasanda. The Hañgacenu gentes are as follows: Wjincte, Iñk-sbĕ, Hañ'ga, (C̸atda, and ʞaⁿ'ze. The Ictasanda gentes are as follows: Maⁿ'c̷iñka-gxe, e-sĭn'de, a-d, Iñgc̷-jide, and Ictsanda.

According to Wahan-c̷iñge, the chief of the e-sĭnde gens, there used

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to be one hundred and thirty-three tents pitched by the Hañgacenu, and one hundred and forty-seven by the Ictasanda. This was probably the case when they went on the hunt the last time, in 1871 or 1872.

Fig. 12.—The Omaha tribal circle.

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

Hañgancenu gentes. Ictasanda gentes.
  • A. Wejiⁿcte, or Elk.
  • B. Iñke-sabě
  • C. Hañga.
  • D. C̸atada:
    • a. Wasabe-hit'ajĭ
    • b. Wajiñga-c̷atajĭ.
    • c. e-da-it'ajĭ.
    • d. ʞe-'iⁿ.
  • E. ʞaⁿze.
  • F. Mañc̷ñka-gaxe.
  • G. e-sĭinde.
  • H. a-da.
  • I. Iñgc̷e-jide.
  • K. Ictasanda.


11. Though they did not measure the distances, each woman knew whereto pitch her tent. Thus a ʞaⁿze woman who saw a Wejiⁿcte tent set up, knew that her tent must be pitched at a certain distance from that part of the circle, and at or near the opposite end of the road or diameter of the circle. When two tents were pitched too far apart one woman said to the other, "Pitch the tent a little closer." Or, if they were too close, she said, "Pitch the tent further away." So also if the tents of neighboring genies were too far apart or too close together. In the first case the women of one gens might say, "Move along a little, and give us more room." In the other they might say, "Come back a little, as there is too much space between us." When the end gentes, Wejiⁿcte and

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Ictasanda, were too far apart there was sometimes danger of attacks of enemies. On one occasion the Dakotas made a dash into the very midst of the circle and did much damage, because the space between these two gentes was too great. But at other times, when there is no fear of an attack, and when the women wish to dress hides, etc., the crier said: "Halloo! Make ye them over a large tract of land." This is the only occasion when the command is given how to pitch the tents.

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

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

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


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

14. All the sacred pipes belong to the Hañga gens, though Hañga, in ancient times, appointed the Iñke-sabĕ gens as the custodian of them. (J. La Flèche and Two Crows.) The Iñke-sabĕ gens, however, claims through its chief, Gahige, to have been the first owner of the pipes; but this is doubtful. There are at present but two sacred pipes in existence among the Omahas, though there are seven gentes which are said to possess sacred pipes. These seven are as follows: Three of the Hañgacenu, the Iñke-sabĕ, C̸atada, and ʞaⁿze, and four of the Ictasanda, the Maⁿc̷iñka-gaxe, e-sĬnde, a-da, and Ictasanda.

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The two sacred pipes still in existence are kept by the Iñke-sabĕ gens. These pipes are called "Niniba waqube," Sacred Pipes, or "Niniba jide," Red Pipes. They are made of the red pipestone which is found in the famous red pipestone quarry. The stems are nearly flat and are worked near the mouth-piece with porcupine quills.


15. Gahige, of the Iñke-sabĕ gens, said that his gens had the seven pipes at the first, and caused them to be distributed among the other gentes. He named as the seven gentes who had the pipes, the following: 1. Iñke-sabĕ; 2. e-da-it'ajĬ sub-gens of the C̸atada; 3. Maⁿc̷iñka-gaxe; 4. a-da; 5. e-sĬnde; 6. Ictasanda; 7. Hañga (sic). In order to reach the Hañga again the seven old men had to go partly around the circle a second time. These are the gentes that had pipes and chiefs at the first. The chiefs of the three remaining gentes, the Wejiⁿcte, ʞaⁿze, and Iñgc̷e-jide, were not made for years afterward. He also said that the buffalo skull given to the e-da-it'ajĬ was regarded as equivalent to a sacred pipe.

The writer is inclined to think that there is some truth in what Gahige has said, though he cannot accept all of his statement. Gahige gives one pipe to the Hañga gens; Two Crows intimated that his gens was the virtual keeper of a pipe. But Aⁿba-hebe's story shows that it was not a real pipe, but the firebrand for lighting the pipes. In like manner, e-da-it'ajĬ has not a real pipe, but the buffalo skull, which is considered as a pipe. Hence, it may be that the men who are called "keepers of the pipes" in the ʞaⁿze, Maⁿc̷iñka-gaxe, a-da, e-sĬnde, and Ictasanda gentes never had real pipes but certain objects which are held sacred, and have some connection with the two pipes kept by the Iñke-sabĕ.


16. The following is the tradition of the sacred pipes, according to Aⁿba-hebe, the aged historian of the Omahas:

The old men made seven pipes and carried them around the tribal circle. They first reached Wejiⁿcte, who sat there as a male elk, and was frightful to behold, so the old men did not give him a pipe. Passing on to the Iñke-sabĕ, they gave the first pipe to the head of that gens. Next they came to Hañga, to whom they handed a firebrand, saying, "Do thou keep the firebrand," i. e., "You are to thrust it into the pipe-bowls." Therefore it is the duty of Hañga to light the pipes for the chiefs (sic). When they reached the Bear people they feared them because they sat there with the sacred bag of black bear-skin, so they did not give them a pipe. The Blackbird people received no pipe because they sat with the sacred bag of bird-skins and feathers. And the old men feared the Turtle people, who had made a big turtle on the ground, so they passed them by. But when they saw the Eagle people they gave them a pipe because they did not fear them, and the buffalo was good. (Others say that the Eagle people had started off in anger when they found themselves slighted, but the old men pursued them, and on overtaking them they handed them a bladder filled with tobacco, and also a buffalo skull, saying, "Keep this skull as a sacred thing." This

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appeased them, and they rejoined the tribe.) Next the old men saw the ʞaⁿze, part of whom were good, and part were bad. To the good ones they gave a pipe. The Maⁿc̷iñka-gaxe people were the next gens. They, too, were divided, half being bad. These bad ones had some stones at the front of their lodge, and they colored these stones, as well as their hair, orange-red. They wore plumes (hiⁿqpe) in their hair (and a branch of cedar wrapped around their heads.—La Flèche), and were awful to behold. So the old men passed on to the good ones, to whom they gave the fourth pipe. Then they reached the e-sĭnde, half of whom made sacred a buffalo, and are known as those who eat not the lowest rib. Half of these were good, and they received the fifth pipe. All of the a-da (Aⁿba-hebe's own gens!) were good, and they obtained the sixth pipe. The Iñgc̷e-jide took one whole side of a buffalo, and stuck it up, leaving the red body but partially buried in the ground, after making a tent of the skin. They who carried the pipes around were afraid of them, so they did not give them one. Last of all they came to the Ictasanda. These people were disobedient, destitute of food, and averse to staying long in one place. As the men who had the pipes wished to stop this, they gave the seventh pipe to the fourth subgens of the Ictasanda, and since then the members of this gens have behaved themselves.

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

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

These seven niniba waqube are peace pipes, but the niniba waqube of the Wejiⁿcte is the war pipe.

18. The two sacred pipes kept by Iñke-sabĕ are used on various ceremonial occasions. When the chiefs assemble and wish to make a decision for the regulation of tribal affairs, Ictasanda fills both pipes and lays them down before the two head chiefs. Then the Iñke-sabĕ keeper takes one and the e-da it'ajĬ keeper the other. Iñke-sabĕ precedes, starting from the head chief sitting on the right and passing around

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half of the circle till he reaches an old man seated opposite the head chief. This old man (one of the Hañga wagc̷a) and the head chief are the only ones who smoke the pipe; those sitting between them do not smoke it when Iñke-sabĕ goes around. When the old man has finished smoking Iñke-sabĕ takes the pipe again and continues around the circle to the starting-point, but he gives it to each man to smoke. When he reaches the head chief on the left he gives it to him, and after receiving it from him he returns it to the place on the ground before the head chiefs.

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

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

A.—The first head chief, on the left. B.—The second head chief , on the right. C.—The two Hafiga' wagc̷a, one being the old main whom Iñke-sabĕ causes to smoke the pipe. D.—The place where the two pipes are laid. The chiefs sit around in a circle. E.—The giver of the feast.

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

19. Frank La Flèche told the following:

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

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

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

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


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

The word "Wejiⁿcte" cannot be translated, as the meaning of this archaic word has been forgotten. It may have some connection with "wajiⁿ'cte," to be in a bad humor, but we have no means of ascertaining this.

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

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

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

Some say that 'Aⁿ-wegaⁿc̷a is the head of those who join in the worship of the thunder, but his younger brother, Qaga-maⁿc̷iⁿ; being a more active man, is allowed to have the custody of the Iñgc̷aⁿc̷ĕ and the Iñgc̷aⁿhañgac'a. J. La Flèche and Two Crows said that this might be so; but they did not know about it. Nor could they or my other informants tell the meaning of Iñgc̷aⁿc̷ĕ and Iñgc̷aⁿhañgac'a. Perhaps they refer either to the wild-cat (iñc̷añga), or to the thunder (iñgc̷aⁿ). Compare the Ictasanda "keepers of the claws of a wild-cat."

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22. The sacred tent.—The sacred tent of the Elk gens is consecrated to war, and scalps are given to it, but are not fastened to it, as some have asserted. Bc̷aⁿti used to be the keeper of it, but he has resigned the charge of it to the ex-chief, Mahiⁿ-c̷iñge.

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

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

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to flee to reach home. This service of the young men was considered as equivalent to going on the war path.

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

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

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

Other proper names.—The following are the other nikie3 names of

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

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

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

Back to reference

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the Elk gens: Elk. Young Elk. Standing Elk. White Elk (near by). Big Elk. 'Aⁿ-wegaⁿc̷a (meaning uncertain). Bc̷aⁿ-ti, The odor of the dung or urine of the elk is wafted by the wind (said of any place where the elk may have been ). (A young elk) Cries Suddenly. Hidaha (said to mean Treads on the ground in walking, or, Passes over what is at the bottom). Iron Eyes (of an elk). Bullet-shaped Dung (of an elk). (Elk) Is coming back-fleeing from a man whom he met. Muscle of an elk's leg. Elk comes back suddenly (meeting the hunter face to face). (Elk) Turns round and round. No Knife or No Stone (probably referring to the tradition of the discovery of four kinds of stone). Dark Breast (of an elk). Deer lifts its head to browse. Yellow Rump (of an elk). Walking Full-grown Elk. (Elk) Walks, making long strides, swaying from side to side. Stumpy Tail (of an elk). Forked Horn (of a deer). Water-monster. The Brave Wejiⁿcte (named after his gens). Women's names.—Female Elk. Tail Female. Black Moose (?) Female. Big Second-daughter (any gens can have it). Sacred Third-daughter (Elk and Iñke-sabĕ gentes). Iron-eyed Female (Elk and Hañga gentes). Land Female (Elk and C̸atada gentes). Moon that Is-traveling (Elk, Iñke-sabĕ, Hañga, C̸atada, and ʞaⁿze gentes); Naⁿ-ze-iⁿ-ze, meaning uncertain (Elk, (Patada, and Deer gentes). Ninda-win (Elk, C̸atada, and Ictasanda gentes). Names of ridicule.—Dog. Crazed by exposure to heat. Good Buffalo.

26. According to e-da-uc̷iqaga, the chief Aⁿpaⁿ-ʇañga, the younger, had a boat and flag painted on the outside of his skin tent. These were made "qube," sacred, but were not nikie, because they were not transmitted from a mythical ancestor.

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


28. This is a Buffalo gens, and its place in the tribal circle is next to that of the Elk gens. The head chiefs of this gens in 1880 were Gahige
For instance, when, in any household, a child is named Wasabe jiñga, that name cannot be given to any new-born child of that gens. But when the first bearer of the name changes his name or dies, another boy can receive the name Wasabe jiñga. As that is one of the seven birth names of the Wasabe-hit'ajĬ it suggests a reason for having extra nikie names in the gens. This second kind of nikie names may have been birth names, resorted to because the original birth names were already used. This law applies in some degree to girls' names, if parents know that a girl in the gene has a certain name they cannot give that name to their daughter. But should that name be chosen through ignorance, the two girls must be distinguished by adding to their own names those of their respective fathers.

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(who died in 1882), and Duba-maⁿc̷iⁿ, who "sat on opposite sides of the gentile fire-place." Gahige's predecessor was Gahige-jiñga or Icka-dabi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iñke-sabĕ style of wearing the hair.—The smaller boys have their hair cut in this style. A A, the horns of the buffalo, being two locks of

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hair about two inches long. B is a fringe of hair all around the head. It is about two inches long. The rest of the head is shaved bare.

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

Fig. 15.—The Iñke-sabĕ style of wearing the hair.

31. Subgentes and Taboos.—There has evidently been a change in the subgentes since the advent of the white man. In 1878, the writer was told by several, including La Flèche, that there were then three subgentes in existence, Wac̷gije, Wataⁿ'zi-jde c̷atjĭ, and Nagc̷-it'abjĭ; the fourth, or Iekic̷ĕ, having become extinct. Now (1883), La Flèche and Two Crows give the three subgentes as follows : 1. Wac̷gije; 2. Ninba-t'aⁿ; 3. (a part of 2) Iekic̷ĕ. The second subgens is now called by them "Wataⁿ'zi-jde c̷atjĭ and Nagc̷-it'abjĭ." "aⁿc̷iⁿ-naⁿba and Ngu or Wac̷nase are the only survivors of the real Ninba-t'aⁿ, Keepers of the Sacred Pipes." (Are not these the true Nagc̷-it'abjĭ, They who cannot touch charcoal? I. e., it is not their place to touch a fire-brand or the ashes left in the sacred pipes after they have been used.) "The Sacred Pipes were taken from the ancestors of these two and were given into the charge of Ickadabi, the paternal grandfather of Gahige." Yet these men are still called Ninba-t'aⁿ, while "Gahige belongs to the Wataⁿ'zi-jde c̷atjĭ and Nagc̷-it'abjĭ, and he is one of those from whom the Iekic̷ĕ could be selected."

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In 1878 La Flèche also gave the divisions and taboos of the Iñke-sabĕ as follows: "1. Ninba-t'aⁿ; 2. Wataⁿ'zi-jde c̷atjĭ; 3. e-he-sabĕ it'ajĭ; 4. e-c̷eze c̷atjĭ;" but he did not state whether these were distinct subgentes. The e-he-sabĕ it'ajĭ, Those who touch not black horns (of buffaloes), appear to be the same as the e-c̷eze c̷atjĭ, i. e., the Wac̷igije. The following is their camping order: In the tribal circle, the Wac̷igije camp next to the Hañga gens, of which the Wacabe people are the neighbors of the Wac̷igije, having almost the same taboo. The other Iñke-sabĕ people camp next to the Wejincte Gens. But in the gentile "council-fire" a different order is observed; the first becomes last, the Wac̷igije having their seats on the left of the fire and the door, and the others on the right.

Fig. 16.—The Iñke-sabĕ Gentile Assembly. A.-The Wac̷igije, or Waqbe gxe ak, under Duba-maⁿc̷iⁿ. B.—The Wataⁿzi-jide c̷atajĭ the Iekic̷ĕ, and the Naqc̷e-it'abajĭ. These were under Gahige.

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

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

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

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

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

Buffalo birth-names.—The first son was called "He who stirs up or muddies the water by jumping in it," referring to a buffalo that lies

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down in the water or paws in the shallow water, making it spread out in circles. The second son was "Buffaloes swimming in large numbers across a stream." The third was Si-ʞaⁿ-qega, referring to a buffalo calf, the hair on whose legs changes from a black to a withered or dead hue in February. The fourth was "Knobby Horns (of a young buffalo bull)". The fifth was "He (i. e., a buffalo bull) walks well, without fear of falling." The sixth was "He (a buffalo bull) walks slowly (because he is getting old)." The seventh was called Gaqaʇa-najiⁿ, explained by the clause, "ʇenga-wiⁿqtci, jgc̷e c̷iñg, a single buffalo bull, without a companion." It means a very old bull, who stands off at one side apart from the herd.

The Eagle birth-names (see 64), given by Gahige, are as follows: Qic̷-in 4 (meaning unknown to La Flèche and Two Crows; word doubted by them). Eagle Neck. Wajiⁿ-hañga, He who leads in disposition. Kinka-ʇañga, the first bird heard in the spring when the grass comes up (the marbled godwit?). Blue Neck (denied by La Flèche and Two Crows). Rabbit (La Flèche and Two Crows said that this name belonged to the Hañga gens). Ash tree (doubted by La Flèche and Two Crows). A birth-name of this series could be used instead of the corresponding one of the gentile series, e. g., Gahige could have named his son, Ukaⁿadigc̷aⁿ, either Si-ʞaⁿ-qega or Wajiⁿ-hañga. There were similar series of birth-names for girls, but they have been forgotten.

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

4Probably Qic̷a-hiⁿ, as the Osages have Qüc̷a-hiⁿ, Eagle Feathers.
Back to reference

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speaks saucily. Difficult Disposition or Temper (of a growing buffalo calf). The Shooter. He who fears no seen danger. Young Turkey.

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


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

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

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

36. The sacred tents.—There are two sacred tents belonging to this gens. When the tribal circle is formed these are pitched within it, about 50 yards from the tents of the gens. Hence the proper name, Uc̷uci-najiⁿ. A straight line drawn from one to the other would bisect the road of the tribe at right angles.

The sacred tents are always together. They pertain to the buffalo hunt, and are also "wwaspe," having a share in the regulative system

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of the tribe, as they contain two objects which have been regarded as "Wakañda gaⁿ," partaking of the nature of deities.

These objects are the sacred pole or "waqc̷xe," and the "ʇe-saⁿ'-ha." The decoration of the outside of each sacred tent is as follows: A cornstalk on each side of the entrance and one on the back of the tent, opposite the entrance. (Compare the ear of corn in the calumet dance. See 123 and 163.)

Tradition of the sacred pole.—The "waqc̷exe," "jaⁿ' waqbe," or sacred pole, is very old, having been cut more than two hundred years ago, before the separation of the Omahas, Ponkas, and Iowas. The Ponkas still claim a share in it, and have a tradition about it, which is denied by La Flèche and Two Crows. The Ponkas say that the tree from which the pole was cut was first found by a Ponka of the Hisada gens, and that in the race which ensued a Ponka of the Makaⁿ gens was the first to reach the tree. The Omahas tell the following:

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

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

Fig. 17.—The sacred pole.

Two Crows said that the pole rested on the scalp when it was in the lodge. The proper name, Miⁿ-wasaⁿ, referring to the miⁿxasaⁿ or swan, and also to the aqande-pa (B). The proper name, "Yellow Smoke" (rather), "Smoked Yellow," or Cude-nazi, also refers to the pole, which has become yellow from smoke. Though a scalp is fastened to the top, the pole has nothing to do with war. But when the Omahas encounter enemies, any brave man who gets a scalp may decide to present it to the sacred pole. The middle of the pole has swan's down wrapped

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around it, and the swan's down is covered with cotton-wood bark, over which is a piece of ʇha (buffalo hide) about 18 inches square. All the ʇeha and cord is made of the hide of a hermaphrodite buffalo. This pole used to be greased every year when they were about to return home from the summer hunt. The people were afraid to neglect this ceremony lest there should be a deep snow when they traveled on the next hunt.

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

The other sacred tent, which is kept at present by Wakan-maⁿc̷iⁿ, contains the sacred "ʇe-saⁿ'-ha," the skin of a white buffalo cow, wrapped in a buffalo hide that is without hair.

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

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

There are several names for each subgens. The first which is sometimes spoken of as being "Jaⁿ'ha-aʇc̷icaⁿ," Pertaining to the sacred cotton-wood bark, is the "Waqc̷xe ac̷iⁿ'" or the "Jaⁿ' waqbe ac̷iⁿ'," Keepers of the Sacred Pole. When its members are described by their taboos, they are called the " waqbe c̷atjĭ," Those who do not eat the "ʇa" or buffalo sides; and "Miⁿxa-saⁿ c̷atji" and "taⁿ c̷atji," Those who do not eat geese, swans, and cranes. These can eat the the buffalo tongues. The second subgens, which is often referred to as being "e-saⁿ'-ha-ʇc̷ican," Pertaining to the sacred skin of the white buffalo cow, consists of the Wacbe or Hañ'gaqti, the Heal Hañga people. When reference is made to their taboo, they are called the "e-c̷ze c̷atjĭ," as they cannot eat buffalo tongues; but they are at liberty to eat the "ʇa," which the other Hañga cannot eat. In the tribal circle the Wacabe people camp next to the Iñke-sabĕ gens; and the Waqc̷ze ac̷iⁿ have the Quʞa of the C̸atada gens next to them, as he is their servant and is counted as one of their kindred. But, in the gentile circle, the Waqc̷ze ac̷in occupy the left side of the "council-fire," and the Wacabe sit on the opposite side.

38. Style of wearing the hair.—The Hañga style of wearing the hair is called "e-nañ'ka-bxe," referring originally to the back of a buffalo. It is a crest of hair, about 2 inches long, standing erect, and extending from one ear to the other. The ends of the hair are a little below the ears.

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39. Birth-names of boys, according to ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ. The first is Niadi ctagabi; the second, Jaⁿ-gp'uje, referring to the Sacred Pole. It may be equivalent to the Dakota Tcaⁿ-kap'oja (Ćaŋ-kapoźa), meaning that it must be carried by one unincumbered with much baggage. The third is named Maⁿ pĕjĭ Bad Arrow, i. e., Sacred Arrow, because the arrow has grown black from age! (Two Crows gave this explanation. It is probable that the arrow is kept in or with the "ʇe-saⁿ-ha.")

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

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

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


41. This gen occupies the fourth place in the tribal circle, being between the Hañga and the ʞaⁿze. But, unlike the other gentes, its subgentes have separate camping areas. Were it not for the marriage law, we should say that the C̸atada was a phratry, and its subgentes were gentes. The present leaders of the gens are edegahi of the Wajiñga-c̷atajĭ and Cyu-jiñga of the Wasabe-hit'ajĭ. When on the hunt the four subgentes pitch their tents in the following order in the tribal circle: 1. Wasabe-hit'ajĭ; 2. Wajiñga c̷atajĭ; 3. e-da-it'ajĭ; 4. ʞe-'iⁿ. The Wasabe-hit'ajĭ are related to the Hañga on the one hand and to the Wajiñga-c̷atajĭ on the other. The latter in turn, are related to the e-da-it'ajĭ; these are related to the ʞe-'iⁿ; and the ʞe-'iⁿ and ʞaⁿze are related.


42. The name of this subgens is derived from three words: wasabe, a black bear; ha, a skin; and it'aji, not to touch; meaning "Those who do

View Plate
Plate XXXI

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not touch the skin of a black bear." The writer was told in 1879, that the uju, or principal man of this subgens, was Icta-duba, but La Flèche and Two Crows, in 1882, asserted that they never heard of an "uju" of a gens.

Taboo.—The members of this subgens are prohibited from touching the hide of a black bear and from eating its flesh.

Mythical origin.—They say that their ancestors were made under the ground and that they afterwards came to the surface.

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

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

44. Style of wearing the hair.—Four short locks are left on the head, as in the following diagram. They are about 2 inches long.

Birth-names of̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ gave the following: The first son is called Young Black bear. The second, Black bear. The third, Four Eyes, including the true eyes and the two spots like eyes that are above the eyes of a black bear. The fourth, Gray Foot. The fifth, Cries like a Raccoon. (La Flèche said that this is a Ponka name, but the Omahas now have it.) The sixth, Ndahaⁿ, Progressing toward maturity (sic). The seventh, He turns round and round suddenly (said of both kinds of bears).

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

When they meet as a subgens, they sit thus in their circle: The Wasabe-hit'ajĭ people sit on the right of the entrance, and the Quʞa have their places on the left. But in the tribal circle the Quʞa people

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camp next to the Hañga Keepers of the Sacred Pole, as the former are the servants of the Hañga. The leader of the Quʞa or Singers was himself the only one who acted as quʞa, when called on to serve the Hañga. ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ's half-brother, Hupec̷a, commonly styled e-da-uc̷qaga, used to be the leader. Since the Omahas have abandoned the hunt, to which this office pertained, no one has acted as quʞa; but if it were still in existence, the three brothers, Dangerous, Gihajĭ, and Maⁿ-c̷i'u-ke, are the only ones from whom the quʞa could be chosen.

Quʞa men.—Dried Buffalo Skull. Dangerous. Gihajĭ. Black bear. Paws the Ground as he Reclines. Young (black bear) Runs. Mandan. Hupec̷a. Laugher. Maqpiya-qaga. añga-gaxe. Crow's Head. Gray Foot. J. La Flèche said that Hupec̷a, Laugher, Maqpiya-qaga, and añga-gaxe were servants of the Elk gels; but ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ, their fellow-gentile, places them among the Quʞa. (See 143.)

In the tribal circle the Wasabe-hit'ajĭ proper camp next to the Wajiñga-c̷atajĭ. These Wasabe-hit'ajĭ are the servants of the Elk people, whom they assist in the worship of the thunder-god. When this ceremony takes place there are a few of the Quʞa people who accompany the Wasabe-hit'ajĭ and act as servants. These are probably the four men referred to above. Though all of the Wasabe-hit'ajĭ proper are reckoned as servants of the Wejiⁿcte, only two of them, ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ and Sida-maⁿc̷iⁿ, take a prominent part in the ceremonies described in 23, 24. Should these men die or refuse to act, other members of their Section must take their places.

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

Quʞa and Wasabe-hit'ajĭ women.—Daⁿabi. Daⁿama. Land Female. Miⁿhupegc̷e. Miⁿʇaⁿiⁿge. She who is Coming back in sight. Wetaⁿne. Wete wiⁿ.


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

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

Curious custom during harvest.—These Wajiñga-c̷atajĭ call themselves "The Blackbird people" In harvest time, when the birds used to eat the corn, the men of this subgens proceeded thus: They took some corn, which they chewed and spit around over the field. They thought

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that such a procedure would deter the birds from making further inroads upon the crops.

Wackaⁿ-maⁿc̷iⁿ of this subgens keeps one of the great wac̷ixabe, or sacred bags, used when a warrior's word is doubted. (See 196.)

47. Sections and subsections of the subgens.—Waniʇa-wagĕ of the a-da gens told me that the following were the divisions of the Wajiñga-c̷atajĭ; but La Flèche and Two Crows deny it. It may be that these minor divisions no longer exist, or that they were not known to the two men.

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

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

Wajiñga-c̷atajĭ women.—(Female eagle) Is Moving On high. Moon in motion during the Day. Turning Moon Female. Mindacan-c̷in. Mintena. Visible one that Has returned, and is in a Horizontal attitude.


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

He who is the head of the Niniba t'an, Keepers of a (Sacred) Pipe, has duties to perform whenever the chief's assemble in council. (See Sacred Pipes, 18.)

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

50. Birth names of boys.—The first was called Dried Eagle. ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ said that this really meant "Dried buffalo skull;" but La Flèche and Two Crows denied this, giving another meaning, "Dried Eagle skin." The second was Pipe. The third, Eaglet. The fourth, Real Bald Eagle. The sixth, Standing Bald Eagle. The seventh, He (an eagle) makes the ground Shake suddenly by Alighting on it.

51. Sections of the Subgens.—Lion gave the following, which were doubted by La Flèche and Two Crows. I. Keepers of the Pipe, or Workers, under Eaglet. II. Under The-Only-Hañga are Pidaiga, Wadjepa, and Maⁿze-guhe. III. Under Real Eagle are his son, Eagle makes a Crackling sound by alighting on a limb of a tree, Wasaapa, Gakiemaⁿc̷iⁿ, and Tcaza-c̷iñge. IV. To the Bald Eagle section belong Yellow Breast and Small Hill. The Omahas reckon three kinds of eagles, the white eagle, the young white eagle, and the spotted eagle. To these they add the bald eagle, which they say is not a real eagle. These probably correspond with the sections of the e-da-it'ajĭ.


52. This subgens camps between the e-da-it'ajĭ and the ʞaⁿze, in the tribal circle. Its head man in 1879 was said to be enuga jaⁿ-c̷iñke. ʞe'iⁿ means "to carry a turtle on one's back." The members of this subgens are allowed to touch or carry a turtle, but they cannot eat one.

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

Decoration of the tents.—The figures of turtles were painted on the outside of the tents. (See the Iñke-sabĕ decorations, 30-32.)

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

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

Sections of the subgens.—Lion gave the following as sections of the ʞe-'iⁿ, though the statement was denied by La Flèche and Two Crows. "The first section is Big Turtle, under ahe-ʇad'ĕ, in 1878. The sec-

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ond is Turtle that does not flee, under Cage-skă or Nistu-maⁿc̷iⁿ. The third is Red-breasted Turtle, under enuga jaⁿ-c̷iñke. The fourth is Spotted Turtle with Red Eyes, under Ehnaⁿ juwagc̷e."

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

One of the women is Egg Female.


54. The place of the ʞaⁿze or Kansas gens is between the ʞe-'iⁿ and the Maⁿc̷iñka-gaxe in the tribal circle. The bead man of the gens who was recognized as such in 1879 was Zaⁿzi-mande.

Taboo.—The ʞanze people cannot touch verdigris, which they call "wase-ʇu," green clay, or "wase-ʇu-qude," gray-green clay.

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

Subgentes.—La Flèche and Two Crows recognize but two of these: Keepers of a Pipe and Wind People. They assign to the former Majaⁿhac̷iⁿ, Majaⁿ-kide, &c., and to the latter Wajiⁿ-c̷icage, Zaⁿzimandĕ as the head of the third subgens, and Majaⁿ-kide of the fourth; but he could not give the exact order in which they sat in their gentile circle.

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

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

According to La Flèche and Two Crows, a member of this gens was chosen as crier when the brave young men were ordered to take part in the sham fight. (See 152.) "This was Majaⁿhac̷iⁿ" (Frank La Flèche).

55. Names of Kansas men.—Thick Hoofs. Something Wanting. Not worn from long use. He only is great in his own estimation. Boy who talks like a chief. Young one that Flies [?]. He Lay down On the way. Young Beaver. Two Thighs. Brave Boy. Kansas Chief. Young Kansas. Making a Hollow sound. Gray Cottonwood. The one Moving toward the Land. He who shot at the Laud. Young Grizzly bear.

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White Grizzly bear near at hand. He started suddenly to his feet. Heartless. Chief. Four Peaks. Hair on the legs (of a buffalo calf takes) a withered appearance. Swift Wind. Wind pulls to pieces. He Walks In the Wind. Buffalo that has become Lean again. Lies at the end. Young animal Feeding with the herd. He who makes an object Fall to pieces by Punching it. Blood. He who makes them weep. Bow-wood Bow.

Names of Kansas women.—Kansas Female. Moon that Is traveling. Ancestral or Foremost Moon. Moon Moving On high. Last [?] Wind. Wind Female. Coming lack Gray.


56. This gens, which is the first of the Ictasanda gentes, camps next to the ʞaⁿze, but on the opposite side of the road.

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

The name Maⁿc̷iñka-gaze means "the earth-lodge makers," but the members of this gens call themselves the Wolf (and Prairie Wolf) People.

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

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

57. Subgentes.—La Flèche and Two Crows gave but two of these: Keepers of the Pipe and Sacred Persons. This is evidently the classification for marriage purposes, referred to in 78; and the writer is confident that La Flèche and Two Crows always mean this when they speak of the divisions of each gens. This should be borne in mind, as it will be helpful in solving certain seeming contradictions. That these two are not the only divisions of the gens will appear from the statements of Lion and Cañge-sk, the latter being the chief of the gens. Cañge-skă, said that there were three subgentes, as follows: 1. Qube (includ-

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ing the Wolf people?). 2. Niniba t'aⁿ. 3. Miⁿ'xa-saⁿ wet'ajĭ. Lion gave the following: 1. Mi'ʞasi (Coyote and Wolf people). 2. Iⁿ''ĕ waqbe, Keepers of the Sacred Stones. 3. Niniba t'aⁿ. 4. Miⁿ'xa-saⁿ wet'jĭ. According to Cañge-skă, Qube was the name given to his part of the gens after the death of Black Bird; therefore it is a modern name, not a hundred years old. But Iⁿ''ĕ-waqbe points to the mythical origin of the gens; hence the writer is inclined to accept the fourfold division as the ancient one. The present head of the Coyote people is aqie-tiqc̷e, whose predecessor was Hu-c̷agebe. Cañge-skă, of the second subgens, is the successor of his father, who bore the same name. Uckadaji is the rightful keeper of the Sacred Pipe, but as he is very old Caⁿtaⁿ-jiñga has superseded him, according to ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ. Miⁿxa-skă, was the the head of the Miⁿxa-saⁿ wet'ajĭ, but Mañga'ajĭ has succeeded him. The name of this last subgens means "Those who do not touch swans," but this is only a name, not a taboo, according to some of the Omahas.

Among the Kansas Indians, the Maⁿc̷iñka-gaxe people used to include the Elk gens, and part of the latter is called, Miⁿ'xa nikaciⁿga, Swan people. As these were originally a subgens of the Kansas Maⁿc̷iñka-gaxe, it furnishes another reason for accepting the statement of Lion about the Omaha Miⁿxa-saⁿ wet'ajĭ.

55. Birth-names of boys.—ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ gave the following, but he did not know their exact order: He who Continues to Travel (denied by the La Flèche and Two Crows). Little Tail (of a coyote). Sudden Crunching sound (made by a coyote or wolf when gnawing bones). (Coyote) Wheels around suddenly. (Coyote) Stands erect very suddenly. Surly Wolf.

Names of men. I. Wolf subgens.—Sudden crunching sound. Wacicka. Continues Running. Wheels around suddenly. The Standing one who is Traveling. (Wolf) flakes a sudden Crackling sound (by alighting on 1 wigs or branches). Ghost of a Grizzly bear. Stands erect Very suddenly. Little Tail. Young Traveler. He who Continues to Travel, or Standing Traveler. Standing Elk. Young animal Feeding or grazing with a herd. II. Iⁿ''ĕ waqbe subgens.—White Horse. Ancestral Kansas. Thunder-god. Village-maker. Brave Second-son. Black Bird (not Blackbird). Big Black bear. White Swan. Night Walker. He whom they Reverence. Big Chief. Walking Stone. Red Stone. ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ said that the last two names were birth-names in this subgens. III. Niniba-t'aⁿ subgens.—He who Rushes in to battle. Young Wolf. Saucy Chief. IV. Swan subgens.—He whom an Arrow Fails to wound. Willing to be employed. A member of this gens, Tailless Grizzly bear, has been with the Ponkas for many years. His name is not an Omaha name.

Names of women.—Hawk-Female. New Hawk-Female. Miacte-ctan, or Miate-ctaⁿ. Min-miʇega. Visible Moon. (Wolf) Stands erect. White Ponka in the distance. Ponka Female. She who is Ever Coming back Visible. Eagle Circling around. Wate wiⁿ.

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59. The e-sĭnde, or Buffalo-tail gens, camps between the Manc̷iñka-gaxe and the a-da gentes in the tribal circle. Its present chief is Wahaⁿ-c̷iñge, son of Takunakic̷abi.

Taboos.—The members of this gens cannot eat a calf while it is red, but they can do so when it becomes black. This applies to the calf of the domestic cow, as well as to that of the buffalo. They cannot touch a buffalo head.— Frank La Flèche . (See 31, 37, and 49.) They cannot eat the meat on the lowest rib, ʇec̷iʇ-ucagc̷e, because the Lead of the calf before birth touches the mother near that rib.

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

Style of wearing the hair.—It is called "ihiⁿ-mxa-gxai," Mane made muxa, i,. e., to stand up and hang over a little on each side. La Flèche and Two Crows do not know this style.

60. Birth-names of boys.—ac̷iⁿ-naⁿpajĭ was uncertain about them. He thought that six of them were as follows: Gray Horus (of a buffalo). Umaabi, refers to cutting up a buffalo. (A buffalo that is almost grown) Raises his Tail in the air. Dark Eyes) A buffalo calf when it sheds its reddish-yellow hair, has a coat of black, which commences at the eyes). (Buffalo Calf) Unable to Run. Little one (buffalo calf) with reddish-yellow hair.

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

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

Nomes of women.—Miⁿ-akanda. Sacred Moon. White Buffalo-Female in the distance. Walks in order to Seek (for something).

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63. The place of this gens in the tribal circle is after that of the e-sĭnde. The chief of the gens is Sĭnde-xaⁿxaⁿ.

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

Subgentes.—La Flèche and Two Crows recognized three divisions of the gens for marriage purposes, and said that the Keepers of the Sacred Pipe were "uʞaⁿ ha jiñga," a little apart from the rest. Waniʇa-waqĕ, who is himself the keeper of the Sacred Pipe of this gens, gave four subgentes. These sat in the gentile circle in the following order: On the first or left side of the "fire-place" were the Niniba t'aⁿ, Keepers of the Pipe, and Jiñga-gahige's subgens. On the other side were the Thunder people and the real Deer people. The Keepers of the Pipe and Jiñga-gahige's subgens seem to form one of the three divisions recognized by La Flèche. Waniʇa-waqĕ said that his own subgens were Eagle people, and that they had a special taboo, being forbidden to touch verdigris (see ʞaⁿze gens), charcoal, and the skin of the wild-cat. He said that the members of the second subgens could not touch charcoal, in addition to the general taboo of the gens. But La Flèche and Two Crows said that none of the a-da could touch charcoal.

The head of the Niniba t'aⁿ took the name Waniʇa-waqĕ, The Animal that excels others, or Lion, after a visit to the East; but his real Omaha name is Disobedient. ac̷in-gahige is the head of the Thunder subgens, and Sĭnde-xaⁿxaⁿ, of the Deer subgens.

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

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

65. Ceremony on the fifth day after a birth.—According to Lion, there is a peculiar ceremony observed in his gens when an infant is named. All the members of the gens assemble on the fifth day after the birth of a child. Those belonging to the subgens of the infant cannot eat anything cooked for the feast, but the men of the other subgentes are at liberty to partake of the food. The infant is placed within the gentile circle and the privileged decoration is made on the face of the child

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with "wase-jide-nika," or Indian red. Then with the tips of the index, middle, and the next finger, are red spots made down the child's back, at short intervals, in imitation of a fawn. The child's breech-cloth (sic) is also marked in a similar way. With the tips of three fingers al, rubbed stripes as long as a hand on the arms and chest of the infant. All the a-da people, even the servants, decorate themselves. Rubbing the rest of the Indian red on the palms of their hands, they pass their hands backwards over their hair; and they finally make red spots on their chests, about the size of a hand. The members of the Pipe subgens, and those persons in the other subgentes who are related to the infant's father through the calumet dance, are the only ones who are allowed to use the privileged decoration, and to wear hiⁿqpe (down) in their hair. If the infant belongs to the Pipe subgens, charcoal, verdigris, and the skin of a wild-cat are placed beside him, as the articles not to be touched by him in after-life. Then he is addressed thus: "This you must not touch; this, too, you must not touch; and this you must not touch." The verdigris symbolizes the blue sky.

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

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

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

III. Thunder subgens.—Spotted Back (of a fawn). Small Hoofs. Like a Buffalo Horn. Wet Moccasins (that is, the feet of a deer. A female name among the Osages, etc.). Young Male-animal. White Tail. Dazzles the Eyes. Spoken to (by the thunder-god). Young Thunder-god. Dark Chin. Forked Horns. Distant Sitting one with White Horns. Fawn. Paws the Ground, making parallel or diverging indentations.

5 This agrees substantially with the Osage custom.
Back to reference

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Black Hair on a buck's Abdomen. Two Buffalo bulls. Red Leaf (a Dakota name). Skittish. Black Crow. Weasel. Young Elk. Pawnee Chief.

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

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

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

Names of women in the gens.—ɔona-maha. Habitual-Hawk Female. Hawk Female. Precious Hawk Female. Horn used for cutting or chopping(?). Ax Female. Moon-Hawk Female. Moon that is Flying. Moon that Is moving On high. Naⁿziⁿze. White Ponka in the distance. Ponka Female.


67. The meaning of this name has been explained in several ways. In Dougherty's Account of the Omahas (Long's Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, I, 327) we read that "This name is said to have originated from the circumstance of this band having formerly quarreled and separated themselves from the nation, until, being nearly starved, they were compelled to eat the fruit of the wild cherry tree, until their excrement became red". (They must have eaten buffalo berries, not wild cherries. La Flexile.) ⁿ-hebe did not know the exact meaning of the name, but said that it referred to the bloody body of the buffalo seen when the seven old men visited this gens with the sacred pipes. (See 16). Two Crows said that the Iñgc̷ejide men give the following explanation: "jiñga dai tĕdi, iñc̷e z-jide gaⁿ": i. e., "When a buffalo calf is born, its dung is a yellowish red."

The place of the Iñgc̷e-jide in the tribal circle is next to that of the a-da. Their head man is He-musnade.

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

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

68. Birth names of boys.—These are as follows, but their exact order has not been gained: Buffalo calf. Seeks its Mother. Stands at the End. Horn Erect with the sharp end toward the spectator. Buffalo (calf?) Rolls over. Made dark by heat very suddenly. Maⁿzedaⁿ, meaning unknown.

Subgentes.—The Iñgc̷e-jide are not divided for marriage purposes. Lion, however, gave four subgentes; but he could not give the names and taboos. He said that Horn Erect was the head of the first. The present head of the second is Little Star. Rolls over is the head of the third; and Singer of the fourth.

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

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


69. The meaning of "Ictasanda" is uncertain; though Say was told by Dougherty that it signifies "gray eyes." It probably has some reference to the effect of lightning on the eyes. The place of the Ictasanda is at the end of the tribal circle, after the Iñgc̷e-jide, and opposite to the Wejiⁿcte. The head of the geus is Ibahanbi, son of Wanuʞige, and grandson of Wackaⁿhi.

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

70. Birth names of boys.—Ibahanbi said that the first son was called

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Gaagigc̷e-hnaⁿ, which probably refers to thunder that is passing by. The second is, The Thunder-god is Roaring as he Stands. The third, Big Shoulder. The fourth, Walking Forked-lightning. The fifth, The thunder-god Walks Roaring. The sixth, Sheet-lightning Makes a Glare in-side the Lodge. The seventh, The Thunder-god that Walks After others at the close of a storm.

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

71. Subgentes.—For marriage purposes the gens is divided into three parts, according to La Flèche and Two Crows. I. Niniba-t'aⁿ, Keepers of the Pipe, and Real Ictasanda, of which e-uʞaⁿha, ʞawaha, Wajiⁿ-aⁿba, and Si-c̷ede-jiñga are the only survivors. II. Wacetaⁿ, or Reptile people, under Ibahaⁿbi. III. Ingc̷aⁿ, Thunder people, among who are Uic̷aⁿbe-aⁿsa and Wanace-jiñga.

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

At the time that Waniʇa-waqĕ gave this information, March, 1880, he said that there were but two men left in the Niniba-t'aⁿ, e-uʞaⁿha, and ʞawaha. Now it, appears that they have united with Wajiⁿ-aⁿba and Sic̷ede-jiñga, the survivors of the Ictasandaqti. e-uʞaⁿha, being the keeper of the Ictasanda sacred pipe, holds what was a very important office, that of being the person who has the right to fill the sacred pipes for the chief's. (See 17 and 18.) e-uʞaⁿha does not, however, know the sacred words used on such occasions, as his father, Mahiⁿzi, died without communicating them to him.

But some say that there is another duty devolving on this keeper. There has been a custom in the tribe not to cut the hair of children when they were small, even after they began to walk. But before a child reached the age of four years, it was necessary for it to be taken, with such other children as had not had their hair cut, to the man who filled the sacred pipes. Two or three old men of the Ictasanda gens sat together on that occasion. They sent a crier around the camp or vil-

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lage, saying, "You who wish to have your children's hair cut bring them." Then the father, or else the mother, would take the child, with a pair of good moccasins for the child to put on, also a present for the keeper of the sacred pipe, which might consist of a pair of moccasins, some arrows, or a dress, etc. When the parents had arrived with their children each one addressed the keeper of the pipe, saying, Venerable man, you will please cut my child's hair," handing him the present at the same time. Then the old man would take a child, cut off one lock about the length of a finger, tie it up, and put it with the rest in a sacred buffalo hide. Then the old man put the little moccasins on the child, who had not worn any previously, and after turning him around four times he addressed him thus: "ucpha, Wakan'da c̷a'c̷ic̷-de ʞci maⁿc̷iñ'ka si c̷agc̷ tat-Grandchild, may Wakanda pity you, and may your feet rest for a long time on the ground!" Another form of the address was this: "Wakan'da c̷a'c̷ic̷ tat! Maⁿc̷iñ'ka si c̷agc̷ tat. Gdihgaⁿ hn tat!-May Wakanda pity you! May your feet tread the ground! May you go ahead (i. e., may you live hereafter) !" At the conclusion of the ceremony the parent took the child home, and on arriving there the father cut off the rest of the child's hair, according to the style of the gens., La Flèche told the following, in 1879: "If it was desired, horns were left, and a circle of hair around the head, with one lock at each side, over the ear. Some say that they cut off more of the hair, leaving none on top and only a circle around the head." But the writer has not been able to ascertain whether this referred to any particular gens, as the Ictasanda or to the whole tribe. "It is the duty of Wajiⁿ-aⁿba, of the Real Ictasanda, to cut the children's hair. The Keepers of the Pipe and the Real Ictasanda were distinct subgentes, each having special duties." ( Frank La Flèche .)

72. Names of men.—e-uʞaⁿha (Sentinel Buffalo Apart from the herd) and his brother, ʞawaha, are the only survivors of the Keepers of the Pipe. Hañga-cenu and Mahiⁿ-zi (Yellow Rock) are dead.

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

III. Wacetaⁿ subgens.—Roar of approaching thunder. He who made the foe stir. He who tried to anticipate the rest in reaching the body of a the. Cedar Shooter. Flat Water (the Platte or Nebraska). He is Known. Thunder-god) Roars as he Stands. Sharp Stone. (Thunder that) Walks after the others at the close of a storm. Big Shoulder. (Thunder) Walks On high. Wace-jiñga (Small Reptile?)

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Wace-taⁿ (Standing Reptile?.) Wace-taⁿ-jiñga (Small Standing Reptile?). (Snake) Makes himself Round. Sheet-lightning Flashes Suddenly. Forked-lightning Walks. Thunder makes he sound "z+!" Black cloud in the horizon. Walks during the Night. White Disposition (or, Sensible). Sole of the foot. He got the better of the Lodges (of the foe by stealing their horses). Ibahaⁿbi (He is Known) gave the following as names of Ictasanda men, but J. La Flèche and Two Crows doubt them. Large Spotted Snake. (Snake) Makes (a frog) Cry out (by biting him).6 Small Snake.6 (Snake) Lies Stiff. Big Mouth. Black Rattlesnake. (Snake that) Puffs up itself.

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

Names of women.—Daⁿama. She Alone is Visible. Skin Dress. She who Is returning Roaring or Bellowing. She who is made Muddy as she Moves. Moon has Returned Visible. Moon is Moving On high.7

6These names are found in the corresponding Ponka gens, the Wajaje or Osage, a reptile gens.
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7Many names have been omitted because an exact translation could not be given, though the references to certain animals or mythical ancestors are apparent. It is the wish of the writer to publish hereafter a comparative list of personal names of the cognate tribes, Omahas, Ponkas, Osages, Kansas, and Kwapas, for which considerable material has been collected.
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