Glossary of Indian Nations
Mentioned in the Website
See also Glossary of Non-Indian Nations
Most of the information found here was taken from Carl Waldman, Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, revised edition (New York: Checkmark Books, 1999) as well as reliable sources found on the internet, most particularly "World Culture Encyclopedia."
A B C D E F G H I-J K L M N O P Q R S T U-V W-X Y Z Notes
|Abenaki Warriors||An Abenaki Village||An Abenaki Couple|
Abenaki — a group of loosely affiliated tribes speaking an Algonquian dialect. In their own language they are known as the "Wabanaki." Their territory streatched from Lake Champlain up the St. Lawrence River basin and south down into Maine and northern Massachusetts. The Abenaki tribes or bands consisted of the Sokokis, the Cowasucks, the Missisquois, the Pennacooks, the Pigwackets, the Androscoggins, the Penobscots, Norridgewocks, Wawenocks, and Kennebecs. The broader Wabanaki Confederacy includes the Passamaquoddies, Maliseets, and Micmac. Most of the Abenakis practiced at least some agriculture, although some other seem to have been almost entirely dependent upon hunting. The Abenaki experienced epidemics in 1617 and 1633 of Euro-American origin, which decimated their population. Many were converted to Christianity by French Catholic missionaries or Puritans. However, many of the whites who were captured by the Abenaki or fled to them, found their culture so agreeable that they were reluctant to return to the European roots. In the colonial wars between the English and the French, the Abenakis generally sided with the more tolerant French against the aggressive and assimilative English. Raids were made back and forth between the English and Abenakis, and although the Abenakis lost much of their lands in the south, they were able to hold the English at bay for nearly a century. When New France fell to the British, the Abenakis were more hard pressed. In time, especially after the American Revolution, most of their lands fell into the hands of white settlers. To survive in the following centuries, many Abenakis passed as French Canadians, or lived so far off in the wilderness that there presence was never detected by the settlers. In recent times they have shed their invisibility and have become both more numerous and more prosperous. Mentioned in Histories: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
Akuriyo — a South American Carib tribe of Surinam. They were a nomadic tribe of hunter gatherers of the jungles of southern Surinam, and were discovered by the outside world in 1968. Today only a handful of elders speak the language. Mentioned in footnotes: 1.
Alabama — a Muskogean tribe of the southern United States, living primarily within the state that now bears their name. They, along with other Muskogean speaking tribes, the Creek, Hitchiti, and Coushatta, formed the Creek Confederacy. Their territory was centered on the upper Alabama River, which like the state through which it runs, was named after them. The Alabama were strong allies of the French, whom they allowed to build Fort Toulouse in their territory. When the French lost their American holdings after the French and Indian War, most of the Alabama retreated into French Louisiana. After that was purchased and settled by the white Americans, they retreated farther into Texas, where they now have a reservation with the Coushatta. Their languge still exists in Texas. Other Alabama were exiled to Oklahoma with the Creeks in the 1830's.
Alacaluf (Halakwulup, Kawésqar, Kaweskar) — a people living about the Straits of Magellan in present day Chile. Their traditional lifestyle was nomadic and entirely dependent on the resources of the sea. In the 1930's they were settled in the city of Porta Eden on Wellington Island. Only a few people are left who speak the Kawesqar language. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Algonkin (or Algonquin) — the tribe that gave its name to the Algonquian language family (see next entry). They live in Ontario and Quebec in Canada. They lived in houses that were cone shaped rather like tipis, although sometimes they made rectangular dwellings. Their canoes were made of birch bark. They held that a single supernatural force imbued all nature, a force they deified as Manitou. The Algonkin were first encountered by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1603. The closeness of the Algonkin to the French led to their temporary dislodgement from the Ottawa River area by the Iroquois. Mentioned in Histories: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Algonquian (or Algonkian; in the past it was called "Algic") — a very large language family whose members lived mainly in the eastern part of the United States. The following Indian nations speak Algonquian languages: Abenaki, Algonkin, Amikwa, Anishinaabeg, Arapaho, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Cree, Fox, Gros Ventre, Illinois, Kickapoo, Lenni Lenape (Delaware), Mahican, Maliseet, Massachuset, Menominee, Miami, Micmac, Mohegan, Montagnais (Innu), Montauk, Narragansett, Naskapi, Nippising, Nipmuc, Nippising, Noquets, Ottawa, Passamaquoddy, Pennacook, Penobscot, Pequot, Potawatomi, Powhatan, Rappahannock, Roanoke, Sauk, Shawnee, Wampanoag, Wappinger, Wiyot (Wishosk), and Yurok. The Hočągara were generally surrounded by tribes of this linguistic group. Mentioned in Ethographies: 1; Mentioned: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32.
Amikwas (Omikoues) — an Algonquian speaking people who lived on the north shore of Lake Huron, and were once neighbors with the Nippising. The Amikwas, who take their name from amik, "beaver," formed an alliance sometime prior to 1673, with the neighboring Nippising. These tribes were described as masters of their region until they were seriously decimated by disease, after which the Iroquois fell upon them, and drove them towards Green Bay. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1.
|Shakopay, "The Six"
|Mother and Child
Anishinaabeg — a large Algonquian nation inhabiting the Lake Superior region. The name means "Original Men" in their own tongue, but in Hočąk they are called Regači. The Algonquian term for them, Ojibway, was later corrupted into the English "Chippewa." They are very closely related to the Ottawa and the Potawatomi, the collectivity forming the "Three Fires." The part of the nation that settled in what is now southern Ontario were called Mississauga, and had the status of an independent tribe, although they spoke the same language. Another independent band was the Makandwewininiwag, the Pillagers, who moved to the headwaters of the Mississippi and gradually pushed westward. In 1829 a man conversant with the Anishinaabe tongue said, "... the Chippewa language is the classical tongue of all the North Western [= Central] Indians and traders, and the one through which all their intercourse is carried on." [nt] They lived in cone-shaped and domed wigwams covered in bark and rushes, and were considered especially adept at the construction and use of birch bark canoes. They were generally on good terms with the Hočągara, but were fiercely inimical to the Santee Sioux. See also Saginaw. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (Sauteurs), 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.
Apache — a famous and warlike Athabascan tribe, akin to the Navaho, who in historical times lived in Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico proper. The name by which they are known in English comes from the Zuni apachu, meaning "enemy." Their most famous bands are the Chiricahua, Mimbreno, Jicarilla, Mescalero, Lipan, and Kiowa-Apache. They lived in an arid environment where they practiced hunting and gathering, living off even cactus and mesquite seeds. Their principal enemies were the Comanches and the whites, with whom they fought many wars. Famous in these wars were the chiefs Victorio, Cochise, and Geronimo. They also raided the Pima. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 7, 8, 9.
|Five Arapaho Men|
Arapaho (Hočąk Pájoke) — a nation strongly allied with the Lakota and the Cheyenne in the "Triple Entente of the Prairie." They are of Algonquian speech, and in their own language they called themselves Inuna-ina, which means simply, "Our People." Their Cheyenne allies called them "the cloud people." They may have originally formed a single tribe with the Gros Ventre. From an earlier home in northern Minnesota, in the Eighteenth Century they migrated north and west, the Gros Ventre ending up in northern Montana and Saskatchewan, while the Arapaho traveled south. The Arapaho now form two bands, one in Wyoming and the other in Colorado. They were traditionally buffalo hunters, leading a nomadic life and living in teepees. They were a warlike tribe with eight secret warrior societies graded by age. Each of these societies had its own medicine bundles. The Arapaho fought the Shoshone, Ute, Pawnee, Crow, Comanche, Kiowa, and the Big Knives (whites). They were principals in many fights with the whites including Little Big Horn. The Southern Arapaho were driven into Oklahoma where they now have a reservation; the Northern Arapaho were eventually forced to join their enemies the Shoshone on a reservation in Wyoming. They were enthusiastic participants in the Wovoka's Ghost Dance movement of the 1880's (See 1, 2, 3). Today their principal industry is cattle ranching. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3; Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, see also 30.
|A Group of Arawaks in Front of a Hut|
Arawak (Locono) — a people speaking an Arawakan language akin to Taino and Kalhipona. It is still spoken by about 2,500 people in the Guianas and Venezuela. It was also once spoken on the Antilles islands. The Arawak bullied the peaceful Ciboneys, and turned them into servants, but were put upon by the agressive Caribs in their turn. They grew cassava and maize. They had boats large enough to carry on trade with Mesoamerica. Arawak has a number system that is base four: aba, bian, kabun, biti. They were the first people to be contacted by the Europeans. Columbus writes of them in his log,
They brought us barrels of cotton thread and parrots and other little things which it would be tedious to list, and exchanged everything for whatever we offered them... I kept my eyes open and tried to find out if there was any gold, and I saw that some of them had a little piece hanging from a hole in their nose. I gathered from their signs that if one goes south, or around the south side of the island, there is a king with great jars full of it, enormous amounts. I tried to persuade them to go there, but I saw that the idea was not to their liking... They would make fine servants... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.
Although Arawak speakers are rare on the Caribean islands today, DNA studies show that a majority of people in Puerto Rico are of Arawak descent. Mentioned in footnotes: 1.
|Rushing Bear, Arikara||Bear's Belly|
Arikara (Arikaree, or Ree) — a Caddoan nation living in North Dakota that originally split off from the Pawnee. Their name may mean "Horns," a reference to two upright bones that they affixed in their hair. They have a strong association with their neighbors to the north, the Hidatsa and Mandans. Like these tribes, the Arikara lived in villages and farmed, principally corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, and sunflowers. They built earthen lodges near their fields, usually on bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. Like most plains Indians, they also hunted buffalo. They were enemies of the Lakota and the Assiniboine. In 1870, they were established in their present reservation at Ft. Berthold with the Hidatsa and Mandans. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Assegun — a tribe that originally occupied the region around Mackinaw and Sault Ste Marie. They were driven southward by the Anishinaabe and Ottawa into Lower Michigan. [nt] They were once thought to be connected to the Mascoutens, but are now believed to have been a Siouan tribe. The name probably derives from Anishinaabe Úshigun, "Black Bass," to which compare the Fox, Asshegunuck, "Black Bass," a name of one of their bands. [nt] Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
|A Group of Assiniboine Men||An Assiniboine Painted Teepee|
Assiniboine (Assinipour, Pouarak) — a tribe with very close affinities to the Yanktonai, the differences in dialect between the two suggesting a time of separation sometime before 1640. The Assiniboine call themselves "Nakoda." The Jesuit Relations of 1658 place them at Lake Alimibeg, between Lake Superior and Hudson Bay. At an earlier time they were probably at the headwaters of the Mississippi and drifted north from the constant warfare with the Dakota. They are of plains culture, and in dress are not much different from their neighbors the Cree. They also practice polygamy. The Assiniboine share with the Hočągara the practice of sacrificing dogs to the spirits. The name comes from Anishinaabe, úsini-úpwäna, "cooks by the use of stones." Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
Athabascan — a large language family whose speakers are mainly found in the subarctic northwest. Among the tribes speaking an Athabascan language are the Ahtna, Carrier, Chipewyan, Dena'ina, Dogrib, Gwich'in (Kutchin), Chilcotin (Tsilhqot'in), Kato, Klatskanie, Mattole, Sarcee, Hupa, Slavey, Tolowa, Tututni, Wailaki, Navaho, and Apache. These languages are remotely akin to Haida and Tlingit. Here are Athabascan words for Water: Jicarilla Apache, Kóh; Western Apache, Tú; Navajo, Tú; Ahtna, Tuu; Carrier, Tó; Chipewyan, Ta; Gwich'in, Chuu; Klatskanie, Tu; Koyukon, Tu; Koyukon, Sarcee, Too; Hupa, To; Kato, Too; Mattole, Too; Tolowa, Tutlxut; Tututni, Tulxata; Wailaki, Too.
|An Atsugewi Storage Basket|
Atsugewi — a people living near Mt. Shasta in Northern California, speaking a Palaihnihan language. As of 1994, only three people still spoke this language. Before contact, the people lived by hunting and gathering, but had no political hierarchy. There are approximately 850 Atsugewi left. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
|Codex Mendoza 60r|
Aztec — one of the Nahua peoples of Mexico, speaking Nahuatl, a language of the Uto-Aztec family. They called themselves Mexica, the word Aztec meaning the "People of Aztlan." The legendary Aztlan where they originated, was said to be a island in the middle of a lake in the north. They may have originally come from the southwestern United States, possibly in the Chaco Canyon area. They claimed to be of Chichimec extraction, by which they meant the uncivilized tribes of the north; but their language shows no affinities to that of the tribe known as Chichimecs. They made Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, the capital of their empire. Unlike the Toltec calendar, which began in 726 a. D. with the year 1-Rabbit, the Aztec calendar began in the VIIth century with the year 2-Reed. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
Biloxi — a small Siouan speaking tribe, formerly living near the city in Mississippi that now bears their name. The name "Biloxi" is a corruption of what they call themselves, Taneks-aⁿya, "First People." They may once have lived not far west of the Susquehanna River, but by 1699 they were living on the Alabama River, and a little later on the Pascagoula River. They were surrounded by Muskogean tribes. Their long lodges had walls made of mud and roofs of bark. After the defeat of the French in 1763, the Biloxi moved into Louisiana, some going as far west as Texas (near Biloxi Creek in Angelina County). In 1698 their population was estimated at 420, but by 1908 only 6 to 8 individuals could be found. It is said that a handful of Biloxi are still living in Rapides Parish, La. The Biloxi language seems to show the greatest similarity to Ofo. The Siouan affinities of Biloxi can be seen by comparing some words in that language to Hočąk: Biloxi, noⁿpa, Hočąk, nųp — "two"; Biloxi, dani, Hočąk, tani — "three"; Biloxi, topa, Hočąk, čop — "four"; Biloxi, ina, Hočąk, wira — "sun"; Biloxi, ani, Hočąk, ni — "water." Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3.
|George Catlin, 1832||George Catlin||De Lancey Gill, 1916||Walter McClintock|
|Buffalo Bull's Back Fat,
Head Chief of the Bloods
|Three Piegan Chiefs||A Blackfoot Teepee|
Blackfeet — a powerful plains and mountain nation of Montana and Alberta whose language belongs to the Algonquian family. Their name, Siksika, means "Those with Black Moccasins." They formed a confederacy of three bands, the Blackfeet proper, the Bloods, and the Piegans. They had close associations with the Gros Ventres and the Sarcee. The Blackfeet were a nomadic people living in teepees and living primarily off the buffalo, but hunting other game such as elk, deer, and mountain sheep. The only plant that they cultivated was tobacco. They are particularly noted for their headdresses whose feathers were positioned straight up rather than sloping backwards like other plains tribes. Also unique was their admittance of women into the Sun Dance. They were a very warlike people with special warrior societies organized by age known as Ikunuhkats ("All Comrades"). They fought the Sioux, Crow, Shoshone, Spokane, Flathead, Kutenai, and Big Knives (whites). They now live on reservations within their traditional territory in the United States and Canada. One of their orators, Crowfoot, was quoted as saying, "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself on the sunset." Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3 , 4, 5, 6, 7. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.
Brothertown — a new tribe formed in 1785 from the remnants of a number of tribes of the east who had been decimated by the influx of white settlers over the course of a century and a half. It was formed primarily from survivors from the Mohegans and the Pequots of Massachusetts and Connecticut; but also from what was left of the Narragansett, Montauk, Niantic, and Tunxis (Farmington) nations. These several peoples had been Christianized. With the consent of the Oneida tribe in New York, they were given lands ajacent to them. They, together with the Oneida, and the Stockbridges and Munsees who also lived nearby, were pressured to relinquish their lands in New York and move to Wisconsin. This they did after 1821, once they had secured lands formerly occupied by the Hočąk and Menominee tribes. The Brothertowns, despite petitions, have still not been recognized as a tribe, since in 1834 they accepted U. S. citizenship and individual land plots in order not to be forced out of Wisconsin. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1.
Bungee — "Bungee (Bungi) was a dialect of English spoken in the Red River valley north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Its origins are linked to families of mixed Cree, Orkney, Scottish and Saulteaux/French descent who moved there early in the 19th century from Hudson's Bay Co trading posts. Though variations of the dialect can no doubt still be heard in communities scattered throughout the woodlands west of Hudson Bay, the term 'Bungee ' - in conjunction with the dialect and those who spoke it - is restricted to the Red River area. The word Bungee itself is probably of Ojibwa origins, ie, from panki , meaning 'a little 'or 'a portion of something.' Some Cree elements appear in the sentence patterns and sound structures of Bungee, eg, the interchangeable use of 's' and 'sh.' The vocabulary includes Cree, Scots, Gaelic and French words and expressions; and the Scots influence is further reflected in the accent and 'lilt' of Bungee speech. Some of these features persist in the dialect still spoken by some older residents." Taken from the article "Bungee" by Eleanor M. Blain, in the Canadian Encyclopedia. Parallel Stories: 1.
|George B. Cornish|
|Kawutz, a Young Caddo Woman|
Caddo — a Caddoan tribe that occupied a large territory in east Texas, Louisiana, Arkansa, and Oklahoma. The name "Texas" comes from the Caddo word táysha’, meaning "friend."They were once a confederation of tribes exhibiting some linguisitic variation, but now possess a single dialect. They lived in villages where they grew corn, squash, and pumpkin. Wild turkeys were also an important food. Their chief god, Kadhi Háyuh, was a sky god. They may have been connected to the Mississipian culture centered around Spiro Mound. Ca. 1200 a. D., they were pressed by the migrating Dhegiha Sioux, especially the Osage, who occupied much of their original territory. The capital of the tribe is now in Binger, Oklahoma. Vigorous efforts are being made to keep the language and culture alive. The tribe numbers about 5,000 individuals. The towns of Nacogdoches, Texas, and Natchitoches, Louisiana, are in name and origin Caddo. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Caddoan — a linguistic family whose members include Arikara, Pawnee, Wichita, Caddo, and Kitsais (now extinct).
Cahuilla — A Uto-Aztecan tribe who occupied a large area of inland southern California desert area south of the San Bernadino Mountains. Their first contact with whites was with the Spanish in 1774. Prior to the gold rush, they were helpful to the Americans. The government of California refused to ratify the treaty of 1852, and eventually the Cahillas were boxed into a reservation. However, since the resort area of Palm Springs falls within their territory, they astutely took advantage of business opportunities and gained some measure of prosperity. As of 1990, there were only 35 speakers of Cahilla. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Cashinawá (Cashinahua) — an Amazonian people of the Panoan language family living along the Puru River in the border area between Brazil and Peru. They are known as "the bat people." They are highly skilled with the bow and the blowgun, and even have traps which automatically fire a blowgun. In addition to hunting, they also farm and fish. They believe in two souls, one lived in the eyes, and the other is a person's shadow. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
|A Group of Catawba in Rock Hill, South Carolina|
Catawba — a once powerful eastern Siouan tribe located in the earliest times in South Carolina, along the river that now bears their name. They apparently called themselves Iswá, "River People," whence the names Esaw and Issa by which they were known to the English colonists. In 1701 they were found to be living in numerous and populous villages where they practiced agriculture. They were very warlike and engaged in fighting the Cherokee, Delaware, Shawnee, and Iroquois. They raided northwards even beyond the Ohio, but maintained friendly relations with the white settlers, aiding them in numerous wars, including the American Revolution. Their men were said to be brave and honest, but not particularly industrious. Their women excelled in pottery and basketry. [nt] Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2.
Cegiha, Çegiha, etc., see Dhegiha.
Cheraw (Sara, Saraw, Saura) — a now extinct Siouan tribe who lived along the Pee Dee and Yadkin rivers of the Carolinas from their headwaters to the sea. Some believe that these people were connected to the Mississipian site of Joara. The Cheraw were neighbors of the Catawba and the Pee Dee. They were first seen by white people during the De Soto expedition in 1540. In 1670, they had a town called Sara located in the Saura Mountains, where they mined cinnabar (used for purple face paint). They were forced south during the next century by attacks from the Iroquois. Due to war and smallpox, the tribe was decimated. Some of the remnants formed the mixed race Lumbee tribe. In 1768, the Cheraw were said to number no more than 50 or 60 individuals. Today, the Sumpter Band of South Carolina identify themselves as Cheraw. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1.
Cherokee — perhaps the best known of the "Five Civilized Tribes," formerly occupying southern Appalachia, but forced into Oklahoma in 1838. Their death march to that state was known as the "Trail of Tears." When they lived in the southeast, they were the southernmost of all Iroquoian speaking people. The Cherokee were farmers who supplemented their diet with hunting and fishing. They lived in houses with peaked roofs in villages surrounded by a defensive palisade of vertical logs. The Cherokee were like the Hočągara in having two chiefs, the White Chief, who made decisions concerning matters of ordinary life, and the Red Chief, who was in charge of war. The latter was also in charge of the most popular game, lacrosse, which was known as "the little war." The culture of the Cherokee, already advanced, was increasingly influenced by their white neighbors. In 1821, Sequoyah invented a Cherokee syllabary, making his nation literate. By 1827 they founded a republican form of government, with an elected chief, and a legislature made up of a senate and house of representatives. A year later the first Cherokee newspaper was established. Their principal chief from 1828-1860 was John Ross, who was only 1/8 Cherokee. He fought against Cherokee removal every way that he could, but in 1830 President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which was executed in 1838. Many Cherokee escaped to the mountains, and their descendants now make up eastern bands of the tribe. Perhaps the most famous Cherokee of recent times was the humorist Will Rogers. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Ethographies: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3 (John Ross), 4, 5, 6, 7; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
Cheyenne — A powerful Algonquian speaking tribe of the plains. In 1680, when they first met white people at de la Salle's fort in Illinois, the Cheyenne like their other Algonquian neighbors, were a farming people in what is now Minnesota. Before the end of the century they had migrated to the banks of the Missouri River in the Dakotas where they continued to practice agriculture. However, in the XVIIIth century the Cheyenne acquired the horse and found that they could improve their lives by living the plains style nomadic existence, following the buffalo herds. During the early XIXᵀᴴ century, the Sioux pushed them south, where the Cheyenne in turned pushed the Kiowa southward. Ca. 1832, the Cheyenne separated into two groups, the Northern Cheyenne, who lived along the headwaters of the Platte River; and the Southern Cheyenne, who lived along the Arkansas River in Colorado and Kansas. Although enemies of the Sioux, Kiowa, and Comanche, they later formed an alliance with these tribes in order to more effectively combat mutual enemies. These were the Crow, Pawnee, Shoshone, Ute, and Apache. The Cheyenne alliance with the Arapaho and Sioux became the "Triple Entente of the Prairie." Like the Hočągara, they divided leadership along lines of peace and war. The peace chiefs form the Council of Forty-four, and functioned like the Hočąk Thunderbird Chief. War was conducted by warrior societies, which could be joined by members of any band. Each such society had its own sub-culture. The most famous of these was the Dog Soldiers. Aggression by whites led to a series of wars. Prospectors precipitated a war in 1857, and the attempt to drive the Indians out of places in Colorado and Kansas led to the Cheyenne-Arapaho War of 1864-5. After promising peace, a Colorado State militia attacked a peaceful band of Southern Cheyenne at Sand Creek, precipitating one of the worse massacres in Indian War history. Afterwards there were many periods of fighting. One of the great leaders during this period was Roman Nose, who was killed in action. Custer massacred the Cheyenne at Washita in 1868. In 1876 the Northern Cheyenne participated in the annihilation of Custer's command at the Little Big Horn. After being defeated, Dull Knife's band of Northern Cheyenne were put in the Indian Territory (Oklahoma). However, in 1877 they made an epic trek north and were not stopped until they were captured in South Dakota. Many made it to Montana, where in 1884, they were finally granted a reservation. The most prominent contemporary Cheyenne is Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who represented the State of Colorado in the U. S. Senate. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4; Texts: 1; Mentioned in Commentary: 1, 2; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
Chichimec — (1) a tribe or set of tribes from the arid regions of northern Mexico speaking a language of the Otopamean group. Nowadays, the Chichimec language is spoken by 1200 people in the state of Guanajuato.
Chichimec — (2) there is some confusion about the identity of the Chichimecs, since the name among the higher civilizations of Mesoamerica was also a synonym for "savages", although without the prejorative content. Despite their wild existence, they were held in great esteem as warriors, and were highly thought of for their virtue (rather like the Germanic tribes by the Romans). It is in this sense of "Chichimec" that the Aztecs were said to have emerged from these peoples. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2.
Chickasaw — a Muskogean speaking people, one of the Five Civilized Tribes. The homeland of the Chickasaw is primarily in northern Mississippi. Because they lived on the Mississippi flood plain, they built their houses on elevated ground. They were of the pole frame construction covered with various materials as was common in the Southeast culture area. They engaged in farming, fishing, and hunting. In the XVIIIth century, James Adair said of them, "They are so hospitable, kind-hearted, and free, that they would share with those of their own tribe the last part of their own provisions ... An open, generous temper is a standing virtue among them ..." In 1541, Hernando DeSoto, on account of his cruelty, got into a skirmish with the Chickasaw. Contrary to most tribes, the Chickasaw were allied with the English during colonial times. On this account, they became enemies of the Choctaw, who sided with the French. The French tried to dislodge the Chickasaw in numerous military expeditions — 1736, 1741, 1752 — but were defeated on every occasion. The Chickasaw were generally neutral during the American Revolution. Ca. 1837, they were removed to Oklahoma. Mentioned in Histories: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
Chilcotin (Tsilhqot’in, Tsilhqut’in, Tzilkotin) — an Athabascan people of British Columbia, living inland from the coastal ranges on the west side of the Fraser River.. Their name means, "People of the Red Ochre River." Contact was made in the 1780's with the British and Americans with whom they began a trade in otter fur. A small war errupted in 1864 when men building a road were asked for food. Their refusal was met with death. Some of the Chilcotin leaders were arrested, and five were hanged. In recent times, Canadian courts have recognized that a miscarriage of justice had taken place. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Chimu — a cultural phase succeeding the Moche centered around the city of Trujillo and the north coast of Peru. Their empire, which streatched along the coast from the Gulf of Guayaquil to Chanca, lasted from about 1000 AD to 1470. Just north of Trujillo, they built their capital city of Chan Chan that occupied 28 sq. klm. and had a population of about 50,000, making it the largest city in Peru. The city was also known for canals. Thousands of structures were made of mud with friezes worked into the walls, sometimes decorated with precious metals. The artwork generally was not on the level of the Moche period. The quality of pottery declined from the Moche phase, but mettalurgy progress with the use of bronze and fine gold work. Royalty were buried in great mounds accompanied by plentiful grave goods. Parallel Stories: 1.
Chinook — a Penutian speaking people found around the mouth of the Columbia River in Washington and British Columbia in the Pacific northwest. The staple of their diet was salmon. The Chinook built their houses of cedar planks in a rectangular form, partly underground over a pit. They were known for large dugout boats. In art, they are most famous for the carvings they make out of horn, particularly big sheep horns. Situated as they were at the mouth of the Columbia, they did a brisk trade with their neighbors, and even charged a toll to go through their territory. Trade was so heavy that a Chinook pidgin arose in which bargaining was transacted. A Chinook woman is pictured at the left. Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
Chiwere Sioux (Jiwere, ⊥ɔiwere) — a linguistic group of the Siouan family, comprised of the Oto, Ioway, and Missouria languages. Hočąk was formerly classified as Chiwere, but today it is considered a sister language to this group. These languages began to differentiate ca. 1500. Winnebago-Chiwere is most closely related to the Dhegiha Sioux language group.
Chocho-popoloca — the Chocho and Popoloca are Popolocan speaking tribes of the eastern Otomangue language family, found in southern Mexico near the Gulf coast. Today, about 3,000 people in Oaxaca speak Chocho. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
|Charles Bird King|
Choctaw — a very large southeastern tribe speaking a Muskogean language, and therefore related to the Creek and Chickasaw. They were centered in Mississippi but extended into Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana. Their origin myths states that they emerged out of the Mother Mound in what is now Noxapater, Mississippi. For this and other reasons, they have long been connected with the prehistoric mound builders. They lived in villages composed of houses with walls of clay and crushed shells with thatched roofs. Most people had both a summer and winter home. The Choctaw were farmers who cultivated corn, beans, squash, sunflowers, and melons. They used dugout canoes to travel and trade widely. While their neighbors typically shaved their heads, the Choctaw males let their hair grow long, and were thus known to other tribes as "long hairs." Their chief pass time was lacrosse, but they also held song contests. In death they were buried on scaffolds, but once the corpse had been reduced nearly to bones, special morticians known as "bone scrapers" used their unusually long fingernails to remove the remaining flesh so the bones could be buried. The Spanish were the first whites to run into the Choctaw, who roughly handled them during De Soto's expedition. They generally sided with the French against the English and their allies, the Chickasaw. In later times they were allied with the white Americans against the British, and stayed out of the resistance organized by Tecumseh. They began adopting white ways of life, which made them notable as one of the Five Civilized Tribes. The Choctaw fought under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War, but despite their service to the United States, they were the first to be sent west in the Trail of Tears. The Choctaw Allen Wright termed the new land "Red People", or in Choctaw, Oklahoma. They have a reservation in that state at Durant, but also one in Mississippi, where some Choctaw were able to escape being pressed into exile by the army. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Mentioned in Histories: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2.
Chumash — a tribe of the Hokan language family, akin to the Salina and Seri, and who have lived in the central and southern coastal regions of California for several thousand years. Many place names in California are of Chumash origins: Malibu, Lompoc, Ojai, Pismo Beach, Point Mugu, Piru, Lake Castaic, Saticoy, and Simi Valley. The Chumash were hunter gatherers who regularly navigated the ocean in boats called tomols. They were also noted for basketry, and particularly for rock art, preserved at the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park. They manufactured olivella shell beads which were of importance in trade, where they functioned rather like a currency. Contact with the Spanish was made in 1542 when they were encountered by the Juan Cabrillo expedition. However, the first mission was not established until 1772. Prior to contact, their population was in the thousands, but due to influenza and smallpox, by 1900 their numbers had dwindled to a mere 200. Today they have a population between two and five thousand. Contemporary Chumash have a casino in in Santa Ynez, California. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Cocopa — one of the Yuman tribes speaking a language of the Hokan family. They are subdivided into the River Cocopa and the Mountain Cocopa. They reside in Baja California and in the Gadsden Purchase area now part of Arizona, formerly clustered about the mouth of the Colorado River. Their winter residences were wattle huts coated in mud, both inside and out. In the summer, they made huts of brush. The Cocopa cultivated corn, melons, pumpkins, and beans; and used a wide range of edible wild plants. They made first contact with the whites in 1540 when they were met by the Hernando de Alarcon expedition. In 1857, Heintzelman observed, "they so much resemble the Cuchan (Yuma) in arms, dress, manners, and customs it is difficult to distinguish one from another." Nevertheless, they are said to be just a bit taller than their neighbors. They were known to have practiced polygamy, and always cremated their dead. Among them, they are on the best terms with the Cuñeil tribe, and have the Yuma, Mojave, Tohono O’odham (Papago), Jalliquamai (Quigymna), and Cajuenche as enemies. Their reservation is on the Colorado River not far from Yuma, Arizona. The Cocopah Museum and Cultural Center, which also contains a Heritage Park, opened in 1996 in Somerton, Arizona. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
|E. A. Burbank||Frederick Remington|
|Chosequah, a Comanche Warrior, 1897||A Comanche Warrior, Ft. Reno||Quanah Parker|
Comanche (Hočąk, Páčuka) — a Uto-Aztecan tribe of the Texas plains area akin to the Shoshone. Their name for themselves was Nermurnuh, "true humans." During the XVIIth century the Comanches parted ways with their Shoshone cousins in what is now Wyoming, and traveled far to the south. In the later part of that century they acquired the horse, probably through the medium of the Pueblos. By 1740, the Comanches had driven into Apache territory as far south and west as present day New Mexico. The Comanches, more than any other tribe, contributed to the spread of horses, they themselves possessing by far the greatest herds. Both girls and boys learned horsemanship at the early age of four, so that by the time they were adults, they were the most accomplished horse riders in the world. The horse gave them the power to follow the buffalo herds, and as a consequence, they lived year round in temporary villages of teepees. They formed alliances with the Kiowa, and later with southern bands of the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Comanche military prowess was sufficient to keep the whites at bay all the way through the 1830's. The Comanche and Kiowa tribes fought the whites with varying success until 1867, when they were finally forced onto a reservation. In that same year, Quanah Parker became chief. He and his mother Cynthia had been taken captive and sold to the Comanches. They soon came to prefer the Comanche way of life, and when Cynthia was recaptured by the whites, she soon after died of a broken heart. Quanah led many successful raids against the whites, but was finally cornered and defeated in 1875. After the demise of the Ghost Dance (see 1, 2, 3), Quanah was instrumental in spreading the use of peyote in Christian religious rites, a sacrament that became one of the cornerstones of the Native American Church. The Comanche today have a reservation in Oklahoma. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
|Carl Sofus Lumholtz|
|A Group of Cora, 1896|
Cora — a tribe neighboring the Huechols in Mexico. Their Uto-Aztecan language is spoken by 15,000 people in Nayarit state of Mexico. They are most closely related to the Guachichil, Huichol , Totorame, and Tecual tribes. Besides planting corn, beans, and pumpkins, domestic animals are kept for meat, wool, and cheese. Their diet is also supplemented by hunting and fishing. Nowadays, their religion is Catholic, but their old pantheon has been assimilated as saints. Several hundred Cora have migrated to the US state of Colorado. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Costanoan (Ohlone) — a tribe of the Pacific northwest, speaking a Utian langauage of the Penutian language phylum. Menionted in Commentaries: 1.
Coushatta (Koasati, Quassarte) — a Muskogean tribe of the southern United States whose home territory lay between the Coos and Tallapoosa Rivers where they join the Alabama. They, along with other Muskogean speaking tribes, the Creek, Hitchiti, and Alabama, formed the Creek Confederacy. When the French lost their holdings in the southeast, the Coushatta tended to remain with the Alabama. Some therefore fled as far west as Texas, where they now share a reservation with the Alabama. Those who had remained in Alabama were forced to move to Oklahoma, and are now found there near the town of Kinder.
|Paul Kane, 1848|
|Man Who Gives the War Whoop||Bob Tail, a Cree Chief||Pisquapita (Hair in Knot)|
Cree — an important Canadian Algonquian tribe whose territory once extended from the Ottawa River to Saskatchewan River. They call themselves Kenistenoag, a name corrupted by the French into Kristineaux, the shortened form of which comes down to us as "Cree." In this sub-arctic region, the Cree engaged in hunting and gathering, building both their canoes and teepees out of birch bark, which is plentiful in their lands. During the French dominion, the Cree were important in the fur trade, through which they acquired guns, giving them the upper hand against their western enemies, the Athabascans. Crees intermarried with the French and later Scots settlers to form a mixed blood people known as the Metis. The Metis and Cree fought the Canadian government forces when the building of the Canadian Pacific Railroad encroached upon their lands. Finally, in 1885 they were defeated. The Cree now have reservations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Montana. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Ethographies: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; see also, 1.
|Charles Bird King|
Creek — a Muskogean tribe of the southern United States, one of the Five Civilized Tribes. They call themselves Muskogee. They formed the Creek Confederacy with other Muskogean speaking tribes, the Alabama, Hitchiti, and Coushatta. The Creek lived in villages along streams mainly in Alabama and Georgia. Each village was governed by a council known as the "Beloved Men" and a kind of mayor, called a micco. There were two sorts of villages: the red villages where the warriors lived and conducted warlike activities; and the white villages, where the peacemakers lived. Houses were made of well insulated, mud-packed walls, with slanted, peaked roofs shingled in bark. Each family had four houses: a winter house, a summer house, a warehouse, and a granary. Society was organized in matrilineal, exogamous clans, each bearing the name of its totem animal. The economy centered upon agriculture. They grew corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, melons, and sweet potatoes. In addition to private plots, there was a communal field which supplied the needs of warriors, guests, and the indigent. The first European to meet the Creek was Hernando de Soto in 1540. The Creek generally found themselves on the same side as the English settlers in wars against the Apalachee, Timucua (Spanish allies), the Choctaw (French allies), and the Cherokee. However, war erupted in 1813 between the United States and the Red Stick faction of the Creek nation when a series of raids were launched against the white settlements. These raids culminated in the sacking of Ft. Mims, in which 400 settlers were killed. General Andrew Jackson defeated the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Bend, and exacted a disastrous cession of 23 million acres of land to the victors. When Jackson became president, he forcibly removed the Creek to what is now Oklahoma. The Creek Confederation has its capital in Okmulgee, Oklahoma; but there are a few surviving bands in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
|George Catlin||George Catlin|
|A Crow Warrior
and His War Horse
|A Crow Teepee
|White Bear Wearing the
Traditional Crow Hairstyle
|Curly Crow, the Sole Survivor
of Custer's Command
at the Little Big Horn
Crow — a Siouan nation, an offshoot of the Hidatsa, now living in southern Montana and northern Wyoming. In their own language, they call themselves Absaroka, "Bird People." The Crow abandoned the sedentary lifestyle of their Hidatsa cousins in favor of the plains culture of nomadic hunting and gathering, using teepees as shelter. The only crop that they cultivated was tobacco, which was important enough to occasion the formation of the Crow Tobacco Society. The Crow, like the Hočągara, had joking relatives, most usually cousins. They fought the Sioux and the Blackfeet, and were closely allied to the whites. However, their alliance with the whites did them no particular good, as they were put on a reservation which was progressively reduced in size. The Crow name for a Hočąk was Dúš-matsĕ, "Rib Man." Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Mentioned in Texts: 1; Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
|Detroit Photographic||Seth Eastman||Seth Eastman|
|A Woman by Lake Minnehaha, 1904||Medicine Dance of the Dakotah on the St. Peters River near Fort Snelling, 1847||Feast and Dance for the Giant, 1845|
Dakota(h) — the Santee Sioux, who along with the Nakota (Yankton), formed the eastern Sioux tribes. Dakota is the name they give themselves and means "Allies" or "Confederates," expressing their intimate relationship with the Nakota and Lakota. They lived for centuries in sourthern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. They are divided into four principal bands: the Mdewakanton, Wahpe, Wahpeton, and Sisseton. The Santee Sioux were semi-nomadic, hunting the buffalo herds in large bands at certain times of the year. They often dwelt in hide teepees, but more permanent sites were occupied in teepees made of bark. Their main enemies were the Anishinaabeg, with whom they fought without quarter. They also had battles with the Sauks and Foxes. During the winter of 1862, the Dakota suffered starvation from crop failure, and despite treaty obligations by the U. S. government, no supplies were provided. On August 17, 1862, four warriors out foraging, attacked settlers in Minnesota, killing four of them. That night, the Dakota decided to launch a preemptive strike, first against the Redwood Indian Agency, then against New Ulm and Fort Ridgely. This began the episode known as the "Sioux Uprising." After the first engagement, the wounded as well as all the women and children in New Ulm were evacuated to Mankato in a train of 153 wagons. The city was reenforced. On Aug. 23, the city was attacked again, and most of it was burned to the ground save for two blocks of the city that had been fortified. When Gen. Sibley arrived with 175 cavalry, the Dakota fell back. In two battles, Sibley broke the Dakota resistence. The cavalry arrested 307 Dakota, of which 39 accused of murder and rape, were executed. The rest were pardoned by President Lincoln. See Sioux. Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; Shared Stories: 1.
|Penn's Treaty with the [Delaware] Indians|
Delaware (Lenni Lenape) — an Algonquian tribe generally recognize as the parent tribe of that language group. Their homeland included part of Delaware, the entire state of New Jersey, eastern parts of Pennsylvania, and parts of southern New York. Their English name derives from the Delaware River, named after Lord de la Ware. The Delaware spoke two different languages, Unami (in the south) and Muncee (in the north). These languages have strong affinities to Mahican. The Delaware were organized into matrilocal, matrilineal clans, reflecting the enhanced status of women, the elders among whom could remove rulers of whom they disapproved. Women planted primarily corn, beans and squash; the men practiced hunting and fishing. Their location by the ocean allowed the Delaware to be the primary manufacturer of wampum beads. They lived in towns containing several hundred people, but on occasion they would camp for purposes of hunting and gathering. The names of some of these towns still survive in their successors: Manhattan (New York City), Raritan (New Jersey), and Tappan (New York). The population of the nation was greatly reduced during the small pox epidemics of the 1640's. Delaware had peaceful trade relations with the Dutch and Swedish settlers in the XVIIth century, and were a conduit in the fur trade for the tribes farther west. William Penn established an English colony on the Delaware River, and established peaceful relations with the Delaware in the treaty of 1682. However, increasing pressure from white colonists culminated in 1758 with the Delaware removing to Ohio. However, this eventually proved untenable, and the Delaware were pushed progressively westward, until 1860 they were settled in the state of Oklahoma. Today they are found primarily in Oklahoma, but are scattered as far away as Wisconsin and Ontario. A sub-tribe of the Delaware, the Munsee, originally lived on the upper Delaware River, but many of them later settled in Wisconsin with the Stockbridge tribe. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Mentioned in Texts: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3.
Numbers in the two Delaware languages:
Language 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Unami kwə́t·i ní·š·a naxá né·wa palé·naxk kwə́t·a·š ní·š·a·š xá·š pé·škunk télən Muncee nkwə́ti ní·ša nxá né·wa ná·lan nkwə́ta·š ní·ša·š (n)xá·š nó·li· wí·mpat
Dena'ina (Tanaina) — a sub-arctic people inhabiting the area around Cook Inlet (which includes the city of Anchorage) in Alaska. Their name, in their Athabascan language, means "people." They relied heavily on fishing, particularly shellfish and salmon. In addition, they hunted bear, mountain sheep, goats, moose, and caribou. Their winter dwellings were semi-subterranean, and made from logs and sod. On land, they made use of sleds, and on the water, the kayak and umiak. They had matrilineal clans arranged in two moieties, with marriages only between members of different moieties. Their society was divided between nobles and commoners, and the wealthy practiced potlatch. The chief enemies of the Dena'ina were the Inuit. There are about 1,400 Dena'ina left, of whom about 75 still speak the language. Parallel Stories: 1.
Dhegiha Sioux (Cegiha) — a Siouan language group related most closely to Winnebago-Chiwere. It is spoken by the Omaha, Ponca, Osage, Quapah, and Kansa nations.
Diné — see Navaho.
Dogrib — an Athabascan tribe of the Canadian territory Northwest Territories. Their territory extends from the northern shore of Great Slave Lake almost to Great Bear Lake. They call themsleves Tlicho and Thlingchadinne, "Dog-flank People", on account of their mythic descent from a supernatural weredog. In 2003 the Canadian government ceded 39,000 square kilometers of land to the tribe which included all of Canada's diamond mines. About 2,085 people were still fluent in the Dogrib language as of 1999. The Dogrib flag is shown in the inset. Parallel Stories: 1.
Eskimo — see Inuit.
Five Civilized Tribes — a group of tribes noted by whites for their advanced culture. They belonged to the Southeastern culture area, and were all Muskogean speaking peoples except for the Cherokee. The five tribes were the Cherokee, Chocktaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole.
Flatheads — see Salish.
|Kishkekosh, a Fox Warrior||Nesouaquoit, a Fox Chief|
Fox (Hočąk, Wašereke) — a powerful Algonquian tribe, also known as the Outagamies, neighboring the Hočągara to the south. They call themselves Mesquakie, which means "Red Earth People." They lived in grassland areas where they erected lodges of bark which could be carried with them during the winter buffalo hunts. They had an hereditary Peace Chief who maintained order and was in charge of council meetings. In this respect they are very similar to the Hočągara. There was also a chief shaman, and as occasion demanded, a War Chief could be elected to conduct military affairs. Their traditional enemies were the Anishinaabe, who in the XVIIIth century had been allied to the French. Because of their sympathy with the British and the demands for tribute from French traders, the French organized a series of wars against them that almost wiped the tribe out. The Hočągara were allied with the French at this time. In 1769, they became, as they remain today, very strongly allied with the Sauk Nation. The Sauk and Fox moved south and drove the Illinois out of their traditional lands. See the stories, The Masaxe War, The First Fox and Sauk War, and The Fox-Hočąk War. Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 (Outagami), 18 (Outagamis), 19, 20, 21 (Outagamis), 22, 23; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
|J. J. Young|
|A Gosiute Habitation, ca. 1859|
Gosiute (Goshute, Gosute) — a tribe speaking a dialect of Shoshone inhabiting the Great Salt Lake area of Utah. Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
|Edward S. Curtis||Edward S. Curtis|
|A GrosVentre Girl by a Stream||A Gros Ventre Scalp Dance|
Gros Ventre (Atsina) — an Algonquian tribe of northern Montana and Saskatchewan. The Gros Ventre, whose name means "Big Belly," originally formed a single tribe with the Arapaho, but split off from them in the Eighteenth Century. They call themselves Ahahninin, "White Clay People." It is said that the Creator made them from a white clay so that he might have someone to keep him company. They have important rituals surrounding their sacred pipes, the Feathered Pipe and the Flat Pipe, artifacts surviving from the time of their creation. They were in more recent times members of the Blackfoot Confederacy. The Gros Ventre were seriously decimated by warfare and disease, and in 1888, they and the Assiniboine were put on a reservation at Fort Belknap in northern Montana. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
|Karl Bodmer||George Catlin|
|An Hidatsa Scalp Dance||An Hidatsa Village|
Hidatsa (Minitaree) — a Siouan tribe closely related to the Crow. They lived along the Missouri River in North Dakota. They adopted the village farming economy of their neighbors, the Mandan and Arikara. Their villages were made of earth lodges situated on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. Being sedentary, they were able to make pottery; however, they had to trade agricultural produce for leather and meat. Just the same, they had an annual buffalo hunt together with the Mandans. The White Buffalo Society, which was restricted to women, would hold a dance designed to lure the buffalo to the hunters. They also believed that the migration of ducks, swan, and geese northward had a mystical connection to the forthcoming maize crop. Today the Hidatsa share a reservation with the Mandan and Arikara (the Three Affiliated Tribes). Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2; Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
|An Hitchiti Village|
Hitchiti — a Muskogean speaking tribe of the southeastern United States at least some of whose member belonged to the Creek Confederacy. The name may derived from Ačik-hata, a word referring to a dump of white ashes that was located near their ceremonial grounds. They were formerly situated along the Ocmulgee River in Georgia where De Soto, who called them Ocute, encountered them. The city of Macon, Georgia, is founded on the site of a Hitchiti town. In the XVIIIth century they associated themselves with the Lower Creeks. At this time their numbers fell so low that they had nearly gone extinct, but by 1832 their population had risen to 381. Many of this tribe united with members of the related Creek nation to form the Seminole tribe. Most of the Seminoles spoke Creek, but those who spoke Hitchiti were known as the "Hitchiti-Mikasuki Seminole." The Hitchiti speaking tribes founded the towns of Hitchiti and Mikasuki in Florida as parts of this tribe. However, because of their linguistic differences from the rest of the Seminole, they tended to be somewhat isolated from the Creek speaking Seminole towns. The Mikasuki speak a slightly different dialect of Hitchiti, but the two tribes find their languages mutually intelligible. Among the Seminole they lived in log cabins spaced 50-100 yards apart and each family cultivated its own fields. The Georgian and Alabamian Hitchiti were moved along with the Creeks to Oklahoma, where the town of Hichita preserves their name. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
Hočąk (hoh CHUNK), Hočągara (hoh CHUNG a rah) — the words for Winnebago in the Winnebago language. The name means "Great Voice." See Introduction.
Hokan — a family of languages whose members include: Yuman (Cocopah, Kumayaay [Diegueño], Maricopa, Mojave (Mohave), Yuma [Quechan], Havasupai-Walapai-Yavapai, Paipai [Akwa'ala], Cochimi, Kiliwa), Esselen (Esselen), Karok-Shasta (Karok, Shasta), Chimariko (Chimariko), Pomo (Pomo), Salinan-Seri (Chumash, Salinan, Seri), Tequistlatecan (Chontal), Washo (Washo). To illustrate the affinities of these languages for one another, here is a list of the words meaning "water" in the various Hokan languages: Cochimi, tasi; Cocopah, erkah; Havasupai, aha; Kiliwa, ehaa; Kumayaay, ha; Maricopa, axa; Mojave, 'aha; Paipai, ahah; Quechan, aha; Achumawi, as; Karok, áas; Shasta, 'á·čsa; Esselen, asanax; Central Pomo, ka; East Pomo, xa; North Pomo, ka; Kashaya, qha; Inezeno, 'o'; Salinan, tc'a; Seri, hax; Highland Chontal, lajah.
|A Hopi Woman with a Traditional Hairstyle||A Kachina Ceremony|
Hopi — a Uto-Aztecan people who live in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon. Their name means "the peaceful ones." They are also one of the Pueblo people and represent the farthest west that this culture extends. The Hopi lived in pueblos whose walls were made of stone packed with mud. Their only opening was often through the roof, so egress was achieved by ladders. Some pueblos were as much as five stories tall. Another important structure is the kiva, an underground room with stone walls, used typically for religious purposes or as male clubhouses. Their economy was essentially agricultural. They grew beans, squash, cotton, tobacco, but most importantly, corn. The Hopi have over 50 ways to prepare corn, and make a thin bread from it called piki. They also kept flocks of turkeys for meat. Society was divided into clans with animal names. All chiefs among the Hopi were medicine men. The spirits worshipped by the Hopi are called kachinas. They are often impersonated by masked men during religious ceremonies. Children are given kachina dolls so that they might learn the identity of each of these spirits. The first whites to contact them were members of Francisco de Coronado's expedition in 1540. By 1629 Spanish soldiers and missionaries were in their midst. When they attempted to abolish kachina worship, the result was the Pueblo Rebellion of 1680. The Spanish, while taking the other pueblos, never regained those of the Hopi. Today the Hopi continue the basket weaving and pottery making crafts of their ancestors, and have added silver working as well. Their kachina religion has remained intact. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3.
|A Huichol Yarn Painting|
Huichols (Wixáritari) — a tribe of the Sierra Madres in Mexico, neighboring on the Cora. Their language, which is spoken by 12,000 people, is Uto-Aztecan, related to Cora. The Huichols are agriculturalists. Extended families live in a rancho which has a community kitchen, and a shrine to the ancestors. The buildings, built of stone or adobe with grass thatched roofs, are arrainged around a patio. They use peyote in their religious ceremonies, and gather it from the cacti of San Luis Potosí, where they are believed to have originated. Huichols are generally hostile to Christianity. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
|Three Huron Chiefs, 1825|
Huron — a confederation of four Iroquoian tribes. Several other tribes decimated by the Iroquois joined the confederation at a later date. In their own language they called themselves Wendat, and after the destruction of the confederation by the Iroquois in 1650, the survivors came to be known as the Wyandot. The Hurons lived in large villages, some of which were surrounded by stockades. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3; Parallel Stories: 1.
Illinois or Illini (Eriniouai, Liniouek, Iliniouek) — a confederation of Algonquian speaking tribes that inhabited the northern portion of the state that now bears their name. They called themselves Illiniwek, from illini, "human being." The confederation embraced the following tribes: the Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Moingwena, Peoria, and Tamaroa. They were the most implacable foes of the Hočągara. In the XVIIth Century they lived in Wisconsin to the west of the Hočągara, land from which they were eventually driven. This constant military pressure applied to them by the northern tribes, especially the Fox, led them to concentrate on the Illinois River. When a Kaskaskian murdered the celebrated Pontiac, it occasioned a war that nearly exterminated the whole confederacy. Their lands were occupied by the Fox, Sauks, Kickapoo, and Potawatomi. The Hočągara established themselves in northern Illinois. Largely due to the insidious influence of the whites, the remnants of these tribes were rubbed out altogether. In their heyday, they were considered excellent archers, but were held in low esteem by their enemies when it came to matters of character. They once lived in very large cabins of as many as five fireplaces. The outer coverings of these dwellings were sealed by rush mats so tightly woven that even rain could not penetrate them. [nt] See the Illini site on the web: The Illini Confederation: Lords of the Mississippi Valley, and Chief Illiniwek Education Sites. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2 (Eriniouai), 3 (Liniouek), 4 (Iliniouek), 5, 6, 7; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Innu (Montagnais, Naskapi) — a people of Algonquian speech, whose language, Innu-aimun, is akin to Cree. They live in Labrador and Quebec, and now number about 18,000. They call their native land Nitassinan. Their traditional dwellings were tents made of animal hides. Their main source of meat was caribou, moose, and deer, but they supplimented their diets with small game, fishing, limited agriculture, and tapping maple and sugarbush. They are divided into two groups that speak slightly different dialects, the Montagnais, who live on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec, and the Naskapi, who live in Labrador. The Montagnais call themselves Innu ("Human Beings"), whereas their cousins use the name Naskapi. In crafts, they are known for intrically fashioned dolls, called "tea dolls", made of hide and in recent times stuffed with tea leaves. Parallel Stories: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Inuit (Eskimo) — an Native American people of the Arctic more popularly known as "Eskimo." "Eskimo" derives from an Algonquian word meaning "Eaters of Raw Flesh"; in their own language, however, they call themselves Inuit, "People." An Inuit man and woman from Angmagsalik are shown in the inset. Like the Lapps and other people of high lattitude, they tend to be light complexioned, small and squat, with round faces, all features reflecting adaptation to the cold. They are most closely related to the Aleuts, and generally more akin to the Siberians than to the American Indians to their south. They are found as far west as Siberia and as far east as Greenland. Their chief source of food and artifacts are sea mammals such as sea lions, seals, walruses, and whales. Fish, and land mammals such as caribou were also part of their diet. Their chief means of transport over snow and ice were sleds pulled by teams of huskies. During the summer and in the case of many Inuit, all year long, they lived in tents made from caribou hide. They are famous, of course, for the igloo, a domed structure made entirely of ice bricks. These were constructed in the winter and kept warm by the burning of whale oil. See also, Inupiaq, Yupik. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3.
|An Iñupiaq Family|
Inupiaq — a tribe of Inuit inhabiting northern Alaska. The name Iñupiaq means "real person." The Iñupiaq rely heavily on hunting and fishing, and particularly on whaling. The blubber of whales supplies the vitamins A and C which would otherwise be found only in fruit and vegetables lacking in the Arctic north. The 2000 census numbered the Iñupiaq at 19,000. Much of their habitat is threatened by global warming. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
|Charles Bird King|
|Mahaska, Chief of the Ioway|
Iowa(y) (aiaoua) — A Chiwere Sioux tribe very closely akin to the Hočągara, who live in, and have given their name to, the state of Iowa. In Hočąk they are called Waxoč, "the Gray Ones," an approximation to the Ioway name for themselves, the Pahoje (or Paxoje), "Dusty Noses." The name by which we know them derives either from the Sioux Ayuhwa, "Sleepy Ones," or the Sioux Ai'yuwe, "Squash." According to legend, they broke off from the Hočągara and moved west, where they settled by the Mississippi River. The rest of the band went father west, where they became the Oto and Missouria. The Ioway practiced farming and lived in villages much like the Hočągara; however, bands that lived farther west adopted more of the customs of the plains Indians. Since 1836, the Ioway have had reservations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. For the language, see Ioway-Otoe. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (Ioway-Oto), 17 (Ioway-Oto), 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.
Iroquoian — a language family, principally of the northeastern part of North America, possibly related to Siouan. The following languages belong to this family: Iroquois, Huron (Wyandot), Nottaway, Susquehannock, Cherokee.
|King Hendricks, Mohawk||Joseph Brant, Chief of the Mohawks|
Iroquois — a confederation of tribes living in Canada and New York around Lake Ontario, speaking dialects of the same language. These tribes were the Tuscarora, Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca, known collectively as the Iroquois Confederacy or the Six Nations. The Iroquoian language family to which they belong takes its name from them. In their own language, they are known as the Haudenosaunee, "People of the Longhouse." The longhouses were from 50 to 100 feet in length and were covered in elm bark. They surrounded their villages with palisades formed from sharpened logs set upright in the ground, rather like army stockades. Hunting supplied them not only with meat, but with the buckskins in which they were accustomed to dress. They practiced agriculture, growing principally beans, squash, and corn. They were not only matrilinear, but women both owned the crops and chose the sachems. Their favorite game, then as now, is lacrosse. Male children spent their lives training for war and went on their first warpath when they were teenagers. Prisoners were made to run the gauntlet, and those who made it all the way through, could be adopted by the tribe. In the XVIIth century, the Iroquois made use of their confederacy and newly acquired metal weapons from the whites to greatly expand their territory. They attacked with particular effect the Hurons, but also expanded at the expense of the Erie, Susquehannock, Algonkin, Ottawa, Illinois, Miami, Potawatomi, Mahican, and Delaware. The Iroquois were sufficiently powerful that they were able to stop French expansion to the south. During the French and Indian War, they were allied with the British. However, during the American Revolution, the Six Nations sided with the British, but the Oneida and the Tuscarora created a schism by siding with the Americans. During the Revolution, the Mohawk chief Joseph Brant distinguished himself as a general in the British service. However, American scorched earth attacks had lasting affects upon the Iroquois, and they were hemmed into the areas where their present day reservations lie. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2 (Oneida), 3; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
Kalapálo — a Cariban speaking tribe of the Xingu River area in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. They had sporadic contact with white settlers over the years, but were formally contacted only in 1945. They eat aquatic animals almost exclusively, and cultivate cotton and cassava. Their strict code of ethics punishes any fighting or public quarreling. They now number 362 individuals. Mentioned in footnotes: 1.
|Wa-hon-ga-shee (No Fool)||A Kansa Delegation to Washington||Chief Washunga||Quyulange, 1877|
Kansa (Kaw) — a Dhegiha Sioux tribe closely related to the Omaha, Osage, Quapah, and Ponca. The name "Kaw" or "Kansa" means, "People of the South Wind," and the state of Kansas takes its name from them. Their homeland was along the Kansas River, a tributary of the Missouri and extended from Kansas into Nebraska. The Kansa were farmers and therefore more sedentary than most of the other plains tribes. The Kansa used to be notable for their hairstyle, a completely shaven head except for a single lock of hair at the back of their heads. Today they hold a small land trust near the Osage in Oklahoma. Vice-President Charles Curtis (1929-1933) was part Kansa. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Karok — a people speaking an isolate language of the Hokan phylum, they share the California Culture with the Yurok and Hupa. Their name means "Upstream," defining them in relation to the Yurok, who live downstream on the Klamath River from them. Like the Yurok, they practice the World Renewal Ceremony, a rite in which the ceremonies recharge the beneficent powers of the cosmos to promote the well-being of the tribe. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
|Gaganichima, a Kickapoo Warrior||Kickapoo Women in Traditional Dress, Mexico, ca. 1900||A Kickapoo Lodge|
Kickapoo — an Algonquian tribe that formerly lived south of the Sauk and Fox. The Hočągara called them Jakjanagi (or according to another source, Hakją́najį́). Having participated in the defeat of the Illini, after Pontiac's War of 1763, they moved into that tribe's lands in what is now Illinois. They fought against the Big Knives in Little Turtle's War (1790-1794) and under Tecumseh. After the Black Hawk War of 1832, the Kickapoo departed for Missouri, then later Kansas and Oklahoma. The Kickapoo of Oklahoma have a reservation today, however in the 1830's, some bands of the tribe moved into Texas and Mexico, where many still live. Mentioned in Ethnographis: 1, 2; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.
|Frank A. Rinehart|
|Three Kiowa Warriors, 1898||Kiowas in a Fight with Federal Troops||A Kiowa Cradle|
Kiowa — a once powerful nation of the plains of Kansas and Oklahoma, their language shows affinities to the Piro Pueblo tribe and more distantly to the Uto-Aztec language family. They held religious services in connection with a stone known as the Taimay, and kept a history of the people on buffalo hide, two cultural traits that seem more akin to Mesoamerican Indians than to the plains tribes. Once they had acquired the horse sometime around 1700, they became typical plains Indians, living in teepees and hunting buffalo. However, their origins are quite otherwise. Although their language has affinities to the Pueblo Indians of the desert southwest, they themselves had been living in western Montana ca. 1600. Around 1700, they moved into the Yellowstone area of eastern Montana, and not long after, by permission of the Crow nation, they were allowed to settle in the Black Hills. Through pressure from the Sioux and Cheyenne, the Kiowa were forced south prior to 1800, first into Nebraska, then into their present territory. At first they came into conflict with the Comanches who resided in this area, but by 1790 they had formed an alliance with them. Around this time they adopted a band of Apache who lived with them and became known as the "Kiowa-Apache." The Kiowa were very warlike, and had a number of warrior societies, the most prominent of which was the Principal Dogs, the ten bravest warriors of the nation. When they made contact with the enemy, the leader of the society took a spear and pinned his long sash to the ground, and would not depart from the spot for as long as the fight lasted, or until another member of the society pulled the spear out. The Kiowa launched raids far and wide, even as far south as Mexico. They fought the Caddo, Navaho, Ute, Apache, Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Osage. The Kiowa sometimes attacked white trains on the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. They engaged the whites in a number of wars in the 1860s and '70s. Today they have a reservation in Oklahoma. In 1969, N. Scott Momaday, a Kiowa, won the Pulitzer prize for his novel House Made of Dawn. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
|A Member of the Klamath Nation|
Klamath — the Klamath speak a dialect variant of Modoc, a language of the Penutian group. They lived around the Upper Klamath Lake in Oregon where they lived on fish, seeds, and roots. They occasionallly raided their neighbors for slaves. The white Americans made contact with them in 1826 in connection with the establishment of a trading post. In 1864 they submitted to a treaty in which they ceded much of their land, and moved onto the Klamath Reservation, to the northeast of Upper Klamath Lake. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
|Kumeyaays||A KumeyaayWoman in Front of Her Dwelling|
Kumeyaay (Diegueño) — the collective name given to three tribes of the San Diego region of California, and Baja California in Mexico: the Kumeyaay proper, the Ipai, and the Tipai. Their linguistic status is a matter of controversy. Some scholars hold that the three tribes speak distinct languages, but the Kumeyaay themselves say that they can understand one another, at least after a period of acclimatization. Kumeyaay is a Hokan language akin to Yuman. The terms ipi and tipi, which give rise to two of the tribal names, mean "human being, Indian." The Kumeyaay wore their hair long decorated with shells and feathers. The men wore capes made from sea otter, seal, or deer skin. Kumeyaay religious beliefs were greatly influenced by those of the Luiseños. They held that Sky fathered two gods with Earth, Tuchaipa and Yokomat. These arose from the ocean, but only Tuchaipa created the things of the world, Yokomat went back under the waves. Today the Kumeyaay live on 13 reservations in California, and 4 in Mexico. Their population in 1910 was estimated at 800, but in pre-contact times it may have numbered in the tens of thousands. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
|Joe and Isabel Denims, Kootenai, 1919|
Kutenai — a small Plateau tribe noted for basket weaving. They were nomadic, living off game and fish. Once they acquired horses in the XVIIIth century, they created the famous Appaloosa breed. They now have their own reservation in Idaho. Their language has no close affinities, but may be distantly related to the Algonquian family. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
|Heyn Photo||Amos Bad Heart Bull|
|Chief Little Wound and Family
|American Horse||The Victory at Little Big Horn
Crazy Horse is Depicted at the Center
Lak(h)ota — Lakota is the name that this branch of the Sioux give themselves and means "Allies" or "Confederates," expressing their intimate relationship with the Dakota and Nakota. Known more fully as the Teton Lakota, they were allied with the Cheyenne and Arapaho. In the XVIIth century, they were driven west by the Anishinaabe, who had acquired guns from the French. In their westward progress, in 1765 they drove the Kiowa out of the Black Hills. Their other chief enemies were the Pawnee, the Crow, and the Arikara. They adapted to their new environment and became practitioners of the Plains Culture. Consequently, they adopted the practice of dwelling in hide teepees. They call themselves the "Seven Council Fires," from the seven divisions of the tribe: 1. Oglalas, 2. Sichangus (or Brulé), 3. Miniconjous, 4. Hunkpapas, 5. Sihasapas, 6. Itazipchos (Sans Arcs), and 7. Oohenowpas (Two Kettles). They are most famous for having led their allies to victory over George Armstrong Custer at the Little Big Horn in 1876. Mentioned in Histories: 1 (Tetons); Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Mentioned in Subject Entries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.
Lenni Lenape — see Delaware.
Luiseño — a tribe of southern California that take their name from the Mission San Luis Rey. They are strongly akin to the Juaneño peoples of the Mission San Juan Capistrano, both speaking closely related languages of the Uto-Aztecan family. The neighboring tribes are the Gabrielino, Serrano, Cahuilla, Ipai, and Cupeño. Their culture can be traced back to around 1400 AD. The mission was established in 1776, and from that time on there was a degree of acculturation. They lived in villages where the homes were partly subterranean earthen structures. Besides living off marine animals, they also hunted small game and ate roots, bulbs, greens, acorns, and other seeds. Government was by a head chief who had an assistant, and there were also village councils. There were at least 16 different rites that were celebrated, accompanied by recitations, feasts, and the distribution of goods. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Maidu (Pujunan) — a tribe speaking a Penutian language from the Sierra Nevada and the adjacent valleys of northern California. They first made contact with white Americans in the 1830's. In the gold rush of 1849, their tribal area was innundated with immigrants. This led to disease and starvation. In 1863 the tribe was forced onto the Round Valley Reservation. Prior to contact, the Maidu lived in villages with established territorial boundaries. In the mountains underground habitations were constructed and covered with earth to retain heat. Their dress was minimal and simple, sometimes supplemented with a puma, deer, or rabbit skin mantel. Maidu men wore ornaments in their noses, their women wore them in their ears. Many varieties of insects were eaten, and all birds except the buzzard. The salmon was an important seasonal staple. Deer were hunted by being driven off cliffs by a group of men. Acorns were also a popular food which were stored for use in the winter. Their chief trading partners were the Wintu people. Marriage among the mountain Maidu was exactly as among the Hočągara: simply bedding together was an act of marriage, and the groom then spent a period working for his new in-laws. Their population may number around one thousand today. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1 (complete Star Husband story), 2.
|George Catlin||C. M. Russell|
|Four Bears||A Mandan Warrior|
Mandan — a Siouan tribe whose homeland is in what is now North Dakota, near the Big Bend of the Missouri. They practiced agriculture and lived in permanent villages. Mandan villages were made of earthen lodges and surrounded by palisades. They farmed corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers. The buffalo hunt was also of great importance. Before the advent of horses, the Mandan used to set a trap for a buffalo herd, driving them off a cliff or into a corral where they were shot down with arrows. The youth of the Mandan pursued their vision quest through a four day ordeal in which they had parts of their bodies slashed and were hung up by rawhide ropes attached to skewers embedded in their flesh. Part of the training of boys seven to fifteen was a sham battle fought with blunted arrows. In 1870 the U. S. government established a reservation for the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara at Ft. Berthold in western North Dakota. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Maricopa — a tribe of California speaking a Hokan language. Their homeland is on the Gila River in south-central Arizona, where in the XVIIIth century they were estimated to number about three thousand. They gathered beans, nuts, and berries, but also practiced agriculture, planting maize, beans, pumpkins, and cotton. The Gila River supplied fish. Rabbits were hunted by being driven by a group of men. The chief of the tribe came from the strongest village. Their principal enemies were the Mohave. The dead were cremated, and a horse was sacrificed to speed their journey to the western Spiritland. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Mascouten (Maskoutings) — an Algonquian, prairie dwelling people, who lived on both sides of the Mississippi River in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. They had in prior times lived in Michigan. In 1712, they were nearly rubbed out by an alliance of the French and Potawatomi. The survivors joined the Kickapoo and Fox, then migrated farther westward. By the early XIXth century, they had been assimilated into the Prairie Kickapoo. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3 (Maskoutings), 4 (Mascotins); Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
|A Maya Priest||El Castillo Pyramid, Chichén Itzá|
Maya — a Mesoamerican people whose civilization flourished from ca. 300 AD - 1450 AD. They were centered in the Yucatán Peninsula, Guatemala, and neighboring areas. In the course of their history, they have had as many as a hundred city states, each with its own ruler. They were literate, with a hieroglyphic writing that was only recently deciphered. The economy was centered upon agriculture with the farmers living in simple thatch-roof huts. However, extensive irrigation was practiced and water was carefully directed off into vast reservoirs. In the cities there were many stone structures: pyramids, ball courts, bridges, palaces, baths, and others. Sculpture in stone, especially jade, was extensive and sophisticated. Their astronomy was so advanced that they knew of the precession of the equinoxes. Their exact knowledge in astronomy allowed them to create the most accurate calendar of their time. The Maya, their language, and even in some cases their religion, still exist in remote parts of their original homeland. See Tzeltal and Tojolabal. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
|Charles Bird King||George Catlin|
|Amiskquew||Processing Wild Rice||Little Whale, 1831|
Menominee (Maroumine, Malouminek) — an Algonquian tribe living in proximity to the Hočągara. The Hočągara call them Kaǧi, "Ravens." They call themselves Omenomenew, "Wild Rice People," which translates into Anishinaabe as Menominee, and into French as Folles Avoines. In the Wisconsin lands of the Menominee, wild rice is a common commodity, collected by bending the stalks over the canoe, then hitting them with a paddle so that the rice fell in the bottom of the canoe. Wild rice was also an extremely valuable trade commodity. The inset shows a Menominee man threshing wild rice. The Menominee are generally of a peaceful demeanor, but in no way lacking in the virtues of the warrior. Despite the great difference in language, the Menominee are good friends to the Hočągara, and are even said to have helped establish them in the Wazija. Since friendship is a joking relationship, the Menominee in their myths tease the Hočągara as being poor and needing Menominee charity. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21; Stories about the Hočągara: 1, 2; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.
Mexica (meh-SHEE-kah) — see under Aztecs.
Miami — an Algonquian tribe who lived in land just south of Lake Michigan. In 1685, the French recognized six tribes of Miami speaking Indians, who later coallesced into three: the Miami proper, the Wea, and the Piankishaw. They made their lodges out of woven plant material and elm bark. Canoes were dug out of primarily butternut trees. They usually practiced agriculture, but in the prairie areas they hunted buffalo extensively. The Miami would stout allies of the French, and continued to fight the British and their colonists after the French were evicted from Canada. After the Revolutionary War in 1790, General Harmar was sent against a confederation under Little Turtle, Chief of the Miami. The end result, brought about by Little Turtle's ingenious tactics, was Harmar's Defeat in which 200 casualties were inflicted. In 1791 General St. Clair was defeated on the Wabash River and suffered 600 dead and 300 wounded. This was the most crushing defeat ever suffered by the United States Army, which lost nearly two-thirds of its strength. A third army was raised under General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. This was thoroughly trained over a period of two years. In light of this, Little Turtle urged reconciliation, but was promptly replaced by Turkey Foot. General Wayne thoroughly defeated Turkey Foot at the decisive battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. Over the years the Miami were driven west and finally given a reservation in Oklahoma where they now reside. However, some Miami still remain in Indiana and fight for the recognition of their tribe. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Mentioned in Histories: 1; Mentioned in Texts: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Micmac — an Algonquian tribe of the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Their name means "Allies." They were allies to the Abenaki and their confederates, and friendly to the French. They were on generally hostile terms with the Inuit, Beothuk, and Iroquois. They were probably the first Indians encountered by Europeans in the New World when the Norse landed in that part of Canada ca. 1000. They were a Woodland tribe that specialized in hunting moose and caribou with arrows, spears, and traps. In this enterprise they were aided by special instruments by which they made moose calls. They also fished and hunted seals in the ocean. Birch bark was used extensively for the making of canoes and the coverings of their conical lodges. They were and are today especially noted for porcupine quill work. In contemporary times they have reservations in the Maritime Provinces and the state of Maine. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
|Thachtche, "True Eagle," Missouria, 1876|
Missouri(a) — A Chiwere Sioux tribe very closely akin to the Hočągara, who live in, and have given their name to, the state of Missouri. They call themselves Naútači, the name Missouria derived from the name of the river, and comes from the Illinois (an Algonquian language) for "Great Muddy." The name "Winnebago" means something very similar in other Algonquian dialects. In the XVIIth Century, they lived on the river after which they were named, apparently extending as far north as the Platte. In a war against the Sauk and Fox, ca. 1798, they were soundly defeated, and were scattered among the Kansa, Osage, and Oto; but in time they recovered and were again established in their own villages.They suffered greatly from the smallpox and from a war with the Osage, so that by 1885 only 40 were known to have survived. They have lived with the Oto ever since. J. Owen Dorsey collected the following names for some of their clans: Tunanpin (Black Bear), Hotachi (Elk), Čeǧita (Eagle), and Wakanta (Thunderbird). [nt] Mentioned in Ethographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Texts: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3.
Miwok — a Penutian tribe of central California (see map). In their own language, Miwok means "Men." They were hunter-gathers who constructed their lodges out of poles, which they formed in a conical pattern. They ate a great variety of food of which the acorn was the most important. Like the Hočągara, they had a moiety system. Villages functioned as small tribes headed by a patrilinear chief who was responsible for settling disputes, organizing ceremonies, and coordinating the acorn harvest. The inset shows a Miwok storyteller performing for an audience around the fire. They were once a very large tribe (in 1800 numbering 22,000), but today only a few members remain. Parallel Stories: 1.
|Miwok Story Telling||Codex Nuttall 57|
Mixtec (MEES tek) — a tribe of south central Mexico whose language belongs to the Mixtecan language group. One of the interesting features of their language is that the "gender" of nouns sorts into five types: masculine, feminine, inanimate, animal, and sacred. Ca. 2000, about 300,000 people were speaking Mixtec. Their capital city is Tilantongo. Many Mixtec cities fell under the domination of the Aztecs. They are noted for their logographic books, such as Codex Becker, Codex Egerton 2895, Codex Nuttall, Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus 1. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Mixtecan — a language group belonging to the eastern Oto-mangue langage family. Mixtecan includes Mixtec, Cuicatec, and Trique.
Moche — a cultural phase centered around the city of Trujillo and the north coast of Peru. It began about 1 AD and lasted to ca. 1000, when it was replaced by the Chimu culture. This period was characterized by advancements in arts and crafts and the construction of great pyramids and temples. Large structures were made of carob wood and countless mud bricks. Their cities were organized in a hierarchical pattern, with the priests and warriors living closest to the temples in the center of the city, followed by the artisans, then by concentric rings of farmers and fisherman, followed by servants, slaves, and beggars. The highest classes lived in luxury and were transported about on litters. They worked in gold, silver, and copper, but were known most for their textiles and pottery. Inasmuch as they had no writing system, most of what is known about them comes from depictions on pottery. They used a massive irrigation system to raise avocados, corn, peanuts, beans and squash; they obtained meat from fishing, the hunting of deer and seals, and the keeping of ducks, guinea pigs, and small dogs. Parallel Stories: 1.
|A Mohave Couple|
Mohave (also Mojave) — a California tribe of Hokan speech. They called themselves Hamakhav, "People Living Along the Water," a reference to their homeland along the lower Colorado River in what is now California and Arizona. Like the Nile, the Colorado used to overflow seasonally, depositing rich soil that the Mohave used for agriculture. While large game was scarce in this arid region, it did support a large population of rabbits. The Mohave had a principal chief, but he had little power; most power lay in the hands of war leaders, sub-chiefs, shamans and other religious leaders. "Dreaming" was the source of religious power. Dreams were of two types: oracular and those which conferred power. Their supreme deity was Mastamho, who created the earth and taught people how to live. When his task was done, he transformed himself into a fish eagle. They were on friendly terms with the Quechan and Yavapai, but enemies of the Halchidhoma, Maricopa, Pima and Tohono O’odham (Papago). They were also known to have raided their more peaceful neighbors, the Cocopa. Their population in 1872 numbered 4,000, but fell by three-quarters by 1910, due to the bad influences of white contact established by their conquest in 1859. A Mohave man and woman (1858) are shown at left. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
Monacan — a tribe of eastern Siouan people who were living on the James and Rappahannock rivers in Virginia when they were encountered by the original English settlers at Jamestown. They were hostile to the neighboring Powhatan Confederation. The English fought them alongside the Powhatans in 1656. In 1699, they were forced out of their territory, eventually ending up under Iroquois protection in the state of New York. They fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War. Isolated bands of the tribe remained in Virginia and in 1831-1833, a group of Monacan families purchased land on Bear Mountain in Virginia. By then, the remnants of the Monacan tribe had intermarried with both white and black people. Much of the tribe lost its identity, and many thought themselves to be Cherokee. However, in 1989, Virginia recognized them as a tribe, and at Natural Bridge, there is a reconstructed Monacan village site. They also hold yearly powwows. As to mythology, the Contact Era Monacans believed that the whole human race was descended from four women: Pash, Sepoy, Askarin, and Maraskarin. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1.
Montagnais — see Innu.
Mundurucú — a large and powerful tribe of the Central Amazon who speak a Tupi language. The word munduruku means "people." In 2002, they numbered 10,065 people. Their primary enemy was the Mura, whom they defeated completely in 1788. They were head-hunters greatly feared by other tribes for the ferocity of their warriors, who were used as mercenaries by the European colonists. They have a men's house where all males over the age of 13 live. All others live in the women's house. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
Muskogean — a language family of the southern United States: Eastern Muskogean (Creek [Muskogee]), Central Muskogean (Alabama, Apalachee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Coushatta [Koasati], and Hitchiti). The following words for "dog" illustrate the affinity of the Muskogean languages: Alabama, ifa; Chickasaw, ofi'; Choctaw, ofi; Coushatta, ifá; Hitchiti, iifi; Creek, efv.
|Mato Nupa (Two Bears),
Nakota (Yankton, Yanktonai) — Nakota is the name they give themselves and means "Allies" or "Confederates," expressing their intimate relationship with the Dakota and Lakota. They were called Ihąktųhą́ga by the Hočągara, which derives from Nakota Yankton, "People who Camp at the End." The Yankton lived in the southern part of what is now South Dakota, and the Yanktonai lived to the north. They lived in teepees and were in most other respects of the Plains Culture. They generally displaced the more sedentary Arikara in the north, in the south they fought the Pawnee. They now live on the Crow-Creek and the Lower Brule Reservations in central South Dakota. The famous author, Zitkala Ša, was Yankton. See Sioux. Mentioned in Histories: 1; Mentioned in Texts: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Narragansett — a Algonquian speaking people of what is now Rhode Island. Their language is most closely related to the Massachusett, Wampanoag, Shinnecock, and Pequot; and bestowed upon English the following loan words: "quahog, moose, papoose, powwow, squash, and succotash." Contact with the whites was made quite early in 1524, when the Spanish under Giovanni de Verrazano put in at Narragansett Bay. When the English arrived in 1620, the Narragansett were the strongest tribe in the region. In 1636, the tribe sold Roger Williams the tract of land that is now the site of Providence, Rhode Island. After a war with the Mohicans, the English came to the latter's aid. A long peace with the English was broken when the sachem Metacomet began King Philip's War. With significant allies, the Narragansetts burned many of the western English settlements, including Providence. However, they ran out of gunpowder and musket balls, which led to their complete conquest and near annihilation. The Narragansett tribe persisted, however, through inter-racial marriages. Despite attempts to detribalize them from 1880-1884, they retained their identity, and in 1973 were able to collectively purchase land, and in 1983 gained federal recognition as a tribe.
Naskapi — see Innu.
Natchez — a socially advanced people whose language has no known affinities. They had distinct social classes. At the top of the hierarchy were the Suns, the Great Sun being an absolute monarch. His mother had the title of White Woman and functioned as his advisor. From among his brothers and uncles, known as Little Suns, was chosen the war chief and the head priest. Priests were distinguished by their shaven heads. The second class was the Nobles, who held the highest posts in war and civic functions below the Suns. The next class in power was the Honored Men and Honored Women, who had attained their status through personal merit. The lowest class was known as the Stinkards. They performed all work involving manual labor. Men had the greatest authority in Natchez society, but descent was matrilineal. Like the Hočąk moieties, the upper classes had to marry into one of the other classes, except that Stinkards could marry among themselves (like the Hočąk Wolf Clan). Male offspring were of the class next below that of their father, whereas female offspring retain the status of their mothers. Whenever a Noble died, his Stinkard wife and servants were dispatched so that they could follow him to the Otherworld. The Natchez social system collapsed not long after their defeat by the French in 1729. A small band of Natchez survive today in Oklahoma, although the last speaker of the language died in 1965. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
|A Navajo Blanket Weaver||A Navaho Sand Painting|
Navaho, or Navajo (Diné) — an Athabascan speaking tribe of the desert southwest akin to the Apache. They entered this area sometime before 1400 AD. Originally, they were nomadic raiders, but in time picked up many of the cultural traits of the Pueblo Indians with whom they warred. Eventually, they adopted sheep and goat herding from the Spanish, and made livestock the centerpiece of their economy. The houses of the Navaho are called "hogans," and were originally shaped rather like teepees, but with a bark and earth covering. They always face east. The Navaho are well known for sand paintings which were used in ritual and destroyed afterwards [see inset]. Navaho rugs are also famous. In World War II the Navaho had the most famous contingent of Code Talkers, relaying messages in Navaho that the Japanese could not decipher. The Navaho are now the largest Indian nation in the United States and have a large reservation mostly in northern Arizona. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
|Chief Joseph, 1877||Nettie Morris, Nez Perce, 1900|
Nez Perce — a Sahaptian speaking tribe principally of the Idaho region, located most centrally at the confluence of the Snake and Salmon Rivers. Their name is French, meaning "Pierced Noses" from the occasional habit in former times of using nose pendants. They call themselves Nimiipu, which means "the people." They were semi-nomadic, living in the mountainous environment of the Plateau. There they hunted deer, elk, and mountain sheep, with much of their diet also dependent upon fish. They fished not only with spears, but a variety of nets. During the warm time of the year, they lived in simple tents or lean-tos made of poles and covered in mats. During the winter, they dug circular pits and erected conical shaped structures of poles covered in mats and packed with earth which typically housed several families. With the advent of the horse ca. 1700, they were able to range farther and to hunt buffalo. On such hunts they adopted the plains style teepees. They dressed in buckskin, rabbit skin, and cedar bark, and women had a unique kind of basket hat woven of dried leaves. From their first contact in 1805 with the Lewis and Clark expedition, they had always been very friendly to any visitors. Despite numerous provocations, the Nez Perce remained friendly to the whites, even accommodating settlers on some of their land. However, in 1877 further demands for land, including demands that they move to a reservation, prompted a rebellion. Chief Joseph threw his support behind the revolt. When a column of cavalry was approached in June of that year by Nez Perce, the whites opened fire on them despite the fact that they were showing a white flag of truce. The result was a battle in which 34 soldiers were killed with no loss whatever to the Nez Perce. The whites amassed three armies who engaged in an epic pursuit covering 1,700 miles during which the Nez Perce were able to outsmart them at every turn. Nevertheless, they were finally cornered only 30 miles from the Canadian border, where the attritions of the long march had accumulated beyond their powers of endurance. Chief Joseph in the end promised, "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." Despite being moved to many distant lands, they were finally settled on their own reservation in Lapwai, Idaho. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
Nippising — an Algonquian tribe. They call themselves Nipisirinien, "Little Water People," a reference to Lake Nippising ("Little Lake") in Ontario where they have lived for centuries. In 1613, they first became known to the French, with whom they became good friends, readily converting to Christianity. They were also on good terms with the Cree with whom they engaged in extensive trade. The Nippising were under serious threat from the Iroquois, and had to flee their homeland (ca. 1650) for a number of years when the Iroquois attacked them. They were semi-nomadic, passing autumn and winter among the Hurons, where they built up a supply of fish to get them through the winter. They did very little in the way of agriculture. Their shamans had a reputation for power leading their neighbors to call the tribe "the Sorcerors." Their chiefs were elected, and their totems were the heron, beaver, birchbark, squirrel, and blood. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Nootka — a confederacy of twenty or more tribes of mountainous western Vancouver Island who all speak closely related dialects belonging to the Wakashan language family. They had a hunter-gatherer economy with extensive reliance upon fishing, including the hunting of whales. Well crafted dugout canoes were used to ply the ocean. The Sky and Thunder gods were important in their pantheon, as were the Wolf Spirits. At a certain point in their lives, Nootka boys were abducted by men impersonating Wolf Spirits who took them away to teach them wolf songs and dances. In a mock battle, men of the tribe rescued their boys and drove away the Wolf Spirits with song and dance. The Nootka also practiced the ritual giving away of wealth known as "potlatch," the word itself coming from the Nootka patchatl, "sharing." Today the Nootka live in 18 hamlets scattered about western Vancouver. Parallel Stories: 1.
Noquets (Noukek) — a rather obscure Algonquian tribe inhabiting places on the coast of Lake Michigan all the way north to Lake Superior and many of the islands offshore, but principally at Noquet Bay off Green Bay. In 1761 they were said to dwell on islands at the mouth of Green Bay, presumably the Noquet Islands. They were small in number, and seem to have been absorbed by either the Anishinaabeg or the Menominee. Their name, No'ke, means "Bear Foot." Parallel Stories: 1; Mentioned in Ethographies: 1.
Ofo — an obscure Siouan tribe of the southeastern United States. Their language shows some affinity to Biloxi. About the middle of the XVIIIth century, they merged with the Tunica, settling in Louisiana. A sampling of Ofo words show the similarity of the language to Hočąk: Ofo, núpha, Hočąk, nųp — "two"; Ofo, táni, Hočąk, tani — "three"; Ofo, iyaⁿ, Hočąk, hinųk — "woman"; Ofo, atchû´ñki, Hočąk, šųk — "dog"; Ofo, íla, Hočąk, wira — "sun"; Ofo, áni, Hočąk, ni — "water." Mentioned: 1, 2.
Olmeca-Xicalanca — these people, who settled in Tlaxcala state in Mexico, are not actually Olmec, but are a mixture of Mixtec, Chochopolocans, and Nahua. Between 600-900 AD, they created and held the fortress city of Cacaxtla, now chiefly noted for its remarkable murals. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
|Big Elk, Omaha||White Swan, Omaha|
Omaha (Hočąk, Omąhą) — a powerful Dhegiha Sioux nation situated in Nebraska. The Omaha call the Hočągara their "older brothers," in recognition that their nation was once a part of that tribe. The Omaha say that during the migration times when the tribe was crossing the "wide river" (presumably the Missouri) the Omaha and Ioway made it to the opposite shore, but the Quapah, either because the breaking of the vines they were using to cross, or because of a storm, were not able to make the opposite bank and were left behind. This is said to account for the name Quapah, which means "Downstream," and the name of the Omaha, which means "Upstream." These tribes were so called when De Soto first came across them in 1541. The Omaha and Ponca have essentially the same language. The Omaha settled southeast of the mouth of the Niobrara River, downstream from the Ponca, in the state of Nebraska. The Omaha were originally farmers who lived in villages and who supplemented their diet with fish and game. However, with the introduction of the horse, they assumed more of the attributes of a plains culture tribe. Their primary enemies were the Sioux. They had many societies, both secret and open. Among these are the Thunder Society, the Buffalo Dreamers, and the Bear Dreamers. They have a sacred pole called the Umon'hon'ti, the "Real Omaha." It is a cottonwood pole made to resemble a man, including a scalp which rests on its head. They are well known for their Heducka Dance, a kind of war dance that seems to have derived from the Pawnee Irucka. It is also known as the Grass Dance because of the practice of tucking grass into their belts to symbolize enemy scalps. The northern part of the old Omaha reservation was ceded to the Hočągara and is now their Nebraska reservation. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25.
Omikoues, see Amikwas.
|Four Osage Men|
Osage (Hočąk, Woráš) — a Dhegiha Sioux nation situated on the Osage River just south of the Missouri River in what is now western part of the state of Missouri. However, they ranged as far as Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. They have some association with the Omaha. They call themselves Niúko'nska, "People of the Middle Waters." Most of the year they farmed, living in villages whose dwellings were similar to the lodges of the Hočągara; but when on the tribal hunt, they lived in teepees. One of their hunting techniques was to drive herds of buffaloes off cliffs. The Osage were ruled by a council of elders called "The Little Old Men." In a system reminiscent of the Hočągara, they had a Peace Chief who was one of the Sky people, and a War Chief who was one of the Earth People. The Sky People camped on the north side, the Earth People camped on the south side. The Hočągara occasionally warred against them. The Osage fought on the side of the French in their wars with the British, and later became scouts for the U. S. Army. List of Moons: 1; Osage Texts in Translation: 1; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Mentioned in Histories: 1; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, see also 16. Cp. Osage and Hočąk Clans Compared.
|Chief Arkeketah, Oto||An Oto Delegation, January, 1881|
Oto(e) — A Chiwere Sioux tribe closely akin to the Ioway, and somewhat more distantly related to the Hočągara. In Hočąk they are called Wajokjája. They were located just north of the Missouri and west of the Mississippi in what is now northern Missouri and Iowa. They traced their origins to a band that split off form the Hočągara. This band split again as the ancestors of the Oto and Missouria forged on to the Missouri River, leaving behind the Ioway on the Mississippi. They came to be situated out of the Platte River in southeastern Nebraska. In the earliest times, the Oto lived in villages and practiced farming, but eventually they adopted the culture of the plains. In 1881 they moved to a reservation in Oklahoma with the Missouria. The language of the Oto is very close to Ioway. To Hočąk speakers, many Oto words have the charm of sounding archaic. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (Ioway-Oto), 12 (Ioway-Oto), 13.
Otomague — a language family divided into an eastern and western branch. The former includes Popolocan, Zapotecan, Mixtecan, and Amusgo; the latter includes Chinantec, Oto-pamean, Tlapanec-Sutiaba, and Manguean.
Otopamean — a language group of the Otomanguean family that includes Chichimec, Pame, Matlatzinca, Tlahuica, Ocuiltec, Otomí, and Mazahua.
|An Unidentified Ottawa Man||The Little River Band of Ottawa||An Ottawa Man, Michigan, 1910|
Ottawa (Odawa, Ontaanak, Outaouacks, Outaoussinagouc, Nation of the Fork) (Hočąk, Hodawa) — an Algonquian tribe closely related to the Anishinaabe and Potawatomi, forming with them the "Three Fires." In the XVIIth century, the Ottawa occupied the lands north of Lake Huron. Like the Hočągara, they are of the Woodlands culture. They once lived along the Ottawa River (the "River of Trade") that now separates Ontario from Quebec. The Ottawa used to supply furs to the Hurons (Wyandots) who traded directly with the French, but after the Hurons were overcome by the Iroquois (1659), the Ottawa became the direct link in the conduit of trade with the French. After their own defeat by the Iroquois, they fled by boat to the islands off Green Bay. After being buffeted about in the west, many settled in Wisconsin, but most occupied the upper peninsula of Michigan. In 1763 there arose a great leader from among the Ottawa, Pontiac. He refused to accept the late French defeat at the hands of the British, and organized a grand Indian coalition to drive the British out of the Old Northwest. He took one fort after another until there remained only Detroit and Ft. Pitt. However, as winter was coming on, his coalition dissolved, and the British were able to roll back Pontiac's gains. The Hočągara often clashed with the Ottawa who were unwelcome intruders. When the Ottawa sent a delegation of chiefs to plead for peace, it is said that the Hočągara not only killed them, but ate them as well. Today, some of the tribe are found in Ontario, and some in upper Michigan; but their primary reservation is in Oklahoma. Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Courtes-oreilles), 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (Ontaanak), 17 (Nation of the Fork), 18 (Outaoussinagouc), 19 (Outaouacks), 20, 21, 22, 23; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3.
Paiute — a Uto-Aztecan speaking people closely related to the Shoshone and Ute tribes. The two Paiute bands, the Walpapi and the Yahooskin, were known as the Snake Indians. The Paiute inhabited a large area centered mainly upon Nevada, but extending east to Utah, west to California, south to Arizona, and north to Oregon and Idaho. They were nomadic peoples who constructed wickiups of brush and reed over willow poles. They foraged for tubers and greens, including cattail sprouts, and for berries and pine nuts. The seeds of rice grass were ground into meal. Whenever possible they fished and hunted, especially migratory ducks. The Paiutes had been friendly until the time of the 1848 gold rush, when large numbers of whites crossed through their lands. In 1858, they allied with the Coeur d'Alene in a two year war against the whites. After initial successes in the Pyramid Lake War of 1860, they were defeated, and Fort Churchill was erected to guard the California Trail. During the Civil War, they raided white outposts extensively. At the end of the Snake War of 1866-1867, the Snakes were forced onto a reservation in Oregon. In 1888, a prophet arose named Wavoka. He proclaimed the Ghost Dance (see Ghost Dance Origin Myth I, and Ghost Dance Origin Myth II), a ritual which swept over the diverse Indian tribes of the west, and was especially strong among the Shoshone, Arapaho, and Sioux. By purification, most particularly the renunciation of the ways of the white man, and by prayer, meditation, and the performance of the Ghost Dance, the participants could help induce the new world of Wavoka's prophecy. In his apocalyptic vision, the present earth was to be totally destroyed in order to make way for a new world, restored to its pristine condition, and where the vast herds of buffalo would flourish again. In this world, all the Indians who had died would be resurrected, and there would be no white men. The movement became so fervent that it was outlawed by the federal government, and eventually died out after culminating in the Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890. Another notable Paiute is Sarah, daughter of Truckee, known as Winnemucca ("One Moccasin"). In 1883, Sarah Winnemucca wrote a book, Life Among the Paiutes, Their Wrongs and Claims, and was a well known lecturer. In 1961, a Paiute, Melvin Thom, was one of the cofounders of the National Indian Youth Council. Today the Paiutes have reservations in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, some of which they share with the Shoshone. See the Messiah Letter of Wovoka; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
Palaihnihan — a language group of Northern California consisting of Atsugewi and Achomawi. Palaihnihan may be connected to the Hokan language group, but this remains a matter of controversy.
Panoan — a language family that includes Yaminawa-Cashinawa (Amahuaca, Cashinahua, Chitonahua, Mastanahua, Moronahua, Sharanahua, Yaminahua, Yawanahua, Yoranahua), Chacoboan (Atsahuaca, Chacobo, Katukina, Shanenawa, Pacahuara), Capanawa-Shipibo (Capanahua, Isconahua, Marubo, Panobo, Remo, Sensi, Shipibo-Conibo), Cashiboan (Cashibo-Cacataibo, Nokaman), Mayoruna (Matis, Matses, Pisabo), Culino, Karipuna, Kaxarari, Nukuini, Poyanawa, Tutxinawa. The Panoan languages are thought to be connected to the Tacanan Language Family.
Papago — see Tohono O’odham.
|A Group of Passamaquoddy
Posing with a Priest
Passamaquoddy — an Algonquian tribe living for the most part in Maine and New Brunswick, closely related to their neighbors, the Maliseet. Their name for themselves, Peskěděmakâdi, means "Pollock Spearer," reflecting their summer pursuit of fishing, most particularly the pollock fish. Canoes employed for fishing were light weight and made of birch bark, moose hide, or spruce bark. They also depended upon the cultivation of corn. The Passamaquoddy also gathered wild grapes, roots, and fiddlehead ferns.They were members of the Abenaki Confederacy. Their villages consisted of birch bark wigwams and were occasionally palisaded. They now number about 2,500 people in Maine. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2.
Patwin — a Wintu people of the Vacaville area of California who spoke a Penutian language. Among their neighbors were the Pomo, Yuki, and Miwok. Along with the Pomo and Maidu, the Patwin participated in the Kuksu Cult, a form of shamanistic religion involving male secret societies that met in underground dance rooms where they engaged in acting out sacred roles and performing elaborate dances. Today, all the Wintu groups total about 2500 souls. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Pawnee (Hočąk, Pani) — an important Caddoan speaking tribe of the central plains allied with the whites. They were enemies of the Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanches. The Pawnees had split into two major groups, each of which had their own dialect. The Southern Pawnee, who lived along the Arkansas River, were composed of three bands: the Chawi, the Kitkahahki, and the Pitahawirata. The Northern Pawnee, who lived on the plains of central Nebraska, are better known as the Skidi (< Ckiri, "Wolf"). In 1770, the Southern Pawnee moved north to join the Skidi. To most tribes, the Pawnee were known as "Wolves," on account of their reputation as scouts. They held positions as scouts in the U. S. Army, a battalion of Pawnee being in active service from 1865 to 1885. Unlike most plains Indians, they lived in earthen lodges and farmed for most of the year. However, during the time of the buffalo hunt, they became nomadic and lived in teepees. The Pawnee are particularly noted for their attention to astronomy. Their chief god is Tiráwa who is identified with the sun. They have a genuine priestly class responsible for running the ceremonials of worship. In 1816, Man Chief, a warleader, clashed with the priests and brought to an end the practice of sacrificing a young maiden to Morning Star. Some people think that modern dancing at powwows evolved from the Irushka dance performed by a medicine society devoted to healing people with burns. The Pawnee word for a Hočąk man is ṓk-tuk-a, for a woman, c̣ṓk-tuk-a. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2; Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
Pee Dee (Pedee, Peedee) — a people living in the Piedmont area of South Carolina who were part of the South Appalachian Mississippian culture. They are thought to have spoken a Siouan language similar to those of their neighbors (the Catawba and Monacan). They have been traced archaeologically back to 980 and are believed to have occupied the Town Creek Indian Mound site from 1150-1450. In the early XVIIIth Century, the Pee Dee were severely decimated by war. For a period thereafter, they associated with the Catawbas, but later settled among the whites. Most Pee Dee came to identify themselves as white, but also maintained an identity as members of their tribe. In 1976, the Pee Dee Indians incorporated as the "Pee Dee Indian Association." In recent times, South Carolina has recognized two Pee Dee tribes. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1.
Penobscot (Penawapskewi) — an Algonquian tribe of Maritime Canada and New England, particularly Maine. They are part of the Abenaki confederacy. They were hunter gatherers who practiced some agriculture. They moved seasonally to areas where game was more plentiful. Their primary enemies were the Mohawk. Even before the French and English settlements in the late XVIth century, a fur trade was established with the tribe. Eventually, this led to depletion of resources, alcoholism, disease, and conversion to Christianity. After ca. 1675, both French and English settlers began to invade Penobscot lands. In the French and Indian Wars, they supported the French side, prompting Governor Phipps in 1755 to post a bounty for any Penobscot scalp. Despite the fact that the Penobscots supported the rebel cause in the American Revolution, they saw their fortunes steadily decline, until they were made wards of the state. The Penobscot were know for making baskets many of which were in demand among the white settlers. They also made birch bark canoes. In 1973, the Penobscots opened the first ever casino on reservation land. Parallel Stories: 1.
Penutian — a large phylum of languages spoken in the Pacific northwest, near the Columbia River basin: Chinookan (Chinook, Chinook Jargon, Kathlamet, Wasco-Wishram), Oregon Penutian (Coos, Siuslaw, Alsea, Kalapuya, Takelma), Plateau Penutian (Klamath-Modoc, Sahaptian [Nez Perce, Umatilla/Tenino, Walla Walla, Yakima]), Tsimshianic (Nisga'a-Gitxsan, Tsimshian), Utian (Costanoan [Ohlone], Miwok), Yokuts, Molale, Wintu [Patwin], and Maidu.
|Pima Storyteller Thin
Buckskins, ca. 1910
Pima (Akimel O’odham) — a Uto-Aztecan speaking people of southern Arizona and northern Sonora. The Pima were sedentary farmers, using irrigation to cultivate corn, squash, pumpkins, kidney beans, tobacco, and cotton. Unusual among the Indian tribes, men did the farming. The men also wove cotton on looms, but the women made the clothing from it. Women gathered wild plants such as cactus fruit and mesquite seeds, and made baskets as well as polished pottery. They lived in oval lodges covered in grass and mud over a superstructure of poles. Each village had a chief who was responsible for overseeing cultivation and defence, mainly against raids by the Apache. The tribal chief was elected from their number. They were organized into two moieties, the Red Ants and the White Ants. Like the Hočągara, their chief god was called "Earthmaker", and among the other spirits, the most notable was Elder Brother. The Pima's first encounter with the whites was in 1589, when they were visited by the Spaniard, Father Marcos de Niza. In the XVIIth century the Spanish began to impose their rule on the Pima, including taxation. In 1695 the southern Pima revolted, but were quickly suppressed, many fleeing their northern Pima lands. A larger revolt in 1751 was also put down. The United States acquired Pima territory in 1853 with the Gadsden Purchase, which saw an influx of white farmers, causing most of the Pima in the region to move to the Salt River area, where they were set up with a reservation. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
|Pomo Indians just North of San Francisco|
|A Pomo Basket|
Pomo — a set of seven tribes speaking similar languages of the of the Hokan phylum: the Southwestern Pomo (Kashaya), Southern Pomo, Central Pomo, Northern Pomo, Northeastern ("Salt") Pomo, Eastern Pomo, and Southeastern Pomo. They are neighbored by the Yuki, Huchnom, Wappo, and Miwok. The Pomo lived along the coast of northern California about 50 miles north of San Francisco, and from there about 90 miles north, and eastward to Clear Lake. The Salt Pomo lived as a detached group inland to the northeast of the rest. Redwood forests thrive in this area where it rains in the winter and is dry in the summer. In the interior, the summers are particularly hot. Houses on the coast were conical and made of redwood bark; elswhere they were made from a frame of willow poles thatched with grass or tule bark. Villages could be hamlets of 50 souls to towns of over 500. The environment of the Pomo was extremely rich in food resources for hunter gatherers. Their primary staple was the acorn. Food was used in trade, and the Salt Pomo traded salt. Beads and baskets were manufactured and traded as well. Pomo society is very egalitarian, and shamans could be either male or female. In religion they believed in spirits and a creator god, whom most Pomo tribes identified with Coyote. The Pomo had various kinship systems, but in each case kinship was very important. They also had a friendship relation very much like that of the Hočągara. Marriages was accompanied by an exchange of gifts between the parents of each. The couple would usually shift their residence between the woman's and man's parents. The Pomo had chief both hereditary and elected. However, the kinship group was the unit of consequence. Revenge could be had by killing any kinsman of the offending group. Beginning with the first mission of 1817, followed by Mexican colonization, cholera and smallpox took a devastating toll along with the expropriation of their land by settlers. In 1849 the U. S. Cavalry swept through Pomo lands massacring the native population. Subsequently, the survivors were forced onto a reservation. In 1872 the Ghost Dance reached the Pomo, who created a variant called the "Earth Lodge Cult." It held that the end of the world was neigh, but when nothing happened at the appointed time, many of the people starved to death, since they had made no preparations to feed themselves. The Kashaya largely escaped the near genecide of the rest of the Pomo since they were within the territory of the more humane Russian settlement at the Fort Ross colony. The pre-contact population has been estimated to be from 8,000-21,000, but 90% of it was lost in the XIXᵀᴴ century. In 1910 it was back up to about 1200. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
|Ponca Skinning a Buffalo||A Ponca Sundance, 1883|
Ponca (Hočąk, Kąką) — a Dhegiha Sioux tribe of Nebraska, closely akin to the Omaha, Osage, Kansa, and Quapah. The Ponca built their villages on both sides of the Niobrara on the boundary between South Dakota and Nebraska. The Ponca lived sometime with the Omaha, whose language is essentially the same. Their name, Ponka, seems to mean "Sacred Head." They practiced farming in permanent villages, but in other respects they are plains Indians. In 1876 the Ponca were relocated to Oklahoma. Many Ponca returned to their native land on the Niobrara so that today there are Ponca reservations in both Oklahoma and Nebraska. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mentioned in Histories: 1; Mentioned in Texts: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.
Popolocan — a language group that includes Mazatec, Ixcatec, Chocho, and Popoloca. It belongs to the eastern branch of the Otomague language family.
|J. O. Lewis||Nas-Se-Ka (William Hale, Sr.,
Grandson of Wabaunsee), ca. 1890
|Sun-A-Get (Hard-Times), a Potawatomi Chief, 1827||Eight Potawatomi Natives, ca. 1837|
Potawatomi (Pouutouatami, Oupouteouatamik, Pouteouatamis, pouteouatami; Hočąk, Waraxi) — An Algonquian tribe neighboring the Hočągara. Their name means "Fire Nation." Their homeland was Michigan, but before they came to the Great Lakes region they had been a branch of a single nation with the Anishinaabe and the Ottawa. These nations remained close and were known collectively as the "Three Fires." They are a typical Woodlands culture; however, one of their bands, the Mascoutens, or "Prairie Potawatomi," used to hunt buffalo in the grasslands. They encroached on the original homeland of the Hočągara, Red Banks (Green Bay), and soon came to almost exclusively occupy the whole peninsula. The Potawatomi were important allies of the French and continued to fight against the British during the Pontiac War. In 1769 they had infiltrated the Miami hunting grounds and had driven the Illinois south, coming to be situated in the Chicago area. They were implacable foes of the Big Knives who in the end took their land and scattered their nation. They now have a reservation in Kansas and lands in Oklahoma, but communities still exist in Wisconsin and Michigan. Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (les Poux), 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 (Nation of Fire), 19 (Oupouteouatamik), 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21; Parallel Stories: 1.
|A Pueblo Woman||The Pueblo World|
Pueblo — various tribes of the American southwest who share a culture centered about the pueblo, a village composed of mud and stone structures formed like irregular apartments. These structures typically have no doors or windows and are entered from above by ladders. This makes them particularly well suited to military defense. The tribes that make up this cultural group are diverse with respect to language. The pueblo tribes are the Hopi and Zuni on the Colorado plateau, and by the Rio Grande, the Piro, Tewa, Tiwa, Towa, and Keres. The Spanish encountered these people as early as 1539. In 1610 the Spanish founded Santa Fe, and put all the Pueblos under their authority. When the Keres rebelled, they were brutally dealt with, but only when the Spanish attempted to suppress their religion did the Pueblos generally rise in rebellion. When they did so in 1680, they were able to force the Spanish to withdraw from Santa Fe, which the Spanish were did not recaptured until 1692. Thereafter, the Spanish relaxed the rigor of their rule over the Pueblos. During this period, the Pueblos became the first Indians to acquire horses, and these animals soon spread to the plains where their introduction profoundly affected the native way of life. Many pueblos survive from early times, although many others were abandoned owing to attacks by the Apache, Comanche, and Navaho tribes. See also Taos. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2; Parallel Stories: 1.
Quapah (Kwapa, Arkansas) — a Dhegiha Sioux nation, closely related to the Kansa, Omaha, Osage, and Ponca. Their name derives from Ugáxpa, "Downstream People," so called from a tradition that they went down the Missouri River while the rest of the Çeǧiha Sioux nation went upriver. They are apparently identical with the Arkansa nation. When they were encountered by the DeSoto expedition (1539-43), they were living in a fortified, walled city. In the larger villages, well crafted lodges were seen with most people living in long houses with domed roofs covered in bark. They practiced extensive agriculture, and in art, they were particularly noted for their pottery designs. The dead were buried, on occasion even under the floorboards of the lodge in which they had lived. The clans of the Quapah according to the sources of J. Owen Dorsey, were: Zhawa (Beaver), Wazhingka (Small Bird), Wasa (Black Bear), Te (Buffalo), Petang (Crane), Nanpanta (Deer), Cangke (Dog), Xidh (Eagle), Anpan (Elk), Hu (Fish), Mantu (Grizzly Bear), Hangka (Ancestral), Tangdhangtanka (Panther), Wesa (Snake), Mikax (Star), Mi (Sun), Tuxe (Reddish Yellow Buffalo), Wakanta (Thunders), Ke (Turtle), Maxe (Upper World), and two that have not been translated: Nikiata, and Tizhu. [nt] See the commentary to the worak Quapah Origins, and the table, Quapah Convergences with the Proto-Winnebago-Chiwere Clan System. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; Mentioned in Texts: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2.
Quechan — a Hokan speaking tribe of western Arizona and eastern California, also known as the Yuma. They lived along the lower Colorado River centered around its confluence with the Gila. In the beginning, the people of the region were created by Kukumat. After he died, his son Kumastamxo took the people up to the sacred mountain Avikwame and taught them the arts of living, then he sent them in all directions. To these people Kumastamxo gave the name Quechan, from Xám Kwacán, "Those Descending by Water." The Quechans had exogamous patrilineal clans with such names as "Frog, Maize, Snake, and Red Ant." Marriage was usually monogamous, although polygyny was practiced. The couple were usually patrilocal, but this was not strictly observed. Sprits lived in the sacred heights, particulary Avikwame, and manifest themselves in dreams. Guardian spirits would sometimes appear as disembodied voices. Those who were given great power in their dreams were given the title kʷaxótᵗ.The root of all power lay in dreams, and those that were granted favor through them could become headmen of their rancherias. They gave generously of their time and goods to those who needed them. People lived in domed structures made of arrowead in racherias on elevated land above the floodplain of the Colorado. After the spring floods, they would descend to work individual plots of land. Agriculture made up about half their supply of food, the rest of it was from wild plants such as mesquite and screwbeans. They also fished in the rivers. As middlemen who controlled the crossing of the Colorado, they were important in trade. They traded to the east with the Hohokam culture (1000-1200 AD), and after its collapse, with the Pima and Popago. Prestige could be gained in war, and the Quechan often raided the villages of the Cocopa. They first made contact with the Spanish in 1544. In the 1850's the United States government established Ft. Yuma at the crossing of the Colorado at the Gila, and the city of Yuma, Arizona grew up nearby. Today the Quechan number about 2,000. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Quechuan — a language family extending through Ecuador, parts of Peru, most of Bolivia, and parts of northwest Argentina. There are between 1.5 and 2.2 millions speakers of Quechuan languages. It is from the Quechua that the Incas arose. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Rappahannock — a tribe living on the Rappahannock River in Virginia, apparently also known as Nantaughtacund. All that is known of their language is to be found in a handful of place names, from which it is reasonably clear that their tongue is a dialect of the Algonquian language, Powhatan. They were members of the Powhatan Confederacy, and when Capt. John Smith was taken prisoner by the Powhatans in 1607, he was displayed to the Rappahannocks. They have kept alive their practice of making bows of hickory and white oak and tipping the arrows with heads made of turkey spurs. The favorite game still hunted by the Rappahannock is the wild turkey. In very recent times (1925), the Rappahannock still practiced the flattening of the occiput by placing a board at the back of an infant's head. In 1925 the number of Rappahannock was estimated to be between five and six hundred. Pictured at left is a Rappahannock carved cedar staff. [nt] Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3.
Saginaw — a band of Anishinaabe who occupied that part of Michigan formerly held by the Sauk tribe. The chief town of the later was called "Saukinong" (meaning "Sauk-town"), whence the name of the band. This band was involved in fighting in Pennsylvania and Virginia during the Revolutionary War, and made up part of the Native American contingent at Fallen Timbers. See Sauk below. Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
|C. M. Russell|
|Lewis and Clark Meet the Flatheads|
Salish or Flatheads — a Salishan speaking tribe that subsisted mainly by hunting. They were so called not because they flattened their heads, but because of their flat-topped tonsure. They share a reservation today with the Kutenai near Flathead Lake, Montana. Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
Salishan Language Family — a group of related languages spoken by the Kalipen, Cour d'Alene, and Spokane among others. The family can be divided into two groups: Coast Salish (Comox, Pentlatch, Sechelt, Klallam, Halkomelem, Nooksack, Squamish, Lushootseed [Puget Sound Salish/Skagit/Snohomish], Twana [Skokomish], Lower Chehalis, Quinault, Cowlitz, Upper Chehalis, Tillamook); and Interior Salish (Lillooet [St'at'imcets], Shuswap [Secwepemctsin], Thompson [Nlaka'pamux], Coeur d'Alene, Flathead (Salish)/Kalispel/Spokane, Okanagan [Colville], Wenatchi [Columbia]), and Nuxalk (Bella Coola).
|Big Belly, A Sarcee Chief|
Sarcee (Sarsi) — an Athabascan speaking people of Alberta, Canada. They are closest linguistically to the Sekani and Beaver tribes. They were closely associated with the Blackfeet, and were allied with them in wars against the Assiniboine and Cree. Because of such associations, their culture was more like that of the plains Indians than other Athabascan peoples. Related families formed bands which lacked a chief and were guided only by individual whose personal prestige gave them influence. Membership in bands was fluid, but in the summer the various bands would unite for the tribal hunt. The bison were often hunted by communal drives. The Sarcee lived in teepees made of buffalo hides fashioned by the women of the tribe. Polygyny was practiced, and like the Hočągara, they also had the institution of mother-in-law avoidance. Of their ceremonies, the Sun Dance was of particular importance. The Sarcee practiced platform burial, but had the added unusual practice of leaving distinguished men in an abandoned teepee at their death. Parallel Stories: 1.
|The Winnebago Prophet||Black Hawk|
Sauk (Sac, Sagi, Ousaki; Hočąk, Zagi) — a powerful Algonquian nation bordering to the south and west of the Hočągara. The word "Sauk" comes from an Algonquian word, Asakiwaki, "Yellow Earth People." They are closely associated with the Fox, and were occasionally at war with the Hočągara. The Sauk, Fox and Kickapoo may have been offshoots of the same proto-tribe. They were woodland Indians, but they would also hunt buffalo on the prairies. They farmed during the growing season and hunted during the cold time of the year. Permanent dwelling were wigwams with hide coverings similar to the Hočągara. When leading a nomadic existence on the hunt, they made oval wigwams with reed coverings. After the defeat of the Illini in the XVIII century, the Sauk moved onto their lands. They frequently fought against the Big Knives, once under their most famous warleader, Black Hawk [bottom right]. This war started when whites occupied Sauk land when the band of Black Hawk was out on its annual hunt. After two years of tension between the parties, Black Hawk's band began to gain followers. Because of the preaching of White Cloud, the Winnebago Prophet [bottom left], the Fox, Kickapoo, Potawatomi, and Hočągara joined him. The fighting ended in a massacre from which Black hawk and the Winnebago Prophet escaped. The Sauk were eventually removed to Oklahoma. One of the most famous Sauks was Jim Thorpe, recently recognized as the greatest athlete of all time. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 (Ousaki), 28 (Ousaki), 29, 30, 31, 32; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21; Parallel Stories: 1 (a Fox story about the origins of the Sauk), 2, 3, 4. 5.
Seminole — See Creek and Hitchiti. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Seri — a people who lived on Tiburon Island in the Gulf of California and the adjacent Sonora mainland in Mexico. Their environment is mountainous desert where fresh water is rare. Their diet consisted mainly of water fowl, turtles, fish, mollusks, and other seafood. They also hunted land animals, and consumed cactus fruits, mesquite beans, and a few other vegetables; but they did not practice agriculture. Their only domesticated animal was the dog, which appeared to be part coyote. Their crude huts of brush and cactus with rooves of turtle shells and sponges were adequate in an environment where there is hardly ever cold or rain. The Seri dress was basically a kilt extending from waist to knees, and was supplemented with a pelican skin mantle which also doubled as bedding. Balsas were made from canes bound together with mesquite fiber cords. Their culture was matrifocal, but of a warlike character, and they tended to be xenophobic, considering marriage with foreigners an abomination. Their sole weapon was the bow and arrow. They had been greatly decimated in war, by means of which their numbers were constantly reduced. Kroeber numbered them in 1931 as being no more than 20 individuals. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2.
Shasta — a group of tribes speaking similar dialects extending from northern California to southern Oregon. Their dialects belong to the Shastan Language Family which in turn belongs to the Hokan language phylum. The constituent tribes are Iruwaitsu, Kammatwa, Katiru, Kikatsik, Konomihu, New River Indians, and Okwanuchu. They were sedentary, living in plank houses that were partly subterranean. Their diet consisted mainly of roots and seed, but was supplemented by salmon, which they dried for the winter. It is said that fewer than 20 Shasta are still alive today. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
|Tecumseh||The Shawnee Prophet|
Shawnee (Shawanoes) — one of the most powerful of the Algonquian tribes. Their name comes from Chawanagi, "Southerners." The center of the Shawnee territory was around the Cumberland River in Tennessee, but their lands extended into western Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. During the French and Indian War, most Shawnee fought on the side of the French. Lord Dunmore, the governor of Virginia, rewarded the militiamen who served under him with lands that happened to lie in Shawnee territory. When the settlers showed up, fighting soon broke out. Dunmore sent a force of militia against the Shawnee under their chief Cornstalk, who managed to rout them in a battle along the Kentucky River. Lord Dunmore then sent a force of 1,500 militia against them. In 1774, these militiamen defeated Cornstalk at Pt. Pleasant in western Virginia, and the Shawnee had to cede some of their lands. During the Revolutionary War, the Shawnee fought on the side of the British. After the war, they fought in coalition with other tribes when the fledgling United States Army launched a major campaign against Little Turtle, Chief of the Miami. The result was the most crushing defeat ever inflicted on the United States Army, which lost nearly two-thirds of its strength. Eventually, after the Battle of Fallen Timbers, Little Turtle was brought to terms, but there arose among the Shawnee another famous leader, Tecumseh. Tecumseh's brother, Tenskwatawa, was a drunkard and ne'erdowell who had lost one of his eyes in a boyhood accident. One day, rather like St. Paul on the road to Damascus, he was overcome with a great revelation sent to him by the spirits. He then reformed himself and became a prophet, preaching a return to traditional Indian ways. Ever after he was known as the Shawnee Prophet. Among the tribes to whom he spoke were the Hočągara, who soon sent a warparty to join his brother Tecumseh. Tecumseh preached Indian unity and tried to reforge the kind of alliance that Pontiac had achieved a generation before. However, a quick strike on the Prophet's village on Tippecanoe unraveled the whole scheme. Tecumseh rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the British army during the War of 1812 and won many victories; but on Oct. 5, 1813, at the Battle of the Thames, he was killed in action. Most Shawnee live in Oklahoma, but the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band, what was left of the eastern Shawnee, have been officially recognized in the State of Ohio. Mentioned in Ethnology: 1, 2; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1 (Tecumseh), 2. See, The Shawnee Prophet — What He Told the Hočągara, The Shawnee Prophet and His Ascension, Tecumseh's Bulletproof Skin.
Shipibo — a large nation of Panoan speaking people of the Peruvian Amazon. The environment is a tropical rainforest with a dry season lasting from April or May through August, after which follow torrential rains that almost completely flood the region. As a result, houses are built on stilts to keep them above the water level. Houses have thatched rooves but no walls. Some slash and burn agriculture is practiced, by the tribe has essentially a hunter gatherer economy, more at home on the rivers than in the jungle. They grow some manioc and plantains. The Shipibo are matrifocal, being both matrilinear in descent reconing and matrilocal. Marriage is made during childhood, with the mother making the choice among suitors. Shipibo women are known for their elaborate designs on pottery and clothing. Their shamans perform a ceremony in which they prepare a drink from Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi), which causes hallucinatory intoxication in which they see visions. Shamans believe that using Ayahuasca allows them to supernaturally attack their enemies. The Shipibo presently number about 20,000-35,000 distributed over 300 "villages", which are really long strings of communal houses which have only a minimal interaction with one another. each. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
|Snake Indians Testing Their Bows|
Shoshone (Shoshoni), or Snake — a Uto-Aztecan speaking people of the Great Basin region of Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and formerly Montana. They are called Šošóx by the Hočągara. The Western Shoshone lived in desolate environments. The Gosiute band lived on the shores of the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and the Panamint lived in California's Death Valley. Pictured at the left inset is a Western Shoshone wickiup with examples of conical baskets. The Northern Shoshone are culturally akin to the Plateau Culture to their north. The most famous of the Northern Shoshone was the woman Sacajawea who acted as a guide and translator for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Shoshone began to have more extensive contacts with white Americans when the Mormons settled at Salt Lake. During the Civil War when the white Americans were preoccupied, the Shoshone raided Pony Express routes, wagon trains, stagecoaches, and cut telegraph lines. In 1863 California sent infantry against them in an arduous campaign that culminated in a battle on the Bear River at Bear Hunter's village in which the Shoshone lost 224 people. After this defeat, resistance crumbled. In 1869 the transcontinental railway was completed right through the territory of the Western Shoshone. The Eastern Shoshone lived in Wyoming and adopted the culture of the plains Indians, including living in teepees. Their principal enemies were the Arapaho and Blackfeet. The Eastern Shoshone allied themselves with the whites and helped them fight the Sioux, particularly in the Battle of the Rosebud in 1876. Nevertheless, they were forced onto a reservation with their enemies the Arapaho. Contemporary Shoshone have reservations in California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. Some attempt is been made to keep alive the Shoshone language. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4.
Siouan — a large language group possibly related to Iroquoian. The following Indian nations speak Siouan languages: Western Siouan (Mandan (?), Crow, Hidatsa), Central Siouan (Assiniboine (Stoney), Sioux, Quapah, Kansa, Osage, Omaha, Ponca, Hočąk, Oto, Ioway, and Missouria), Ohio River Siouan (Ofo, Biloxi), Catawban (Catawba); leaving Tutelo and Assegun (?) unassigned. The chart below shows the results of a glottochronology done on Siouan languages in 1982.
Opinions have changed, apparently, on the classification of Mandan, and on some of the nomenclature since 1982, when the results upon which this chart is based were published. To get a sense of the similarity of these languages, the word for water is given in each: Crow, bilé; Hidatsa, miri; Assiniboine, mini; Dakota, mini; Lakota, miní; Mandan, mini; Kansa, ni; Omaha-Ponca, niŋ; Osage, ni; Quapaw, ni; Hočąk, ni; Oto, ni; Biloxi, ani; Ofo, ani; Catawba, yaⁿhi.
Sioux (Naduesiu, Nadouesiouek, Nadoessi; Hočąk Šąhą) — the name "Sioux" comes via French from Anishinaabe who call the Sioux Nadowessi, "Little Snakes," in contrast to the Iroquois, whom they call Nadowe, "Big Snakes" (for further discussion see the Introduction). The Jesuit Relations of 1640 mention in the vicinity of the Nation des Puans (Hočągara), the Nadvesin (< Nadoweisiw) and Assinipour (Assiniboine). In 1642 they were 18 days journey west of Sault St. Marie (Adouesis). When the Anishinaabe obtained guns from the French, they were able to drive the Sioux west. The Sioux are composed of three tribes, the Lakota (Western Sioux), and the two tribes of Eastern Sioux, the Nakota (Yankton and Yanktonai), and the Dakota (Santee). The names Lakota, Nakota, and Dakota all mean "Allies" or "Confederates." For the Šąhą in Hočąk legend, see White Flower, The Waterspirit of Green Lake, Berdache Origin Myth, Great Walker's Warpath, The Masaxe War, The Omahas who turned into Snakes. For a Sioux myth told in the Hočąk language, see A Sioux Story. Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 (Naduesiu), 19 (Nadouesiouek), 20 (Nadoessi), 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Nadouaichs), 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3.
the Six Nations — the Iroquois Confederacy. It was originally known as the "Five Nations," formed from the Mohawk, Oneida (Hočąk, Nišįkjači), Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca. The inclusion of the Tuscarora, who moved up from the south in the XVIIth century, made them six in number. Something is known of the origins of this league. Sometime prior to 1570, a prophet named Deganawida the Peacemaker, from the Huron tribe, had a vision of everyone united under the Tree of Great Peace. The prophet found an evangelist in the person of the Mohawk Hiawatha, who went among all the Iroquois carrying the message under the aegis of the wampum belt of the Great Law of Peace. The Iroquois Confederacy was the fruit of their efforts. Fifty sachems (chiefs) were sent once a year to Onondaga where the Grand Council was held under the light of the eternal flame that was maintained there. Today the representatives of the Six Nation still meet in council where the recite the Great Law. A second Council Fire was established in Ontario to reflect the division of the Six Nations by the international boundary.
Slavey or Slave (Dene Dhaa) — an Athabascan people of northern Alberta in Canada. Their economy rested upon hunting moose and buffalo as well as fur trapping. The people were nomadic, and women, who conducted the move to a new compsite, would use one dog to haul all their belongings. They lived in tents whose floors were covered with spruce boughs and grasses. They made blankets mainly out of rabbit fur. Their language and traditions survive even today, and native religious festivals known as "Tea Dances" are an important part of community life. They believe in spirit animal people who may appear in visions in the wilderness or in dreams. Among animals, the frog is believed to have extraordinary spiritual powers. Today, roughly 1,000 Slavey live on three reservations in Alberta. [nt] Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
Spokane — a people of northeastern Washington speaking a Salish language. Their name means "Children of the Sun," although they call themselves Sqeliz, "the People." They lived near the Spokane River where they subsisted mainly by fishing along with other forms of hunting and gathering. They lived in cone-shaped thatched huts. They had occasional wars with the Coeur d'Alenes, until wars with the Crow and Blackfeet brought them together as allies. In the mid XIXth century, they created the Dreamer Cult which borrowed some elements of Christianity, but was basically an anti-white revivalist cult. They participated in the Coeur d'Alene War of 1858, and were initially victorious, but suffered two serious reversal and were subdued by federal troops. By 1887, the Spokane had been moved onto reservations. Strip mining in their reservations has caused major pollution problems. The city of Spokane, Washington, is named for this tribe. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
St. Régis — an Iroquoian tribe living on the shores of the St. Lawrence. There is a settlement of St. Regis Indians whom the French converted to Christianity at Caughnawaga near Montreal. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Stockbridge — a member of the Housatonic band of the Mahican nation, an Algonkian speaking tribe. They united with the Oneida, and later joined the Munsee tribe in Wisconsin. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2.
Stoney — see Assiniboine.
Tanaina — see Dena’ina.
Takic — a language sub-family of the Uto-Aztec phylum, containing the following tribes: Cahuilla, Cupeno, Juaneño, Luiseño, and Serraño. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Taino — a people, akin to the Arawak, found in the Caribean and Florida. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
|A Medicine Man with His Patient, Taos Pueblo, 1905|
Taos — the people of a pueblo in northern New Mexico. They speak the Uto-Aztecan language Tiwa, the name Taos being a corruption of têotho, "in the village." The Taos Pueblo is located on a plateau with sufficient rain and abundant streams that drain into the Colorado which has cut a gorge into the plateau not too far from the pueblo. Game is abundant and the rivers are well stocked with fish. However, the people of Taos depended most upon agriculture, growing maize, beans, and squash. The people have occupied the present pueblo since ca. 1300, having apparently come from the north. The Spanish settled the area in 1598, and in 1680 the pueblo revolt was planned from Taos. Their resistance to U. S. occupation in 1847 was put down. The old kiva religion is still strong, although almost nothing is known about it, since its participants rigorously hold its content secret. The people of Taos have resisted intermarriage with outside groups, yet their population has more than doubled since 1942. See Pueblo. Parallel Stories: 1.
Thompson (Nlaka'pamux) — a Salish people of south central British Columbia and formerly of the North Cascades region of Washington. By 2006 there were 670 Thompson speakers. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
|A Timucua War Expedition|
Timucua — a people, now extinct, speaking a language with no know affinities. They lived in northern Florida and southern Georgia. They lived in matrilinear clans that usually bore animal names. They were ruled by chiefs who shared their authority with a council. They had a sophisticated agriculture supplimented by hunting. Meat would be roasted over an open fire in a process known as barbacoa, whence the English word "barbecue." A highly caffinated and emetic black tea (called the "White Drink") was brewed from Yaupon Holly leaves and used in rituals by men of status. Timucuans were highly tatooed, the markings symbolizing various accompliments of their lives. They were once very numerous, with a pre-contact population estimated at between 50,000-200,000. There may have been sporadic contact with the Spanish as early as 1513, but the real introduction to the Spanish occurred in 1535 when de Soto marched an army of 500 men thorugh Timucuan territory with the usual negative impact that soldiers bring in their train. During the expedition of René Goulaine de Laudonnière of 1564, the artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues made a number of drawings depicting their daily life in connection with the aborted Huegonot colony there. In 1565 the Spanish founded St. Augustine, and from there the missions were established in the major villages of all 35 chiefdoms of the Timucua. By 1595, disease and war had rubbed out three-quarters of the population. They were of the Mississippian culture. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2.
Tlaxcalans (Tlaxcalteca) — a Nahua speaking people who founded the Kingdom of Tlaxcala in central Mexico in what is now the state of Tlaxcala. The Tlaxcalans were orignally a confederation of three distinct ethnic groups, the Nahuatl, Otomi, and Pinome. Eventually, the Nahuatl became the dominant group. The Aztecs were never able to conquer Tlaxcala. The Tlaxcalans sometimes fought along side the Aztecs, but allied themselves to Cortes during the Spanish conquest. As a result of their help, the Spanish gave them special privileges. In time, the Tlaxcala colonized much of the north of Mexico to subdue the belicose Chichimecas against whom the Spanish were ineffectual. Parallel Stories: 1.
|Tlingit Totems||A Tlingit Warrior Wearing
a Cuirass of Adder Wood
Tlingit — an Athabascan people of the Pacific northwest who occupy the southernmost part of Alaska that neighbors on British Columbia. In their language, which is related to Haida, their tribal name means "People." They fished and hunted sea mammals; but they also took terrestrial game. Members of a clan lived together in a village which they owned. There they built large houses using beams and wooden planks. They had a hierarchical society, that included slaves, and they performed the potlatch ceremony, in which wealth was ostentatiously given away. Position in the three recognized classes depended upon titles, wealth, and individual achievement. They also fashioned totem poles (as seen in the inset). They believe that a creator god, Kah-shu-goon-yah, made the cosmos and controls its fundamental features. Raven, a lesser trickster deity, taught people the institutions by which they live. The jek, or spirits, are found in almost anything. The jek could confer on people curative powers, wealth, war powers, and ceremonial status. The individual possess a mortal and an immortal soul, and upon death the latter would, if morally worthy, ascend to Kiwa-a, the highest heaven; otherwise, it would be condemned to Dog Heaven, where it was punished. In time, all souls returned to the living through reincarnation. In war the Tlingits used wooden slat armor and wore masks designed to terrorize their enemies. The Tlingit fought the Russians on many occasions, and sacked their greatest fort on Baraxou Island. Today the Tlingit are numerous, numbering 25,000. Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
|A Tohono O’odham Woman||Papago Women at the Well|
Tohono O’odham (Papago) — a Uto-Aztecan people of the Sonoran Desert of northwest Mexico and southeastern Arizona (where they have a reservation). Also known as the Papago ("Bean Eaters"), the name by which they call themselves means, "Desert People." They are closely related to the Pima. They practiced seasonal migration from the hot desert to the cooler mountains. They cultivated tepary beans, squash, melon, and sugar cane, and gathered saguaro fruit, cholla buds, and mesquite bean pods. In 1687, Father Eusebio Kino, a Jesuit missionary, settled among the Tohono O’odham and established a mission. The 1660's and 1750's saw major rebellions against Spanish rule. From the late XVIIth century, the Tohono O’odham were frequently at war with the Apaches. There are currently about 25,000 Tohono O’odham. Kitt Peak Observatory is on land leased from the Tohono O’odham. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Tojolabal — a Mayan people of the southern part of Chiapas, Mexico, mainly concentrated around the town of Margaritas. They live on a highland plain dotted with hills. Their houses are wattle and daub with thatched roofs. They raise maize, beans and squash on family plots, although some grow coffee and sugar cane as cash crops. Blankets are woven out of wool, and they are noted for their pottery. They now number 40,000 people. Parallel Stories: 1.
|Chief Grant Richards||A Tonkawa Turban,
Tonkawa — a people speaking a language with no known affinities, who inhabited Texas and Oklahoma. Their language is now extinct. The tribe itself almost reached extinction, having fallen to a mere 34 members by 1921. However, they now number 611 individuals. Tonkawa is a Waco word meaning, "Those who Stick Together"; but they called themselves, Tickanwa•tic, "Real People." Around 1700 the Apache had succeeded in pushing the Tonkawa to the Red River region. From 1824-1872, the Tonkawa fought a number of battles against the Comanches in league with the Texas Rangers and the U. S. Army. In October of 1862, a coalition of pro-Union tribes massacred the Tonkawa in Oklahoma, killing 137 people. In 1884, the 90 remaining Tonkawa were forcibly removed to Oklahoma, where they now reside in the town of Tonkawa. A Tonkawa turban is shown in the inset (1880). Mentioned in Texts: 1, 2, 3.
|Tsimshian Spirit Impersonators|
Tsimshian — a Penutian people who live on the coast of British Columbia and along the Nass and Skeena Rivers. People lived in villages owned by a matrilineal clan. They were stratified into four classes, royalty, nobles, commoners, and slaves. People were required to marry outside their clan, and the married couple lived in the groom's village. They lived in large plank houses, and had an economy founded on the resources of the sea, and most especially salmon fishing. They practiced potlaches in which wealth was ostentatiously given away to inhance prestige. They also are noted for carving totem poles. They have the particular distinction of having created the Chilkat blanket, which was made of mountain goat wool and yellow cedar bark. These blankets, still valuable today, once functioned as a kind of wampum. In the early XVIIIth century, the Tshimshian became increasingly involved in the fur trade with the Russians, the English, and later the Americans. The Tsimshian today live on reservations within their traditional territory, and number close to 20,000. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
Tucano (Tukano) — a set of tribes belonging to the Tucanoan language family, living primarily along the Vaupés River in Columbia and Brazil. They practice slash and burn agriculture, growing manioc and other produce. They supplement this diet by hunting and gathering. Since they practice linguistic exogamy, people in any given village will speak a number of different Tucanoan languages. The major languages of this familly are Bara, Barasana, Cubeo, Desana, Macuna, Wanano, Tucano (or Tucano Proper). Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Tucuna — a people of northwest Amazonian jungles of Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. The Tucuna were particularly noted for making sculptures out of wood and stone; of making baskets, and of producing cloth from bark. They traditionally hunted with traps, spears, and blowguns, making use of strichnine poison. They also grew corn and casava. Their canoes were made of bark, and when a person died, he was sent off in such a canoe that he might negotiate the River of Death. They worship their supreme deity Nanuola and his evil counterpart, Locas. Parallel Stories: 1.
Tupi — a large group of Brazilian tribes who spoke a language that they called Nheengatu. Some of the tribes who were members of this ethnic group were the Caetés, Potiguara, Tabajara, Tamoios, Temiminó, Tupinambá, Tupiniquim. They were agriculturalists who grew a wide variety of crops including cotton. Like Mesoamerican Indians, the object of their warfare was to take captive to be disposed of in rituals. The object was to make a cannibalistic meal of their prisoners in order to obtain the victim's virtues for themselves. After Portuguese colonization of Brazil, most of the surviving Tupi married into the dominant white culture. A few remnants of the Tupi remain on reservations today. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Tutelo — a warlike sedentary tribe of Siouan speech who occupied the Virginia mountains. They were gradually moved north by their close allies, the Six Nations. They claim to have originated where modern Detroit is now located. Eventually the Tutelo were moved to a reservation in Ontario where they intermarried so extensively with the Cayuga and Onondaga that there are probably no Tutelo that do not have the blood of these tribes in their veins. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1, 2; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Tzeltal — a Mayan people of Chiapas, Mexico. Their language of six dialects is spoken by 370,000 people. The people live mainly in nuclear families in a single dwelling. They farm maize, beans, and squash; in addition they raise chickens, pigs and sheep. They are known for their pottery, which is made in open air fires rather than in kilns. Parallel Stories: 1.
|The Family of the Ute Chief Severo|
Ute — a Uto-Aztecan tribe who gave their name to the state of Utah, but their range once extended into most neighboring states. Since their territory lay within the desiccated environment of the Great Basin desert, the Ute adapted by living in small nomadic bands. These bands would sometimes concentrate during the winter or for special hunts. They ate seeds, roots, rabbits, rodents, lizards, and even insects. However, the eastern bands lived in the Rockies and had access to bigger game and to fish in abundance. Their dwellings had frames like teepees, but were covered instead with brush and grasses. Once the Ute had acquired horses in the XVIIth century, their lifestyle resembled much more that of the plains Indians. The Utes were warlike and even crossed the Rockies to fight the Arapaho, and ventured south in raids against the Spanish. With the arrival of Mormon settlers in 1847, they began to have conflicts with the whites which culminated in the Ute War of 1879. The Utes held their own in the ensuing military clashes, but in the end lost the peace when they ceded extensive land in Colorado. Today the Utes have three reservations in Utah and Colorado. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
Uto-Aztecan — a widespread language family that has been divided into a number of sub-families: Numic (Comanche, Paiute, Shoshone, Ute, Chemehuevi, Mono, Panamint); Takic (Cahuilla, Cupeño, Juaneño, Luiseño, Serraño); Northern Uto-Aztecan (Hopi, Tubatulabal); Aztecan (Aztec (Nahuatl), Pipil); Corachol (Cora, Huichol); Taracahitic (Guarijio, Mayo, Opata, Tarahumara, Yaqui); Tepiman (Pima, Pima Bajo, Tepehuan). In addition, Bannock, Pueblo (Tewa, Tiwa, Towa), and Tohono O’odham (Papago) are said to belong to this family. The words for "moon" illustrate the similarities of these languages: Chemehuevi, Mi'ja; Comanche, Mʉa; Mono, Tamua; Paiute, Muha; Panamint, Müah; Shoshone, Muh; Ute, Muatagoci; Cahuilla, Ménił; Cupeño, Munil; Juaneño, Móyla; Luiseño, Móoyla; Serrano, Muat; Hopi, Muuyaw; Tubatulabal, Muuyal; Nahuatl, Metztli; Pipil, Metsti; Cora, Máskɨra'i; Huichol, Mechéri; Guarijio, Meehcá; Mayo, Meéca; Opata, Metzat; Tarahumara, Michá; Yaqui, Meecha; Pima, Mashath; Pima Bajo, Masadi; Tepehuan, Masá.
Wakashan Language Family — a family of languages spoken in the Pacific northwest whose members include: Northern Wakashan (Haisla, Heiltsuk [Bella Bella], Kwakiutl), Southern Wakashan (Makah, Nootkah). The affinity of these languages for one another can be illustrated in the words for "to leave": Haisla, bua; Heiltsuk, bua; Kwakiutl, bau; Makah, wuha; Nootkah, wah.
Walapai — a people of northwestern Arizon speaking a language belonging to the Hokan family. This language is the same as that spoken by the Havasupai and Yavapai tribes. The environment in which they live is hot and arid, except in July and August when there are torrential downpours. The Walapai lived in simple wikiups of brush arrainged in a circle. They formed encampments of about 25 individuals of the same patrilineal clan, although in later times villages of 250 were known. In the past they had been hunter gatherers, but with a greater reliance upon agriculture, larger villages were possible. Marriage was accomplished by the suitor giving a series of gifts to the woman's father, who then encouraged her to accept the suitor. They lived for a time with the woman's family, then moved to the camp of the husband. Religion centered around shamans who also functioned as physicians. First contact with the Spanish was made in 1776, but the Walapai remained isolated. With the discovery of gold near Prescott in 1863, white Americans began invading the country. This led to a losing battle with the Federal Army and a period of dislocation. They were participants in the Ghost Dance of the 1880's. Once the Walapai had been able to gain recognition for a reservation in their traditional territory, the ecological system had been degraded so much that it was difficult for them to make a living. The population of the Walapai today is about a thousand individuals. Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
|Wáh-pe-say, "The White," Wea, 1830|
Wea — a tribe living in Indiana who spoke the Miami language, but who affiliated with both the Miami proper and the Illinois. Their first European contact was by the Jesuits under Father Claude Allouez in 1672. By 1680, they were situated in northern Illinois and Indiana, having moved westward under the pressure of the Iroquois. By the end of the American Revolution, the Wea tribe was situated on the Wabash. On November 4, 1791, they joined Miami chief Little Turtle in the crushing defeat of the American force under Gen. St. Clair. The Wea, whose principal village was then on the site of Terre Haute, entered the War of 1812 on the side of the British, but were defeated at the Battle of the Thames where Tecumseh was killed. In 1818, the Wea ceded all their lands east of the Mississippi to the United States, except for an area at the mouth of Raccoon Creek, in Indiana. The bulk of the tribe moved west, eventually to Oklahoma, where they joined with the Piankeshaw, Peoria and Kaskaskia to become the Confederated Peoria. Mentioned in Histories: 1.
Weanohronons (Wenrohronons) — a people only known from some passages in the Jesuit Relations. "It was about this time , or a year or two later, that the Iroquois fell suddenly upon a small tribe or settlement of Indians adjoining the Neuters on the east committing a fearful massacre, and compelling all who escaped with life to flee elsewhere for refuge. These were kindly received and cared for by the Hurons. Charlevoix says he was unable to ascertain the name of this people, but we learn from some passages in the Jesuit Relations that they were known as the Weanohronons, or Wenrohronons, and that they were then located in the extreme western portion of New York. They were probably related to the Hurons and seem as a tribe to have dropped from history after this raid." [nt] Mentioned in Ethographies: 1.
|Two Wichita Warriors||A Wichita Grass Lodge (George Catlin, 1834/35)||Walter Ross|
Wichita — A Caddoan speaking people of Kansas. They lived in villages of grass huts resembling haystacks. For most of the year their economy was based on farming, but during the buffalo hunt they were nomadic and lived in teepees. In this respect they are similar to their relatives the Pawnee. They were fond of tattoos, and called themselves Kitikiti'sh, "Raccoon-Eyed," after a popular tattoo pattern. After a defeat at the hands of the Spanish in 1662, the Wichita retired south into Oklahoma. In the mid-eighteenth century, they fell back into south Oklahoma and northern Texas under pressure from the Osage. They formed an alliance with the powerful Comanche nation, which held their enemies in check. Today they hold land in Oklahoma, keeping in close contact with their Pawnee relatives. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1, 2, 3, 4; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1; Parallel Stories: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Wisham, Wishram (Tlakluit, Echeloot) — a tribe closely related to the Wasco. They live near the Dalles in the Columbian River area of Oregon and speak a Chinook language of the Penutian phylum. In 1855 they were forced into ceding most of their lands, and were moved to the Warm Springs Reservation. In the XVIIIth century their population was estimated at 1,500 souls, but today there are about 200 on their Oregon reservation. Only five elders still speak the language, although it is being revived. They had been an economy that relied upon salmon and steelhead fishing, but the construction of several large dams on the Columbia brought that to an end. However, their particular skill at basket design and blankets is still pursued today. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Wiyot (Wishosk) — a California Algonquian tribe living in Humboldt Bay. Their diet consisted of acorns and clams. They used long, carved canoes to venture out into the ocean. Shamans were usually women who had to obtain their powers by ascending to the moutain tops at night. Every year they held their World Renewal Ceremony at Tuluwat village, where a great dance was performed and anyone was allowed to participate. The Wiyots became known to the whites in the early 1850's shortly before Fort Humboldt was built. About this time, the city of Eureka was founded in their territory. On February 25, 1860, settlers launched a sneak attack on the sleeping Wiyots after the World Renewal Ceremony, killing almost everyone. Thereafter, the survivors were roughly handled by the government, as the population fell from the thousands to under 200. Today, the tribe has a small reservation at the Table Bluff Rancheria. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1.
Wyandot — a branch of the Huron people. For more on the Wyandots see the homepage of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas. Mentioned in Ethographies: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Histories: 1, 2, 3; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1, 2; Parallel Stories: 1.
Yana — a northern Californian tribe of hunters and fishermen having no known linguistic affinities. They neighbored on the Wintu with whom they were frequently at war. In 1864 a mob of miners attacked the tribe, then numbering about 3,000, and killed all of them save 50. By 1902 only about a half-dozen remained. These hid within Deer Creek Canyon, until but one was left. He was captured in 1911 and put in a jail cell. His captors considered him to be insane, since he seem to respond to no language, nor did he himself speak. Finally, they invited an anthropologist, T. T. Watterman of the University of California, to interview him. He tried words from every dialect he knew, until the man suddenly came to life at the hearing of the word siwini, "pine wood." It was then established that he was the last Yana, and that his name was Ishi. He died in 1916, after a good life among the whites. His friend and physician, Saxton Pope, said of him, "He looked upon us as sophisticated children — smart, but not wise. We knew many things and much that is false. He knew nature, which is always true. His were the qualities of character that last forever. He was essentially kind; he had courage and self-restraint, and though all had been taken from him, there was no bitterness in his heart. His soul was that of a child, his mind that of a philosopher." Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
Yankton, Yanktonai — see Nakota.
Yaqui — a Uto-Aztecan tribe of Sonora in northern Mexico. They cultivated corn and cotton along the Yaqui River. Their dwellings were of mud and grass framed with wood poles, having roofs that were either flat or slightly sloping. They managed to hold their own against the Spanish, who first contacted them in 1533. Under the Mexican regime, many Yaqui were pressed into forced labor, but by 1927 they had made a final treaty with that government. During this period, many Yaqui fled to Arizona where the tribe now has recognized holdings. The illustration shows the legendary Ku bird, whose feathers were contributed by all the other birds. Parallel Stories: 1.
|Yokut Women Carrying a Harvest of Acorns||Yokut Basket Designs||A Yokut Man|
Yokuts (Mariposa) — a group of tribes of Penutian speech found in the San Joaquin Valley of California and ajacent areas. The three tribes of the Yokuts are the Tachi, Chunut, and Wowol. In their own language, the word Yokut means "People." Their environment was primarily that of wet lands, the sloughs and waterways of which they navigated in canoes made of tule logs lashed together. The water was their primary source of food, which consisted of shell fish, waterfowl, and fish which they speared or caught in basket nets. The men wore breachcloths or nothing at all, and women wore an apron-like outfit and had wicker hats which could double as baskets. Marriages were arranged and were patrilocal. They had totemic animals that organized them into partrilineal descent. Matters of religion were the domain of shamans who would often commune with the spirit world by bathing in springs. The dead were usually buried by a berdache, and their souls were thought to leave the body after two days for a paradise in the west or northwest. Parallel Stories: 1, 2.
Yuchi (Euchee, Uchee) — The Yuchi call themselves Coyaha or Tsoyaha, which means, "Children of the Sun." In the XVIIth century, they lived in northern Alabama, Georgia, and in South Carolina; but previously, they had a homeland in the Tennessee River area of east Tennessee. One of their major towns in Tennessee was Chestowee, which was attacked and destroyed in 1714 by their enemies, the Cherokee. They suffered significant depopulation due to the spread of diseases from the white colonial influx. In the 1830's they were removed along with the Creeks to Oklahoma, where they founded the towns of Duck Creek, Polecat, and Sand Creek. Some Yuchi joined the Seminole nation. One of their major ceremonies, the Green Corn Ceremony, is still practiced today in midsummer. Their language is unique, but by 2011 they were reduced to just five speakers. However, a language program is being conducted among children to keep the language alive. Mentioned in Ethnographies: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
|A Yuki Dancer|
Yuki — a tribe from the Round Valley of Mendicino County in northern California. Their name is derived from Wintu, where it means "alien" or "enemy." The Yuki were of a much more warlike character than most California Indians. In the 1850's they were forced onto a reservation in Round Valley, where conditions led to the revolt known as the "Mendicino War" (1859), which further decimated the tribe. Today there remain but a hundred Yuki only a dozen of which speak the language. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Parallel Stories: 1.
|A Yupik Mask|
Yupik — a tribe of Eskimo living in southwestern Alaska and Siberia. Their name means "real people." For food, they relied heavily on salmon and seals. During the winter, they lived in villages, but in the summer they set up camps for hunting and gathering. There were both men's and women's houses. The men's house was a center for singing, dancing, and storytelling. Its primary funciton, however, was to teach boys the skills they would need as men, especially those involved with the hunt. The women's house, which was often connected to the men's by a tunnel, girls were taught how to process and cook food, how to tan, sew, and weave. Oddly enough, for a period of three to six weeks, the girls and boys switched houses, where they learned the basic skills of the other sex. The Yupik have the unique practice of naming the newborn after the last person to have died. When the Yupik dance, they do not move their legs and feet, but express themselves only through the motion of their arms and upper bodies. They are the largest native population in Alaska, numbering 24,000. Parallel Stories: 1.
|A Yurok Woman Wearing
a Dentalium Shell Skirt
Yurok — a tribe belonging to the California Culture. Their name means "Downstream," a reference to their position on the Klamath River relative to the Karok people. The Yurok language, however, is Algonquian, the farthest west that any language of that phylum is to be found. Their staple food was the acorn, with a diet supplemented by hunting and fishing, particularly salmon. During the summer they were organized into nomadic bands, but in the winter they concentrated in larger villages. There they lived in rectangular houses with slanted cedar roofs. Social status was determined by wealth, and uniquely, the Yurok owned and sold land. Like the Hupa and Karok, their most important ceremony was the World Renewal Rite, in which the powers of the cosmos were recharged for the benefit of the tribe. After the gold rush of 1849, the Yurok lost most of their land. Nevertheless, today they own a number of rancherias neighboring the Hupa territory, as well as hotels and gaming resorts. Many Yurok live a hunter gatherer lifestyle like their ancestors. Parallel Stories: 1.
|Benito Juárez||A Zapotec Warrior's Mask||The West Side Platform at the Monte Alban Pyramid Complex|
Zapotec — an Otomague speaking people of Oaxaca state in Mexico. Zapotec is actually a "dialect continuum" of about 60 closely related languages. They call themselves Be'ena'a, "the People." The Zapotecs are one of the oldest civilizations of Mesoamerica, and may have the oldest writing system (with the possible exception of the Olmecs) dated as early as 500 BC. They lived in towns with houses built of stone and mortar. The ruins of Mitla have been attributed to them. Other notable exemplars of Zapotec architecture are to be found in Monté Alban. The two most prominent deities of the Zapotec are Cocijo, a rain god, and the god of light, Coquihani. There are currently about 300,000 - 400,000 Zapotecs in Mexico. Benito Juárez, Mexico's greatest president, was Zapotec. Parallel Stories: 1.
|A Zuñi Elder|
Zuñi — a Pueblo tribe of the Colorado Plateau near Gallup, New Mexico, speaking a tongue of no known affinities. Prior to the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, they lived in six villages, but now are concentrated at Zuñi Pueblo. They were enemies of the Apache, whose name has come down to us from the Zuñi apachu, "enemy." They first encountered the Spanish with the 1539 expedition of the Moorish slave Esteban. Mentioned in Footnotes: 1; Mentioned in Commentaries: 1.
[Anishinaabe] — Pliny Warriner, "Legend of the Winnebagoes," Collections of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin for the Year 1854 (Madison: State Historical Society, 1855) 1:86-93 (86).
[Assegun] — James Mooney, "Assegun," Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, 1912) Bulletin 30:1:102.
[Asshegunuck] — Thomas Forsyth, "Memoirs of the Sauk and Foxes," in Emma Helen Blair, The Indian Tribes of the Upper Mississippi Valley and Region of the Great Lakes, 2 vols (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996 ) 2:139-245 (192).
[Catawba] — James Mooney, "Catawba," Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, 1912) Bulletin 30:1:213-215.
[Illinois] — James Mooney and Cyrus Thomas, "Illinois," Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, 30:1:597-599.
[Missouri] — J. Owen Dorsey and Cyrus Thomas, "Missouri," Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, 30:1:911-912.
[Quapah] — Cyrus Thomas, "Quapaw," Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, 30:2:333-336.
[Rappahannock] — Frank G. Speck, "The Rappahannock Indians of Virginia," in Indian Notes and Monographs, 5, #3, ed. F. W. Hodge (New York: Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, 1925) 25-83.
[Slavey] — Patrick Moore and Angela Wheelock (edd), Wolverine Myths and Visions: Dene Traditions from Northern Alberta (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990).
[Weanohronons] — Guy Carleton Lee, and Francis Newton Thorpe, The History of North America, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: George Barrie & Sons, 1903) 2:216-217.
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