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The Siouan Mythology
The Mdewakantonwan
Tribal Nomenclature
The Sisitonwan Or Sisseton
The Oohe-nonpa Or Two Kettles
Designation And Mode Of Camping
The Siha-sapa Or Blackfeet
Phonetic And Graphic Arts

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The Waqpe-kute
The Tutelo
The Quapaw Or Kwapa
The Ni-u'-t'a-tci Or Missouri
General Features Of Organization
3 _{~latin Small Letter Turned T~}{~latin Small Letter Open O~}iwe´re_ (_people Of This Place_)
The Osage
10 _sara (extinct)_

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The Waqpe-kute
11 _? Pedee (extinct)_
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The Mandan
The Ihanktonwan Or Yankton
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The Ni-u'-t'a-tci Or Missouri
The Oto


There has been much confusion concerning the definition and designation of
the Hidatsa Indians. They were formerly known as Minitari or Gros Ventres
of the Missouri, in distinction from the Gros Ventres of the plains, who
belong to another stock. The origin of the term Gros Ventres is somewhat
obscure, and various observers have pointed out its inapplicability,
especially to the well-formed Hidatsa tribesmen. According to Dorsey, the
French pioneers probably translated a native term referring to a
traditional buffalo paunch, which occupies a prominent place in the
Hidatsa mythology and which, in early times, led to a dispute and the
separation of the Crow from the main group some time in the eighteenth

The earlier legends of the Hidatsa are vague, but there is a definite
tradition of a migration northward, about 1765, from the neighborhood of
Heart river, where they were associated with the Mandan, to Knife river.
At least as early as 1796, according to Matthews, there were three
villages belonging to this tribe on Knife river--one at the mouth, another
half a mile above, and the third and largest 3 miles from the mouth. Here
the people were found by Lewis and Clark in 1804, and here they remained
until 1837, when the scourge of smallpox fell and many of the people
perished, the survivors uniting in a single village. About 1845 the
Hidatsa and a part of the Mandan again migrated up the Missouri, and
established a village 30 miles by land and 60 miles by water above their
old home, within what is now Fort Berthold reservation. Their population
has apparently varied greatly, partly by reason of the ill definition of
the tribe by different enumerators, partly by reason of the inroads of
smallpox. In 1890 they numbered 522.

The Crow people are known by the Hidatsa as Kihatsa
(They-refused-the-paunch), according to Matthews; and Dorsey points out
that their own name, Absaruke, does not mean crow, but refers to a
variety of hawk. Lewis and Clark found the tribe in four bands. In 1817
Brown located them on Yellowstone river. In 1829 they were described by
Porter as ranging along Yellowstone river on the eastern side of the Bocky
mountains, and numbered at 4,000; while in 1834, according to Drake, they
occupied the southern branch of the Yellowstone, about the fortysixth
parallel and one hundred and fifth meridian, with a population of 4,500.
In 1842 their number was estimated at 4,000, and they were described as
inhabiting the headwaters of the Yellowstone. They have since been duly
gathered on the Crow reservation in Montana, and are slowly adopting
civilization. In 1890 they numbered 2,287.

Next: The Eastern And Southern Tribes

Previous: Mandan

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