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The Mandan





The Mandan tribe has not been visited by the author, who must content
himself with giving the list of gentes furnished by Morgan, in his
Ancient Society. This author's system of spelling is preserved:

1. Wolf gens, Ho-ra-ta'-mu-make (Qa-ra-ta' nu-man'-ke?).

2. Bear gens, Mae-to'-no-maeke (Ma-to' nu-man'-ke).

3. Prairie-chicken gens, See-poosh'-kae (Si-pu'-cka nu-man'-ke).

4. Good-knife gens, Tae-na-tsu'-kae (Ta-ne-tsu'-ka nu-man'-ke?).

5. Eagle gens, Ki-tae'-ne-maeke (Qi-ta' nu-man'-ke?).

6. Flat-head gens, E-stae-pa' (Hi-sta pe' nu-man'-ke?).

7. High-village gens, Me-te-ah'-ke.

All that follows concerning the Mandan was recorded by Prince Maximilian
in 1833. Polygamy was everywhere practiced, the number of wives differing,
there being seldom more than four, and in general only one. The Mandan
marriage customs resemble those of the Dakota and other cognate peoples.

When a child is born a person is paid to give it the name chosen by the
parents and kindred. The child is held up, then turned to all sides of the
heavens, in the direction of the course of the sun, and its name is
proclaimed. A Mandan cradle consists of a leather bag suspended by a strap
to a crossbeam in the hut.

There are traces of descent in the female line; for example, sisters have
great privileges; all the horses that a young man steals or captures in
war are brought by him to his sister. He can demand from his sister any
object in her possession, even the clothing which she is wearing, and he
receives it immediately. The mother-in-law never speaks to her son-in-law,
unless on his return from war he bring her the scalp and gun of a slain
foe, in which event she is at liberty from that moment to converse with
him. This custom is found, says Maximilian, among the Hidatsa, but not
among the Crow and Arikara. While the Dakota, Omaha, and other tribes
visited by the author have the custom of bashfulness, which forbids the
mother-in-law and son-in-law to speak to each other, no allowable
relaxation of the prohibition has been recorded.





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Previous: The Hotcangara Or Winnebago



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