The Eastern And Southern Tribes





The history of the Monakan, Oatawba, Sara, Pedee, and Santee, and

incidentally that of the Biloxi, has been carefully reviewed in a recent

publication by Mooney(54) , and does not require repetition.









On reviewing the records of explorers and pioneers and the few traditions

which have been preserved, the course of Siouan migration and development

becomes clear. In general the movements were westward and northwestward.

The Dakota tribes have not been traced far, though several of them, like

the Yanktonnai, migrated hundreds of miles from the period of first

observation to the end of the eighteenth century; then came the Mandan,

according to their tradition, and as they ascended the Missouri left

traces of their occupancy scattered over 1,000 miles of migration; next

the cegiha descended the Ohio and passed from the cis-Mississippi forests

over the trans-Mississippi plains--the stronger branch following the

Mandan, while the lesser at first descended the great river and then

worked up the Arkansas into the buffalo country until checked and diverted

by antagonistic tribes. So also the {~LATIN SMALL LETTER TURNED T~}{~LATIN SMALL LETTER OPEN O~}iwe're, first recorded near the

Mississippi, pushed 300 miles westward; while the Winnebago gradually

emigrated from the region of the Great Lakes into the trans-Mississippi

country even before their movements were affected by contact with white

men. In like manner the Hidatsa are known to have flowed northwestward

many scores of miles; and the Asiniboin swept more rapidly across the

plains from the place of their rebellion against the Yanktonnai, on the

Mississippi, before they found final resting place on the Saskatchewan

plains 500 or 800 miles away. All of the movements were consistent and,

despite intertribal friction and strife, measurably harmonious. The lines

of movement, so far as they can be restored, are in full accord with the

lines of linguistic evolution traced by Hale and Dorsey and Gatschet, and

indicate that some five hundred or possibly one thousand years ago the

tribesmen pushed over the Appalachians to the Ohio and followed that

stream and its tributaries to the Mississippi (though there are faint

indications that some of the early emigrants ascended the northern

tributaries to the region of the Great Lakes); and that the human flood

gained volume as it advanced and expanded to cover the entire region of

the plains. The records concerning the movement of this great human stream

find support in the manifest reason for the movement; the reason was the

food quest by which all primitive men are led, and its end was the

abundant fauna of the prairieland, with the buffalo at its head.



While the early population of the Siouan stock, when first the huntsmen

crossed the Appalachians, may not be known, the lines of migration

indicate that the people increased and multiplied amain during their long

journey, and that their numbers culminated, despite external conflict and

internal strife, about the beginning of written history, when the Siouan

population may have been 100,000 or more. Then came war against the whites

and the still more deadly smallpox, whereby the vigorous stock was checked

and crippled and the population gradually reduced; but since the first

shock, which occurred at different dates in different parts of the great

region, the Siouan people have fairly held their own, and some branches

are perhaps gaining in strength.





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