The Mdewakantonwan





The Mdewakantonwan were so called from their former habitat, Mdewakan, or

Mysterious lake, commonly called Spirit lake, one of the Mille Lacs in

Minnesota. The whole name means Mysterious Lake village, and the term was

used by De l'Isle as early as 1703. The Mdewakantonwan were the original

Santee, but the white people, following the usage of the Ihanktonwan,

Ihanktonwanna, and Titonwan, now extend that name to the Waqpekute,

Waqpetonwan, and Sisitonwan. The gentes of the Mdewakantonwan are as

follows:(2)



1. Kiyuksa, Breakers (of the law or custom); so called because members of

this gens disregarded the marriage law by taking wives within the gens.



2. Qe-mini-tcan (He-mini-can) or Qemnitca (Hemnica), literally,

Mountain-water-wood; so called from a hill covered with timber that

appears to rise out of the water. This was the gens of Red Wing, whose

village was a short distance from Lake Pepin, Minnesota.



3. Kap'oja (Kap{~COMBINING DOT BELOW~}oza), Not encumbered-with-much-baggage; Light Infantry.

Kaposia, or Little Crow's village, in Minnesota, in 1852.



4. Maxa-yute-cni (Maga-yute-'sni), Eats-no-geese.



5. Qeyata-otonwe (Heyata-otonwe), of-its-chief-Hake-wacte (Hake waste);

Qeyata-tonwan (Heyata-tonwan) of Reverend A.L. Riggs,

Village-back-from-the-river.



6. Oyate-citca (Oyate sica), Bad nation.



7. Tinta-otonwe (Tinta-otornwe), of Hake-wacte, or Tinta tonwan

(Tintatonwan) of A.L. Riggs, Village on-the-prairie (tinta).



These seven gentes still exist, or did exist as late as 1880.





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