The Siouan Indians

McGee, W. J. The Siouan Indians. Published in the Fifteenth Annual Report of Bureau of Ethnology, 1893 – 1894. Washington. 1897.

The Siouan Mythology

It was partly through pioneer study of the Siouan Indians that the popular fallacy concerning the aboriginal “Great Spirit” gained currency; and it was partly through the work of Dorsey among the ȼegiha and Dakota tribes, first as a missionary and afterward as a linguist, that the early error was corrected. Among these tribes the …

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The Siouan Indians

Out of some sixty aboriginal stocks or families found in North America above the Tropic of Cancer, about five-sixths were confined to the tenth of the territory bordering Pacific ocean; the remaining nine-tenths of the land was occupied by a few strong stocks, comprising the Algonquian, Athapascan, Iroquoian, Shoshonean, Siouan, and others of more limited extent. The Indians of the Siouan stock occupied the central portion of the continent. They were preeminently plains Indians, ranging from Lake Michigan to the Rocky mountains, and from the Arkansas to the Saskatchewan, while an outlying body stretched to the shores of the Atlantic.

Siouan Somatology

Certain somatic features of the Siouan Indians, past and present, may be traced to their causes in custom and exercise of function; yet by far the greater number of the features are common to the American people or to all mankind, and are of ill-understood significance.

Siouan Principal Divisions

According to Dorsey, whose acquaintance with the Siouan Indians was especially close, the main portion of the Siouan stock, occupying the continental interior, comprised seven principal divisions (including the Biloxi and not distinguishing the Asiniboin), each composed of one or more tribes or confederacies, all defined and classified by linguistic, social, and mythologic relations; and …

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Siouan Organization

The demotic organization of the Siouan peoples, so far as known, is set forth in considerable detail in Mr Dorsey’s treatises and in the foregoing enumeration of tribes, confederacies, and other linguistic groups. Like the other aborigines north of Mexico, the Siouan Indians were organized on the basis of kinship, and were thus in the …

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Siouan Migration

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 …

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Siouan Institutions

Among civilized peoples, institutions are crystallized in statutes about nuclei of common law or custom; among peoples in the prescriptorial culture-stage statutes are unborn, and various mnemonic devices are employed for fixing and perpetuating institutions; and, as is usual in this stage, the devices involve associations which appear to be essentially arbitrary at the outset, …

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Siouan Habitat

Excepting the Asiniboin, who are chiefly in Canada, nearly all of the Siouan Indians are now gathered on the reservations indicated on earlier pages, most of these reservations lying within the aboriginal territory of the stock. At the advent of white men, the Siouan territory was vaguely defined, and its limits were found to vary …

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Siouan Culture

Since the culture of primitive people reflect environmental conditions with close fidelity, and since the Siouan Indians were distributed over a vast territory varying in climate, hydrography, geology, fauna, and flora, their industrial and esthetic arts can hardly be regarded as distinctive, and were indeed shared by other tribes of all neighboring stocks. The best …

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Mandan

The Mandan had a vague tradition of emigration from the eastern part of the country, and Lewis and Clark, Prince Maximilian, and others found traces of Mandan house-structures at various points along the Missouri; thus they appear to have ascended that stream before the advent of the ȼegiha. During the historical period their movements were …

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Hidatsa

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 …

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Dakota-Asiniboin

The Dakota are mentioned in the Jesuit Relations as early as 1639-40; the tradition is noted that the Ojibwa, on arriving at the Great Lakes in an early migration from the Atlantic coast, encountered representatives of the great confederacy of the plains. In 1641 the French voyageurs met the Potawatomi Indians flying from a nation …

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Chiwere Group

Ɉɔiwe’re is used in the following article to reference the Chiwere of the Handbook of American Indians. The ancestry and prehistoric movements of the tribes constituting the Ɉɔiwe’re group are involved in considerable obscurity, though it is known from tradition as well as linguistic affinity that they sprung from the Winnebago. Since the days of Marquette …

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