Topic: Blackfoot

Pawnee Priests Making a Smoke Offering

Use Of Tobacco Among North American Indians

Tobacco has been one of the most important gifts from the New World to the Old. In spite of the attempts of various authors to prove its Old World origin there can be no doubt that it was introduced into both Europe and Africa from America. Most species of Nicotiana are native to the New World, and there are only a few species which are undoubtedly extra- American. The custom of smoking is also characteristic of America. It was thoroughly established throughout eastern North and South America at the time of the discovery; and the early explorers, from Columbus on, speak of it as a strange and novel practice which they often find it hard to describe. It played an important part in many religious ceremonies, and the beliefs and observances connected with it are in themselves proof of its antiquity. Hundreds of pipes have been found in the pre-Columbian mounds and village sites of the eastern United States and, although these remains cannot be dated, some of them must be of considerable age. In the southwestern United States the Basket Makers, an ancient people whose remains are found below those of the prehistoric Cliff Dwellers, were smoking pipes at a time which could not have been much later than the beginning of our era.

Columbus Landing on Hispaniola

The Discovery Of This Continent, it’s Results To The Natives

In the year 1470, there lived in Lisbon, a town in Portugal, a man by the name of Christopher Columbus, who there married Dona Felipa, the daughter of Bartolome Monis De Palestrello, an Italian (then deceased), who had arisen to great celebrity as a navigator. Dona Felipa was the idol of her doting father, and often accompanied him in his many voyages, in which she soon equally shared with him his love of adventure, and thus became to him a treasure indeed not only as a companion but as a helper; for she drew his maps and geographical charts, and also

Blackfoot Property Rights

When a man dies his property is raided by his relatives. The older sons usually take the bulk but must make concessions to all concerned. If the children are young, the father’s relatives take the property. In any event, nothing goes to the widow. She may, however, retain her own personal property to the extent of that brought with her at marriage. She may claim, though not always with success, the offspring of her own horses. These are horses given her by her relatives and friends. Though not clearly thought out, the feeling seems to be that as the widow returns

The Blackfoot Mother-in-Law Taboo

The preceding may be a phase of the well-known mother-in-law taboo. Among the Blackfoot, still, a man should not speak to his mother-in-law, or even look at her. The taboo is equally binding upon her. If one is-discovered about to enter the tipi where the other is present, some one gives warning in time to avoid the breach. Should the son-in-law enter, he must make her a present to mitigate her shame; should the mother-in-law offend, she must also make a small return. However, as usual with such taboos, there are ways of adjusting this restriction when necessary. If the

Blackfoot Tribal Divisions

As previously stated, there are three political divisions of the Blackfoot Indians. These were definite when the tribes first came to our knowledge and their origins have long had a place in mythology. The genesis of these divisions must forever remain obscure, though there are a few suggestions as to what may have been the order of differentiation. While the term Blackfoot has been used by explorers from the very first, it seems also to have some general significance among the Indians themselves. Thus, a Piegan will tell you that he is a Piegan, but if asked who are the Piegan,

Blackfoot Tribal Organization and Control

In a way, the band may be considered the social and political unit. There is, in a general sense, a band chief, but we have failed to find good grounds for assuming that he has any formal right to a title or an office. He is one of an indefinite number of men designated as headmen. These headmen may be considered as the social aristocracy, holding their place in society in the same indefinite and uncertain manner as the social leaders of our own communities. Thus, we hear that no Blackfoot can aspire to be looked upon as a head

Blackfoot Tales Of Adventure

Many Blackfoot men now but a half-century old took part in raids and fights, or went on the warpath, so that now, as of old, deeds of war are important social assets. In former times, only men of great deeds were called upon to perform certain public and ceremonial functions, a custom still in force but naturally less binding. While there are other social ideals, such as owning important medicines, becoming a headman and possessing wealth, that of being a successful warrior can scarcely be overestimated. The tale of adventure as told by the chief actor is the delight of

Blackfoot Family Relationship Terms

The most important relationships in life are given in the accompanying table where the equivalents in our nomenclature are given for the Piegan terms: first, if the person considered is male, second, if female. In general, it appears that the terms as applied by males to males are more restricted and definite than those of males to females and females to persons of both sexes, though in function the terms are so used as to be equally intelligible. Thus, while a girl uses the term, father, in addressing men married to her mother’s sisters, she does not confuse this relation

The Way Blackfoot Reckon Time

As far as our information goes, the time of day was noted by the sun and the night by the position of Ursa major, the Seven Stars. The year was designated by the winter, each winter constituting a new year. Two divisions or seasons were recognized; spring and autumn were regarded as originating with the whites. Each season was considered as composed of moons; the period during which the moon was invisible taken as the beginning of another moon. We found little consistency in the nomenclature of moons, our information implying that they were considered more by numerals than by

Blackfoot Oaths

The sun is called upon in the most solemn oaths. Thus, when women get into a dispute one may take the other by the chin and say “Now, we will talk to the sun. If what I say is not true, may I never live to put my foot into another snow,” etc. A man may appeal to the earth but more likely it is the sun, as, ” The sun hears me,” etc. Men usually make oaths over pipes. Thus, when a man tells an improbable story he may be asked if he will smoke upon its truth. This