Ancient Society. Lewis H. Morgan 1877

Chapter VI
Gentes in Other Tribes of the Ganowanian Family

When America was first discovered in its several regions, the Aborigines were found in two dissimilar conditions. First were the Village Indians, who depended almost exclusively upon horticulture for subsistence; such were the tribes in this status in New Mexico, Mexico and Central America, and upon the plateau of the Andes. Second, were the Non-horticultural Indians, who depended upon fish, bread-roots and game; such were the Indians of the Valley of the Columbia, of the Hudson’s Bay Territory, of parts of Canada, and of some other sections of America. Between these tribes, and connecting the extremes by insensible gradations, were the partially Village, and partially Horticultural Indians; such were the Iroquois, the New England and Virginia Indians, the Creeks, Choctas, Cherokees, Minnitarees, Dakotas and Shawnees. The weapons, arts, usages, inventions, dances, house architecture, form of government, and plan of life of all alike bear the impress of a common mind, and reveal, through their wide range, the successive stages of development of the same original conceptions. Our first mistake consisted in overrating the comparative advancement of the Village Indians; and our second in underrating that of the Non-horticultural, and of the partially Village Indians: whence resulted a third, that of separating one from the other and regarding them as different races. There was a marked difference in the conditions in which they were severally found; for a number of the Non-horticultural tribes were in the Upper Status of savagery; the intermediate tribes were in the Lower Status of barbarism, and the Village Indians were in the Middle Status. The evidence of their unity of origin has now accumulated to such a degree as to leave no reasonable doubt upon the question, although this conclusion is not universally accepted. The Eskimos belong to a different family.

In a previous work I presented the system of consanguinity and affinity of some seventy American Indian tribes; and upon the fact of their joint possession of the same system, with evidence of its derivation from a common source, ventured to claim for them the distinctive rank of a family of mankind, under the name of the Ganowanian, the ‘Family of the Bow and Arrow.’[1]

Having considered the attributes of the gens in its archaic form, it remains to indicate the extent of its prevalence in the tribes of the Ganowanian family. In this chapter the organization will he traced among them, confining the statements to the names of the gentes in each tribe, with their rules of descent and inheritance as to property and office. Further explanations will be added when necessary. The main point to be established is the existence or non-existence of the gentile organization among them. Wherever the institution has been found in these several tribes it is the same in all essential respects as the gens of the Iroquois, and therefore needs no further exposition in this connection. Unless the contrary is stated, it may be understood that the existence of the organization was ascertained by the author from the Indian tribe or some of its members. The classification of tribes follows that adopted in ‘Systems of Consanguinity.’

I. Hodenosaunian Tribes.

l. Iroquois. The gentes of the Iroquois have been considered.[2]

2. Wyandotes. This tribe, the remains of the ancient Hurons, is composed of eight gentes, as follows:

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Beaver. 4. Turtle. 5. Deer. 6. Snake. 7. Porcupine. 8. Hawk.[3]

Descent is in the female line with marriage in the gens prohibited. The office of sachem, or civil chief is hereditary in the gens, but elective among its members. They have seven sachems and even war-chiefs, the Hawk gens being now extinct. The office of sachem passes from brother to brother, or from uncle to nephew; but that of war chief was bestowed in reward of merit, and was not hereditary. Property was hereditary in the gens; consequently children took nothing from their father; but they inherited their mother’s effects. Where the rule is stated hereafter it will be understood that unmarried as well as married persons are included. Each gens has power to depose as well as elect its chiefs. The Wyandotes have been separated from the Iroquois at least four hundred years; but they still have Ave gentes in common, although their names have either changed beyond identification, or new names have been substituted by one or the other.

The Eries, Neutral Nation, Nottoways, Tutelos[4] and Susquehannocks[5] now extinct or absorbed in other tribes, belong to the same lineage. Presumably they were organized in gentes, but the evidence of the fact is lost.

II. Dakotian Tribes.

A large number of tribes are included in this great stock of the American aborigines. At the time of their discovery they had fallen into a number of groups, and their language into a number of dialects; but they inhabited, in the main, continuous areas. They occupied the head waters of the Mississippi, and both banks of the Missouri for more than a thousand miles in extent. In all probability the Iroquois, and their cognate tribes, were an offshoot from this stem.

1. Dakotas or Sioux. The Dakotas, consisting at the present time of some twelve independent tribes, have al/owed the gentile organization to fall into decadence. It seems substantially certain that they once possessed it because their nearest congeners, the Missouri tribes, are now thus organized. They have societies named after animals analogous to gentes, but the latter are now wanting. Carver, who was among them in 1767, remarks that “every separate body of Indians is divided into bands or tribes; which band or tribe forms a little community within the nation to which it belongs. As the nation has some particular symbol by which it, is distinguished from others, so each tribe has a badge from which it is denominated; as that of the eagle, the panther, the tiger, the buffalo, etc. One band of the Naudowissies. (Sioux) is represented by a Snake, another a Tortoise, a third a Squirrel, a fourth a Wolf, and a fifth a Buffalo. Throughout every nation they particularize themselves in the same manner, and the meanest person among them will remember his lineal descent,, and distinguish himself by his respective family."[6] He visited the eastern Dakotas on the Mississippi. From this specific statement I see no reason to doubt that the gentile organization was then in full vitality among them. When I visited the eastern Dakotas in 1861; and the western in 1862, I could find no satisfactory traces of gentes among them. A change in the mode of life among the Dakotas occurred between these dates when they were forced upon the plains, and fell into nomadic bands, which may, perhaps, explain the decadence of gentilism among them. Carver also noticed the two grades of chiefs among the western Indians, which have been explained as they exist among the Iroquois. “Every band,” he observes, “has a chief who is termed the Great Chief, or the Chief Warrior, and who is chosen in consideration of his experience in war, and of his approved valour, to direct their military operations, and to regulate all concerns belonging to that, department. But this chief is not considered the head of the state; besides the great warrior who is elected for his warlike qualifications, there is another who enjoys a pre-eminence as his hereditary right and has the more immediate management of their civil affairs. This chief might with greater propriety be denominated the sachem; whose assent is necessary to all conveyances and treaties, to which he affixes the mark of the tribe or nation."[7]

2. Missouri tribes. 1. Punkas. This tribe is composed of eight gentes, as follows:

1. Grizzly Bear. 2. Many People. 3. Elk. 4. Skunk. 5. Buffalo. 6. Snake. 7. Medicine. 8. Ice.[8]

In this tribe, contrary to the general rule, descent is in the male line, the children belonging to the gens of their father. Intermarriage in the gens is prohibited. The office of sachem is hereditary in the gens, the choice being determined by election; but the sons of a deceased sachem are eligible. It is probable that the change from the archaic form was recent, from the fact that among the Otoes and Missouris, two of the eight Missouri tribes, and also among the Mandans, descent is still in the female line. Property is hereditary in the gens.

2. Omahas. This tribe is composed of the following twelve gentes:

1. Deer. 2. Black. 3. Bird. 4. Turtle. 5. Buffalo, 6. Bear. 7. Medicine. 8. Kaw. 9. Head. I0. Red, 11. Thunder. 12. Many Seasons.[9]

Descent, inheritance, and the law of marriage are the same as among the Punkas.

3. Iowas. In like manner. the Iowas have eight gentes, as- follows:

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Cow, Buffalo. 4. Elk. 5. Eagle, 6. Pigeon. 7. Snake. 8. Owl.[10]

A gens of the Beaver Pa-kuh-tha once existed among the Iowas and Otoes, but it is now extinct. Descent, inheritance, and the prohibition of intermarriage in the gents are the same as among the Punkas.

4. Otoes and Missouris. These tribes have coalesced into one, and have the eight following gentes:

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Cow Buffalo. 4. Elk. 5. Eagle, 6. Pigeon. 7. Snake. 8. Owl.[11]

Descent among the Otoes and Missouris is in the female line, the children belonging to the gens of their mother. The office of sachem, and property are hereditary in the gens, in which intermarriage is prohibited.

5. Kaws. The Kaws (Kaw-za) have the following fourteen gentes:

1. Deer. 2. Bear. 3. Buffalo. 4. Eagle (white). 5. Eagle (black). 6. Duck. 7. Elk. 8. Raccoon. 9. Prairie Wolf. 10. Turtle. 11. Earth. 12. Deer. Tail. 13. Tent. 14. Thunder.[12]

The Kaws are among the wildest of the American aborigines, but are an intelligent and interesting people. Descent, inheritance and marriage regulations among them are the same as among the Punkas. It will be observed served that there are two Eagle gentes, and two of the Beer, which afford a good illustration of the segmentation of a gens; the Eagle gens having probably divided into two and distinguished themselves by the names of white and black. The Turtle will be found hereafter as a further illustration of the same fact. When I visited the Missouri tribes in 1859 and 1860, I was unable to reach the Osages and Quappas. The eight tribes thus named speak closely affiliated dialects of the Dakotian stock language, and the presumption that the Osages and Quappas are organized in gentes is substantially conclusive. In 1869, the Kaws, then much reduced, numbered seven hundred, which would give an average of but fifty persons to a gens. The home country of these several tribes was along the Missouri and its tributaries from the mouth of the Big Sioux River to the Mississippi, and down the west bank of the latter river to the Arkansas.

3. Winnebagoes. When discovered this tribe resided near the lake of their name in Wisconsin. An offshoot from the Dakotian stem, they were apparently following the track of the Iroquois eastward to the valley of the St. Lawrence, when their further progress in that direction was arrested by the Algonkin tribes between Lakes Huron and Superior. Their nearest affiliation is with the Missouri tribes. They have eight gentes as follows:

1. Wolf. — 2. Bear. 3. Buffalo. 4. Eagle. 5. Elk, -6. Deer. 7. Snake. 8. Thunder.[13]

Descent, inheritance and the law of marriage are the same among them as among the Punkas. It is surprising that so many tribes of this stock should have changed descent from the female line to the male, because when first known the idea of property was substantially undeveloped, or but slightly beyond the germinating stage, and could hardly, as among the Greeks and Romans, have been the operative cause. It is probable that it occurred at a recent period under American and missionary influences. Carver found traces of descent in the female line in 1787 among the Winnebagoes. “Some nations,” he remarks, “when the dignity is hereditary, limit the succession to the female line. On the death of a chief his sisters’ son succeeds him in preference to his own son; and if he happens to have no sister the nearest female relation assumes the dignity. This accounts for a woman being at the head of the Winnebago nation, which before I was acquainted with their laws, appeared strange to me.” In 1869, the Winnebagoes numbered fourteen hundred, which would give an average of one hundred and fifty persons to the gens.

4. Upper Missouri Tribes,

1. Mandans. In intelligence and in the arts of life, the Mandans were in advance of all their kindred tribes, for which they were probably indebted to the Minnitarees. They are divided into seven gentes as follows:

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Prairie Chicken. 4. Good Knife. 5. Eagle. 6. Flathead. 7. High Village.[14]

Descent is in the female line, with office and property hereditary in the gens. Intermarriage in the gens is not permitted. Descent in the female line among the Mandans would be singular where so many tribes of the same stock have it in the male, were it not in the archaic form from which the other tribes had but recently departed. It affords a strong presumption that it was originally in the female line in all the Dakotian tribes. This information with respect to the Mandans was obtained at the old Mandan Village in the Upper Missouri, in 1862, from Joseph Kip, whose mother was a Mandan woman. He confirmed the fact of descent by naming his mother’s gens, which was also his own.

2. Minnitarees. This tribe and the Upsarokas (Up- sar’-o-kas) or Crows, are subdivisions of an original people. They are doubtful members of this branch of the Ganowanian family: although from the number of words in their dialects and in those of the Missouri and Dakata tribes which are common, they have been placed with them linguistically. They have had an antecedent experience of which but little is known. Minnitarees carried horticulture, the timber-framed house, and a peculiar religious system into this area which they taught to the Mandans. There is a possibility that they are descendants of the Mound-Builders. They have the seven following gentes:

1. Knife. 2. Water. 3. Lodge. 4. Prairie Chicken. 5. Hill People. 6. Unknown Animal. 7. Bonnet.[16]

Descent is in the female line, intermarriage in the gens is forbidden, and the office of sachem as well as property is hereditary in the gens. The Minnitarees and Mandans now live together in the same village. In personal appearance they are among the finest specimens of the Red Man now living in any part of North America.

3. Upsarokas or Crows. This tribe has the following gentes:

1. Prairie Dog. 2. Bad Leggins. 3. Skunk. 4. Treacherous Lodges. 5. Lost Lodges. 6. Bad Honours. 7. Butchers. 8. Moving Lodges. 9. Bear’s Paw Mountain. 10. Blackfoot Lodges. 11. Fish Catchers. 12. Antelope. 13. Raven.[17]

Descent, inheritance and the prohibition of intermarriage in the gens, are the same as among the Minnitarees. Several of the names of the Crow gentes are unusual, and more suggestive of bands than of gentes. For a time I was inclined to discredit them. But the existence of the organization into gentes was clearly established by their rules of descent, and marital usages, and by their laws of inheritance with respect to property. My interpreter when among the Crows was Robert Meldrum, then one of the factors of the American Fur Company, who had lived with the Crows forty years, and was one of their chiefs. He had mastered the language so completely that he thought m it. The following special usages with respect to inheritance were mentioned by him. If a person to whom any article of property had been presented died with it in his possession, and the donor was dead, it reverted to the gens of the latter. Property made or acquired by a wife descended after her death to her children; while that, of her husband after his decease belonged to his gentile kindred. If a person made a present to a friend and died, the latter must perform some recognized act of mourning, such as cutting off the joint of a finger at the funeral, or surrender the property to the gens of his deceased friend.[18]

The Crows have a custom with respect to marriage, which I have found in at least forty other Indian tribes, which may be mentioned here, because some use will be made of it in a subsequent chapter. If a man marries the eldest daughter in a family he is entitled to all her sisters as additional wives when they attain maturity. He may waive the right, but if he insists, his superior claim would be recognized by her gens. Polygamy is allowed by usage among the American aborigines generally; but it was never prevalent to any considerable extent from the inability of persons to support more than one family. Direct proof of the existence of the custom first mentioned was afforded by Meldrum’s wife, then at the age of twenty-five. She was captured when a child in a foray upon the Blackfeet and became Meldrum’s captive. He induced his mother-in-law to adopt the child into her gens and family, which made the captive the younger sister of his then wife, and gave him the right to take her as another wife when she reached maturity. He availed himself of this usage of the tribe to make his claim paramount. This usage has a great antiquity in the human family. It is a survival of the old custom of punalua.

III. Gulf Tribes.

1. Muscokees or Creeks. The Creek Confederacy consisted of six Tribes; namely, the Creeks, Hitchetes, Yoochees, Alabamas, Coosatees, and Natches, all of whom spoke dialects of the same language, with the exception of the Natches, who were admitted into the confederacy after their overthrow by the French.

The Creeks are composed of twenty-two gentes as follows:

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Skunk. 4. Alligator. 5. Deer. 6. Bird. 7. Tiger. 8. Wind. 9. Toad. 10. Mole. 11. Fox. I2. Raccoon. 13. Fish. 14. Corn. 15. Potato. 16. Hickory Nut. 17. Salt. 18. Wild Cat. 19. (Sig’n Lost[19]). 20. (Sig’n Lost). 21. (Sig’n Lost,). 22. (Sig’n Lost[20]).

The remaining tribes of this confederacy are said to have had the organization into gentes, as the author was informed by the Rev. S. M. Loughridge, who was for many years a missionary among the Creeks, and who furnished the names of the gentes above given. He further stated that descent among the Creeks was in the female line; that the office of sachem and the property of deceased persons were hereditary in the gens, and that intermarriage in the gens was prohibited. At the present time the Creeks are partially civilized with a changed plan of life. They have substituted a political in place of the old social system, so that in a few years all traces of their old gentile institutions will have disappeared. In 1869 they numbered about fifteen thousand, which would give an average of five hundred and fifty persons to the gens.

2. Choctas. Among the Choctas the phratric organization appears in a conspicuous manner, because each phratry is named, and stands out plainly as a phratry. It doubtless existed in a majority of the tribes previously named, but the subject has not been specially investigated. The tribe of the Creeks consists of eight gentes arranged in two phratries, composed of four gentes each, as among the Iroquois.

I. Divided People. (Pirst Phratry)

1. Reed. 2. Law Okla. 3. Lulak. 4. Linoklusha.

II. Beloved People. (Second Phratry).

1. Beloved People. 2. Small People. 3. Large People. 4. Cray Fish.

The gentes of the same phratry could not intermarry; but the members of either of the first gentes could marry into either gens of the second, and vice versa. It shows that the Choctas, like the Iroquois, commenced with two gentes, each of which afterwards subdivided into four, and that the original prohibition of intermarriage in the gens had followed the subdivisions. Descent among the Choctas was in the female line. Property and the office of sachem were hereditary in the gens. In 1869 they numbered some twelve thousand, which would give an average of fifteen hundred persons to a gens. The foregoing information was communicated to the author by the late Dr. Cyrus Byington, who entered the missionary service in this tribe in 1820 while they still resided in their ancient territory east of the Mississippi, who removed with them to the Indian Territory, and died in the missionary service about the year 1868, after forty-five years of missionary labours. A man of singular excellence and purity of character, he has left behind him a name and a memory of which humanity may be proud.

A Chocta once expressed to Dr. Byington a wish that he might be made a citizen of the United States, for the reason that his children would then inherit his property instead of his gentile kindred under the old law of the gens. Chocta usages would distribute his property after his death among his brothers and sisters and the children of his sisters. He could, however, give his property to his children in his life- time, in which case they could hold it against the members of his gens. Many Indian tribes now have considerable property in domestic animals and in houses and lands owned by individuals, among whom the practice of giving it to their children in their life-time has become common to avoid gentile inheritance. As property increased in quantity the disinheritance of children began to arouse opposition to gentile inheritance; and in some of the tribes, that of the Choctas among the number, the old usage was abolished a few years since, and the right to inherit was vested exclusively in the children of the deceased owner. It came, however, through the substitution of a political system in the place of the gentile system, an elective council and magistracy being substituted in place of the old government of chiefs. Under the previous usages the wife inherited nothing from her husband, nor he from her; but the wife’s effects were divided among her children, and in default of them, among her sisters.

3. Chickasas. In like manner the Chickasas were organized in two phratries, of which the first contains four, and the second eight gentes, as follows:

I. Panther Phratry.

1. Wild Cat. 2. Bird. 3. Fish. 4. Deer.

II. Spanish Phratry.

1. Raccoon. 2. Spanish. 3. Royal. 4. Hush-ko-ni. 5. Squirrel. 6. Alligator. 7. Wolf. 8. Blackbird.[22]

Descent was in the female line, intermarriage in the gens was prohibited, and property as well as the office of sachem were hereditary in the gens. The above particulars were obtained from the Rev. Charles C. Copeland, an American missionary residing with this tribe. In 1869 they numbered some five thousand, which would give an average of about four hundred persons to the gens. A new gens seems to have been formed after their intercourse with the Spaniards commenced, or this name, for reasons, may have been substituted in the place of an original name. One of the phratries is also called the Spanish.

4. Cherokees. This tribe was anciently composed of ten gentes, of which two, the Acorn, Ah-ne-dsu-la, and the Bird, Ah-ne-dse-skwa, are now extinct. They are the following:

1. Wolf. 2. Red Paint. -3. Long Prairie. 4. Deaf. (A bird.) 5. Holly. 6. Deer. 7. Blue. 8. Long Hair.[23]

Descent is in the female line, and intermarriage in the gens- prohibited. In 1869 the Cherokees numbered fourteen thousand which would give an average of seventeen hundred and fifty persons to each gens. This is the largest number, so far as the fact is known, ever found in a single gens among the American aborigines. The Cherokees and Ojibwas at the present time exceed all the remaining Indian tribes within the United States in the number of persons speaking the same dialect. It may be remarked further, that it is not probable that there ever was at any time in any part of North America a hundred thousand Indians who spoke the same dialect. The Aztecs, Tezcucans and Tlascalans were the only tribes of whom so large a number could, with any propriety, be claimed; and with respect to them it is. difficult to perceive how the existence of so large a number in either tribe could be established, at the epoch of the Spanish Conquest, upon trustworthy evidence. The unusual numbers of the Creeks and Cherokees is due to the possession of domestic animals and a well-developed field agriculture. They are now partially civilized, having substituted an elective constitutional government in the place of the ancient gentes, under the influence of which the latter are rapidly falling into decadence.

5. Seminoles. This tribe is of Creek descent. They are said to be organized into gentes, but the particulars have not been obtained.

IV. Pawnee Tribes.

Whether or not the Pawnees are organized in gentes has not been ascertained. Rev. Samuel Allis, who had formerly been a missionary among them, expressed to the author his belief that they were, although he had not investigated the matter specially. He named the following gentes of which he believed they were composed:

1. Bear. 2. Beaver. 3. Eagle. 4. Buffalo. 5. Deer. 6. Owl.

I once met a band of Pawnees on the Missouri, but was unable to obtain an interpreter. The Arickarees, whose village is near that of the Minnitarees, are the nearest congeners of the Pawnees, and the same difficulty occurred with them. These tribes, with the Huecos and some two or three other small tribes residing on the Canadian river, have always lived west of the Missouri, and speak an independent stock language. If the Pawnees are organized in gentes, presumptively the other tribes are the same.

V. Algonkin Tribes.

At the epoch of their discovery this great stock of the American aborigines occupied the area from the Rocky Mountains to Hudson’s Bay, south of the Siskatchewun, and thence eastward to the Atlantic, including both shores of Lake Superior, except at its head, and both banks of the St. Lawrence below Lake Champlain. Their area extended southward along the Atlantic coast to North Carolina, and down the east bank of the Mississippi in Wisconsin and Illinois to Kentucky. Within the eastern section of this immense region the Iroquois and their affiliated tribes were an intrusive people, their only competitor for supremacy within its boundaries.

Gitchigamian Tribes[24].

1. Ojibwas. The Ojibwas speak the same dialect, and are organized in gentes, of which the names of twenty-three have been obtained without being certain that they include the whole number. In the Ojibwa dialect the word totem, quite as often pronounced dodaim, signifies the symbol or device of a gens; thus the figure of a wolf was the totem of the Wolf gens. From this Mr. Schoolcraft used the words ‘totemic system,’ to express the gentile organization, which would be perfectly acceptable were it not that we have both in the Latin and the Creek a terminology for every quality and character of the system which is already historical. It may be used, however, with advantage. The Ojibwas have the following gentes:

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Beaver. 4. Turtle (Mud). 5. Turtle (Snapping). 6. Turtle (Little). 7. Reindeer. 8. Snipe. 9; Crane. 10. Pigeon Hawk. 11. Bald Eagle. 12. Loon. 13. Duck. 14. Duck. 15. Snake. 16. Muskrat. 17. Marten. 18. Heron 19, Bull-head. 20. Carp. 21. Cat Fish. 22. Sturgeon. 23. Pike.[25]

Descent is in the male line, the children belonging to their father’s gens. There are several reasons for the inference that it was originally in the female line, and that the change was comparatively recent. In the first place, the Delawares, who are recognized by all Algonkin tribes as one of the oldest of their lineage, and who are styled ‘Grandfathers’ by all alike, still have descent in the female line. Several other Algonkin tribes have the same. Secondly, evidence still remains that within two or three generations back of the present, descent was in the female line, with respect to the office of chief.[26] Thirdly, American and missionary influences have generally opposed it. A scheme of descent which disinherited the sons seemed to the early missionaries, trained under very different conceptions, without justice or reason; and it is not improbable that in a number of tribes, the Ojibwas included, change was made under their teachings. And lastly, since several Algonkin tribes now have descent in the female line, it leads to the conclusion that it was anciently universal in the Ganowanian family, it being also the archaic form of the institution. Intermarriage in the gens is prohibited, and both property and office are hereditary in the gens. The children, however, at the present, time, take the most of it to the exclusion of their gentile kindred. The property and effects of mother pass to her children, and in default of them, to her sisters, own and collateral. In like manner the son may succeed his father in the office of sachem; but where there are several sons the choice is determined by the elective principle. The gentiles not only elect, but they also retain the power to depose. At the present time the Ojibwas number some sixteen thousand, which would give an average of about seven hundred to each gens.

2. Potawattamies. This tribe has fifteen gentes, as follows:

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Beaver. 4. Elk. 5. Loon. 6. Eagle. 7. Sturgeon. 8. Carp. 9. Bald Eagle. 10. Thunder. 11. Rabbit. 12. Crow. 13. Fox. 14. Turkey. 15. Black. Hawk.[27] Descent, inheritance, and the law of marriage are the same as among the Ojibwas.

3. Otawas.[28] The Ojibwas, Otawas and Potawattamies were subdivisions of an original tribe. When first known they were confederated. The Otawas were undoubtedly organized in gentes, but their names have not been obtained.

4. Crees. This tribe, when discovered, held the north- west shore of Lake Superior, and spread from thence to Hudson’s Bay, and westward to the Red River of the North. At a later day they occupied region of the Siskatchewun, and south of it. Like the Dakotas they have lost the gentile organization which presumptively once existed among them. Linguistically their nearest affiliation is with the Ojibwas, whom they closely resemble in manners and customs, and in personal appearance.

Mississippi Tribes. The western Algonkins, grouped under this name, occupied the eastern banks of the Mississippi m Wisconsin and Illinois, and extended southward into Kentucky, and eastward into Indiana.

1. Miamis. The immediate congeners of the Miamis, namely, the Weas, Piankeshaws, Peorias, and Kaskaskias, known at an early day, collectively, as the Illinois, are now few in numbers, and have abandoned their ancient usages for a settled agricultural life. Whether or not they were formerly organized in gentes has not been ascertained, but it is probable that they were. The Miamis have the following ten gentes:

1. Wolf. 2. Loon. 3. Eagle. 4. Buzzard. 5. Panther. 6. Turkey. 7. Raccoon. 8. Snow. 9. Sun. 10. Water.[29]

Under their changed condition and declining numbers the gentile organization is rapidly disappearing. When its decline commenced descent was in the male line, inter- marriage in the gens was forbidden, and the office of sachem together with property were hereditary in the gens.

2. Shawnees. This remarkable and highly advanced tribe, one of the highest representatives of the Algonkin stock, still retain their gentes, although they have substituted in place of the old gentile system a civil organization with a first and second head-chief and a council, each elected annually by popular suffrage. They have thirteen gentes, which they still maintain for social and genealogical purposes, as follows:

1. Wolf. 2. Loon. 3. Bear. 4. Buzzard. 5. Panther. 6. Owl. 7. Turkey. 8. Deer. 9. Raccoon. 10. Turtle. 11. Snake. 12. Horse. 13. Rabbit.[30]

Descent, inheritance, and the rule with respect to marrying out of the gens are same as among the Miamis. In 1869 the Shawnees numbered but seven hundred, which would give an average of about fifty persons to the gens. They once numbered three or four thousand persons, which was above the average among American Indian tribes.

The Shawnees had a practice, common also to the Miamis and Sauks and Foxes, of naming children into the gens of the father or of the mother or any other gens, under certain restrictions, which deserves a moment’s notice. It has been shown that among the Iroquois each gens had its own special names for persons which no other gens had a right to use.[31] This usage was probably general. Among Shawnees these names carried with them the rights of the gens to which, they belonged, so that the name determined the gens of the person. As the sachem must, in all cases, belong to gens over which he is invested with authority, it is unlikely that the change of descent from the female line to the male commenced in this practice; in the first place to enable a son to succeed his father, and in the second to enable children to inherit property from their father. If a son when christened received a name belonging to the gens of his father it would place him in his father’s gens and in the line of succession, but subject to the elective principle. The father, however, had no control over the question. It was left by the gens to certain persons, most of them matrons, who were to be consulted when children were to be named, with power to determine the name to be given. By some arrangement between the Shawnee gentes these persons had this power, and the name when conferred in the prescribed manner, carried the person into the gens to which the name belonged.

There are traces of the archaic rule of descent among the Shawnees, of which the following illustration may be given as it was mentioned to the author. La-ho-w eh, a sachem of the Wolf gens, when about to die, expressed a desire that a son of one of his sisters might succeed him in the place of his own son. But his nephew (Kos-kwa- the) was of the Fish and his son of the Rabbit gens, so that neither could succeed him without first being transferred, by a change of name, to the Wolf gens, in which the office was hereditary. His wish was respected. After his death the name of his nephew was changed to Tep-a-ta- go the’, one of the Wolf names, and he was elected to the office. Such laxity indicates a decadence of the gentile organization; but it tends to show that at no remote period descent among the Shawnees was in the female line.

3. Sauks and Foxes. These tribes are consolidated into one, and have the following gentes:

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Deer. 4. Elk. 5. Hawk. 6. Eagle. 7. Fish. 8. BufFalo. 9. Thunder. 10. Bone. 11. Fox. 12. Sea. 13. Sturgeon. 14. Big Tree.[32]

Descent, inheritance, and the rule requiring marriage out of the gens, are the same as among the Miamis. In 1869 they numbered but seven hundred, which would give an average of fifty persons to the gens. The number of gentes still preserved affords some evidence that they were several times more numerous within the previous two centuries.

4. Menominees and Kikapoos. These tribes, which are independent of each other, are organized in gentes, but their names have not been procured. With respect to the Menominees it may be inferred that until a recent period, descent was in the female line, from the following statement made to the author, in 1859, by Antoine Gookie, a member of this tribe. In answer to a question concerning the rule of inheritance, he replied: “If I should die, my brothers and maternal uncles would rob my wife and children of my property. We now expect that our children will inherit our effects, but there is no certainty of it. The old law gives my property to my nearest kindred who are not my children, but my brothers and sisters, and maternal uncles.” It shows that, property was hereditary in the gens, but, restricted to the agnatic kindred in the female line.

Rocky Mountain Tribes.

1. Blood Blackfeet. This tribe is composed of the five following gentes:

1. Blood. 2. Fish Eaters. 3. Skunk. 4. Extinct Animal, -5. Elk.[33]

Descent is in the male line, but intermarriage in the gens is not allowed.

2. Piegan Blackfeet. This tribe has the eight following gentes:

1. Blood. 2. Skunk. 3. Web Fat. 4. Inside Fat. 5, Conjurers. 6. Never Laugh. 7. Starving. 8. Half Dead Meat.[34]

Descent is in the male line, and intermarriage in the gens is prohibited. Several of the names above given are more appropriate to bands than to gentes; but, as the information was obtained from the Black-feet direct, through competent interpreters, (Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Culbertson, the latter a Blackfoot woman) I believe it reliable. It is possible that nicknames for gentes in some cases may have superseded the original names.

Atlantic Tribes.

1. Delawares. As elsewhere stated the Delawares are, in duration of their separate existence, one of the oldest of the Algonkin tribes. Their home country, when discovered, was the region around and north of Delaware Bay. They are comprised in three gentes, as follows:

1. Wolf. Took’-seat. Round Paw.

2. Turtle. Poke-koo-un’-go. Crawling.

3. Turkey. Pul-la’-cook. Non-chewing.

These subdivisions are in the nature of phratries, because each is composed of twelve sub-gentes, each having some of the attributes of a gens.[35] The names are personal, and mostly, if not in every case, those of females. As this feature was unusual I worked it out as minutely as possible at the Delaware reservation in Kansas, in 1860, with the — aid of William Adams an educated Delaware. It proved impossible to find the origin of these subdivisions, but they seemed to be the several eponymous ancestors from whom the members of gentes respectively derived their descent. It shows also the natural growth of the phratries from the gentes.

Descent among the Delawares is in the female line, which renders probable its ancient universality in this form in the Algonkin tribes. The office of sachem was hereditary in the gens, hut elective among its members, who had the power both to elect and depose. Property also was hereditary in the gens. Originally the members of the three original gentes could not, intermarry in their own gens; but in recent years the prohibition has been confined to the sub- gentes. Those of the same name in the Wolf gens, now partially become a phratry, for example, cannot intermarry, but those of different names marry. The practice of naming children into the gens of their father also prevails among the Delawares, and has introduced the same confusion of descents found among the Shawnees and Miamis. American civilization and intercourse necessarily administered a shock to Indian institutions under which the ethnic life of the people is gradually breaking down.

Examples of succession in office afford the most satisfactory illustrations of the aboriginal law of descent. A Delaware woman, after stating to the author that she, with her children, belonged to the Wolf gens, and her husband to the Turtle, remarked that when Captain Ketchum (Ta- whe’-la-na), late head chief or sachem of the Turtle gens, died, he was succeeded by his nephew, John Conner (Ta-ta- ne’-sha), a son of one of the sisters of the deceased sachem, who was also of the Turtle gens. The decedent left a son, but he was of another gens and consequently incapable of succeeding. With the Delawares, as with the Iroquois, the office passed from brother to brother, or from uncle to nephew, because descent was in the female line.

2. Munsees. The Munsees are an offshoot from the Delawares, and have the same gentes, the Wolf, the Turtle and the Turkey. Descent is in the female line, inter-marriage in the gens is not permitted, and the office of sachem, as well as property, is hereditary in the gens.

2. Mohegans. All of the New England Indians, south of the river Kennebeck, of whom the Mohegans formed a, part, were closely affiliated in language, and could under- stand each other’s dialects. Since the Mohegans are organized in gentes, there is a presumption that the Pequots, Narragansetts, and other minor bands were not only similarly organized, but had the same gentes. The Mohegans have the same three with the Delawares, the Wolf, the Turtle and the Turkey, each of which is composed of a number of gentes. It proves their immediate connection with the Delawares and Munsees by descent, and also reveals, as elsewhere stated, the process of subdivision by which an original gens breaks up into several, which remain united in a phratry. In this case also it may be seen how the phratry arises naturally under gentile institutions. It is rare among the American aborigines to find preserved the evidence of the segmentation of original gentes as clearly as in the present case.

The Mohegan phratries stand out more conspicuously Chan those of any other tribe of the American aborigines, because they cover the gentes of each, and the phratries must be stated to explain the classification of the gentes; but we know less about them than of those of the Iroquois. They are the following:

I. Wolf Phratry. Took-se-tuk.

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Dog. 4. Opossum.

II. Turtle Phratry. Tone-ba-o.

1. Little Turtle. 2. Mud Turtle. 3. Great Turtle. 4. Yellow Eel.

III. Turkey Phratry.

1. Turkey. 2. Crane. 3. Chicken.[36]

Descent is in the female line, intermarriage in the gens is forbidden, and the office of sachem is hereditary in the gens, the office passing either from brother to brother, or from uncle to nephew. Among the Pequots and Narragansetts descent was in the female line, as I learned from a Narragansett woman whom I met in Kansas.

4. Abenakis. The name of this tribe, Wa-be-na-kee, signifies ‘Rising Sun People.’[37] they affiliate more closely with the Micmacs than with the New England Indians south of the Kennebeck. They have fourteen gentes, as follows:

1. Wolf. 2. Wild Cat (Black) 3. Bear. 4. Snake. 5. Spotted Animal. 6. Beaver. 7. Cariboo. 8. Sturgeon. 9. Muskrat. 10. Pigeon Hawk. 11. Squirrel. 12. Spotted Frog. 13. Crane. 14. Porcupine.[38]

Descent is now in the male line, intermarriage in the gens was anciently prohibited, but the prohibition has now lost most of its force. The office of sachem was hereditary in the gens. It will be noticed that several of the above gentes are the same as among the Ojibwas.

VI. Athapasco-Apache Tribes.

Whether or not the Athapascans of Hudson’s Bay Territory and the Apaches of New Mexico, who are subdivisions of an original stock, are organized in gentes has not been definitely ascertained. When in the former territory, in 1861, I made an effort to determine the question among the Hare and Red Knife Athapascans, but was unsuccessful for want of competent interpreters; and yet, it seems probable that if the system existed, traces of it would have been discovered even with imperfect means of inquiry. The late Robert Kennicott made a similar attempt for author among the A-cha-o-ten-ne, or Slave Lake Athapascans, with no better success. He found special regulations with respect to marriage and the descent of the office of sachem, which seemed to indicate the presence of gentes, but he could not obtain satisfactory information. The Kutchin (Louchoux) of the Yukon River region are Athapascans. In a letter to the author by the Late George Gibbs, he remarks: “In a letter which I have from a gentleman at Fort Simpson, Mackenzie river, it is mentioned that among the Louchoux or Kutchin there are three grades or classes of society — undoubtedly a mistake for totem, though the totems probably differ in rank, as he goes on to say — that a man does not marry into his own class, but takes a wife from some other; and that a chief from the highest may marry with a woman of the lowest without loss of caste. The children belong to the grade of the mother; and the members of the same grade in the different tribes do not war with each ether.”

Among the Kolushes of the Northwest Coast, who affiliate linguistically though not closely with the Athapascans, organization into gentes exists. Mr. Gallatin remarks that they are like our own Indians, divided into tribes or clans; a distinction of which, according to Mr. Hale, there is no trace among the Indians of Oregon. The names of the tribe [gentes] are those of animals, namely: Bear, Eagle, Crow, Porpoise and Wolf...... The right of succession is in female line, from uncle to nephew, the principal chief excepted, who is generally the most powerful of the family. [39]

VII. Indian Tribes of the Northwest Coast.

In some of these tribes, beside the Kolushes, the gentile organization prevails. “Before leaving Puget’s Sound,” observes Mr. Gibbs, in a letter to the author, “I was fortunate enough to meet representatives of three principal families of what we call the Northern Indians, the inhabitants of Northwest Coast, extending from the Upper end of Vancouver’s Island into the Russian Possessions, and the confines of Esquimaux. From them I ascertained positively that the totemic system exists at least among these three. The families I speak of are, beginning at the northwest, Tlinkitt, commonly called the Stikeens, after one of their bands; the Tlaidas; and Chimsyans, called by Gallatin, Weas. There are four totems common to these; the Whale, the Wolf, the Eagle, and the Crow. Neither of these can marry into the same totem, although in a different nation or family. What is remarkable is that these nations constitute entirely different families. I mean by this that their languages are essentially different, having no perceptible analogy.” Mr. Dall, in his work on Alaska, written still later, remarks that “the Thlinkeets are divided into four totems: the Raven (Yehl), the Wolf (Kanu’kh), the Whale, and Eagle (Chethl)........ Opposite totems only can marry, and the child usually takes the mother’s totem.” [40]

Mr. Hubert H. Bancroft presents their organization still more fully, showing two hratries, and the gentes belonging to each. He remarks of the Thlinkeets that the “nation is separated into two great divisions or clans, one of which is called the Wolf and the other the Raven. The Raven trunk is again divided into sub-clans, called the Frog, the Goose, the Sea-Lion, the Owl, and the Salmon. The Wolf family comprises the Bear, Eagle, Dolphin, Shark, and Alca...... Tribes of the same clan may not war on each other, but at the same time members of the same clan may not marry with each other. Thus, the young Wolf warrior must seek his mate among the Ravens.”

The Eskimos do not belong to the Ganowanian family. Their occupation of the American continent in comparison with that of the latter family was recent or modern. They are also without gentes.

VIII. Salish, Sahaptin and Kootenay Tribes,

The tribes of the Valley of the Columbia, of whom those above named represent the principal stocks, are without the gentile organization. Our distinguished philologists, Horatio Hale and the late George Gibbs, both of whom devoted special attention to the subject, failed to discover any traces of the system among them. There are strong reasons for believing that this remarkable area was the nursery land of the Ganowanian family, from which, as initial point of their migrations, they spread abroad over both divisions of the continent. It seems probable, therefore, that their ancestors possessed the organization into gentes and that it fell into decay and finally disappeared.

IX. Shoshonee Tribes.

The Comanches of Texas, together with the Ute tribes, the Bonnaks, the Shoshonees, and some other tribes, belong to this stock. Mathew Walker, a Wyandote half-blood, informed the author in 1859 that he had lived among the Comanches, and that they had the following gentes:

1. Wolf. 2. Bear. 3. Elk. 4. Deer. 5. Gopher. 6. Antelope.

If the Comanches are organized in gentes, there is a presumption that the other tribes of this stock are the same.

This completes our review of the social system of the Indian tribes of North America, north of New Mexico. The greater portion of the tribes named were in the Lower Status of barbarism at the epoch of European discovery, and the remainder in the Upper Status of savagery. From the wide and nearly universal prevalence of the organization into gentes, its ancient universality among them with descent in the female line may with reason be assumed. Their system was purely social, having the gens as its unit, and the phratry, tribe and confederacy as the remaining members of the organic series. These four successive stages of integration and re-integration express the whole of their experience in the growth of the idea of government. Since the principal Aryan and Semitic tribes had the same organic series when they emerged from barbarism, the system was substantially universal in ancient society, and inferentially had a common origin. The punaluan group, hereafter to be described mare fully in connection with the growth of the idea of the family, evidently gave birth to the gentes, so that the Aryan, Semitic, Uralian, Turanian and Ganowanian families of mankind point with a distinctiveness seemingly unmistakable to a common punaluan stock, with the organization into gentes engrafted upon it, from which each and all were derived, and finally differentiated into families. This conclusion, I believe, will ultimately enforce its own acceptance, when future investigation has developed and verified the facts on a minuter scale. Such a great organic series, able to hold mankind in society through the latter part of the period of savagery, through the entire period of barbarism, and into the early part of the period of civilization, does not arise by accident, but had a natural development from pre-existing elements. Rationally and rigorously interpreted, it seems probable that it can be made demonstrative of the unity of origin of all the families of mankind who possessed the organization into gentes.

X. Village Indians.

l. Moqui Pueblo Indians. The Moqui tribes are still in undisturbed possession of their ancient communal houses, seven in number, near the Little Colorado in Arizona, once a part of New Mexico. They are living under their ancient institutions, and undoubtedly at the present moment fairly represent the type of Village Indian life which prevailed from Zuni to Cuzco at the epoch of Discovery. Zuni, Acoma, Taos, and several other New Mexican pueblos are the same structures which were found there by Coronado in 1540-1542. Notwithstanding their apparent accessibility we know in reality but little concerning their mode of life or their domestic institutions. No systematic investigation has ever been made. What little information has found its way into print is general and accidental.

The Moquis are organized in gentes, of which they have nine, as follows:

1. Deer. 2. Sand. 3. Rain. 4. Bear. 5. Hare. 6. Prairie Wolf. 7. Rattlesnake. 8. Tobacco Plant. 9. Reed Grass.

Dr. Ten Broeck, Assistant Surgeon, U. S. A., furnished to Mr. Schoolcraft the Moqui legend of their origin which he obtained at one of their villages. They said that “many years ago their Great Mother[42] brought from her home in the West nine races of men in the following form. First, the Deer race; second, the Sand race; third, the Water [Rain] race; fourth, the Bear race; fifth, the Hare race; sixth, the Prairie Wolf race; seventh, the Rattlesnake race; eighth, the Tobacco Plant race; and ninth, the Reed Grass race. Having planted them on the spot where their villages now stand, she transformed them into men who built up the present pueblos; and the distinction of race is still kept up. One told me that he was of the Sand race, another, the Deer, etc. They are firm believers in metempsychosis, and say that when they die they will resolve into their original forms and become bears, deer, etc., again.... The government is hereditary, but does not necessarily descend to the son of the incumbent; for if they prefer any other blood relative, he is chosen."[43] Having passed, in this case, from the Lower into the Middle Status of barbarism, and found the organization into gentes in full development, its adaptation to their changed condition is demonstrated. Its existence among the Village Indians in general is rendered probable; but from this point forward in the remainder of North, and in the whole of South America, we are left without definite information except with respect to the Lagunas. It shows how incompletely the work has been done in American Ethnology, that, the unit of their social system has been but partially discovered, ad its significance not understood. Still, there are traces of it, in the early Spanish authors, and direct knowledge of it in a few later writers, which when brought together will leave but little doubt of the ancient universal prevalence of the gentile organization throughout the Indian family.

There are current traditions in many gentes, like that of the Moquis, of the transformation of their first progenitors from the animal, or inanimate object, which became the symbol of the gens, into men and women. Thus, the Crane gens of the Ojibwas have a legend that a pair of cranes flew over the wide area from the Gulf to the Great Lakes an from the prairies of the Mississippi to the Atlantic in quest of a place where subsistence was most abundant, and finally selected the Rapids on the outlet of Lake Superior, since celebrated for its fisheries. Having alighted on the bank of the river and folded their wings the Great Spirit immediately changed them into a man and woman, who became the progenitors of the Crane gens of the Ojibwas. There are a number of gentes in the different tribes who abstain from eating the animal whose name they bear; but this is far from universal.

2. Lagunas. The Laguna Pueblo Indians are organized in gentes, with descent in female line, as appears from an address of Rev. Samuel Gorman before the Historical Society of New Mexico in 1860. “Each town is classed into tribes or families, and each of these groups is named after some animal, bird, herb, timber, planet, or one of the four elements. In the pueblo of Laguna, which is one of above one thousand inhabitants, there are seventeen of these tribes; some are called bear, some deer, some rattlesnake, some corn, some wolf, some water, etc., etc. The children are of the same tribe as their mother. And, according to ancient custom, two persons of the same tribe are forbidden to marry; but, recently, this custom begins to be less rigorously observed than anciently.”

“Their land is held in common, as the property of the community, but after a person cultivates a lot he has a personal claim to it, which he can sell to any one of the same community; or else when he dies it belongs to his widow or daughters; or, if he were a single man, it remains in his father’s family.[44]” That wife or daughter inherit from the father is doubtful.

3. Aztecs, Tezcucans and Tlacopans. The question of the organization of these, and the remaining Nahuatlac tribes of Mexico, in gentes will be considered in the next ensuing chapter.

4. Mayas of Yucatan. Herrera makes frequent reference to the ‘kindred,’ and in such a manner with regard to the tribes in Mexico, Central and South America as to imply the existence of a body of persons organized on the basis of consanguinity much more numerous than would be found apart from gentes. Thus: “He that killed a free man was to make satisfaction to the children and kindred[45].” It was spoken of the aborigines of Nicaragua, and had it been of the Iroquois, among whom the usage was the same, the term kindred would have been equivalent to gens. And again, speaking generally of the Maya Indians of Yucatan, he remarks that “when any satisfaction was to be made for damages, if he who was adjudged to pay was like to be reduced to poverty, the kindred contributed[46].” In this another gentile usage may be recognized. Again, speaking of the Aztecs; “if they were guilty, no favour or kindred could save them from death[47].” One more citation to the same effect may be made, applied to the Florida Indians who were organized in gentes. He observes “that they were extravagantly fond of their children, and cherished them, the parents and kindred lamenting such as died a whole year.[48] The early observers noticed, as a peculiarity of Indian society, that large numbers of persons were bound together by the bond of kin, and therefore the group came to be mentioned as ‘the kindred.” But they did not carry the scrutiny far enough to discover, what was probably the truth, that the kindred formed a gens, and, as such, the unit of their social system.

Herrera remarks further of the Mayas, that “they were wont to observe their pedigrees very much, and therefore thought themselves all related, and were helpful to one another..... They did not marry mothers, or sisters-in-law, nor any that bore the same name as their father, which was looked upon as unlawful[49].” The pedigree of an Indian under their system of consanguinity could have no significance apart from a gens; but leaving this out of view, there was no possible way, under Indian institutions, by which a father and his children could bear the same name except through a gens, which conferred a common gentile name upon all its members. It would also require descent in the male line to bring father and children into the same gens. The statement shows, moreover, that intermarriage in the gens among the Mayas was prohibited. Assuming the correctness of Herrera’s words, it is proof conclusive of the existence of gentes among the Mayas, with descent in the male line. Tylor, in his valuable work on the ‘Early History of Mankind,’ which is a repository of widely-drawn and well-digested ethnological informations, cites the same fact from another source, with the following remarks: “The analogy of the North American Indian custom is therefore with that of the Australian in making clanship on the female side a bar to marriage, but if we go down further south into Central America, the reverse custom, as in China, makes its appearance. Diego de Landa says of the people of Yucatan, that no one took a wife of his name, on the father’s side, for this was a very vile thing among them; but, they might marry cousins german on the mother’s side.[50]

XI. South American Indian Tribes.

Traces of the gens have been found in all parts of South America, as well as the actual presence of the Ganowanian system of consanguinity, but the subject has not been fully investigated. Speaking of the numerous tribes of the Andes brought by the Incas under a species of confederation, Herrera observes that “this variety of tongues proceeded from the nations being divided into races, tribes, or clans[51].” Here in the clans the existence of gentes is recognized. Mr. Tylor, discussing the rules with respect to marriage and descent, remarks that “further south, below the Isthmus, both the clanship and the prohibition reappear on the female side.” Bernau says that among the Arrawaks of British Guiana, “Caste is derived from the mother, and children are allowed to marry into their father’s family, but not into that of their mother.” Lastly, Father Martin Dobrizhoffer says that the Guaranis avoid, as highly criminal, marriage with the most distant relations; and speaking of the Abipones, he makes the following statement...... The Abipones, instructed by nature and the example of their ancestors, abhor the very thought of marrying any one related to them by the most distant tie of relationship[52].” These references to the social system of the aborigines are vague; but in the light of the facts already presented the existence of gentes with descent in the female line, and with intermarriage in the gens prohibited, renders them intelligible. Brett remarks of the Indian tribes in Guiana that they “are divided into families, each of which has a distinct name, as the Siwidi, Karuafudi, Onisidi, etc. Unlike our families, these all descend in the female line, and no individual of either sex is allowed to marry another of the same family name. Thus a woman of the Siwidi family bears the same name as her mother, but neither her father nor her husband can be of that family. Her children and the children of her daughters will also be called Siwidi, but both her sons and daughters are prohibited from an alliance with any individual bearing the same name; though they may marry into the family of their father if they choose. These customs are strictly observed, and any breach of them would be considered as wicked[53].’ In the family of this writer may at once be recognized the gens in its archaic form. All the South American tribes above-named, with the exception of the Andean, were when discovered either in the Lower Status of barbarism, or in the Status of savagery. Many of the Peruvian tribes concentrated under the government established by the Inca Village Indians were in the Lower Status of barbarism, if an opinion may be formed from the imperfect description of their domestic institutions found in Garcillasso de la Vega.

To the Village Indians of North and South America, whose indigenous culture had advanced them far into, and near the end of, the Middle Period of barbarism, our attention naturally turns for the transitional history of the gentes. The archaic constitution of the gens has been shown; its latest phases remain to be presented in the gentes of the Greeks and Romans; but the intermediate changes, both of descent and inheritance, which occurred in the Middle Period, are essential to a complete history of the gentile organization. Our information is quite ample with respect to the earlier and later condition of this great institution, but defective with respect to the transitional stage. Where the gentes are found in any tribe of mankind in their latest form, their remote ancestors must have possessed them in the archaic form; but historical criticism demands affirmative proofs rather than deductions. These proofs once existed among the Village Indians. We are now well assured that their system of government was social and not political. The upper members of the series, namely, the tribe and the confederacy, meet us at many points; with positive evidence of the gens, the unit of. the system, in a number of the tribes of Village Indians. But we are not able to place our hands upon the gentes among the Village Indians in general with the same precise information afforded by the tribes in the Lower Status of barbarism. The golden opportunity was presented to the Spanish conquerors and colonists, and lost, from apparent inability to understand a condition of society from which civilized man had so far departed in his onward progress. Without, a knowledge of the unit of their social system, which impress- ed its character upon the whole organism of society, the Spanish histories fail entirely in the portrayal of their governmental institutions.

A glance at the remains of ancient architecture in Central America and Peru sufficiently proves that the Middle Period of barbarism was one of great progress in human development, of growing knowledge, and of expanding intelligence. It was followed by a still more remarkable period in the Eastern hemisphere after the invention of the process of making iron had given that final great impulse to human progress which was to bear a portion of mankind into civilization. Our appreciation of the grandeur of man’s career in the Later Period of barbarism, when inventions and discoveries multiplied with such rapidity, would be intensified by an accurate knowledge of the condition of society in the Middle Period, so remarkably exemplified by the Village Indians. By a great effort, attended with patient labour, it may yet be possible to recover a large portion at least of the treasures of knowledge which have been allowed to disappear. Upon our present information the conclusion is warrantable that the American Indian tribes were universally organized in gentes at the epoch of European discovery, the few exceptions found not being sufficient to disturb the general rule.


1. “Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family.” (“Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge,” vol. xvii, 1871,. p. 131.)

2. Wolf, Tor-yoh’-no. 2. Bear, Ne-e-ar-guy’-ee.

3. Beaver, Non-gar-ne’e-ar-goh. 4. Turtle, Ga-ne-e-ar-teh-go’-wa. 5. Deer, Na-o’-geh. 6. Snipe, Doo-eese-doo-we. 7. Heron, Jo-as’-seh. 8. Hawk, Os-sweh-ga-da-gg’-ah.

3. Ah-na-rese’-kwa, Bone Gnawers. 2. Ah-nu-yeh, Tree Liver. 3. Tso-ta’-ee, Shy Animal. 4. Ge ah’-wish, Fine Land. S. Os ken’-o-toh, Roaming. 6. Sine-gain’-see, Creeping. 7. Ya-ra- hats’-see, Tall Tree. 8. Da-soak, Flying.

4. Mr. Horatio Hale has recently proved the connection of the Tutelos with the Iroquois.

5. Mr. Francis Parkman, author of the brilliant series of works on the colonization of America, was the first to establish the affiliation of the Susquehannocks with the Iroquois.

6. “Travels in North America,” Phila. ed., 1796, p, 164.

7. ‘Travels in North America,’ p. 165.

8. Wa-sa-be. 2. Be a-ghe-ta. 3. No-ko-poz-na. 4. Moh- kuh. 5. Wa-sha-ba. 6. Wa-zha-zha. 7. Noh-ga. 8. Wah-ga.

9. Wa zhese-ta. 2. Ink-ka-sa-ba. 3. La-ta-da. 4. Ka-ih, 5. Da-thun’-da. 6.Wa-sa-ba. 7. Hun’-ga. 8. Kun’-za. 9. Ta’-pa. 10. In-gra’-zhe-da. 11. Ish da’-sun-da. 12. O-non-e’-ka-ga-ha.

10. 1. Me-je’-ra-ja. 2. Too-num’-pe. 3. Ah’ro-wha. 4. Ho’-dash. 5. Cheh’-he-ta. 6. Lu’-chih. 7.waa keeh’. 8. Ma’-kotch.

‘H’ represents a deep sonant guttural. It is quite common in the dialects of the Missouri tribes and also in the Minnitaree and Crow.

11. 1. Me-je’ra-ja. 2. Moon’-cha, 3. Ah’-or-wha. 4. Hoo’-ma. 5. Kha’-a. 6. Lute’-ja. 7. Wa’-ka. 8. Ma’ kotch.

12. 1. Ta-ke-ka-she’-ga. 2. Sin’-ja-ye-ga. 3. Mo-e’-kwe ah ha. 4. Hu-e’-ya. 5. Hun-go tin’-ga. 6. Me-ha-shun’-ga. 7. 0’-ps. 8. hf,e-ka’. 9. Sho’-ma-koo-sa. 10. Do-ha-kel’-ya. 11. Mo.e’ ka-ne ka’-she ga. 12. Da-sin-ja-ha-ga. 13. Ic’-ha she. 14. Lo ne’-ka-she-ga.

13. 1. Shonk-chun-ga-da. 2. Hone-cha-da. 3. Cha-ra. 4. Wahk- cha-he-da. 5. Hoo-wun-na. 6. Cha-ra. 7. Wa-kon-na. 8. Wa- kon-cha-ra.

14. “Travels, loc. cit.,” p. 166.

15. 1. Ho-ra-ta-mu-make. 2. Ma to-no-make. 3. See- poosh ka. 4. Ta-na tsu-ka. 5. Ki-ta ne-make, 6. E-sta-pa. 7. Me- te-ah-ke.

16. Mit-che-ro-ka. 2. Min ne-pa-ta. 3. Ba ho-ha-ta. 4. Seech-ka-be-ruh pa-ka. S. E-tish-sho-ka. 6. Ah-nah ha na-me te. 7. E ku pa-be-ka.

17. 1. A-che-pa-be-cha. 2. E-sach-ka-buk. 3. Ho-ka-rut-cha. 4. Ash bot-chee ah. 5. Ah-shin-na-dg-ah. 6. Ese kep-ka-buk. 7 Oo-sa-bot-see. 8. Ah-ha-chick. 9. Ship-tet-za. 10. Ash-kane- na. 11. Boo-a da sha. 12. 0-hot-du-sha. 13. Pet chale ruh- pa-ka.

18. This practice as an act of mourning is very common among the Crows, and also as a religious offering when they hold a ‘Medicine Lodge,’ a great religious ceremonial. In a basket hung up in a Medicine Lodge for their reception as offerings, fifty, and sometimes a hundred finger joints, I have been told, are sometimes thus collected. At a Crow encampment on the Upper Missouri I noticed a number of women and men with their hands mutilated by this practice.

19. 1. Ya-ha. 2. No-kuse. 3. Ku-mu. 4. Kal-put-lu. 5. E- cho. 6. Tus-wa. 7. Kat-chu. 8. Ho-tor-lee. 9. So-pak-tu. 10. Tuk-ko. 11. Chu-la. 12. Wot.ko. 13. Hu hlo. 14. U-che. 15. Ah-ah. 16. O-che. 17. Ok-chun-wa. 18. Ku-wa ku-che. 19. Ta-mul kee. 20. Ak-tu-ya chul kee. 21. Is-fa-nul-ke. 22. Wa-hlak kul-kee.

20. Sign equals signification.


First. Ku-shap. Ok-la.

l. Kush-ik-sa. 2. Law-ok-la. 3. Lu-lak Ik-sa. 4. Lin-ok lu sha.

Second. Wa-tak-i Hu-la-ta.

1. Chu-fan-ik-sa. 2. Is ku-la-ni. 3. Chi to. 4. Shak-chuk la.


I. Koi.

1. Ko-in-chush. 2. Ha tak-fu-shi. 3. Nun ni. 4. Is-si.

II. Ish-pan-ee.

1. Sha-u ee. 2. Ish-pan-ee. 3. Ming-ko. 4. Hush-ko ni. 5. Tun-ni. 6. Ho-chon-chab-ba. 7. Na-sho-la. 8. Chuh-hla.

23. l. Ah-ne-whi-ya. 2. Ah-ne-who-the. 3. Ah-ne-ga-ta-ga-nih. 4. Dsu-ni li-a-na. 5. U-ni-sda-sdi. 6. Ah-nee-ka-wih 7. Ah riee-sa-hok-nih. 8. Ah-nu-ka lo-high. (Ah-nee signifies the plural.)

24. 1. From the Ojibwa, gi-tchi, great, and ga-me, lake, the aboriginal name of Lake Superior, and other great lakes.

25. 1. My-een gun. 2. Ma-kwa. 3. Ah-mik. 4. Me-she-ka. S. Mik-o-noh. 6. Me-skwa-da re. 7. Ah-dik. 8. Chu-e-skwe: ske-w’a. 9. O-jee-jok. 10. Ka.kake. 11. 0-me-gee-ze. 12. Mong. 13. Ah-ah-weh. 14. She-shebe. 15. Ke-na-big. 16. Wa-zhush. 17. Wa-be zhaze. 18. Moosh-ka-oo ze. 19. Ah-wah-sis-sa. 20. Na-ma-bin. 21. — 22..Na-ma. 23. Ke-no-zhe.

26. An Ojibwa sachem, Ke-we kons, who died about 1840, at the age of ninety years, when asked by my informant Why he did not retire from office and give place to his son, replied, that his son could not succeed him; that the right of succession belonged to his nephew, E-kwa ka-mik, who must have the office. This nephew was a son of one of his sisters. From this statement it follows that descent, anciently, and within a recent period, was in the female line. It does not follow from the form of the statement that the nephew would take by hereditary right but that he was in the line of succession, and his election was substantially assured.

27. 1. Mo-ah-ah. 2. M’-ko. 3. Muk. 4. Mis-sha-wa. 5. Ma-ak. 6. K’-nou, 7. N’-ma. 8. N’-ma-pe-na. 9.- M’-ge-ze-wa. 10. Che-kwa. 11. Wa bo zo. 1Z. Ka-kag-she. 13. Wake-shi. 14. Pen-na. 15. M’-ke-eash-she-ka-kah. 16. O-ta-wa.

28. Pronounced O-ta-wa.

29. 1. Mo-vrha-wa. 2. Mon-gwa. 3. Ken-da-wa. 4. Ah-pa- -kose e-a. 5. Ka-no-za-wa. 6. Pi-la-wa. 7. Ah-se-pon-na. 8. Mon-na-to. 9. Kul-swa. 10. (Not obtained.)

30. 1. M’wa-wa. 2. — Ma-gwa. 3. M’-kwa. 4, We-wa-see. 5. M’-se-pa-se. 6. M’-ath-wa. 7. Pa la-wa. 8. Psake-the. 9. Sha-pa-ta. 10. Na-ma-tha. 11. Ma-na-to. 12. Pe-sa-wa. 13. Pa-take-e-no-the.

31. In every tribe the name indicated the gens. Thus, among The Sauks and Foxes Long Horn is a name belonging to the Deer gens; Black Wolf, to the wolf. In the Eagle gens the following are specimen names: Ka-po-na, ‘Eagle drawing his nest;’ Ja-ka-kwa pe, ‘Eagle sitting with his head up;’ Pe-a ta-na-ka-hok, ‘Eagle flying over a limb.’

32. 1. Mo-wha-wis so-uk. 2. Ma-kwis-so-jik. 3. Pa-sha-ga- sa-wis-so-uk. 4. Ma-sha-wa-uk. 5. Ka-ka-kwis-so-uk. 6. Pa-mis so uk. 7. Na-ma-sis-so-uk. 8. Na-nus-sus-so-uk, Na na-ma ke’w-uk, 10. Ah-kuh ne-nak. 11. Wa-ko-a-wis-so-jik, 12. Ka-che- konea-we-so uk, 13. Na ma-we so-uk. 14. Ma-she ma-tak.

33. 1. Ki no. 2. Ma-me-o-ya. 3. Ah pe-ki. 4. A ne-pa. 5. Po- no-kix.

34. l. Ah-ah-pi ta-pe. 2. Ah-pe ki-e. 3, Ih po-se ma. 4. Ka- ka-po-ya, S. Mo-ta-to-sis. 6. Ka ti-ya-ye-mix. 7. Ka-ta ge- ma-ne. 8. E-ko to-pis-taxe.


1. Wolf. Took-seat.

l. ga-an-greet, Big Feet. 2. Wee-sow-het-ko, Yellow Tree. 3. Pa-sa-kun-a-mon, Pulling Corn. 4. We yar-nih-ka-to. Care Enterer. 5. Toosh-war ka-ma, Across the River. 6. 0 lum- a ne, Vermilion. 7. Pun-ar-you, Dog standing by Fireside. 8. Kwin eek-cha, Long Body. 9. Moon-har-tar-ne, Digging. 10. Non-har min, Pulling up Stream. 11. Long-ush-har-kar- to, Brush Log. 12. Maw-soo-toh, Bringing Along.

II. Turtle. Poke koo un-go.

l. O-ka ho-ki, Ruler. 2. Ta-ko-ong-o to, High Bank Shore. 3. See-har-ong-o-to, Drawing down Hill. 4. Ole-har-kar me- kar-to, Elector. 5. Ma-har-o-luk-ti, Brave. 6. Toosh-ki pa kwis-i, Green Leaves. 7. Tung-ul-ung-si, Smallest Turtle. 8. We-lun-ung-si, Little Turtle, 9. Lee kwin-a-i, Snapping Turtle. 10. Kwis-aese-kees-to, Deer. — The two remaining sub-gentes are extinct.

III. Turkey. Pul-la-ook.

1. Mo har-a-la, Big Bird. 2. Le-le-wa-you, Bird’s Cry. 3. Moo-kwung-wa-ho-ki, Eye Pain. 4. Moo-har-mo-wi kar-nu, Scratch the Path. 5. O-ping-ho-ki, Opossum Ground. 6. Muh- ho-we-ka-ken, Old Shin. 7. Tong-o-na-o-to, Drift Log. 8. Nool- a-mar lar-mo, Living in Water. 9. Muh-krent har-ne, Root Digger. 10. Muh-karm-huk-se, Red Face. 11. Koo-wa-ho-ke. Pine Region. 12. Oo-chukham, Ground Scratchar.


I. Took-se tuk.

1. Ne h-ja-o. 2. Ma-kwa. 3. N de-ya o. 4. Wa-pa kwe,

II. Tone ba-o.

1. Gak-po-mute. 2. -- 3. Tone-ba-o. 4. We-saw-ma-un,

III. Turkey.

1. Na-ah-ma-o. 2. Ga- h-ko. 3. --.

37. In ‘Systems of Consanguinity,’ the aboriginal names of the principal Indian tribes, with their significations, may be found.

38. 1. Mals sum. 2. Pis-suh. 3. Ah-weh.soos. 4. Skooke. 5. Ah lunk-soo. 6. Ta-ma-kwa. 7. Ma-guh-le-1oo. 8. Kja- bah-seh. 9. Moos-kwa-suh. 10. K’ che-ga-gong-go. 11. Meh- ko-a. 12. Che-gwa-lis. 13 Koos koo. 14. Ma-da- weh-soos.

39. Trans. Am, Eth. Soc., Intro., cxlix

40. “Alaska and its Resources,” p. 414.

41. “Native Races of the Paciae States,” 109.

42. The Shawnees formerly worshiped a Female Deity, called Go-gome tha-ma, ‘Our Grand Mother.’

43. “Schoolcraft’s Hist., etc., of Indian Tribes” iv. 86.

44. ‘Address,’ p. 12.

45. “General History of America,” Lond. ed., 1726. Stevens Trans., iii 299.

46. Ib., iv 171.

47. Ib., iii, 202

48. Ib., iv, 33.

49. “General History of America,” iv, 171.

50. “Early History of Mankind,” p. 287.

51. “Gen. Hist. of Amer.,” iv, 231.

52. “Early History of Mankind,” p. 287.

53. “Indian Tribes of Guiana,” p. 98; cited by Lubbock Origin of Civilization, p. 98.