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The Siouan Indians   By: (1853-1912)

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The Siouan Indians

A Preliminary Sketch Fifteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1893 1894, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1897, pages 153 204

by W. J. McGee

Edition 1, (October 23, 2006)

CONTENTS

THE SIOUAN STOCK DEFINITION EXTENT OF THE STOCK TRIBAL NOMENCLATURE PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS PHONETIC AND GRAPHIC ARTS INDUSTRIAL AND ESTHETIC ARTS INSTITUTIONS BELIEFS THE DEVELOPMENT OF MYTHOLOGY THE SIOUAN MYTHOLOGY SOMATOLOGY HABITAT ORGANIZATION HISTORY DAKOTA ASINIBOIN ¢EGIHA {~LATIN SMALL LETTER TURNED T~}OIWE'RE WINNEBAGO MANDAN HIDATSA THE EASTERN AND SOUTHERN TRIBES GENERAL MOVEMENTS SOME FEATURES OF INDIAN SOCIOLOGY

THE SIOUAN INDIANS

A PRELIMINARY SKETCH(1)

BY W.J. McGEE

THE SIOUAN STOCK

DEFINITION

EXTENT OF THE STOCK

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. They were typical American barbarians, headed by hunters and warriors and grouped in shifting tribes led by the chase or driven by battle from place to place over their vast and naturally rich domain, though a crude agriculture sprang up whenever a tribe tarried long in one spot. No native stock is more interesting than the great Siouan group, and none save the Algonquian and Iroquoian approach it in wealth of literary and historical records; for since the advent of white men the Siouan Indians have played striking rôles on the stage of human development, and have caught the eye of every thoughtful observer.

The term Siouan is the adjective denoting the "Sioux" Indians and cognate tribes. The word "Sioux" has been variously and vaguely used. Originally it was a corruption of a term expressing enmity or contempt, applied to a part of the plains tribes by the forest dwelling Algonquian Indians. According to Trumbull, it was the popular appellation of those tribes which call themselves Dakota, Lakota, or Nakota ("Friendly," implying confederated or allied), and was an abbreviation of Nadowessioux , a Canadian French corruption of Nadowe ssi wag ("the snake like ones" or "enemies"), a term rooted in the Algonquian nadowe ("a snake"); and some writers have applied the designation to different portions of the stock, while others have rejected it because of the offensive implication or for other reasons. So long ago as 1836, however, Gallatin employed the term "Sioux" to designate collectively "the nations which speak the Sioux language,"(2) and used an alternative term to designate the subordinate confederacy i.e., he used the term in a systematic way for the first time to denote an ethnic unit which experience has shown to be well defined. Gallatin's terminology was soon after adopted by Prichard and others, and has been followed by most careful writers on the American Indians. Accordingly the name must be regarded as established through priority and prescription, and has been used in the original sense in various standard publications.(3)

In colloquial usage and in the usage of the ephemeral press, the term "Sioux" was applied sometimes to one but oftener to several of the allied tribes embraced in the first of the principal groups of which the stock is composed, i... Continue reading book >>




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