Blackfoot Property Rights

When a man dies his property is raided by his relatives.┬áThe 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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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



Blackfoot Names

Each individual has a name. The name is single in that there is neither family nor band name; though some persons, especially men, possess several names, these are co-ordinate and never used jointly. The right to name the child rests with the father; though he rarely confers it in person unless a man of great



Blackfoot Marriage and Its Obligations

Before proceeding, it should be noted that the courtship discussed in the preceding has no necessary relation to marriage, and may continue secretly after one or both are married. Proposals frequently come from the parents of either the girl or the man and often without the knowledge of one or both of the contracting parties.



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