Omaha Indian Sociology

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The real name of the Omahas is “Umanhan.” It is explained by a tradition obtained from a few members of the tribe. When the ancestors of the Omahas, Ponkas, Osages, and several other cognate tribes traveled down the Ohio to its mouth, they separated on reaching the Mississippi. Some went up the river, hence the name Umanhan, from kimanhan, “to go against the wind or stream.” The rest went down the river, hence the name Ugáqpa or Kwápa, from ugáqpa or ugáha, “to float down the stream.”

The tribes that went up the Mississippi were the Omahas, Ponkas, Osages, and Kansas. Some of the Omahas remember a tradition that their ancestors once dwelt at the place where Saint Louis now stands; and the Osages and Kansas say that they were all one people, inhabiting an extensive peninsula, on the Missouri River.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • Early migrations of the Cegiha tribes
    • Subsequent migrations of the Omahas
    • Present state of the Omahas
  • The State
    • Differentiation of organs in the State
    • State classes
      • Servants
    • Corporations
  • The Gentile System
    • Tribal circles
    • The Omaha tribal circle
      • Rules for pitching the tents
    • The sacred tents
    • The sacred pipes
      • Gạhige’s account of the tradition of the pipes
      • An-ba-hebe’s account of the same
    • Law of membership
    • The Wejin cte or Elk gens
    • The Iāke-sabe or Black shoulder gens
    • The Hañga gens
    • The ¢atada gens
      • The Wasabe-hit’ajĭ subgens
      • The Wajiñga-¢atajĭ subgens
      • The Teda-it’ajĭ subgens (the letter T should be upside down)
      • The Keĭn subgens (the letter K should be upside down)
    • The Kanze gens
    • The Man¢iñka-gaxe gens
    • The Tc-sinde gens (the letter T should be upside down)
    • The Ta-da or Deer-head gens (the letter T should be upside down)
    • The Iñg¢e-jide gens
    • The Ictasanda gens
  • The Kinship System And Marriage Laws
    • Classes of kinship
      • Consanguineous kinship
      • Affinities
  • Marriage laws
    • Whom a man or woman cannot marry
    • Whom a man or woman can marry
    • Importance of the subgentes
    • Remarriage
  • Domestic Life
    • Courtship and marriage customs
    • Domestic etiquette bashfulness
    • Pregnancy
    • Children
    • Standing of women in society
    • Catamenia
    • Widows and widowers
    • Eights of parents and others
    • Personal habits, politeness, etc
    • Meals
  • Visiting Customs
  • Industrial Occupations
    • Hunting customs
    • Fishing customs
    • Cultivation of the ground
    • Food and its preparation
    • Clothing and its preparation
  • Protective Industries
    • War customs
      • Defensive warfare
      • Offensive warfare
  • Amusements And Corporations
    • Games
    • Corporations
    • Feasting societies
    • Dancing societies
  • Regulative Industries
    • The government
    • Religion
  • The Law
    • Personal law
    • Property law
    • Corporation law
    • Government law
    • International law
    • Military law
    • Religious law

Read the Book

MLA Source Citation:

Fletcher, Alice C. Historical Sketch of the Omaha Tribe of Indians in Nebraska. Washington, Judd & Detweiler. 1885. Web. 26 January 2015. - Last updated on Jan 13th, 2015

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