Topic: Piegan

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...

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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, will usually reply that they are Blackfoot Indians. Naturally, this may be due to foreign influence, the idea of subordination to the Blackfoot division having grown out of knowledge that such a classification was accepted by the dominant race. 1“All these Indians [Piegan, Blood; Blackfoot] are comprehended, by the Whites, under the general name of Blackfeet, which they themselves do not, however, extend so far, but know each of the three tribes only by its own proper name ” Maximilian, Prince of Wied. Early Western Travels, 1748-1846. Edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites. Cleveland, 1906, Vol 23, p. 96. In the sign language, there appears no distinct designation for the group as a whole. According to our information the signs are: – Blackfoot: Pass the thumb and extended fingers down...

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Treaty of October 17, 1855

Articles of agreement and convention made and concluded at the council-ground on the Upper Missouri, near the mouth of the Judith River, in the Territory of Nebraska, this seventeenth day of October, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five, by and between A. Cumming and Isaac I. Stevens, commissioners duly appointed and authorized, on the part of the United States, and the undersigned chiefs, headmen, and delegates of the following nations and tribes of Indians, who occupy, for the purposes of hunting, the territory on the Upper Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers, and who have permanent homes as follows: East of the Rocky Mountains, the Blackfoot Nation, consisting of the Piegan, Blood, Blackfoot, and Gros Ventres tribes of Indians. West of the Rocky Mountains, the Flathead Nation, consisting of the Flathead, Upper Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenay tribes of Indians, and the Nez Percé tribe of Indians, the said chiefs, headmen and delegates, in behalf of and acting for said nations and tribes, and being duly authorized thereto by them. Article 1. Peace, friendship and amity shall hereafter exist between the United States and the aforesaid nations and tribes of Indians, parties to this treaty, and the same shall be perpetual. Article 2. The aforesaid nations and tribes of Indians, parties to this treaty, do hereby jointly and severally covenant that peaceful relations shall likewise be maintained among themselves...

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Blackfeet Reservation

Blackfeet Agency Report of Special Agent Horatio L. Seward on the Indians of the Blackfeet reservation, Blackfeet agency, Montana, January 1891: Names of Indian tribes or parts of tribes occupying said reservation 1The statements giving tribes, areas, and laws for agencies are from the Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1890, pages 414-445. The population is the result of the census. Blackfoot, Blood, and Piegan. The unallotted area of this reservation is 1,760,000 acres, or 2,750 square miles, The reservation has not been surveyed or subdivided. It was established, altered, or changed by treaty of October 17, 1855...

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Houses of the Blackfoot Confederacy

The tribes forming this group are the Siksika, or Blackfeet proper, the Piegan, and the Kainah, or Bloods. Closely allied and associated with these were the Atsina, a branch of the Arapaho, but who later became incorporated with the Assiniboin. These tribes roamed over a wide territory of mountains, plains, and valleys. Early accounts of the manners and ways of life of the Blackfeet are to be found in the journals kept by traders belonging to the Hudson’s Bay Company, who penetrated the vast, unknown wilderness southwestward from York Factory daring the eighteenth century. Although the records are all...

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Siksika Tribe

Siksika Indians. A tribe of the Siksika confederacy (see below). They now (1905) live on a reservation in Alberta, Canada, on upper Bow River, and are officially known as the Running Rabbit and Yellow Horse bands. They were divided into the following subtribes or bands: Aisikstukiks, Apikaiyiks, Emi-tahpahksaiyiks, Motahtosiks, Puhksinahmahyiks, Saiyiks, Siksinokaks,Tsiniktsistsoyiks. Pop. 942 in 1902, 795 in 1909. Siksika Confederacy Siksika Confederacy, (‘black feet’, from siksinam ‘black’, ka the root of ogkatsh ‘foot’. The origin of the name is disputed, but it is commonly believed to have reference to the discoloring of their moccasins by the ashes of the prairie fires; it may possibly have reference to black-painted moccasins, such as were worn by the Pawnee, Sihasapa, and other tribes). An important Algonquian confederacy of the northern plains, consisting of three subtribes, the Sikisa proper or Blackfeet, the Kainah or Bloods, and the Piegan, the whole body being popularly known as Blackfeet. In close alliance with these are the Atsina and the Sarsi. Within the recent historic period, until gathered upon reservations, the Blackfeet held most of the immense territory stretching almost from North Saskatchewan River, Canada, to the southern head-streams of the Missouri in Montana, and from about longitude 105° to the base of the Rocky Mountains. A century earlier, or about 1790, they were found by Mackenzie occupying the upper and middle South Saskatchewan, with the...

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Piegan Tribe

Piegan Indians (Pikuni, referring to people having badly dressed robes). One of the 3 tribes of the Siksika or Blackfoot confederacy. Its divisions, as given by Grinnell, are: Ahahpitape, Ahkaiyikokakiniks, Kiyis, Sikutsipmaiks, Sikopoksimaiks, Tsiniksistsoyiks, Kutaiimiks, Ipoksimaiks, Silkokitsimiks, Nitawyiks, Apikaiviks, Miahwahpitsiks, Nitakoskitsipupiks, Nitikskiks, Inuksiks, Miawkinaiyiks, Esksinaitupiks, Inuksikahkopwaiks, Kahmitaiks, Kutaisotsiman, Nitotsiksisstaniks, Motwainaiks, Mokumiks, and Motahtosiks. Hayden 1Etlinog. and Philol. Mo. Val., 264, 1862 gives also Susksoyiks. In 1858 the Piegan in the United States were estimated to number 3,700. Hayden 3 years later estimated the population at 2,520. In 1906 there were 2,072 under the Blackfeet agency in Montana, and 493 under the Piegan agency in Alberta, Canada. Footnotes:   [ + ] 1. ↩ Etlinog. and Philol. Mo. Val., 264,...

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Blackfeet Religion

In ancient times the chief god of the Blackfeet their Creator was Na’pi (Old Man). This is the word used to indicate any old man, though its meaning is often loosely given as white. An analysis of the word Na’pi, however, shows it to be compounded of the word Ni’nah, man, and the particle a’pi, which expresses a color, and which is never used by itself, but always in combination with some other word. The Blackfoot word for white is Ksik-si-num’ while a’pi, though also conveying the idea of whiteness, really describes the tint seen in the early morning light when it first appears in the east the dawn not a pure white, but that color combined with a faint cast of yellow. Na’pi, therefore, would seem to mean dawn-light-color-man, or man-yellowish-white. It is easy to see why old men should be called by this latter name, for it describes precisely the color of their hair. Dr. Brinton, in his valuable work, American Hero Myths, has suggested a more profound reason why such a name should be given to the Creator. He says: “The most important of all things to life is light. This the primitive savage felt, and personifying it, he made light his chief god. The beginning of day served, by analogy, for the beginning of the world. Light comes before the Sun, brings it forth, creates...

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Blackfeet Medicine Pipes and Healing

The person whom the whites term “medicine man” is called by the Blackfeet Ni-namp’-skan. Mr. Schultz believes this word to be compounded of nin’nah, man, and namp’-ski, horned toad (Phrynosoma), and in this he is supported by Mr. Thomas Bird, a very intelligent half-breed, who has translated a part of the Bible into the Blackfoot language for the Rev. S. Trivett, a Church of England missionary. These gentlemen conclude that the word means “all-face man.” The horned toad is called namp’-ski, all-face; and as the medicine man, with his hair done up in a huge topknot, bore a certain resemblance to this creature, he was so named. No one among the Blackfeet appears to have any idea as to what the word means. The medicine pipes are really only pipe stems, very long, and beautifully decorated with bright-colored feathers and the fur of the weasel and other animals. It is claimed that these stems were given to the people long, long ago, by the Sun, and that those who own them are regarded by him with special favor. Formerly these stems were valued at from fifteen to thirty head of horses, and were bought and sold like any other property. When not in use, they were kept rolled up in many thicknesses of fine tanned fur, and with them were invariably a quantity of tobacco, a sacred whistle, two...

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Blackfeet Hunting Customs

The Blackfoot country probably contained more game and in greater variety than any other part of the continent. Theirs was a land whose physical characteristics presented sharp contrasts. There were far-stretching grassy prairies, affording rich pasturage for the buffalo and the antelope; rough breaks and bad lands for the climbing mountain sheep; wooded buttes, loved by the mule deer; timbered river bottoms, where the white-tailed deer and the elk could browse and hide; narrow, swampy valleys for the moose; and snow-patched, glittering pinnacles of rock, over which the sure-footed white goat took his deliberate way. The climate varied from arid to humid; the game of the prairie, the timber, and the rocks, found places suited to their habits. Fur-bearing animals abounded. Noisy hordes of wild fowl passed north and south in their migrations, and many stopped here to breed. The Blackfoot country is especially favored by the warm Chinook winds, which insure mild winters with but little snow; and although on the plains there is usually little rain in summer, the short prairie grasses are sweet and rich. All over this vast domain, the buffalo were found in countless herds. Elk, deer, antelope, mountain sheep, and bear without number were there. In those days, sheep were to be found on every ridge, and along the rough bad lands far from the mountains. Now, except a few in the “breaks”...

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Blackfeet of Today

In the olden times the Blackfeet were very numerous, and it is said that then they were a strong and hardy people, and few of them were ever sick. Most of the men who died were killed in battle, or died of old age. We may well enough believe that this was the case, because the conditions of their life in those primitive times were such that the weakly and those predisposed to any constitutional trouble would not survive early childhood. Only the strongest of the children would grow up to become the parents of the next generation. Thus a process of selection was constantly going on, the effect of which was no doubt seen in the general health of the people. With the advent of the whites, came new conditions. Various special diseases were introduced and swept off large numbers of the people. An important agent in their destruction was alcohol. In the year 1845, the Blackfeet were decimated by the small-pox. This disease appears to have traveled up the Missouri River; and in the early years, between 1840 and 1850, it swept away hosts of Mandans, Rees, Sioux, Crows, and other tribes camped along the great river. I have been told, by a man who was employed at Fort Union in 1842-43, that the Indians died there in such numbers that the men of the fort were...

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Piegan Indian Bands, Gens and Clans

Many tribes have sub-tribes, bands, gens, clans and phratry.  Often very little information is known or they no longer exist.  We have included them here to provide more information about the tribes. Piegan Indian Bands, Gens and Clans Ekatopistaks (‘half-dead meat’- Morgan ; the band that have finished packing Hayden). A division of the Piegan tribe of the Siksika (q. v. ), probably extinct. Emitaks (E’-mi-taks, dogs) .A society of the Ikunuhkahtsi, or All Comrades, in the Piegan tribe; it is composed of old men who dress like, and dance with and like, the Issui, though forming a different society. Grinnell, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, 221, 1892. Esksinaitupiks (worm people). A division of the Piegan. Etskainah (Ēts-kai’-nah, ‘horns’). A society of the Ikunuhkahtsi, or All Comrades, among the Siksika; it is obsolete among the southern Piegan, but still exists with the northern Piegan and the Kainah. It is regarded as having originated with the latter and extended to the other divisions. The Sinopah (Kit-fox) society among the southern Piegan is practically identical with it. The present Etskainah society is said to have taken on some of the functions of the Stumiks (Bulls), now extinct. The members carry a crooked staff and are supposed to have magical powers (Wissler, inf’n, 1906). See Grinnell, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, 221, 1892. Ipoksimaiks (I′-pok-si-rnaiks, ‘fat roasters’). A division of the Piegan. Issui (Is′-sui, tails that...

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