Social Organization of the Blackfeet, by George
The social organization of the Blackfeet is very simple. The three tribes
acknowledged a blood relationship with each other, and, while distinct,
still considered themselves a nation. In this confederation, it was
understood that there should be no war against each other. However, between
1860 and 1870, when the whiskey trade was in its height, the three tribes
were several times at swords' points on account of drunken brawls. Once,
about sixty or seventy years ago, the Bloods and Piegans had a quarrel so
serious that men were killed on both sides and horses stolen; yet this was
hardly a real war, for only a part of each tribe was involved, and the
trouble was not of long duration.
Each one of the Blackfoot tribes is subdivided into gentes, a gens being a
body of consanguineal kindred in the male line. It is noteworthy that the
Blackfeet, although Algonquins, have this system of subdivision, and it may
be that among them the gentes are of comparatively recent date. No special
duties are assigned to any one gens, nor has any gens, so far as I know,
any special "medicine" or "totem."
Below is a list of the gentes of each tribe.
Puh-ksi-nah'-mah-yiks Flat Bows.
Mo-tah'-tos-iks Many Medicines.
Siks-in'-o-kaks Black Elks.
E'-mi-tah-pahk-sai-yiks Dogs Naked.
Tsin-ik-tsis'-tso-yiks Early Finished Eating.
Siksin'-o-kaks Black Elks.
Ah-kwo'-nis-tsists Many Lodge Poles.
Ap-ut'-o-si'kai-nah North Bloods.
Is-ts'-kai-nah Woods Bloods.
In-uhk!-so-yi-stam-iks Long Tail Lodge Poles.
Nit'-ik-skiks Lone Fighters.
I-sis'-o-kas-im-iks Hair Shirts.
Ak-kai'-po-kaks Many Children.
Sak-si-nah'-mah-yiks Short Bows.
Ahk-o'-tash-iks Many Horses.
Ah'-pai-tup-iks Blood People.
Ah-kai-yi-ko-ka'-kin-iks White Breasts.
Ki'yis Dried Meat.
Sik-ut'-si-pum-aiks Black Patched Moccasins.
Sik-o-pok'-si-maiks Blackfat Roasters.
Tsin-ik-sis'-tso-yiks Early Finished Eating.
Kut'-ai-im-iks They Don't Laugh.
I'-pok-si-maiks Fat Roasters.
Sik'-o-kit-sim-iks Black Doors.
Ni-taw'-yiks Lone Eaters.
Mi-ah-wah'-pit-siks Seldom Lonesome.
Nit'-ik-skiks Lone Fighters.
I-nuks'-iks Small Robes.
Mi-aw'-kin-ai-yiks Big Topknots.
Esk'-sin-ai-tup-iks Worm People.
I-nuk-si'-kah-ko-pwa-iks Small Brittle Fat.
Kah'-mi-taiks Buffalo Dung.
Kut-ai-sot'-si-man No Parfleche.
Ni-tot'-si-ksis-stan-iks Kill Close By.
Mo-twai'-naiks All Chiefs.
Mo-kum'-iks Red Round Robes.
Mo-tah'-tos-iks Many Medicines.
It will be readily seen from the translations of the above that each gens
takes its name from some peculiarity or habit it is supposed to possess. It
will also be noticed that each tribe has a few gentes common to one or both
of the other tribes. This is caused by persons leaving their own tribe to
live with another one, but, instead of uniting with some gens of the
adopted tribe, they have preserved the name of their ancestral gens for
themselves and their descendants.
The Blackfoot terms of relationship will be found interesting. The
principal family names are as follows:—
My father Ni'-nah.
My mother Ni-kis'-ta.
My elder brother Nis'-ah
My younger brother Nis-kun'.
My older sister Nin'-sta.
My younger sister Ni-sis'-ah.
My uncle Nis'-ah.
My aunt Ni-kis'-ta.
My cousin, male Same as brother.
My cousin, female Same as sister.
My grandfather Na-ahks'.
My grandmother Na-ahks'.
My father-in-law Na-ahks'.
My mother-in-law Na-ahks'.
My son No-ko'-i.
My daughter Ni-tun'.
My son-in-law Nis'-ah.
My daughter-in-law Ni-tot'-o-ke-man.
My brother-in-law older than self Nis-tum-o'.
My brother-in-law younger than self Nis-tum-o'-kun.
My sister-in-law Ni-tot'-o-ke-man.
My second cousin Nimp'-sa.
My wife Nit-o-ke'-man.
My husband No'-ma.
As the members of a gens were all considered as relatives, however remote,
there was a law prohibiting a man from marrying within his gens. Originally
this law was strictly enforced, but like many of the ancient customs it is
no longer observed. Lately, within the last forty or fifty years, it has
become not uncommon for a man and his family, or even two or three
families, on account of some quarrel or some personal dislike of the chief
of their own gens, to leave it and join another band. Thus the gentes often
received outsiders, who were not related by blood to the gens; and such
people or their descendants could marry within the gens. Ancestry became no
longer necessary to membership.
As a rule, before a young man could marry, he was required to have made
some successful expeditions to war against the enemy, thereby proving
himself a brave man, and at the same time acquiring a number of horses and
other property, which would enable him to buy the woman of his choice, and
afterwards to support her.
Marriages usually took place at the instance of the parents, though often
those of the young man were prompted by him. Sometimes the father of the
girl, if he desired to have a particular man for a son-in-law, would
propose to the father of the latter for the young man as a husband for his
The marriage in the old days was arranged after this wise: The chief of one
of the bands may have a marriageable daughter, and he may know of a young
man, the son of a chief of another band, who is a brave warrior, of good
character, sober-minded, steadfast, and trustworthy, who he thinks will
make a good husband for his daughter and a good son-in-law. After he has
made up his mind about this, he is very likely to call in a few of his
close relations, the principal men among them, and state to them his
conclusions, so as to get their opinions about it. If nothing is said to
change his mind, he sends to the father of the boy a messenger to state his
own views, and ask how the father feels about the matter.
On receiving this word, the boy's father probably calls together his close
relations, discusses the matter with them, and, if the match is
satisfactory to him, sends back word to that effect. When this message is
received, the relations of the girl proceed to fit her out with the very
best that they can provide. If she is the daughter of well-to-do or wealthy
people, she already has many of the things that are needed, but what she
may lack is soon supplied. Her mother makes her a new cowskin lodge,
complete, with new lodge poles, lining, and back rests. A chiefs daughter
would already have plenty of good clothing, but if the girl lacks anything,
it is furnished. Her dress is made of antelope skin, white as snow, and
perhaps ornamented with two or three hundred elk tushes. Her leggings are
of deer skin, heavily beaded and nicely fringed, and often adorned with
bells and brass buttons. Her summer blanket or sheet is an elk skin, well
tanned, without the hair and with the dew-claws left on. Her moccasins are
of deer skin, with parfleche soles and worked with porcupine quills. The
marriage takes place as soon as these things can be provided.
During the days which intervene between the proposal and the marriage, the
young woman each day selects the choicest parts of the meat brought to the
lodge,—the tongue, "boss ribs," some choice berry pemmican or what
not,—cooks these things in the best style, and, either alone, or in
company with a young sister, or a young friend, goes over to the lodge
where the young man lives, and places the food before him. He eats some of
it, little or much, and if he leaves anything, the girl offers it to his
mother, who may eat of it. Then the girl takes the dishes and returns to
her father's lodge. In this way she provides him with three meals a day,
morning, noon, and night, until the marriage takes place. Every one in camp
who sees the girl carrying the food in a covered dish to the young man's
lodge, knows that a marriage is to take place; and the girl is watched by
idle persons as she passes to and fro, so that the task is quite a trying
one for people as shy and bashful as Indians are. When the time for the
marriage has come,—in other words, when the girl's parents are ready,—the
girl, her mother assisting her, packs the new lodge and her own things on
the horses, and moves out into the middle of the circle—about which all
the lodges of the tribe are arranged—and there the new lodge is unpacked
and set up. In front of the lodge are tied, let us say, fifteen horses, the
girl's dowry given by her father. Very likely, too, the father has sent
over to the young man his own war clothing and arms, a lance, a fine
shield, a bow and arrows in otter-skin case, his war bonnet, war shirt, and
war leggings ornamented with scalps,—his complete equipment. This is set
up on a tripod in front of the lodge. The gift of these things is an
evidence of the great respect felt by the girl's father for his
son-in-law. As soon as the young man has seen the preparations being made
for setting up the girl's lodge in the centre of the circle, he sends over
to his father-in-law's lodge just twice the number of horses that the girl
brought with her,—in this supposed case, thirty.
As soon as this lodge is set up, and the girl's mother has taken her
departure and gone back to her own lodge, the young man, who, until he saw
these preparations, had no knowledge of when the marriage was to take
place, leaves his father's lodge, and, going over to the newly erected one,
enters and takes his place at the back of it. Probably during the day he
will order his wife to take down the lodge, and either move away from the
camp, or at least move into the circle of lodges; for he will not want to
remain with his young wife in the most conspicuous place in the camp.
Often, on the same day, he will send for six or eight of his friends, and,
after feasting them, will announce his intention of going to war, and will
start off the same night. If he does so, and is successful, returning with
horses or scalps, or both, he at once, on arrival at the camp, proceeds to
his father-in-law's lodge and leaves there everything he has brought back,
returning to his own lodge on foot, as poor as he left it.
We have supposed the proposal in this case to come from the father of the
girl, but if a boy desires a particular girl for his wife, the proposal
will come from his father; otherwise matters are managed in the same way.
This ceremony of moving into the middle of the circle was only performed in
the case of important people. The custom was observed in what might be
called a fashionable wedding among the Blackfeet. Poorer, less important
people married more quietly. If the girl had reached marriageable age
without having been asked for as a wife, she might tell her mother that she
would like to marry a certain young man, that he was a man she could love
and respect. The mother communicates this to the father of the girl, who
invites the young man to the lodge to a feast, and proposes the match. The
young man returns no answer at the time, but, going back to his father's
lodge, tells him of the offer, and expresses his feelings about it. If he
is inclined to accept, the relations are summoned, and the matter talked
over. A favorable answer being returned, a certain number of horses—what
the young man or his father, or both together, can spare—are sent over to
the girl's father. They send as many as they can, for the more they send,
the more they are thought of and looked up to. The girl, unless her parents
are very poor, has her outfit, a saddle horse and pack horse with saddle
and pack saddle, parfleches, etc. If the people are very poor, she may
have only a riding horse. Her relations get together, and do all in their
power to give her a good fitting out, and the father, if he can possibly do
so, is sure to pay them back what they have given. If he cannot do so, the
things are still presented; for, in the case of a marriage, the relations
on both sides are anxious to do all that they can to give the young people
a good start in life. When all is ready, the girl goes to the lodge where
her husband lives, and goes in. If this lodge is too crowded to receive the
couple, the young man will make arrangements for space in the lodge of a
brother, cousin, or uncle, where there is more room. These are all his
close relations, and he is welcome in any of their lodges, and has rights
Sometimes, if two young people are fond of each other, and there is no
prospect of their being married, they may take riding horses and a pack
horse, and elope at night, going to some other camp for a while. This makes
the girl's father angry, for he feels that he has been defrauded of his
payments. The young man knows that his father-in-law bears him a grudge,
and if he afterwards goes to war and is successful, returning with six or
seven horses, he will send them all to the camp where his father-in-law
lives, to be tied in front of his lodge. This at once heals the breach, and
the couple may return. Even if he has not been successful in war and
brought horses, which of course he does not always accomplish, he from time
to time sends the old man a present, the best he can. Notwithstanding these
efforts at conciliation, the parents feel very bitterly against him. The
girl has been stolen. The union is no marriage at all. The old people are
ashamed and disgraced for their daughter. Until the father has been
pacified by satisfactory payments, there is no marriage. Moreover, unless
the young man had made a payment, or at least had endeavored to do so, he
would be little thought of among his fellows, and looked down on as a poor
creature without any sense of honor.
The Blackfeet take as many wives as they wish; but these ceremonies are
only carried out in the case of the first wife, the "sits-beside-him"
woman. In the case of subsequent marriages, if the man had proved a good,
kind husband to his first wife, other men, who thought a good deal of their
daughters, might propose to give them to him, so that they would be well
treated. The man sent over the horses to the new father-in-law's lodge, and
the girl returned to his, bringing her things with her. Or if the man saw a
girl he liked, he would propose for her to her father.
Among the Blackfeet, there was apparently no form of courtship, such as
prevails among our southern Indians. Young men seldom spoke to young girls
who were not relations, and the girls were carefully guarded. They never
went out of the lodge after dark, and never went out during the day, except
with the mother or some other old woman. The girl, therefore, had very
little choice in the selection of a husband. If a girl was told she must
marry a certain man, she had to obey. She might cry, but her father's will
was law, and she might be beaten or even killed by him, if she did not do
as she was ordered. As a consequence of this severity, suicide was quite
common among the Blackfoot girls. A girl ordered to marry a man whom she
did not like would often watch her chance, and go out in the brush and hang
herself. The girl who could not marry the man she wanted to was likely to
do the same thing.
The man had absolute power over his wife. Her life was in his hands, and if
he had made a payment for her, he could do with her about as he pleased. On
the whole, however, women who behaved themselves were well treated and
received a good deal of consideration. Those who were light-headed, or
foolish, or obstinate and stubborn were sometimes badly beaten. Those who
were unfaithful to their husbands usually had their noses or ears, or both,
cut off for the first offence, and were killed either by the husband or
some relation, or by the I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi for the second. Many of the
doctors of the highest reputation in the tribe were women. It is a common
belief among some of those who have investigated the subject that the wife
in Indian marriage was actually purchased, and became the absolute property
of her husband. Though I have a great respect for some of the opinions
which have been expressed on this subject, I am obliged to take an entirely
different view of the matter. I have talked this subject over many times
with young men and old men of a number of tribes, and I cannot learn from
them, or in any other way, that in primitive times the woman was purchased
from her father. The husband did not have property rights in his wife. She
was not a chattel that he could trade away. He had all personal rights,
could beat his wife, or, for cause, kill her, but he could not sell her to
All the younger sisters of a man's wife were regarded as his potential
wives. If he was not disposed to marry them, they could not be disposed of
to any other man without his consent.
Not infrequently, a man having a marriageable daughter formally gave her to
some young man who had proved himself brave in war, successful in taking
horses, and, above all, of a generous disposition. This was most often done
by men who had no sons to support them in their old age.
It is said that in the old days, before they had horses, young men did not
expect to marry until they had almost reached middle life,—from
thirty-five to forty years of age. This statement is made by Wolf Calf,
who is now very old, almost one hundred years, he believes, and can
remember back nearly or quite to the time when the Blackfeet obtained their
first horses. In those days, young women did not marry until they were
grown up, while of late years fathers not infrequently sell their daughters
as wives when they are only children.
The first woman a man marries is called his sits-beside-him wife. She is
invested with authority over all the other wives, and does little except to
direct the others in their work, and look after the comfort of her
husband. Her place in the lodge is on his right-hand side, while the others
have their places or seats near the door-way. This wife is even allowed at
informal gatherings to take a whiff at the pipe, as it is passed around the
circle, and to participate in the conversation.
In the old days, it was a very poor man who did not have three wives. Many
had six, eight, and some more than a dozen. I have heard of one who had
sixteen. In those times, provided a man had a good-sized band of horses,
the more wives he had, the richer he was. He could always find young men to
hunt for him, if he furnished the mounts, and, of course, the more wives he
had, the more robes and furs they would tan for him.
If, for any cause, a man wished to divorce himself from a woman, he had but
to send her back to her parents and demand the price paid for her, and the
matter was accomplished. The woman was then free to marry again, provided
her parents were willing.
When a man dies, his wives become the potential wives of his oldest
brother. Unless, during his life, he has given them outright horses and
other property, at his death they are entitled to none of his
possessions. If he has sons, the property is divided among them, except a
few horses, which are given to his brothers. If he has no sons, all the
property goes to his brothers, and if there are no brothers, it goes to the
nearest male relatives on the father's side.
The Blackfeet cannot be said to have been slave-holders. It is true that
the Crees call the Blackfeet women "Little Slaves." But this, as elsewhere
suggested, may refer to the region whence they originally came, though it
is often explained that it is on account of the manner in which the
Blackfeet treat their women, killing them or mutilating their features for
adultery and other serious offences. Although a woman, all her life, was
subject to some one's orders, either parent, relative, or husband, a man
from his earliest childhood was free and independent. His father would not
punish him for any misconduct, his mother dared not. At an early age he was
taught to ride and shoot, and horses were given to him. By the time he was
twelve, he had probably been on a war expedition or two. As a rule in
later times, young men married when they were seventeen or eighteen years
of age; and often they resided for several years with their fathers, until
the family became so large that there was not room for them all in the
There were always in the camp a number of boys, orphans, who became the
servants of wealthy men for a consideration; that is, they looked after
their patron's horses and hunted, and in return they were provided with
suitable food and clothing.
Among the Blackfeet, all men were free and equal, and office was not
hereditary. Formerly each gens was governed by a chief, who was entitled to
his office by virtue of his bravery and generosity. The head chief was
chosen by the chiefs of the gentes from their own number, and was usually
the one who could show the best record in war, as proved at the Medicine
Lodge, at which time he was elected; and for the ensuing year he was
invested with the supreme power. But no matter how brave a man might have
been, or how successful in war, he could not hope to be the chief either of
a gens or of the tribe, unless he was kind-hearted, and willing to share
his prosperity with the poor. For this reason, a chief was never a wealthy
man, for what he acquired with one hand he gave away with the other. It was
he who decided when the people should move camp, and where they should
go. But in this, as in all other important affairs, he generally asked the
advice of the minor chiefs.
[Footnote 1: See chapter on Religion.]
The I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi (All Comrades) were directly under the authority of
the head chief, and when any one was to be punished, or anything else was
to be done which came within their province as the tribal police, it was he
who issued the orders. The following were the crimes which the Blackfeet
considered sufficiently serious to merit punishment, and the penalties
which attached to them.
Murder: A life for a life, or a heavy payment by the murderer or his
relatives at the option of the murdered man's relatives. This payment was
often so heavy as absolutely to strip the murderer of all property.
Theft: Simply the restoration of the property.
Adultery: For the first offence the husband generally cut off the offending
wife's nose or ears; for the second offence she was killed by the All
Comrades. Often the woman, if her husband complained of her, would be
killed by her brothers or first cousins, and this was more usual than death
at the hands of the All Comrades. However, the husband could have her put
to death for the first offence, if he chose.
Treachery (that is, when a member of the tribe went over to the enemy or
gave them any aid whatever): Death at sight.
Cowardice: A man who would not fight was obliged to wear woman's dress, and
was not allowed to marry.
If a man left camp to hunt buffalo by himself, thereby driving away the
game, the All Comrades were sent after him, and not only brought him back
by main force, but often whipped him, tore his lodge to shreds, broke his
travois, and often took away his store of dried meat, pemmican, and other
The tradition of the origin of the I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi has elsewhere been
given. This association of the All Comrades consisted of a dozen or more
secret societies, graded according to age, the whole constituting an
association which was in part benevolent and helpful, and in part military,
but whose main function was to punish offences against society at large. All
these societies were really law and order associations. The
M[)u]t'-s[)i]ks, or Braves, was the chief society, but the others helped
A number of the societies which made up the I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi have been
abandoned in recent years, but several of them still exist. Among the
Pi-kun'-i, the list—so far as I have it—is as follows, the societies
being named in order from those of boyhood to old age:—
SOCIETIES OF THE ALL COMRADES
Ts[)i]-st[=i]ks', Little Birds, includes boys from
15 to 20 years old.
K[)u]k-k[=u][=i]cks', Pigeons, men who have been to war
T[)u]is-k[)i]s-t[=i]ks, Mosquitoes, men who are constantly
going to war
M[)u]t'-s[)i]ks, Braves, tried warriors.
Kn[)a]ts-o-mi'-ta, All Crazy Dogs, about forty years old.
Ma-stoh'-pa-ta-k[=i]ks Raven Bearers.
E'-mi-taks, Dogs, old men.
Dogs and Tails are
Is'-sui, Tails, but they dress alike
and dance together
[)E]ts-[=a]i'-nah, Horns, Bloods, obsolete among the
Sin'-o-pah, Kit-foxes, Piegans, but still exists
[)E]-[)i]n'-a-ke, Catchers or Soldiers, obsolete for 25-30 years,
St[)u]'m[=i]ks, Bulls, obsolete for 50 years.
There may be other societies of the All Comrades, but these are the only
ones that I know of at present. The M[=u]t'-s[)i]ks, Braves, and the
Knats-o-mi'-ta, All Crazy Dogs, still exist, but many of the others are
being forgotten. Since the necessity for their existence has passed, they
are no longer kept up. They were a part of the old wild life, and when the
buffalo disappeared, and the Blackfeet came to live about an agency, and to
try to work for a subsistence, the societies soon lost their importance.
The societies known as Little Birds, Mosquitoes, and Doves are not really
bands of the All Comrades, but are societies among the boys and young men
in imitation of the I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi, but of comparatively recent
origin. Men not more than fifty years old can remember when these societies
came into existence. Of all the societies of the I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi, the
Sin'-o-pah, or Kit-fox band, has the strongest medicine. This corresponds
to the Horns society among the Bloods. They are the same band with
different names. They have certain peculiar secret and sacred ceremonies,
not to be described here.
The society of the Stum'-[=i]ks, or Bulls, became obsolete more than fifty
years ago. Their dress was very fine,—bulls' heads and robes.
The members of the younger society purchased individually, from the next
older one, its rights and privileges, paying horses for them. For example,
each member of the Mosquitoes would purchase from some member of the Braves
his right of membership in the latter society. The man who has sold his
rights is then a member of no society, and if he wishes to belong to one,
must buy into the one next higher. Each of these societies kept some old
men as members, and these old men acted as messengers, orators, and so on.
The change of membership from one society to another was made in the
spring, after the grass had started. Two, three, or more lodge coverings
were stretched over poles, making one very large lodge, and in this the
ceremonies accompanying the changes took place.
In later times, the Braves were the most important and best known of any of
the All Comrades societies. The members of this band were soldiers or
police. They were the constables of the camp, and it was their duty to
preserve order, and to punish offenders. Sometimes young men would skylark
in camp at night, making a great noise when people wanted to sleep, and
would play rough practical jokes, that were not at all relished by those
who suffered from them. One of the forms which their high spirits took was
to lead and push a young colt up to the door of a lodge, after people were
asleep, and then, lifting the door, to shove the animal inside and close
the door again. Of course the colt, in its efforts to get out to its
mother, would run round and round the lodge, trampling over the sleepers
and roughly awakening them, knocking things down and creating the utmost
confusion, while the mare would be whinnying outside the lodge, and the
people within, bewildered and confused, did not know what the disturbance
was all about.
The Braves would punish the young men who did such things,—if they could
catch them,—tearing up their blankets, taking away their property, and
sometimes whipping them severely. They were the peace officers of the camp,
like the lari p[=u]k'[=u]s among the Pawnees.
Among the property of the Brave society were two stone-pointed arrows, one
"shield you don't sit down with," and one rattle. The man who carried this
rattle was known as Brave Dog, and if it passed from one member of the
society to another, the new owner became known as Brave Dog. The man who
received the shield could not sit down for the next four days and four
nights, but for all that time was obliged to run about the camp, or over
the prairie, whistling like a rabbit.
The societies known as Soldiers and Bulls had passed out of existence
before the time of men now of middle age. The pipe of the Soldier society
is still in existence, in the hands of Double Runner. The bull's head war
bonnet, which was the insignia of the Bulls society, was formerly in the
possession of Young Bear Chief, at present chief of the Don't Laugh band of
the Piegans. He gave it to White Calf, who presented it to a recent agent.
In the old days, and, indeed, down to the time of the disappearance of the
buffalo, the camp was always arranged in the form of a circle, the lodges
standing at intervals around the circumference, and in the wide inner space
there was another circle of lodges occupied by the chief of certain bands
of the I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi. When all the gentes of the tribe were present,
each had its special position in the circle, and always occupied it. The
lodge of the chief of the gens stood just within the circle, and about it
his people camped. The order indicated in the accompanying diagram
represents the Piegan camp as it used to stand thirty-five or forty years
ago. A number of the gentes are now extinct, and it is not altogether
certain just what the position of those should be; for while all the older
men agree on the position to be assigned to certain of the gentes, there
are others about which there are differences of opinion or much
uncertainty. It is stated that the gentes known as Seldom Lonesome, Dried
Meat, and No Parfleche belong to that section of the tribe known as North
Piegans, which, at the time of the first treaty, separated from the
Pi-kun'-i, and elected to live under British rule.
The lodges of the chiefs of the I-kun-uh'-kah-tsi which were within the
circle served as lounging and eating places for such members of the bands
as were on duty, and were council lodges or places for idling, as the
When the camp moved, the Blood gens moved first and was followed by the
White Breast gens, and so on around the circle to number 24. On camping,
the Bloods camped first, and the others after them in the order indicated,
number 24 camping last and closing up the circle. DIAGRAM OF OLD-TIME
PIEGAN CAMP, SAY 1850 TO 1855. TWENTY-FOUR LODGES OF CHIEFS OF THE GENTES
ABOUT THE OUTER CIRCLE.
The inner circle shows lodges of chiefs of certain bands of the
GENTES OF THE PI-KUN'-I
1. Blood People.
2. White Breasts.
3. Dried Meat.
4. Black Patched Moccasins.
5. Black Fat Roasters.
6. Early Finished Eating.
7. Don't Laugh.
8. Fat Roasters.
9. Black Doors.
10. Lone Eaters.
12. Seldom Lonesome.
14. Lone Fighters.
15. Small Robes.
16. Big Topknots.
17. Worm People.
18. Small Brittle Fat.
19. Buffalo Dung.
20. No Parfleche.
21. Kill Close Bye
22. All Chiefs.
23. Red Round Robes.
24. Many Medicines.
BANDS OF THE I-KUN-UH'-KAH-TSI
a. All Crazy Dogs.
e. Raven Bearers.