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Siouan Family

 Native American Nations | Linguistic Families                    

  • Sioux, Gallatin in Trans. and Coll. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 121, 306, 1836 (for tribes included see text below). Prichard, Phys. Hist. Mankind, V, 408, 1847 (follows Gallatin). Gallatin in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc., II, pt. 1, xcix, 77, 1848 (as in 1836). Berghaus (1845), Physik. Atlas, map 17, 1848. Ibid., 1852. Gallatin in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, III, 402, 1853. Berghaus, Physik. Atlas, map 72, 1887.
  • Sioux, Latham, Nat. Hist. Man, 333, 1850 (includes Winebagoes, Dakotas, Assineboins, Upsaroka, Mandans, Minetari, Osage). Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc. Lond., 58, 1856 (mere mention of family). Latham, Opuscula, 327, 1860. Latham, El. Comp. Phil, 458, 1862.
  • Catawbas, Gallatin in Trans. and Coll. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 87, 1836 (Catawbas and Woccons). Bancroft, Hist. U.S., III, 245, et map, 1840. Prichard, Phys. Hist. Mankind, V, 399, 1847. Gallatin in Trans. Am. Eth. Soc., II, pt. 1, xcix, 77, 1848. Keane, App. Stanford’s Comp. (Cent. and So. Am.), 460, 473, 1878.
  • Catahbas, Berghaus (1845), Physik. Atlas, map 17, 1848. Ibid., 1852.
  • Catawba, Latham, Nat. Hist. Man., 334, 1850 (Woccoon are allied). Gallatin in Schoolcraft, Ind. Tribes, III, 401, 1853.
  • Kataba, Gatschet in Am. Antiquarian, IV, 238, 1882. Gatschet, Creek Mig. Legend, I, 15, 1884. Gatschet in Science, 413, April 29, 1887.
  • Woccons, Gallatin in Trans. and Coll. Am. Antiq. Soc., II, 306, 1836 (numbered and given as a distinct family in table, but inconsistently noted in foot-note where referred to as Catawban family.)
  • Dahcotas, Bancroft, Hist. U.S., III, 243, 1840.
  • Dakotas, Hayden, Cont. Eth. and Phil. Missouri Ind., 232, 1862 (treats of Dakotas, Assiniboins, Crows, Minnitarees, Mandans, Omahas, Iowas).
  • Dacotah, Keane, App. to Stanford’s Comp. (Cent. and So. Am.), 460, 470, 1878. (The following are the main divisions given: Isaunties, Sissetons, Yantons, Teetons, Assiniboines, Winnebagos, Punkas, Omahas, Missouris, Iowas, Otoes, Kaws, Quappas, Osages, Upsarocas, Minnetarees.)
  • Dakota, Berghaus, Physik. Atlas, map 72, 1887.

Derivation: A corruption of the Algonkin word “nadowe-ssi-wag, “the snake-like ones,” “the enemies” (Trumbull).

Under the family Gallatin makes four subdivisions, viz, the Winnebagos, the Sioux proper and the Assiniboins, the Minnetare group, and the Osages and southern kindred tribes. Gallatin speaks of the distribution of the family as follows: The Winnebagoes have their principal seats on the Fox River of Lake Michigan and towards the heads of the Rock River of the Mississippi; of the Dahcotas proper, the Mendewahkantoan or “Gens du Lac” lived east of the Mississippi from Prairie du Chien north to Spirit Lake. The three others, Wahkpatoan, Wahkpakotoan and Sisitoans inhabit the country between the Mississippi and the St. Peters, and that on the southern tributaries of this river and on the headwaters of the Red River of Lake Winnipek. The three western tribes, the Yanktons, the Yanktoanans and the Tetons wander between the Mississippi and the Missouri, extending southerly to 43° of north latitude and some distance west of the Missouri, between 43° and 47° of latitude. The “Shyennes” are included in the family but are marked as doubtfully belonging here.

Owing to the fact that “Sioux” is a word of reproach and means snake or enemy, the term has been discarded by many later writers as a family designation, and “Dakota,” which signifies friend or ally, has been employed in its stead. The two words are, however, by no means properly synonymous. The term “Sioux” was used by Gallatin in a comprehensive or family sense and was applied to all the tribes collectively known to him to speak kindred dialects of a widespread language. It is in this sense only, as applied to the linguistic family, that the term is here employed. The term “Dahcota” (Dakota) was correctly applied by Gallatin to the Dakota tribes proper as distinguished from the other members of the linguistic family who are not Dakotas in a tribal sense. The use of the term with this signification should be perpetuated.

It is only recently that a definite decision has been reached respecting the relationship of the Catawba and Woccon, the latter an extinct tribe known to have been linguistically related to the Catawba. Gallatin thought that he was able to discern some affinities of the Catawban language with “Muskhogee and even with Choctaw,” though these were not sufficient to induce him to class them together. Mr. Gatschet was the first to call attention to the presence in the Catawba language of a considerable number of words having a Siouan affinity.

Recently Mr. Dorsey has made a critical examination of all the Catawba linguistic material available, which has been materially increased by the labors of Mr. Gatschet, and the result seems to justify its inclusion as one of the dialects of the widespread Siouan family.

Geographic Distribution
The pristine territory of this family was mainly in one body, the only exceptions being the habitats of the Biloxi, the Tutelo, the Catawba and Woccon.

Contrary to the popular opinion of the present day, the general trend of Siouan migration has been westward. In comparatively late prehistoric times, probably most of the Siouan tribes dwelt east of the Mississippi River.

The main Siouan territory extended from about 53° north in the Hudson Bay Company Territory, to about 33°, including a considerable part of the watershed of the Missouri River and that of the Upper Mississippi. It was bounded on the northwest, north, northeast, and for some distance on the east by Algonquian territory. South of 45° north the line ran eastward to Lake Michigan, as the Green Bay region belonged to the Winnebago.86

It extended westward from Lake Michigan through Illinois, crossing the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien. At this point began the Algonquian territory (Sac, etc.) on the west side of the Mississippi, extending southward to the Missouri, and crossing that river it returned to the Mississippi at St. Louis. The Siouan tribes claimed all of the present States of Iowa and Missouri, except the parts occupied by Algonquian tribes. The dividing line between the two for a short distance below St. Louis was the Mississippi River. The line then ran west of Dunklin, New Madrid, and Pemiscot Counties, in Missouri, and Mississippi County and those parts of Craighead and Poinsett Counties, Arkansas, lying east of the St. Francis River. Once more the Mississippi became the eastern boundary, but in this case separating the Siouan from the Muskhogean territory. The Quapaw or Akansa were the most southerly tribe in the main Siouan territory. In 167387 they were east of the Mississippi. Joutel (1687) located two of their villages on the Arkansas and two on the Mississippi one of the latter being on the east bank, in our present State of Mississippi, and the other being on the opposite side, in Arkansas. Shea says88 that the Kaskaskias were found by De Soto in 1540 in latitude 36°, and that the Quapaw were higher up the Mississippi. But we know that the southeast corner of Missouri and the northeast corner of Arkansas, east of the St. Francis River, belonged to Algonquian tribes. A study of the map of Arkansas shows reason for believing that there may have been a slight overlapping of habitats, or a sort of debatable ground. At any rate it seems advisable to compromise, and assign the Quapaw and Osage (Siouan tribes) all of Arkansas up to about 36° north.

On the southwest of the Siouan family was the Southern Caddoan group, the boundary extending from the west side of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, nearly opposite Vicksburg, Mississippi, and running northwestwardly to the bend of Red River between Arkansas and Louisiana; thence northwest along the divide between the watersheds of the Arkansas and Red Rivers. In the northwest corner of Indian Territory the Osages came in contact with the Comanche (Shoshonean), and near the western boundary of Kansas the Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Arapaho (the two latter being recent Algonquian intruders?) barred the westward march of the Kansa or Kaw.

The Pawnee group of the Caddoan family in western Nebraska and northwestern Kansas separated the Ponka and Dakota on the north from the Kansa on the south, and the Omaha and other Siouan tribes on the east from Kiowa and other tribes on the west. The Omaha and cognate peoples occupied in Nebraska the lower part of the Platte River, most of the Elkhorn Valley, and the Ponka claimed the region watered by the Niobrara in northern Nebraska.

There seems to be sufficient evidence for assigning to the Crows (Siouan) the northwest corner of Nebraska (i.e., that part north of the Kiowan and Caddoan habitats) and the southwest part of South Dakota (not claimed by Cheyenne89), as well as the northern part of Wyoming and the southern part of Montana, where they met the Shoshonean stock.90

The Biloxi habitat in 1699 was on the Pascogoula river,91 in the southeast corner of the present State of Mississippi. The Biloxi subsequently removed to Louisiana, where a few survivors were found by Mr. Gatschet in 1886.

The Tutelo habitat in 1671 was in Brunswick County, southern Virginia, and it probably included Lunenburgh and Mecklenburg Counties.92 The Earl of Bellomont (1699) says93 that the Shateras were “supposed to be the Toteros, on Big Sandy River, Virginia,” and Pownall, in his map of North America (1776), gives the Totteroy (i.e., Big Sandy) River. Subsequently to 1671 the Tutelo left Virginia and moved to North Carolina.94 They returned to Virginia (with the Sapona), joined the Nottaway and Meherrin, whom they and the Tuscarora followed into Pennsylvania in the last century; thence they went to New York, where they joined the Six Nations, with whom they removed to Grand River Reservation, Ontario, Canada, after the Revolutionary war. The last full-blood Tutelo died in 1870. For the important discovery of the Siouan affinity of the Tutelo language we are indebted to Mr. Hale.

The Catawba lived on the river of the same name on the northern boundary of South Carolina. Originally they were a powerful tribe, the leading people of South Carolina, and probably occupied a large part of the Carolinas. The Woccon were widely separated from kinsmen living in North Carolina in the fork of the Cotentnea and Neuse Rivers.

The Wateree, living just below the Catawba, were very probably of the same linguistic connection.

Principal Tribes
I. Dakota.
(A) Santee: include Mde´-wa-kan-ton-wan (Spirit Lake village, Santee Reservation, Nebraska), and Wa-qpe´-ku-te (Leaf Shooters); some on Fort Peck Reservation, Montana.

(B) Sisseton (Si-si´-ton-wan), on Sisseton Reservation, South Dakota, and part on Devil’s Lake Reservation, North Dakota.

(C) Wahpeton (Wa-qpe´-ton-wan, Wa-hpe-ton-wan); Leaf village. Some on Sisseton Reservation; most on Devil’s Lake Reservation.

(D) Yankton (I-hañk´-ton-wan), at Yankton Reservation, South Dakota.

(E) Yanktonnais (I-hañk´-ton-wan´-na); divided into Upper and Lower. Of the Upper Yanktonnais, there are some of the Cut-head band (Pa´-ba-ksa gens) on Devil’s Lake Reservation. Upper Yanktonnais, most are on Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota; Lower Yanktonnais, most are on Crow Creek Reservation, South Dakota, some are on Standing Rock Reservation, and some on Fort Peck Reservation, Montana.

(F) Teton (Ti-ton-wan); some on Fort Peck Reservation, Montana.

(a) Brulé (Si-tcan´-xu); some are on Standing Rock Reservation. Most of the Upper Brulé (Highland Sitcanxu) are on Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota. Most of the Lower Brulé (Lowland Sitcanxu) are on Lower Brulé Reservation, South Dakota.


(b) Sans Arcs (I-ta´-zip-tco´, Without Bows). Most are on Cheyenne Reservation. South Dakota; some on Standing Rock Reservation.


(c) Blackfeet (Si-ha´sa´-pa). Most are on Cheyenne Reservation; some on Standing Rock Reservation.


(d) Minneconjou (Mi´-ni-ko´-o-ju). Most are on Cheyenne Reservation, some are on Rosebud Reservation, and some on Standing Rock Reservation.


(e) Two Kettles (O-o´-he-non´-pa, Two Boilings), on Cheyenne Reservation.


(f) Ogalalla (O-gla´-la). Most on Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota; some on Standing Rock Reservation. Wa-za-za (Wa-ja-ja, Wa-zha-zha), a gens of the Oglala (Pine Ridge Reservation); Loafers (Wa-glu-xe, In-breeders), a gens of the Oglala; most on Pine Ridge Reservation; some on Rosebud Reservation.


(g) Uncpapa (1862-’63), Uncapapa (1880-’81), (Huñ´-kpa-pa), on Standing Rock Reservation.

II. Assinaboin (Hohe, Dakota name); most in British North America; some on Fort Peck Reservation, Montana.

III. Omaha (U-man´-han), on Omaha Reservation, Nebraska.

IV. Ponca (formerly Ponka on maps; Ponka); 605 on Ponca Reservation, Indian Territory; 217 at Santee Agency, Nebraska.

[K] and [S] represent inverted K and S.

V. Kaw ([K]an´-ze; the Kansa Indians); on the Kansas Reservation. Indian Territory.

VI. Osage; Big Osage (Pa-he´-tsi, Those on a Mountain); Little Osage (Those at the foot of the Mountain); Arkansas Band ([S]an-?su-?¢in, Dwellers in a Highland Grove), Osage Reservation, Indian Territory.

VII. Quapaw (U-?a´-qpa; Kwapa). A few are on the Quapaw Reserve, but about 200 are on the Osage Reserve, Oklahoma. (They are the Arkansa of early times.)

VIII. Iowa, on Great Nemaha Reserve, Kansas and Nebraska, and 86 on Sac and Fox Reserve, Indian Territory.

IX. Otoe (Wa-to´-qta-ta), on Otoe Reserve, Indian Territory.

X. Missouri or Missouria (Ni-u´-t´a-tci), on Otoe Reserve.

XI. Winnebago (Ho-tcañ´-ga-ra); most in Nebraska, on their reserve: some are in Wisconsin; some in Michigan, according to Dr. Reynolds.

XII. Mandan, on Fort Berthold Reserve, North Dakota.

XIII. Gros Ventres (a misleading name; syn. Minnetaree; Hi-da´-tsa); on the same reserve.

XIV. Crow (Absáruqe, Aubsároke, etc.), Crow Reserve, Montana.

XV. Tutelo (Ye-san´); among the Six Nations, Grand River Reserve, Province of Ontario, Canada.

XVI. Biloxi (Ta´-neks ha´-ya), part on the Red River, at Avoyelles, Louisiana; part in Indian Territory, among the Choctaw and Caddo.

XVII. Catawba.

XVIII. Woccon.

Population.—The present number of the Siouan family is about 43,400, of whom about 2,204 are in British North America, the rest being in the United States. Below is given the population of the tribes officially recognized, compiled chiefly from the Canadian Indian Report for 1888, the United States Indian Commissioner’s Report for 1889, and the United States Census Bulletin for 1890:

  Mdewakantonwan and Wahpekute (Santee) on Santee Reserve, Nebraska 869  
  At Flandreau, Dakota 292  
  Santee at Devil’s Lake Agency 54  
  Sisseton and Wahpeton on Sisseton Reserve, South Dakota  1,522  
  Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Cuthead (Yanktonnais) at Devil’s Lake Reservation  857  
  On Yankton Reservation, South Dakota 1,725  
  At Devil’s Lake Agency 123  
  On Fort Peck Reservation, Montana  1,121  
  A few on Crow Creek Reservation, South Dakota 10  
  A few on Lower Brulé Reservation, South Dakota 10 2,989
  Upper Yanktonnais on Standing Rock Reservation 1,786  
  Lower Yanktonnais on Crow Creek Reservation 1,058  
  At Standing Rock Agency 1,739 4,583
  Brulé, Upper Brulé on Rosebud Reservation 3,245  
  On Devil’s Lake Reservation 2  
  Lower Brulé at Crow Creek and Lower Brulé Agency  1,026  
  Minneconjou (mostly) and Two Kettle, on Cheyenne River Reserve 2,823  
  Blackfeet on Standing Rock Reservation 545  
  Two Kettle on Rosebud Reservation  315  
  Oglala on Pine Ridge Reservation  4,552  
  Wajaja (Oglala gens) on Rosebud Reservation 1,825  
  Wagluxe (Oglala gens) on Rosebud Reservation 1,353  
  Uncapapa, on Standing Rock Reservation 571  
  Dakota at Carlisle, Lawrence, and Hampton schools 169 16,426
Dakota in British North America (tribes not stated):    
  On Bird Tail Sioux Reserve, Birtle Agency, Northwest Territory 108  
  On Oak River Sioux Reserve, Birtle Agency  276  
  On Oak Lake Sioux Reserve, Birtle Agency  55  
  On Turtle Mountain Sioux Reserve, Birtle Agency  34  
  On Standing Buffalo Reserve, under Northwest Territory  184  
Muscowpetung’s Agency:    
  White Cap Dakota (Moose Woods Reservation) 105  
  American Sioux (no reserve) 95 857
  On Fort Belknap Reservation, Montana 952  
  On Fort Peck Reservation, Montana 719  
  At Devil’s Lake Agency 2  
The following are in British North America:    
  Pheasant Rump’s band, at Moose Mountain (of whom 6 at Missouri and 4 at Turtle Mountain) 69  
  Ocean Man’s band, at Moose Mountain (of whom 4 at Missouri) 68  
  The-man-who-took-the-coat’s band, at Indian Head (of whom 5 are at Milk River) 248  
  Bear’s Head band, Battleford Agency 227  
  Chee-pooste-quahn band, at Wolf Creek, Peace Hills Agency 128  
  Bear’s Paw band, at Morleyville  236  
  Chiniquy band, Reserve, at Sarcee Agency 134  
  Jacob’s band 227 3,008
  Omaha and Winnebago Agency, Nebraska  1,158  
  At Carlisle School, Pennsylvania  19  
  At Hampton School, Virginia 10  
  At Lawrence School, Kansas 10 1,197
  In Nebraska (under the Santee agent) 217  
  In Indian Territory (under the Ponka agent) 605  
  At Carlisle, Pennsylvania 1  
  At Lawrence, Kansas 24 847
  At Osage Agency, Indian Territory 1,509  
  At Carlisle, Pennsylvania 7  
  At Lawrence, Kansas 65 1,581
Kansa or Kaw:    
  At Osage Agency, Indian Territory 198  
  At Carlisle, Pennsylvania  1  
  At Lawrence, Kansas 15 214
  On Quapaw Reserve, Indian Territory 154  
  On Osage Reserve, Indian Territory  71  
  At Carlisle, Pennsylvania 3  
  At Lawrence, Kansas 4 232
  On Great Nemaha Reservation, Kansas 165  
  On Sac and Fox Reservation, Oklahoma 102  
  At Carlisle, Pennsylvania 1  
  At Lawrence, Kansas 5 273
  Oto and Missouri, in Indian Territory  358  
  In Nebraska  1,215  
  In Wisconsin (1889) 930  
  At Carlisle, Pennsylvania 27  
  At Lawrence, Kansas 2  
  At Hampton, Virginia  10 2,184
  On Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota 251  
  At Hampton, Virginia 1 252
  Hidatsa, on Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota 522  
  Crow, on Crow Reservation, Montana 2,287  
  Tutelo, about a dozen mixed bloods on Grand River Reserve, Ontario, Canada, and a few more near Montreal (?), say, about 20  
  In Louisiana, about  25  
  At Atoka, Indian Territory  1 26
  In York County, South Carolina, about 80  
  Scattered through North Carolina, about  40? 120?

Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891

Linguistic Families


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