Seventh Annual Report
Author: Various
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[Footnote 16: Hist. of the Ojebway Indians. London [1843?], p. 155.]

It is necessary that the candidate take a sweat-bath once each day, for four successive days, at some time during the autumn months of the year preceding the year in which the initiation is to occur. This form of preparation is deemed agreeable to Kitshi Manidø, whose favor is constantly invoked that the candidate may be favored with the powers supposed to be conferred in the last degree. As spring approaches the candidate makes occasional presents of tobacco to the chief priest and his assistants, and when the period of the annual ceremony approaches, they send out runners to members to solicit their presence, and, if of the fourth degree, their assistance.


The candidate removes to the vicinity of the Midɇwign so as to be able to go through the ceremony of purgation four times before the day of initiation. The sudatory having been constructed on the usual site, east of the large structure, he enters it on the morning of the fifth day preceding the initiation and after taking a sweat-bath he is joined by the preceptor, when both proceed to the four entrances of the Midɇwign and deposit at each a small offering of tobacco. This procedure is followed on the second and third days, also, but upon the fourth the presents are also carried along and deposited at the entrances, where they are received by assistants and suspended from the rafters of the interior. On the evening of the last day, the chief and officiating priests visit the candidate and his preceptor, in the sweat-lodge, when ceremonial smoking is indulged in followed by the recitation of Midɇ chants. The following (Pl. XVI, A) is a reproduction of the chant taught to and recited by the candidate. The original was obtained from an old mnemonic chart in use at Mille Lacs, Minnesota, in the year 1825, which in turn had been copied from a record in the possession of a Midɇ priest at La Pointe, Wisconsin. Many of the words are of an older form than those in use at the present day. Each line may be repeated ad libitum.

Ni-ka-ni-na, ni-ka-ni-na, ni-ka-ni-na, I am the Nikani, I am the Nikani, I am the Nikani, man-i-dø wig-i-wam win-di-ge-un. I am going into the sacred lodge. [The speaker compares himself to the Bear Manido, and as such is represented at the entrance of the Midɇwign.]

Ni-ka-ni-na, ni-ka-ni-na, ni-ka-ni-na, I am the Nikani, I am the Nikani, I am the Nikani, ni-kan-gi-nun-da w-mĭ-dŭk. I "suppose" you hear me. [The lines from the ear denotes hearing; the words are addressed to his auditors.]

W, he-wa-ke-wa ke-w, he-wa-ke-w, w. He said, he said. [Signifies that Kitshi Manidø, who is seen with the voice lines issuing from the mouth, and who promised the Anishinbɇg "life," that they might always live.]

Rest. A ceremonial smoke is now indulged in.

We-shki-nun-do-ni-ne, ke-nosh-ki-nun-do-ni-ne. This is the first time you hear it. [The lines of hearing are again shown; the words refer to the first time this is chanted as it is an intimation that the singer is to be advanced to the higher grade of the Midɇwiwin.]

Hwe-na-ni-ka he-na, he-nø mi-tɇ-wi[n]-wi[n] gi-ga-wa-pi-no-døn. You laugh, you laugh at the "grand medicine." [The arms are directed towards Kitshi Manidø, the creator of the sacred rite; the words refer to those who are ignorant of the Midɇwiwin and its teachings.]

Nun-te-ma-ne, hɇ, wi-na-nun-te-ma-ne ki-pi-nan. I hear, but they hear it not. [The speaker intimates that he realizes the importance of the Midɇ rite, but the uninitiated do not.]

Pe-ne-sŭi-a ke-ke-kwi-yan. I am sitting like a sparrow-hawk. [The singer is sitting upright, and is watchful, like a hawk watching for its prey. He is ready to observe, and to acquire, everything that may transpire in the Midɇ structure.]

Upon the conclusion of the chant, the assembled Midɇ smoke and review the manner of procedure for the morrow's ceremony, and when these details have been settled they disperse, to return to their wigiwams, or to visit Midɇ who may have come from distant settlements.

Early on the day of his initiation the candidate returns to the sudatory to await the coming of his preceptor. The gifts of tobacco are divided into parcels which may thus be easily distributed at the proper time, and as soon as the officiating priests have arrived, and seated themselves, the candidate produces some tobacco of which all present take a pipeful, when a ceremonial smoke-offering is made to Kitshi Manidø. The candidate then takes his midɇ drum and sings a song of his own composition, or one which he may have purchased from his preceptor, or some Midɇ priest. The following is a reproduction of an old mnemonic song which the owner, Sikassigĕ, had received from his father who in turn had obtained it at La Pointe, Wisconsin, about the year 1800. The words are archaic to a great extent, and they furthermore differ from the modern language on account of the manner in which they are pronounced in chanting, which peculiarity has been faithfully followed below. The pictographic characters are reproduced in Pl. XVI, B. As usual, the several lines are sung ad libitum, repetition depending entirely upon the feelings of the singer.

Hin-to-n-ga-ne o-sa-ga-tshɨ-wɇd o-do-zhi-tøn. The sun is coming up, that makes my dish. [The dish signifies the feast to be made by the singer. The zigzag lines across the dish denote the sacred character of the feast. The upper lines are the arm holding the vessel.]

Man-i-dø i-ya-nɇ, ish-ko-te-wi-wa-we-yan. My spirit is on fire. [The horizontal lines across the leg signify magic power of traversing space. The short lines below the foot denote flames, i.e., magic influence obtained by swiftness of communication with the manidøs.]

Kotshi-h-ya-nɇ, nɇ, ish-ki-to-ya-ni, nin-do-we-hɇ, wi-a-we-yan. I want to try you, I am of fire. [The zigzag lines diverging from the mouth signify voice, singing; the apex upon the head superior knowledge, by means of which the singer wishes to try his Midɇ sack upon his hearer, to give evidence of the power of his influence.]

A pause. Ceremonial smoking is indulged in, after which the chant is continued.

Ni-mɨ-ga-sim-ma man-i-dø, sa-ko-tshi-na. My mɨgis spirit, that is why I am stronger than you. [The three spots denote the three times the singer has received the mɨgis by being shot; it is because this spirit is within him that he is more powerful than those upon the outside of the wigiwam who hear him.]

Mɨ-ga-ye-nin en-dy-n, ya, hø, ya, man-i-dø-ya. That is the way I feel, spirit. [The speaker is filled with joy at his power, the mɨgis within him, shown by the spot upon the body, making him confident.]

Ya-gø-sha-hɨ, n, ha, ha, Ya-gø-sha-hi, man-i-dø-wɨ-yĭn. I am stronger than you, spirit that you are. [He feels more powerful, from having received three times the mɨgis, than the evil spirit who antagonizes his progress in advancement.]

Upon the completion of this preliminary by the candidate, the priests emerge from the wigiwam and fall in line according to their official status, when the candidate and preceptor gather up the parcels of tobacco and place themselves at the head of the column and start toward the eastern entrance of the Midɇwign. As they approach the lone post, or board, the candidate halts, when the priests continue to chant and drum upon the Midɇ drum. The chief Midɇ then advances to the board and peeps through the orifice near the top to view malevolent manidøs occupying the interior, who are antagonistic to the entrance of a stranger. This spot is assumed to represent the resting place or "nest," from which the Bear Manidø viewed the evil spirits during the time of his initiation by the Otter. The evil spirits within are crouching upon the floor, one behind the other and facing the east, the first being Mi-shi-bi-shi—the panther; the second, Me-shi-kĕ—the turtle; the third, kwin-go—gĭ—the big wolverine; the fourth, w-gŭsh—the fox; the fifth, ma-in-gŭn—the wolf; and the sixth, ma-kwa—the bear. They are the ones who endeavor to counteract or destroy the good wrought by the rites of the Midɇwiwin, and only by the aid of the good manidøs can they be driven from the Midɇwign so as to permit a candidate to enter and receive the benefits of the degree. The second Midɇ then views the group of malevolent beings, after which the third, and lastly the fourth priest looks through the orifice. They then advise the presentation by the candidate of tobacco at that point to invoke the best efforts of the Midɇ Manidøs in his behalf.

It is asserted that all of the malevolent manidøs who occupied and surrounded the preceding degree structures have now assembled about this fourth degree of the Midɇwign to make a final effort against the admission and advancement of the candidate: therefore he impersonates the good Bear Manidø, and is obliged to follow a similar course in approaching from his present position the entrance of the structure. Upon hands and knees he slowly crawls toward the main entrance, when a wailing voice is heard in the east which sounds like the word hⱥ[n], prolonged in a monotone. This is ge-gi-si-bi-ga-ne-dt manidø. His bones are heard rattling as he approaches; he wields his bow and arrow; his long hair streaming in the air, and his body, covered with mɨgis shells from the salt sea, from which he has emerged to aid in the expulsion of the opposing spirits. This being the information given to the candidate he assumes and personates the character of the manidø referred to, and being given a bow and four arrows, and under the guidance of his preceptor, he proceeds toward the main entrance of the structure while the officiating priests enter and station themselves within the door facing the west. The preceptor carries the remaining parcels of tobacco, and when the candidate arrives near the door he makes four movements with his bow and arrow toward the interior, as if shooting, the last time sending an arrow within, upon which the grinning spirits are forced to retreat toward the other end of the inclosure. The candidate then rushes in at the main entrance, and upon emerging at the south suddenly turns and again employs his bow and arrow four times toward the crowd of evil manidøs, who have rushed toward him during the interval that he was within. At the last gesture of shooting into the inclosure, he sends forward an arrow, deposits a parcel of tobacco and crouches to rest at the so-called "bear's nest." During this period of repose the Midɇ priests continue to drum and sing. Then the candidate approaches the southern door again, on all fours, and the moment he arrives there he rises and is hurried through the inclosure to emerge at the west, where he turns suddenly, and imitating the manner of shooting arrows into the group of angry manidøs within, he at the fourth movement lets fly an arrow and gets down into the western "bear's nest." After a short interval he again approaches the door, crawling forward on his hands and knees until he reaches the entrance, where he leaves a present of tobacco and is hastened through the inclosure to emerge at the northern door, where he again turns suddenly upon the angry spirits, and after making threatening movements toward them, at the fourth menace he sends an arrow among them. The spirits are now greatly annoyed by the magic power possessed by the candidate and the assistance rendered by the Midɇ Manidøs, so that they are compelled to seek safety in flight. The candidate is resting in the northern "bear's nest," and as he again crawls toward the Midɇwign, on hands and knees, he deposits another gift of a parcel of tobacco, then rises and is hurried through the interior to emerge at the entrance door, where he turns around, and seeing but a few angry manidøs remaining, he takes his last arrow and aiming it at them makes four threatening gestures toward them, at the last sending the arrow into the structure, which puts to flight all opposition on the part of this host of manidøs. The path is now clear, and after he deposits another gift of tobacco at the door he is led within, and the preceptor receives the bow and deposits it with the remaining tobacco upon the pile of blankets and robes that have by this time been removed from the rafters and laid upon the ground midway between the sacred Midɇ stone and the first Midɇ post.

The chief Midɇ priest then takes charge of the candidate, saying:

Mi-a-shi-gwa wi-ka-we-a-kwa-mŭs-sin-nŭk. Now is the time [to take] the path that has no end

Mɨ-a-shi-gwa wi-kan-do-we-n Now is the time I shall inform you [of]

mi-ga-ɨ-zhid wen- dzhi-bi-m-dis. that which I was told the reason I live.

To this the second Midɇ priest remarks to the candidate, Wa-shi-gn-do-we-an mi-gai-i-nŏk wa-ka-no-shi-dzin—which freely translated signifies: "The reason I now advise you is that you may heed him when he speaks to you." The candidate is then led around the interior of the inclosure, the assistant Midɇ fall in line of march and are followed by all the others present, excepting the musicians. During the circuit, which is performed slowly, the chief Midɇ drums upon the Midɇ drum and chants. The following, reproduced from the original, on Pl. XVII, B, consists of a number of archaic words, some of which are furthermore different from the spoken language on account of their being chanted, and meaningless syllables introduced to prolong certain accentuated notes. Each line and stanza may be repeated ad libitum.

Man-i-dø, hɇ, nɇ-yɇ, man-i-dø, hɇ, nɇ, yɇ, ɇn-da-na-bi-yĕn wen-dø-bi-yĕn. A spirit, a spirit, you who sit there, who sit there. [The singer makes a spirit of the candidate by thus giving him new life, by again shooting into his body the sacred mɨgis. The disk is the dish for feast of spirits in the dzhibai midɇwign— "Ghost Lodge," the arms reaching towards it denoting the spirits who take food therefrom. The signification is that the candidate will be enabled to invoke and commune with the spirits of departed Midɇ, and to learn of hidden powers.]

He-ha-wa-ni, yɇ, he-ha-wa-ni, yɇ, na-bi-nesh-ga-na-bi, hɨ, hɇ. [These words were chanted, while the following are those as spoken, apart from the music.] -wan-ø-de-no-wĭn nɨ-bi-dĕsh-ka-wĭn un-de-no-wĭn. The fog wind goes from place to place whence the wind blows. [The reason of the representation of a human form was not satisfactorily explained. The preceptor felt confident, however, that it signified a manɨdø who controls the fog, one different from one of the a-na-mi-ki, or Thunderers, who would be shown by the figure of an eagle, or a hawk, when it would also denote the thunder, and perhaps lightning, neither of which occurs in connection with the fog.]


Man-i-dø-we ni-mi-nan ku-ni-ne man-to-ke ni-mi-ne. I who acknowledge you to be a spirit, and am dying. [The figure is an outline of the Midɇwign with the sacred Midɇ stone indicated within, as also another spot to signify the place occupied by a sick person. The waving lines above and beneath the oblong square are magic lines, and indicate magic or supernatural power. The singer compares the candidate to a sick man who is seeking life by having shot into his body the mɨgis.]

Ga-kwe-in-nn tshi-ha-gĕ-n ma-kwa ni-go-tshi-ni. I am trying you who are the bear. [The Midɇ who is chanting is shown in the figure; his eyes are looking into the candidate's heart. The lines from the mouth are also shown as denoting speech, directed to his hearer. The horns are a representation of the manner of indicating superior powers.]

Pĭ-nɇ-si ka-ka-gɨ-wai-yan wen-dzhi man-i-døwid. The bird, the crow bird's skin is the reason why I am a spirit. [Although the crow is mentioned, the Thunder-bird (eagle) is delineated. The signification of the phrase is, that the speaker is equal in power to a manidø, at the time of using the Midɇ sack—which is of such a skin.]

Tshin-gwe-wi-he-na nɇ, ka[n], tshi-w-ba-ku-nɇt. The sound of the Thunder is the white bear of fire. [The head is, in this instance, symbolical of the white bear manidø; the short lines below it denoting flame radiating from the body, the eyes also looking with penetrating gaze, as indicated by the double waving lines from each eye. The white bear manidø is one of the most powerful manidøs, and is so recognized.]

By the time this chant is completed the head of the procession reaches the point of departure, just within the eastern door, and all of the members return to their seats, only the four officiating Midɇ remaining with the candidate and his preceptor. To search further that no malevolent manidøs may remain lurking within the Midɇwign, the chief priests lead the candidate in a zigzag manner to the western door, and back again to the east. In this way the path leads past the side of the Midɇ stone, then right oblique to the north of the heap of presents, thence left oblique to the south of the first-degree post, then passing the second on the north, and so on until the last post is reached, around which the course continues, and back in a similar serpentine manner to the eastern door. The candidate is then led to the blankets, upon which he seats himself, the four officiating priests placing themselves before him, the preceptor standing back near the first of the four degree posts.

The Midɇ priest of the fourth rank or place in order of precedence approaches the kneeling candidate and in a manner similar to that which has already been described shoots into his breast the mɨgis; the third, second and first Midɇ follow in like manner, the last named alone shooting his mɨgis into the candidate's forehead, upon which he falls forward, spits out a mɨgis shell which he had previously secreted in his mouth, and upon the priests rubbing upon his back and limbs their Midɇ sacks he recovers and resumes his sitting posture.

The officiating priests retire to either side of the inclosure to find seats, when the newly received member arises and with the assistance of the preceptor distributes the remaining parcels of tobacco, and lastly the blankets, robes, and other gifts. He then begins at the southeastern angle of the inclosure to return thanks for admission, places both hands upon the first person, and as he moves them downward over his hair says: Mi-gwĕtsh ga-o-shi-tø-ĭn bi-m-dĭ-sĭ-win—"Thanks, for giving to me life." The Midɇ addressed bows his head and responds, hau, ɇ[n],—yes when the newly admitted member steps back one pace, clasps his hands and inclines his head to the front. This movement is continued until all present have been thanked, after which he takes a seat in the southeastern corner of the inclosure.

A curious ceremony then takes place in which all the Midɇ on one side of the inclosure arise and approach those upon the other, each grasping his Midɇ sack and selecting a victim pretends to shoot into his body the mɨgis, whereupon the Midɇ so shot falls over, and after a brief attack of gagging and retching pretends to gain relief by spitting out of his mouth a mɨgis shell. This is held upon the left palm, and as the opposing party retreat to their seats, the side which has just been subjected to the attack moves rapidly around among one another as if dancing, but simply giving rapid utterance to the word hŏ, hŏ, hŏ, hŏ, hŏ, hŏ, and showing the mɨgis to everybody present, after which they place the flat hands quickly to the mouth and pretend again to swallow their respective shells. The members of this party then similarly attack their opponents, who submit to similar treatment and go through like movements in exhibiting the mɨgis, which they again swallow. When quiet has been restored, and after a ceremonial smoke has been indulged in, the candidate sings, or chants, the production being either his own composition or that of some other person from whom it has been purchased. The chant presented herewith was obtained from Sikassigĕ, who had received it in turn from his father when the latter was chief priest of the Midɇwiwin at Mille Lacs, Minnesota. The pictographic characters are reproduced on Pl. XVII, A, and the musical notation, which is also presented, was obtained during the period of my preliminary instruction. The phraseology of the chant, of which each line and verse is repeated ad libitum as the singer may be inspired, is as follows:

Do-n-ga-nɨ, Na-wa-kwe in-do-shi-tøn, do-n-ga-nɨ. My dish, At noon I make it, my dish. [The singer refers to the feast which he gives to the Midɇ for admitting him into the Midɇwiwin.]

[Music: 266_1] Do-na-ga-ni, Do-na-ga-ni, Do-na-ga-ni, Do-na-ga-ni, Do-na-ga-ni, Do-na-ga-ni; Na-kwa-wɇ, In-do-shi-tøn Donagani, Donaga-ni, Do-na-ga-ni, Do-na-ga-ni, Do-na-ga-ni, Do-na-ga-ni.

Man-ɨ-dø i-yan-nɨ, Esh-ko-te nin-do-we-yo-wĭn, I am such a spirit, My body is made of fire. [His power reaches to the sky, i.e., he has power to invoke the aid of Kitshi Manidø. The four degrees which he has received are indicated by the four short lines at the tip of the hand.]

[Music: 267_1] Mani-dø-i-ya-ni, Mani-dø-i-ya-ni, Mani-dø-i-ya-ni, Mani-dø-i-ya-ni, Mani-dø-i-ya-ni; Eshko-te nin-do we-yo-win, Manidøiya-ni, Mani-dø-i-ya-ni, Mani-dø-i-ya-ni, Mani-dø-i-ya-ni.

Kŏ-tshi-hai-o-nɨ, Esh-ko-te wa-ni-yø. I have tried it, My body is of fire. [He likens himself to the Bear Manidø, and has like power by virtue of his mɨgis, which is shown below the lines running downward from the mouth. He is represented as standing in the Midɇwign—where his feet rest.]

[Music: 267_2] Kotshi-haio-ni, Kotshi-haio-ni, Kotshi-haio-ni, Kotshihaioni, Kotshi-haio-ni, Kotshi-haio-ni, Kotshi-haio-ni, Kotshi-haio-ni, Eshkotewaniyo, Kotshihaioni. Kotshihaioni, Kotshihaioni, hĕø, hĕø.

Pause. An offering of smoke is made to Kitshi Manidø.

Ni-mɨ-gi-sĭm man-i-dø-we, hwɇ, hɇ, Sha-go-dzhĭ-hi-na. My mɨgis spirit, I overpower death with. [His body is covered with mɨgis as shown by the short lines radiating from the sides, and by this power he is enabled to overcome death.]

[Music: 268_1] Nimegasi mani dø-wɇ, hwɇ, hɇ, Nimegasi mani dø-wɇ, hwɇ, hɇ, Shagodzhihinani-mega-si, Manido-wɇ, hwɇ, hɇ. Ni-me-ga-si-ma-ni-dø-wɇ, hwɇ, hɇ.

Ni-ka-ni nin-man-e-dø-we-ya. Ya-ho-ya man-i-dø-wa nin-da-ho-ha. That is the way with me, spirit that I am. [The hand shows how he casts the mɨgis forward into the person requiring life. He has fourfold power, i.e., he has received the mɨgis four times himself and is thus enabled to infuse into the person requiring it.]

[Music: 268_2] Ni-ga-ne nin mani-døwe ya Ni-ga-ne nin mani-døwe ya, Yaho-ya manidø-we, Nindohøha nigane, mani-dø-we, ya, hɇ.

Ɇ-kotsh-i-na-ha, Ɇ-kotsh-ha man-i-dø hwe-do-wɨ. I hang it, I hang up the Spirit sack. [After using his Midɇ sack he hangs it against the wall of the Midɇwign, as is usually done during the ceremonial of initiation.]

[Music: 269_1] E-kotshi-na-ha, E-kotshi-na-ha, E-kotshi-na-ha, E-ko-tshi-na-ha, E-ko-tshi-na-ha, E-ki-tshi-ma-ni-dø hwe-do-wi, E-kotshi-na-ha, E-kotshi-na-ha, E-kotshi-na-ha, hĕa.

He-a-wi-non-dam-a-ni, Man-i-dø mi-de-wi-he ne-ma-da-wi-dzig. Let them hear, Midɇ spirit, those who are sitting around. [He invokes Kitshi Manidø to make his auditors understand his power.]

[Music: 269_2] He-a-wi-non-da-ma-ni hɇ, He-a-wi-nonda-ma-ni hɇ; He-a-wi-non-da-ma-ni hɇ, He-a-wi-non-da-ma-ni hɇ; Manidomidɇwi hɇ, Nemadawi dzhig, Heawinondamani hɇ, hɇ, hɇ.

He-a-we-na ni-we-dø, Man-i-dø we-a-nɨ Ni-ka-nⱥ ni-na-nⱥ. He who is sleeping, The Spirit, I bring him, a kinsman. [In the employment of his powers he resorts to the help of Kitshi Manidø—his kinsman or Midɇ colleague.]

[Music: 270_1] He-a-we-na-ne-we-dø, hø, He-a-we-na-ne-we-dø, hø, He-a-we-na-ne-we-dø, hø, He-a-we-na-ne-we-dø, hø; Ma-ni-dø-we-a-ni ni-ka-na ni-ka-na, hø, hø.

Man-i-dø we-a-nɨ Esh-ke-ta we-a-nĭ man-i-dø we-a-nĭ. I am a spirit, Fire is my spirit body. [The hand reaches to the earth to grasp fire, showing his ability to do so without injury and illustrating in this manner his supernatural power.]

[Music: 270_2] Mani-døwi-a-ni hɇ, Mani-døwi-a-ni hɇ, Ma-ni-dø-wi-a-ni hɇ, Ma-ni-dø-wi-a-ni hɇ, Ma-ni-døwi-a-ni hɇ; Eshkatoweani hɇ, Manidøwiani hɇ, Manidøwia-ni hɇ.

Ai-ya-swa-kĭt-te, hɇ, he, He-ⱥ se-wɨ-kit-te, hɇ, hɇ Na-se-ma-gŏt nin-dɇ. It is leaning, My heart breathes. [The phrase refers to the mɨgis within his heart. The short radiating lines indicate the magic power of the shell.]

[Music: 271_1] He-a-si-wi-kit-te hɇ, He-a-si-wi-kit-te hɇ, Hea-si-wikit-te hɇ, Hea-si-wi-kit-te hɇ, Nasimagot ninde hɇ, He-a-si-wi-kit-te hɇ, He-a-si-wi-kit-te hɇ, He-a-si-wi-kit-te hɇ, Hea-si-wi-kitte hɇ.

Rest, or pause, after which dancing accompanies the remainder of the song.

Ni-ka-nin-ko-tshi-ha ni-ka-na Ni-ka-na-nin-ko-tshi-ha. Midɇ friends, I am trying, Midɇ friends, Midɇ friends, I am trying. [His hand and arm crossed by lines to denote magic power, in reaching to grasp more than four degrees have given him; he has in view a fifth, or its equivalent.]

[Music: 271_2] Ni-ka-ni kotshiha Nika-ni ha, Ni-ka-ni kotshini Ni-ka-ni ha, Ni-ka-ni ko-tshi-ha Ni-ka-ni ha.

Hi-ne-na-wa ni-be-i-døn ni-di-na. I hold that which I brought, and told him. [The singer is holding the mɨgis and refers to his having its power, which he desires Kitshi Manidø to augment.]

[Music: 272_1] He-ne-na-wa-ni-bei-døn, He-ne-na-wa-ni-bei-døn, He-ne-na-wa-ni-bei-døn, He-ne-na-wa-ni-bei-døn.

Ye-we-ni-mi-dɇ, hwa, da, Ke-wa-shi-mi-dɇ, hĭ-a, hwɇ, Ye-we-ni-mi-dɇ? Who is this grand Midɇ? You have not much grand medicine. Who is the Midɇ? [The first line, when used with the music, is a-we-nin-o-au-midɇ. The whole phrase refers to boasters, who have not received the proper initiations which they profess. The figure is covered with mɨgis shells, as shown by the short lines attached to the body.]

[Music: 272_2] Ye-we-ni-mi-dɇ hwa, da. Ke-wa-shi-mi-dɇ hĭa, hwɇ, Ye-we-ni-mi-dɇ hwa, da. Ke-wa-shi-mi-dɇ hĭa, hwe. Ye-we-ni-mi-dɇ, Ye-we-ni-mi-dɇ hwa, da.

Nai-a-na-wi na-ma, ha, Wa-na-he-ne-ni-wa, ha, O-ta-be-we-ni, mɇ, hɇ. I can not reach it, Only when I go round the Midewign; I can not reach it from where I sit. [The mɨgis attached to the arrow signifies its swift and certain power and effect. The first line of the phrase, when spoken, is nin-na-na-wi-nan.]

[Music: 273_1] Nai-a-na-wi-na-ma ha, Nai-a-na-wi-na-ma ha, Nai-a-na-wi-na-ma ha, Nai-a-na-wi-na-ma ha, Wa-na-he-ne-ni-wa ha, O-ta-be-we-ni-me ha.

Ai-yⱥ ha-na-wi-na-ma. I can not strike him. [The speaker is weeping because he can not see immediate prospects for further advancement in the acquisition of power. The broken ring upon his breast is the place upon which he was shot with the mɨgis.]

[Music: 273_2] Ai-ya-ha-na-wi-na-ma, Ai-ya-ha-na-wi-na-ma, Ai-ya-ha-na-wi-na-ma, Ai-ya-ha-na-wi-na—ma, hĕø, hĕø, hĕø.

The following musical notation presents accurately the range of notes employed by the preceptor. The peculiarity of Midɇ songs lies in the fact that each person has his own individual series of notes which correspond to the number of syllables in the phrase and add thereto meaningless words to prolong the effect. When a song is taught, the words are the chief and most important part, the musical rendering of a second person may be so different from that of the person from whom he learns it as to be unrecognizable without the words. Another fact which often presents itself is the absence of time and measure, which prevents any reduction to notation by full bars; e.g., one or two bars may appear to consist of four quarter notes or a sufficient number of quarters and eighths to complete such bars, but the succeeding one may consist of an additional quarter, or perhaps two, thus destroying all semblance of rythmic continuity. This peculiarity is not so common in dancing music, in which the instruments of percussion are employed to assist regularity and to accord with the steps made by the dancers, or vice versa.

In some of the songs presented in this paper the bars have been omitted for the reasons presented above. The peculiarity of the songs as rendered by the preceptor is thus more plainly indicated.

When the chant is ended the ushers, who are appointed by the chief Midɇ, leave the inclosure to bring in the vessels of food. This is furnished by the newly elected member and is prepared by his female relatives and friends. The kettles and dishes of food are borne around four times, so that each one present may have the opportunity of eating sufficiently. Smoking and conversation relating to the Midɇwiwin may then be continued until toward sunset, when, upon an intimation from the chief Midɇ, the members quietly retire, leaving the structure by the western door. All personal property is removed, and upon the following day everybody departs.


The amount of influence wielded by Midɇ generally, and particularly such as have received four degrees, is beyond belief. The rite of the Midɇwiwin is deemed equivalent to a religion—as that term is commonly understood by intelligent people—and is believed to elevate such a Midɇ to the nearest possible approach to the reputed character of Minabøzho, and to place within his reach the supernatural power of invoking and communing with Kitshi Manidø himself.

By reference to Pl. III, A, No. 98, it will be observed that the human figure is specially marked with very pronounced indications of mɨgis spots upon the head, the extremities, and more particularly the breast. These are placed where the mɨgis was "shot" into the Midɇ, and the functions of the several parts are therefore believed to be greatly augmented. All the spots are united by a line to denote unity and harmony of action in the exercise of power.

The mɨgis, typical of the fourth degree, consists of small pieces of deer horn, covered with red paint on one end and green upon the other. Sometimes but one color is employed for the entire object. The form is shown on Pl. XI, No. 6. No. 2, upon the same plate, represents a shell, used as a mɨgis, observed at White Earth.

Figs. 5-11, on Pl. XV, present several forms of painting midɇ posts, as practiced by the several societies in Minnesota. Each society claims to preserve the ancient method. The cross, shown in No. 7, bears the typical colors—red and green—upon the upper half, while the lower post is square and colored white on the east, green on the south, red on the west, and black on the north. The Midɇ explain the signification of the colors as follows: White represents the east, the source of light and the direction from which the sacred mɨgis came; green, shamanø the southern one, refers to the source of the rains, the direction from which the Thunderers come in the spring, they who revivify the earth; red refers to the land of the setting sun, the abode of the shadows or the dead; and north being black, because that is the direction from which come cold, hunger, and disease.

The words of the Midɇ priest alluding to "the path that has no end" refer to the future course and conduct of the candidate for the last degree, as well as to the possibility of attaining unlimited powers in magic, and is pictorially designated upon the chart on Pl. III, A, at No. 99. The path is devious and beset with temptations, but by strict adherence to the principles of the Midɇwiwin the Midɇ may reach the goal and become the superior of his confrres, designated Mi-ni-si-nø-shkwe, "he who lives on the island."

A Midɇ-Wbĕnø of this degree is dreaded on account of his extraordinary power of inflicting injury, causing misfortune, etc., and most remarkable tales are extant concerning his astounding performances with fire.

The following performance is said to have occurred at White Earth, Minnesota, in the presence of a large gathering of Indians and mixed bloods. Two small wigiwams were erected, about 50 paces from each other, and after the Wbĕnø had crawled into one of them his disparagers built around each of them a continuous heap of brush and firewood, which were then kindled. When the blaze was at its height all became hushed for a moment, and presently the Wbĕnø called to the crowd that he had transferred himself to the other wigiwam and immediately, to their profound astonishment, crawled forth unharmed.

This is but an example of the numerous and marvelous abilities with which the Wbĕnø of the higher grade is accredited.

The special pretensions claimed by the Midɇ-Wbĕnø have already been mentioned, but an account of the properties and manner of using the "love powder" may here be appropriate. This powder—the composition of which has been given—is generally used by the owner to accomplish results desired by the applicant. It is carried in a small bag made of buckskin or cloth, which the Wbĕnø carefully deposits within his Midɇ sack, but which is transferred to another sack of like size and loaned to the applicant, for a valuable consideration.

During a recent visit to one of the reservations in Minnesota, I had occasion to confer with a Catholic missionary regarding some of the peculiar medical practices of the Indians, and the implements and other accessories employed in connection with their profession. He related the following incident as having but a short time previously come under his own personal observation:

One of the members of his church, a Norwegian, sixty-two years of age, and a widower, had for the last preceding year been considered by most of the residents as demented. The missionary himself had observed his erratic and frequently irrational conduct, and was impressed with the probable truth of the prevailing rumor. One morning, however, as the missionary was seated in his study, he was surprised to receive a very early call, and upon invitation his visitor took a seat and explained the object of his visit. He said that for the last year he had been so disturbed in his peace of mind that he now came to seek advice. He was fully aware of the common report respecting his conduct, but was utterly unable to control himself, and attributed the cause of his unfortunate condition to an occurrence of the year before. Upon waking one morning his thoughts were unwillingly concentrated upon an Indian woman with whom he had no personal acquaintance whatever, and, notwithstanding the absurdity of the impression, he was unable to cast it aside. After breakfast he was, by some inexplicable influence, compelled to call upon her, and to introduce himself, and although he expected to be able to avoid repeating the visit, he never had sufficient control over himself to resist lurking in the vicinity of her habitation.

Upon his return home after the first visit he discovered lying upon the floor under his bed, a Midɇ sack which contained some small parcels with which he was unfamiliar, but was afterward told that one of them consisted of "love powder." He stated that he had grown children, and the idea of marrying again was out of the question, not only on their account but because he was now too old. The missionary reasoned with him and suggested a course of procedure, the result of which had not been learned when the incident was related.

Jugglery of another kind, to which allusion has before been made, is also attributed to the highest class of Jĕssakkɨd. Several years ago the following account was related to Col. Garrick Mallery, U.S. Army, and myself, and as Col. Mallery subsequently read a paper before the Anthropological Society of Washington, District of Columbia, in which the account was mentioned, I quote his words:

Paul Beaulieu, an Ojibwa of mixed blood, present interpreter at White Earth Agency, Minnesota, gave me his experience with a Jĕssakkɨd, at Leech Lake, Minnesota, about the year 1858. The reports of his wonderful performances had reached the agency, and as Beaulieu had no faith in jugglers, he offered to wager $100, a large sum, then and there, against goods of equal value, that the juggler could not perform satisfactorily one of the tricks of his repertoire to be selected by him (Beaulieu) in the presence of himself and a committee of his friends. The Jĕssakkn—or Jĕssakkɨd lodge—was then erected. The framework of vertical poles, inclined to the center, was filled in with interlaced twigs covered with blankets and birch-bark from the ground to the top, leaving an upper orifice of about a foot in diameter for the ingress and egress of spirits and the objects to be mentioned, but not large enough for the passage of a man's body. At one side of the lower wrapping a flap was left for the entrance of the Jĕssakkɨd.

A committee of twelve was selected to see that no communication was possible between the Jĕssakkɨd and confederates. These were reliable people, one of them the Episcopal clergyman of the reservation. The spectators were several hundred in number, but they stood off, not being allowed to approach.

The Jĕssakkɨd then removed his clothing, until nothing remained but the breech-cloth. Beaulieu took a rope (selected by himself for the purpose) and first tied and knotted one end about the juggler's ankles; his knees were then securely tied together, next the wrists, after which the arms were passed over the knees and a billet of wood passed through under the knees, thus securing and keeping the arms down motionless. The rope was then passed around the neck, again and again, each time tied and knotted, so as to bring the face down upon the knees. A flat river-stone, of black color—which was the Jĕssakkɨd's manidø or amulet—was left lying upon his thighs.

The Jĕssakkɨd was then carried to the lodge and placed inside upon a mat on the ground, and the flap covering was restored so as to completely hide him from view.

Immediately loud, thumping noises were heard, and the framework began to sway from side to side with great violence; whereupon the clergyman remarked that this was the work of the Evil One and 'it was no place for him,' so he left and did not see the end. After a few minutes of violent movements and swayings of the lodge accompanied by loud inarticulate noises, the motions gradually ceased when the voice of the juggler was heard, telling Beaulieu to go to the house of a friend, near by, and get the rope. Now, Beaulieu, suspecting some joke was to be played upon him, directed the committee to be very careful not to permit any one to approach while he went for the rope, which he found at the place indicated, still tied exactly as he had placed it about the neck and extremities of the Jĕssakkɨd. He immediately returned, laid it down before the spectators, and requested of the Jĕssakkɨd to be allowed to look at him, which was granted, but with the understanding that Beaulieu was not to touch him.

When the covering was pulled aside, the Jĕssakkɨd sat within the lodge, contentedly smoking his pipe, with no other object in sight than the black stone mnidø. Beaulieu paid his wager of $100.

An exhibition of similar pretended powers, also for a wager, was announced a short time after, at Yellow Medicine, Minnesota, to be given in the presence of a number of Army people, but at the threat of the Grand Medicine Man of the Leech Lake bands, who probably objected to interference with his lucrative monopoly, the event did not take place and bets were declared off.

Col. Mallery obtained further information, of a similar kind from various persons on the Bad River Reservation, and at Bayfield, Wisconsin. All of these he considered to be mere variants of a class of performances which were reported by the colonists of New England and the first French missionaries in Canada as early as 1613, where the general designation of "The Sorcerers" was applied to the whole body of Indians on the Ottawa River. These reports, it must be remembered, however, applied only to the numerous tribes of the Algonkian linguistic family among which the alleged practices existed; though neighboring tribes of other linguistic groups were no doubt familiar with them, just as the Winnebago, Omaha, and other allied tribes, profess to have "Medicine Societies," the secrets of which they claim to have obtained from tribes located east of their own habitat, that practiced the peculiar ceremony of "shooting small shells" (i.e., the mɨgis of the Ojibwa) into the candidate.

In Pl. XVIII is shown a Jĕssakkɨd extracting sickness by sucking through bone tubes.

sakkɨd Removing Disease.]


A structure erected by Indians for any purpose whatever, is now generally designated a lodge, in which sense the term is applied in connection with the word dzhibai—ghost, or more appropriately shadow—in the above caption. This lodge is constructed in a form similar to that of the Midɇwign, but its greatest diameter extends north and south instead of east and west. Further reference will be made to this in describing another method of conferring the initiation of the first degree of the Midɇwiwin. This distinction is attained by first becoming a member of the so-called "Ghost Society," in the manner and for the reason following:

After the birth of a male child it is customary to invite the friends of the family to a feast, designating at the same time a Midɇ to serve as godfather and to dedicate the child to some special pursuit in life. The Midɇ is governed in his decision by visions, and it thus sometimes happens that the child is dedicated to the "Grand Medicine," i.e., he is to be prepared to enter the society of the Midɇ. In such a case the parents prepare him by procuring a good preceptor, and gather together robes, blankets, and other gifts to be presented at initiation.

Should this son die before the age of puberty, before which period it is not customary to admit any one into the society, the father paints his own face as before described, viz, red, with a green stripe diagonally across the face from left to right, as in Pl. VI, No. 4, or red with two short horizontal parallel bars in green upon the forehead as in Pl. VI, No. 5, and announces to the chief Midɇ priest his intention of becoming himself a member of the "Ghost Society" and his readiness to receive the first degree of the Midɇwiwin, as a substitute for his deceased son. Other members of the mourner's family blacken the face, as shown on Pl. VII, No. 5.

In due time a council of Midɇ priests is called, who visit the wigiwam of the mourner, where they partake of a feast, and the subject of initiation is discussed. This wigiwam is situated south and east of the Midɇwign, as shown in Fig. 35, which illustration is a reproduction of a drawing made by Sikassigĕ.

The following is an explanation of the several characters:

No. 1 represents the wigiwam of the mourner, which has been erected in the vicinity of the Midɇwign, until after the ceremony of initiation.

No. 2 is the path supposed to be taken by the shadow (spirit) of the deceased; it leads westward to the Dzhibai Midɇwign; literally, shadow-spirit wigiwam.

No. 3, 4, 5, and 6, designate the places where the spirit plucks the fruits referred to—respectively the strawberry, the blueberry, the June cherries, and the plum.

No. 7 designates the form and location of the Dzhihai Midɇwign. The central spot is the place of the dish of food for Dzhibai Manidø—the good spirit—and the smaller spots around the interior of the inclosure are places for the deposit of dishes for the other Midɇ spirits who have left this earth.

No. 8 is the path which is taken by the candidate when going from his wigiwam to the Midɇwign.

No. 9 indicates the place of the sweat-lodge, resorted to at other periods of initiation.

No. 10 is the Midɇwign in which the ceremony is conducted at the proper time.

It is stated that in former times the Ghost Lodge was erected west of the location of the mourner's wigiwam, but for a long time this practice has been discontinued. The tradition relating to the Spirit's progress is communicated orally, while the dramatic representation is confined to placing the dishes of food in the Midɇwign, which is selected as a fitting and appropriate substitute during the night preceding the initiation.

This custom, as it was practiced, consisted of carrying from the mourner's wigiwam to the Ghost Lodge the dishes of food for the spirits of departed Midɇ to enjoy a feast, during the time that the Midɇ priests were partaking of one. A large dish was placed in the center of the structure by the mourner, from which the supreme Midɇ spirit was to eat. Dishes are now carried to the Midɇwign, as stated above.

The chief officiating Midɇ then instructs the father of the deceased boy the manner in which he is to dress and proceed, as symbolizing the course pursued by the spirit of the son on the way to the spirit world. The instructions are carried out, as far as possible, with the exception of going to an imaginary Ghost Lodge, as he proceeds only to the Midɇwign and deposits the articles enumerated below. He is told to take one pair of bear-skin moccasins, one pair of wolf-skin, and one pair of birds'skins, in addition to those which he wears upon his feet; these are to be carried to the structure in which the Midɇ spirits are feasting, walking barefooted, picking a strawberry from a plant on the right of the path and a blueberry from a bush on the left, plucking June cherries from a tree on the right and plums on the left. He is then to hasten toward the Ghost Lodge, which is covered with mɨgis, and to deposit the fruit and the moccasins; these will be used by his son's spirit in traveling the road of the dead after the spirits have completed their feast and reception of him. While the candidate is on his mission to the Ghost Lodge (for the time being represented by the Midɇwign) the assemblage in the wigiwam chant the following for the mourner: Yan-i-ma-tsha, yan-i-ma-tsha, ha, yan-i-ma-tsha yan-i-ma-tsha ha, yu-te-no-win gɇ, hɇ nin-de-so-ne—"I am going away, I am going away, I am going away, to the village I walk"—i.e., the village of the dead.

The person who desires to receive initiation into the Midɇwign, under such circumstances, impersonates Minabøzho, as he is believed to have penetrated the country of the abode of shadows, or ne-ba-gɨ-zis—"land of the sleeping sun." He, it is said, did this to destroy the "Ghost Gambler" and to liberate the many victims who had fallen into his power. To be enabled to traverse this dark and dismal path, he borrowed of Kŏ-ko-kŏ-ø—the owl—his eyes, and received also the services of w-wa-tɇ-si-wŭg—the firefly, both of which were sent back to the earth upon the completion of his journey. By referring to Pl. III, A, the reference to this myth will be observed as pictorially represented in Nos. 110 to 114. No. 110 is the Midɇwign from which the traveler has to visit the Dzhibai Midɇwign (No. 112) in the west. No. 113, represented as Kŏ-ko-kŏ-ø—the owl—whose eyes enabled Mɨnabøzho to follow the path of the dead (No. 114); the owl skin Midɇ sack is also sometimes used by Midɇ priests who have received their first degree in this wise. The V-shaped characters within the circle at No. 111 denote the presence of spirits at the Ghost Lodge, to which reference has been made.

The presents which had been gathered as a gift or fee for the deceased are now produced and placed in order for transportation to the Midɇwign, early on the following morning.

The Midɇ priests then depart, but on the next morning several of them make their appearance to assist in clearing the Midɇwign of the dishes which had been left there over night, and to carry thither the robes, blankets, and other presents, and suspend them from the rafters. Upon their return to the candidate's wigiwam, the Midɇ priests gather, and after the candidate starts to lead the procession toward the Midɇwign, the priests fall in in single file, and all move forward, the Midɇ priests chanting the following words repeatedly, viz: Ki-e-ne-kwo-t ki-e-ne-kwo-t, ha, ha, ha, nøs ewi-e, hɇ, ki-na-ka-ta-mŭn do-n-gan—"I also, I also, my father, leave you my dish."

This is sung for the deceased, who is supposed to bequeath to his father his dish, or other articles the names of which are sometimes added.

The procession continues toward and into the Midɇwign, passing around the interior by the left side toward the west, north, and east to a point opposite the space usually reserved for the deposit of goods, where the candidate turns to the right and stands in the middle of the inclosure, where he now faces the Midɇ post in the west. The members who had not joined the procession, but who had been awaiting its arrival, now resume their seats, and those who accompanied the candidate also locate themselves as they desire, when the officiating priests begin the ceremony as described in connection with the initiation for the first degree after the candidate has been turned over to the chief by the preceptor.

Sometimes the mother of one who had been so dedicated to the Midɇwiwin is taken into that society, particularly when the father is absent or dead.


It sometimes happens that a sick person can not be successfully treated by the Midɇ, especially in the wigiwam of the patient, when it becomes necessary for the latter to be carried to the Midɇwign and the services of the society to be held. This course is particularly followed when the sick person or the family can furnish a fee equivalent to the gift required for initiation under ordinary circumstances.

It is believed, under such conditions, that the evil manidøs can be expelled from the body only in the sacred structure, at which place alone the presence of Kitshi Manidø may be felt, after invocation, and in return for his aid in prolonging the life of the patient the latter promises his future existence to be devoted to the practice and teachings of the Midɇwiwin. Before proceeding further, however, it is necessary to describe the method pursued by the Midɇ priest.

The first administrations may consist of mashkikiwabu[n], or medicine broth, this being the prescription of the Midɇ in the capacity of mashkikikewinĭnĭ, or herbalist, during which medication he resorts to incantation and exorcism, accompanying his song by liberal use of the rattle. As an illustration of the songs used at this period of the illness, the following is presented, the mnemonic characters being reproduced on Pl. XVI, C. The singing is monotonous and doleful, though at times it becomes animated and discordant.

In-do-n-gt in-da-kwo-nan That which I live upon has been put on this dish by the spirit. [Kitshi Manidø provides the speaker with the necessary food for the maintenance of life. The dish, or feast, is shown by the concentric rings, the spirit's arm is just below it.]

Mo-ki-yan tshik-ko-min. I bring life to the people. [The speaker, as the impersonator of the sacred Otter, brings life. The Otter is just emerging from the surface of the water, as he emerged from the great salt sea before the nishi-nbeg, after having been instructed by Minabøzho to carry life to them.]

Ni-no-mun mash-ki-ki I can also take medicine from the lodge, or the earth [The Midɇ's arm is reaching down to extract magic remedies from the earth. The four spots indicate the remedies, while the square figure denotes a hole in the ground.]

Rest. During this interval the Midɇ's thoughts dwell upon the sacred character of the work in which he is engaged.

Ni-nin-dɇ in-dai-yo. It is all in my heart, the life. [The concentric circles indicates the mɨgis, life, within the heart, the former showing radiating lines to denote its magic power.]

Mbi-mo-se-an-kĭnk. The spirit saw me and sent me medicine from above. [The figure is that of Kitshi Manidø, who granted power to the speaker.]

Døn-de-na mi-tĭz-kŭnk. It is also on the trees, that from which I take life. [The tree bears "medicine" which the speaker has at his command, and is enabled to use.]

When the ordinary course of treatment fails to relieve the patient the fact is made known to the Midɇ priests and he is consequently taken to the Midɇwign and laid upon blankets so that part of his body may rest against the sacred midɇ stone. Associate Midɇ then attend, in consultation, with the Midɇ-in-chief, the other members present occupying seats around the walls of the structure.

The accompanying lecture is then addressed to the sick person, viz:

Mi-shosh-y-gwa ga-a-nin-nan gi-de-wɇn-du-nŭn ne-tun-ga-da-da-we-in man-i-dømɨ-gis. Kit-ti-m-gĭ-si ɇ-ni-dau—ya-we-yĭn o-ma-e-n-sa-ba-bĭt bɨ-ĭ-sha-gaban-dĕ-a gi-bi-sha-ban-da-ĕt na-pĭsh-k-tshi-dŏsh ke-a-yu-ĭn-ki-go gŏt-t-sø-nĕn, mi-a-shi-gwa-gø-dĭn-na-wt dzhi-ma-di-a-kad-dŏ-yøn bi-m-di-si-wĭn.

The following is a free translation of the above:

The time of which I spoke to you has now arrived, and you may deem it necessary to first borrow the sacred mɨgis. Who are you that comes here as a supplicant? Sit down opposite to me, where I can see you and speak to you, and fix your attention upon me, while you receive life you must not permit your thoughts to dwell upon your present condition, but to support yourself against falling into despondency.

Now we are ready to try him; now we are ready to initiate him.

The reference to borrowing a mɨgis signifies that the patient may have this mysterious power "shot into his body" where he lies upon the ground and before he has arrived at the place where candidates are properly initiated; this, because of his inability to walk round the inclosure.

The last sentence is spoken to the assisting Midɇ. The following song is sung, the mnemonic characters pertaining thereto being reproduced on Pl. XVI, D.

O-da-pi-nŭng-mung o-ki-wen-dzhi man-i-dø we-an-ĭ-win-zhi-gu-sn. We are going to take the sacred medicine out of the ground. [The speaker refers to himself and the assistants as resorting to remedies adopted after consultation, the efficiency thereof depending upon their combined prayers. The arm is represented as reaching for a remedy which is surrounded by lines denoting soil.]

We-a-ki man-i-dø we-an-gwĭs. The ground is why I am a spirit, my son. [The lower horizontal line is the earth, while the magic power which he possesses is designated by short vertical wavy lines which reach his body.]


Nish-u-we-ni-mi-qu nish-u-we-ni-mi-qu we-gi ma-ŏ-dzhig. The spirits have pity; the spirits have pity on me. [The Midɇ is supplicating the Midɇ spirits for aid in his wishes to cure the sick.]

Kish-u-we-ni-mi-qu ki-shi-gŭng don-dzhi-wa-wa-mĭk. The spirits have pity on me; from on high I see you. [The sky is shown by the upper curved lines, beneath which the Midɇ is raising his arm in supplication.]

Man-i-dø- ni-o. My body is a spirit. [The Midɇ likens himself to the Bear Manidø, the magic powers of which are shown by the lines across the body and short strokes upon the back.]

Pi-ne-si-wi-n ke-ke-u-wi-an. A little bird I am: I am the hawk. [Like the thunderer, he penetrates the sky in search of power and influence.]

Man-i-dø nu-tu wa-kan. Let us hear the spirit. [The Kitshi Manidø is believed to make known his presence, and all are enjoined to listen for such intimation.]

Ka-nun-ta-wa man-i-dø wi-da-ku-ɇ, hɇ, ki-a-ha-mɨ. You might hear that he is a spirit. [The line on the top of the head signifies the person to be a superior being.]

Ka-ke-na gus-s o-mi-si-nɨ na-ɇn. I am afraid of all, that is why I am in trouble. [The Midɇ fears that life can not be prolonged because the evil manidøs do not appear to leave the body of the sick person. The arm is shown reaching for mɨgis, or life, the strength of the speaker's, having himself received it four times, does not appear to be of any avail.]

Should the patient continue to show decided symptoms of increased illness, the singing or the use of the rattle is continued until life is extinct, and no other ceremony is attempted; but if he is no worse after the preliminary course of treatment, or shows any improvement, the first attendant Midɇ changes his songs to those of a more boastful character. The first of these is as follows, chanted repeatedly and in a monotonous manner, viz:

A-si-na-bi-hu-ya, a-si-na-b-hu-ya. I have changed my looks, I have changed my looks.

[This refers to the appearance of the Midɇ stone which it is believed absorbs some of the disease and assumes a change of color.]

Nish-a-wenɨ, hu, gu, mi-dɇ, wug, The Midɇ have pity on me, those who are sitting around,

a-ne-ma-bɨ-tshig. and those who are sitting from us.

[The last line refers to those Midɇ who are sitting, though absent from the Midɇwign.]

The following illustrates the musical rendering:

[Music: 285_1] A-si-na-bi-hŭ-i-ya, A-si-na-bi-hŭ-i-ya, A-si-na-bi-hŭ-i-ya hĭa, A-si-na-bi-hŭ-i-ya, A-si-na-bi-hŭ-i-ya hĭa.

[Music: 285_2] Nish-a-wi-in-hu gu, O-ko-mi-dɇ-wog hɇ, A-ne-ma-bi-tshig hɇ, Nishawiinhu gu, O-ko-mi-dɇ-wog hɇ, Nish-a-wi-ni-hu gŭ O-ko-mi-dɇ-wog hɇ.

As the patient continues to improve the song of the Midɇ becomes more expressive of his confidence in his own abilities and importance.

The following is an example in illustration, viz:

Ni-ne-ta-we-hɇ wa-w-b-ma man-i-dø, wa-w-b-ma. [I am the only one who sees the spirit, who sees the spirit.] Nin-da-nɨ-wĭ-a, nin-da-nɨ-wĭ-a. I surpass him, I surpass him. [The speaker overcomes the malevolent manidø and causes him to take flight.]

Na-sa-ni-nɇn-di-ya[n] a-we-si-yŏk no-gwe-no-wŏk. See how I act, beasts I shoot on the wing. [The signification of this is, that he "shoots at them as they fly," referring to the manidøs as they escape from the body.]

The following is the musical notation of the above, viz:

[Music: 285_3] Ni-ne-ta-we-hɇ wa-wb-ma man-i-dø wa-w-b-ma man-i-dø, Ni-ne-ta-we-hɇ wa-w-b-ma man-i-dø, wa-w-b-ma man-i-dø.

[Music: 286_1] Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, Hen-ta-ne-we-a, hø.

[Music: 286_2] Na-sa-ni-nen-di-ya, Na-sa-ni-nen-di-ya, Na-sa-ni-nen-di-ya, Awasiyøk, Nogwenowøk.

If the patient becomes strong enough to walk round the inclosure he is led to the western end and seated upon a blanket, where he is initiated. If not, the mɨgis is "shot into his body" as he reclines against the sacred stone, after which a substitute is selected from among the Midɇ present, who takes his place and goes through the remainder of the initiation for him. Before proceeding upon either course, however, the chief attendant Midɇ announces his readiness in the following manner: Mi-o-shi-gwa, wi-kwod-gi-o-wŏg ga-m-dzhi-a-ka-dŭng bi-m-di-si-wĭn—"Now we are ready to escape from this and to begin to watch life." This signifies his desire to escape from his present procedure and to advance to another course of action, to the exercise of the power of giving life by transferring the sacred mɨgis.

The remainder of the ceremony is then conducted as in the manner described as pertains to the first degree of the Midɇwiwin.



Before concluding, it may be of interest to refer in some detail to several subjects mentioned in the preceding pages. The mnemonic songs are in nearly every instance incised upon birch bark by means of a sharp-pointed piece of bone or a nail. The inner surface of the bark is generally selected because it is softer than the reverse. Bark for such purposes is peeled from the trunk during the spring months. On the right hand upper corner of Pl. XIX is reproduced a portion of a mnemonic song showing characters as thus drawn. The specimen was obtained at White Earth, and the entire song is presented on Pl. XVI, C. A piece of bark obtained at Red Lake, and known to have been incised more than seventy years ago, is shown on the right lower corner of Pl. XIX. The drawings are upon the outer surface and are remarkably deep and distinct. The left hand specimen is from the last named locality, and of the same period, and presents pictographs drawn upon the inner surface.

In a majority of songs the characters are drawn so as to be read from left to right, in some from right to left, and occasionally one is found to combine both styles, being truly boustrophic. Specimens have been obtained upon which the characters were drawn around and near the margin of an oblong piece of bark, thus appearing in the form of an irregular circle.

The pictographic delineation of ideas is found to exist chiefly among the shamans, hunters, and travelers of the Ojibwa, and there does not appear to be a recognized system by which the work of any one person is fully intelligible to another. A record may be recognized as pertaining to the Midɇ ceremonies, as a song used when hunting plants, etc.; but it would be impossible for one totally unfamiliar with the record to state positively whether the initial character was at the left or the right hand. The figures are more than simply mnemonic; they are ideographic, and frequently possess additional interest from the fact that several ideas are expressed in combination. Col. Garrick Mallery, U.S. Army, in a paper entitled "Recently Discovered Algonkian Pictographs," read before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at Cleveland, 1888, expressed this fact in the following words:

It is desirable to explain the mode of using the Midɇ and other bark records of the Ojibwa and also those of other Algonkian tribes to be mentioned in this paper. The comparison made by Dr. E. B. Tylor of the pictorial alphabet to teach children "A was an archer," etc., is not strictly appropriate in this case. The devices are not only mnemonic, but are also ideographic and descriptive. They are not merely invented to express or memorize the subject, but are evolved therefrom. To persons acquainted with secret societies a good comparison for the charts or rolls would be what is called the tressel board of the Masonic order, which is printed and published and publicly exposed without exhibiting any of the secrets of the order, yet is not only significant, but useful to the esoteric in assistance to their memory as to degrees and details of ceremony.

A more general mode of explaining the so-called symbolism is by a suggestion that the charts of the order or the song of a myth should be likened to the popular illustrated poems and songs lately published in Harper's Magazine for instance, "Sally in our Alley," where every stanza has an appropriate illustration. Now, suppose that the text was obliterated forever, indeed the art of reading lost, the illustrations remaining, as also the memory to many persons of the ballad. The illustrations kept in order would supply always the order of the stanzas and also the general subject-matter of each particular stanza and the latter would be a reminder of the words. This is what the rolls of birch bark do to the initiated Ojibwa, and what Schoolcraft pretended in some cases to show, but what for actual understanding requires that all the vocables of the actual songs and charges of the initiation should be recorded and translated. This involves not only profound linguistic study, but the revelation of all the mysteries. In other instances the literation in the aboriginal language of the nonesoteric songs and stories and their translation is necessary to comprehend the devices by which they are memorized rather than symbolized. Nevertheless, long usage has induced some degree of ideography and symbolism.

On Pl. XX are presented illustrations of several articles found in a Midɇ sack which had been delivered to the Catholic priest at Red Lake over seventy years ago, when the owner professed Christianity and forever renounced (at least verbally) his pagan profession. The information given below was obtained from Midɇ priests at the above locality. They are possessed of like articles, being members of the same society to which the late owners of the relics belonged. The first is a birch-bark roll, the ends of which were slit into short strips, so as to curl in toward the middle to prevent the escaping of the contents. The upper figure is that of the Thunder god, with waving lines extending forward from the eyes, denoting the power of peering into futurity. This character has suggested to several Midɇ priests that the owner might have been a Midɇ-Jĕssakkɨd. This belief is supported by the actual practice pursued by this class of priests when marking their personal effects. The lower figure is that of a buffalo, as is apparent from the presence of the hump. Curiously enough both eyes are drawn upon one side of the head, a practice not often followed by Indian artists.

The upper of the four small figures is a small package, folded, consisting of the inner sheet of birch-bark and resembling paper both in consistence and color. Upon the upper fold is the outline of the Thunder bird. The next two objects represent small boxes made of pine wood, painted or stained red and black. They were empty when received, but were no doubt used to hold sacred objects. The lowest figure of the four consists of a bundle of three small bags of cotton wrapped with a strip of blue cloth. The bags contain, respectively, love powder, hunter's medicine—in this instance red ocher and powdered arbor vit leaves—and another powder of a brownish color, with which is mixed a small quantity of ground medicinal plants.

The roll of birch-bark containing these relics inclosed also the skin of a small rodent (Spermophilus sp.?) but in a torn and moth-eaten condition. This was used by the owner for purposes unknown to those who were consulted upon the subject. It is frequently, if not generally, impossible to ascertain the use of most of the fetiches and other sacred objects contained in Midɇ sacks of unknown ownership, as each priest adopts his own line of practice, based upon a variety of reasons, chiefly the nature of his fasting dreams.

Fancy sometimes leads an individual to prepare medicine sticks that are of curious shape or bear designs of odd form copied after something of European origin, as exemplified in the specimen illustrated on. Pl. XXI, Nos. 1 and 2, showing both the obverse and reverse. The specimen is made of ash wood and measures about ten inches in length. On the obverse side, besides the figures of man-idøs, such as the Thunder bird, the serpent, and the tortoise, there is the outline of the sun, spots copied from playing cards, etc.; upon the reverse appear two spread hands, a bird, and a building, from the top of which floats the American flag. This specimen was found among the effects of a Midɇ who died at Leech Lake, Minnesota, a few years ago, together with effigies and other relics already mentioned in another part of this paper.


In addition to the examples of Indian music that have been given, especially the songs of shamans, it may be of interest to add a few remarks concerning the several varieties of songs or chants. Songs employed as an accompaniment to dances are known to almost all the members of the tribe, so that their rendition is nearly always the same. Such songs are not used in connection with mnemonic characters, as there are, in most instances, no words or phrases recited, but simply a continued repetition of meaningless words or syllables. The notes are thus rhythmically accentuated, often accompanied by beats upon the drum and the steps of the dancers.

An example of another variety of songs, or rather chants, is presented in connection with the reception of the candidate by the Midɇ priest upon his entrance into the Midɇwign of the first degree. In this instance words are chanted, but the musical rendition differs with the individual, each Midɇ chanting notes of his own, according to his choice or musical ability. There is no set formula, and such songs, even if taught to others, are soon distorted by being sung according to the taste or ability of the singer. The musical rendering of the words and phrases relating to the signification of mnemonic characters depends upon the ability and inspired condition of the singer; and as each Midɇ priest usually invents and prepares his own songs, whether for ceremonial purposes, medicine hunting, exorcism, or any other use, he may frequently be unable to sing them twice in exactly the same manner. Love songs and war songs, being of general use, are always sung in the same style of notation.

The emotions are fully expressed in the musical rendering of the several classes of songs, which are, with few exceptions, in a minor key. Dancing and war songs are always in quick time, the latter frequently becoming extraordinarily animated and boisterous as the participants become more and more excited.

Midɇ and other like songs are always more or less monotonous, though they are sometimes rather impressive, especially if delivered by one sufficiently emotional and possessed of a good voice. Some of the Midɇ priests employ few notes, not exceeding a range of five, for all songs, while others frequently cover the octave, terminating with a final note lower still.

The statement has been made that one Midɇ is unable either to recite or sing the proper phrase pertaining to the mnemonic characters of a song belonging to another Midɇ unless specially instructed. The representation of an object may refer to a variety of ideas of a similar, though not identical, character. The picture of a bear may signify the Bear manidø as one of the guardians of the society; it may pertain to the fact that the singer impersonates that manidø; exorcism of the malevolent bear spirit may be thus claimed; or it may relate to the desired capture of the animal, as when drawn to insure success for the hunter. An Indian is slow to acquire the exact phraseology, which is always sung or chanted, of mnemonic songs recited to him by a Midɇ preceptor.

Relics from Leech Lake.]

An exact reproduction is implicitly believed to be necessary, as otherwise the value of the formula would be impaired, or perhaps even totally destroyed. It frequently happens, therefore, that although an Indian candidate for admission into the Mɨdɇwiwin may already have prepared songs in imitation of those from which he was instructed, he may either as yet be unable to sing perfectly the phrases relating thereto, or decline to do so because of a want of confidence. Under such circumstances the interpretation of a record is far from satisfactory, each character being explained simply objectively, the true import being intentionally or unavoidably omitted. An Ojibwa named "Little Frenchman," living at Red Lake, had received almost continuous instruction for three or four years, and although he was a willing and valuable assistant in other matters pertaining to the subject under consideration, he was not sufficiently familiar with some of his preceptor's songs to fully explain them. A few examples of such mnemonic songs are presented in illustration, and for comparison with such as have already been recorded. In each instance the Indian's interpretation of the character is given first, the notes in brackets being supplied in further explanation. Pl. XXII, A, is reproduced from a birch-bark song; the incised lines are sharp and clear, while the drawing in general is of a superior character. The record is drawn so as to be read from right to left.

From whence I sit. [The singer is seated, as the lines indicate contact with the surface beneath, though the latter is not shown. The short line extending from the mouth indicates voice, and probably signifies, in this instance, singing.]

The big tree in the center of the earth. [It is not known whether or not this relates to the first destruction of the earth, when Minabøzho escaped by climbing a tree which continued to grow and to protrude above the surface of the flood. One Midɇ thought it related to a particular medicinal tree which was held in estimation beyond all others, and thus represented as the chief of the earth.]

I will float down the fast running stream. [Strangely enough, progress by water is here designated by footprints instead of using the outline of a canoe. The etymology of the Ojibwa word used in this connection may suggest footprints, as in the Delaware language one word for river signifies "water road," when in accordance therewith "footprints" would be in perfect harmony with the general idea.]

The place that is feared I inhabit, the swift-running stream I inhabit. [The circular line above the Midɇ denotes obscurity, i.e., he is hidden from view and represents himself as powerful and terrible to his enemies as the water monster.]

You who speak to me.

I have long horns. [The Midɇ likens himself to the water monster, one of the malevolent serpent manidøs who antagonize all good, as beliefs and practices of the Midɇwiwin.]

A rest or pause.

I, seeing, follow your example.

You see my body, you see my body, you see my nails are worn off in grasping the stone. [The Bear manidø is represented as the type now assumed by the Midɇ. He has a stone within his grasp, from which magic remedies are extracted.]

You, to whom I am speaking. [A powerful Manidø, the panther, is in an inclosure and to him the Midɇ addresses his request.]

I am swimming—floating—down smoothly. [The two pairs of serpentine lines indicate the river banks, while the character between them is the Otter, here personated by the Midɇ.]

Bars denoting a pause.

I have finished my drum. [The Midɇ is shown holding a Midɇ drum which he is making for use in a ceremony.]

My body is like unto you. [The mɨgis shell, the symbol of purity and the Midɇwiwin.]

Hear me, you who are talking to me! [The speaker extends his arms to the right and left indicating persons who are talking to him from their respective places. The lines denoting speech—or hearing—pass through the speaker's head to exclaim as above.]

See what I am taking. [The Midɇ has pulled up a medicinal root. This denotes his possessing a wonderful medicine and appears in the order of an advertisement.]

See me, whose head is out of water.

On Pl. XXII, B, is presented an illustration reproduced from a piece of birch bark owned by the preceptor of "Little Frenchman," of the import of which the latter was ignorant. His idea of the signification of the characters is based upon general information which he has received, and not upon any pertaining directly to the record. From general appearances the song seems to be a private record pertaining to the Ghost Society, the means through which the recorder attained his first degree of the Midɇwiwin, as well as to his abilities, which appear to be boastfully referred to:

I am sitting with my pipe. [Midɇ sitting, holding his pipe. He has been called upon to visit a patient, and the filled pipe is handed to him to smoke preparatory to his commencing the ceremony of exorcism.]

I employ the spirit, the spirit of the owl. [This evidently indicates the Owl Manidø, which has been referred to in connection with the Red Lake Mide chart, Pl. III, No. 113. The Owl manidø is there represented as passing from the Midɇwign to the Dzhibai Midɇwign, and the drawings in that record and in this are sufficiently alike to convey the idea that the maker of this song had obtained his suggestion from the old Midɇ chart.]

It stands, that which I am going after. [The Midɇ, impersonating the Bear Manidø, is seeking a medicinal tree of which he has knowledge, and certain parts of which he employs in his profession. The two footprints indicate the direction the animal is taking.]

I, who fly. [This is the outline of a Thunder bird, who appears to grasp in his talons some medical plants.]

Ki-bi-nan pi-zan. Kibinan is what I use, it flies like an arrow. [The Midɇ's arm is seen grasping a magic arrow, to symbolize the velocity of action of the remedy.]

I am coming to the earth. [A Manidø is represented upon a circle, and in the act of descending toward the earth, which is indicated by the horizontal line, upon which is an Indian habitation. The character to denote the sky is usually drawn as a curved line with the convexity above, but in this instance the ends of the lines are continued below, so as to unite and to complete the ring; the intention being, as suggested by several Midɇ priests, to denote great altitude above the earth, i.e., higher than the visible azure sky, which is designated by curved lines only.]

I am feeling for it. [The Midɇ is reaching into holes in the earth in search of hidden medicines.]

I am talking to it. [The Midɇ is communing with the medicine Manidø with the Midɇ sack, which he holds in his hand. The voice lines extend from his mouth to the sack, which appears to be made of the skin of an Owl, as before noted in connection with the second character in this song.]

They are sitting round the interior in a row. [This evidently signifies the Ghost Lodge, as the structure is drawn at right angles to that usually made to represent the Midɇwign, and also because it seems to be reproduced from the Red Lake chart already alluded to and figured in Pl. III, No. 112. The spirits or shadows, as the dead are termed, are also indicated by crosses in like manner.]

You who are newly hung; you have reached half, and you are now full. [The allusion is to three phases of the moon, probably having reference to certain periods at which some important ceremonies or events are to occur.]

I am going for my dish. [The speaker intimates that he is going to make a feast, the dish being shown at the top in the form of a circle; the footprints are directed toward, it and signify, by their shape, that he likens himself to the Bear manidø, one of the guardians of the Midɇwiwin.]

I go through the medicine lodge. [The footprints within the parallel lines denote his having passed through an unnamed number of degrees. Although the structure is indicated as being erected like the Ghost Lodge, i.e., north and south, it is stated that Midɇwiwin is intended. This appears to be an instance of the non-systematic manner of objective ideagraphic delineation.]

Let us commune with one another. [The speaker is desirous of communing with his favorite manidøs, with whom he considers himself on an equality, as is indicated by the anthropomorphic form of one between whom and himself the voice lines extend.]

On Figs. 36-39, are reproduced several series of pictographs from birch-bark songs found among the effects of a deceased Midɇ priest, at Leech Lake. Reference to other relics belonging to the same collection has been made in connection with effigies and beads employed by Midɇ in the endeavor to prove the genuineness of their religion and profession. These mnemonic songs were exhibited to many Midɇ priests from various portions of the Ojibwa country, in the hope of obtaining some satisfactory explanation regarding the import of the several characters; but, although they were pronounced to be "Grand Medicine," no suggestions were offered beyond the merest repetition of the name of the object or what it probably was meant to represent. The direction of their order was mentioned, because in most instances the initial character furnishes the guide. Apart from this, the illustrations are of interest as exhibiting the superior character and cleverness of their execution.


The initial character on Fig. 36 appears to be at the right hand upper corner, and represents the Bear Manidø. The third figure is that of the Midɇwiwin, with four manidøs within it, probably the guardians of the four degrees. The owner of the song was a Midɇ of the second degree, as was stated in connection with his Midɇwi-gwas or "medicine chart," illustrated on Plate III, C.


Fig. 37 represents what appears to be a mishkiki or medicine song, as is suggested by the figures of plants and roots. It is impossible to state absolutely at which side the initial character is placed, though it would appear that the human figure at the upper left hand corner would be more in accordance with the common custom.


Fig. 38 seems to pertain to hunting, and may have been recognized as a hunter's chart. According to the belief of several Midɇ, it is lead from right to left, the human figure indicating the direction according to the way in which the heads of the crane, bear, etc., are turned. The lower left hand figure of a man has five marks upon the breast, which probably indicate mɨgis spots, to denote the power of magic influence possessed by the recorder.


The characters on Fig. 39 are found to be arranged so as to read from the right hand upper corner toward the left, the next line continuing to the right and lastly again to the left, terminating with the figure of a Midɇ with the mɨgis upon his breast. This is interesting on account of the boustrophic system of delineating the figures, and also because such instances are rarely found to occur.


While it is customary among many tribes of Indians to use as little clothing as possible when engaged in dancing, either of a social or ceremonial nature, the Ojibwa, on the contrary, vie with one another in the attempt to appear in the most costly and gaudy dress attainable. The Ojibwa Midɇ priests, take particular pride in their appearance when attending ceremonies of the Midɇ Society, and seldom fail to impress this fact upon visitors, as some of the Dakotan tribes, who have adopted similar medicine ceremonies after the custom of their Algonkian neighbors, are frequently without any clothing other than the breechcloth and moccasins, and the armlets and other attractive ornaments. This disregard of dress appears, to the Ojibwa, as a sacrilegious digression from the ancient usages, and it frequently excites severe comment.

Apart from facial ornamentation, of such design as may take the actor's fancy, or in accordance with the degree of which the subject may be a member, the Midɇ priests wear shirts, trousers, and moccasins, the first two of which may consist of flannel or cloth and be either plain or ornamented with beads, while the latter are always of buckskin, or, what is more highly prized, moose skin, beaded or worked with colored porcupine quills.

Immediately below each knee is tied a necessary item of an Ojibwa's dress, a garter, which consists of a band of beads varying in different specimens from 2 to 4 inches in width, and from 18 to 20 inches in length, to each end of which strands of colored wool yarn, 2 feet long, are attached so as to admit of being passed around the leg and tied in a bow-knot in front. These garters are made by the women in such patterns as they may be able to design or elaborate. On Pl. XXIII are reproductions of parts of two patterns which are of more than ordinary interest, because of the symbolic signification of the colors and the primitive art design in one, and the substitution of colors and the introduction of modern designs in the other. The upper one consists of green, red, and white beads, the first two colors being in accord with those of one of the degree posts, while the white is symbolical of the mɨgis shell. In the lower illustration is found a substitution of color for the preceding, accounted for by the Midɇ informants, who explained that neither of the varieties of beads of the particular color desired could be obtained when wanted. The yellow beads are substituted for white, the blue for green, and the orange and pink for red. The design retains the lozenge form, though in a different arrangement, and the introduction of the blue border is adapted after patterns observed among their white neighbors. In the former is presented also what the Ojibwa term the groundwork or type of their original style of ornamentation, i.e., wavy or gently zigzag lines. Later art work consists chiefly of curved lines, and this has gradually become modified through instruction from the Catholic sisters at various early mission establishments until now, when there has been brought about a common system of working upon cloth or velvet, in patterns, consisting of vines, leaves, and flowers, often exceedingly attractive though not aboriginal in the true sense of the word.

Dancing Garters.]

Bands of flannel or buckskin, handsomely beaded, are sometimes attached to the sides of the pantaloons, in imitation of an officer's stripes, and around the bottom. Collars are also used, in addition to necklaces of claws, shells, or other objects.

Armlets and bracelets are sometimes made of bands of beadwork, though brass wire or pieces of metal are preferred.

Bags made of cloth, beautifully ornamented or entirely covered with beads, are worn, supported at the side by means of a broad band or baldric passing over the opposite shoulder. The head is decorated with disks of metal and tufts of colored horse hair or moose hair and with eagle feathers to designate the particular exploits performed by the wearer.

Few emblems of personal valor or exploits are now worn, as many of the representatives of the present generation have never been actively engaged in war, so that there is generally found only among the older members the practice of wearing upon the head eagle feathers bearing indications of significant markings or cuttings. A feather which has been split from the tip toward the middle denotes that the wearer was wounded by an arrow. A red spot as large as a silver dime painted upon a feather shows the wearer to have been wounded by a bullet. The privilege of wearing a feather tipped with red flannel or horse hair dyed red is recognized only when the wearer has killed an enemy, and when a great number have been killed in war the so-called war bonnet is worn, and may consist of a number of feathers exceeding the number of persons killed, the idea to be expressed being "a great number," rather than a specific enumeration.

Although the Ojibwa admit that in former times they had many other specific ways of indicating various kinds of personal exploits, they now have little opportunity of gaining such distinction, and consequently the practice has fallen into desuetude.


According to a treaty now being made between the United States Government and the Ojibwa Indians, the latter are to relinquish the several areas of land at present occupied by them and to remove to portions of the Red Lake and White Earth Reservations and take lands in severalty. By this treaty about 4,000,000 acres of land will be ceded to the Government, and the members of the various bands will become citizens of the United States, and thus their tribal ties will be broken and their primitive customs and rites be abandoned.

The chief Midɇ priests, being aware of the momentous consequences of such a change in their habits, and foreseeing the impracticability of much longer continuing the ceremonies of so-called "pagan rites," became willing to impart them to me, in order that a complete description might be made and preserved for the future information of their descendants.

There is scarcely any doubt that these ceremonies will still be secretly held at irregular intervals; but under the watchful care of the national authorities it is doubtful whether they will be performed with any degree of completeness, and it will be but a comparatively short time before the Midɇwiwin will be only a tradition.

* * * * * * * * *

Errata for Midɇwiwin:

A number of Ojibwa words are recorded with "w" where the correct form has "b". Since w:b is not an attested dialectal variation, these may be mishearings on the part of the original transcriber. Other errors such as G:S or h:k can be attributed to misreading of handwritten text.

Variations and inconsistencies (unchanged):

Ojibwa : Ojibway Manido(s) : Manidø(s) [throughout text] Bois Forts [modern name Bois Forte, but "Forts" is common in early texts] INDEX: [all spellings unchanged] [Note 11] History of the Ojebway Indians, London [1843(?)] [question mark and brackets in original] sacred objects which Minabøzho had deposited [word is usually spelled "Minabøzho"] Before proceeding further with the explanation of the Mide [word is usually spelled "Midɇ"] The bear going to the Midɇwigan [word is usually spelled "Midɇwign"] The boy then narrated ... man-i-dø 'n-gi-gĭn-o-a-mk [the apostrophe in "'n-gi-gĭn-o-a-mk" occurs nowhere else in the text; it may be phonetic (elision of i?) or an error]


A-mĭ-kŭn-dem mi-ɇ-ta -bi-dink [-wi-dink] the Midɇwiwin was at that time held annually [Midwiwin] shall guard it during the night [shal] Aminikanzibi [A[n]nibikanzibi] calling upon the other Manidøs to join him [text reads "to / to" at line break] This wigiwam is dome-shaped measures about 10 feet in diameter [text unchanged: "and measures", "measuring"?] shooting the mɨgis (see Fig. 15) is explained on page 215 [text reads "page 192" (page number of Fig. 15)] Ni-nɨn-dɇ, a-ya [Ni-nɨn-dɇ, ĕ, ø, ya] Nɇ-wødɇ-ɇ. [Hɇ-wøg, ɇ, ɇ] Gagaɨ[n]wu[n]sh— "Raven Tree." [Sagaɨ[n]wu[n]sh] Iskigomeaush— "Sap-flows-fast." [Ishigomeaush] Yellow Birch. Winnissik. [Wiumissik] White Birch. Wɨgwas. [Mɨgwas] Kinɇbigwŏshk— "Snake weed or Snake Vine." [Kinɇwigwŏshk] Sunflower. Pŭkitewŭbbŏku[n]s. [Pŭkitewŭkbŏku[n]s] Makadɇmĭskwiminŏk— "Black Blood Berry." [Makadɇwĭskwiminŏk] Choke Cherry. Sisa[n]weminakŏ[n]sh. [Sisa[n]wewinak[n]sh] Okwɇmĭsh— "Scabby Bark." [Okwɇwĭsh] at the time during which the investigations were made [text reads "investiga/gations" at line break] Wabøsøminɨsŏk— "Rabbit berries" [Wabøsaminɨsŏk] Culver's Root. Wisŏgedzhibik [Wisŏgedzhiwik] Hoary Willow. Sisigobemĭsh. [Sisigewemĭsh] Symphoricarpos vulgaris [Symphoricarpus] (Gen. et sp. ?) Termed Kinebĭk wa[n]shko[n]s and "Snake weed." [Smilacina racemosa: False Solomon's seal] (Gen. et sp. ?) Kitshiodɇiminibŏk— "Big Heart Leaf." [Potentilla spp.: Cinquefoil] Waterleaf. Bu[n]kitebagu[n]s. [Hu[n]kitewaguŭs] Downy Yellow Violet. Ogitɇbagu[n]s. [... Violet, Ogitɇwagu[n]s] Dwarf Wild Rose. Oginɨminaga[n]wŏs. [Oginɨminaga[n]mŏs] (Gen. et sp. ?) Mŏzntĭk. [Urtica dioica: Stinging Nettle] Nesøbakŏk— "Three Leafed." [Nesøwakŏk] The short zigzag lines signifying magic influence [sigzag] The lines extending downward from the eye signifies weeping [text unchanged] Ki-na-nɇ, hɇ, ki-ne-na-wɇ man-i-dø. [Hi-na-nɇ] "Ønishgn"—"get up" [Ømishga'n] in this place he shall be Raised again [text (two-line gloss) reads "in this he shall / be place"] (the second-degree mɨgis) [mgis] the illustration in Pl. XIV, A, is a reproduction of the original [Pl. XVII, A] represented pictorially, also on Pl. XIV, B [Pl. XVII, B] a three-lobed apex, as shown in Fig. 4 [Fig. 3] south and east of the Midɇwign, as shown in Fig. 35 [Fig. 30] These mnemonic songs were exhibited [menmonic] w-wa-tɇ-si-wŭg [wɇ-we-tɇ-si-wŭg]


principles of magic and incantations." [close quote missing] (or, as we have learned to term it, "Grand Medicine,") [close parenthesis missing] place the body on the ground in the middle of the wigiwam." [close quote missing] Long-sand-bar-beneath-the-surface (No. 15) [printed "beneath/ the" (no hyphen at line break)] "Our forefathers were living [open quote missing (passage is quote within block quote)] We-gi-kwø Kĕ-mɨ-nĭ-nan? [text ends ".?"] "He, the chief spirit of the Midɇ Society [open quote missing (passage is quote within block quote)]

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Introduction 307 How the formulas were obtained. 310 The A'y[n]inĭ (Swimmer) manuscript 310 The Gatigwanastĭ (Belt) manuscript 312 The Gahunĭ manuscript 313 The Inlĭ (Black Fox) manuscript 314 Other manuscripts 316 The Kanheta Ani-Tsalagĭ Etĭ or Ancient Cherokee Formulas 317 Character of the formulas— the Cherokee religion 318 Myth of the origin of disease and medicine 319 Theory of disease— animals, ghosts, witches 322 Selected list of plants used 324 Medical practice— theory of resemblances— fasting— tabu— seclusion— women 328 Illustration of the gakt[n]ta or tabu 331 Neglect of sanitary regulations 332 The sweat bath— bleeding—rubbing—bathing 338 Opposition of shamans to white physicians 336 Medicine dances 337 Description of symptoms 337 The ugista'tĭ or pay of the shaman 337 Ceremonies for gathering plants and preparing medicine 339 The Cherokee gods and their abiding places 340 Color symbolism 342 Importance attached to names 343 Language of the formulas 343 Specimen formulas 344 Medicine. 345 To treat the crippler (rheumatism)— from Gahuni 345 Second formula for the crippler— from Gahuni 349 Song and prescription for snake bites— from Gahuni 351 When something is causing something to eat them— Gahuni 353 Second formula for the same disease— A'wanita 355 For moving pains in the teeth (neuralgia?)— Gatigwanasti 356 Song and prayer for the great chill— A'y[n]ini 359 To make children jump down (child birth)— A'y[n]ini 363 Second formula for child birth— Takwatihi 364 Song and prayer for the black yellowness (biliousness)— A'y[n]ini 365 To treat for ordeal diseases (witchcraft)— A'y[n]ini 366 Hunting 369 Concerning hunting— A'y[n]ini 369 For hunting birds— A'y[n]ini 371 To shoot dwellers in the wilderness— A'wanita 372 Bear song— A'y[n]ini 373 For catching large fish— A'y[n]ini 374 Love 375 Concerning living humanity— Gatigwanasti 376 For going to water— Gatigwanasti 378 Y[n]wehi song for painting— Gatigwanasti 379 Song and prayer to fix the affections— A'y[n]ini 380 To separate lovers— A'y[n]ini 381 Song and prayer to fix the affections— Gatigwanasti 382 Miscellaneous 384 To shorten a night goer on this side— A'y[n]ini 384 To find lost articles— Gatigwanasti 386 To frighten away a storm— A'y[n]ini 387 To help warriors— Awanita 388 To destroy life (ceremony with beads)— A'y[n]ini 391 To take to water for the ball play— A'y[n]ini 395


Pl. XXIV. Portrait of A'y[n]ini (Swimmer) 306 XXV. Facsimile of A'y[n]ini manuscript—Formula for Dalni [n]nagei 310 XXVI. Facsimile of Gatigwanasti manuscript—Y[n]wĕhĭ formula 312 XXVII. Facsimile of Gahuni manuscript—Formula for Did[n]lĕskĭ 314

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