The Mide'wiwin or "Grand Medicine Society" of the Ojibwa
by Walter James Hoffman
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[Transcriber's Note:

This e-text is intended for users whose text readers cannot handle the primary (UTF-8) version of the file. Characters that could not be fully expressed in 7-bit ASCII have been "unpacked" and shown within brackets. Depending on your software, you may be able to "back-edit" some of these into their original form.

Unicode (UTF-8) characters: ⱥ ɇ ɨ ø u vowel with macron ("long" mark) ă ĕ ĭ ŏ ŭ vowel with breve ("short" mark) [n] small raised n

Latin-1 (8th-bit) characters: â ê vowel with circumflex accent ("hat") é è vowel with acute or grave accent / accent mark ("naked" acute accent), shown between or after syllables. This form was adopted to avoid confusion with the ordinary apostrophe in words such as Midɇ/'s.

ae: this vowel pair was always written as a ligature in the original text, so the "unpacked" form has no special marking confrere: this word was always written with a grave accent ' over the first "e"

The music is available in two forms, collected in the "files" directory associated with the .html version of this text. —simplified lilypond files (extension .ly), with lyrics and dynamic markings omitted. —MIDI (playable sound) files for each song. Each [Music] tag includes a page number for cross-reference.

Variant spellings and typographical errors are listed at the end of the text. Longer bracketed passages are in the original.]

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CONTENTS. Page Introduction 149 Shamans 156 Midɇ/wiwin 164 Midɇ/wigân 187 First degree 189 Preparatory instruction 189 Midɇ/ therapeutics 197 Imploration for clear weather 207 Initiation of candidate 210 Descriptive notes 220 Second degree 224 Preparation of candidate 224 Initiation of candidate 231 Descriptive notes 236 Third degree 240 Preparation of candidate 241 Initiation of candidate 243 Descriptive notes 251 Fourth degree 255 Preparation of candidate 257 Initiation of candidate 258 Descriptive notes 274 Dzhibai/ Midɇ/wigân 278 Initiation by substitution 281 Supplementary notes 286 Pictography 286 Music 289 Dress and ornaments 298 Future of the society 299


[Plates and Figures were numbered continuously within each Bureau of Ethnology volume, so there is no Plate I in this article.]

Page Plate II. Map showing present distribution of Ojibwa 150 III. Red Lake and Leech Lake records 166 IV. Sikas/sige's record 170 V. Origin of Âníshinâ/bɇg 172 VI. Facial decoration 174 VII. Facial decoration 178 VIII. Ojibwa's record 182 IX. Mnemonic songs 193 X. Mnemonic songs 202 XI. Sacred objects 220 XII. Invitation sticks 236 XIII. Mnemonic songs 238 XIV. Mnemonic songs 288 XV. Sacred posts 240 XVI. Mnemonic songs 244 XVII. Mnemonic songs 266 XVIII. Jĕs/sakkɨd/ removing disease 278 XIX. Birch-bark records 286 XX. Sacred bark scroll and contents 288 XXI. Midɇ/ relics from Leech Lake 390 XXII. Mnemonic songs 392 XXIII. Midɇ/ dancing garters 298

Fig. 1. Herbalist preparing medicine and treating patient 159 2. Sikas/sigĕ's combined charts, showing descent of Mɨ/nabø/zho 174 3. Origin of ginseng 175 4. Peep-hole post 178 5. Migration of Âníshinâ/bɇg 179 6. Birch-bark record, from White Earth 185 7. Birch-bark record, from Bed Lake 186 8. Birch-bark record, from Red Lake 186 9. Eshgibø/ga 187 10. Diagram of Midɇ/wigân of the first degree 188 11. Interior of Midɇ/wigân 188 12. Ojibwa drums 190 13. Midɇ/ rattle 191 14. Midɇ/ rattle 191 15. Shooting the Mɨgis 192 16. Wooden beads 205 17. Wooden effigy 205 18. Wooden effigy 205 19. Hawk-leg fetish 220 20. Hunter's medicine 222 21. Hunter's medicine 222 22. Wâbĕnø/ drum 223 23. Diagram of Midɇ/wigân of the second degree 224 24. Midɇ/ destroying an enemy 238 25. Diagram of Midɇ/wigân of the third degree 240 26. Jĕs/sakkân/, or juggler's lodge 252 27. Jĕs/sakkân/, or juggler's lodge 252 28. Jĕs/sakkân/, or juggler's lodge 252 29. Jĕs/sakkân/, or juggler's lodge 252 30. Jĕs/sakkân/, or juggler's lodge 252 31. Jĕs/sakkɨd/ curing woman 255 32. Jĕs/sakkɨd/ curing man 255 33. Diagram of Midɇ/wigân of the fourth degree 255 34. General view of Midɇ/wigân 256 35. Indian diagram of ghost lodge 279 36. Leech Lake Midɇ/ song 295 37. Leech Lake Midɇ/ song 296 38. Leech Lake Midɇ/ song 297 39. Leech Lake Midɇ/ song 297


By W. J. Hoffman.


The Ojibwa is one of the largest tribes of the United States, and it is scattered over a considerable area, from the Province of Ontario, on the east, to the Red River of the North, on the west, and from Manitoba southward through the States of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. This tribe is, strictly speaking, a timber people, and in its westward migration or dispersion has never passed beyond the limit of the timber growth which so remarkably divides the State of Minnesota into two parts possessing distinct physical features. The western portion of this State is a gently undulating prairie which sweeps away to the Rocky Mountains, while the eastern portion is heavily timbered. The dividing line, at or near the meridian of 95deg. 50' west longitude, extends due north and south, and at a point about 75 miles south of the northern boundary the timber line trends toward the northwest, crossing the State line, 49deg. north latitude, at about 97deg. 10' west longitude.

Minnesota contains many thousand lakes of various sizes, some of which are connected by fine water courses, while others are entirely isolated. The wooded country is undulating, the elevated portions being covered chiefly with pine, fir, spruce, and other coniferous trees, and the lowest depressions being occupied by lakes, ponds, or marshes, around which occur the tamarack, willow, and other trees which thrive in moist ground, while the regions between these extremes are covered with oak, poplar, ash, birch, maple, and many other varieties of trees and shrubs.

Wild fowl, game, and fish are still abundant, and until recently have furnished to the Indians the chief source of subsistence.

Tribal organization according to the totemic system is practically broken up, as the Indians are generally located upon or near the several reservations set apart for them by the General Government, where they have been under more or less restraint by the United States Indian agents and the missionaries. Representatives of various totems or gentes may therefore be found upon a single reservation, where they continue to adhere to traditional customs and beliefs, thus presenting an interesting field for ethnologic research.

The present distribution of the Ojibwa in Minnesota and Wisconsin is indicated upon the accompanying map, Pl. II. In the southern portion many of these people have adopted civilized pursuits, but throughout the northern and northwestern part many bands continue to adhere to their primitive methods and are commonly designated "wild Indians." The habitations of many of the latter are rude and primitive. The bands on the northeast shore of Red Lake, as well as a few others farther east, have occupied these isolated sites for an uninterrupted period of about three centuries, as is affirmed by the chief men of the several villages and corroborated by other traditional evidence.

Father Claude Allouez, upon his arrival in 1666 at Shagawaumikong, or La Pointe, found the Ojibwa preparing to attack the Sioux. The settlement at this point was an extensive one, and in traditions pertaining to the "Grand Medicine Society" frequent allusion is made to the fact that at this place the rites were practiced in their greatest purity.

Mr. Warren, in his History of the Ojibwa Indians,[1] bases his belief upon traditional evidence that the Ojibwa first had knowledge of the whites in 1612. Early in the seventeenth century the French missionaries met with various tribes of the Algonkian linguistic stock, as well as with bands or subtribes of the Ojibwa Indians. One of the latter, inhabiting the vicinity of Sault Ste. Marie, is frequently mentioned in the Jesuit Relations as the Saulteurs. This term was applied to all those people who lived at the Falls, but from other statements it is clear that the Ojibwa formed the most important body in that vicinity. La Hontan speaks of the "Outchepoues, alias Sauteurs," as good warriors. The name Saulteur survives at this day and is applied to a division of the tribe.

[Footnote 1: Coll. Minn. Hist. Soc., 1885, vol. 5, p. 130.]

According to statements made by numerous Ojibwa chiefs of importance the tribe began its westward dispersion from La Pointe and Fond du Lac at least two hundred and fifty years ago, some of the bands penetrating the swampy country of northern Minnesota, while others went westward and southwestward. According to a statement[2] of the location of the tribes of Lake Superior, made at Mackinaw in 1736, the Sioux then occupied the southern and northern extremities of that lake. It is possible, however, that the northern bands of the Ojibwa may have penetrated the region adjacent to the Pigeon River and passed west to near their present location, thus avoiding their enemies who occupied the lake shore south of them.

[Footnote 2: Reproduced from the ninth volume of the New York Colonial Documents, pp. 1054, 1055.]

lle. XII La Pointe. XIII Lac de Flanibeau. XIV Red Cliff. XV Grand Portage.]

From recent investigations among a number of tribes of the Algonkian linguistic division it is found that the traditions and practices pertaining to the Midɇ/wiwin, Society of the Midɇ/ or Shamans, popularly designated as the "Grand Medicine Society," prevailed generally, and the rites are still practiced at irregular intervals, though in slightly different forms in various localities.

In the reports of early travelers and missionaries no special mention is made of the Midɇ/, the Jes/sakkɨd/, or the Wâbĕnø/, but the term sorcerer or juggler is generally employed to designate that class of persons who professed the power of prophecy, and who practiced incantation and administered medicinal preparations. Constant reference is made to the opposition of these personages to the introduction of Christianity. In the light of recent investigation the cause of this antagonism is seen to lie in the fact that the traditions of Indian genesis and cosmogony and the ritual of initiation into the Society of the Midɇ/ constitute what is to them a religion, even more powerful and impressive than the Christian religion is to the average civilized man. This opposition still exists among the leading classes of a number of the Algonkian tribes, and especially among the Ojibwa, many bands of whom have been more or less isolated and beyond convenient reach of the Church. The purposes of the society are twofold; first, to preserve the traditions just mentioned, and second, to give a certain class of ambitious men and women sufficient influence through their acknowledged power of exorcism and necromancy to lead a comfortable life at the expense of the credulous. The persons admitted into the society are firmly believed to possess the power of communing with various supernatural beings—manidos—and in order that certain desires may be realized they are sought after and consulted. The purpose of the present paper is to give an account of this society and of the ceremony of initiation as studied and observed at White Earth, Minnesota, in 1889. Before proceeding to this, however, it may be of interest to consider a few statements made by early travelers respecting the "sorcerers or jugglers" and the methods of medication.

In referring to the practices of the Algonkian tribes of the Northwest, La Hontan[3] says:

When they are sick, they only drink Broth, and eat sparingly; and if they have the good luck to fall asleep, they think themselves cur'd: They have told me frequently, that sleeping and sweating would cure the most stubborn Diseases in the World. When they are so weak that they cannot get out of Bed, their Relations come and dance and make merry before 'em, in order to divert 'em. To conclude, when they are ill, they are always visited by a sort of Quacks, (Jongleurs); of whom 't will now be proper to subjoin two or three Words by the bye.

A Jongleur is a sort of Physician, or rather a Quack, who being once cur'd of some dangerous Distemper, has the Presumption and Folly to fancy that he is immortal, and possessed of the Power of curing all Diseases, by speaking to the Good and Evil Spirits. Now though every Body rallies upon these Fellows when they are absent, and looks upon 'em as Fools that have lost their Senses by some violent Distemper, yet they allow 'em to visit the Sick; whether it be to divert 'em with their Idle Stories, or to have an Opportunity of seeing them rave, skip about, cry, houl, and make Grimaces and Wry Faces, as if they were possess'd. When all the Bustle is over, they demand a Feast of a Stag and some large Trouts for the Company, who are thus regal'd at once with Diversion and Good Cheer.

When the Quack comes to visit the Patient, he examines him very carefully; If the Evil Spirit be here, says he, we shall quickly dislodge him. This said, he withdraws by himself to a little Tent made on purpose, where he dances, and sings houling like an Owl; (which gives the Jesuits Occasion to say, That the Devil converses with 'em.) After he has made an end of this Quack Jargon, he comes and rubs the Patient in some part of his Body, and pulling some little Bones out of his Mouth, acquaints the Patient, That these very Bones came out of his Body; that he ought to pluck up a good heart, in regard that his Distemper is but a Trifle; and in fine, that in order to accelerate the Cure, 't will be convenient to send his own and his Relations Slaves to shoot Elks, Deer, &c., to the end they may all eat of that sort of Meat, upon which his Cure does absolutely depend.

Commonly these Quacks bring 'em some Juices of Plants, which are a sort of Purges, and are called Maskikik.

[Footnote 3: New Voyages to North America, London, 1703, vol. 2, pp. 47, 48.]

Hennepin, in "A Continuation of the New Discovery," etc.,[4] speaks of the religion and sorcerers of the tribes of the St. Lawrence and those living about the Great Lakes as follows:

We have been all too sadly convinced, that almost all the Salvages in general have no notion of a God, and that they are not able to comprehend the most ordinary Arguments on that Subject; others will have a Spirit that commands, say they, in the Air. Some among 'em look upon the Skie as a kind of Divinity; others as an Otkon or Manitou, either Good or Evil.

These People admit of some sort of Genius in all things; they all believe there is a Master of Life, as they call him, but hereof they make various applications; some of them have a lean Raven, which they carry always along with them, and which they say is the Master of their Life; others have an Owl, and some again a Bone, a Sea-Shell, or some such thing;

There is no Nation among 'em which has not a sort of Juglers or Conjuerers, which some look upon to be Wizards, but in my Opinion there is no Great reason to believe 'em such, or to think that their Practice favours any thing of a Communication with the Devil.

These Impostors cause themselves to be reverenced as Prophets which fore-tell Futurity. They will needs be look'd upon to have an unlimited Power. They boast of being able to make it Wet or Dry; to cause a Calm or a Storm; to render Land Fruitful or Barren; and, in a Word to make Hunters Fortunate or Unfortunate. They also pretend to Physick, and to apply Medicines, but which are such, for the most part as have little Virtue at all in 'em, especially to Cure that Distemper which they pretend to.

It is impossible to imagine, the horrible Howlings and strange Contortions that those Jugglers make of their Bodies, when they are disposing themselves to Conjure, or raise their Enchantments.

[Footnote 4: London, 1689, p. 59, et. seq.]

Marquette, who visited the Miami, Mascontin and Kickapoo Indians in 1673, after referring to the Indian herbalist, mentions also the ceremony of the "calumet dance," as follows:

They have Physicians amongst them, towards whom they are very liberal when they are sick, thinking that the Operation of the Remedies they take, is proportional to the Presents they make unto those who have prescrib'd them.

In connection with this, reference is made by Marquette to a certain class of individuals among the Illinois and Dakota, who were compelled to wear women's clothes, and who were debarred many privileges, but were permitted to "assist at all the Superstitions of their Juglers, and their solemn Dances in honor of the Calumet, in which they may sing, but it is not lawful for them to dance. They are call'd to their Councils, and nothing is determin'd without their Advice; for, because of their extraordinary way of Living, they are look'd upon as Manitous, or at least for great and incomparable Genius's."

That the calumet was brought into requisition upon all occasions of interest is learned from the following statement, in which the same writer declares that it is "the most mysterious thing in the World. The Sceptres of our Kings are not so much respected; for the Savages have such a Deference for this Pipe, that one may call it The God of Peace and War, and the Arbiter of Life and Death. Their Calumet of Peace is different from the Calumet of War; They make use of the former to seal their Alliances and Treaties, to travel with safety, and receive Strangers; and the other is to proclaim War."

This reverence for the calumet is shown by the manner in which it is used at dances, in the ceremony of smoking, etc., indicating a religious devoutness approaching that recently observed among various Algonkian tribes in connection with the ceremonies of the Midɇ/wiwin. When the calumet dance was held, the Illinois appear to have resorted to the houses in the winter and to the groves in the summer. The above-named authority continues in this connection:

They chuse for that purpose a set Place among Trees, to shelter themselves against the Heat of the Sun, and lay in the middle a large Matt, as a Carpet, to lay upon the God of the Chief of the Company, who gave the Ball; for every one has his peculiar God, whom they call Manitoa. It is sometime a Stone, a Bird, a Serpent, or anything else that they dream of in their Sleep; for they think this Manitoa will prosper their Wants, as Fishing, Hunting, and other Enterprizes. To the Right of their Manitoa they place the Calumet, their Great Deity, making round about it a Kind of Trophy with their Arms, viz. their Clubs, Axes, Bows, Quivers, and Arrows. * * * Every Body sits down afterwards, round about, as they come, having first of all saluted the Manitoa, which they do in blowing the Smoak of their Tobacco upon it, which is as much as offering to it Frankincense. * * * This Preludium being over, he who is to begin the Dance appears in the middle of the Assembly, and having taken the Calumet, presents it to the Sun, as if he wou'd invite him to smoke. Then he moves it into an infinite Number of Postures sometimes laying it near the Ground, then stretching its Wings, as if he wou'd make it fly, and then presents it to the Spectators, who smoke with it one after another, dancing all the while. This is the first Scene of this famous Ball.

The infinite number of postures assumed in offering the pipe appear as significant as the "smoke ceremonies" mentioned in connection with the preparatory instruction of the candidate previous to his initiation into the Midɇ/wiwin.

In his remarks on the religion of the Indians and the practices of the sorcerers, Hennepin says:

As for their Opinion concerning the Earth, they make use of a Name of a certain Genius, whom they call Micaboche, who has cover'd the whole Earth with water (as they imagine) and relate innumerable fabulous Tales, some of which have a kind of Analogy with the Universal Deluge. These Barbarians believe that there are certain Spirits in the Air, between Heaven and Earth, who have a power to foretell future Events, and others who play the part of Physicians, curing all sorts of Distempers. Upon which account, it happens, that these Savages are very Superstitious, and consult their Oracles with a great deal of exactness. One of these Masters-Jugglers who pass for Sorcerers among them, one day caus'd a Hut to be erected with ten thick Stakes, which he fix'd very deep in the Ground, and then made a horrible noise to Consult the Spirits, to know whether abundance of Snow wou'd fall ere long, that they might have good game in the Hunting of Elks and Beavers: Afterward he bawl'd out aloud from the bottom of the Hut, that he saw many Herds of Elks, which were as yet at a very great distance, but that they drew near within seven or eight Leagues of their Huts, which caus'd a great deal of joy among those poor deluded Wretches.

That this statement refers to one or more tribes of the Algonkian linguistic stock is evident, not only because of the reference to the sorcerers and their peculiar methods of procedure, but also that the name of Micaboche, an Algonkian divinity, appears. This Spirit, who acted as an intercessor between Ki/tshi Man/idø (Great Spirit) and the Indians, is known among the Ojibwa as Mi/nabø/zho; but to this full reference will be made further on in connection with the Myth of the origin of the Midɇ/wiwin. The tradition of Nokomis (the earth) and the birth of Manabush (the Mi/nabø/zho of the Menomoni) and his brother, the Wolf, that pertaining to the re-creation of the world, and fragments of other myths, are thrown together and in a mangled form presented by Hennepin in the following words:

Some Salvages which live at the upper end of the River St. Lawrence, do relate a pretty diverting Story. They hold almost the same opinion with the former [the Iroquois], that a Woman came down from Heaven, and remained for some while fluttering in the Air, not finding Ground whereupon to put her Foot. But that the Fishes moved with Compassion for her, immediately held a Consultation to deliberate which of them should receive her. The Tortoise very officiously offered its Back on the Surface of the Water. The Woman came to rest upon it, and fixed herself there. Afterwards the Filthiness and Dirt of the Sea gathering together about the Tortoise, there was formed by little and little that vast Tract of Land, which we now call America.

They add that this Woman grew weary of her Solitude, wanting some body for to keep her Company, that so she might spend her time more pleasantly. Melancholy and Sadness having seiz'd upon her Spirits, she fell asleep, and a Spirit descended from above, and finding her in that Condition approach'd and knew her unperceptibly. From which Approach she conceived two Children, which came forth out of one of her Ribs. But these two Brothers could never afterwards agree together. One of them was a better Huntsman than the other; they quarreled every day; and their Disputes grew so high at last, that one could not bear with the other. One especially being of a very wild Temper, hated mortally his Brother who was of a milder Constitution, who being no longer able to endure the Pranks of the other, he resolved at last to part from him. He retired then into Heaven, whence, for a Mark of his just Resentment, he causeth at several times his Thunder to rore over the Head of his unfortunate Brother.

Sometime after the Spirit descended again on that Woman, and she conceived a Daughter, from whom (as the Salvages say) were propagated these numerous People, which do occupy now one of the greatest parts of the Universe.

It is evident that the narrator has sufficiently distorted the traditions to make them conform, as much as practicable, to the biblical story of the birth of Christ. No reference whatever is made in the Ojibwa or Menomoni myths to the conception of the Daughter of Nokomis (the earth) by a celestial visitant, but the reference is to one of the wind gods. Mi/nabø/zho became angered with the Ki/tshi Man/idø, and the latter, to appease his discontent, gave to Mi/nabø/zho the rite of the Midɇwiwin. The brother of Mi/nabø/zho was destroyed by the malevolent underground spirits and now rules the abode of shadows,—the "Land of the Midnight Sun."

Upon his arrival at the "Bay of Puans" (Green Bay, Wisconsin), Marquette found a village inhabited by three nations, viz: "Miamis, Maskoutens, and Kikabeux." He says:

When I arriv'd there, I was very glad to see a great Cross set up in the middle of the Village, adorn'd with several White Skins, Red Girdles, Bows and Arrows, which that good People had offer'd to the Great Manitou, to return him their Thanks for the care he had taken of them during the Winter, and that he had granted them a prosperous Hunting. Manitou, is the Name they give in general to all Spirits whom they think to be above the Nature of Man.

Marquette was without doubt ignorant of the fact that the cross is the sacred post, and the symbol of the fourth degree of the Midɇ/wiwin, as will be fully explained in connection with that grade of the society. The erroneous conclusion that the cross was erected as an evidence of the adoption of Christianity, and possibly as a compliment to the visitor, was a natural one on the part of the priest, but this same symbol of the Midɇ/ Society had probably been erected and bedecked with barbaric emblems and weapons months before anything was known of him.

The result of personal investigations among the Ojibwa, conducted during the years 1887, 1888 and 1889, are presented in the accompanying paper. The information was obtained from a number of the chief Midɇ/ priests living at Red Lake and White Earth reservations, as well as from members of the society from other reservations, who visited the last named locality during the three years. Special mention of the peculiarity of the music recorded will be made at the proper place; and it may here be said that in no instance was the use of colors detected, in any birch-bark or other records or mnemonic songs, simply to heighten the artistic effect; though the reader would be led by an examination of the works of Schoolcraft to believe this to be a common practice. Col. Garrick Mallery; U.S. Army, in a paper read before the Anthropological Society of Washington, District of Columbia, in 1888, says, regarding this subject:

The general character of his voluminous publications has not been such as to assure modern critics of his accuracy, and the wonderful minuteness, as well as comprehension, attributed by him to the Ojibwa hieroglyphs has been generally regarded of late with suspicion. It was considered in the Bureau of Ethnology an important duty to ascertain how much of truth existed in these remarkable accounts, and for that purpose its pictographic specialists, myself and Dr. W. J. Hoffman as assistant, were last summer directed to proceed to the most favorable points in the present habitat of the tribe, namely, the northern region of Minnesota and Wisconsin, to ascertain how much was yet to be discovered. * * * The general results of the comparison of Schoolcraft's statements with what is now found shows that, in substance, he told the truth, but with much exaggeration and coloring. The word "coloring" is particularly appropriate, because, in his copious illustrations, various colors were used freely with apparent significance, whereas, in fact, the general rule in regard to the birch-bark rolls was that they were never colored at all; indeed, the bark was not adapted to coloration. The metaphorical coloring was also used by him in a manner which, to any thorough student of the Indian philosophy and religion, seems absurd. Metaphysical expressions are attached to some of the devices, or, as he calls them, symbols, which, could never have been entertained by a people in the stage of culture of the Ojibwa.


There are extant among the Ojibwa Indians three classes of mystery men, termed respectively and in order of importance the Midɇ/, the Jĕs/sakkɨd/, and the Wâbĕnø/, but before proceeding to elaborate in detail the Society of the Midɇ/, known as the Midɇ/wiwin, a brief description of the last two is necessary.

The term Wâbĕnø/ has been explained by various intelligent Indians as signifying "Men of the dawn," "Eastern men," etc. Their profession is not thoroughly understood, and their number is so extremely limited that but little information respecting them can be obtained. Schoolcraft,[5] in referring to the several classes of Shamans, says "there is a third form or rather modification of the medawin, * * * the Wâbĕnø/; a term denoting a kind of midnight orgies, which is regarded as a corruption of the Meda." This writer furthermore remarks[6] that "it is stated by judicious persons among themselves to be of modern origin. They regard it as a degraded form of the mysteries of the Meda."

[Footnote 5: Information respecting the history, condition, and prospects of the Indian tribes of the United States. Philadelphia, 1851, vol. 1, p. 319.]

[Footnote 6: Ibid., p. 362.]

From personal investigation it has been ascertained that a Wâbĕnø/ does not affiliate with others of his class so as to constitute a society, but indulges his pretensions individually. A Wâbĕnø/ is primarily prompted by dreams or visions which may occur during his youth, for which purpose he leaves his village to fast for an indefinite number of days. It is positively affirmed that evil man/idøs favor his desires, and apart from his general routine of furnishing "hunting medicine," "love powders," etc., he pretends also to practice medical magic. When a hunter has been successful through the supposed assistance of the Wâbĕnø/, he supplies the latter with part of the game, when, in giving a feast to his tutelary daimon, the Wâbĕnø/ will invite a number of friends, but all who desire to come are welcome. This feast is given at night; singing and dancing are boisterously indulged in, and the Wâbĕnø/, to sustain his reputation, entertains his visitors with a further exhibition of his skill. By the use of plants he is alleged to be enabled to take up and handle with impunity red-hot stones and burning brands, and without evincing the slightest discomfort it is said that he will bathe his hands in boiling water, or even boiling maple sirup. On account of such performances the general impression prevails among the Indians that the Wâbĕnø/ is a "dealer in fire," or "fire-handler." Such exhibitions always terminate at the approach of day. The number of these pretenders who are not members of the Midɇ/wiwin, is very limited; for instance, there are at present but two or three at White Earth Reservation and none at Leech Lake.

As a general rule, however, the Wâbĕnø/ will seek entrance into the Midɇ/wiwin when he becomes more of a specialist in the practice of medical magic, incantations, and the exorcism of malevolent man/idøs, especially such as cause disease.

The Jĕs/sakkɨd/ is a seer and prophet; though commonly designated a "juggler," the Indians define him as a "revealer of hidden truths." There is no association whatever between the members of this profession, and each practices his art singly and alone whenever a demand is made and the fee presented. As there is no association, so there is no initiation by means of which one may become a Jĕs/sakkɨd/. The gift is believed to be given by the thunder god, or Animiki/, and then only at long intervals and to a chosen few. The gift is received during youth, when the fast is undertaken and when visions appear to the individual. His renown depends upon his own audacity and the opinion of the tribe. He is said to possess the power to look into futurity; to become acquainted with the affairs and intentions of men; to prognosticate the success or misfortune of hunters and warriors, as well as other affairs of various individuals, and to call from any living human being the soul, or, more strictly speaking, the shadow, thus depriving the victim of reason, and even of life. His power consists in invoking, and causing evil, while that of the Midɇ/ is to avert it; he attempts at times to injure the Midɇ/ but the latter, by the aid of his superior man/idos, becomes aware of, and averts such premeditated injury. It sometimes happens that the demon possessing a patient is discovered, but the Midɇ/ alone has the power to expel him. The exorcism of demons is one of the chief pretensions of this personage, and evil spirits are sometimes removed by sucking them through tubes, and startling tales are told how the Jĕs/sakkɨd/ can, in the twinkling of an eye, disengage himself of the most complicated tying of cords and ropes, etc. The lodge used by this class of men consists of four poles planted in the ground, forming a square of three or four feet and upward in diameter, around which are wrapped birch bark, robes, or canvas in such a way as to form an upright cylinder. Communion is held with the turtle, who is the most powerful man/idø of the Jĕs/sakkɨd/, and through him, with numerous other malevolent man/idøs, especially the Animiki/, or thunder-bird. When the prophet has seated himself within his lodge the structure begins to sway violently from side to side, loud thumping noises are heard within, denoting the arrival of man/idøs, and numerous voices and laughter are distinctly audible to those without. Questions may then be put to the prophet and, if everything be favorable, the response is not long in coming. In his notice of the Jĕs/sakkɨd/, Schoolcraft affirms[7] that "while he thus exercises the functions of a prophet, he is also a member of the highest class of the fraternity of the Midâwin—a society of men who exercise the medical art on the principles of magic and incantations." The fact is that there is not the slightest connection between the practice of the Jĕs/sakkɨd/ and that of the Midɇ/wiwin, and it is seldom, if at all, that a Midɇ/ becomes a Jĕs/sakkɨd/, although the latter sometimes gains admission into the Midɇ/wiwin, chiefly with the intention of strengthening his power with his tribe.

[Footnote 7: Op. cit., vol. 5, p. 423.]

The number of individuals of this class who are not members of the Midɇ/wiwin is limited, though greater than that of the Wâbĕnø/. An idea of the proportion of numbers of the respective classes may be formed by taking the case of Menomoni Indians, who are in this respect upon the same plane as the Ojibwa. That tribe numbers about fifteen hundred, the Midɇ/ Society consisting, in round numbers, of one hundred members, and among the entire population there are but two Wâbĕnø/ and five Jĕs/sakkɨd/.

It is evident that neither the Wâbĕnø/ nor the Jĕs/sakkɨd/ confine themselves to the mnemonic songs which are employed during their ceremonial performances, or even prepare them to any extent. Such bark records as have been observed or recorded, even after most careful research and examination extending over the field seasons of three years, prove to have been the property of Wâbĕnø/ and Jĕs/sakkɨd/, who were also Midɇ/. It is probable that those who practice either of the first two forms of ceremonies and nothing else are familiar with and may employ for their own information certain mnemonic records; but they are limited to the characteristic formulae of exorcism, as their practice varies and is subject to changes according to circumstances and the requirements and wants of the applicant when words are chanted to accord therewith.

Some examples of songs used by Jĕs/sakkɨd/, after they have become Midɇ/, will be given in the description of the several degrees of the Midɇ 'wiwin.

There is still another class of persons termed Mashkɨ/kĭkɇ/winĭnĭ, or herbalists, who are generally denominated "medicine men," as the Ojibwa word implies. Their calling is a simple one, and consists in knowing the mysterious properties of a variety of plants, herbs, roots, and berries, which are revealed upon application and for a fee. When there is an administration of a remedy for a given complaint, based upon true scientific principles, it is only in consequence of such practice having been acquired from the whites, as it has usually been the custom of the Catholic Fathers to utilize all ordinary and available remedies for the treatment of the common disorders of life. Although these herbalists are aware that certain plants or roots will produce a specified effect upon the human system, they attribute the benefit to the fact that such remedies are distasteful and injurious to the demons who are present in the system and to whom the disease is attributed. Many of these herbalists are found among women, also; and these, too, are generally members of the Midɇ/wiwin. In Fig. 1 is shown an herbalist preparing a mixture.

The origin of the Midɇ/wiwin or Midɇ/ Society, commonly, though erroneously, termed Grand Medicine Society, is buried in obscurity. In the Jesuit Relations, as early as 1642, frequent reference is made to sorcerers, jugglers, and persons whose faith, influence, and practices are dependent upon the assistance of "Manitous," or mysterious spirits; though, as there is no discrimination made between these different professors of magic, it is difficult positively to determine which of the several classes were met with at that early day. It is probable that the Jĕs/sakkɨd/, or juggler, and the Midɇ/, or Shaman, were referred to.

The Midɇ/, in the true sense of the word, is a Shaman, though he has by various authors been termed powwow, medicine man, priest, seer, prophet, etc. Among the Ojibwa the office is not hereditary; but among the Menomoni a curious custom exists, by which some one is selected to fill the vacancy one year after the death of a Shaman. Whether a similar practice prevailed among other tribes of the Algonkian linguistic stock can be ascertained only by similar research among the tribes constituting that stock.

Among the Ojibwa, however, a substitute is sometimes taken to fill the place of one who has been prepared to receive the first degree of the Midɇ/wiwin, or Society of the Midɇ/, but who is removed by death before the proper initiation has been conferred. This occurs when a young man dies, in which case his father or mother may be accepted as a substitute. This will be explained in more detail under the caption of Dzhibai/ Midɇ/wigân or "Ghost Lodge," a collateral branch of the Midɇ/wiwin.

As I shall have occasion to refer to the work of the late Mr. W. W. Warren, a few words respecting him will not be inappropriate. Mr. Warren was an Ojibwa mixed blood, of good education, and later a member of the legislature of Minnesota. His work, entiled "History of the Ojibwa Nation," was published in Vol. V of the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, 1885, and edited by Dr. E. D. Neill. Mr. Warren's work is the result of the labor of a lifetime among his own people, and, had he lived, he would undoubtedly have added much to the historical material of which the printed volume chiefly consists. His manuscript was completed about the year 1852, and he died the following year. In speaking of the Society of the Midɇ/,[8] he says:

The grand rite of Me-da-we-win (or, as we have learned to term it, "Grand Medicine,") and the beliefs incorporated therein, are not yet fully understood by the whites. This important custom is still shrouded in mystery even to my own eyes, though I have taken much pains to inquire and made use of every advantage possessed by speaking their language perfectly, being related to them, possessing their friendship and intimate confidence has given me, and yet I frankly acknowledge that I stand as yet, as it were, on the threshold of the Me-da-we lodge. I believe, however, that I have obtained full as much and more general and true information on this matter than any other person who has written on the subject, not excepting a great and standard author, who, to the surprise of many who know the Ojibways well, has boldly asserted in one of his works that he has been regularly initiated into the mysteries of this rite, and is a member of the Me-da-we Society. This is certainly an assertion hard to believe in the Indian country; and when the old initiators or Indian priests are told of it they shake their heads in incredulity that a white man should ever have been allowed in truth to become a member of their Me-da-we lodge.

An entrance into the lodge itself, while the ceremonies are being enacted, has sometimes been granted through courtesy; though this does not initiate a person into the mysteries of the creed, nor does it make him a member of the Society.

[Footnote 8: Op. cit., pp. 65, 66.]

These remarks pertaining to the pretensions of "a great and standard authority" have reference to Mr. Schoolcraft, who among numerous other assertions makes the following, in the first volume of his Information Respecting the Indian Tribes of the United States, Philadelphia, 1851, p. 361, viz:

I had observed the exhibitions of the Medawin, and the exactness and studious ceremony with which its rites were performed in 1820 in the region of Lake Superior; and determined to avail myself of the advantages of my official position, in 1822, when I returned as a Government agent for the tribes, to make further inquiries into its principles and mode of proceeding. And for this purpose I had its ceremonies repeated in my office, under the secrecy of closed doors, with every means of both correct interpretation and of recording the result. Prior to this transaction I had observed in the hands of an Indian of the Odjibwa tribe one of those symbolic tablets of pictorial notation which have been sometimes called "music boards," from the fact of their devices being sung off by the initiated of the Meda Society. This constituted the object of the explanations, which, in accordance with the positive requisitions of the leader of the society and three other initiates, was thus ceremoniously made.

This statement is followed by another,[9] in which Mr. Schoolcraft, in a foot-note, affirms:

Having in 1823 been myself admitted to the class of a Meda by the Chippewas, and taken the initiatory step of a Sagima and Jesukaidin each of the other fraternities, and studied their pictographic system with great care and good helps, I may speak with the more decision on the subject.

[Footnote 9: Op. cit., vol. 5, p, 71.]

Mr. Schoolcraft presents a superficial outline of the initiatory ceremonies as conducted during his time, but as the description is meager, notwithstanding that there is every evidence that the ceremonies were conducted with more completeness and elaborate dramatization nearly three-quarters of a century ago than at the present day, I shall not burden this paper with useless repetition, but present the subject as conducted within the last three years.

Mr. Warren truly says:

In the Me-da-we rite is incorporated most that is ancient amongst them—songs and traditions that have descended not orally, but in hieroglyphs, for at least a long time of generations. In this rite is also perpetuated the purest and most ancient idioms of their language, which differs somewhat from that of the common everyday use.

As the ritual of the Midɇ/wiwin is based to a considerable extent upon traditions pertaining to the cosmogony and genesis and to the thoughtful consideration by the Good Spirit for the Indian, it is looked upon by them as "their religion," as they themselves designate it.

In referring to the rapid changes occurring among many of the Western tribes of Indians, and the gradual discontinuance of aboriginal ceremonies and customs, Mr. Warren remarks[10] in reference to the Ojibwa:

Even among these a change is so rapidly taking place, caused by a close contact with the white race, that ten years hence it will be too late to save the traditions of their forefathers from total oblivion. And even now it is with great difficulty that genuine information can be obtained of them. Their aged men are fast falling into their graves, and they carry with them the records of the past history of their people; they are the initiators of the grand rite of religious belief which they believe the Great Spirit has granted to his red children to secure them long life on earth and life hereafter; and in the bosoms of these old men are locked up the original secrets of this their most ancient belief. * * *

They fully believe, and it forms part of their religion, that the world has once been covered by a deluge, and that we are now living on what they term the "new earth." This idea is fully accounted for by their vague traditions; and in their Me-da-we-win or religion, hieroglyphs are used to denote this second earth.

[Footnote 10: Op. cit., p. 25.]


They fully believe that the red man mortally angered the Great Spirit which caused the deluge, and at the commencement of the new earth it was only through the medium and intercession of a powerful being, whom they denominate Manab-o-sho, that they were allowed to exist, and means were given them whereby to subsist and support life; and a code of religion was more lately bestowed on them, whereby they could commune with the offended Great Spirit, and ward off the approach and ravages of death.

It may be appropriate in this connection to present the description given by Rev. Peter Jones of the Midɇ/ priests and priestesses. Mr. Jones was an educated Ojibwa Episcopal clergyman, and a member of the Missasauga—i.e., the Eagle totemic division of that tribe of Indians living in Canada. In his work[11] he states:

Each tribe has its medicine men and women—an order of priesthood consulted and employed in all times of sickness. These powwows are persons who are believed to have performed extraordinary cures, either by the application of roots and herbs or by incantations. When an Indian wishes to be initiated into the order of a powwow, in the first place he pays a large fee to the faculty. He is then taken into the woods, where he is taught the names and virtues of the various useful plants; next he is instructed how to chant the medicine song, and how to pray, which prayer is a vain repetition offered up to the Master of Life, or to some munedoo whom the afflicted imagine they have offended.

The powwows are held in high veneration by their deluded brethren; not so much for their knowledge of medicine as for the magical power which they are supposed to possess. It is for their interest to lead these credulous people to believe that they can at pleasure hold intercourse with the munedoos, who are ever ready to give them whatever information they require.

[Footnote 11: History of the Ojebway Indians, London [1843(?)], pp. 143,144.]

The Ojibwa believe in a multiplicity of spirits, or man/idøs, which inhabit all space and every conspicuous object in nature. These man/idøs, in turn, are subservient to superior ones, either of a charitable and benevolent character or those which are malignant and aggressive. The chief or superior man/idø is termed Ki/tshi Man/idø—Great Spirit—approaching to a great extent the idea of the God of the Christian religion; the second in their estimation is Dzhe Man/idø, a benign being upon whom they look as the guardian spirit of the Midɇ/wiwin and through whose divine provision the sacred rites of the Midɇ/wiwin were granted to man. The Ani/miki or Thunder God is, if not the supreme, at least one of the greatest of the malignant man/idøs, and it is from him that the Jĕs/sakkɨd/ are believed to obtain their powers of evil doing. There is one other, to whom special reference will be made, who abides in and rules the "place of shadows," the hereafter; he is known as Dzhibai/ Man/idø—Shadow Spirit, or more commonly Ghost Spirit. The name of Ki/tshi Man/idø is never mentioned but with reverence, and thus only in connection with the rite of Midɇ/wiwin, or a sacred feast, and always after making an offering of tobacco.

The first important event in the life of an Ojibwa youth is his first fast. For this purpose he will leave his home for some secluded spot in the forest where he will continue to fast for an indefinite number of days; when reduced by abstinence from food he enters a hysterical or ecstatic state in which he may have visions and hallucinations. The spirits which the Ojibwa most desire to see in these dreams are those of mammals and birds, though any object, whether animate or inanimate, is considered a good omen. The object which first appears is adopted as the personal mystery, guardian spirit, or tutelary daimon of the entranced, and is never mentioned by him without first making a sacrifice. A small effigy of this man/idø is made, or its outline drawn upon a small piece of birch bark, which is carried suspended by a string around the neck, or if the wearer be a Midɇ/ he carries it in his "medicine bag" or pinji/gosân. The future course of life of the faster is governed by his dream; and it sometimes occurs that because of giving an imaginary importance to the occurrence, such as beholding, during the trance some powerful man/idø or other object held in great reverence by the members of the Midɇ/ Society, the faster first becomes impressed with the idea of becoming a Midɇ/. Thereupon he makes application to a prominent Midɇ/ priest, and seeks his advice as to the necessary course to be pursued to attain his desire. If the Midɇ/ priest considers with favor the application, he consults with his confreres and action is taken, and the questions of the requisite preliminary instructions, fees, and presents, etc., are formally discussed. If the Midɇ/ priests are in accord with the desires of the applicant an instructor or preceptor is designated, to whom he must present himself and make an agreement as to the amount of preparatory information to be acquired and the fees and other presents to be given in return. These fees have nothing whatever to do with the presents which must be presented to the Midɇ/ priests previous to his initiation as a member of the society, the latter being collected during the time that is devoted to preliminary instruction, which period usually extends over several years. Thus ample time is found for hunting, as skins and peltries, of which those not required as presents may be exchanged for blankets, tobacco, kettles, guns, etc., obtainable from the trader. Sometimes a number of years are spent in preparation for the first degree of the Midɇ/wiwin, and there are many who have impoverished themselves in the payment of fees and the preparation for the feast to which all visiting priests are also invited.

Should an Indian who is not prompted by a dream wish to join the society he expresses to the four chief officiating priests a desire to purchase a mɨ/gis, which is the sacred symbol of the society and consists of a small white shell, to which reference will be made further on. His application follows the same course as in the preceding instance, and the same course is pursued also when a Jĕs/sakkɨd/ or a Wâbĕnø/ wishes to become a Midɇ/.


The Midɇ/wiwin—Society of the Midɇ/ or Shamans—consists of an indefinite number of Midɇ/ of both sexes. The society is graded into four separate and distinct degrees, although there is a general impression prevailing even among certain members that any degree beyond the first is practically a mere repetition. The greater power attained by one in making advancement depends upon the fact of his having submitted to "being shot at with the medicine sacks" in the hands of the officiating priests. This may be the case at this late day in certain localities, but from personal experience it has been learned that there is considerable variation in the dramatization of the ritual. One circumstance presents itself forcibly to the careful observer, and that is that the greater number of repetitions of the phrases chanted by the Midɇ/ the greater is felt to be the amount of inspiration and power of the performance. This is true also of some of the lectures in which reiteration and prolongation in time of delivery aids very much in forcibly impressing the candidate and other observers with the importance and sacredness of the ceremony.

It has always been customary for the Midɇ/ priests to preserve birch-bark records, bearing delicate incised lines to represent pictorially the ground plan of the number of degrees to which the owner is entitled. Such records or charts are sacred and are never exposed to the public view, being brought forward for inspection only when an accepted candidate has paid his fee, and then only after necessary preparation by fasting and offerings of tobacco.

During the year 1887, while at Red Lake, Minnesota, I had the good fortune to discover the existence of an old birch-bark chart, which, according to the assurances of the chief and assistant Midɇ/ priests, had never before been exhibited to a white man, nor even to an Indian unless he had become a regular candidate. This chart measures 7 feet 1-1/2 inches in length and 18 inches in width, and is made of five pieces of birch bark neatly and securely stitched together by means of thin, flat strands of bass wood. At each end are two thin strips of wood, secured transversely by wrapping and stitching with thin strands of bark, so as to prevent splitting and fraying of the ends of the record. Pl. III A, is a reproduction of the design referred to.

It had been in the keeping of Skwɇkŏ/mĭk, to whom it was intrusted at the death of his father-in-law, the latter, in turn, having received it in 1825 from Badâ/san, the Grand Shaman and chief of the Winnibɇ/goshish Ojibwa.

It is affirmed that Badâ/san had received the original from the Grand Midɇ/ priest at La Pointe, Wisconsin, where, it is said, the Midɇ/wiwin was at that time held annually and the ceremonies conducted in strict accordance with ancient and traditional usage.

The present owner of this record has for many years used it in the preliminary instruction of candidates. Its value in this respect is very great, as it presents to the Indian a pictorial résumé of the traditional history of the origin of the Midɇ/wiwin, the positions occupied by the various guardian man/idos in the several degrees, and the order of procedure in study and progress of the candidate. On account of the isolation of the Red Lake Indians and their long continued, independent ceremonial observances, changes have gradually occurred so that there is considerable variation, both in the pictorial representation and the initiation, as compared with the records and ceremonials preserved at other reservations. The reason of this has already been given.

A detailed description of the above mentioned record, will be presented further on in connection with two interesting variants which were subsequently obtained at White Earth, Minnesota. On account of the widely separated location of many of the different bands of the Ojibwa, and the establishment of independent Midɇ/ societies, portions of the ritual which have been forgotten by one set may be found to survive at some other locality, though at the expense of some other fragments of tradition or ceremonial. No satisfactory account of the tradition of the origin of the Indians has been obtained, but such information as it was possible to procure will be submitted.

In all of their traditions pertaining to the early history of the tribe these people are termed A-nish/-in-â/-bɇg—original people—a term surviving also among the Ottawa, Patawatomi, and Menomoni, indicating that the tradition of their westward migration was extant prior to the final separation of these tribes, which is supposed to have occurred at Sault Ste. Marie.

Mi/nabø/zho (Great Rabbit), whose name occurs in connection with most of the sacred rites, was the servant of Dzhe Man/idø, the Good Spirit, and acted in the capacity of intercessor and mediator. It is generally supposed that it was to his good offices that the Indian owes life and the good things necessary to his health and subsistence.

The tradition of Mi/nabø/zho and the origin of the Midɇ/wiwin, as given in connection with the birch-bark record obtained at Red Lake (Pl. III A), is as follows:

When Mi/nabø/zho, the servant of Dzhe Man/idø, looked down upon the earth he beheld human beings, the Ani/shinâ/bɇg, the ancestors of the Ojibwa. They occupied the four quarters of the earth—the northeast, the southeast, the southwest, and the northwest. He saw how helpless they were, and desiring to give them the means of warding off the diseases with which they were constantly afflicted, and to provide them with animals and plants to serve as food and with other comforts, Mi/nabø/zho remained thoughtfully hovering over the center of the earth, endeavoring to devise some means of communicating with them, when he heard something laugh, and perceived a dark object appear upon the surface of the water to the west (No. 2). He could not recognize its form, and while watching it closely it slowly disappeared from view. It next appeared in the north (No. 3), and after a short lapse of time again disappeared. Mi/nabø/zho hoped it would again show itself upon the surface of the water, which it did in the east (No. 4). Then Mi/nabø/zho wished that it might approach him, so as to permit him to communicate with it. When it disappeared from view in the east and made its reappearance in the south (No. 1), Mi/nabø/zho asked it to come to the center of the earth that he might behold it. Again it disappeared from view, and after reappearing in the west Mi/nabø/zho observed it slowly approaching the center of the earth (i.e., the centre of the circle), when he descended and saw it was the Otter, now one of the sacred man/idøs of the Midɇ/wiwin. Then Mi/nabø/zho instructed the Otter in the mysteries of the Midɇ/wiwin, and gave him at the same time the sacred rattle to be used at the side of the sick; the sacred Midɇ/ drum to be used during the ceremonial of initiation and at sacred feasts, and tobacco, to be employed in invocations and in making peace.

The place where Mi/nabø/zho descended was an island in the middle of a large body of water, and the Midɇ/ who is feared by all the others is called Mini/sino/shkwe (He-who-lives-on-the-island). Then Mi/nabø/zho built a Midɇ/wigân (sacred Midɇ/ lodge), and taking his drum he beat upon it and sang a Midɇ/ song, telling the Otter that Dzhe Man/idø had decided to help the Aníshinâ/bøg, that they might always have life and an abundance of food and other things necessary for their comfort. Mi/nabø/zho then took the Otter into the Midɇ/wigân and conferred upon him the secrets of the Midɇ/wiwin, and with his Midɇ/ bag shot the sacred mɨ/gis into his body that he might have immortality and be able to confer these secrets to his kinsmen, the Aníshinâ/bɇg.

The mɨ/gis is considered the sacred symbol of the Midɇ/wigân, and may consist of any small white shell, though the one believed to be similar to the one mentioned in the above tradition resembles the cowrie, and the ceremonies of initiation as carried out in the Midɇ/wiwin at this day are believed to be similar to those enacted by Mi/nabø/zho and the Otter. It is admitted by all the Midɇ/ priests whom I have consulted that much of the information has been lost through the death of their aged predecessors, and they feel convinced that ultimately all of the sacred character of the work will be forgotten or lost through the adoption of new religions by the young people and the death of the Midɇ/ priests, who, by the way, decline to accept Christian teachings, and are in consequence termed "pagans."

My instructor and interpreter of the Red Lake chart added other information in explanation of the various characters represented thereon, which I present herewith. The large circle at the right side of the chart denotes the earth as beheld by Mi/nabø/zho, while the Otter appeared at the square projections at Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4; the semicircular appendages between these are the four quarters of the earth, which are inhabited by the Ani/shinâ/bɇg, Nos. 5, 6, 7, and 8. Nos. 9 and 10 represent two of the numerous malignant man/idøs, who endeavor to prevent entrance into the sacred structure and mysteries of the Midɇ/wiwin. The oblong squares, Nos. 11 and 12, represent the outline of the first degree of the society, the inner corresponding lines being the course traversed during initiation. The entrance to the lodge is directed toward the east, the western exit indicating the course toward the next higher degree. The four human forms at Nos. 13, 14, 15, and 16 are the four officiating Midɇ/ priests whose services are always demanded at an initiation. Each is represented as having a rattle. Nos. 17, 18, and 19 indicate the cedar trees, one of each of this species being planted near the outer angles of a Midɇ/ lodge. No. 20 represents the ground. The outline of the bear at No. 21 represents the Makwa/ Man/idø, or Bear Spirit, one of the sacred Midɇ/ man/idøs, to which the candidate must pray and make offerings of tobacco, that he may compel the malevolent spirits to draw away from the entrance to the Midɇ/wigân, which is shown in No. 28. Nos 23 and 24 represent the sacred drum which the candidate must use when chanting the prayers, and two offerings must be made, as indicated by the number two.

After the candidate has been admitted to one degree, and is prepared to advance to the second, he offers three feasts, and chants three prayers to the Makwa/ Man/idø, or Bear Spirit (No. 22), that the entrance (No. 29) to that degree may be opened to him. The feasts and chants are indicated by the three drums shown at Nos. 25, 26, and 27.

Nos. 30, 31, 32, 33, and 34 are five Serpent Spirits, evil man/idøs who oppose a Midɇ/'s progress, though after the feasting and prayers directed to the Makwa/ Man/idø have by him been deemed sufficient the four smaller Serpent Spirits move to either side of the path between the two degrees, while the larger serpent (No. 32) raises its body in the middle so as to form an arch, beneath which passes the candidate on his way to the second degree.

Nos. 35, 36, 46, and 47 are four malignant Bear Spirits, who guard the entrance and exit to the second degree, the doors of which are at Nos. 37 and 49. The form of this lodge (No. 38) is like the preceding; but while the seven Midɇ/ priests at Nos. 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45 simply indicate that the number of Midɇ/ assisting at this second initiation are of a higher and more sacred class of personages than in the first degree, the number designated having reference to quality and intensity rather than to the actual number of assistants, as specifically shown at the top of the first degree structure.

When the Midɇ/ is of the second degree, he receives from Dzhe Man/idø supernatural powers as shown in No. 48. The lines extending upward from the eyes signify that he can look into futurity; from the ears, that he can hear what is transpiring at a great distance; from the hands, that he can touch for good or for evil friends and enemies at a distance, however remote; while the lines extending from the feet denote his ability to traverse all space in the accomplishment of his desires or duties. The small disk upon the breast of the figure denotes that a Midɇ/ of this degree has several times had the mɨ/gis—life—"shot into his body," the increased size of the spot signifying amount or quantity of influence obtained thereby.

No. 50 represents a Mi/tsha Midɇ/ or Bad Midɇ/, one who employs his powers for evil purposes. He has the power of assuming the form of any animal, in which guise he may destroy the life of his victim, immediately after which he resumes his human form and appears innocent of any crime. His services are sought by people who wish to encompass the destruction of enemies or rivals, at however remote a locality the intended victim may be at the time. An illustration representing the modus operandi of his performance is reproduced and explained in Fig. 24, page 238.

Persons possessed of this power are sometimes termed witches, special reference to whom is made elsewhere. The illustration, No. 50, represents such an individual in his disguise of a bear, the characters at Nos. 51 and 52 denoting footprints of a bear made by him, impressions of which are sometimes found in the vicinity of lodges occupied by his intended victims. The trees shown upon either side of No. 50 signify a forest, the location usually sought by bad Midɇ/ and witches.

If a second degree Midɇ/ succeeds in his desire to become a member of the third degree, he proceeds in a manner similar to that before described; he gives feasts to the instructing and four officiating Midɇ/, and offers prayers to Dzhe Man/idø for favor and success. No. 53 denotes that the candidate now personates the bear—not one of the malignant man/idøs, but one of the sacred man/idøs who are believed to be present during the ceremonials of initiation of the second degree. He is seated before his sacred drum, and when the proper time arrives the Serpent Man/idø (No. 54)—who has until this opposed his advancement—now arches its body, and beneath it he crawls and advances toward the door (No. 55) of the third degree (No. 56) of the Midɇ/wiwin, where he encounters two (Nos. 57 and 58) of the four Panther Spirits, the guardians of this degree.

Nos. 61 to 76 indicate midɇ/ spirits who inhabit the structure of this degree, and the number of human forms in excess of those shown in connection with the second degree indicates a correspondingly higher and more sacred character. When an Indian has passed this, initiation he becomes very skillful in his profession of a Midɇ/. The powers which he possessed in the second degree may become augmented. He is represented in No. 77 with arms extended, and with lines crossing his body and arms denoting darkness and obscurity, which signifies his ability to grasp from the invisible world the knowledge and means to accomplish extraordinary deeds. He feels more confident of prompt response and assistance from the sacred man/idøs and his knowledge of them becomes more widely extended.

Nos. 59 and 60 are two of the four Panther Spirits who are the special guardians of the third degree lodge.

To enter the fourth and highest degree of the society requires a greater number of feasts than before, and the candidate, who continues to personate the Bear Spirit, again uses his sacred drum, as he is shown sitting before it in No. 78, and chants more prayers to Dzhe Man/idø for his favor. This degree is guarded by the greatest number and the most powerful of malevolent spirits, who make a last effort to prevent a candidate's entrance at the door (No. 79) of the fourth degree structure (No. 80). The chief opponents to be overcome, through the assistance of Dzhe Man/idø, are two Panther Spirits (Nos. 81 and 82) at the eastern entrance, and two Bear Spirits (Nos. 83 and 84) at the western exit. Other bad spirits are about the structure, who frequently gain possession and are then enabled to make strong and prolonged resistance to the candidate's entrance. The chiefs of this group of malevolent beings are Bears (Nos. 88 and 96), the Panther (No. 91), the Lynx (No. 97), and many others whose names they have forgotten, their positions being indicated at Nos. 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94, and 95, all but the last resembling characters ordinarily employed to designate serpents.

The power with which it is possible to become endowed after passing through the fourth degree is expressed by the outline of a human figure (No. 98), upon which are a number of spots indicating that the body is covered with the mɨ/gis or sacred shells, symbolical of the Midɇ/wiwin. These spots designate the places where the Midɇ/ priests, during the initiation, shot into his body the mɨ/gis and the lines connecting them in order that all the functions of the several corresponding parts or organs of the body may be exercised.

The ideal fourth degree Midɇ/ is presumed to be in a position to accomplish the greatest feats in necromancy and magic. He is not only endowed with the power of reading the thoughts and intentions of others, as is pictorially indicated by the mɨ/gis spot upon the top of the head, but to call forth the shadow (soul) and retain it within his grasp at pleasure. At this stage of his pretensions, he is encroaching upon the prerogatives of the Jĕs/sakkɨd/, and is then recognized as one, as he usually performs within the Jĕs/sakkân or Jĕs/sakkɨd/ lodge, commonly designated "the Jugglery."

The ten small circular objects upon the upper part of the record may have been some personal marks of the original owner; their import was not known to my informants and they do not refer to any portion of the history or ceremonies or the Midɇ/wiwin.

Extending toward the left from the end of the fourth degree inclosure is an angular pathway (No. 99), which represents the course to be followed by the Midɇ/ after he has attained this high distinction. On account of his position his path is often beset with dangers, as indicated by the right angles, and temptations which may lead him astray; the points at which he may possibly deviate from the true course of propriety are designated by projections branching off obliquely toward the right and left (No. 100). The ovoid figure (No. 101) at the end of this path is termed Wai-ĕk/-ma-yŏk/—End of the road—and is alluded to in the ritual, as will be observed hereafter, as the end of the world, i.e., the end of the individual's existence. The number of vertical strokes (No. 102) within the ovoid figure signify the original owner to have been a fourth degree Midɇ/ for a period of 14 years.

The outline of the Midɇ/wigân (No. 103) not only denotes that the same individual was a member of the Midɇ/wiwin, but the thirteen vertical strokes shown in Nos. 104 and 105 indicate that he was chief Midɇ/ priest of the society for that number of years.

The outline of a Midɇ/wigân as shown at No. 106, with the place upon the interior designating the location of the sacred post (No. 107) and the stone (No. 108) against which the sick are placed during the time of treatment, signifies the owner to have practiced his calling of the exorcism of demons. But that he also visited the sick beyond the acknowledged jurisdiction of the society in which he resided, is indicated by the path (No. 109) leading around the sacred inclosure.

Upon that portion of the chart immediately above the fourth degree lodge is shown the outline of a Midɇ/wiwin (No. 110), with a path (No. 114), leading toward the west to a circle (No. 111), within which is another similar structure (No. 112) whose longest diameter is at right angles to the path, signifying that it is built so that its entrance is at the north. This is the Dzhibai/ Midɇ/wigân or Ghost Lodge.

Around the interior of the circle are small V-shaped characters denoting the places occupied by the spirits of the departed, who are presided over by the Dzhibai/ Midɇ/, literally Shadow Midɇ/.

No. 113 represents the Kŏ/-kó-kŏ-ø/ (Owl) passing from the Midɇ/wigân to the Land of the Setting Sun, the place of the dead, upon the road of the dead, indicated by the pathway at No. 114. This man/idø is personated by a candidate for the first degree of the Midɇ/wiwin when giving a feast to the dead in honor of the shadow of him who had been dedicated to the Midɇ/wiwin and whose place is now to be taken by the giver of the feast.

Upon the back of the Midɇ/ record, above described, is the personal record of the original owner, as shown in Pl. III B. Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 represent the four degrees of the society into which he has been initiated, or, to use the phraseology of an Ojibwa, "through which he has gone." This "passing through" is further illustrated by the bear tracks, he having personated the Makwa/ Man/idø or Bear Spirit, considered to be the highest and most powerful of the guardian spirits of the fourth degree wigwam.

The illustration presented in Pl. III C represents the outlines of a birch-bark record (reduced to one-third) found among the effects of a lately deceased Midɇ/ from Leech Lake, Minnesota. This record, together with a number of other curious articles, composed the outfit of the Midɇ/, but the Rev. James A. Gilfillan of White Earth, through whose courtesy I was permitted to examine the objects, could give me no information concerning their use. Since that time, however, I have had an opportunity of consulting with one of the chief priests of the Leech Lake Society, through whom I have obtained some interesting data concerning them.

The chart represents the owner to have been a Midɇ/ of the second degree, as indicated by the two outlines of the respective structures at Nos. 1 and 2, the place of the sacred posts being marked at Nos. 3 and 4. Nos. 5, 6, 7, and 8 are Midɇ/ priests holding their Midɇ/ bags as in the ceremony of initiation. The disks represented at Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 denote the sacred drum, which may be used by him during his initiation, while Nos. 14, 15, 16, and 17 denote that he was one of the four officiating priests of the Midɇ/wigân at his place of residence. Each of these figures is represented as holding their sacred bags as during the ceremonies. No. 18 denotes the path he has been pursuing since he became a Midɇ/, while at Nos. 19 and 20 diverging lines signify that his course is beset with temptations and enemies, as referred to in the description of the Red Lake chart, Pl. III A.

The remaining objects found among the effects of the Midɇ/ referred to will be described and figured hereafter.

The diagram represented on Pl. IV is a reduced copy of a record made by Sikas/sigĕ, a Mille Lacs Ojibwa Midɇ/ of the second degree, now resident at White Earth.

The chart illustrating pictorially the general plan of the several degrees is a copy of a record in the possession of the chief Midɇ/ at Mille Lacs in 1830, at which time Sikas/sigĕ, at the age of 10 years, received his first degree. For a number of years thereafter Sikas/sigĕ received continued instruction from his father Baiɇ/dzhĕk, and although he never publicly received advancement beyond the second degree of the society, his wife became a fourth degree priestess, at whose initiation he was permitted to be present.

Since his residence at White Earth Sikas/sigĕ has become one of the officiating priests of the society at that place. One version given by him of the origin of the Indians is presented in the following tradition, a pictorial representation having also been prepared of which Pl. V is a reduced copy:

In the beginning, Dzhe Man/idø (No. 1), made the Midɇ/ Man/idøs. He first created two men (Nos. 2 and 3), and two women (Nos. 4 and 5); but they had no power of thought or reason. Then Dzhe Man/idø (No. 1) made them rational beings. He took them in his hands so that they should multiply; he paired them, and from this sprung the Indians. When there were people he placed them upon the earth, but he soon observed that they were subject to sickness, misery, and death, and that unless he provided them with the Sacred Medicine they would soon become extinct.

Between the position occupied by Dzhe Man/idø and the earth were four lesser spirits (Nos. 6, 7, 8, and 9) with whom Dzhe Man/idø decided to commune, and to impart to them the mysteries by which the Indians could be benefited. So he first spoke to a spirit at No. 6, and told him all he had to say, who in turn communicated the same information to No. 7, and he in turn to No. 8, who also communed with No. 9. They all met in council, and determined to call in the four wind gods at Nos. 10, 11, 12, and 13. After consulting as to what would be best for the comfort and welfare of the Indians, these spirits agreed to ask Dzhe Man/idø to communicate the Mystery of the Sacred Medicine to the people.

Dzhe Man/idø then went to the Sun Spirit (No. 14) and asked him to go to the earth and instruct the people as had been decided upon by the council. The Sun Spirit, in the form of a little boy, went to the earth and lived with a woman (No. 15) who had a little boy of her own.


This family went away in the autum to hunt, and during the winter this woman's son died. The parents were so much distressed that they decided to return to the village and bury the body there; so they made preparations to return, and as they traveled along, they would each evening erect several poles upon which the body was placed to prevent the wild beasts from devouring it. When the dead boy was thus hanging upon the poles, the adopted child—who was the Sun Spirit—would play about the camp and amuse himself, and finally told his adopted father he pitied him, and his mother, for their sorrow. The adopted son said he could bring his dead brother to life, whereupon the parents expressed great surprise and desired to know how that could be accomplished.

The adopted boy then had the party hasten to the village, when he said, "Get the women to make a wig/iwam of bark (No. 16), put the dead boy in a covering of birch bark and place the body on the ground in the middle of the wig/iwam." On the next morning after this had been done, the family and friends went into this lodge and seated themselves around the corpse.

When they had all been sitting quietly for some time, they saw through the doorway the approach of a bear (No. 17) which gradually came towards the wig/iwam, entered it, and placed itself before the dead body and said hŭ, hŭ, hŭ, hŭ, when he passed around it towards the left side, with a trembling motion, and as he did so, the body began quivering, and the quivering increased as the bear continued until he had passed around four times, when the body came to life again and stood up. Then the bear called to the father, who was sitting in the distant right-hand corner of the wig/iwam, and addressed to him the following words:

Nøs ka-wɨ/-na ni/-shi-na/-bi wis-sɨ/ a/-ya-wɨ/-an My father is not an Indian not you are

man/-i-dø nin-gɨ/-sis. Be-mai/-a-mɨ/-nik a spirit son. Insomuch

ni/-dzhĭ man/-i-dø mɨ-a-zhĭ/-gwa my fellow spirit now

tshí-gĭ-a/-we-ân/. Nøs a-zhĭ/-gwa a-sɇ/-ma as you are. My father now tobacco

tshi/-a-tø/-yɇk. you shall put.

A/-mĭ-kŭn/-dem mi-ɇ/-ta â/-wi-dink/ He speaks of only once

dzhi-gŏsh/-kwi-tøt/ wen/-dzhi-bi-mâ/-di-zid/-o-ma/ to be able to do it why he shall live here

a-gâ/-wa bi-mâ-dĭ-zĭd/-mi-o-ma/; now that he scarcely lives;

ni-dzhĭ man/-i-dø mí-a-zhĭ/-gwa my fellow spirit now I shall go

tshí-gĭ-wĕ/-ân. home.

The little bear boy (No. 17) was the one who did this. He then remained among the Indians (No. 18) and taught them the mysteries of the Grand Medicine (No. 19); and, after he had finished, he told his adopted father that as his mission had been fulfilled he was to return to his kindred spirits, for the Indians would have no need to fear sickness as they now possessed the Grand Medicine which would enable them to live. He also said that his spirit could bring a body to life but once, and he would now return to the sun from which they would feel his influence.

This is called Kwí-wĭ-sĕns/ wĕ-dɨ/-shĭ-tshɨ gɇ-wɨ-nĭp— "Little-boy-his-work."

From subsequent information it was learned that the line No. 22 denotes the earth, and that, being considered as one step in the course of initiation into the Midɇ/wiwin, three others must be taken before a candidate can be admitted. These steps, or rests, as they are denominated (Nos. 23, 24, and 25), are typified by four distinct gifts of goods, which must be remitted to the Midɇ/ priests before the ceremony can take place.

Nos. 18 and 19 are repetitions of the figures alluded to in the tradition (Nos. 16 and 17) to signify that the candidate must personate the Makwa/ Man/idø—Bear Spirit—when entering the Midɇ/wiwin (No. 19). No. 20 is the Midɇ/ Man/idø as Ki/tshi Man/idø is termed by the Midɇ/ priests. The presence of horns attached to the head is a common symbol of superior power found in connection with the figures of human and divine forms in many Midɇ/ songs and other mnemonic records. No. 21 represents the earth's surface, similar to that designated at No. 22.

Upon comparing the preceding tradition of the creation of the Indians with the following, which pertains to the descent to earth of Mi/nabø/zho, there appears to be some discrepancy, which could not be explained by Sikas/sigĕ, because he had forgotten the exact sequence of events; but from information derived from other Midɇ/ it is evident that there have been joined together two myths, the intervening circumstances being part of the tradition given below in connection with the narrative relating to the chart on Pl. III A.

This chart, which was in possession of the Mille Lacs chief Baiɇ/dzhĕk, was copied by him from that belonging to his preceptor at La Pointe about the year 1800, and although the traditions given by Sikas/sigĕ is similar to the one surviving at Red Lake, the diagram is an interesting variant for the reason that there is a greater amount of detail in the delineation of objects mentioned in the tradition.

By referring to Pl. IV it will be noted that the circle, No. 1, resembles the corresponding circle at the beginning of the record on Pl. III, A, with this difference, that the four quarters of the globe inhabited by the Ani/shinâ/bɇg are not designated between the cardinal points at which the Otter appeared, and also that the central island, only alluded to there (Pl. III A), is here inserted.

The correct manner of arranging the two pictorial records, Pls. III A and IV, is by placing the outline of the earth's surface (Pl. V, No. 21) upon the island indicated in Pl. IV, No. 6, so that the former stands vertically and at right angles to the latter; for the reason that the first half of the tradition pertains to the consultation held between Ki/tshi Man/idø and the four lesser spirits which is believed to have occurred above the earth's surface. According to Sikas/sigĕ the two charts should be joined as suggested in the accompanying illustration, Fig. 2.

's combined charts, showing descent of Min/abø/zho.]

Sikas/sigĕ's explanation of the Mille Lacs chart (Pl. IV) is substantially as follows:

When Mi/nabø/zho descended to the earth to give to the Ani/shinâ/bɇg the Midɇ/wiwin, he left with them this chart, Midɇ/wigwas/. Ki/tshi Man/idø saw that his people on earth were without the means of protecting themselves against disease and death, so he sent Mi/nabø/zho to give to them the sacred gift. Mi/nabø/zho appeared over the waters and while reflecting in what manner he should be able to communicate with the people, he heard something laugh, just as an otter sometimes cries out. He saw something black appear upon the waters in the west (No. 2) which immediately disappeared beneath the surface again. Then it came up at the northern horizon (No. 3), which pleased Mi/nabø/zho, as he thought he now had some one through whom he might convey the information with which he had been charged by Ki/tshi Man/idø. When the black object disappeared beneath the waters at the north to reappear in the east (No. 4), Mi/nabø/zho desired it would come to him in the middle of the waters, but it disappeared to make its reappearance in the south (No. 5), where it again sank out of sight to reappear in the west (No. 2), when Mi/nabø/zho asked it to approach the center where there was an island (No. 6), which it did. This did Ni/gĭk, the Otter, and for this reason he is given charge of the first degree of the Midɇ/wiwin (Nos. 35 and 36) where his spirit always abides during initiation and when healing the sick.

Then Ni/gĭk asked Mi/nabø/zho, "Why do you come to this place?" When the latter said, "I have pity on the Ani/shinâ/bɇg and wish to give them life; Ki/tshi Man/idø gave me the power to confer upon them the means of protecting themselves against sickness and death, and through you I will give them the Midɇ/wiwin, and teach them the sacred rites."

Then Mi/nabø/zho built a Midɇ/wigân in which he instructed the Otter in all the mysteries of the Midɇ/wiwin. The Otter sat before the door of the Midɇ/wigân four days (Nos. 7, 8, 9, and 10), sunning himself, after which time he approached the entrance (No. 14), where his progress was arrested (No. 11) by seeing two bad spirits (Nos. 12 and 13) guarding it. Through the powers possessed by Mi/nabø/zho he was enabled to pass these; when he entered the sacred lodge (No. 15), the first object he beheld being the sacred stone (No. 16) against which those who were sick were to be seated, or laid, when undergoing the ceremonial of restoring them to health. He next saw a post (No. 17) painted red with a green band around the top. A sick man would also have to pray to the stone and to the post, when he is within the Midɇ/wigân, because within them would be the Midɇ/ spirits whose help he invoked. The Otter was then taken to the middle of the Midɇ/wigân where he picked up the mɨ/gis (No. 18) from among a heap of sacred objects which form part of the gifts given by Ki/tshi Man/idø. The eight man/idøs around the midɇ/wigân (Nos. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26) were also sent by Ki/tshi Man/idø to guard the lodge against the entrance of bad spirits.

A life is represented by the line No. 27, the signification of the short lines (Nos. 28, 29, 30, and 31) denoting that the course of human progress is beset by temptations and trials which may be the cause of one's departure from such course of conduct as is deemed proper, and the beliefs taught by the Midɇ/. When one arrives at middle age (No. 32) his course for the remaining period of life is usually without any special events, as indicated by the plain line No. 27, extending from middle age (No. 32) to the end of one's existence (No. 33). The short lines at Nos. 28, 29, 30, and 31, indicating departure from the path of propriety, terminate in rounded spots and signify, literally, "lecture places," because when a Midɇ/ feels himself failing in duty or vacillating in faith he must renew professions by giving a feast and lecturing to his confreres, thus regaining his strength to resist evil doing—such as making use of his powers in harming his kinsmen, teaching that which was not given him by Ki/tshi Man/idø through Mi/nabø/zho, etc. His heart must be cleansed and his tongue guarded.

To resume the tradition of the course pursued by the Otter, Sikas/sigĕ said:

The Otter then went round the interior of the Midɇ/wigân (No. 34), and finally seated himself in the west, where Mi/nabø/zho shot into his body the sacred mɨ/gis, which was in his Midɇ/ bag. Then Mi/nabø/zho said, "This is your lodge and you shall own it always (Nos. 35 and 36), and eight Midɇ/ Man/idøs (Nos. 19-26) shall guard it during the night."

The Otter was taken to the entrance (No. 37) of the second degree structure (No. 38), which he saw was guarded by two evil man/idøs (Nos. 39 and 40), who opposed his progress, but who were driven away by Mi/nabø/zho. When the Otter entered at the door he beheld the sacred stone (No. 41) and two posts (Nos. 42, 43), the one nearest to him being painted red with a green band around the top, and another at the middle, with a bunch of little feathers upon the top. The other post (No. 43) was painted red, with only a band of green at the top, similar to the first degree post. Nos. 44 and 45 are the places where sacred objects and gifts are placed. This degree of the Midɇ/wiwin is guarded at night by twelve Midɇ/ Man/idøs (Nos. 46 to 57) placed there by Ki/tshi Man/idø, and the degree is owned by the Thunder Bird as shown in Nos. 58, 59.

The circles (Nos. 60, 61, and 62) at either end of the outline of the structure denoting the degree and beneath it are connected by a line (No. 63) as in the preceding degree, and are a mere repetition to denote the course of conduct to be pursued by the Midɇ/. The points (Nos. 64, 65, 66, and 67), at the termini of the shorter lines, also refer to the feasts and lectures to be given in case of need.

To continue the informant's tradition:

When the Otter had passed around the interior of the Midɇ/wigân four times, he seated himself in the west and faced the degree post, when Mi/nabø/zho again shot into his body the mɨ/gis, which gave him renewed life. Then the Otter was told to take a "sweat bath" once each day for four successive days, so as to prepare for the next degree. (This number is indicated at the rounded spots at Nos. 68, 69, 70, and 71.)

The third degree of the Midɇ/wiwin (No. 72) is guarded during the day by two Midɇ/ spirits (Nos. 73, 74) near the eastern entrance, and by the Makwa/ Man/idø within the inclosure (Nos. 75 and 76), and at night by eighteen Midɇ/ Man/idøs (Nos. 77 to 94), placed there by Ki/tshi Man/idø. When the Otter approached the entrance (No. 95) he was again arrested in his progress by two evil man/idøs (Nos. 96 and 97), who opposed his admission, but Mi/nibø/zho overcame them and the Otter entered. Just inside of the door, and on each side, the Otter saw a post (Nos. 98 and 99), and at the western door or exit two corresponding posts (Nos. 100 and 101). These symbolized the four legs of the Makwa/ Man/idø, or Bear Spirit, who is the guardian by day and the owner of the third degree. The Otter then observed the sacred stone (No. 102) and the two heaps of sacred objects (Nos. 103 and 104) which Mi/nabø/zho had deposited, and three degree posts (Nos. 105, 106, and 107), the first of which (No. 105) was a plain cedar post with the bark upon it, but sharpened at the top; the second (No. 106), a red post with a green band round the top and one about the middle, as in the second degree; and the third a cross (No. 107) painted red, each of the tips painted green. [The vertical line No. 108 was said to have no relation to anything connected with the tradition.] After the Otter had observed the interior of the Midɇ/wigân he again made four circuits, after which he took his station in the west, where he seated himself, facing the sacred degree posts. Then Mi/nabø/zho, for the third time, shot into his body the mɨ/gis, thus adding to the powers which he already possessed, after which he was to prepare for the fourth degree of the Midɇ/wiwin.

Other objects appearing upon the chart were subsequently explained as follows:

The four trees (Nos. 109, 110, 111, and 112), one of which is planted at each of the four corners of the Midɇ/wigân, are usually cedar, though pine may be taken as a substitute when the former can not be had. The repetition of the circles Nos. 113, 114, and 115 and connecting line No. 116, with the short lines at Nos. 117, 118, 119, and 120, have the same signification as in the preceding two degrees.

After the Otter had received the third degree he prepared himself for the fourth, and highest, by taking a steam bath once a day for four successive days (Nos. 121, 122, 123, and 124). Then, as he proceeded toward the Midɇ/wigân he came to a wig/iwam made of brush (No. 179), which was the nest of Makwa/ Man/idø, the Bear Spirit, who guarded the four doors of the sacred structure.

The four rows of spots have reference to the four entrances of the Midɇ/wigân of the fourth degree. The signification of the spots near the larger circle, just beneath the "Bear's nest" could not be explained by Sikas/sigĕ, but the row of spots (No. 117) along the horizontal line leading to the entrance of the inclosure were denominated steps, or stages of progress, equal to as many days—one spot denoting one day—which must elapse before the Otter was permitted to view the entrance.

When the Otter approached the fourth degree (No. 118) he came to a short post (No. 119) in which there was a small aperture. The post was painted green on the side from which he approached and red upon the side toward the Midɇ/wigân [see Fig. 4.] But before he was permitted to look through it he rested and invoked the favor of Ki/tshi Man/idø, that the evil man/idøs might be expelled from his path. Then, when the Otter looked through the post, he saw that the interior of the inclosure was filled with Midɇ/ Man/idos, ready to receive him and to attend during his initiation. The two Midɇ/ Man/idos at the outside of the eastern entrance (Nos. 120 and 121) compelled the evil man/idøs (Nos. 122 and 123) to depart and permit the Otter to enter at the door (No. 124). Then the Otter beheld the sacred stone (No. 125) and the five heaps of sacred objects which Minabø/zho had deposited (Nos. 126, 127, 128, 129, and 130) near the four degree posts (Nos. 131, 132, 133, and 134). According to their importance, the first was painted red, with a green band about the top; the second was painted red, with two green bands, one at the top and another at the middle; the third consisted of a cross painted red, with the tips of the arms and the top of the post painted green; while the fourth was a square post, the side toward the east being painted white, that toward the south green, that toward the west red, and that toward the north black.

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