The Ponca Tribe

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U of Nebraska Press, 1965 - Social Science - 191 pages
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The culture of the Ponca Indians is less well known than their misfortunes. A model of research and clarity, The Ponca Tribe is still the most complete account of these Indians who inhabited the upper central plains. Peaceably inclined and never numerous, they built earth-lodge villages, cultivated gardens, and hunted buffalo. James H. Howard considers their historic situation in present-day South Dakota and Nebraska, their trade with Europeans and relations with the U.S. government and, finally, their loss of land along the Niobrara River and forced removal to Indian Territory. The tragic events surrounding the 1877 removal, culminating in the arrest and trial of Chief Standing Bear, are only part of the Ponca story. Howard, a respected ethnologist, traces the tribe?s origins and early history. Aided by Ponca informants, he presents their way of life in his descriptions of Ponca lodgings, arts and crafts (pottery was made from blue clay found on the Missouri River), clothing and ornaments, food, tools and weapons, dogs and horses, kinship system, governance, sexual practices, and religious ceremonies and dances. He tells what is known about a proud (and ultimately divided) tribe that was led down a ?trail of tears.? The Ponca Tribe was originally published in 1965 as a bulletin of the Smithsonian Institution?s Bureau of American Ethnology. Introducing this edition is Donald N. Brown, a professor of sociology at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and a Ponca authority.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Mongshongsha wife of Great Chief
2
Heelahdee wife of The Smoke
3
Hongskaydee son of The Smoke
4
Punka Indians encamped on the banks of the Missouri
5
PoncaDakota battle as drawn by Totaygonai
6
Group of Ponca men with their agent
7
Big Snake and Antoine
8
Enter the LongKnives
23
Southern Ponca types
24
The Ponca Trail of Tears
33
Economy
39
Material culture and housing
51
Dress and adornment
61
Ponca straight dancer
63
Southern Ponca fancy dancer
65

Four Ponca chiefs
9
Origins
10
Ponca delegation to Washington 1877
12
Xithacabe and Tezhebate
13
Two types of Ponca burials
14
Wegacapi and Mixatoga
15
Part of the 1906 Southern Ponca delegation
16
Ponca ceremonials
17
Scenes in the Ponca country
18
Housing and settlements of the Northern Ponca
19
Northern Ponca types
20
Peter LeClaire the Ponca historian
21
Items of Northern Ponca material culture
22
Southern Ponca peyote roadman and Ponca girl
67
Learning and art
70
Social organization
81
Ponca kinship system Ego male facing
82
Religion dances and ceremonies and games
99
Diagram of a Ponca Mescal Bean society meeting
122
War and peace
130
Life cycle
141
differential acculturation
156
Literature cited
165
Index 173
195
Copyright

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About the author (1965)

James H. Howard?s other works include The Canadian Sioux (Nebraska 1984).

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