The appearance of a brilliant aurora-borealis occasions great alarm. The Indians run immediately for their guns and bows and arrows to shoot at it, and thus disperse it.
INDIAN NAMES AND WRITING.
The names of the Sioux bands or villages, are as fanciful as those given to individuals. Near Fort Snelling, are the “Men-da-wahcan-tons,” or people of the spirit lakes; the “Wahk-patons,” or people of the leaves; the “Wahk-pa-coo-tahs,” or people that shoot at leaves, and other bands who have names of this kind. Among those chiefs who have been well-known around Fort Snelling, are,
Wah-ke-on-tun-kah, Big Thunder.
Wah-coo-ta, Red Wing.
Muzza Hotah, Gray Iron.
Ma-pe-ah-we-chas-tah, The man in the Cloud.
Tah-chun-coo-wash-ta, Good Road.
Sha-ce-pee, The Sixth.
Wah-soo-we-chasta-ne, Bad Hail.
Ish-ta-hum-bah, Sleepy Eyes.
These fanciful names are given to them from some peculiarity in appearance or conduct; or sometimes from an occurrence that took place at the time that they usually receive the name that is ascribed to them for life. There is a Sioux living in the neighborhood of Fort Snelling, called “The man that walks with the women.” It is not customary for the Indian to show much consideration for the fair sex, and this young man, exhibiting some symptoms of gallantry unusual among them, received the above name.
The Sioux have ten names for their children, given according to the order of their birth.
The oldest son is called
" second, Haparm,
" third, Ha-pe-dah,
" fourth, Chatun,
" fifth, Harka,
The oldest daughter is called Wenonah,
" second, Harpen,
" third, Harpstenah,
" fourth, Waska,
" fifth, We-barka.
These names they retain until another is given by their relations or friends.
The Dahcotahs say that meteors are men or women flying through the air; that they fall to pieces as they go along, finally falling to the earth. They call them “Wah-ken-den-da,” or the mysterious passing fire. They have a tradition of a meteor which, they say, was passing over a hill where there was an Indian asleep. The meteor took the Indian on his back, and continued his route till it came to a pond where there were many ducks. The ducks seeing the meteor, commenced a general quacking, which so alarmed him that he turned off and went around the pond, and was about to pass over an Indian village. Here he was again frightened by a young warrior, who was playing on the flute. Being afraid of music,