The Indian Country, 1800: A Brilliant Plan for Living
Creators Gifts Men and Women A Vast Network


Arikara Medicine Ceremony

The Arikara Medicine Ceremony was performed to recall the gifts animals brought to the tribe. It was held before an altar decorated with corn, representing the Mother Creator, and the skins of important animals, and consisted of a series of dances performed by men dressed as bears, birds, ducks, deer, and other creatures. They danced in front of the altar, mimicking the animals’ motions.

Hukós-tatínu, or Bull Neck, was in his early seventies when Edward Curtis photographed him wearing his buffalo hat and the necklace that identified him as a leader of the “Buffalo men” medicine fraternity, central figures in the ritual.

Edward S. Curtis. “Bull Neck,” in North American Indian Portfolio, 1907-1930.

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