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Plains Indian Warriors Societies

Dog Soldiers

Dog Soldiers

Dog society was found in most of the Plains, Prairies (Arapaho-Gros Ventre, Arikara, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Crow, Dakota, Hidatsa, Iowa, Lakota, Mandan, Omaha, Plains Cree, Ponka, Sarsi) and even Great Basin tribes (Ute). All of them share common origin, name and distinctive paraphernalia: globular feather bonnet made of black (raven, crow, magpie) or yellow (eagle owl) feathers, no-retreat sashes, connected with bravery obligations, dewclaws (hoofs) rattles, bone whistles and other common traits.
Crazy Dogs

Crazy Dogs

The Crazy (aka Mad or Foolish) Dog societies were organized among a number of Northern and Central Plains tribes (Arikara, Assiniboine, Atsina, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Crow, Hidatsa, Mandan). The Crazy Dog societies of the Crow, Mandan and Hidatsa are homologous: all have rattles, whistles, horned bonnets and sashes. Besides the sash-wearers, there were 3 or 4 officers wearing headdresses of buffalo hide, decorated with split horns and [trimmed with] ermine skins. To the back of these [headdresses] were attached strips of rawhide decorated with quillwork [later this type of headdresses was replaced by bonnets with ermine tubes]. Horsehair tufts, dyed yellow, were fastened to the tips of the horns, and occasionally hawk [perhaps owl?] wing feathers were used for additional decoration [beneath the horns].
Cante Tinza

Cante Tinza

The insignias (symbols of office) of Lakota Cante Tinza warrior society consist of: (i) 2 fringed shirts worn by the leaders; (ii) 2 whips with saw-tooth edges and guards of otter skin; (iii) 4 lances: two straight, one of them with a piece of red cloth with a row of black feathers altenating with a row white feathers at a short distance and two crooked ones; (iv) 2 split horn bonnets with a short cloth trailer to which 4 flat rows of eagle feathers were attached; (v) 2 sabers with pendent black otter-skin on the guards, adorned with 2 pairs of eagle feathers; (vi) 2 donut-shaped rattles; (vii) bone whistles.
Thunder Warriors

Thunder Warriors

Thunder Warriors: (i) Lakota, Dakota and Cheyenne warriors who obtained war medicine, protection and help from the supernatural Thunder being (Thunderbird or the Winged One) without becoming Heyoka-Hohnuhka; (ii) the Heyoka-Hohnuhka or Contrary warriors who were individuals committed to doing the opposite of what others conventionally do, not merely in ceremony or when on the warpath, but on a permanent and daily basis. The Lakota, Dakota and Cheyenne Heyoka-Hohnuhka was a dream cult closely associated with the supernatural Thunder Beings (Thunderbirds, Thunder spirits or Thunder-bow).

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