Blackfeet and Blackfoot kinship is traced from the male line

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The three Canadian Blackfoot bands and the American Blackfeet acknowledge a blood relationship with each other, and, while distinct, still consider themselves a nation. There are really only three Blackfoot bands. Those caught on the American side when the US – Canadian border was drawn became a separate tribe only because they came under US jurisdiction and the US Government mispelled their name. Collectively, they make up the Blackfoot Nation.

Buy Blackfeet HatThe Blackfoot / Blackfeet tribes are subdivided into gentes, a gens being a body of consanguineal kindred (blood relatives) in the male line. It is noteworthy that the Blackfeet, although Algonquins, have this system of subdivision, and it may be that among them the gentes are of comparatively recent date. No special duties are assigned to any one gens, nor has any gens, so far as I know, any special “medicine” or “totem.”

Each gens takes its name from some peculiarity or habit it is supposed to possess. It will also be noticed that each band has a few gentes common to one or both of the other bands. This is caused by persons leaving their own tribe to live with another one, but, instead of uniting with one of the gens of the adopted tribe, they have preserved the name of their ancestral gens for themselves and their descendants.

Chart of the gentes of each Blackfeet / Blackfoot tribe.

 

Blackfeet Gentes (Sik’-si-kau)

Puh-ksi-nah’-mah-yiks Flat Bows
Mo-tah’-tos-iks Many Medicines
Siks-in’-o-kaks Black Elks
E’-mi-tah-pahk-sai-yiks Dogs Naked
Sa’-yiks Liars
Ai-sik’-stuk-iks Biters
Tsin-ik-tsis’-tso-yiks Early Finished Eating
Ap’-i-kai-yiks Skunks

Bloods Gentes (Kai’-nah)

Siksin’-o-kaks Black Elks
Ah-kwo’-nis-tsists Many Lodge Poles
Ap-ut’-o-si’kai-nah North Bloods
Is-ts’-kai-nah Woods Bloods
In-uhk!-so-yi-stam-iks Long Tail Lodge Poles
Nit’-ik-skiks Lone Fighters
Siks-ah’-pun-iks Blackblood
Ah-kaik’-sum-iks I-sis’-o-kas-im-iks Hair Shirts
Ak-kai’-po-kaks Many Children
Sak-si-nah’-mah-yiks Short Bows
Ap’-i-kai-yiks Skunks
Ahk-o’-tash-iks Many Horses

Piegans Gentes (Pi-kun’-i)

Ah’-pai-tup-iks Blood People
Ah-kai-yi-ko-ka’-kin-iks White Breasts
Ki’yis Dried Meat
Sik-ut’-si-pum-aiks Black Patched Moccasins
Sik-o-pok’-si-maiks Blackfat Roasters
Tsin-ik-sis’-tso-yiks Early Finished Eating
Kut’-ai-im-iks They Don’t Laugh
I’-pok-si-maiks Fat Roasters
Sik’-o-kit-sim-iks Black Doors
Ni-taw’-yiks Lone Eaters
Ap’-i-kai-yiks Skunks
Mi-ah-wah’-pit-siks Seldom Lonesome
Nit’-ak-os-kit-si-pup-iks Obstinate
Nit’-ik-skiks Lone Fighters
I-nuks’-iks Small Robes
Mi-aw’-kin-ai-yiks Big Topknots
Esk’-sin-ai-tup-iks Worm People
I-nuk-si’-kah-ko-pwa-iks Small Brittle Fat
Kah’-mi-taiks Buffalo Dung
Kut-ai-sot’-si No Parfleche
Ni-tot’-si-ksis-stan-iks Kill Close By
Mo-twai’-naiks All Chiefs
Mo-kum’-iks Red Round Robes
Mo-tah’-tos-iks Many Medicines