Native American Nations
Your Source for Indian Research
Rolls ~ History ~ Treaties ~ Census ~ Books
Initiation into the Midē´wiwin
or Midē´ Society is, at this time, performed during the latter part
of summer. The ceremonies are performed in public, as the structure
in which they are conducted is often loosely constructed of poles
with intertwined branches and leaves, leaving the top almost
entirely exposed, so that there is no difficulty in observing what
may transpire within. Furthermore, the ritual is unintelligible to
the uninitiated, and the important part of the necessary information
is given to the candidate in a preceptor’s wig´iwam.
This wig´iwam is dome-shaped measures about 10 feet in diameter
and 6 feet high in the middle, with an opening at the top which can
be readily covered with a piece of bark. The framework of the
structure consists of saplings stuck into the ground, the tops being
bent over to meet others from the opposite side. Other thin saplings
are then lashed horizontally to the upright ones so as to appear
like hoops, decreasing in size as the summit is reached. They are
secured by using strands of basswood bark. The whole is then covered
with pieces of birchbark—frequently the bark of the pine is
used—leaving a narrow opening on the side facing the Midē´wigân,
which may be closed with an adjustable flap of bark or blankets.
This site includes some historical materials that may imply negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record and should not be interpreted to mean that the WebMasters in any way endorse the stereotypes implied.
The Midē Wiwin or Grand Medicine Society, 1891
Copyright 2000- by NaNations.com and/or their author(s). The webpages may be linked to but shall not be reproduced on another site without written permission from NaNations or their author. Images may not be linked to in any manner or method. Anyone may use the information provided here freely for personal use only. If you plan on publishing your personal information to the web please give proper credit to our site for providing this information. Thanks!!!