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BLACK


591


BLACKWOOD


are immigrants from the East. About one hundred years ago, and until gathered upon reservations, tliey held most of the immense territory' stretching from the southern headwaters of the Missouri, in Montana, almost to the Xorth Saskatchewan, in Canada, and from about 105° W. longitude to the base of the Rocky Mountains. They are now settled on three reservations in the Province of Alberta, Canada, and one in Montana, U. S., being about equally divided between the two governments. The Atsina are also now settled in Montana, while the Sassi arc in Alberta.

Most of the early estimates of Blackfoot popula- tion are unreliable and usually exaggerated. The estimate made by Mackenzie (about the year 1790) of 2250 to 2550 warriors, or perhaps 8500 souls, is probably ver\' near the truth for that period. In 17S0, 1837, 1845, 1857, and 1S69, they suffered great losses by smallpox. In 1883-84 some 600 on the Montana reservation died of starvation in conse- quence of a simultaneous failure of the buffalo and reduction of rations. In addition to these whole- sale losses, they suffered a continual wasting from wars with the surrounding tribes — CYee, Assiniboin, Sioux, Crow, Flathead, Kutenai — for the Blackfeet were a particularly warhke and aggressive people, and, T\-ith the exception of the two small tribes li\-ing under their protection, they had no alhes. The official Indian report for 1S5S gives them 7300 souls, but a careful unofficial estimate made about the same time puts them at 6720. In 1906 they were officially reported to niunber in all 4617, as follows: Blackfoot Agency, Alberta, 842; Blood Agency, Al- berta, 1204, Piegan Agency, Alberta, 499; Blackfoot Agency (Piegan), Montana, 2072.

In their culture the Blackfeet were a tj^pical Plains tribe, living in skin tipis, roving from place to place without permanent habitation, without potterj', basketry, or canoes, having no agriculture except for the planting of a native tobacco, and depending almost entirely upon the buffalo for sub- sistence. Their traditions go back to a time when they had no horses, hunting the buffalo on foot by means of driveways constructed of loose stones; but as early as 1800 they had many horses taken from the southern tribes, and later became noted for their great herds. They procured guns and horses about the same time, and were thus enabled to extend their incursions successfully over wide areas. While generally friendly to the Hudson's Bay Company traders, they were, in the earlier period, usually hostile towards Americans, although never regu- larly at war with the government. Upon ceremonial occasions each of the three principal tribes camped in a great circle, as usual among the Plains tribes, the tipis of each band occupying a definite section of the circle, with the "medicine lodge", or ceremonial sacred structure, in the centre of the circle. The assertion that these smaller bands constituted exo- gamic clans seems consistent with Plains Indians custom. There was also a military society consisting of several subdivisions, or orders, of various rank, from boys in training to the retired veterans who acted as advisers and directors of the rites. Each of these orders had its distinctive uniform and equip- ment, songs and dance, and took charge of some special function at public gatherings. There were also the ordinary secret societies for the practice of medicine, magic, and special industrial arts, each society usually having its own sacred tradition in the keeping of a cho.sen priest. The industrial societies were usually composed of women. The ordinarj- dress in old times was of prepared deerskins; the arms were the bow, knife, club, lance, and shield, and, later, the gun. The principal deity was the svm, and a supernatural being known as Xapi, "Old Man" — perhaps an incarnation of the same idea. The great


tribal ceremony was the Svm Dance, held annually in the summer season. The marriage tie was easily broken, and polygamy was permitted. The dead were usually deposited in trees, or sometimes in tipis erected for the purpose on prominent hills. In physique the Blackfeet are tall and finely built; in temper, aggressive, tmruly, and uncertain.

The earliest missionary work among the Blackfeet was that of the French Jesuits who accompanied the explorer Verendrj'e in the Saskatchewan region in 1731—42. .Among these may be named Fathers Nicholas Gomior, Charles Mesaiger, and Jean Aul- neau. Nothing more was done until the establish- ment of the Red River colony by Lord Selkirk, who, in 1816, brought out Fathers Dmnoulin and Pro- vencher from Slontreal to minister to the wants of the colonists and Indians. Their Indian work, at first confined to the Crees and Ojibwa, was aftem'ards extended, imder the auspices of the Oblates, to the Blackfeet and Assiniboin. Among the most noted of these Oblate missionaries were Father Albert Lacombe (1848-90), author of a manuscript Black- foot dictionarj', as well as of a monmnental granmiar and dictionary of the Cree, and Father Emile Legal (1881-90), author of several important manuscripts relating to the Blackfoot tribe and language. Protes- tant mission work in the tribe was begtm by the Wesleyan Methodists about 1840 (though without any regular establishment until 1871), and by the Episcopalians at about the same date.

Grixnell, Blackjuot Lodge Tales (1892); H.^yben. EOl- nography and Phiiology of the Missouri River VaUey Tribes (1S62): Hodge. Handbook of Am. Indians; MooNET. Missions, Siksika. etc.. in Repurls. Bureau of Am. Ethnology (1907); ilACKENZlE, Voyages (1S01>; Pilling. Bibliography of the Algonquin Languages, s. tnj, Blackfoot, Lacombe, Legal, McLean, Tims, in Reports, B. Am. Ethn. (1891); Wissler. Blackfoot Indians in Ontario Archaological Report for 1905 (Toronto. 1906): Annual Reports cf the Commisstoner of Indian Affairs (V. S.) and Superintendent of Indian Affairs (Canada).

J.\MES MOOXEY.

Black Friars. See Dominicans; C.\xoxs .\xd C.VNOXESSES Regular of St. Augustine; Hermits OF St. Augustine.

Blackloe, Thom.\s. See White, Thomas.

Black Monks. See Benedictine Order; C-ino.\s AND Canoxesses Regular OF St. Augustine; Her- mits OF St. Augustine.

Black Sisters (Augustini.\n Nuns). See Alexi-\n Nuxs.

Black Sunday. See Passion Sunday.

Blackwood. Ad.\m, author, b. at Dunfermhne, Scotland, 1539; d. 1613. He was a great-nephew of Robert Reid, Bishop of Orkney (1541-58), who pro- vided for his education, both his parents being dead, at the University of Paris. On the bishop's death, Queen Marjs generosity enabled Adam to complete his studies at Paris and Toulouse. He taught philos- ophy at Paris and pubUshed there a funeral poem on Iving Charles IX (1574) and a work on the relation between religion and government (1575). Arch- bishop James Beaton recommended him to Marj- for the office of Judge of the Parliament of Poitiers (Poitou was under her jurisdiction as Dowager of France), and here he married Catherine Court inier. Blackwood collected a good library, and WTote several books, one an "Apologj' for Kings", denouncing Buchanan's \news mth much bitterness, and another a \igorous defence of Queen Mary, published in Paris (nominally in Edinburgh) after her death. Other works by him were a book of pious meditations in prose and verse and an ascetic commentarj' on the fiftieth Psalm. Blackwood died in 1613, and was buried at Poitiers. His ^vidow married Francois de la Mot he le Vayer, and one of his daughters be- came the wife of George Crichton, Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Paris.