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Personal Narratives

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Grandmother, (Hinkuni), with notes on worage, stories during a known time period, based on historical facts. Translation by Jimm G. GoodTracks, with notes on Ioway - Otoe - Missouria Traditional Stories. (PDF)

Alice Sine, "Reminiscences of Grandmother". Recording of personal reflections of Ioway, Alice Sine. Her Eagle Clan Name was TadánjeMi.


Early in the morning, before the sun was up, my Grandma would pray. "Every day you go along by yourself on this earth, so I pray outside, and I cry. I often greet people who are good. When I see different people (non-Natives) I treat them well. That way you will have a lot of friends.
"God, I am left alone, and I live alone. They have all left me. There are only a few of us Ioways left. And so, we try to pray to God.

"Now, you say it well. It's for you to say it".
This world, I am going through this earth, all of us it weighs (everyone) down, they say.
"Behold me! God!" She said. "Throw away for me (my) mistakes," she prayed, she'd always say.
"It is difficult going through this earth, I think." Ho! It is difficult, earth.
"Only God I'm saying keeps me well. This land, in the future (Heaven) I am in agreement."
See! God, I am feeling good having arrived back home.
(And) the old men would come dancing. Ioways they call us, the soldier dance songs, soldier dance they had.
Indeed, the countryside, again, all the old people they'd have arrived, and they'd dance.
They'd be hollering (war crys). They all followed along.
I remember that as plain as day.

What used to hurt me is hear my grandma pray. I'm glad that I have teachings from her. Sometimes, I'm saying to God, we have to go along this way, in this world.
Each day you go along by yourself.
Indeed, early in the morning, before the sun was out, she awoke and went outside.
She cried to the sun, the four winds.
See!, We are nearby as we follow the (ways of) the earth".
Later on it was I to go (outside) and I cried as I prayed.
"I am alone, God. (So) I greet people who are really good!"
My grandma said: When I see different people, non-Natives, I am to treat them well.
That way after so long you will have a lot of friends.
Grandma always said if you're a good person you'll have a lot of friends.
Behold! God, I am left alone, and I live alone.
They have all left me.
(Now), only God do we have. There are only a few of us Ioways left.
And so, we try to talk to (pray to) God. We try to pray.

Franklin Murray, "I Am An Ioway". Recording of personal reflections of Franklin Murray. Franklin Murray was Ioway. His Bear Clan Name was ThigréPi.


I am an Ioway.
Way back, the old people,
my grandpa and my grandma, that I have,
they endeared me greatly, and so they gave me a name,
an Ioway name, "Good Tracks" they called me.
And so, I am proud of the name, my name that I have – Good Track.
It comes from the Bear, that (name) I have, the Bear Clan.

My old people were traditional Doctors. My grandmother knew how (to heal).
She had told me about it, but I learned very little.

They said to me that someday people would arrive,
asking me to set aside time to give (them) assistance.
(And so now) they arrive bringing me food and a gift to pray.
I help them as my own ones. It is the way of the Ioway People from way back.
Now, that is how they knew how to be.
The community (tribe) is small.
They are kind to one another.
(Today) we've become poor (as) everything good is lost, all of it.
Today what is one to do. Where at does one search for it (the lost traditions and ways).
This language even -- wherever are we going to hear it.
This is even lost.

Going into the future I think of these young ones that we have,
several (generations) on up ahead.
It will be well and in harmony (for them).
And then, in the future, those who were here first,
they said to them, that it (the tribe) would surely be thriving.

I myself am sitting praying for them.
As a result, I myself at the last, although poorly,
I am trying to speak (pray) something for the young ones and the children
that even they'll be going along well.
They would have fellowship with one another;
even to look after one another.
Whenever they are going back to get something (traditional ways),
be grateful because (what) the Ioways knew.
They told about how they had sacred possessions in the distant country.
I'm unable to say which men (had these).

So now I sit at this house here,
I admonish myself, telling it in a straightforward manner.
Indeed it is, that these old people were gifted & knowledgeable relatives.

I pray and offer blessings using my eagle feather for my community (tribe)
going ahead, that
the young ones for two or three generations forward,
that they might have good balanced life.

Words occuring in parenthesis are offered to clarify and convey the intent of the speaker, although the word was not actually used.

Otoe delegation, circa 1890

Otoe delegation, circa 1890.
View larger image here.

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