January 2, 2006

Kaw Wedding Customs


Thomas Huffaker, the Kaw Mission teacher, wrote the following account of a Kaw marriage:


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The relatives of the man go the relatives of the girl and agree upon the consideration.

The groom moves his tent near the family of the girl. On the day of the ceremony, the tent of the groom is vacated by the family. The presents of the groom’s relatives are left in the tent, except the ponies, which are tied outside, and four women relatives of the groom remain in the tent. 

The bride is clothed in all the fine and costly things that her family are able to furnish. She is then placed upon the finest horse possessed by her family, it having been decorated with costly coverings. 

A gun is then discharged at her tent to notify the four women at the groom’s tent that the bride has started for the groom’s tent. The four women leave the tent to meet her. She is taken by them from the horse, wrapped in fine clothing and carried by the four women into the tent and seated upon the ground uncovered. 

The friends of the groom are then notified, and he is brought into the tent and seated near the bride, when they both partake of a wedding feast, seated back to back, “sight unseen.” 

After the repast is ended the relatives and friends of both parties are admitted to the tent, a general feast is had, and the delivery of the presents. Thus the ceremony is ended.

Wedding Customs
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