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Big Hand, a (Sioux Arikara) medicine man. The medicine men among the Indians were usually those men who thought more deeply than the average men in the tribe. They were seen as wise men. Medicine men or spiritual leaders were in a different class than other men of their tribe. This special status was not dependent on their hunting. Contact with other tribes enabled thinkers to build and expand their belief frameworks, so they were more prevalent in tribes that were accessible to outsiders.

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A Jicarilla Man, by Edward Curtis

A Jicarilla Man, photographed by Edward Curtis in 1904. Head-and-shoulders portrait of a Jicarilla man.