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Wédasé [Warrior]

The rank of warrior among Potawatomi was one of great honor and responsibility. Those who were victorious in battle were given the title of Wédasé, meaning brave or strong hearted. Often, they became members of the village warrior society, defending and policing the community.

A rite of passage, warrior training began at an early age. Young boys were taught by their fathers and uncles how to use the bow, knife and club to hunt game. Completing their training, warriors learned how to communicate with powerful mnedok (spirits) for guidance and protection. These skills were developed over a lifetime and used by villages who worked together to defend against enemy attack or in war.

War parties could be mustered by any man in the village. A man’s standing in the community, reputation as a warrior and motive influenced others to join him. Traditionally, a stick or glove painted red was an invitation to a war council. It was customary to consult with spiritualists and leaders of the local warrior society for support, protection and insight.

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