"We have many stories. To the white man, they would say they're myths and legends, but to us, they are our cultural history. And in one instance, the clan that I'm a member of, the Water Buster clan, there were two thunder birds who became human beings. And they came to live among us, and when they decided to go back to the spirit world, one of them made promises that he would honor. If someone got sick, he would heal them. He would bring the buffalo nearby. If enemies came against us, he would put them on the run. If we would just take care of them. And we still take care of those bundles today, so I believe that we have been taken care of."
"As far as the Arikara side, we . . . identify with a certain type of medicine in terms of a clan system. Because a big part of it was based on our . . .
The Hidatsa have it a little different. They're more structured . . . It's . . . based off a man who had . . . a connection to the thunder. . . And there was another one—The Water Buster. . . The Hidatsa people . . . maintain their clan system, so anybody in that clan . . . you would be a brother or a sister. . . and that always followed your mother [mother's side of the family]."
Loren Yellow Bird (Hidatsa and Arikara) gives a brief description of the societies that made up the Arikara social system and the clans that are part of the Hidatsa society. Members of a clan were your brothers and sisters. Clan relatives were responsible for the upbringing of all younger clan members, and they were obliged to help in sacred and ceremonial situations.
What is important about the survival of traditional kinship systems across countless generations?
What values do the Three Affiliated Tribes demonstrate in these descriptions of their kinship systems?