Ną̄ǧíga was born about 1777, the son of Unknown Black Otter. The estimate of his birth date is based on the fact that his mother died while giving birth to his younger brother Black Otter in ca. 1779.
Ną̄ǧíga is a birth order name for the fourth son. His clan name is unknown, and "Black Otter" is given arbitrarily as his surname.
He accompanied his brothers Big Sand and Black Otter on the great Warpath of Dog Head in which an allied force of Sauk and Hocągara rubbed out a village of the Missouria located on an island in the Missouri River.
It was remembered that on the return trip from this battle, "They ran for four days and four nights, until they stopped. Eight men were named to go on a hunt. They were to stop at noon and give a feast when the hunters had returned. There were eight men on the hunt, one of Dog Head's nephews named Green Grass, Black Otter's brother Na[ǧ]íga, and two Sauk and four others. Where they were stopping, some of the men were getting the milk-weed tops, and eating them; but Black Otter and his brother Big Sand just sat there, although they were hungry. His brother said, 'It may be that these weeds are good to eat, Go over and try some.' So Black Otter took some that were already opened, and found that they were bitter, and did not know that those which had not opened were sweet. Just as he was sitting there, Green Grass came back with a deer, Black Otter said to him, 'I wish that you would give me the liver of this deer.' Green Grass replied that the deer all belonged to Black Otter, but he said, 'Your brother is coming back with another deer.' So Black Otter ran back to his brother Big Sand, and told him that his brother was coming back, and would be back immediately, with a deer. When they had brought the deer back to camp, cut them in pieces and begun cooking ..." ("Black Otter's Warpath")
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