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Houses of the Omaha Tribe

When Lewis and Clark ascended the Missouri in 1804 they found the Omaha village not far from the Missouri, in the present Dakota County, Nebraska. On the 13th of August the expedition reached the mouth of a creek entering the right bank of the Missouri. Just beyond they encamped on a sandbar, “opposite the lower point of a large island.” From here Sergeant Ordway and four men were sent to the Omaha village and returned the following day. “After crossing a prairie covered with high grass, they reached the Maha creek, along which they proceeded to its three forks, which join near the village: they crossed the north branch and went. along the south; the walk was very fatiguing, as they were forced to break their way through grass, sunflowers, and thistles, all above ten feet high, and interspersed with wild pea. Five miles from our camp they reached the position of the ancient Maha village: it had once consisted of three hundred cabins, but was burnt about four years ago, soon after the smallpox had destroyed four hundred men, and a proportion of women and children. On a hill, in the rear of the village, are the graves of the nation.”1 Seven years after Lewis and Clark ascended the Missouri the traveler Bradbury visited the Omaha village standing on or near the site of the one mentioned in the earlier narrative. May 12, 1811, while away from the boat and traversing the country in search of botanical specimens, he arrived on the summit of the bluffs, and, to quote from his journal: “I had a fine view of...

Omaha Tribe

Omaha Tribe – Omaha Indians (‘those going against the wind or current’ ). One of the 5 tribes of the so called Dhegiha group of the Siouan family, the other 4 being the Kansa, Quapaw, Osage, and Ponca. Hale and Dorsey concluded from a study of the languages and traditions that, in the westward migration of the Dhegiha from their seat on Ohio and Wabash rivers after the separation, at least as early as 1500, of the Quapaw, who went down the Mississippi from the mouth of the Ohio, the Omaha branch moved up the great river, remaining awhile near the mouth of the Missouri while war and hunting parties explored the country to the northwest. The Osage remained on Osage river and the Kansa continued up the Missouri, while the Omaha, still including the Ponca, crossed the latter stream and remained for a period in Iowa, ranging as far as the Pipestone quarry at the present Pipestone, Minnesota. They were driven back by the Dakota, and after the separation of the Ponca, who advanced into the Black Hills, which occurred probably about 1650 at the mouth of Niobrara river, the Omaha settled on Bow creek, Nebraska, and may have already been there at the date of Marquette’s map (1673). Jefferys (1761) located the Omaha on the east side of Missouri river, beyond the Iowa, immediately above Big Sioux river. In 1766 they appear to have had friendly relations with the Dakota, as Carver mentions having met both tribes together on Minnesota river. They were at their favorite resort near Omadi, Dakota county, Nebraska, in 1800. Lewis and Clark...

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