Nebraska Indian Tribes
The Arapaho ranged for a
considerable period over the western part of this State. (See Wyoming.) Arikara.
This tribe lived in the territory now included in Nebraska with the Skidi Pawnee at some prehistoric period, and after 1823 they
returned to the same tribe for 2 years. (See
Like the Arapaho, the Cheyenne
ranged to some extent over the western territories of the State. (See
At an early day the Comanche must have lived in or near the western part
of Nebraska, before moving south. (See
The Dakota had few settlements of
any permanency in the territory of Nebraska but they were constantly raiding
into and across it from the north. (See
The Foxes were parties to a land
cession made in 1830. (See
Omaha lived about the
Pipestone Quarry in Minnesota, they were accompanied by the Iowa, who
afterward went with them to South Dakota and thence to Nebraska. They,
however, continued southeast into the territory of the present State of
They were parties to a cession of
Nebraska land made in 1825. (See
were at one time on the western margin of Nebraska and
later followed the Comanche south. (See
they had been driven from Missouri by the
the remnant of this tribe lived for a while in villages south of Platte
Meaning "those going against the
wind or current"; sometimes shortened to Maha. See
From Wat'ota, meaning "lechers." It often appears in a lengthened
form such as Hoctatas or Octoctatas. See
The name is derived by some from
the native word pariki, "a horn,"
a term said to be used to designate their peculiar manner of dressing the
scalp lock; but Lesser and Weltfish (1932) consider it more likely that it
is from parisu, "hunter," as claimed by themselves. They were also called
Padani and Panana by various tribes. See
Own name, meaning unknown.
Díhit, Li-hit' or Ríhit, Pawnee name.
Kan'kan, Winnebago name.
Tchiáχsokush, Caddo name.
Connections. The Ponca spoke practically the same language as the
and formed with them, the
Kansa, and Quapaw, the
Dhegiha group of
the Siouan linguistic family.
Location. On the right bank of the Missouri at the mouth of the Niobrara.
(See also Iowa,
History. The early life of the Ponca seems to have run parallel with that
of the Omaha. They are said to have separated from the latter at
the mouth of White River, S. Dak., and to have moved west into the Black
Hills but to have rejoined the Omaha a little later. These two tribes and
the Iowa then descended the Missouri together as far as the mouth of the
Niobrara, where the Ponca remained while the Omaha established themselves
below on Bow Creek. They remained in approximately the same situation
until 1877 when the larger part of them were forcibly removed to Indian
Territory. This action was the occasion for a special investigation, as a
result of which about three-quarters continued in the Territory while the
remainder preferred to remain in their old country. Their lands have now
been allotted to them in severalty.
Population. Mooney (1928) gives 800, as the probable size of the Ponca
tribe in 1780. In 1804 Lewis and Clark estimate only 200 but they had been
greatly reduced just before by smallpox. In 1829 they had increased to 600
and in 1842 to about 800. In 1871 they numbered 747. In 1906 the Ponca in
Oklahoma numbered 570 and those in Nebraska 263; total, 833. The census of
1910 gave 875 in all, including 619 in Oklahoma and 193 in Kansas. The
Report of the United States Indian Office for 1923 was 1,381, evidently
including other tribes. The census of 1930 returned 939. In 1937 the
United States Indian Office gave 825 in Oklahoma and 397 in Nebraska.
Connection in which they have become noted. The name Ponca is preserved by
a river in South Dakota, Ponca City in Kay County, Okla., and places in
Newton County, Ark., and Dixon County, Nebr.
Like the Foxes, they were parties to the land cession of 1830
involving territories in the State. (See
Part of the Winnebago settled close to the Omaha after they
had been driven from Minnesota following the Dakota outbreak of 1862. A
reservation was later assigned them there and in course of time they were
allotted land in severalty upon it. (See
Notes About the Book:
Source: The Indian Tribes of North America, by John R. Swanton, 1953, Bureau of
American Ethnology, Bulletin 145, US Government Printing Office, Washington DC.
Online Publication: The manuscript was scanned and then ocr'd. Minimal editing
has been done, and readers can and should expect some errors in the textual