Wyoming Indian Tribes
possibly from the Pawnee tirapihu or larapihu,
Ähyä'to, Kiowa name.
Ano's-anyotskano, Kichai name.
Bĕtidĕĕ, Kiowa Apache name.
Detseka'yaa, Caddo name, signifying "dog eaters."
E-tah-leh, Hidatsa name, signifying "bison path Indians."
Hitänwo'ǐv, Cheyenne name, signifying "cloud men" or "sky men."
Inûna-ina, own name, signifying "our people."
Ita-Iddi, Hidatsa name (Maximilian).
Kaninahoish, Chippewa name.
former Kiowa name, signifying "men of the worn-out leggings."
Kun na-nar-wesh or Gene des Vach[es], by Lewis and Clark (1804). Mahpíyato,
Dakota name, signifying "blue cloud."
Särĕtǐka, Comanche and Shoshoni name, signifying "dog eaters"; the
Pawnee, Wichita, and Ute names were forms of this.
Connections. Together with their near relatives, the Atsina, the Arapaho
constitute the most aberrant group of the Algonquian linguistic stock.
Location. The Arapaho have occupied a number of different regions in the
historic period, but after they crossed the Missouri they became most
closely identified with northeastern Wyoming, where the main or northern
part of the tribe resided for a long period and where they were finally
given a reservation. (See also Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North
Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Canada.)
The Arapaho recognized five main divisions, which were evidently
originally distinct tribes. Mooney (1928) calls these:
Báachinĕna, or Northern Arapaho;
(2) Náawunĕna, or Southern Arapaho:
(3) Aä'ninĕna, Hitúnĕna, Atsina, or Gros Ventres of the Prairie, today
usually reckoned as a distinct tribe (see
principally with the Northern Arapaho; and
(5) Hánahawunĕna, or
Aanû'nhawă, later incorporated with the Northern Arapaho.
corresponding names given by Kroeber (1902 b) are:
Nānwaçinähä'änan (evidently Southern Arapaho),
Bääsanwūune'nan, and Hānanaxawūune'nan
Kroeber also states that
four more divisions recognized in the tribe were evidently in reality
divisions of the Hinanaē'inan. These are:
Wānxuē'içi ("ugly people"),
about Cantonment, Okla.;
Haxāançine'nan ("ridiculous men"), on the South
Canadian, Okla.; Bāantcïine'nan ("red-willow men"),
in Wyoming; and a
fourth whose name has been forgotten.
The following are relatively modern
local bands of the Arapaho:
the first three were among the Northern Arapaho.
History. According to tradition, the Arapaho were once sedentary and seem
to have lived in the Red River Valley, whence they moved southwest across
the Missouri at some time prior to the passage of that stream by the
Cheyenne. Sometime afterward the Atsina separated from the rest, possibly
cut off from the main body by the Crow, and moved off to the north; and
within the last century the rest of the tribe have slowly divided into a
northern and a southern branch, the Northern Arapaho living along the
edges of the mountains at the headwaters of the Platte, while the Southern
Arapaho continued on toward the Arkansas. About 1840 they made peace with
the Dakota, Kiowa, and Comanche but were at war with the Shoshoni, Ute,
and Pawnee until they were confined to reservations. By the treaty of
Medicine Lodge in 1867 the Southern Arapaho were placed upon a reservation
in Oklahoma along with the Southern Cheyenne; this was thrown open to
white settlement and the Indian lands were allotted in severalty in 1892.
The Northern Arapaho were assigned to a reservation on Wind River, Wyo.,
after having made peace with the Shoshoni who occupied the same reserve.
The Atsina were associated with the Assiniboin on Fort Belknap
Population. Mooney (1928)
estimated that there were 3,000 Arapaho in 1780 and the same number of.
Atsina. In 1894 there were 2,638 of the two tribes together; in 1904 there
were 889 Northern Arapaho and 859 Southern Arapaho, a total of 1,748. The
census of 1910 reported 1,419 Arapaho, while the United States Indian
Office Report for 1923 gives 921 Arapaho in Wyoming and 833 in Oklahoma, a
total of 1,754. The 1930 census reported 1,241, of whom 867 belonged to
the northern division. In 1937 there were 1,164 Northern Arapaho and 2,836
Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne together.
Connections in which they
have become noted. The Arapaho were one of the famous raiding tribes
of the Plains; their name appears frequently coupled with that of the
Cheyenne. The name Arapahoe has been given to a county and a mountain in
Colorado and to localities in Furnas County, Nebr.; Pamlico County, N. C.;
Cheyenne County, Colo.; and Fremont County, Wyo.; and the name Arapaho to
the county seat of Custer County, Okla.
Some Bannock ranged into western
The Cheyenne hunted and warred to some extent in the eastern part of
Wyoming; were long allied with the Arapaho. (See
Before separating from the
Shoshoni the Comanche probably occupied territory in Wyoming, afterward moving
The Crows occupied in Wyoming the
valleys of Powder, Wind, and Big Horn Rivers and ranged as far south as Laramie.
Dakota hunting and war parties
frequently reached the territory of Wyoming, but the tribe had no permanent
settlements there. In 1876 they participated with the Northern Arapaho and
Northern Cheyenne in the cession of the northeastern territory of Wyoming. (See
According to tradition, a tradition
reinforced by other evidence, the Kiowa lived for a time
in or near the Black Hills before moving south. (See
tribe lived in close conjunction with the Kiowa. (See
Pawnee were known to Wyoming only as hunters and
The Northern Shoshoni formerly
occupied the western part of Wyoming. (See
The Ute were just south of the
present Wyoming and entered its territory at times to hunt or fight. (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