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“Very little is known of the early history of the Arapahos, but are supposed by some to be the Querecho of the early Spanish explorers. They called themselves Atsinas, of whom, how ever, they are but a branch. The early English knew them as the Fall Indians, and the French as the Gros Ventre of the south. They were then roaming over the plain country about the heads of the Platte and Arkansas. Gallatin speaks of them as a detached tribe of the Rapid Indians, which has wandered as far south as the Platte and Arkansas and formed a temporary union with the Kaskasia and some other erratic tribes. At the present time (1862) the Arapahos are divided into two portions or bands. The first portion call themselves Na-ka-si-nin, ‘People of the Sage,’ and number one hundred and eighty lodges. They wander about the sources of the South Platte and the region of Pike’s Peak; also northward to the Red Buttes on the North Platte. Sometimes they extend their journeying in search of buffalo along the foot of the Big Horn Mountains in the Crow country. The second band call themselves Na-wuth-i-ni-hau, the meaning of which is obscure. It implies a mixture of different kinds of people of different bands. They number 200 lodges, and range along the Arkansas River and its tributaries.” Hayden.
In 1820 Morse estimated them at 10,000, and speaks of them as a warlike people and often making predatory and murderous excursions on their eastern and northern neighbors.
The Arapahos affiliate with the Cheyenne, with whom they have been on friendly terms for many years. Lately, however, an antipathy seems to be growing up between the two tribes in the Indian Territory, and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs advises a separation. They are divided into two principal di visions, known respectively as the Northern and Southern Arapahos. Those of the north, numbering 1,562, affiliate with the Cheyenne and Ogalalla at the Red Cloud agency. They have been ordered to join their southern brethren, and at the present time the necessary preparations are under way. The Southern Apaches, who number 1,664, with the Southern Cheyenne and a small band of Apaches, are temporarily occupying a large reservation in the western portion of the Territory. The new reservation assigned them lies along the northern border of the Territory west of the Creek and Cherokee countries, and was purchased from them. It comprises nearly 5,000,000 acres.
But little has been done by them looking toward civilization, beyond signifying their willingness to have farms apportioned to them and in sending their children to school.
List of illustrations.
21. Yellow Bear. Northern Arapaho
Little Wolf. Northern Arapaho
22. Powder Face And Squaw. Northern Arapaho
23. Medicine Pipe. Northern Arapaho
Fool Dog. Northern Arapaho
24. Crazy Bull. Northern Arapaho
Friday. Northern Arapaho
25. Plenty Bears. Northern Arapaho
Old Eagle. Northern Arapaho
32-35. Bi-Nan-Set. Big Mouth. Southern Arapaho
36-37. White Crow. Southern Arapaho
38-39. Black Crow. Southern Arapaho
40-41. Left Hand. Southern Arapaho
42-43. Yellow Horse. Southern Arapaho
44-45. Heap O’ Bears. Southern Arapaho
62-65. Ohaste. Little Raven. Southern Arapaho Photo
In 1865, Richardson described him as follows: “The savage, like Falstaff, is a coward on instinct; also treacherous, filthy, and cruel. But our chief, The Little Raven, was the nearest approximation I ever met to the ideal Indian. He had a fine manly form, and a human, trustworthy face.”
909. 911. Bird Chief. (Bust, front and profile.)
910. 912. Bird Chief. (Standing, front and profile.)
The well-known chief of the Northern Arapahos and one who has had a prominent position for the last twenty-five years. Speaks English fluently and always acts as his own interpreter.
755. A Young Man.
Living with and brought up with the Southern Arapaho, but claimed by Ouray, chief of the Ute, to be his son, captured in battle several years since. Ouray has made an appeal to the Government for his restitution, but the young man prefers his present home.