The Caddo
Arikara and Pawnee



Their name comes from Pawnee ariki ("horn") in reference to their headdresses. Their name for themselves was tannish or sannish, meaning "the people." In sign language, the motions for their name was interpreted as "the corn eaters."

Their language was Caddoan. other Caddo tribes were the Pawnee and Wichita.

They lived on the banks of the Missouri between the Cheyenne River and Fort Berthold in North Dakota, near the Mandan and Hidatsa

At the end of the 18th century, they established good trading relations with the French. Lewis and Clark visited them in 1804. During their involvement in conflicts among fur traders, they found themselves on the emigrant route to the West. The Dakota and smallpox epidemics between 1837 and 1856 decimated them. In 1880 the Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa were settled on the Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota.

Numbering around 3,000 in 1780; by 1970, there were 460.




Pawnee 1834, 28kbTheir name comes from Paariki "horned," an illusion to the hairstyles, or from Parisu, "hunter." They called themselves chahiksichahiks, meaning "people."

Their language is Caddoan and they lived in the middle area of the Platte River in Nebraska. Other tribes of the Caddo include the Arikara and Wichita.

Divided into four tribes, the Pawnee were mobile, living in sod dwellings. Like the Mandans, they grew corn and hunted buffalo. They were also skilled in basket making, pottery, and weaving.

They had a complex religious organization where natural elements (wind, thunder, lightning, rain) were the messages from tirana, a superior spiritual force. Durning the corn growing season, there were human sacrifices, usually female Comanche prisoners.

They migrated from the South and lived in the Plains area before the Sioux. Coronado encountered them in 1541. At the beginning of the 18th century, the Pawnee were allied with the French for trading against Spanish expansion. Many were killed in the 19th century during combat with the Dakota Sioux. They supplied scouts to the U.S. Army. They yielded their territories by treaty and settled in Oklahoma.

Numbering around 10,000 in 1870; there were 1,149 in 1970.



Plains Indians : Intro
The Sioux : Dakota ~ Dhegiha ~ Chiewere ~ Mandan ~ Hidatsa
The Caddo : Arikara ~ Pawnee ~ Wichita
The Shoshonean : Comanche ~ Kiowa
The Alqonquian : Blackfeet ~ Gros Ventre ~ Cheyenne ~ Arapaho ~ Plains Cree ~ Plains Ojibwa

Crazy Horse ~~ Red Cloud ~~ Sitting Bull


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