The Plains Indians


The Cheyenne

The Cheyenne were another well-known tribe originally from what is now northern Minnesota, they had migrated to the high plains by the early 1800’s and ranged from the Missouri River in the North to the Arkansas River in the South. They were divided into two branches, the Northern Cheyenne and the Southern Cheyenne. The Northern group spent much of their time on the high plains of Colorado and Wyoming.

Like the Sioux, with whom they were often allied, the Cheyenne were horsemen and buffalo-hunters who obtained most of their physical needs from the shaggy bison. Also, like the Sioux, they celebrated the Summer Sun Dance, in which men would dance for several days in a ritual of spiritual cleansing and empowerment.

The Arapaho

The Arapaho, although a distinct tribe, were very similar to their close allies, the Cheyenne. Like the Cheyenne, they spoke an Algonquin language and were originally from what is now northern Minnesota. They migrated westward and divided into Northern and Southern branches. The Northern branch lived on the high plains. The Arapaho were mounted bison-hunters who depended on the buffalo for much of their livelihood. They also celebrated the Sun Dance.

Article Excerpt from: National Park Service

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