Pawnee people

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Sharitarish, a Pawnee chief

The Pawnee are a Native American Plains Indians tribe.[1] They lived mainly in what is now Nebraska and Kansas. Unlike other tribes of the Great Plains, they were semi-nomadic people.[1] They were hunters and farmers. The Pawnee farmed for most of the year and lived in earth lodges.[2] During the buffalo hunting season, they lived in tepees so they could follow the herds.[2] In the early 1800s their main village was on the south side of the Platte River (Nebraska). They raised crops including beans, corn, pumpkins, squashes and sunflowers.[2] The powerful Pawnee tribe had four individual bands. These were the Chaui (Grand), the Kitkehaki (Republican Pawnees), Pitahauerat (Tapage Pawnees) and the Skidi (Loup or Wolf Pawnees).[3] They were a fierce people who used war paint and tattoos to intimidate their enemies.[2] The Pawnee took scalps in battle. Pawnee war parties often rode out on scalping missions against other tribes.[4] The Pawnee also practiced human sacrifice.[5] Most often this took the form of ritually killing a young captive girl in a five-day ceremony.[5] She was sacrificed to the Morning Star. The last known ritual killing was of a girl in the mid-18th century.[3] The Pawnee were the largest tribe to have lived in Nebraska.[6] They were one of the earliest tribes to come to the area.[6] Estimates are that there were between 10,000 and 12,000 Pawnee in Nebraska by 1800.[6] They had little to fear from their enemies because they were a large tribe.[6] But smallpox and other diseases reduced their numbers significantly in the early 1800s.[6] They were finally removed to Oklahoma in the 1870s.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Pawnee Indian Facts". Native American Indian Facts. Retrieved 15 June 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Linda Alchin. "Pawnee Tribe". Native American Indian Tribes. Retrieved 15 June 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Pawnee Indians - Farmers on the Plains". Legends of America. Retrieved 15 June 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mark van de Logt, '“The Powers of the Heavens Shall Eat of My Smoke”: The Significance of Scalping in Pawnee Warfare', Journal of Military History, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2008), p. 72
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ralph Linton, 'The Origin of the Skidi Pawnee Sacrifice to the Morning Star', American Anthropologist, Vol. 28, No. 3 (July-September, 1926), pp. 457–459
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "The Pawnee". Nebraskastudies.org. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 15 June 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Other websites[change | change source]