Kansas Indians

Social Organization of the Kansa

The lot of the woman was a hard one. Those who remained unmarried were menials—slaves. They planted, tended and gathered the crops, did the cooking, brought the wood, and carried the water. Upon the marriage of the eldest daughter, all her sisters became subordinate wives of her husband. She was in control of the lodge, and her mother was subject to her will. If the husband died, she mourned a year, when his eldest brother took her to wife without ceremony, regarding her children as his own. If there was no brother, the widow married whom she pleased. The social …

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Wyandots Indian Tribe

The Wyandot tribe was anciently divided into twelve clans, or gentes. Each of these had a local government, consisting of a clan council presided over by a clan chief. These clan councils were composed of at least five persons, one man and four women, and they might contain any number of women above four. Any business pertaining purely to the internal affairs of the clans was carried to the clan councils for settlement. An appeal was allowed from the clan council to the tribal council. The four women of the clan council regulated the clan affairs and selected the clan …

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Shawnee Indian Tribe

It is said that the name of this most remarkable tribe comes from Shawun, south, or Shawunogi, Southerners. They lived in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other states before coming to Kansas. One of their early homes was on the Savannah River, which, indeed, took its name from this tribe. They called themselves Shawano, and “Savannah” is but a corruption of that form of the name. The Shawnees were the extreme southern people of the Algonquoian family. It is supposed that they settled on the Savannah at the invitation of the Cherokees, who placed them next to …

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The Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi

The history of the Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi is the same as that of the Missouri portion of the tribes, except that they had never wandered so far from the ancestral home. They lived nearer the Mississippi River, and the other band lived on the Missouri River—or the Osage, a branch of the Missouri, and from these circumstances came the names of the two bands. One band was the Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi, and the other the Sacs and Foxes of the Missouri. The Sacs and Foxes of the Mississippi owned and held about three-fourths of …

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Pottawatomie Indian Tribe

The history of the Pottawatomies, even after they were in communication with the Europeans, is difficult and often obscure. Their name signifies People of the place of the fire. They came to be generally known as the “Fire Nation.” There is reason to believe that the Pottawatomies, the Chippewas, and the Ottawas originally formed one tribe. As one people they lived in that country about the upper shores of Lake Huron. The separation into three parts probably occurred there, and the Jesuits found them at Sault St. Marie in 1640. In 1670 the tribe or some portion of it, was …

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Quapaw Indian Tribe

The Quapaws are the Arkansas Indians. They were once a powerful tribe, claiming a vast territory which extended from the Mississippi to head waters of the Red River. As the tract remained at the time of the cession, it was bounded on the north by the Arkansas and the Canadian rivers, on the south by the Red River down almost to Shreveport, thence to the Mississippi River. The Quapaws represented the southern division of the Siouan family. Much of the land ceded by the Osages belonged of right to the Quapaws, and especially that bordering on the Mississippi in Missouri …

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Pawnee Indian Tribe

The Pawnee lands in Kansas were taken by the Government through treaties with the Kansas and Osages. The cession of the Pawnees in Kansas was insignificant. They had a much better title to Kansas west of the Blue than any other tribes. Irving found the remains of their towns on the Cimarron as late as 1832. Brower claimed to have traced them or their kindred from the Ozarks to the forks of the Kansas River. They lived on the Lower Neosho, in the vicinity of the present Vinita, in the time of Du Tisne. But they were despoiled by the …

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Otoes and Missouri Indian Tribes

The Otoes and Missouris are tribes of the Siouan family. They were placed on a reservation in the country about the Nemaha River, in what became Kansas and Nebraska. By a treaty made September 21, 1833, they ceded their country south of the Little Nemaha. The remainder of their lands were ceded to the United States by a treaty made March 15, 1854, and they were assigned a diminished reservation on the waters of the Big Blue River. This tract was twenty-five miles long—east and west—by ten miles wide. It was surveyed to please the Indians from some point called …

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Ottawa Indian Tribe

The Ottawas were found on the Georgian Bay by Champlain in 1615. They seem to have been a people who traded much with other tribes. They had developed a commerce in tobacco, medicinal herbs and roots, rugs, mats, furs and skins, cornmeal, and an oil made of the seeds of the sunflower. They were in close alliance with the Hurons, or Wyandots, from the first. And the Wyandots raised tobacco for the Indian trade. The history of the Ottawas runs much like that of the other tribes found along the Great Lakes. They claim that they owned the country through …

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Osage Indian Tribe

The Osage tribe is theoretically separated into twenty-one fireplaces. These fireplaces were grouped into three divisions: The Seven Tsi-shu Fireplaces The Seven Hanka Fireplaces The Seven Osage Fireplaces (the Wa-sha-she Fireplaces) Each fireplace is a gens, so the Osage tribe is composed of twenty-one gentes, or clans. When the two “sides” of the tribe were fixed—the War Side and the Peace Side—there were but fourteen gentes in the Nation. At that time the Osage camping circle, or tribal circle was adopted. Positions for the fourteen gentes were provided. The circle is shown as follows. At some period after the adoption …

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