The Arapaho Nation
- The Arapaho were traditionally a Plains Tribe, found in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas.
- They were thought to have originated in the Minnesota region, where they grew maize and other crops.
- These farmers got pushed onto the plains by the Ojibwe. They first used dogs to pull their travois.
- After acquiring horses, the Arapaho moved further south.
- They followed the buffalo herds and eventually became nomadic traders.
- Their warriors were highly skilled horsemen.
- Their language is of Algonquian origin.
- It has been suggested that the name Arapaho comes from either the Pawnee word for trader, or the Crow word for tattoo.
- They have always been close allies of the Cheyenne.
- There are five divisions within the Arapaho Nation, each with their own distinct dialect.
- On the Great Plains they were further divided into the Northern Arapaho and the Southern Arapaho.
- There are eight military societies, clans, or soldier bands. These are age-based. A brave passes from one to another as he matures.
- The Arapaho tattoo small circles on their bodies.
- Each warrior painted himself and his horse in his own unique design before going on the warpath.
- Soldiers built up their reputations by counting coup on their enemies.
- Their weapons include clubs, lances, knives, tomahawks, bows, shotguns, rifles, and pistols.
- They traditionally lived in teepees made from buffalo hides.
- They hunted elk, deer, and buffalo, but they also ate berries, roots, and plants.
- In hard times, they were sometimes forced to eat their dogs.
- The Arapaho held an annual Sun Dance before the Great Summer Buffalo Hunt.
- The tribe were among the victims of the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864.
- This atrocity sparked the Indian Wars on the Southern Plains.
- The Northern Arapaho took part in Red Cloud’s War (1866-1868).
- Only five of their warriors were present at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, 1876.
- They were active participants of the Ghost Dance Movement in the 1880s.
Legends of America, “Arapaho: Great Buffalo Hunters of the Plains,” at http://www.legendsofamerica.com/na-arapaho.html
Northern Arapaho Tribe, “Northern Arapaho History” at http://www.northernarapaho.com/history
Wikipedia, “Arapaho” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arapaho