The Pawnee Nation

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The Pawnee Nation The Pawnee nation has a proud history going back 700 years. At one time, early in the 19-century, there were over 10,000 members of the Pawnee nation along the North Platte River in Nebraska. The Pawnee village consists of dome shaped. Earth covered lodges with a diameter of 25 to 60 feet with a long entrance leading towards the east. A center pit dug three or four feet in diameter served as a fireplace. These lodges housed extended families. The Nation then, as it is now, was composed of four distinct bands: the Chaui "˜Grand', the kitkihahki, "˜Republican', the Petahauirata "˜Tappage' and the Skidi "˜wolf'. Each band went on separate hunt and often fought separate battles.

Before the middle of the century, the tribe was stricken with smallpox and cholera. A great loss of life occurred and by 1900 the tribe's numbers were decreased to about 600.

The pawnee were well known for their ability to raid neighboring tribes and acquire their horses. They set out on foot and brought back hundreds of horses, especially from tribes to the south and southwest. Horses gave the Pawnee the mobility that made them a name to be feared by there enemies. Although the Pawnee never waged open war against the U.S. government and were classified as a "friendly nation" extra privileges were not gained. The government felt the need to bribe with gifts, which sometimes consisted of rifles to hunt buffalo. These rifles were I turn used against other tribes, including the Pawnee, who were not so fortunately armed.

The Pawnee men were warriors of courage and endurance. Even if out number greatly and out gunned they still fought till the end. In battle the Pawnee warriors would put buffalo fat in there hair and shape it so it looked like they had horns. Some of these brave warriors feats are now considered legendary such as When chief crooked hand of the skidi band was looking after the village while the men were gone off to fight. While he was waling back from picking barriers he saw some members of another tribe walking to raid his village he ran home and rallied up the woman and children to successfully fight off the enemy.

The Pawnee unwillingly gave up there land to the US government in 1833,48,57 and 72. They moved from Nebraska to what is now Pawnee country in 1875. Today the tribe totals just over 2,500 and came be found all over the states.