Omaha Indians

The Omaha tribe of Nebraska

It is believed the Omaha tribe came from the Atlantic coast side of America in prehistory.

Their early settlements were in present day Virginia and the Carolinas.

Later they moved again to the Ozark Plateau and the prairies in what is now Western Missouri.

There the tribe split. The Omaha and the Ponca moved to present day Minnesota.

Around the turn of the 17th century due to the Dakota Sioux moving further west the two tribes split up in what is now South Dakota.

The Omaha moved to Bow Creek in present day Nebraska.

Under pressure from White settlers, they eventually sold off their lands to the U.S government in 1854.

The U.S government then allotted them land in Nebraska preventing them from being moved to Oklahoma receiving U.S citizenship.

Along with many other plains tribes their economy was based on growing maize, corn and hunting.

In the springtime and Autumn, they lived in dome shaped lodges and when the hunting season came around, they then used tepees like all other plain’s tribes on the Plains. Their social structure was quite elaborate with a type of class system.

Chiefs priests or Holy men, physicians and what today we call commoners.

Rank was inherited through the male line although an individual could raise their status through distributing blankets, horses or giving a feast.

They also had an elaborate system of clans within two larger clans Earth and Sky.

The Earth clan was tasked with warfare and food whilst the Sky clan was tasked with brining in aid.

They also were awarded special insignia for exploits in battle “Counting Coup touching an enemy in battle “or removing horses from an enemy’s camp.

Today there are around 5000 people of Omaha decent many living on the Omaha reservation in Macy Nebraska.

Famous Omaha people include Chief White Swan, Lizzie Black Bird, John Grant, Big Elk, and Rodney Grant the actor who played Wind In His Hair in Dances With Wolves .