|How do you pronounce the word "Cheyenne"? What does it mean?
Cheyenne is pronounced "Shy-ANN." It comes from the Dakota Sioux name for the Cheyennes, Šahiyenan, which may mean "relatives of the Cree." The name "Cheyenne" has been spelled many different ways, including Cheyanne, Chyenne, Sheyenne, Sheyanne, and Shyanne. But in their own language, the Cheyenne call themselves Tsitsistas, "the people."
The capital of Wyoming is named after the Cheyenne tribe, and so are the Cheyenne River (in Wyoming and South Dakota) and the Sheyenne River (in North Dakota.)
Where do the Cheyennes live?
The Cheyenne Indians were far-ranging people, especially once they acquired horses. By the time the Americans met them they were living on the Great Plains in what is now South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas. The US government forced the Cheyennes to move to Oklahoma during the 1800's, but some escaped and fled north into Montana. Today there are two Cheyenne tribes, one in Oklahoma and the other in Montana. Here is a map of Montana's reservations.
What was Cheyenne culture like in the past? What is it like now?
Here's a link to the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. On their site you can find information about the Southern Cheyenne people in the past and today.
How do Cheyenne Indian children live, and what did they do in the past?
They do the same things all children do--play with each other, go to school and help around the house. Many Cheyenne children like to go hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Indian boys and girls had more chores and less time to play in their daily lives, just like colonial children. But they did have dolls, toys, and games to play. Here is a picture of a hoop game enjoyed by Cheyenne kids. Lacrosse was also a popular sport among teenagers. A Cheyenne mother traditionally carried a young child in a cradle board on her back--a custom which many American parents have adopted now.
What were Cheyenne men and women's roles?
Cheyenne women were in charge of the home. Besides cooking and cleaning, a Cheyenne woman built her family's house and dragged the heavy posts with her whenever the tribe moved. Houses belonged to the women in the Cheyenne tribe. Men were hunters and warriors, responsible for feeding and defending their families. A woman might occasionally become a hunter or warrior, but a Cheyenne chief was always male. Both genders took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine.
What were Cheyenne homes like in the past?
Originally the Cheyennes lived in settled villages of earthen lodges and birchbark wigwams. As their life style became more nomadic, they began to use buffalo-hide houses called tipis (or teepees). Here are some teepee pictures. Since the Cheyenne tribe moved frequently to follow the buffalo herds, a tipi had to be carefully designed to set up and break down quickly, like a modern tent. An entire Cheyenne village could be packed up and ready to move on within an hour.
Today, Native Americans only put up a tepee for fun or to connect with their heritage, not for shelter. Most Cheyennes live in modern houses and apartment buildings, just like you.
What was Cheyenne clothing like? Did they wear feather headdresses and face paint?
Cheyenne women wore long deerskin dresses, and men wore breechcloths with leather leggings. Later, Cheyenne men adopted the Plains war shirt worn by other Indians of this region. A Cheyenne lady's dress or warrior's shirt was fringed and often decorated with porcupine quills, shells, and elk teeth. Cheyenne men wore moccasins and women wore high fringed boots. Later, Cheyenne people adapted European costume such as cloth dresses and vests, which they decorated with quillwork and fancy beading. Here is a site about the symbolism of Plains Indian war shirts, and some photos and links about Indian clothing in general.
Cheyenne Indian leaders originally wore tall feather headdresses like the Blackfeet, but they soon began wearing the long warbonnets that Plains Indians are famous for. Here are some pictures of these Indian headdress styles. Cheyenne men wore their long hair in braids with a topknot or pompadour, and women wore their hair either loose or braided. Here is a website with pictures of these Indian hairstyles. The Cheyennes also painted their faces for special occasions. They used different patterns for war paint, religious ceremonies, and festive decoration.
Today, some Cheyenne people still have moccasins or a beaded dress, but they wear modern clothes like jeans instead of breechcloths... and they only wear traditional regalia on special occasions like a wedding or a dance.
What was Cheyenne transportation like in the days before cars? Did they paddle canoes?
No--the Cheyenne Indians weren't coastal people, and when they traveled by river, they usually built rafts. Originally the Cheyennes would use dogs pullingtravois (a kind of drag sled) to help them carry their belongings. Here is an article with dog travois pictures. Once Europeans introduced horses to North America, the Cheyennes could travel quicker and further, and began to migrate frequently to follow the buffalo herds.
What was Cheyenne food like in the days before supermarkets?
The Cheyennes were originally farming people, with the women harvesting corn, squash, and beans while the men hunted deer and buffalo. Once they acquired horses, the Cheyenne lifestyle became more migratory. They mostly gave up farming, and followed the buffalo herds as they moved across the plains. Unlike most Plains tribes, Cheyenne women took part in buffalo hunts along with men. They drove the buffalos towards the men, who shot them with their longbows. Here is a website with more information about North American Indian food.
Besides buffalo meat, Cheyenne Indians also liked to eat fish, fruit and berries, and corn that they bought from other tribes.
What were Cheyenne weapons and tools like in the past?
Cheyenne warriors used powerful bows and arrows, war clubs, spears, and hide shields. Here is a website with pictures and more information about American Indian weapons.
Who were the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers?
The Dog Soldiers were the most famous of the Cheyenne warrior societies. They were also known as the Dog Warriors or Dog Men. They had this name because of a Cheyenne legend about dogs who turned into fierce warriors. Cheyenne Dog Soldiers were especially brave and honorable. When he was defending a Cheyenne village, a Dog Soldier would stake his long belt to the ground, to show that he would not run away but would defend his people to the death.
What other Native Americans did the Cheyenne tribe interact with?
The Cheyennes traded regularly with other tribes of the Great Plains. Once they stopped farming, they especially liked to trade buffalo hides for tobacco and corn. The Cheyennes usually communicated with other Plains Indian tribes using the Plains Sign Language. Their closest allies were the Arapaho, with whom they often shared territory.
The Cheyenne also fought wars with other tribes. Plains Indian tribes treated war differently than European countries did. They didn't fight over territory but instead to prove their courage, and so Plains Indian war parties rarely fought to the death or destroyed each other's villages. Instead, their war customs included counting coup (touch an opponent in battle without harming him), stealing an enemy's weapon or horse, or forcing the other tribe's warriors to retreat. So the Cheyenne sometimes were enemies of neighboring tribes like the Sioux, Comanches, and Kiowas, and other times they were allies. The Europeans who first met them were surprised by how often the Cheyenne tribe fought with their neighbors, yet how easily they made peace with each other when they were done fighting.
What are Cheyenne arts and crafts like?
Cheyenne artists are famous for their fine quill embroidery, native beading, pipestone carving, and pottery. Here is a museum website with photographs ofdifferent Cheyenne art forms.
What kinds of stories do the Cheyennes tell?
There are lots of traditional Cheyenne legends and fairy tales. Storytelling is very important to the Cheyenne Indian culture. Here is one story about a race among the animals.
How do you pronounce the word "Cherokee"? What does it mean?
Cherokee is pronounced "CHAIR-uh-kee." It comes from a Muskogee word meaning 'speakers of another language.' Cherokee Indians originally called themselves Aniyunwiya, "the principal people," but today they accept the name Cherokee, which is spelled and pronounced Tsalagi in their own language.
Where do the Cherokee Indians live?
The Cherokees are original residents of the American southeast region, particularly Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Here is a map showing the location of the original Cherokee territory. Most Cherokees were forced to move to Oklahoma in the 1800's along the Trail of Tears. Descendants of the Cherokee Indians who survived this death march still live in Oklahoma today. Some Cherokees escaped the Trail of Tears by hiding in the Appalachian hills or taking shelter with sympathetic white neighbors. The descendants of these people live scattered throughout the original Cherokee Indian homelands.
What was the Cherokee Trail of Tears?
Trail of Tears was the Cherokee name for what the Americans called Indian Removal. During the 1800's, the US government created an "Indian Territory" in Oklahoma and sent all the eastern Native American tribes to live there. Some tribes willingly agreed to this plan. Other tribes didn't want to go, and the American army forced them. The Cherokee tribe was one of the largest eastern tribes, and they didn't want to leave their homeland. The Cherokees were peaceful allies of the Americans, so they asked the Supreme Court for help. The judges decided the Cherokee Indians could stay in their homes. But the President, Andrew Jackson, sent the army to march the Cherokees to Oklahoma anyway. They weren't prepared for the journey, and it was winter time. Thousands of Cherokee Indians died on the Trail of Tears. Many Native Americans from other tribes died too. It was a terrible time in history.
Here are memories of the Cherokee Trail of Tears from two 19th-century writers, a Cherokee Indian who walked the Trail as a boy and an American soldier who accompanied the Cherokees.
How do Cherokee Indian children live?
They do the same things all children do--play with each other, go to school and help around the house. Many Cherokee children enjoy hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Cherokee kids had more chores and less time to play, just like colonial children. But they did have dolls, toys, and games to play. In one popular game, Cherokee kids tried to throw a dart through a moving hoop. Anejodi, a stickball game related to the Iroquois game of lacrosse, was a popular sport among Cherokee teenagers and adult men. Like many Native Americans, Cherokee mothers traditionally carried babies in cradle board carriers on their backs--a custom which many American parents have adopted now.
What were men and women's roles in the Cherokee tribe?
Like their distant cousins the Iroquois, the Cherokee Indians had an even division of power between men and women. Cherokee men were in charge of hunting, war, and diplomacy. Cherokee women were in charge of farming, property, and family. Men made political decisions for the tribe, and women made social decisions for the clans. Chiefs were men, and landowners were women. Both genders took part in storytelling, artwork and music, and traditional medicine.
Today, Cherokee gender role traditions have changed. Cherokee women can be chiefs also... and Cherokee men are sometimes farmers. However, modern Cherokee people still trace clan relationships through their mothers.
What were Cherokee homes like?
The Cherokee Indians lived in settled villages, usually located near a river. Cherokee houses were made of rivercane and plaster, with thatched roofs. These dwellings were about as strong and warm as log cabins. Here are some pictures of Native American houses like the ones Cherokee Indians used. The Cherokees also built larger seven-sided buildings for ceremonial purposes, and each village usually had a ball field with benches for spectators. Many Cherokee villages hadpalisades (reinforced walls) around them for protection. Today, Cherokee families live in a modern house or apartment building, just like you.
What was Cherokee clothing like? Did they wear feather headdresses and face paint?
Cherokee men wore breechcloths and leggings. Cherokee women wore wraparound skirts and poncho-style blouses made out of woven fiber or deerskin. The Cherokees wore moccasins on their feet. After colonization, Cherokee Indians adapted European costume into a characteristic style, including long braided or beaded jackets, cotton blouses and full skirts decorated with ribbon applique, feathered turbans, and the calico tear dress. Here are pictures of Cherokee clothingand photographs of traditional Native American clothing in general.
The Cherokees didn't wear long headdresses like the Sioux. Cherokee men usually shaved their heads except for a single scalplock. Sometimes they would also wear a porcupine roach. Cherokee women always wore their hair long, cutting it only in mourning for a family member. Men decorated their faces and bodies withtribal tattoo art and also painted themselves bright colors in times of war. Unlike some tribes, Cherokee women didn't paint themselves or wear tattoos, but they often wore bead necklaces and copper armbands.
Today, some Cherokee people still wear moccasins or a ribbon shirt, but they wear modern clothes like jeans instead of a breechcloth... and only wear roaches and feathers on special occasions like a dance.
What was early Cherokee transportation like? Did they paddle canoes?
Yes--the Cherokee Indians used to make long dugout canoes from hollowed-out logs. Here is an article with pictures of Native canoes. Over land, the Cherokees used dogs as pack animals. There were no horses in North America until colonists brought them over from Europe. Today, of course, Cherokee people also use cars... and non-native people also use canoes.
What was Cherokee food like in the days before supermarkets?
The Cherokees were farming people. Cherokee women harvested crops of corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers. They also gathered berries, nuts and fruit to eat. Cherokee men hunted deer, wild turkeys, and small game and fished in the rivers. Cherokee foods included cornbread, soups, and stews cooked on stone hearths. Here is a website with some Cherokee recipes you can try out for yourself, and a page with more information about Native American food in general.
What were some Cherokee weapons and artifacts?
Cherokee hunters used bows and arrows or blowguns to shoot game. Fishermen generally used spears and fishing poles. Warriors fired arrows or fought with a melee weapon like a tomahawk or spear. Here is a website with pictures and more information about Cherokee Indian weapons. Other important tools used by the Cherokee Indians included stone adzes (hand axes for woodworking), flint knives for skinning animals, wooden hoes for farming, and pots and baskets for storing corn.
What are Cherokee arts and crafts?
Traditional Cherokee art included pipe carving, rivercane baskets, gourd art, and pottery. After moving to Oklahoma, the Cherokees couldn't get the materials they used to use for traditional crafts, so they concentrated on other crafts like American Indian beading and textile arts. Here are photographs of beautiful beaded Cherokee bandolier bags, and a Cherokee artifact display from North Carolina.
What other Native Americans did the Cherokee tribe interact with?
The Cherokee Indians traded regularly with other southeastern Native Americans, who especially liked to make trades for high-quality Cherokee pipes and pottery. The Cherokees often fought with their neighbors the Creeks, Chickasaws, and Shawnees, but other times, they were friends and allies of those tribes.
What kinds of stories do the Cherokees tell?
There are many traditional Cherokee legends and fairy tales. Story-telling is very important to the Cherokee Indian culture. Here is a Cherokee legend about theorigin of strawberries. Here's a website where you can read more about Cherokee mythology.
Who are some famous Cherokee Indians?
One of the best-known people in Cherokee history was Sequoyah. Sequoyah was a very brilliant man. Although he did not know how to read or write in any other language, he succeeded in inventing a writing system for Cherokee that is still used today. A famous Cherokee Indian from modern times is Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to be Principal Chief of the Cherokee tribe.
How do you pronounce the word "Apache"? What does it mean?
Apache is pronounced "uh-PAH-chee." It means "enemy" in the language of their Zuni neighbors. The Apaches' own name for themselves was traditionally Nde orNdee (which means "the people"), but today most Apache people use the word "Apache" themselves, even when they are speaking their own language.
Where do the Apaches live?
The Apache are natives of the Southwest deserts (particularly in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas). Some Apache people were also located across the border in northern Mexico. One Apache band, the Na'ishan or Plains Apache, lived far away from the other Apaches, in what is now Oklahoma. Their customs were different from other Apaches, more similar to their Kiowa neighbors. For that reason, the Americans often called the Na'ishan "Kiowa-Apaches." Here are somemaps of the different Apache communities today.
The Plains Apaches are still living in Oklahoma today. Some Apaches from other bands were captured and sent to live in Oklahoma by the Americans in the 1800's, while other Apaches resisted being moved and remain in Arizona and New Mexico today. The total Apache Indian population today is around 30,000.
What was Apache culture like in the past? What is it like now?
Here are the homepages of the Jicarilla Apache Nation and White Mountain Apache Tribe. On their sites you can find information about the Apache people from ancient times until today. You can also visit this site about the Apache Jii Festival, which has information and photographs about San Carlos Apache culture for kids.
How do Apache Indian children live, and what did they do in the past?
They do the same things all children do--play with each other, go to school and help around the house. Many Apache children like to go hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Indian kids had more chores and less time to play in their daily lives, just like colonial children. But they did have dolls, toys, and games to play. Apache children liked to run footraces and play archery games. Once the Apaches acquired horses, girls and boys as young as five years old learned how to ride. An Apache mother traditionally carried her baby in a