50 Never-Before-Seen Photos of Native Americans That Will Change History As We Know It
The Native American people have long inhabited the land of North America. While they have been known by several names over the course of history that collects them all into a single category, there are over 570 tribes currently living in the United States. The history of the Native American people is long and fascinating, and gaining access to photos from their history is often times incredibly difficult.
While not delving into the discussion of who the "real" American is, these extremely rare historical photos of Native Americans brings to light their enchanting traditions, sending you back to a time in history that we have only ever read about. Now, you can see it for yourself.
Chief Wolf Robe wearing the Benjamin Harrison Peace Medal, 1899
Wolf Robe was the leader of the Cheyenne tribe. In his role as their leader, he earned the Benjamin Harrison Peace Medal in 1890 for his role in the Cherokee Commission. It was a committee of three people who worked together to legally buy land that was occupied by the Cherokee Nation and several other tribes in the Oklahoma Territory so that it may be used by non-indigenous people.
Wolf Robe was also one of the most respected individuals of the Cheyenne tribe, due to his ability to remain calm under extreme pressure, as well as protect the interests of his fellow people.
Joe Medicine Crow (1913-2016), historian of the Crow Tribe and War Chief
Joe Medicine Crow took part in World War II as a war chief, combating against the Nazi regime. During his years in the war, he wore war paint, which consisted of two red striped on each arm and an eagle feather tucked into his helmet.
As a war chief, Joe needed to touch an enemy without actually killing him, take his weapon, lead a war part, and steal an enemy's horse. He managed to do all four of these tasks during the Second World War, earning himself a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 102.
Members of the Blackfoot tribe overlooking Glacier National Park, 1913
The name of this photograph is 'The Eagle'. The Blackfoot people are a nomadic tribe who were originally living around the Great Lakes before they expanded their territory to include what we know of today as Edmonton, Alberta, all the way through Yellowstone and Montanas's Glacier National Park.
Chief White Calf approved the sale of the area that had Chief Mountain as well as an additional 800,000 acres in 1895. He sold the land for $1.5 million as long as the Blackfeet tribe could remain on the land and hunt.
Buffalo Bill posing with Sitting Bull, 1885
Buffalo Bill, known for his Wild West Show that featured Native American men and women, struck a partnership with Sitting Bull in 1885 when Sitting Bull performed on his show for several months. Sitting Bull the head of the Lakota tribe and lead his people against the US government.
After he left Bill's show, the two remained friends that lasted until the end of their respective lives. Sitting Bull ended up coming back to South Dakota after the show in a show of support for the Ghost Dance movement.
Arapaho woman called 'Pretty Nose' sitting for her portrait at Fort Keogh, Montana, 1879
Photographer Laton Alton Huffman captured this image of Pretty Nose, a woman who was a member of the Arapaho tribe who was a war chief who took part in the Battle of Little Bighorn.
There are those who stated that she was a member of the Cheyenne tribe, but what she wore identified her as Arapaho, thanks to the black, red, and white cuffs adorning her. She lived well into old age, so much so that she was able to see her grandson, Mark Soldier Wolf, become an elder of the Arapaho tribe.
Low Dog, one of the chiefs of the Sioux tribe who fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn, 1870s
Low Dog fought alongside fellow chief Sitting Bull at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Low Dog became a war chief when he was only 14 years old, going into his fight with the United States soon after. Low Dog spoke about why he went into battle, stating that he was not going to be told what to do by anyone.
He said, "When it began to be plain that we would have to yield or fight, we had a great many councils. I said, 'why should I be kept as an humble man, when I am a brave warrior and on my own lands? The game is mine, and the hills, and the valleys, and the white man has no right to say where I shall go or what I shall do. If any white man tries to destroy my property, or take my lands, I will take my gun, get on my horse, and go punish him."
Geronimo in a Locomobile Model C, 1905
Geronimo was known as the Apache leader who didn't let anyone stand in his way. He kept the American and Mexican forces from removing his people from their land. In Geronimo's final fight with the United States military, they sent massive forces to try and push him off of the tribal lands, succeeding to do so on September 4, 1886.
Geronimo spend 20 years as a prisoner of war in the United States, but was still able to go out. This photo from 1905 shows him sitting atop a Locomobile Model C on 101 Ranch near Ponca City, Oklahoma.
White Wolf, allegedly the oldest Native American who ever lived, said to have been 137 years old
White Wolf was said to have been born in 1785 and passed away in 1922, meaning he was 137 years old. His name was Chief John Smith, but was called White Wolf. He was confirmed to be at least 100 years old, but there are records that state that at the time of his death he was 137 years old, making him the oldest Native American.
In addition to his impressive age, White Wolf was also one of the most photographed men in his Chippewa tribe. He was the model for photographer C.N. Christensen, through which he gained fame and was able to travel around selling his photos.
Zitkala Sa, Sioux woman, 1898
Zitkala Sa was also known as Gertrude Simmons, as well as Red Bird. She was a tribal member activist who spent her life working towards the rights of the indigenous way of life and the rights to protecting their culture. She graduated from Earlham College in Indiana and was an educator at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania.
She also published several autobiographical essays. She married in 1902 to a man named Raymond Talesfase Bonnin, with whom she moved to a Utah reservation. She spent her life writing and working to advance the position of the Native American people all the way to her passing in 1938.
Jim Thorpe (1887-1953), Native American Olympic gold medalist
Winning a gold medal is a difficult feat on the best of circumstances, but Jim Thorpe won it while wearing mismatched shoes! When Thorpe arrived at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, he noticed that someone had taken his running shows.
However, Thorpe didn't let that stop him, and a teammate of his offered to lend him a shoe, the other of which he found in the trash, which was also too large for him. He managed to win two gold medals that day despite it all, honoring his tribe and proving he had a tough exterior.
Gray Mountain, 91, telling his grandchildren the legends of the Navajo tribe
One of the most majestic parts of the Native American ways is their oral tradition of telling the tribal legends to every generation so that they may all know them through and through. Old man Gray Mountain, sitting here at 91 years old, shared the legends with his little grandchildren.
The Navajo tribe is one of storytelling. Laura Tohe, a member of the Navajo people and an associate professor at ASU, shared that "Storytelling is part of the oral tradition of indigenous peoples. Stories impart values, language, memories, ethics and philosophy, passing them to the next generation. A lot of people think of storytelling as just entertainment for kids, but for the Diné it helps maintain tradition and language."
Chief Iron Tail of Oglala Lakota, 1905
Chief Iron Tail was born under the name Sinté Máza, as part of the Oglala Lakota people. He grew up to become the leader of the Lakota tribe and was also a part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show during the 1800s.
Iron Tail was described by Major Israel McCreight, an American Indian cultural expert, as "Not a war chief…but a wise counselor and diplomat, always dignified, quiet and never given to boasting… He always had a smile and was fond of children, horses and friends."
Ute warrior and his companion dog sitting on the Eastern slope of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, 1873
The Ute tribe is one of the oldest inhabitants in the Southwestern United States, spread out in Colorado and Utah, where they grew their crops and hunted. The Ute people began trading with the Spanish in the 17th century, as well as started to make use of horses to help the tribe spread out further.
When the Mormon communities began arriving in Utah, their lives began to be more complicated. The Ute was then forced out of Utah, an area that got its name from this very tribe. In 1874, the Ute tribe signed the Brunot Treaty, a paper that took away even more of their rights to lands without them knowing.
Red Hawk, member of the Oglala tribe, on horseback, 1905
This photograph by Edward S. Curtis was labeled "An Oasis int he Badlands." The Ogalala Sioux, in addition to six other groups, made up the Lakota, who were one of the biggest tribes in the country during the 17th and 19th centuries.
During the 19th century, the groups disbanded. The groups would form alliances and break them up over time once again. The original Oglala slowly polarizing themselves into smaller factions as a result of pressure from the American government wanting to make moves on their land.
Mahalia, Native American woman who was 114 years old, Washington, 1912
The photography done by Lee Pickett of the Native American people was striking. He captured people who lived in the Pacific Northwest, more specifically in Snohomish, King, and Chelan counties of Washington. Lee's photographs brought insight into the tribes of the area that were often not a part of the conversation when it came to the occupants of the region.
This image is of a 114-year-old woman who was an example of the longevity the Native American people experienced as a result of their way of life.
Situwuka and Katkwachsnea, a Native American couple, 1912
Information about Situwuka and Katkwachsnea is scarce, but the date this photo was taken gives us a glimpse into their lives in that moment. This photo was taken in 1912, during which time many Native American were forced to leave their ancestral land and move to reservations.
Hupa youth spear fishing, 1923
This was how the Hupa men hunted for the meal that would feed their families. They would use a sharp spear to catch their prey. Photographer Edward Curtis captured this moment in history, and was known for his work with the tribes of the American West. This photo was taken in 1923.
The man was hunting for salmon, which was commonly fished for in the area. The Hupa tribe was a mix of Native American's from California and the Pacific Northwest. They typically lived near riverbanks.
"Slim" Bae-ie-schluch-aichin, a Navajo silversmith, late 1890s
The name Bae-ie-schluch-aichin means 'slender maker of silver'. This photo of a thin Navajo silversmith was captured by Ben Wittick, the same man who was famous for snapping the only photo of Billy the Kid. He captured much more than just Wild West outlaws, he was able to tell the stories of the Native American's of the Southwest through his lens.
The Navajo tribe started becoming silversmiths in the 19th century, before that they bought small batches of silver accessories when they traded with Spanish settlers. It was a Navajo silversmith in 1865 named Atsidi Sani who introduced the practice to his people.
Rabbit Tail, a Shoshone tribe member and US Army scout, 1895
The Shoshone people typically lived around the area of Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. In the 1860s, the Shoshone people battled against the United States in battles known as Snake War and Bannock War. However, in 1870, the tribe joined the United States Army to fight against a joint enemy that they saw in the Lakota and Cheyenne tribes.
Rabbit Tail was working with the United States military during the Battle of the Rosebud, the fight that set the stage for the Battle of little Bighorn.
Portrait of a little girl and her Canadian Eskimo dog
No, that is not a wolf cub that this sweet little Native American girl is holding. She is holding on to her Canadian Eskimo Dog, also known as a "Native American Dog." The dogs look similar to that of a husky, but share features with the Alaskan Malamutes, Greenland dogs, and even the small chihuahua.
Their ancestor was the Eurasian Grey Wolf, who were brought to North America with the those who migrated across the Beringian Land Bridge over 9,000 years ago. These dogs were used as watch dogs, sled dogs and companions.
Kaw-U-Tz, a Caddo Nation member, 1906
The Caddo nation spread out through the parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. The tribe dealt mainly in farming and did not like outsiders. Their farming skills were unparalleled, as they were able to grow squash, beans, and corn in areas that were humid swamps. The Caddo typically lived in grass huts in the shape of a cone.
Historians believe that they were kind to the Spanish explorers who arrived in the area because they were given many compliments about how they furnished their homes. The Caddo people also use the areas pine trees to make their famed bow and arrows.
An Arikara warrior named Bear's Belly, North Dakota, 1909
Edward Curtis did it again with this stunning photograph of Bear's Belly, a tribe member of the Arikara people. He was born in 1847 in what we know today to be North Dakota. He was one of the most highly respected fighters in his tribe, where he earned his bear skin that gave him his name in a battle where he killed three bears.
Edward Curtis took this photo in 1909, as part of a project that was funded by J.P. Morgan in the amount of $75,000. Curtis wanted to photograph the people but also to document how they led their lives.
A Navajo tribe member wearing a Nayenezgani, a ceremonial garment, 1903
The Navajo tribe had deeply rooted traditions that they held precious. The most important one was the Nayenezgani, translated to "slayer of alien gods." They believe that the Nayenezgani protected the tribe from evil spirits who were among them on Earth. Navajo legends state that the Nayenezgani works together with his twin brother, Tobadzischini, to kill these evil spirits and turning them into stone.
The stone structures are what make the huge rock formation labeled today as Monument Valley, Arizona. The Navajo tribe still wear their masks to showcase the monster killer in the ceremonies they perform.
Gertrude Three Finger, a Cheyenne tribe member, 1892
William E. Irwin was a photographer who worked across Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma during the 19th and 20th centuries. He captured several photos of Southwestern Native Americans while he was in the area. Gertrude Three Finger is the young woman in this photo. She was a member of the Cheyenne tribe and is wearing a traditional outfit that is accessorized with elk teeth.
Irwin photographed Gertrude more than once, this photo was one that was printed using an albumen print. You can see it in real life at the University of Oklahoma's library.
K'aa lani, a Navajo warrior, 1903
The Navajo tribe had been reduced to being moved to reservation by the end of the 19th century. The proud tribe had dramatically changed its geographical features, as well as saw many of their men become "Indian scouts" for the United States military. The men of the tribe needed to get permission from the government to go off of the reservation.
During World War II, Navajo warriors were incredibly important to the United States military as they were code talkers who could send messages without the Japanese army figuring their message out.
Dust Maker, also known as Pete Mitchell, Ponca tribe member, 1898
Photographer Frank Rinehart took this magnificent photo of Pete Mitchell of the Ponca tribe. Rinehart spent a lot of time photographing the Native American people and their way of life. He wanted to capture their stories and each individual personality through his photos.
The goal was for non-indigenous people to get a glimpse into the their lives and begin to understand them. This photo was taken in 1898, during the Omaha Indian Congress in Nebraska, which was the biggest gathering of Native American tribes of its kind.
A Yuma tribe member playing the flute, Arizona, 1900
The Yuma tribe also goes by the name of Quechan. For many years across the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, they lived in California and Arizona. The area was not an easy one to survive on, but they made it part of their tribal characteristic. The Yuma is a warrior tribe. They battled the Apache, Papago, and other nearby tribes for the area around the Colorado River, that was known for being fertile.
The Quechan were also huge lovers of music and art, using instruments to bring hope and good spirits to their people when times were tough.
Ah-Weh-Eyu, an Iroquois girl, 1908
Ah-Weh-Eyu means pretty flower. This beautiful girl was indeed a pretty flower, as her name suggests. She was a part of the Iroquois tribe. They were not joined so much by blood as they were with a shared language among them.
The speakers of their language typically lived in Upstate New York and Ontario from as early as the 1500s. It was then that the Iroquois people developed a political system that contained to houses of legislature, as well as representatives who could vote for or against. Sound familiar?
Chief Bone Necklace of the Lakota Nation, 1899
The Lakota Nation is made up of seven tribes. The Oglala Lakota, or Oglala Sioux, are small sects of the group who have around 3,000 member to their specific part of the tribe. The group is familial, and hold women in higher regard than men in their tribe.
A First Nations couple, Canada, 1886
This extremely photogenic couple was photographed by Alex Ross in 1886. Ross moved to Calgary, Alberta in 1884, where he proceeded to open a photography studio. He was one of the only photographers to capture portraits of several First Nations people. He snapped photos of members of the Tsuu T'ina and Blackfoot tribes.
The couple here was a part of one of those tribes, but since there were 48 of them in the area, it is hard to know which one exactly.
Goldie Jamison Conklin, Seneca tribe member, early 1900s
The focus of this photo is Goldie Jamison Conklin, a Seneca tribe woman who grew up on their Allegheny reservation located in New York. Conklin later became a model for the Cattaraugus Cutlery Company.
She was hired to help with the company's "Indian Brand" of knives and other household pieces. She was on a postcard ads where she was dressed in ceremonial garb to look like an "Indian princess." Records show that she lived in New York for the rest of her days, which were well into her 80s in 1974.
Chief Duck, his wife and his granddaughter of the Blackfoot tribe, 1925
Many Native American tribes lives on small pieces of land, but the Blackfoot tribe did not. They lived on a very stretched out area of North America, from Montana to the Saskatchewan valley, Canada. In the 18th century, the Blackfoot tribe moved on foot to the West, using their dogs to move their belongings.
The tribe was more progressive than others, having used firearms and horses dating back as early as 1750. This was how the tribe won battles over smaller, weaker groups.
Black Shawl, 1888
Her name was Black Shawl, and she was known as the wife of Crazy Horse. Crazy Horse was one of the most notorious Native Americans of the 19th century. He was a Lakota war leader who fought against the US to keep his tribe's land from being turned over to the government.
He married Black Shawl after his battle, before that he was with a woman named Black Buffalo Woman, who was married to No Water. When No Water found out, he shot Crazy Horse in the jaw. Black Shawl was then sent to help him and nurse him to good health. She was of the Oglala Lakota, and they fell in love instantly. The two were married in 1871 and had a daughter.
Stands Hard, Sioux tribe member, 1900
The Oceti Sakowin are made up of seven groups. They have three separate factions, called the Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota. What makes each different is the dialect they speak. Stands Hard was a Sioux Dakota tribe member.
The group initially started in north Mississippi, but later moved to South Dakota. By the end of the 1700s, they were using horses to get around and spread out their people. However, by the 19th century, the government had broken up much of the group's land.
Hattie Tom, an Apache woman, 1899
This photo was taken by Frank Rinehart. It is a portrait of Hattie Tom, an Apache woman who wore some of her most valuable beads for the photo. The Apache are affiliated with the Chiricahua, who are interested in keeping their familial ranks close.
They Chiricahua nation used to have over 15 million acres across New Mexico and Arizona, prior to finding European explorers. The tribe expanded and retracted over the years, with less emphasis on strict breeding within their group.
Apache woman, 1894
Towards the end of the 19th century, the Apache tribe were running away from the Mexican and American armies. They used to be one of the most feared tribes in North America, but while the fear for them dissipated, they still fought with as much strength.
This woman was photographed wearing the traditional Apache clothing, which included buck skin with beads adorned all over it. The purpose of the photo is unknown, but this is a window into history.
Native American young woman and baby at a train station, 1930
The Native American people were no exception to the difficult times that the Great Depression brought to the country. The Indian Reorganization Act was created in 1934, and was structured to place Native Americans back on their land as long as the land was not owned by private individuals.
While it turned out to be harder than it seemed to give land back to specific groups, it did end up helping to conserve communal tribal land across the country for Native American tribes.
Young man from the Cree tribe, Western Canada, 1903
The Cree tribe was one of the biggest groups of indigenous people in the country. They are deeply rooted in Canada and the western plains. The tribe used to be small during the 17th and 19th centuries, but were able to expand their land thanks to the work they did in the fur trade.
In the late 18th century, the tribe's numbers started to lower as a result of battles with the Sioux and Blackfoot, but also as a result of the smallpox epidemic.
Native Alaskan woman with her baby, 1906
The indigenous people in Alaska were thought to be one of the biggest groups of their kind. They consisted of five separate tribes, but they do not typically use that as a way to describe them.
The groups are the Aleuts, the Northern Eskimos, the Southern Eskimos, the Interior Indians, and the Southeast Coastal Indians. Researchers were the ones to name them this way, divided up by regions. The woman here was a part of the Native Alaskan tribe and kept her son warm in the hood of her coat.
High Hawk, 1907
The name of the man in this photo is High Hawk. He is wearing a traditional ceremonial outfit that belonged to the Brúle tribe, which was one of the seven sects of the Teton Lakota tribe. This photo of White Hawk was taken by Edward Curtis. It shows the Native American man standing on the South Dakota plains, where his tribe would live.
It is said that the name of this tribe came from the French explorers who saw the people of the tribe running through grass that was ablaze, earning them the title of "burnt".
A Kiowa girl, 1894
The Kiowa people were a nomadic group who became a tribe at approximately 1650. They were located in the northern basin of the Missouri River. They eventually moved to the Black Hills, where they shared the land with the Crow tribe.
The tribe moved about down to the area of the Red River in Arkansas so that they could stay away from tribes who were trying to take over their land and eventually made an alliance with the Comanche tribe in 1807.
Inuit tribe member warming his wife's feet, Greenland, 1890s
Robert E. Peary went to Greenland in 1891 along with his wife, Josephine, and Frederick A. Cook, an explorer who would guide them. Peary wanted to spend time with the isolated tribe known as the "Arctic Highlanders" whom he has made contact with. They liked him and helped him as he explored their land.
During his time there, he snapped photos of their lives and how they survive in such harsh conditions. This photo that Peary took shows how an Inuit man is warming his wife's feet.
Shamans are a part of many different cultures, not just the Native American ones. However, the indigenous people of North America have kept very close ties with nature and spirituality than technology. Shamanism became even more important to them as the modern world progressed.
Shaman's are also known as medicine men, who are usually spiritual healers. Shamans are there to banish the bad and heal so that the good may enter and remain. Many Native American tribes have shamans among their tribal members.
Wild Horse, Dakota tribe member, 1880s
The Dakota nation have long been about remaining together and keeping to their roots. Generations have worked to care for one another, from keeping their farms alive, to their households up and running.
Anthropologist Ella Deloria who wrote about the Dakota people shared in 1944, "The Ultimate aim of a Dakota life, stripped of accessories, was quite simple: One must obey kinship rules; one must be a good relative. No Dakota who has participated in that life will dispute that."
Whiteman Runs Him, warrior in the Little Bighorn, 1910
Whiteman Runs Him is the name of this warrior who fought in the battle of the Little Bighorn. He posed for this photo in 1910 in Washington, D.C. He was a crow scout who worked alongside George Custer in their fight against the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne in 1876. This would lead to the battle of the Little Bighorn.
He was 18 years old when he volunteered to become a scout in a group. He passed away in 1929 in the Big Horn Valley area of Montana.
Sacagawea, a Shoshone girl who changed American history
You have heard of Sacagawea, she played a major role in the discoveries of Lewis and Clark. Her journey in life was a tough and convoluted one. Sacagawea was the daughter of the chief of the Shoshone people. She was captured by an enemy tribe when she was just a girl and married off to a French Canadian trapper.
She was also the one who came into Lewis and Clark's expedition to be an interpreter. She gave birth to a son in 1805, whom she named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. She passed away in 1812 after giving birth to a daughter.
United States officials sitting among Native chiefs, Pine Ridge, South Dakota, 1891
This may not look like much but this photo marks a big moment in the relations between several Native American tribes. This meeting brought the tribes of Oglala Lakotra, Miniconjou, and the Brulé together.
They came to exchange information about their cultures with each other, right by the area where the battle of Wounded Knee took place. Since them, the area has been designated the site of different reservations, and a National Historic Landmark. It is not known why the government needed to be there.
General Custer's six Crow scouts standing by the graves on the Little Bighorn battlefield, 1908
General Custer was a big part of the Battle of Little Bighorn, and he could not have done with without his team of six Crow scouts who helped him beat the Sioux. A Blackfoot chief remembered the words that Colonel John Gibbon said before the battle.
He shared that Gibbon said this through an interpreter: "If the Crows want to make war upon the Sioux, now is their time. If they want to drive them from this country and prevent them from sending war parties into their (Crow) country to murder their men, now is the time."
Color filled photo of Chief Little Wound and his family or the Oglala Lakota, 1899
Little Wound was the chief of the Eastern Oglala Lakota tribe, who he led into the battle of Massacre Canyon on August 5, 1873. This was one of the last battles fought between the Sioux and the Pawnee.
After many years, Little Wound became an advocate in the Ghost Dance Movement, which wanted peace with Europe and the United States. He spent the end of his life speaking of peace, which is what he said he lacked when he was young.
Chief Red Bird of the Cheyenne tribe, 1927
Red Bird grew up on the plains. Therefore, he grew up with a strong understanding of the Alognquian language. The tribe of Cheyenne consisted of two groups - the Tsitsistas and the So’taeo’o. They were initially two groups, but by the 19th century, they were one larger tribe.
They had a strong basis of ritual, spirituality and familial connections. They initially stayed in one location, but over time they became a nomadic tribe, moving across South Dakota, Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming.
Chief Clinton Rickard of the Tuscarora tribe (1882-1971)
Clinton Rickard was born on the Tuscarora reservation in 1882. He grew up on the New York reservation with the purpose of being a farmer after he fought alongside the United States as part of their cavalry during the Philippine insurrection.
In 1926, Rickard founded the Indian Defense League along with Chief David Hill, Jr. and Sophie Martin. The goal was to allow Native American people to travel freely between the United States and Canada. Rickard fought for this goal until his passing in 1971.
Black Eagle an Oglala Lakota medicine man, 1932
The Lakota medicine men were much more than shamans and healers. They were also the humorous men who brought culture and joy to their tribe. These men were also named Heyókȟa. They preferred to do everything backwards, including riding horses backwards, or wearing their clothes inside out.
The purpose of these men was to make the people of the tribe question things, knowing that things were done one way, but could be done another. They worked to remove hate and fears from their people.
Arapaho tribe family members standing outside of their teepee
The Arapaho people lived spread out across Wyoming and Colorado. They have a very strong oral tradition and share their tribal stories with their people and younger generations to keep their transitions alive. Their second love was agriculture.
They became a nomadic tribe in the 1830s, living in teepees and riding their horses while working hard on their fields, growing crops like beans and corn. They would often trade goods with the Arikara and Mandan tribes. Everything they wore had meaning, including the beads on their garbs and the feathers in their headpieces.