natural tendency of migration since history began has been
westward; and the movements of the Amerind are not an
exception to this general rule. As the streams which drain
North America have a general trend from north to south, and
as the rule for human activity is to proceed along the lines
of least resistance, it might be supposed that the Amerind
would follow up these streams and change the general order
by moving forward from south to north or from north to
south. There was a stronger influence than the mere contour
of the land which drew the tide of emigration, although this
had its effect to such an extent that the route of travel
had a west-by-northwest trend. The food supply became the
main factor in determining the direction of migration. The
buffalo, which, though indigenous to the whole central
region of North America, were partial to the open country,
enticed the Indian to the Nebraska plains, which they
possessed in vast herds. This useful animal was the source
of supply for every want: food from his flesh, raiment and
shelter from his hide, implements from his bones, vessels
for holding liquids from his intestines, and fuel from his
dung. The buffalo made it possible for great numbers of
Indians to subsist in comparative ease on the treeless
plains of Nebraska. How much of the food supply of the
aborigines, before the advent of the buffalo, may have been
derived from agricultural pursuits is unknown; but it is
certain that as the tribes spread westward and the buffalo
became more numerous, agriculture decreased, until, when
white settlers first came in contact with the tribes of
Nebraska, little attention was given to it.
1 This classification of Indian tribes and bands should be credited to Mr. E. E. Blackman, archaeologist of the Nebraska State Historical Society; and the particulars as to the numbers and location of certain tribes, before the organization of Nebraska territory, to a paper by Clyde B. Aitchison.
2 In the spelling of the names of Indian tribes it has been found more practicable to follow the Standard dictionary than the diverse and contradictory usage of scientific writers in the reports of the Bureau of Ethnology.-ED.
premacy on our eastern border and along the Platte
From a photograph owned by Mr. A. E. Sheldon.
MARPIYA LUTA (RED CLOUD)
Chief of the Ogallala Sioux, at the age of seventy
they were located in 1400. Prior to 1500, another band
branched off from the main stock and drifted northward to a
point near the present Kansas-Nebraska line. Here the
Wichitas turned back and went south, while the Pawnees moved
northward and occupied the Platte valley and intervening
country. In 1541 Coronado found the Wichitas near the Kansas
river and sent a summons to the "Lord of Harahey" (the
Pawnee) to visit him, which he did with two hundred naked
warriors. This is the earliest authentic record of Indian
occupancy of Nebraska. This is the first time civilized man
(if we can call Coronado's followers civilized) ever saw an
Indian from what is now Nebraska. All history before this is
legendary, and legendary history is so conflicting that we
may only say that it is possibly true.
with willows, then with grass and dirt, giving the
appearance at a little distance of an immense collection of
"potato hills," all of a circular shape and oval. The
entrance is through a passage walled with earth, the hole in
the center at top serving both for window and main room by
partitions of willow, rush or flag, some of them being
neatly and tidily constructed, and altogether these lodges
are quite roomy and comfortable, and each is frequently the
abode of two or more families. In these villages there is no
regularity of streets, walks, or alleys, but each builds in
a rather promiscuous manner, having no other care than to
taste and convenience.
3 Mag. Am. Hist., vols. 4 and 5.
4 18th Rept. Bureau of Ethnology, pt. 2.
souri.5 McGee says the Siouan family began to
cross the Appalachian mountains one thousand years ago. The
Mandans were among the first to break off from the parent
stock, and the only excuse we have for including them in our
history is the probability that they crossed our borders on
their way up the Missouri river some time prior to the
coming of the Skidi band in 1400.
5Catlin, North American Indians.
6November 19, 1859.