Pawnee Indians

Occupying land along the Platte River in Nebraska, the Pawnee Indians farmed (corn, beans, squash, and melons) and hunted buffalo.

They lived in dome-shaped lodges covered by willow branches, grass, or earth. When hunting, they used teepees to follow the herds.

Pawnee women, who were highly skilled at making pottery, controlled trade and the distribution of goods within the tribe, while men were tribal chiefs, hunters, and warriors.

The Europeans came into close contact with the Pawnee during the early 1800s as trails to the west were established through their territory. This brought devastating diseases, such as smallpox, which killed nearly half of the tribe in 1831 and an epidemic of cholera that killed many more in 1849.

The Pawnee did not war against the settlers, but became allies of the U.S. Army, providing them with scouts and warriors during the Indian Wars. Their allegiance to the U.S. was not rewarded, and in 1876 the Pawnee were forced to sell their land and relocated to Oklahoma.