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Sample text

Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1964. ARIKARAS Long before European Americans entered the Great Plains, the Arikaras, who called themselves Sahnish, meaning “People,” separated from the Skiri Pawnees and moved northward to the Missouri River valley in present-day South Dakota. From that time on, they were associated more with the nearby Siouan-speaking Mandans and Hidatsas than with their fellow Caddoan-speaking Pawnees to the south. Like the Mandans and Hidatsas, the Arikaras centered their lives on the river, using its high bluffs for their earth lodge villages and the rich soil of the bottomlands for gardens of corn, beans, squash, sunflowers, and tobacco.

Quillwork was considered a sacred art that a woman had to have the right to do, or disaster would result. Cheyenne and Lakota women gained the right to do quillwork by becoming members of societies in which the art was taught. A woman who excelled in quillwork or other women’s arts was publicly honored in the same way as a successful warrior. The advent of glass beads and other new maA S S I M I L AT I O N P O L I C Y terials brought changes to the arts, but these were not as immediate or as far-reaching as one might think.

The damming of the Missouri River in 1954 caused most tribal members to be relocated. The Arikaras centered around the town of White Shield, near some of their most important cultural sites. S. census reported a total Arikara population of 1,583. Mary Jane Schneider University of North Dakota Meyer, Roy W. The Village Indians of the Upper Missouri: The Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1977. Parks, Douglas R. Traditional Narratives of the Arikara Indians. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1991.

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