Cheyenne Indians

Published on September 8, 2011 by Amy

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Cheyenne Men, 1909
Cheyenne Men, 1909

The Cheyenne Indians are from the Great Plains. Many people don’t know this but the Cheyenne consists of two tribes. One tribe is called Sotaeo’o and the other is the Tsitsistas. The name Cheyenne means “Little Cree”. Many Cheyenne lived in Montana and Oklahoma. Early Cheyenne lived in earth lodges and ate mostly fish to survive. It was in the early 1800′s that the Cheyenne moved into teepees and started hunting wild animals for their meals. The Cheyenne Indians then spread out, living not only in Montana and Oklahoma, but could be found in Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

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The 19th century brought on the Indian Wars. While the Cheyenne Indians were friendly with any settlers they met, the Colorado Militia and Lt Custer’s Calvary attacked and killed many peaceful Indians. After this, the Cheyenne Indian became hostile and was considered the enemy of any settlers. It is believed that the Cheyenne Indians along with the Lakota and Arapaho tribes gathered together near the Little Bighorn River in the late 1800′s forming the largest gathering of Indians that numbered more than 10,000. When this news reached Washington, this angered the Army and they sought to capture the Cheyenne. When northern Indians were captured, they were moved to the south, which caused the Indians to become ill. Many caught malaria in their new home and asked to return to their northern home. More than one million Cheyenne Indians traveled back north but the Army and many volunteers were pursuing the Indians in hopes of ridding their tribe forever.

As the Indian group split into two groups, one made it home but the other was captured and held in Nebraska. They were held without water, food or heating and soon decided to revolt. When the Cheyenne Indians decided to escape they were gunned down by the Army. Sadly, it was thought that only about 50 Cheyenne Indians survived. Today the Cheyenne Indian has grown to over 20,000 and has continued to retain their unique language and lifestyle.

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