By the time the Americans met the Cheyenne Indians they were living on the Great Plains of South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas. The U.S. government forced the Cheyenne’s to move to Oklahoma during the 1800’s which the Cheyenne’s called “The Trail of Tears”. Some Cheyenne Indians escaped to the North into Montana. Today there are two Cheyenne tribes, one in Oklahoma and the other in Montana.
Originally the Cheyenne’s lived in villages of earthen lodges and Birch bark “wigwams”. As they became Nomadic they used buffalo-hide to build houses called “Tee Pee”. They used the Tee Pee’s because they could set up and break down and were easy to carry so they could follow the buffalo herds.
The Cheyenne were farmers in the beginning, the women harvested corn, squash and beans while the men hunted deer and buffalo. They mostly gave up farming and followed the buffalo’s as they moved across the Plains. Besides Buffalo meat the Cheyenne liked fish, fruit, berries and corn that they bought from other tribes.
The Cheyenne alphabet contains only fourteen (14) letters which can be combined to form words and phrases. Today the U.S. government is working to convert the Cheyenne to an English only speaking tribe. The Cheyenne are trying to keep their language alive.
Before the sun rose, the Cheyenne begin preparing for the day. The first task of the day was to build a fire. The Cheyenne women got water from the nearby stream. As it dawned the women made the morning meal while the boys herded the horses back into camp. The women taught the young girls the tradition and the men taught the young boys. Many men hunted game to provide the camp with food. As day turned into night, the Cheyenne people prepared for the evening meal. This was the liveliest event of the day in which music, dancing and various other activities took place. After a few hours, the camp became silent as people turned in for the...
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