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Arikara girl
Pre-contact distribution of Arikara
Mandan and Arikara delegation.
An Arrikara warrior

Arikara (also Sahnish, Arikaree, Ree) refers to a group of Native Americans that speak a Caddoan language. They were a semi-nomadic group that lived on the Great Plains of the United States of America for several hundred years. They lived primarily in earth lodges, used tipis while traveling from their villages, and were an agricultural society. Their primary crop was corn (or maize), and it was such an important aspect of their society that it was often referred to as "Mother Corn".

The Arikara moved from South Dakota into North Dakota, now on the Fort Berthold reservation.

Their population was decimated by smallpox in the late 1830s, and due to their reduced numbers, they started to live closer to the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes who lived in the same area. Today the three tribes are still closely associated and are known as the Three Affiliated Tribes.

During the Black Hills War, Arikaras served as scouts for Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer on the Little Bighorn Campaign.

Arikara is now spoken in North Dakota by a very few elders. Less than 5 speakers remain, in the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. Arikara is very close to the Pawnee language, but they are not mutually intelligible.

See also

Bibliography

  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ARIKARA, or Aricara (from ariki, horn), a tribe of North American Indians of Caddoan stock. They are now settled with the Gros Ventres and the Mandans on the Fort Berthold Reservation, North Dakota. They originally lived in the Platte Valley, Nebraska, with the Pawnees, to whom they are related. They number about 400.

See Handbook of American Indians, ed. F. W. Hodge (Washington, 1907.)


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