The Blackfoot Tribe


The Siksika, or Blackfeet,are an important tribe numbering about 6000. At one time they ranged from Yellowstone to the North Saskatchewan. Nineteen hundred of them are now gathered on a reservation in Montana, the rest being in the adjacent Canadian province. Associated with them are two smaller tribes, the Arapaho Grosventres and the Sarsi. The Blackfoot tribe sent 22 delegates to the congress.

In physique the Blackfeet are among the finest men of the plains, tall and well built, with erect pose and steady countenance. Those in attendance at the congress belonged to the Piegan division, and brought with them an old-style ornamented skin tipi.

The Blackfeet are roving buffalo hunters. They are in many way similar to the Kiowa tribes in that they fight and hunt on horseback, live in skin tipis, practice no agriculture, use the same weapons, and have similar military organizations and tribal ceremonies. They dress in prairie moccasins, breech-cloth, and buckskin dress. The men wore the scalp-lock, usually having the rest of the hair braided and hanging down in front on each side of the head. With some of the Blackfeet, it was pushed up or reached over the forehead. The Blackfeet are very tall with a sinewy build and thin and clear cut features.

To see more images from the Indian Congress, visit the Indian Congress Photo Gallery. This collection includes over 500 photographs of Native Americans, including portraits of individuals, group photos of families and photographs of various activities.

The library also has the original "Secretary's Report" from the TransMississippi Exposition. This document includes a section on the The Indian Congress by Mr. W. V. Cox, Secretary of the Government Exhibit Board. It also contains the Report of Captain Mercer, manager of the Indian Congress.

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