The Omaha Tribe


The Omaha Tribe has had large fluctuations in its population. In 1780, the tribe was estimated at 2800 members but in 1802 that numbers had sharply declined to a mere 300 people due to sickness and warfare. Since being moved to the reservation, the tribe has grown to 1170 members. The Omaha originally had its settlements along Missouri river in eastern Nebraska. This tribe sent 31 delegates to the congress. The Omaha lived under the protection of the powerful Pawnee, who claimed the whole Platte region. Since they ha ve occupyied a subordinate position, they have never been prominent in tribal history.


The Omahan, or Omaha, have given their name to the exposition city. The word signifies 'up stream'. They are also the originators of the picturesque Om aha dance, now common to most of the plains tribes. They reside on a reservation about sixty miles northward from Omaha and within the limits of their original country.


The Omaha tribe share many of the same characteristics as the Kiowa.The Omaha had corn and earth-covered lodges, both of which they probably obtained originally from their allies, the Pawnee. Most of them now live in fra me houses, but others still prefer theses old time earth-lodges. They wore the prairie moccasin, 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. Unlike other tribes who have a build that is sinewy and thin, clear-cut features, the semi-agricultural Omaha show the effect of a partial grain diet in rounder faces and portlier figures.


To see more images from the Indian Congress, vi sit the Indian Congress Photo Gallery. This collection includes over 500 photographs ofNative Americans, including portraits of individuals, groupphotos of families an d photographs of various activities.

The library also has the original "Secretary's Report" from the TransMississippi Exposition. This document includes a section on t he 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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