Ethnie: OMAHA
Language: Omaha-Ponca
Family Dhegiha
Stock: Siouan Proper
Phylum: Siouan
Macro-Culture: Great Plains
Speakers 85 speakers    1993 Zeps
      The Omaha were a sedentary tribe which maintained much of their earlier Eastern Woodlands culture, except during the summer when they took up a migratory life of hunting the buffalo.  They had separated late from other Dhegihan tribes, likely as a result of the domino effect of the Beaver Wars east of the Mississippi.  They ultimately located in northeastern Nebraska.
      The Ponca were among the Omaha until the mid-1700's.  The Omaha were devastated by smallpox subsequent to the fissioning of the Ponca tribe.  The Omaha reside today in a small portion of their aboriginal territory.  The Omaha are the originators of the modern pow wow holding their first in 1804 which was witnessed by Lewis and Clark.
Aboriginal Locations (Subdivisions)
IL (Omaha, Ponca)
Present Locations
NE  Omaha Resevation, Macy
Year History
167X Approximate time of removal from Illinois to Nebraska as a result of the domino effect of the Beaver Wars, mentioned as Mahas, a wandering nation on a Marwuette map which placed them just east of the Missouri in central Iowa
1700 Reference in Beaurain's "Memoire", Pierre Charles le Seur without visiting tribe recorded their location on the Big Sioux River, southeast of present Sioux Falls in South Dakota and with a population of 4,000
1735 First Omaha village west of the Missouri established on Bow Creek in present Cedar County, Nebraska
1755 Village establish near present location of tribe; Ponca fissioned form the Omaha
1775 Large village of Tonwontonga established under Chief Blackbird
1777 Tribe bacame involved in fur trade
1795 Scotsman John McKay established trading post on the Missouri in present Nebraska, visited Omaha village and met Chief Blackbird
1800 Smallpox epidemic, 2/3 losses
1804 Celebrated a Whe'wahchee or dance of thanksgiving, the first pow wow ever, witnessed by Lewis and Clark
1808 Manuel Lisa established trading posts in Nebraska near the Omaha, took an Omaha wife, introduced an array of vegetables to the tribe
1812 Manuel Lisa built substantial trading post
1815 Treaty of friendship with U.S.
1824 Jean-Pierre Cabanne established trading post 2.5 miles south of Fort Lisa
1831 Smallpox epidemic
1836 Tribe ceded large tracts of land in Missouri to U.S.
1843 Tribe attacked by Lakota after returning to Big Village
1844 Tribe abandoned Big Village and relocated to Papillion Creek
1854 Sold their lands except for a reserve
1865 Gave up the northern part of their territories to the Wiinnebago
1882 Granted lands in severalty and made citizens
1889 Susan La Flesche Picotte became the first Native American woman to become a Medical Doctor
Year Total Population IN NE SD Source
Arrival 4,600 4,600
1700 4,000 4,000 NAHDB calculation
1780 2,800 2,800 Mooney estimate
1800 2,800 2,800 NAHDB calculation
1803 300 300 Smallpox epidemic, 90% losses
1804 600 600 Lewis and Clark
1829 1,900 1,900 Swanton
1849 1,600 1,600 Swanton
1851 1,349 1,349 Schoolcroft estimate
1880 1,349 1,349 Census
1900 1,300 1,300 NAHDB calculation 
1906 1,228 1,228 US Indian Office
1910 1,105 1,105 Census
1923 1,440 1,440 US Indian Office
1930 1,103 1,103 Census
1937 1,684 1,684 US Indian Office
1973 1,369 1,369 BIA
1981 1,469 1,469 BIA
1989 1,860 1,806 BIA estimate
2000 5,000 5,000 NAHDB calculation
2005 5,992 5,992
Other speakers of the same language:
Omaha Sites:
Blackbird Hill
Blackbird Hill (Clark Account)
Buffalo Hunt:  Omaha Tribe ...
Fletcher, Alice Cunningham
Fletcher, Alice Cunningham
Fontenelle, Logan
Fontenelle Natuve Association
La Flesche Family
La Flesche, Joesph
La Flesche-Picotte M.D., Susan, First Native American Woman M.D.
Lewis and Clark Trail
Lisa, Manuel
Lisa, Manuel
Lisa, Manuel
Omaha and Ponca Tribes
Omaha Authors
Omaha Cosmogony
Omaha Images of Renewal
Omaha Indian Heritage Project
Omaha Indian Village
Omaha Indians of Nebraska
Omaha Jacket
Omaha Language Classes ...
Omaha Literature
Omaha Music
Omaha Orthagraphy
Omaha-Ponca Language
Omaha-Ponca Linguistic Lineage
Omaha:  Reinterpreting the Past
Omaha Timeline
Omaha Tribal History
Omaha Tribal Research Project
Omaha Tribe
Omaha Tribe*3_folder/nawebpages/Omaha.html
Omaha Tribe
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
Omaha Tribe of Nebraska Community Profile
Omaha Tribe Uses 1864 Treaty as Leverage
Oregon Trail
Picotte Memorial Hospital
Smile of God
Umanhom School

Last updated 04/02/05  Copyright 2005 by Four Directions Press