The Cheyenne Tribe


The Cheyennes, who are close allies with the Arapaho, call themselves, 'Dzitsistas' which losely translates to 'our people'. They were represented by a large delegation of 43 members from Oklahoma. The Cheyenne number in all nearly 3500, of whom 2000 (southern) are on a reservation in western Oklahoma. The remainder (northern) live on a reservation in Montana, except for a few living with the Dakota or Sioux.

The Cheyenne are buffalo hunters of the plains and also have traditions of a time when they lived in the east and planted corn. Their tribal 'medicine' is a bundle of sacred arrows in the keeping of one of the southern bands. They are a proud, warlike people, who have left a strong impression on the history of the plains. The Cheyenne are considered to be an strongly conservative group. This tribe is devoted to the ghost dance and as a group are considered the most expert sign-talkers on the plains.

The Cheyenne tribe share many of the same characteristics as the Kiowa in that they fight and hunt on horseback, live in skin tipis, practice little or no agriculture, use the same weapons, and have similar military organizations and tribal ceremonies. 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. The are considered to be quite tall with a build that is sinewy and they have thin, clear-cut features. They Cheyenne also much lighter in color than other tribes.


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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