Historically, the Otoe tribe lived as a semi-nomadic people on the Central Plains along the bank of the Missouri River in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. They lived in elm-bark lodges while they farmed, and used tipis while traveling, like many other Plains tribes.
The Otoe – Missouria hunted bison, gathered plants, and grew corn, beans, pumpkins, and squash. They believed in Wakanda, a universal spirit. Their population was an estimated fifteen hundred in 1830 and 358 in 1890.
The Otoe, led by Chief Little Thief and Chief Big Horse, and the chiefs of the Missouria tribes, Chief Crow’s Head and Chief Black Cat, were the first Native Indians that Lewis and Clark parleyed with in the West.
Chiwere (also called Iowa- Otoe-Missouria or Báxoje-Jíwere-Ñút’achi) is a Siouan language originally spoken by the Missouria, Otoe, and Iowa peoples, who originated in the Great Lakes region but later moved throughout the Midwest and plains. The language is closely related to Ho-Chunk, also known as Winnebago.
Otoe – a member of the Siouan people inhabiting the valleys of the Platte and Missouri rivers in Nebraska. Oto. Siouan, Sioux – a member of a group of North American Indian peoples who spoke a Siouan language and who ranged from Lake Michigan to the Rocky Mountains.
The name Miami derives from Myaamia (plural Myaamiaki), the tribe’s autonym ( name for themselves) in their Algonquian language of Miami -Illinois. Some Miami have stated that this was only a name used by other tribes for the Miami, and not their autonym.
What clothes did the Missouria tribe wear? The men of the Missouria tribe wore a variety of clothes including a blue or red belted breechcloths, deerskin leggings, and sometimes a blanket robe over the upper part of the body. Buffalo hides were also worn as cloaks and moccasins were worn during the winter.
Historically, the tribe lived in bands near the mouth of the Grand River at its confluence with the Missouri River; the mouth of the Missouri at its confluence with the Mississippi River, and in present-day Saline County, Missouri. Since Indian removal, today they live primarily in Oklahoma.
What term did Lewis use to address the Otoe? What does that suggest about how he viewed them? He called them red men. That suggests he didn’t view them the same as himself.
There is one federally recognized Indian tribe in Iowa today.