Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop 


Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!


Content Categories:

American History


Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Treasure Tales


   Search Our Sites

Custom Search



About Us


Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information


Facebook Page




Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits


We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us


Legends' General Store

Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items


CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals


Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!


  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View


Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View


Family Friendly Site














Arapaho  - Great Buffalo Hunters of the Plains

Bookmark and Share

The Arapaho Indians have lived on the plains of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas since the 17th Century. Prior to that, they had roots in Minnesota before European expansion forced them westward. At that time they were a sedentary, agricultural people, living in permanent villages in the eastern woodlands. However, that changed when they moved west and the tribe became a nomadic people following the great buffalo herds.


The Arapaho refer to themselves as ‘Inuna-Ina’ which translates to "our people.” Their language is of Algonquin heritage, as is that of their close neighbors the Cheyenne. When they began to drift west, the Arapaho soon became close allies of the Cheyenne tribe and were later loosely aligned with the Sioux.


Northern Arapaho Tribe Logo




The Plains Arapaho soon split into two separate tribes, the northern and southern Arapaho. The Northern Arapaho lived along the edges of the mountains at the headwaters of the Platte River, while the southern Arapaho moved towards the Arkansas River.

The Arapaho lived in teepees made from buffalo skins that could be easily erected and taken down as the tribe moved from place to place. Becoming expert buffalo hunters, the buffalo provided them with virtually everything they needed. They also hunted for elk and deer, fished, and ate various berries, and plants. During hard times, they were also known to eat their dogs.

The tribe lived together in small bands, predominantly determined by birth. However, members were free to move between bands at will. Once a year all of the bands would congregate together for the Sun Dance festival, an eight day event at the time of the Summer Solstice. The festival preceded the great summer buffalo hunt. In the middle of the camp, a large open air Sun Dance Lodge would be constructed of wooden poles with the Sun Dance pole standing in the middle. Individual teepees would be erected around the lodge in a large circle.


Sundance LodgeThe participants of the dance fasted during the dance and painted their bodies in symbolic colors. Dressed in aprons, wristlets and anklets the dancers would stare at the Sun while dancing hypnotically before being impaled to the Sun Dance pole by way of tiny stakes punctured into the skin. The Sun Dancer was not to show any signs of pain during the ritual and, if able to do so, would be rewarded with a vision from the Great Spirit.


The annual Sun Dance was their greatest tribal ceremony but they were also active proponents of the Ghost Dance religion when it was made popular in the 1880s.


The Arapaho are a very spiritual people, believing in an overall creator who they call Be He Teiht.  As with many Native American peoples they believe in a close relationship between themselves, the animals of their world and the land on which they live. The Arapaho also have a deep respect and appreciation for the wisdom of their elders.


By 1840, the Arapaho had made peace with the Sioux, Kiowa, and Comanche, but were always at war with the Shoshone, Ute, and Pawnee until they were confined upon reservations.


When the white man pushed west, the Arapaho generally maintained friendly relations and became great traders with the white men. But as the pace of western expansion increased, the Arapaho, along with the other Plains Indians found themselves being pushed further and further west. In the meantime, the buffalo, which they so depended upon, were being shot by the thousands and left to rot by the newcomers.  

In 1851 a treaty was signed between the U.S. Government and the Northern Arapaho and Cheyenne which granted the tribes land encompassing one-sixth of Wyoming, one-quarter of Colorado and parts of western Kansas and Nebraska.


As the gold rush of 1858 pushed even more of the white men into the vast west, the treaty with the Northern Arapaho was broken. In 1867, the treaty of Medicine Lodge placed the Northern Arapaho on their present reservation in Wind River, Wyoming, along with their hereditary enemies, the Shoshone.


Arapaho Camp in 1868

An Arapaho Camp in 1868


The southern Arapaho were placed on a reservation in Oklahoma with the Southern Cheyenne. Overtime, the Cheyenne and Arapaho cultures grew similar. In 1892, Oklahoma Territory was thrown open to white settlement and the Indians received allotments in severalty, with the rights of American citizenship.

Today the Northern Arapaho live on the Wind River Reservation north of Lander, Wyoming . Nestled between the scenic Wind River Range and Owl Creek Mountains, the 2.2 million acre reserve is shared by 3,500 Eastern Shoshone and 7,000 Northern Arapaho. 


© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated February, 2014.


Arapaho Chief, 1898

Arapaho Chief, 1898



Also See:

Plight of the Buffalo

Native American Tribes

Native Americans (main page)

Native American Photo Print Galleries



From Legends' General Store

Cherokee Herbal RemediesNuwatie Herbal RemediesCherokee Natural Remedies - From the Medicine Cabinet of Mother Earth, our line of remedies are developed Nuwati Herbals, making healing teas, balms, and other natural remedies for many years. Check out our Herbal Teas, Nuwati Balms, and NO-Ski-TO insect repellant. In these remedies, you will find numerous benefits such as calming nerves, providing energy, relieving headache and stomach problems, strengthening bones, soothe aching muscles, relieve burns and skin irritations, promote sleep and relaxation, and much more. Click HERE!


                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com