What Indian Tribes Lived in Kansas?

If you’re interested in the history of Kansas, you may be wondering about the different Indian tribes that once lived in the state. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most notable tribes, including the Kaw, Osage, and Wichita.

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The Kaw People

The Kaw people (also called the Kanza) were a Native American tribe who lived in the Great Plains region of the United States. The Kaw tribe was one of the largest and most powerful tribes in the region. They were known for their skill in hunting and warfare. The Kaw people lived in what is now the state of Kansas.


The Kaw Nation formerly occupied territory along the Missouri River in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. They were removed to a reservation in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in the 1860s.

The Kaw people have also been known as the People of the South wind, People of water, Kansa, Kaza, Kosa, and Kasa. Their name comes from the Siouan word meaning “south wind” or “people of the south wind.”


The Kaw people are a Native American tribe that originally inhabited parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri. The Kaw were known as the “People of the South Wind” and were closely related to the Osage and Ponca tribes. The Kaw tribe was divided into three sub-tribes: the forestry Kaw, the prairie Kaw, and the riverband Kaw.

The Kaw people lived in permanent settlements and their homes were made from saplings covered with bark or hides. The prairie Kaw had homes that were made from cedar post frames which were covered with grass. The riverband Kaw built their homes out of willow poles which were plastered with mud. All three types of homes had thatched roofs.

The forestry Kaw hunted deer, elk, and bison. They also gathered acorns, berries, and roots. The prairie Kaw hunted buffalo and grew crops such as beans, squash, and corn. The riverband Kaw fished for catfish, eels, and other fish from the Kansas River.

In 1825, the Kaw tribe signed a treaty with the United States government which established their rights to live on a reservation in present-day Kansas. However, white settlers began encroaching on their land and in 1854 the government forcibly removed them from their reservation. The Kaw people were eventually relocated to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) where they merged with other tribes.

The Osage People

The Osage people are a federally recognized Native American tribe from the state of Oklahoma. The tribe historically lived in the Midwest region of the United States, primarily in what is now Kansas. The Osage people were forcibly removed from their homeland in the 19th century and resettled in Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma.


The Osage people originally lived in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys. Around 1700, they began moving west into the plains of present-day Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. The Osage became known as the “reed people” because they used reeds and grasses to construct their homes.

In the early 1800s, the Osage tribe was the largest Native American group west of the Mississippi River. The tribe was divided into two clans: the Earth People and the Sky People. Each clan had its own chief. The chief of the Sky People was considered to be more powerful than the chief of the Earth People.

The Osage lived in villages that were usually located near rivers or streams. The men hunted game such as deer, bison, and elk. They also fished for fish such as salmon, trout, and catfish. The women gathered fruits, nuts, vegetables, and roots. They also gathered firewood and built the homes made out of reeds and grasses.

The Osage people believed in a spirit world that consisted of a number of gods and goddesses. They also believed in good and evil spirits. The good spirits were thought to help humans while the evil spirits tried to harm them.


The Osage people are a Native American tribe based in Missouri. They were also once prominent in Arkansas and Oklahoma. The Osage originally lived in the Ohio River Valley region, but they were forced to leave by the Iroquois Confederacy during the 16th century. The Osage eventually settled in present-day Missouri and Arkansas. They would later be forced out of Arkansas by the Cherokee and Creeks. The Osage finally settled in present-day Oklahoma during the early 19th century.

The Osage people were known for their hunting and warfare skills. They were also experts at creating pottery and baskets. The Osage lived in campsites that were located near rivers or other water sources. Each camp contained several large homes that were made out of bark and animal skins.

The Osage people practiced a type of shamanism that involved the use of animal bones and plants for healing purposes. Shamans would also go into trances in order to commune with spirit animals.

The Osage tribe was involved in numerous treaties with the United States government during the 19th century. In 1808, the tribe signed a treaty that ceded their lands east of the Mississippi River to the United States. In 1818, another treaty was signed that ceded their lands west of the Mississippi River to the United States. The Osage people were later forced to move to a reservation in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) during the 1830s.

During the 1870s, oil was discovered on tribal lands. This created a new source of income for the tribe, but it also led to conflict with non-Native Americans who wanted to exploit this natural resource. In 1923, congress passed the Osage Reorganization Act which granted federal recognition to the tribe and established a self-governing tribal government.

The Pawnee People

The Pawnee people were one of the largest and most powerful Indian tribes in the American Midwest. They lived in present-day Nebraska and Kansas and were known for their huge earthlodges, their skill at hunting buffalo, and their fierce war against the Sioux.


The Pawnee People lived in what is now Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, and Wyoming.


The Pawnee people were semi-nomadic, living in teepees that they moved as they followed the movement of the buffalo. The Pawnee hunted buffalo, elk, deer, and antelope. They also fished for catfish, perch, and bass in the rivers. The Pawnee gathered food such as wild fruits, berries, nuts, and roots. The women of the tribe did most of the gathering while the men did most of the hunting.

The Pawnee lived in what is now Nebraska and Kansas. At one time, their numbers might have been as high as 10,000 people living in 60 different villages. However, by 1900, there were only 1,400 Pawnee left. In modern times, there are about 3,200 Pawnee people living in Oklahoma and Nebraska.

The Wichita People

The Wichita people were a group of American Indians who lived in Kansas. They were also known as the Kitikiti’shɨks, which means “Arrow People”. The Wichita people were farmers and lived in villages. They were peaceful and had a well-organized society.


Wichita people lived in central and south-central Kansas. They were semi-nomadic, following the herds of bison. They also hunted elk, deer, and small game and gathered wild fruits, vegetables, and nuts. In the summer, they farmed corn, beans, and squash.


The Wichita people are a Native American tribe who traditionally inhabited the area around the Arkansas and Cimarron rivers in what is now Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. In the early 1800s, the Wichita lived in large villages of up to 1,500 people. The Wichita were farmers, growing crops such as beans, squash, and maize (corn). They also hunted bison (buffalo) on the Great Plains.

The Wichita tribe was divided into three main groups: the Kitkehahki, the Yojimbo, and the Tahneweya. The Kitkehahki lived in present-day central Kansas; the Yojimbo lived in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma; and the Tahneweya lived in western Kansas and eastern Colorado.

In 1825, the Wichita signed a treaty with the United States government in which they promised to live peaceably with American settlers. However, relations between the Wichita and settlers deteriorated over the next few years. In 1859, a group of armed Wichita men attacked a party of settlers near present-day Medicine Lodge, Kansas. This incident led to open warfare between the Wichita and American troops.

In October 1864, a group of about 800 Wichita men, women, and children were captured by American troops near present-day Fort Cobb, Oklahoma. The captives were forced to march more than 400 miles (650 kilometers) to Arkansas, where they were held as prisoners of war. Many of them died on the journey or from diseases such as cholera once they arrived at their destination.

In 1866, after most of the surviving Wichita had been released from prison, they returned to their homeland in southern Kansas. In 1868, they signed another treaty with the United States government in which they ceded (gave up) all their land claims in return for a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma. In 1901, after Congress passed legislation reducing Indian reservations nationwide, almost two-thirds of their reservation was taken away from them by white settlers. Consequently (as a result), many Wichita people moved away from their reservation to find work elsewhere. Today there are an estimated 5 With Tribe members living in Oklahoma; others live elsewhere around North America

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