Pawnee Indians

The Pawnee Indians were a Native North American tribe, often called the Paneassa, the Pari, or the Pariki. Groups of Pawnee Indians were found situated around the Platte, the Loute, and the Republican rivers in what is now called Nebraska.

The Pawnee Indian tribe was made up four bands, or core groups. These bands were called the Chaui, the Kitkehahki, the Pitahauerat, and the Skidi. The Chaui were chiefly recognized as the reigning tribe among the four bands.

In Pawnee Indian culture, the women did most of the labor. They grew crops of corn (then called maize), beans, pumpkins, and even squash. Women did a great deal of the work, and taught their younger counterparts how to perform the work that was expected of them. Women were also charged with looking after the children, especially the older women. Older women were usually charged with this responsibility, as it was the others who did the work while the kids needed minding.

The Pawnee Indians were well known for their culture. They practiced a very specific type of religion, one that strived to maintain a balance between the gods and their natural environment. They were known to sacrifice crops to the gods, including maize. Up until the 18th century, human beings were occasionally sacrificed as well.

By the end of 1900, there were only about 500 Pawnee Indians left. Smallpox and Cholera, disease brought in by settlers, were responsible for wiping out a great portion of the Pawnee Indians during the 19th century. Today, there are about 2500 Pawnee Indians living around the United States.

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