Presentation on theme: "Pawnee Plains. Pawnee “Pawnee Indian Fact Sheet”- “The Pawnee” -"— Presentation transcript:
Pawnee “Pawnee Indian Fact Sheet”- “The Pawnee” - Textbook page 61
Tribal territory of the Pawnee and tribes in Nebraska
The Pawnee loved the stars. There was no ceremony that did not have some connection with the stars. The Pawnee were perhaps the most religious group on the plains. At the head of their deities stood Tirawa, the creator of the universe. Tirawa was a purely spiritual being and had other heavenly gods helping him and guarding the people. These heavenly gods were identified with stars. The most important were the Morning and Evening Stars, which represented the male and female principles in Pawnee religion. Other gods were the earth gods who were special guardians of individuals and secret societies. They were, for the most part, identified with animals.
They are also credited with being the best scouts on the Plains. Their young warriors could make a call that sounded exactly like a wolf. Their scouts seemed to almost have the power to be invisible. Be it day or night, it was rare a Pawnee scout was spotted.
the Pawnees usually lived in earthlodges, built and owned by women from two to ten families, with the villages set up on terraces above rivers. There was a central smoke hole in the roof with the fireplace located directly below it. A covered entrance usually extended to the east or southeast. On the west side, an altar was built on which a sacred bison skull usually rested. Beds were built from small timbers and lined the outer walls. The lodges were constructed by the women of the tribe.
The women were also responsible for planting, cultivating and harvesting the gardens that surrounded the villages. Each garden was about an acre in size. They used simple tools — a rake, a hoe made from the shoulder blade of a bison and a digger made from a fire-hardened stick. They saved and planted seeds for corn, beans, pumpkins, squash and melons. Both corn and beans were dried, put into skin bags and stored in underground storage pits to last through the winter. Some of these pits were in the earth lodge and others were outside. To prevent other tribes from finding the outdoor pits while the Pawnee were away on the hunt, they carefully covered them with sod.
but spent over half of each year roaming across central and western Nebraska hunting game and buffalo. Groups would travel up to 900 miles to find good hunting grounds.
The Pawnees were accomplished horse riders and hunters (especially of buffalo)
yet also cultivated garden crops such as beans, corn, pumpkin, and squash.
During the long hunt periods they killed elk, deer, bear, beaver, otter, raccoon, badger, squirrels and especially bison. The meat was often eaten fresh after a kill. What could not be eaten right away was cut into strips and dried in the sun to preserve it.
Pawnee women wore deerskin skirts and poncho-like blouses. Pawnee men wore breechcloths and leather leggings. Men did not usually wear shirts, but warriors sometimes wore special buckskin war shirts. The Pawnees wore moccasins on their feet, and in cold weather, they wore long buffalo-hide robes. A Pawnee lady's dress or warrior's shirt was fringed and often decorated with beadwork and painted designs. Later, Pawnee people adapted European costume such as cloth dresses and vests.
Pawnee Indian leaders sometimes wore the long Native American headdresses that Plains Indians are famous for. More often, Pawnee men shaved their heads except for a scalplock (one long lock of hair in back) and wore a porcupine roach on top. Pawnee women wore their hair either loose or braided. The Pawnees also painted their faces for special occasions. They used different patterns for war paint, religious ceremonies, and festive decoration.
Pawnee hunters used bows and arrows. In war, Pawnee men fired their bows or fought with war clubs and spears.