Plains Native Americans - Pawnee Illustration

The Pawnee
Native Americans
in Olden Times for Kids

The Pawnee loved the stars. There was no ceremony that did not have some connection with the stars.

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. They were one of the largest groups living in the Plains, and one of the most powerful. Their warriors had a reputation for outstanding courage. They painted their faced red when they went into battle.

The Pawnee lived in villages. Their homes were earth lodges, some as large as 60 feet in diameter. The opening to the lodge always faced east. As many as 50 people lived in each earth lodge. They had a center pit that burned wood to cook food. The fire pit also helped to keep the lodge warm as needed. The lodge was used in the spring and fall. In the spring, the women planted gardens and grew corn, squash, pumpkins, and beans. In the summer, it was hunting season. The tribe traveled all summer looking for animals, especially buffalo for food and skins. In the fall, they returned to the lodge, harvested the crops, and stored them in pits they dug in the ground. These pits could be accessed all year long. In the winter it was off again for the hunt. While they were harvesting at home or on the hunt searching for food, in the evenings, they would tan leather and make it into clothing and supplies. Their life was very ordered and dictated by the movement of the stars overhead.

Pawnee Warrior

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