Facts about the Kansa Native Indian
This article contains fast, fun facts and
interesting information about the Kansa Native
American Indians, also known as the Kaw tribe. Find answers to questions
did the Kansa tribe live, what clothes did they wear
food did they eat? Discover what happened to the
Kansa tribe with facts about their wars and
Picture of the Kansa Native Indian
above picture depicts Meach-o-shín-gaw, meaning
Little White Bear, who was a distinguished Kansa
brave. It was painted by the famous
artist George Catlin (1796-1872) at Fort
Leavenworth in 1832. The
proud young warrior wore striking vermillion red face paint and wore a
highly ornate headband with a roach
headdress. His finest jewelry was worn including
numerous bead and shell necklaces together
various ear piercings and earrings. The most
decorative earring piece was made using long,
cylindrical 'Hair Pipe' beads strung with
smaller beads that extended to his chest as a
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Kansa
The name "Kaw" or "Kansa" means, "People of the
South Wind," and the state of Kansas takes its
name from this famous tribe. The Kansa
people were closely related to the Omaha, Osage, Quapah and Ponca tribes.
Where did the Kansa tribe live?
The Kansa (Kaw) are people of the Great Plains Native
American cultural group. The location of their
tribal homelands are shown on the map. The
geography of the region in which they lived
dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Kansa
The American Great Plains region mainly extended across states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota
Land: Grass covered prairies with streams
Climate: The climate was hot summers and
Animals: The animals included the
Bison (Buffalo), deer, cougars, elk, bear,
beaver, porcupine, antelope, prairie dogs,
eagles and wolves
Fish: Various fish including sturgeon,
crayfish and mussels
Crops: The crops grown in the area were corn, beans, seeds
What did the Kansa tribe live in?
The Kansa tribe lived in villages of
Longhouses, farming in the close area.
The hunted for buffalo on the Great Plains
during the summer when they lived in the
temporary shelters provided by
What language did the Kansa tribe speak?
The Kansa tribe spoke in the Dhegihan dialect of
the Siouan language, closely related linguistically to the Sioux
and the Stoney tribe.
What food did the Kansa tribe eat?
The food that the Kansa tribe ate included crops of
maize, beans and squash and fish caught in the
rivers. In the summer the
hunters provided a variety of meat, especially
What weapons did the Kansa use?
The weapons used by the Kansa tribe included
bows and arrows, stone ball clubs, hatchet axes,
spears, lances and knives. Painted war
shields were used on horseback as a means of
What clothes did the Kansa tribe wear?
The men of the
tribe wore a variety of clothes including a red
or blue breechcloth with a belt, and deerskin
leggings, and sometimes a blanket robe over the
upper part of the body, often trimmed with fur.
Buffalo hides were also worn as cloaks and
moccasins were worn during the winter. The men
of the Kansa tribe wore Roach headdresses
that were attached to a scalp-lock on their
shaved heads and stood straight up from the head
like a tuft or crest. Ornaments were made of
beads, shells and metal. The 'Hair Pipe' beads
were long, slim, hollow, cylindrical beads that
were used as hair decorations, chokers and the
famous breastplates that were worn by many of
the tribes of the Great Plains. The women wore
buckskin knee-length dresses or skirts, leggings
and blanket cloaks. The dress of the women
reached down to the knees and was tied at the
waist by a belt. The two ends of the cloth met
at the right thigh.
What was the religion and beliefs of the
religion and beliefs of the Kansa tribe was based
on their belief in the Great Spirit and
that encompassed the spiritual or
religious idea that the universe and all
natural objects animals, plants, trees,
rivers, rocks, mountains etc. The Kansa religion
involved vision quests and many different spirit
beings, or wakan, who held different powers.