Facts about the Omaha Native Indian
This article contains fast, fun facts and
interesting information about the Omaha Native
American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions
did the Omaha tribe live, what clothes did they wear
food did they eat? Discover what happened to the
Omaha tribe with facts about their wars and
Picture of the Omaha Native Indian
above picture of an Omaha warrior called Nom-ba-mon-nee,
meaning Double Walker, was painted in 1832 by
the famous artist George Catlin (1796-1872). The
brave is holding a buffalo robe and is wearing
leggings fringed with scalp locks. He has an
arrow quiver attached to his arm. The fierce,
proud, war-like brave wore striking red face
paint and wore a roach headdress decorated with
a single eagle feather.
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Omaha
The Omaha tribe called themselves U-Mo’n-Ho’n
meaning "upstream people" and were later known
as the Maha by the French meaning "a wandering
nation". The French name 'Maha' was then changed
to Omaha. Their homelands were first located in
Ohio where they lived in well organised
longhouse villages and raised crops of maize,
beans and squash. The first encounters
with Europeans were with fur traders. With the
introduction of the horse in the 1750's they
became great horsemen and eventually migrated to
the Great Plains, in the modern state of
Nebraska, searching for buffalo. This complete
change of habitat led to the nomadic lifestyle
of the Plains Indians and the adoption of the
tepee as a temporary shelter. The encroachment
of the lands resulted in the Omaha being moved
to a reservation.
Where did the Omaha tribe live?
The Omaha 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 Omaha
They lived in the American Great Plains
region in the states of Iowa, Kansas,
Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota
and South Dakota. The Omaha settled in
Nebraska and Iowa
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
Crops: The crops grown in the area were corn, beans, sunflower seeds
and squash. They also enjoyed melons.
Fish: Various fish including sturgeon,
crayfish and mussels
What did the Omaha tribe live in?
The Omaha tribe originally lived in fortified
villages of 50-100 thatched bark
When the tribe migrated to the Great Plains they
Tepee as a convenient shelter for
summer hunting trips. They also built
lodges, similar to those built by the Pawnee.
What language did the Omaha tribe speak?
The Omaha tribe spoke the Dhegihan dialect of
the Siouan language, closely related
linguistically to the Ponca tribe.
What food did the Omaha tribe eat?
The food that the Plains Omaha tribe ate included fish
and meat from Buffalo, elk, deer
(venison), black bear and
wild turkey. This food was supplemented with roots
and wild vegetables such as spinach, prairie
turnips and potatoes and flavored with wild
herbs. Food in the form of dried buffalo meat
pemmican was stored for use when food was
What weapons did the Omaha use?
Omaha lived under the protection of the powerful
Pawnee, who claimed the whole Platte region.
Their primary enemies were the Sioux.
The weapons used by the Omaha warriors included
bows and arrows, lances, stone ball clubs,
hatchet axes, spears, and knives. Painted war
shields were used on horseback as a means of
What clothes did the Omaha men wear?
The clothes worn by the men of the Omaha tribe
included breechcloths, buckskin tunics and
leggings. Warm buffalo robes or cloaks
were also worn to protect against the rain and
the cold. The men wore soft moccasins to cover
their feet, a light beige, slip-on shoe,
consisting of a sole and sides made of one piece
of leather. Roach headdresses adorned their
What clothes did the Omaha women wear?
The women of
the Omaha tribe wore clothes made from buckskin
including knee-length dresses and leggings and
buffalo robes during bad weather. The clothes of
both men and women were adorned with ornaments,
especially necklaces and earrings.
The Omaha tribe and the Lewis and Clark
Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 the
Lewis and Clark expedition with the Corps of
Discovery made their famous journey. In August
of 1804, the expedition passed the Omaha village
of Tonwantonga but found it empty. Many of the
people had died during warfare and during the
smallpox of 1802. The only encounter by the
expedition with the Omaha was in September of
1804 when William Clark saw 48 Omaha prisoners
who had been captured in a battle with the