Postcontact Tribes (100 - 400 years ago)
The Caddoan Tradition encompasses the sites of the historically documented occupations of Pawnee and possibly the Arikara peoples in Nebraska. The primary area of settlement for these tribes was in the lower portions of the Loup River drainage, but earthlodge villages also are found in the Republican, Blue, and the eastern Platte valleys. The Siouan-speaking tribes include the Omaha, Ponca, Oto-Missouria, Ioway, and Kansa. Their villages are located along the Missouri River and its lower tributaries of eastern Nebraska. The Caddoan and Siouans groups built and lived in permanent, large earthlodge village complexes where they tended large gardens of corn and other produce and hunted and fished. These communities sometimes consisted of hundreds of lodges housing thousands of people. Many of these tribes conducted semiannual bison hunting expeditions to central and western Nebraska and were closely involved with the Euroamerican fur trade.
Western Nebraska was home to tribes such as the Apache, Lakota, Crow, Kiowa, Cheyenne, and Arapahoe. These groups were much more nomadic than the tribes in the east and subsisted primarily on buffalo. They lived in tipi villages which were frequently moved.