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Camp - A temporary community or village usually located on or near the hunting grounds.  To the unpracticed eye an Indian camp would look as if each family had pitched its lodge or erected its dwelling where it fancied, but in reality such camps were carefully laid out.

Plains tribes on an annual hunt camped in a circle which was a quarter of a mile or so in diameter.  Sometimes there were circles within circles.  Each circle represented a family or political group.  The Dakota, who called themselves the "Seven Council Fires," formed their camps in two groups, one composed of four circles and the other of three.

The Omaha camped in wide circles, with each of the ten families in its accustomed place.  In time of danger the ponies were driven within the circle.  When the Kiowa, Cheyenne and others held their annual sun dance or other ceremonies, they camped in a larger circle than usual, with each political division in a fixed and regular order.

No matter what position a lodge might have in a circle it always opened to the east.  When on the warpath the Indian had no order about his camp.  Then he sometimes erected a crude shelter known as a wickiup.

Related Information within this Site
[ Cheyenne ][ Dakota ][ Kiowa ][ Lodge ][ Omaha ]
[ Sun Dance ][ Tepee ][ Wigwam ][ Wickiup ]