- 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.
within this Site
][ Dakota ][ Kiowa
][ Lodge ][ Omaha
Dance ][ Tepee ][ Wigwam
][ Wickiup ]