Geographical region : Plains and Prairie ( Black Hills,South Dakota)

Lived in Plains-Tepee

Language : Algonkin - Wakashan


The Cheyenne belonged to the tribes in the great plains.

Traditionally they had an alliance with the Arapaho and were enemies of the Lakota-Sioux,Ojibwa, Kiowa, Comanche, and Apache .

La Salle discovered this tribe in the year 1680 in the area where today is Minnesota.

Later the Cheyenne went to a river in North Dakota which is named after them 'Cheyenne River'.

The Lakota named this place 'The place where the Cheyenne plant', which shows us that the Cheyenne formerly have been farmers.

Later 'They lost the corn' how the legend tells.

From that day on they did hunt the buffalo like all other tribes in the plains did.

When Lewis and Clark visited the tribe in the year 1804, the Cheyenne lived in the Black Hills of South Dakota, because the Lakota-Sioux had driven then away from the plains.

Parts of the tribe went to the area South of the Arkansas-River, where they became known as the South-Cheyenne and there they allied with the Arapaho.

In the treaty of 1867 the US Government allocated one reservation for both tribes.

Until this time the relationship between the Cheyenne and the white was good, despite the massacre of Sand Creek in the year 1864.

In this year the US Cavalery under J.M. Chivington attacked without having been provoked the Cheyenne-camp under chief Black Kettle.

In the year 1868 the Cheyenne joined the war of the plains-indians.

On november 27 Black Kettle's camp at Washita River again was attacked without warning from the U.S. Cavalery under George A. Custer.

Black Kettle was killed, but the battle of Washita promoted Custer's military career.

The fightings between the white and the Cheyenne only ended in the year 1875.

In North Dakota the Cheyenne long since made peace with their traditional enemies, the Lakota-Sioux.

They were made responsible for several attacks on white settlers in the 1860's and 1870's.

In the summer on 1876 the U.S. Army took energetically efforts to catch the indians, to defeat them and bring them back to their reservation.

End of june about a thousand of them had build their camp on the shores of Little Bighorn-River, southeast of Montana.

Most of them belonged to the Lakota Sioux, but as well a big number of North-Cheyenne under chief Dull Knife.

The 7th U.S. Cavalery did operate in the same area and in the morning of june 25, a detachment under Lieutnant-colonel Custer attacked the camp.

Even his troop was totally underlayed by number , Custer hoped to have the same surprise-succes like before in Washita.

But this was a momentous miscalculation : in this heavieast defeat of the U.S. Cavalery during the indian-wars, the biggest part of the army-forces were destroyed.

The tribe-groups, which were together at Little Big Horn accidentally, went their own ways again after the battle.

This made it possible for the U.S. Army to subdue the indians into small group and to drive them back to the indian-terretory in the year 1877.

The Cheyenne from the North did not endure the living-conditions there and many tribe-members became sick.

In september 1878 chief Little Wolf and Dull Knife decided to stealthy go north again with 353 of their loyals.

Some of them were caught, but most of them got back to Montana, where they received the allowence od the U.S. Government to stay in the reservation at Tongue River.

In the year 1883 all Northern Cheyenne finally lived there.

In the year 1885 the reservation on the Northern Cheyenne in Montana did count 3.177 inhabitants.

In the year 1970 there lived 2.100 Cheyenne.

The reservation of the Cheyenne-Arapaho in Oklahoma did count 6.674 inhabitants in the year 1970 and 5.220 in the year 1985.


Northern Cheyenne

The popular designation for that part of the Cheyenne which continued to range along the upper Platte after the rest of the tribe (Southern Cheyenne) had permanently moved down to Arkansas river, about 1835.

They are now settled on a reservation in Montana.

From the fact that the Omisis division is most numerous among them, the term is frequently used by the Southern Cheyenne as synonymous.


Cheyenne Sioux

Possibly a loose expression for Cheyenne River Sioux i.e., the Sioux on Cheyenne Rivers reservation, South Dakota; but more probably, considering the date intended to designate those Sioux chiefly of the Oglala division who were accustomed to associate and intermarry with the Cheyenne.

The term occurs in Ind. Aff. Rept., 41, 1856 Southern Cheyenne.

That part of the Cheyenne which ranged in the south portion of the tribal territory after 1835, now permanently settled in Oklahoma.

They are commonly known as Sówonia ('southerners (from Sowón, 'south"), by the Northern Cheyenne, and sometimes as Hevhaitanio, from there most numerous divisions.