The New International Encyclopædia/Omaha (tribe)

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OMAHA, ō′mȧ-ha̤. An important Siouan tribe, formerly claiming an extensive territory on the west side of the Missouri, between the Platte and Niobrara, within the present limits of Nebraska, and now gathered, together with the Winnebago, upon a reservation in the northeastern part of that State. The name signifies ‘upper-stream’ people, in distinction from the Quapaw, or ‘down-stream’ people. They speak a dialect of the same language used also by the Ponca, Quapaw, Kaw, and Osage, from whom, according to their tradition, they separated at no very distant period. They made a treaty of peace and alliance with the Pawnee in 1800, but were constantly at war with the Sioux, from whom they repeatedly suffered until the United States Government interfered and put a stop to hostilities. In spite of war and smallpox, they have held their own in population, and number now about 1200, being slightly on the increase, while the Winnebago, on the contrary, are decreasing. Their agent reports them as prosperous and steadily improving in industry and civilized habit. The majority still occupy the circular long house, covered with earth, formerly common to the semi-sedentary tribes of the Upper Missouri region.