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(ərĭk`ərə), Native North Americans whose language belongs to the Caddoan branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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). Archaeological evidence shows that they occupied the banks of the upper Missouri River since at least the 14th cent. A semisedentary group, they lived in earth-covered lodges. In winter they hunted buffalo, returning to their villages for spring planting; the Arikara were influential in bringing agricultural knowledge from the Southwest to the prehistoric peoples of the upper Missouri River. They traded corn with hunting tribes in return for buffalo hides and meat, and they were active in bartering with early white traders, who frequently called them the Rees. They were closely associated with the MandanMandan
, indigenous people of North America whose language belongs to the Siouan branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages). The Mandan were a sedentary tribe of the Plains area and were culturally connected with their neighbors on the Missouri
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 and the HidatsaHidatsa
, Native North Americans, also known as the Minitari and the Gros Ventre. Their language belongs to the Siouan branch of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock (see Native American languages).
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; these three tribes now share the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. There were some 1,600 Arikara in the United States in 1990.


See D. J. Lehmer, Arikara Archaeology (1968); E. T. Denig, Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri (1975).

References in periodicals archive ?
Before the 1780-82 smallpox epidemic, the Mandans and Hidatsas each numbered approximately 9,000 people inhabiting about thirteen villages in total, while the Arikaras had an estimated population of 24,000 distributed throughout at least eighteen villages.
Through this system, the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras obtained Euroamerican firearms from Crees and Assiniboines from the northeast, while Crows and others from the south and west supplied another coveted commodity, horses.
peoples who eventually became known as the Arikaras were enemies of those who entered the historical record as the Mandans and Hidatsas.
Because the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras wielded considerable military strength, early Sioux-villager relations consisted of a complex mixture of trade and warfare.
This development encouraged Sioux groups to pursue their expansionist aims more aggressively, and they became increasingly hostile toward the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras.
24) The Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras, however, still outnumbered them, possessed greater numbers of horses, and inhabited defensively imposing villages.
30) At about the same time, Tabeau reported that the Arikaras, who once fielded more than four thousand warriors, now had approximately five hundred.
Consequently, as historian Richard White points out, "[Sioux] losses were slight when compared to those of the Arikaras, Mandans, and Hidatsas.
Such tremendous losses severely crippled the military strength of the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras as the Sioux resumed their westward push after 1782.
First, the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras each consolidated their own villages, meshing the remnants of many weakened settlements into a few stronger ones.
One year later, in 1907, the Hidatsa population was 468; and the 1930 census recorded the Arikara as numbering 420.
The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, maintains a website containing historical information: http://www.