Arapaho

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Arapaho

(ərăp`əhō), Native North Americans of the Plains whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan 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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). Their own name was Inuna-ina (our people), but they were referred to as "dog eaters" (for the obvious reason) by other Native Americans. Tradition places their early home in N Minnesota in the Red River valley, but nothing is known of the date or circumstances of their separation from other Algonquian peoples. They are thought to be most closely related to the Cheyenne and to the Blackfoot. However, it is known that the Arapaho divided into two groups after they migrated to the plains. One group, the Northern Arapaho, continued to live on the North Platte River in Wyoming, while the Southern Arapaho moved south to the Arkansas River in Colorado. Traditionally the Southern Arapaho were allied with the Cheyenne against the Pawnee.

The Arapaho placed some emphasis on age gradesage grade and age set,
differentiation of social role based on age, commonly found in small-scale societies of North America and East Africa.
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, mainly for ceremonial purposes. Their annual sun dance was a major tribal event, and later the Arapaho adopted the Ghost DanceGhost Dance,
central ritual of the messianic religion instituted in the late 19th cent. by a Paiute named Wovoka. The religion prophesied the peaceful end of the westward expansion of whites and a return of the land to the Native Americans.
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 religion. There are three major divisions—the Atsina or Gros VentreGros Ventre
[Fr.,=big belly], name used by the French for two quite distinct Native North American groups. One was the Atsina, a detached band of the Arapaho, whose language belongs to the Algonquian branch of the Algonquian-Wakashan linguistic stock (see Native American
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, who were allied with the Blackfoot and now live with the Assiniboin on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana; the Southern Arapaho, now living with the Cheyenne in Oklahoma; and the Northern Arapaho, who retain all of the sacred tribal stone articles and are considered by tribal members to represent the parent group. Since 1876 they have lived with their former enemies, the Shoshone, on the Wind River Reservation, occupying some 2 million acres in Wyoming, near Yellowstone National Park. The Arapaho depend on tourism for much of their income. There were close to 7,000 Arapaho in the United States in 1990.

Bibliography

See G. A. Dorsey and A. L. Kroeber, Traditions of the Arapaho (1903, repr. 1974); V. C. Trenholm, Arapahoes, Our People (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Arapaho

 

an Indian tribe of the Algonquian group in North America. Originally the Arapahos were farmers and woodland hunters in the area of the Great Lakes plater they migrated to the plains; by the 18th and 19th centuries they were already well known as nomadic horse breeders and mounted buffalo hunters. During this period a military democratic structure with surviving elements of a matriarchal society took shape among the Arapahos. In religion they combined worship of the land with that of its harvest (the cult of the sun and the buffalo). Since the second half of the 19th century, the extermination of the buffalo and the seizure of Arapaho lands by colonizers put an end to their distinctive culture. Most of the Arapahos were herded into the Wind River Reservation (Wyoming, USA).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Arapaho

North American Plains Indians living along the Platte and Arkansas rivers. [Am. Hist.: EB, I: 477–478]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Troops were supplied from the Sovereign Nations of Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Seminole, Osage, Caddo, Wichita, Shawnee, Delaware and Arapaho, as well as Comanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne nations.
Within the world of formal education and literate modes of knowledge, he suggests that the contradiction between traditional and Euro-American ways of knowing and acting is most acute in the area of Arapaho language and culture education in schools: "recent efforts to reinvigorate Arapahoe language and culture have also appropriated the knowledge forms of Euro-American formal education, thus using the same tools that have been used and are now used to effect assimilation" (276).
The correlation between increasing formality of education and the loss of influence of traditional elders (and traditional culture) has been noted not only for the Arapaho but more generally.
In this article I will suggest that Northern Arapaho language classrooms, led by Native-speaking, "traditionally-oriented" elders, offer perhaps the best example within the culture of how traditional practices of oral performance can be mediated via written materials in such a way that traditional forms and content of knowledge can remain intact.
The Northern Arapaho moved permanently onto the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming in 1878.
Schools on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming use these same types of textbooks for their English, math, science, and history classes, but the situation is very different for Arapaho language classes.
As a result of this situation, the Arapaho bilingual curriculum materials are highly individualistic and at times even idiosyncratic in their contents.
One of the key traditional, highly-valued practices in Arapaho culture was storytelling.
During the early part of this century, storytelling continued to be a vital, home-based complement to formalized educational experiences, and native speakers today can typically recall many such narratives, though they often lack the ability to recite them using the full repertoire of Arapaho oral poetics.
As storytelling has gradually shifted into English (which lacks equivalents for most of the traditional Arapaho oral repertoire) and into the schools, it has also become more reliant on literate and formalized means of transmission, including not just writing but video and audio recording.
Storytelling was one of the central forms of traditional Arapaho performance.
The decline of storytelling does not strictly equate with a decline in performances in Arapaho culture.