(redirected from Arikaras)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.


(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.
..... Click the link for more information.
). 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
..... Click the link for more information.
 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).
..... Click the link for more information.
; 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Settled in stationary villages established on bluffs overlooking the Missouri and surrounded by fortifications comprised of a combination of trenches and "a kind of stockade, principally made of driftwood," the numerous Arikaras, Mandans, and Hidatsas had little trouble warding off early Sioux incursions.
Although the Mandans and Hidatsas maintained a longstanding alliance, conflict marked those tribes' relations with the Arikaras, who lived downstream.
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. Although Lakota bands continued to utilize an ambiguous blend of trade and warfare in their relations with the villagers, the Yanktons and Yanktonais were relentless in their attacks.
(24) The Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras, however, still outnumbered them, possessed greater numbers of horses, and inhabited defensively imposing villages.
Consequently, as historian Richard White points out, "[Sioux] losses were slight when compared to those of the Arikaras, Mandans, and Hidatsas." (34)
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.
Among the Arikaras, for instance, conflicts arose from social and political disruptions produced by the coalescence of "ten different tribes and of as many chiefs without counting an infinity of others who have remained, after the disaster, captains without companies." (40) Consequently, Tabeau noted that the Arikaras shared no single dialect and that there existed a "division of spirit" which was "baneful to them." (41) The desire for power among the many chiefs produced discord and precluded consensus regarding group actions.
As Truteau observed, factionalism among the Arikaras sometimes "[gavel young men the occasion to make trouble and attack nations, which otherwise would wish for peace and union." (43) These outbursts resulted in more enemies for the Arikaras and, consequently, increased warfare.
One year later, in 1907, the Hidatsa population was 468; and the 1930 census recorded the Arikara as numbering 420.
Rogers continues by noting that his inferred uses "are based on common classifications found in most archaeological studies of Arikara sites" (p.