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Hall of Plains Indians

Hall of Plains Indians

The Hall of Plains Indians focuses on the life of 19th-century Hidatsa, Dakota (Sioux), Cheyenne, Arapaho, Crow, and other Native American peoples of the North American Plains.

For many of these societies, bison was the primary source of food as well as materials for clothing and other items. Hunting was a central part of life, and bravery and skill in hunting were highly valued. Nomadic tribes such as the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Crow relied on horses and followed the migrations of the great herds of bison until settlers drove these animals to near-extinction in the 1880s. Other groups, such as the Hidatsa, hunted bison but also practiced agriculture and established permanent villages. 

This hall highlights military and ceremonial societies, which played an important role, as well as games, weapons, and agricultural tools. Distinctive clothing of the Cree, Cheyenne, Assiniboine, Crow, and others is also featured, in addition to different housing styles that include a Blackfoot teepee, a Wichita great house, and a Hidatsa earth lodge.

Hall Highlights


Folsom Spear Point

The Folsom Point was crafted from flint some 10,000 years ago. Discovered in the 1920s on a joint expedition by this Museum and the Denver Museum of Natural History, this spear point is among the most important archaeological finds ever made on this continent.

Hall of Plains Indians

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

Open daily from 10 am-5:45 pm
except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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