Hall of the Great Plains

The Hall of the Great Plains is closing as of January 27, 2024. For more information, please see this message from Museum President Sean Decatur.

The Hall of the Great Plains focuses on the life of 19th-century Hidatsa, Dakota (Sioux), Cheyenne, Arapaho, Crow, and other nations 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.