Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2006


Published in GREAT PLAINS RESEARCH 16:2 (Fall 2006). Copyright © 2006 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Nomadic Plains peoples such as the Cheyenne and Sioux have become the stereotypical image of North American Indians in general. In contrast to the hunting and gathering lifestyle of these groups, however, many Plains tribes lived in settled villages and grew extensive garden crops through much of the past millennium. These groups developed a habitation distinctly characteristic of the Plains village way of life-sturdy, earth-covered timber structures known as earth lodges. The remains of thousands of these structures dot the landscape of the Central and Northern Plains. Lodges of various forms persisted from about 1000 CE into the twentieth century. Particularly characteristic of the Pawnee, Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa, earthlodges were also adopted by several other Plains tribes. In this well-illustrated volume eight authors offer nine essays that explore the earth lodge as a subject warranting archaeological and anthropological research in its own right and from numerous perspectives.