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Origins of Kansas


Benedictine College in Kansas
Benedictine College in Kansas

Beginning about 10,000 years ago, five different prehistoric cultures appeared in the area of present-day Kansas. They were the predecessors of later Plains peoples: the Wichita, Pawnee, Kansa (or Kaw), Osage, and Kiowa-Apache. When Europeans first arrived in the area of present-day Kansas in the 16th century, the peoples of the region were basically of two types, semisedentary and nomadic.

The semisedentary peoples


The semisedentary peoples, including the Kansa, Osage, Pawnee, and Wichita, generally lived along the rivers of eastern Kansas, just east of the Great Plains region. They lived in semipermanent settlements of earth or grass lodges and cultivated some crops, although hunting bison, or buffalo, was their primary means of livelihood. The nomadic peoples most closely associated with Kansas, the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Kiowa-Apache, and Comanche peoples, arrived in the area of Kansas in the early 17th century and ranged widely over the High Plains of western Kansas as well as over other parts of the Great Plains. The Plains peoples relied almost wholly on buffalo hunting for their livelihood, and entire peoples were almost continually on the move pursuing buffalo herds. They traveled almost exclusively on horseback and were among the best riders in North America. "Kansas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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