About this Collection
Hundreds of Native Americans from many tribes were present at the Fair, either as part of the Indian Congress attraction on the Pike or the United States Government’s Anthropology exhibit.
Chiefs from many of these tribes lived for various times at the Fair. But none drew as much attention as Apache chief, Geronimo, did. By now the chief was in his 70s, but everyone still wanted a glimpse of the old warrior.
Sioux or Dakota Indians came from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Cocopa Indians came from Baja California. Wichita Indians came from Oklahoma. Other tribes included the Pawnees, Arapaho, Navajo, Hopi, Cheyenne and Chippewa.
While at the Fair the Native Americans demonstrated how they built their native homes. Geronimo lived in a tepee, but that was not the only native home on display. Kickapoo houses (wiikiappi) were built of elm bark and rush mats placed over a vertical framework of saplings. Examples the Kickapoo transportable domed winter houses could be seen as well.
A model Indian School demonstrated the educational methods of the United States Indian Office. One hundred-fifty students came to the Fair from the Chilocco (Oklahoma), Haskell (Kansas), Genoa (Nebraska), Fort Shaw (Montana) and Sacaton (Arizona) Indian schools.
Several programs featuring the American Indian tribes took place during the run of Fair. A popular one was the Carlisle-Haskell competition held on November 26, 1904. It was the first time that two American Indian football teams competed against each other on the gridiron. Final score: Carlisle 38, Haskell 4.