The Pawnee Indians, also known as the Paneassa, Pari, or Pariki, are native to the Platte, Loup, and Republican Rivers of Nebraska. Their tribe consisted of four distinct bands: Chaui (Grand or leading tribe), Kitkehahki (Republican), Pitahauerat (Tappage), and Skidi (Wolf). Moreover, the men were divided into three groups: the medicine men/priests, the warriors and the hunters. The men and women of the Pawnee Indians had very distinctive roles in every day life. The mature women did most of the labor while the younger women would learn while watching the elders. The older women were also of course, in charge of looking after the younger children of the tribe while the other women worked. Likewise, the women of the Pawnee Indian tribe were in charge of cooking. The Pawnee Indians staple foods were corn (maize), beans, pumpkins, and squash.
The Pawnee Indians practiced a religion that tried to maintain a balance between the gods and nature, similar to most Indian tribes at the time. The Pawnee Indians believed that to have a good productive crop, they had to plant them according to the position of the stars. The Pawnees were known to sacrifice maize and other crops to the gods, but it has been speculated that they may have also sacrificed humans up until the mid-eighteenth century. That truth is still up for debate. What is not up for debate however is that the Pawnee Indians played a very important part in limiting the Spanish expansion onto the Great Plains. The Pawnee Indians sided with the French and won a very important battle against the Spanish in 1720.
Unfortunately, an epidemic of both smallpox and cholera wiped all but 600 of the Pawnee Indians by the 19th century. However, the population has re-grown, at least some. Reports have shown that as recently as 2005 show that there were about 2,500 Pawnee Indians in the United States. The Pawnee Indians today have tribal gatherings and celebrations every other year to keep true to their culture and their roots.