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Otoe Indian

An actor portraying an Otoe Indian of the early 1800s

Over their two-year journey west, the Lewis and Clark expedition often relied on local inhabitants for food, shelter, horses, and guidance.

In August 1804, for instance, near present-day Omaha, Nebraska, the expedition encountered a small party of Otoe and Missouri Indians. In exchange for tobacco, pork, and flour, the Native Americans brought them “Water millions” (watermelons).

Photograph by Mark Thiessen

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