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The farming techniques practiced by the Ioway Indians in 1700 pre-dated written history and varied somewhat from European methods. Ioway farmers raised corn, beans, and squash. Women did the farming in the Ioway culture while men were responsible for hunting and making tools. Ioway families were subsistence farmers, raising just enough for their family to survive throughout the year and having a little put away in case of a bad year.

Ioway Indians had separate summer, winter, and traveling lodges. Bark houses called náhachi kept the Ioway cool during hot summer months, while winter mat-houses called chákirutha, made from layers of sewn cattail leaves, protected the Ioway from harsh winters and stayed around 50 degrees inside. While traveling on hunting expeditions, the Ioway lived in a chibóthraje, or tipi made from buffalo hides. Their villages also contained sweat lodges, food-drying racks, cooking areas, work areas, hide-scraping racks, pottery pits, and gardens.

Interpreters discuss hunting, hide processing, fur trading, tool making, gardening, food processing, clothing and toy manufacturing, and the roles Ioway men and women played in each. Interpreters use both recreated bone and stone tools and reproduced trade items to perform daily tasks.


Farm Fun Facts

Crops raised by Ioway farmers included corn, beans, and squash.

The Ioway protected themselves in winter conditions with winter mat-houses made of cattail leaves.

In the Ioway tribe, women did the farming and men did the hunting and tool-making.


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