The Oto Indians were part of the Southern Sioux tribes who lived along the Missouri River near the present-day border of Missouri and Nebraska. They were buffalo-hunters and farmers who lived in oven-shaped, earth-covered houses grouped into towns. The Oto Indians were part of the southern Sioux. They spoke a Siouan language of the Hokan-Siouan stock.


"They hunted bison and grew corn, squash, and beans in the river valleys. The Otoe-Missouria tended individual fields, planting crops of wheat corn, oats, and potatoes.


The Oto lived in oven-shaped earth houses called “earth lodges,” when cultivating along the river but used tepees while on excursions into the plains to hunt bison.


Their clothing was made out of buffalo skin. Their fringes were made out of buffalo hair that was tightly twisted together.
having no covering except a sort of breechcloth, with a loose blanket or painted buffalo robe thrown over their shoulders.


The Oto believed that every part of creation had a spirit.
All members of the tribe had a special place.
The Oto Indians had lots of music in their ceremonies. They were very good at beading, too.
The Oto believed that the earth was sacred and every part of creation had a spirit.
Society was organized in nine clans based on male ancestry, cut across by voluntary associations, such as the Medicine, Buffalo, and Curing Lodges. Mystical vision quests were important male rites.
The Oto worked most of the day.

Interesting Facts

The word Nebraska comes from the Oto word, "Nebratha," which means, "flat water," and was the Oto word for the Platte River.
The most played game was the Sacred Ball Game. The idea of the game was to heal the people who were sick and hurt. The players would rub the sacred ball on their chest and arms. Only men played. How they played was that they would throw the sacred ball and catch the ball with a ladle shaped stick.
One of their musical instruments was a stick notched like a saw, over the teeth of which a smaller stick was rubbed forcibly backward and forward.The Missouri, Omaha, Oto and Ponca Indians were peaceful tribes, living by farming and hunting along rivers. The Pawnee tribe farmed beans, corn and squash, and hunted buffalo on the plains.Both men and women cultivated the gardens, but the greatest share of the horticultural work fell to the women. Men were hunters, but women cut and dried the bison meat, distributed it, and prepared the hides.
"Men owned their personal possessions, such as clothes and hunting gear. Women owned the tipis and all the things associated with them, as well as the produce from the garden."