Chippewa Indian

Early Indian Settlements

The Indian that is painted on the mural is a Chippewa. The Chippewa Indians, or Ojibwa Nation as they were also called, lived in this part of Anoka County in the latter 1800s. Prior to the 1800s, there were also some Indians from the Sioux Tribe in the area. We do not know of any permanent Indian settlements in the Coon Rapids City area, however, there was a well-known village of Chippewa Indians at Round Lake located north of Coon Rapids. The Round Lake Massacre in 1852 was the last battle between the Chippewa and Sioux in this area. After the massacre, the Sioux migrated west and the Chippewa stayed in the area for some time, but not in any small Indian villages. I the late 1800s, most of the Chippewa moved north into the Mille Lacs area.

Indian Dress

The Indian on the mural is wearing a roach, which is a headdress made of leather, feathers, and hair. The red hair next to his head is made of deer hair. Just above that are the long hairs which are moose hair, and the feather is an eagle feather tipped with either ermine or rabbit. The hairs were gathered together in small clusters and sewn to the leather strap that lie wore close to his head. Bones were attached to a leather tie which tied under the chin, and his hair was pulled through a slit in the top of the roach, then turned into a knot which was secured with deer bone so as to make it upright. The roach on the top of his head ran from the forehead and all the way back to the neckline in many instances. The necklaces worn by men were made of bear claws and deer bone, and were very common among the Chippewa in those days.