Ton won tonga Site

category : Indian Heritage

Located near the town of Homer, Big Village or "Ton won tonga," the principal village of the Omaha tribe, was
occupied intermittently for nearly seventy-five years. The community was first constructed about 1775,
abandoned, and then reoccupied sometime prior to 1795. During the 1790s the Omaha at Big Village, under the
leadership of Chief Blackbird, resisted Spanish attempts to gain control of the Missouri River fur trade. Along
with the Ponca, the Omaha succeeded in discouraging the Spanish efforts by blocking their northward advance
and establishing themselves as "middlemen traders." Big Village was struck by the devastating 1800-1801
smallpox epidemic, forcing the Omaha to abandon the site. When Lewis and Clark ascended the Missouri in
1804, they found nearly 300 empty lodges at the site. Big Village probably was occupied again during the years
1810-22, 1832-41, and 1843-45. The site is listed as a National Historic Site.

Hours: Hwy 77, 2 miles North of Homer

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