The American West
The Plains Indians


Here Are Some Of The Main Points About The Plains Indians
And The Way That They Lived

The Plains Indians Were Nomadic
They Moved Around To Follow The Herds Of Buffalo Which They Hunted

In Warfare, Warriors Of The Plains Indians Often Took Scalps To Achieve Honor
They Might Also Just Tap An Enemy In Battle With A Stick Rather Than Kill Him
This Was Called "Counting Coup"

The Indians Respected Old People
They Thought That They Had Become Wise With Experience

We Know That Women Were Regarded As Important In Indian Society
Women Had Few Rights
The Woman Kept All The Possessions If A Man Divorced Her

Children Were Expected To Behave Well From An Early Age
They Were Treated With Love And Kindness

The Plains Indians Believed In The Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka

Plains Indians Believed That The Earth Was Their "Mother"
Mother Earth Belonged To All Creatures That Used It
They Performed A Religious Ceremony In Veneration Of The Sun
This Was Called The Sun Dance And Was Held In Summer
It Featured A Structure With A Central Pole Signifying The Sun


The Buffalo Was Important To The Indians Because

Buffalo Hide Could Be Made Into Clothes, Covers Or Tipis Or Tepees
In This Way The Buffalo Provided Coverings To Keep Them Warm
Buffalo Hide Was Also Used To Make Their Homes

Dried Buffalo Dung Could Be Picked Up And Used As Fuel For A Fire
This Meant They Could Have A Fire To Cook With
They Could Also Keep Warm In Winter Even If They Couldn't Find Wood

The Bladder And Intestines Of The Buffalo Could Be Used As
Food Bags
Buckets
And Cooking Vessels

These Were More Suitable Than Pots
Which Might Get Broken As They Travelled Around
It Also Meant They Did Not Need Wood Or Metal For Buckets And Cooking Vessels
Buffalo Sinews Were Used As Bowstrings
This Was Important Since The Indians Relied On Hunting To Provide Their Food

The Tipi Or Tepee
Was Important Because

It Could Be Quickly Put Up Or Taken Down
This Was Necessary Since They Had To Move Quickly To Follow The Buffalo
It Was Warm In Winter And Cool In Summer
Tipis Have Flaps That Could Be Opened To Let Out Smoke
The Tipi Or Tepee Poles Could Be Used To Form A Travois, A Kind Of Sledge
This Could Be Attached To The Horse And Dragged Along Carrying Supplies Or People



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