The Plain Indians and their Livelihood

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This booklet shares information about the Plain Indians. It helps students to learn about their livelihood, daily life, travel, and settlers.
2.  The Plains Indians lived in the middle
region of the United States.
 This is roughly west of the Mississippi
River and east of the Rocky Mountains
 This land is made up of miles of
treeless grasslands….which is perfect
grazing fields for buffalo!
3. In between the
River and the
4.  Some well known tribes in the Plains
region are the:
 Crow
 Sioux
 Cheyenne
 Apache
6.  The best hunters had the highest rank
 Men hunted deer, rabbit and elk.
 Dogs would pull the catch back to
8. Women spent the day fetching water,
sweeping, hoeing the fields, cooking and
The land far from rivers was tough to
garden, but near rivers they would grow
corn, squash and sunflowers.
They picked berries and nuts.
The Plains women excelled at “quillwork.”
These quills were sewn in clothing and used
for artwork on tipis.
10.  Babies were taught at a very young age not
to cry because it might scare away food.
 At four years old the girls would help their
mother with her chores and boys would listen
to war stories and practice their hunting skills.
 Learning skills was an important part of
 Boys and girls never played together, they
knew they had separate roles in life.
 Children often played a game stick ball game
similar to hockey.
11.  The tipi (teepee) was a portable house
 made up of poles arranged in a cone shape
 many buffalo skins sewn together
 Easy to put up, take down, and move
 The opening always faced East (toward
the morning sun.)
 It took about one hour for a women to
assemble the family’s tipi.
13.  The Plains Indians lives changed when
horses were brought to America.
 They traded for (and sometimes stole)
them from Spanish settlers.
 The horses helped with hunting, tribal
trading and wars.
 Warriors would paint their horses to
show the history of battles.
14.  Summer: deerskin
 Winter: buffalo
 Most Plains Indians wore a belt to hang
tools, knives or cups from, since they had
no pockets.
 Shoes: moccasins. Some were made from
deerskin, quills, and beads.
 Hairpipes, long thin beads made from
bones, were often woven into the hair and
kept for life.
 If a man dbeen a great warrior he would
wear a war bonnet made of eagle feathers.
The greater the warrior, the more feathers.
17.  Before each hunt they performed a
buffalo dance.
 On foot it took a very large group to
catch a buffalo, they are very
 The buffalo heart was left out on the
plains as an offering.
 Men and women would often record
their lives on buffalo hides using
20.  When settlers came, it changed where
the Plains Native Americans lived, the
tools they used, and what they ate.
 The Plains Indians were the tribes to
hold onto their culture the longest out
of all of the Native American groups.
 Four of the largest Indian Reservations
in the US are located in the Great Plains
today. (South Dakota and Oklahoma)
21. Sitting
22. Current Reservation