Plains Indians

The Plains Indians included many tribes including the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Crow, the Blackfoot, the Comanche, and the Pawnee among many more. These Native American tribes lived in the Great Plains regions of North America. Before the arrival of European settlers many of the Plains Indians lived along the rivers where land was fertile and they could grow lush crops. In the tribal villages the Plains Indians lived in earth lodges that were made of logs covered with dirt and brush. When the Natives went hunting they would live in teepees.

The tribal women normally built the teepees by using long poles they would stick in the ground, they would then cover them with Buffalo hides, and the tops remained open so the smoke could escape from the fires they burned inside the teepees. The openings of these Indian teepees always faced east and they painted the outsides with tribal symbols and sacred animals. The Native tribes also sometimes built wigwams and these wigwams helped protect the teepees from rotting and they were usually used to store food in.

The Plains Indians hunted buffalo, elk and antelope for food, they used to surround the herds and try to corner them or force them off cliffs to make the hunting easier. When settlers arrived and The Plains Indians began using horses the hunting became much easier for them, as well as many other parts of their lives. The Native plains tribes hunted with bows and arrows, even after they were introduced to guns by the settlers. Buffalo ran rampant throughout the Great Plains and this supplied them with an abundance of food and they even made things such as jerky from the Buffalo meat. The Plains Indian tribes also ate many different berries and greens along with their meat. An important ceremony among the Plains tribes was a ritual called the Sundance Ritual, which they felt brought them closer to the Great Spirit. During the Sundance ritual stakes were put in the ground and tied together and the Native American men then tied ropes to these sticks which they then stuck through their flesh on their chests or on their backs. The Indian men would dance, stare at the sun, and whistled through pipes while pulling back on these ropes until the sticks would tear through their flesh. It sounds quite gruesome but this was a very important ritual to attain Spiritual enlightenment, and many Indian tribes believed pain was the way to get closest to the Great Spirit.

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