Lifestyle of the Native Americans

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  • Lifestyle of the Native Americans
    • Relied on the Buffalo
      • Meat
      • Skins for wool, clothing, shoes, harness, vessels and tents.
      • Sinews for thread, ropes and bowstrings.
      • Bones for implements.
      • Dung for fuels
    • Horses increased tribes' power and efficiency.
      • Horses brought over by Europeans in the 16th century
      • easier to hunt and transport stored food and other belongings.
    • Land was never privately owned
      • Land was free
      • buying and selling land was meaningless to wandering tribes
      • agriculture was a communal activity
    • There were differences between the tribes
    • Generosity was expected within the Tribe
      • Plain Indians were highly individualistic
      • Plain Indians cherised fine possessions
      • generosity was expected of those who could provide it
      • Generosity added to prestige and power
      • Chiefs who weren't generous lost their influence.
    • Most men were Warriors
      • Tribal warfare was part of the culture of many Native Americans
      • Low intensity warfare and raiding for animals and captives was a part of live
        • Usual way for men to gain prestige
      • "Counting coup" meant riding up to an enemy and merely touching him with a special stick, then getting away
        • this was a symbolic act of bravery which reduced the need to kill or be killed.
        • allowed warfare to be sustainable
      • Native americans thought of themselves as members of a particular tribe
        • Rival tribes could be strangers and enemies
      • Not all Native Americans were warlike
    • Women played a seperate role in the community
      • Woman didn't have to risk their lives hunting and fighting
      • Women had much more work to do than men, like:
        • Agriculture
        • Finding food for horses
        • Leading the packhorses when the tribe would be on the move
        • Tanning buffalo hides
        • Making tipis
        • Making most of the finished goods
          • Women owned the things they made
          • this gave them power
      • Pounding meat into pemmican


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