Structure of Plains Indian Society

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  • Structure of Plains Indian Society
    • Each tribe was made up of different ‘bands’ with the size of each band ranging from 20 to hundreds of people.
    • Chiefs were always male and were chosen because of their wisdom and skill.
    • Warrior brotherhoods were groups of young men who were renowned for their fighting skills and bravery. They would defend their tribe in a war and sometimes raid neighbouring tribes for goods.
    • The tribe’s council consisted of the chiefs, band chiefs, and elders. Important issues would be discussed and no decisions would be made unless everyone agreed.
    • Bands made own decisions, warrior brotherhoods did not follow the chief’s or council’s will.
      • This caused confusion and tension between the US government and Plains Indians.
    • the US government would make treaties/ agreements with chiefs but, individual Plains Indians would break the terms of these treaties.


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