The American west-the great plains

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The Great Plains
In 1840 this was a region of gently rolling grasslands and slow flowing rivers. In the North were the
Black Hills, wooded hills surrounded by the `Badlands' where soft rock was eroded into fantastic
The grass was short. < In the west.
In the east-it was taller
In some of the river valleys and near the Mississippi river there was woodland.
Berries, rootplants, wild fruit grew in places.
In the south land was drier
Grass was replaced by semi-desert plants.
Who were the Plain Indians?
Why did they move onto the Great Plains?
Horses- were used to travel around the Plains to hunt buffalo. < Easier to hunt buffalo.
Diseases ­European came to America with diseases, Indians went to the plains to avoid them.
Guns ­ they were good for hunting and killing.
These were important:
Horses ­travel and move faster to get away from diseases.
Money- lots of money in horses because in their way of life that's how they counted wealth.
Advantages Disadvantages
The tipi is always clean and warm in the Fire in the middle< wooden poles
winter and cool in the summer. flammable.
It was easy to make and pack up to be Becomes filthy by cooking
moved quickly.
The cone shapes< resist strong winds Very crowded
Fire in the middle for cooking and No sun
Made from buffalos skin which was very

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Ears and flaps scalps hanging trophies on lodge poles
Poles to support the tipi wooden pegs holding skins
Paintings buffalo skins
Doorway facing east towards the rising sun
Hunting the Buffalo
Hunted in 2 ways before they moved to the plains.
One way
Creep up and then shoot with arrows
Disguise themselves < buffalos would allow wolfs to come
Stampede buffalo into `buffalo jumps' so they were trapped in valleys
Or driven over a cliff and killed.…read more

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Skulls -used in religious ceremonies
Tongue- as a hairbrush and eaten as a delicacy
Hooves -used to make glue and to make rattles and tools
Bones ­ used for arrowheads, knives, needles
How Indian life was organised?
Sioux nation lead by any individual , Sitting Duk at the time ahs influence
Consists of many tribes e.g.…read more

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Boys were taught to hunt and use arrows, girls would maintain the home
They had to learn how to survive on The Plains
Children weren't punished, except in extreme cases < a bowl of water
Old people
They played an important part of the band
They gave advice to the council and pass on history
Involved in helping to bring up the children
When they became old and weak they would have to be left behind
The survival of the band was more important than…read more

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This would be interpreted by the medicine man and their adult name would be given based
on the vision.
Women could easily make contact with the spirit world> puberty
These visions would help the Sioux throughout their lives
e.g. Before the battle of the little bighorn sitting bull dreamed he saw US army soldiers
How did Indians Fight?
There was no formal declaration, if war and fighting did not continue until one side won or a
peace treaty was signed.…read more

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Good / bad. Good as it brought trade to the Indians
New ways to cross the mountains
Harmful- rendezvous when mountain men gave Indians firearms and alcohol
It made the Indians less sufficient and to rely on outsiders
This was the beginning of the destruction of the Indians way of life.…read more


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