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plain indians way of life

The Plains Indians were nomadic, moving around to follow the herds of buffalo, which they hunted.

The Indians respected old people because they thought they had become wise with experience. We know that women were regarded as important in Indian society, although they had few rights, because the woman kept all the possessions if a man divorced her.

Children were expected to behave well from an early age, but they were treated with love and kindness.

The Plains Indians believed in the Great Spirit, Wakan Tanka.

Plains Indians believed that the earth was their 'mother' and belonged to all creatures that used it.

They performed a religious ceremony in veneration of the sun, called the Sun Dance. This was held in summer, featured a structure with a central pole signifying the sun.

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the buffalo

Buffalo hide could be made into clothes, covers or tipis (or tepees). In this way the buffalo provided coverings to keep them warm and was also used to make their homes.

Dried buffalo dung could be picked up and used as fuel for a fire. This meant they could have a fire to cook with and keep warm in winter even if they couldn't find wood.

The bladder and intestines of buffalo could be used as food bags, buckets and cooking vessels. These were more suitable than pots which might get broken as they travelled around, and also meant they did not need wood or metal for buckets and cooking vessels.

Buffalo sinews were used as bow strings. This was important since the Indians relied on hunting to provide their food.

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the tipi

It could be quickly put up or taken down, which was necessary since they had to move quickly to follow the buffalo.

It was warm in winter and cool in summer, with flaps that could be opened to let out smoke.

The tipi (or tepee) poles could be used to form a travois (a kind of sledge). This could be attached to the horse and dragged along carrying supplies or people.

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