American West

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1. Name 3 parts of the buffalo used for warfare.

  • Tanned hide worn as disguises during ambushes, swords made from bones, hooves used as ammunition for catapults
  • Hair used as fletchings on arrows, bones used as bows, raw hide used as shields
  • Horns acted as arrow straighteners, bones were crafted into knives, raw hide was used as shields
  • Shields were made from flattened skulls, bones sharpened to from arrows, horns were used as knives
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2. Name 3 parts of the buffalo used for items in the home.

  • Dung was used as fuel, bones were made into pencils, horns made cups
  • Cutlery made from horns, bedsheets made from tanned hide, fireplaces made from bones
  • Spoons made from the horns, soap made from fat, hooves crafted into tools.
  • Tanned hide for tipi covers, hooves for toys, tendons made into rugs

3. What were 2 key features of tipis and how did they help overcome the problems?

  • Poles used as travois, could be packed in 10 minutes. Made of 10-20 buffalo hides, required little wood.
  • Holes in the sides acted as ventilation for the high temperatures. Conical, bottom-heavy shape to prevent blowing over.
  • Had a waterproof layer to protect against heavy rain. Bottom of tipi rolls up to let in air, and flaps act as shade from the sun.
  • Built flat to the ground to prevent damage from high winds. Flaps at the top could be opened up to allow smoke from fires to escape.

4. What were the three main uses of horses for Plains Indians?

  • Hunting buffalo (creates stampede), carries belongings when moving (travois form a sort of cart), used in warfare (quick escapes, traded horses for guns etc.)
  • Used in warfare (quick escapes etc.), hides used for tipis, attached to travois to carry belongings.
  • Used for horse racing (betting in the tribe), used to hunt white men, carries belongings when moving
  • Hunting buffalo, slaughtered for it's meat, traded for food with white men

5. What were 3 of the 5 main challenges faced by Plains Indians?

  • Extinct food source, high speed winds and no weapons.
  • High speed winds, extremes in temperature and the need to move frequently.
  • High temperatures, lack of shelter and rough terrain
  • Lack of wind, no food and the low temperatures


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