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Beliefs Tools By Susie Smith October 2005 The buffalo was very valuable to the Plains Indians. The buffalo meat was only used for food but also parts of.

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Presentation on theme: "Beliefs Tools By Susie Smith October 2005 The buffalo was very valuable to the Plains Indians. The buffalo meat was only used for food but also parts of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beliefs Tools By Susie Smith October 2005 The buffalo was very valuable to the Plains Indians. The buffalo meat was only used for food but also parts of the animal were made into tools. The Indians used hides to make ropes, shields, and clothing. The teepee was also made from the buffalo hide. Sinew or muscle was used to make bowstrings, moccasins, and bags. The bones were used to make hoes and runners for dog sleds. The horns were made into utensils such as a spoon, cup, or bowl. Even the hair could be made into rope. Great Spirit or Wakan Tanka The Plains Indians believed in the Great Spirit. The Indians believed the Great Spirit had power over all things including animals, trees, stones, and clouds. The earth was believed to be the mother of all spirits. The sun had great power also because it gave the earth light and warmth. The Plains Indians prayed individually and in groups. They believed visions in dreams came from the spirits. The medicine man or shaman was trained in healing the sick and interpreting signs and dreams. Art The artists of the Plains used buffalo hides for their artwork. The hides were made into clothing, houses, beds, shields, belts, moccasins, and folded envelopes used for storage called parfleches. These objects were painted or beaded in geometric patterns. Stripes, diamonds, crosses, arrows, hour-glass shapes, thunderbirds, stars and hunting scenes were often used. References Reader's Digest Association. American Fascinating Indinan Heritage. Pleasantville, NY., Willey, Gordon R. An Introduction to American Archaeology: Volume One, North and Middle America. Englewood Cliffs, NJ., Kopper, Philip. The Smithsonian Book of North American Indians. Washington, DC., Jennings, Jesse D. Ancient Native Americans. San Francisco, CA., 1978 References Arts & Crafts

2 FoodShelter & ClothingGeography The Plains Indians hunted buffalo and other game such as elk and antelope. To capture them they would surround the herd or try to stamped the herds off cliffs or into areas where they could be killed more easily. Life for the Plains Indians was much easier after horses. The Indians hunted with bows and arrows even after the European traders brought guns. The Indians hunted all year long. Because the buffalo was so plentiful the Indian hunters were not limited in the number of buffalo they killed. The buffalo was roasted over a fire, dried in the sun and made into jerky, and made into pemmican. Pemmican was made by pounding dried meat into powder and mixing it with melted fat and berries. The Plains Indians ate berries, cherries, wild greens, camas roots, and wild prairie turnip with the meat. Native Americans dwellings comprised a variety of different styles based upon their environment and lifestyle. Styles included tepees (or tipis), hogans, adobe houses, long houses, wigwams (or wikkiups), earth lodges, brush shelters and lean-tos.. The Great Plains slope gently eastward from the foothills of the Rocky Mts. to merge into the interior lowlands. Much of the Great Plains was once covered by a vast inland sea, and sediments deposited by the sea make up the nearly horizontal rock layer that underlie the area. The Great Plains region has generally level or rolling terrain. Rainfall decreases from east to west. Except for its easternmost margin and the elevations, the Great Plains has very little rainfall, averaging less than 20 inches annually. There are wide seasonal temperature ranges and high winds. In the westernmost sections the chinook, a warm winter wind, brings relief from bitterly cold and snowy winters. Most of the vegetation of the Great Plains consists of short grass prairies. In most tribes, Native American men wore breechclouts or breechcloths (a long rectangular piece of hide or cloth tucked over a belt, so that the flaps fell down in front and behind), sometimes with leather leggings attached in colder climates. In other tribes Indian men wore short kilts, fur trousers, or just went naked. Most Native American women wore skirts and leggings, though the length and material of the skirts varied. In some Indian cultures shirts were optional and were usually treated more like coats, while in others, women always wore tunics or mantles in public.


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