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The Great Plains... The Buffalo Nations. The Region Bounded by the Rocky Mountains in the west, and the Mississippi River in the East. The tribes of this.

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Presentation on theme: "The Great Plains... The Buffalo Nations. The Region Bounded by the Rocky Mountains in the west, and the Mississippi River in the East. The tribes of this."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Great Plains... The Buffalo Nations

2 The Region Bounded by the Rocky Mountains in the west, and the Mississippi River in the East. The tribes of this culture area relied traditionally on the buffalo as the primary staple. Vast grasslands extended hundreds of miles in all directions.

3 The Environment A vast expanse of rolling hills and plains, once covered with buffalo grass as tall as six feet. Once populated with more than 70 million buffalo.

4 The Lifestyle Buffalo provided all of the raw materials for life on the Plains. Since the tribes in this region moved seasonally, everything they needed to live had to be portable. Season re-locations were not random, communities followed established routes and returned to the same encampments for generations. Plains tribes were not so much nomadic as they were migrational – like the buffalo.

5 The People

6 The American Bison Highly developed sense of smell and hearing. Unpredictable behavior. Bulls can run up to 30 m.p.h. Lifespan is years in the wild. Herd size varies from a family unit to thousands for migration.

7 The Bison in history Two hundred years ago, million bison roamed free in North America. Two hundred years ago, million bison roamed free in North America. The bison is the largest land animal in North America. A bull can stand 6 feet high and weigh more than a ton. Female bison are smaller than males. The bison is the largest land animal in North America. A bull can stand 6 feet high and weigh more than a ton. Female bison are smaller than males. The herds on the Great Plains moved long distances along migration routes. Some of these routes are still visible from the air in the form of deep paths worn over the years in the prairie soil by millions of passing hooves. The herds on the Great Plains moved long distances along migration routes. Some of these routes are still visible from the air in the form of deep paths worn over the years in the prairie soil by millions of passing hooves. The tribes of the Great Plains relied on the buffalo for food, clothing, and shelter. The tribes of the Great Plains relied on the buffalo for food, clothing, and shelter. During the late 1800s, commercial hide hunters, settlers, and thrill seekers shot millions of bison. This killing spree brought the species to the verge of extinction and opened the prairies to agriculture. During the late 1800s, commercial hide hunters, settlers, and thrill seekers shot millions of bison. This killing spree brought the species to the verge of extinction and opened the prairies to agriculture.

8 Buffalo Hunting The bison sustained a way of life for Plains tribes. Extermination of the bison limited their independence and impacted their culture. In 1800, there were an estimated million bison. By 1883, there were no wild bison in the United States. By 1900, there were less than 600 in North America. The majority of buffalo were killed in a fifty-five year period, beginning in Many people denounced the slaughter; few did anything to stop it.

9 The near-extermination of the buffalo The buffalo hunter that invaded the American Plains in the middle 1800's had the buffalo herds near extinction in less than half a century The buffalo hunter that invaded the American Plains in the middle 1800's had the buffalo herds near extinction in less than half a century The building of the transcontinental railroad encouraged the slaughter of buffalo in order to feed the enormous work crews The building of the transcontinental railroad encouraged the slaughter of buffalo in order to feed the enormous work crews Let them kill, skin, and sell until the buffalo is exterminated, as it is the only way to bring lasting peace and allow civilization to advance." General Philip Sheridan

10 In the 1870's leather companies offered $3.00 per bull hide As early as 1872, one million buffalo were killed for their hides alone and the carcasses left to rot on the plains

11 By 1884 nothing remained of the massive buffalo herds but the piles of bones by the railroad. Hills of buffalo skulls piled up and awaiting transport to railway cars. Thousands of tons of bones were collected and sent East to manufacture fertilizers.

12 These bones were eventually collected and sold to fertilizer factories.

13 The Return of the Buffalo Estimated bison population today is 350,000 animals.

14 Hidework There are different types of hidework because there are several ways to process animal skins into usable materials. Rawhide – partially processed hides that become stiff when dry Tanned – completely processed hides that are soft and pliable when cured Today many hides continue to be brain-tanned, but commercially tanned hides are also common. Hide scrapers

15 Processing Hides

16 Tanned Hides Processing hides is long and hard work. Tanned hides aqre used to produce clothing and materials where a soft fabric is necessary.

17 Rawhide Cases like these are designed to hold the large feather bustles worn by men for dances. Rawhide is very durable and used to create containers and items that must protect fragile items, or survive rough handling. Examples of rawhide include feather and awl cases, horse saddles, and parfleches for holding clothes and supplies. Rawhide is soaked until it is soft enough to work with, once it is shaped into the desired form and allowed to dry once more – it retains that shape.

18 Hand Drums Made of stretched rawhide over a wooden frame.

19 Parfleche These are large flat pieces of rawhide that items were place on top of and then the sides were folded up like an envelope. Typically used for storing clothing and dried food supplies, they work in much the same way that we use plastic containers today.

20 Men’s Clothing Heavily decorated clothing was used primarily for special occasions.

21 Women’s Clothing

22 Moccasins

23 Tipis Differences in size, shape and design are indicative of tribal variations.

24

25 Horsegear Horses were tremendously important to the lifestyle and were highly valued.

26 Cradleboards Baby carriers kept children safe while parents were busy.

27 Cradleboard Styles Cradles were intended to meet the needs of the lifestyle, some were designed to be carried on horseback, on the mother’s back, or held in the arms. All could be used to contain the child while the parents were busy with daily activities.


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