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FC: Plains Natives | Ayelet Malek, Shayli Liederman, Lauren Grant-Assor, Jonathan Amar, Matthew Coles
1: Table of Contents | page 2- Plains homes page 4- Plains clothes page 6- Plains food page 8- the Sun Dance page 10- Vision Quest page 12- bibliography
2: Homes of Plains Natives The Plains Natives lived in tepees. The tepee would be built from layers of buffalo hide. The tepees are very easy to build and take down. 5-8 people could build the tepee and it didn't take long to put up. The tepee would be held up by a wooden pole in the middle. The tepee would be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The door of the tepee would be round and would face the east toward the rising sun. In the middle of the tepee there would be a fire for cooking and warmth. The people slept on buffalo robes on the tepee floor. They thought tepees were important so they painted them. The paintings meant something religiously symbolic. The women of the Plains were responsible for putting up and taking down the tepees. Since the people of the Plains had to move a lot, they transported their tepees on their horses. They were nomads, which means that they constantly had to move to follow their main food source - the buffalo.
4: Clothing Men The Plains Natives had very different styles of hair and clothing than we do today. The men and women had long hair. The men had 3 braids – one signifying the body, one the mind and the third the spirit. These braids were often decorated with strips of fur, leather, or a single feather. Men tried to wear as little as possible and often wore leggings. They sometimes had wide flaps on the outside and are believed to be the origin of the cowboy’s chaps. They pierced their ears. A distinguished man, who was known for his bravery, often wore a grizzly bear claw necklace. A man who was considered to be a distinguished warrior often wore an eagle feather warbonnet. The number of feathers on a warbonnet related to the number of brave acts performed by each man.
5: Women made long clothing from buffalo hide and deerskin. The women would wear belts, moccasins, fancy shawls and leggings. Jewelry and hair accessories were worn. The women of the Plains would often wear jewelry such as earrings and bracelets, made of sea shells, or beads. Women wore dresses and leggings. Plains women’s snug fitting leggings reached from the ankles to just below her knees, were made of two pieces of buckskin, and were wide at the bottom. They laced up with leather ties. The slip was a common style of dress. It tied up around the neck and under the arms. Two sides were laced together with animal sinew. | Women:
6: The Plains Natives Food The Plains Natives were skilled huntsmen. Their main source of food was the buffalo. They ate the buffalo in various ways; they ate it dried, cooked it, and they even put it into soups and pemmican. After they had used as much as they needed, they would dry it to preserve it for a longer amount of time. Pemmican is a food made of dried and pounded meat mixed with melted buffalo fat and berries. Buffalo wasn't the only meat they ate; they also ate deer, moose, elk, antelope, wolves, coyotes, lynx, rabbits, with gophers and prairie chickens. They also ate lots of berries. The women of the tribe would collect the berries and bring them back to their families. They would eat the berries dried or fresh. While the women were busy collecting berries the men would take the time to fish so they could feed their families. Although they ate many vegetables, there was one vegetable that was very common and that was the Indian turnip. The Plains Natives also made a type of bread called bannock. They adopted this bread from the Scottish fur traders. They would grind corn to make the flour. After they had made the flour they would mix it with water and fat, wrap it around a stick and bury it in the ground next to the cooking fire where it would bake. We can learn from the Plains Natives that we can use all the things that nature provides for us to make food.
8: The Sun Dance only takes place in the summer and this ceremony is very sacred. At a Sun Dance the Natives used traditional drums, sacred pipes, tobacco, praying, and fasting to thank the spirits for all they had been given in the past year. Some Natives pierced their skin on the chest or back (for the men) and arms (for the women). The people of the Plains show much pain they can take and how much bravery they have. They do this to show how dedicated they are to the Native spirits.The women would dance for as long as the festival lasted. Sun Dances can last for about four days without stopping for rest, drink or food. The ceremony of the Sun Dance takes place in a lodge. To build the lodge they first put up a center pole; next the Natives put trees and branches all around it so it looks a bit like a cone but much wider. The People of the Plains built their tipis around the Sun Dance lodge to show great respect for it. | SUN DANCE
10: Vision Quest The Plains Natives were a very special group of Native Canadians. Every young boy would go on a Vision Quest to become a man. They would go out alone in the woods for three to five days. They would pray, dance and fast until an animal would appear to them in a dream. The animal represented a spirit. Each Plains Native understood the power of each spirit. The spirit animal would appear in his dream to guide the young man to what is important in his life. For example, if a wolf appeared in his dream, it would mean that he was loyal and that he would have great success; he would be a path finder and teacher to the next generations. The animal spirit would become sacred to that man for the rest of his life. Some Natives were closer to the spirits than others. Such a person was called a shaman. A shaman was the religious leader of the tribe. He called on spirits on behalf of others for guidance. Sometimes he would use his powers to look into the future. Vision Quests obviously were very important to the Plains Natives to find their own life direction.
12: Canada’s First People. Copyright Goldi Productions Ltd. 2007.Goldi Productions. Canadians Studies Program, Canadian Heritage. 24 April 2012. www.firstpeoplesofcanada.com OSO.ONO. Copyright 2002-2003 OSO-ONO Foods LLC. 24 April 2012. http://home.comcast.net/~osoono/ethnicdoughs/frybread/frybread.htm | BIBLIOGRAPHY | First people and First Contacts Oxford University Press Daniel Frances Canada 2000
13: Forrester, James. Indians of the Plains. Canada: Fitzhenry and Whiteside Limited 1972’ | 1.phousing inkido.indiana.edu/w310work/romac/phousing.html 22 Apr 1998 – 2.Shelter - The Plain Indians www.freewebs.com/plain_indians/shelter.htm www.freewebs.com