Plains Indians

Encyclopedia Article


This regional classification is used to describe the variety of distinct Native American tribes who traditionally called the Great Plains and prairie regions of North America home. Although each tribe has its own specific culture and traditions, some common characteristics have been used to refer to them as a large group, including the dependence on bison for clothing, food, and other articles necessary for their level of basic subsistence and the nomadic lifestyle that came with following the bison herds. Because of this, many bands and tribes had to carry and build portable shelters like the tepee, although this housing was not used by all tribes.

Some of the tribes included in this classification are the Ojibwe (Anishinaabe), Cheyenne, Blackfoot, Cree, Crow, and Kiowa.

Photo Credit: 

"Young Man Afraid of His Horses and his tepee, January 17, 1891" by U.S. War Department is licensed under Public Domain.

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