The Plains Indians were people who did not always live in the same place. They used to move around in search of food. This way of life was very important to them. The buffalo was a very important animal to the Sioux Indians and they used to follow the buffalo herds.
The buffalo wandered the Great Plains in vast herds. Bull buffalos (males) weighed more than one tonne and stood over 1.5 metres tall at the shoulders. The cows (females) were smaller but they had better meat. Buffalos ran very fast and had a good sense of smell but bad eyesight.
The Sioux Indians followed the herds of buffalo. Historians estimate that in 1800 there were about 60 million buffalo. The Indians used to hunt the buffalo first on foot and then using horses. They never killed more than they needed. They used every part of the buffalo, nothing was wasted.
The skin was used to cover the Sioux tepees and the fur was used to cover the beds. The buffalo horns were used as spoons. The feet were boiled and used for glue. The tongue was used as a hairbrush and the bones were used as tools. Even the dung was used to make fires.
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