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Traditional culture

Linguistic organization

Six unique American Indian language families or stocks were represented in the Plains. Those speak the same language are usually referred to together a tribe or nation, however this specify name convention commonly masks the presence of a number of completely autonomous political divisions, or bands, within a given tribe. For instance, the Blackfoot (Blackfeet) tribe consisted of three live independence bands, the Piegan (officially spelled Peigan in Canada), Blood, and Blackfoot suitable (Northern Blackfoot).

Each language family included groups that resided in other society areas, and also the speakers of the several languages within a stock to be not always geographically contiguous. Hence the speaker of Algonquian languages contained the Blackfoot, Arapaho, Atsina, levels Cree, and also Saulteaux (Plains Ojibwa), every in the north Plains, while Cheyenne, additionally an Algonquian language, was talked in the central Plains.


The speaker of Siouan languages included the Mandan, Hidatsa, Crow, Assiniboin, Omaha, Ponca, Osage, Kansa, Iowa, Oto, and Missouri. Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota were talked by the bands the the Santee, Teton, and Yankton Sioux tribes, dong (see Sidebar: The Difference between a Tribe and a Band; Sidebar: native American Self-Names).

The Pawnee, Arikara, and Wichita to be Caddoan speakers, vice versa, the Wind river Shoshone and also the Comanche to be of the Uto-Aztecan language family. The Athabaskan (Na-Dené) stock was represented by the Sarcee in the north Plains, if the Kiowa-Tanoan stock was stood for by the Kiowa.

Two other communication systems be affected by each other mention. The Métis the the Canadian levels spoke Michif, a trade dialect that linked Plains Cree, an Algonquian language, and French. Michif was spoken over a wide area. In other locations many tribes provided Plains Indian authorize language (PISL) together a way of communication. This to be a mechanism of fixed hand and finger positions symbolizing ideas, the meanings of i beg your pardon were known to the bulk of the people of the area.

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The function of the horse in plains life

The introduction of the horse had a profound result on the product life the the levels peoples. Horses significantly increased human mobility and also productivity in the region—so lot so that countless scholars divide Plains background into 2 periods, one before and also one ~ the come of the horse. Steeds became easily accessible gradually end the course of at least a century; before 1650 ce equines were fairly rare, and by 1750 they had become relatively common.