Q:

Why did the Plains Indians live in tepees?

A:

Quick Answer

Plains Indians lived in tepees -- also known as teepees, tepes and tipis -- because these dwellings were easy to move as the Native Americans followed herds of migrating buffalo, or bison. Because they depended upon the animals for food and goods, the Plains Indians led nomadic lives in order to maintain a constant supply of bison. Tepees were relatively simple to transport and set up.

Continue Reading
Why did the Plains Indians live in tepees?
Credit: Marilyn Angel Wynn Nativestock Getty Images

Full Answer

The Plains Indians ate fresh bison meat and made dried jerky. They also used many parts of the buffalo to produce items necessary for daily life, such as clothing, weapons, buckets, glue, ropes and even tepees.

The frame of a tepee was made from many long poles tied together near the top. The wood came from trees such as lodgepole pines, yellow pines and cedars. Buffalo hides were originally used to cover the frame, but, as the animals became more scarce toward the end of the 19th century, canvas became more common. The cover stretched over the poles, and it was often held down along the bottom edge with stones or sod blocks. The finished tepee was cone-shaped, with smoke flaps covering the peak.

In most cases, women built, set-up, took down and repaired the tepees. However, any decorating was typically done by men. Decorations included geometric shapes and depictions of sacred animals, legends and battle scenes.

Learn more about US History

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do Indians live?

    A:

    Native Americans, often referred to as Indians, live in most states of the United States and in Canada. Some of the areas with large Native American populations include Alaska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Montana.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some characteristics of Hopi homes?

    A:

    The Hopi tribe of Native American Indians traditionally live in stacked apartment dwellings called pueblos. These pueblos are built from adobe mud, dirt, dried clay and stone, and are only accessible to outsiders by ladder. The dwellings tend to be multi-story and ahave flat roofs. The pueblo's interior is relatively sparse and typically includes a hearth for cooking and warmth and a subterranean room called a kiva that is used for religious gatherings and ceremonies.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who were the first Native Americans?

    A:

    Some researchers believe the first Native Americans were semi-nomadic groups from Central Asia who followed migrating herds across a land bridge from Siberia into Alaska toward the end of the last Ice Age. Archaeologists call this group the “Clovis-culture” after the discovery of artifacts near Clovis, New Mexico.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some characteristics of Lakota or Sioux culture?

    A:

    The Sioux tribe of Native Americans, also known as the Lakota tribe, were skilled farmers and hunters, but in later years, the tribe gave up farming and migrated with the buffalo herds. The Lakota are best known for their buffalo hide paintings, porcupine quillwork and beadwork.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore