The Crow are Native Americans who inhabited the Yellowstone River valley.
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What animals did Crow Indians use to draw their characteristic transportation vehicles before the 16th century?
Native Americans used to live in tents called tipis. According to ethnographers, the Crow Nation built the highest tipis, some could even reach about 7 meters (22.97 feet) in height. The framework of the tipis was constructed of wooden poles and covered with American bison hide. These cone-shaped tents were easy to set up and disassemble, which was useful when following migrating herds. The animal hide cover was waterproof and a good heat insulator, making the life of the Crow people more comfortable. The tipi had one entrance and a smoke flap on top.
The outside of most of the Crow Indians' tipis was not decorated. However, those that were painted, featured geometric shapes, and depicted animals and important events like hunts, war, etc.
Inside the tipi, the hearth was located in the center, with place for sitting and sleeping arranged around the edge. Skins, fur and woven cloths provided comfort for the dwellers. They kept their tools on the tipi's wooden poles or on ropes stretched between them.
- It was located at the center of the settlement. It played an important role in the life of the community.
- Native Americans used these for water transportation.
Native American artisans, mostly women, made tools, pots, clothes, etc. for the tribe from the available materials of both plant and animal origin. The craftsmen and women of the Crow Nation produced beautifully decorated and painted cloths.
The common hearth at the center of the camp with tipis scattered around was not meant for cooking. It was a community place where members of the tribe gathered.
They preserved the meat of the animals they killed for food by smoking, so they did go hungry even after an unsuccessful hunt. Animal hides were prepared by first scraping the fat off the skin, then drying it on the sun.
After the appearance of Homo sapiens, horses disappeared from North America. Domesticated horses were introduced again by European colonizers in the 16th century. Mustangs are feral horses descended from these domesticated animals. They were used by Native Americans primarily for hunting and transportation.
Plains Indians used a characteristic, triangular, frame-like structure, called travois, for transportation. It was made of wooden beams, similar to those used to build tipis. Initially, the travois were drawn by dogs and later by horses.
A totem is a plant, animal or object that is respected by a group of people for religious reasons. Some Native American tribes erected totem poles as well. These carved and painted wooden poles depicted mostly animals carved and painted on them.
The Sun Dance was a traditional ceremony of Native Americans in which the whole community participated. The ceremony was conducted by the medicine-man, a spiritual healer, in the open air or in a special Sun Dance tent,
Numerous Native American villages dotted the North American continent before the European colonizers arrived. These villages were shaped by the culture of the inhabitants, as well as by the geographical conditions and the climate of the region. For Native Americans living on the prairie, tents were ideal homes. The tents, or tipis, were easy to set up or disassemble when the tribe decided to move on.
The conical framework of the tipi was constructed of wooden poles; animal hides were then stretched around it. Hides were also used to cover the entrance. A family lived in their own tent. In the middle there was a hearth, with a place for the head of the family behind it, facing the entrance. Rugs, animal hides, furs, crates and pots decorated the interior of the tents. Native Americans also kept their weapons and equipment inside the tipis.
Tipis were not arranged within the village according to any particular pattern. The settlements were rarely surrounded by fences, but pens were built for the livestock. The center of a typical Native American village was the common hearth, which was surrounded by carved totem poles depicting tribal chiefs, spirits or animals. Reverence for the colorful wooden totem poles formed part of the native's religious beliefs.