Study Questions for America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage



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Study Questions for America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage

Chapter: Nomadic Horsemen




  1. What are the physical boundaries of the Plains culture area? What was the environment like? What foods were thus available to people in this area? If you had to divide the area into two basic parts, what would they be?

  2. At what time did farming come to this area and with what groups is it associated?

  3. What is a medicine wheel?

  4. Describe/Contrast the lifestyles of the nomadic Plains people and the semi-sedentary farmers.

  5. What methods were used in the bison hunt?

  6. What were some of the language groups of this area? With such diversity, how did they communicate?

  7. Why was there a flood of people into the Plains in the 16th and 17th centuries?

  8. How was life further altered in the 18th and 19th centuries?

  9. How did the horse alter the lives of Plains people? How was the horse honored by them and what other pack animal did it replace?

  10. Why does the chapter refer to bison as a “cornucopia on the hoof”? Give some examples.

  11. Why is the tepee such a quintessential Plains feature? What are its strengths?

  12. What art forms and amusements were practiced by Plains people?

  13. How did some Plains groups handle an imbalance of sex ratio? Why was the imbalance present?

  14. Explain the importance of the vision quest and what it typically involves. What is a medicine bundle?

  15. Who was responsible for the spiritual well-being of people?

  16. What is a Sun Dance and what are its purposes?

  17. What were some of the ways that the Plains tribes maintained social organization and regulated marriage?

  18. Explain the concept of “counting coup” and its relationship to Plains warfare.

  19. Why was the pipe considered such a sacred object?

  20. How were reservations, loss of the bison, and the Ghost Dance related? What was the Ghost Dance? What was Wounded Knee?


Study Questions for America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage

Chapter: Nomadic Horsemen




  1. What are the physical boundaries of the Plains culture area? What was the environment like? What foods were thus available to people in this area? If you had to divide the area into two basic parts, what would they be?

  2. At what time did farming come to this area and with what groups is it associated?

  3. What is a medicine wheel?

  4. Describe/Contrast the lifestyles of the nomadic Plains people and the semi-sedentary farmers.

  5. What methods were used in the bison hunt?

  6. What were some of the language groups of this area? With such diversity, how did they communicate?

  7. Why was there a flood of people into the Plains in the 16th and 17th centuries?

  8. How was life further altered in the 18th and 19th centuries?

  9. How did the horse alter the lives of Plains people? How was the horse honored by them and what other pack animal did it replace?

  10. Why does the chapter refer to bison as a “cornucopia on the hoof”? Give some examples.

  11. Why is the tepee such a quintessential Plains feature? What are its strengths?

  12. What art forms and amusements were practiced by Plains people?

  13. How did some Plains groups handle an imbalance of sex ratio? Why was the imbalance present?

  14. Explain the importance of the vision quest and what it typically involves. What is a medicine bundle?

  15. Who was responsible for the spiritual well-being of people?

  16. What is a Sun Dance and what are its purposes?

  17. What were some of the ways that the Plains tribes maintained social organization and regulated marriage?

  18. Explain the concept of “counting coup” and its relationship to Plains warfare.

  19. Why was the pipe considered such a sacred object?

  20. How were reservations, loss of the bison, and the Ghost Dance related? What was the Ghost Dance? What was Wounded Knee?


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