MOVING CAMP

 

The Native Americans of the Plains depended on the buffalo for food, clothing, and just about everything that they needed. But the buffalo did not stay in one place. They moved around the Great Plains looking for grass to graze. The Plains People had to follow the buffalo migrations, so they had to move camp often.

For thousands of years they traveled on foot, carrying their things on their backs or on travois. Travois are made of two poles crisscrossed on one end and harnessed to an animal. The other end of the poles are dragged on the ground. A net was attached in between the two poles to hold the things that had to be carried. Dogs were used to pull the travois.

After the horses were introduced, the people started to hitch their travois to the horses instead of to the dogs. That allowed them to carry a lot more and they were able to move around a lot faster, giving them a better chance to keep up with the buffalo. Their lives became a lot easier. They called the horses their sacred dogs.