From the Mandan Villages west to the Rocky Mountains, the Corps of Discovery was traveling through the territory of the Plains Indians – Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara, Assiniboin, Cree, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Lakota, Dakota. The bison was at the center of those peoples' lives, both physically and spiritually.
It was the supermarket on the Plains, a source of nourishment, tools and utensils, clothing, home furnishings, weapons, sporting goods, transportation equipment, and ceremonial aids.
- Nourishment – Meat, especially the tongue and the hump; blood, heart, intestines ( fat), stomach.
- Tools and Utensils – Bladder (water bucket), rough side of tongue (hairbrush), fat (soap), brains and liver (tanning agents), intestines (pouches).
- Clothing – Robes, shirts, leggings, dresses, belts, moccasins,caps, mittens.
- Home Furnishings – Tepees, blankets, medicine cases, trunks.
- Tools and Utensils – Tobacco pouches, berry bags, cooking vessels, buckets, pictographic records ("winter counts").
- Weapons – Shields, knife sheaths.
- Transportation – Saddles and pads, saddle bags, lariats, horse-watering troughs, dog packs, boats, rafts, snowshoes.
- Recreation – Ball covers, netting for lacrosse, hoops.
- Ceremonial objects – Rattles, masks, winding sheet for the dead.
- Clothing – Headdress ornaments
- Tools and Utensils – Spoons, ladles, cups.
- Weapons – Powder flasks.
- Ceremonial objects – Masks.
- Tools and Utensils – Rawhide rope was pulled through the eye socket to dehair it.
- Ceremonial objects – Antlers; entire head worn as a mask.
- Clothing – Ornaments (teeth were also used).
- Tools and Utensils – Knives, scrapers, hoes (shoulder blades), sewing awls, paintbrush handles.
- Weapons – Arrowheads, lance points.
- Transportation – Sled runners (rib bones).
- Recreation – Counters in gambling games.
- Tools and Utensils – Glue.
- Ceremonial Objects – Masks, rattles.
- Clothing – Headdress ornaments.
- Home Furnishings – Tepee ornaments.
- Tools and Utensils – Brushes, braided rope.
- Weapons – Ornaments for clubs.
- Recreation – Stuffing for balls.
- Tools and Utensils – Fly swatters.
- Tools and Utensils – String, thread.
- Weapons – Bowstrings, bow backing, arrowhead wrappings.
- Tools and Utensils – Fuel, baby diapers (mixed with cattail).
Information provided by National Bison Range, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Moiese, Montana