rom the Mandan Villages west to the Rocky Mountains, the Corps of Discovery was traveling through the territory of the Plains Indians--the Assiniboin, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Lakota and 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