Plains cultures used many practical and ingenious tools for daily life and ceremony. As nomadic people, they required tools that were light and easy to carry. These tools changed over millennia in response to new technologies and materials. 

In the 16th century, the Spanish introduced horses to North America. From then on, Plains cultures traded, raided, and bred horses. The introduction of the horse led to a transformation of culture on the Plains. Horses allowed men to travel farther and hunt buffalo (or American bison) more easily. They relieved men and women of backbreaking labors, such as lugging possessions from camp to camp. They allowed hunting tribes to expand their territory. They also replaced the Plains cultures’ earlier domesticated beast of burden, the dog, which was much smaller and weaker.

This section showcases the ingenuity of native-made tools. 



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