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Indian tent made by stretching buffalo skins on tall poles, easily carried so they could follow the movement of the buffalo


Indian sled that is pulled by a dog or a horse


enclosure used to trap and kill buffalo


dried meat of the buffalo


rich vein of gold or silver, discovery of ore in the west led thousands of prospectors west in search of wealth--this surge of miners encouraged the growth of the west but also led to loss of forests, water pollution and racism towards Indians and Mexicans


self-appointed law enforcers in western territories that formed in response to the lawlessness and disorder due to the rapid growth of towns


Plains Indians grocery store; they depended on it for food, clothing, shelter and tools!

transcontinental railroad

first one completed in 1869, a railroad that stretched from coast to coast.


financial aid or a land grant from the government; given to railraod companies to complete rail lines because they would benefit the entire nation


brought growth and new settlement to the west; they enabled people, supplies, and mail to move quickly and cheaply across the plains and mountains, the largest cities developed where major railroad lines met.

cattle drives

when ranchers began rounding up hundreds of texas longhorns and driving them north toward railroad lines; this meat was in high demand in the growing cities of the east and west and could now be easily transported to them


skilled riders who herded cattle on ranches in Mexico, California and the Southwest; the gear and methods used by the american cowhands was modeled on the tools of the vaquero--like sombreros and chaps.

cow towns

Cattle drives ended in these towns that had sprung up along the rail liines. Here the cattle were held in great pens until they could be loaded into railroad cars and shipped to markets to the East. Their MAIN function was to link cattle trails with eastern markets


a limited area that is set aside for Native Americans

sod house

houses of sod, or soil that is held together by grass roots


Plains farmers who had to cut through the sod to get to the soil below; the climate was a constant threat to them, like the harsh winter winds and deep snow that trapped them in their homes or the lack of rain that killed their crops and brought the threat of fire.


group of farmers who pooled their money together to buy seed and tools wholesale


buying or selling something in large quantities at lower prices


increased prices


known as "sacred dogs" to the Native Americans, they changed the way Plains Indians lived and hunted


tended cattle for ranchers and rode alongside the heards on the drive to the market; their work was hot, dirty, tiring and often boring. they faced many dangers on the trail, but the greatest threat was runaway herds or stampedes

Fort Laramie Treaty

treaty in which an area of land would be reserved for the Indians forever and they would recieve money, domestic animals, agricultural tools and other goods... the government later broke this treaty

Dawes Act of 1887

act passed by Congress that encouraged Native Americans to become farmers .... the act was unsuccessful, it ignored the traditional Indian view of land ownership, to them land was an open place for hunting and riding...this led many Indians to sell their share of land to whites for low prices.


group of African Americans who moved to Kansas in 1879, wanted to homestead new land because their rights were being challenged in the south at the end of Reconstruction

Plains Indian Women

oversaw life in the home and gathered food, a woman's ability in crafts established her rank in society

Plains Indian Men

hunted and protected women, led religious ceremonies, provided military leadership to protect their people and prove their bravery


political party, mostly farmers and labor unions, that demanded that the government raise farm prices, regulate railroad rates, income tax, eight-hour work day and limits on immigration

Texas Longhorns

cattle used in the cattle trails because they required fairly low maintenance

Homestead Act

encouraged people to move west by giving free land to those willing to farm it for five years


an Apache warrior who fought the government for control on Indian lands for ten years, his surrender marked the end of formal warfare between the government and the Indians

The Oklahoma Land Rush

last major land rush to take place in the west, the "sooners" had staked out the best land before the "boomers" got there

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