- from America 1492
The western Great Plains is a flat, dry area.
Tall grasses once grew everywhere there. In 1492, high winds whipped across the plains, carrying dirt or the flames of fast-moving lightning fires. Winters were very cold, but summers sizzled. More rain fell in the eastern parts of the Great Plains.
Five hundred years ago, few Native Americans lived all year on the Great Plains. Many peoples hunted on the plains in warm weather but wintered in the mountains or woodlands along the Great Plains. One group that did live on the plains was the Mandan people. The women raised corn, squash, sunflowers, and tobacco. The men hunted bears, deer, rabbits, and other animals. Their most important prey was the buffalo, which found perfect grazing in the tall plains grasses. Every spring and fall, the Mandan tracked the buffalo across the plains. One such hunt has already started. Clouds of dust are rising in the distance. A buffalo herd must be near. Let’s catch up with these long-ago hunters.