Plains Indians: Social and Tribal Structures


Many different social and tribal structures made up the peoples known as the Plains Indians. Most tribes were divided into bands, each with a chief and a council. Examples of Plains Indians tribes include the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Blackfoot. 

1) Bands - Most people in a band were related to each other. Bands were led by chiefs and had councils of advisers. Council members agreed with everything the band did. The survival and protection of the band as a whole were seen as more important than the individuals within it.

2) Chiefs - Chiefs were chosen because of their wisdom and skills as warriors/hunters. They were rarely chiefs for life. Chiefs and councils decided where their bands would go. and what should happen to those who broke with customs and traditions, but they did not have to be obeyed.

3) Tribes - Bands in the same tribe supported each other during crises. Tribal meetings of


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