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Plains Indians - Maize, Corn Illustration

Maize (Corn)
Native Americans
in Olden Times for Kids

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Farmers: Not all Plains people stayed on the move. Some preferred to settle down and grow crops. Many thousands of years ago, the Pawnees and the Apaches planted corn, beans, squash, melons, and tobacco.

Earth Lodges: They lived in round earth lodges. These earth lodges were huge things. Some were 40 feet in diameter and about 15 feet high. They were made of framework of poles, covered with earth. They were warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Since these were fixed structures, the doorway did face east. The men hunted for food. But they also farmed.

Corn: Corn was the most important crop they grew because it could be stored. Farmers stored surplus maize (corn) in underground storage rooms. These rooms were lined with grass to prevent mildew or spoiling. Corn could be made into many things like corn bread, corn flour, corn fritters, corn pudding and other food items.

Festivals: The tribes were very grateful for the food they grew. They had two huge ceremonies each year to thank the gods - one when they planted, and one when they harvested the crops.

Wagmiza Wasna (Sioux Corn Cookies)