Sioux were hunters and gatherers. They hunted buffalo, deer, and other
animals. They gathered fruits and vegetables. Some of the Sioux people also
The Three Sisters were the most important crops - maize, squash,
and beans. They also grew pumpkins. Food was often traded between the
the Sioux culture, a boy could hunt his first buffalo at age 10. To a young
boy, a single buffalo stands six feet tall, and weighs about as much as 10
people. Buffalo do not see well, but they run really fast.
Can you imagine
how a boy might feel, getting ready for his first kill? He would be riding a
pony. All around him, men would be yelling to get the buffalo to run. Each
would have picked out one buffalo to kill.
With his boy and arrow, in the
midst of all this racket and danger, a ten year old boy was expected to
attempt a kill. There was no dishonor attached if he was not successful, but
he had to try.
woman made jerky by drying buffalo meat. First, they pounded the meat into a
powder. Then they added animal fat, and let the mix dry.
If jerky was made
correctly, it remained safe to eat for two years. The Sioux stored jerky,
knowing it would be safe to eat for a very long time. Jerky was portable. It
allowed hunters to take food with them.
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