Facts about the Bannock Native Indian Tribe
This article contains fast, fun facts and interesting information about the Bannock Native American Indian tribe. Find answers to questions like where did the Bannock tribe live, what clothes did they wear, what did they eat and who were the names of their most famous leaders? Discover what happened to the Bannock tribe with facts about their wars and history.
What was the lifestyle and culture of the Bannock tribe?
The Bannock tribe called themselves the Panati and were closely related to the Northern Paiute people. The Bannock tribe were originally hunters, traders and seed gathers from the Great Basin cultural group of Native Indians. The Great Basin social and cultural patterns were those of the non-horse bands often referred to as the Desert Culture. These people were highly skilled basket makers and wove the baskets so closely that they would hold the finest seeds and even water. When they acquired the horse they moved to the hospitable lands and adopted the customs and culture of the Plains tribes.
The Bannock are people of the Great Basin Native American cultural group. The location of their tribal homelands are shown on the map. The geography of the region in which they lived dictated the lifestyle and culture of the Bannock tribe.
The Bannock tribe originally lived in the American Great Basin region
Tribal Territories: Southeastern Idaho, southeastern Oregon, western Wyoming, and southwestern Montana.
Land: Deserts, salt flats and brackish lakes
Climate: Very hot summers and cold winters with very low levels of rainfall
Wildlife: The animals included deer, sheep, antelope, rabbits, hares and snakes. Fish were also available
Natural resources: pine nuts, seeds, berries, nuts, roots, leaves, stalks and bulbs. Indian rice grass was harvested
Map showing location of the
Great Plains Native American Cultural Group
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Harvesting Wild Rice
What did the Bannock tribe eat?
The food that the Bannock tribe ate included Indian rice grass, also known as sandgrass, Indian millet, sandrice and silkygrass. Rice grass occurs naturally on coarse, sandy soils in the arid lands throughout the Great Basin. Other common names are sandgrass, Indian millet, sandrice and silkygrass.
The nutritious seeds of rice grass were a staple food of Native American Indians who lived in the Great Basin area.
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What did the Bannock tribe live in?
The Great Basin Bannock tribe lived in temporary shelters of windbreaks in the summer or flimsy huts covered with rushes or bunches of grass called Brush Shelters. The materials used were sagebrush, willow, branches, leaves, and grass (brush) that were available in their area. The more permanent winter homes consisted of cone-shaped huts or houses called Wikiups. Wikiups were built using a frame of willow boughs and covered with reeds, branches and grass. The wikiup was rounded at the base and at the top of the dome was an open smoke hole. Rocks were piled around the base of the grass house for additional insulation. Occasionally these domed shaped wikiups were built over a 2 - 3 foot foundation. Bark and sometimes earth was added to the hut covering in order to keep out the cold.
What clothes did the Great Basin Bannock tribe wear?
The clothes worn by the Great Basin Bannock men traditionally consisted of breechcloths or aprons made from sagebrush bark. In cold weather twined bark leggings and poncho like shirts were also worn. Fibers used to make Bannock clothes were harvested from sagebrush bark and tule (a type of bulrush). The fibers were dampened and then pummeled until they could be woven or twined. Robes, or cloaks, were made from furs, especially rabbit fur, for added warmth. Trade with the white settlers also provided blankets for the tribe. The clothes worn by the women of the Bannock tribe wore knee length woven fiber aprons as a single front covering or double apron that covered the front and the back. The clothes worn by the Bannock tribe also included clothing made of buckskin if deer inhabited their regions. Bannock clothing for both the men and women was adorned with fringes and feathers and jewelry made from beads and shells.
What weapons did the Great Basin Bannock tribe use?
The weapons used by the Bannock tribe were primitive and included bows and arrows, stone knifes, spears, rabbit sticks and digging sticks.
What were the rituals and ceremonies of the Bannock tribe?
The rituals and ceremonies of the Bannock tribe and many other Great Basin Native Indians included the Bannock Bear Dance and the Sun Dance which first emerged in the Great Basin, as did the Paiute Ghost Dance. Another important ceremony was the Round Dance which was associated with the pinyon (pine nut) harvest and performed for increasing the food supply and bringing rain. Tricksters also feature in the legends and mythology of the Great Basin peoples as do heroic figures or "transformers" who transform, or change, the world into its present state.
The Migration of the Bannock Tribe
The Bannock tribe
The migration of the Bannock Tribe from the harsh conditions in the Great Basin required a totally different lifestyle to suit the climate and natural resources of the area. The lives of the Bannock tribe changed from nomadic seed gathers to hunter gatherers who followed the great herds of buffalo. The buffalo was the main source of subsistence on the Plains and the food, weapons, houses and style of clothes worn by the Bannock tribe changed accordingly.
Food: The food of the Bannock tribe was predominantly buffalo but also they also hunted deer, elk, bear and wild turkey. Their diet was supplemented with roots and wild fruit and vegetables
Shelter: The shelters of the Bannock tribe were tepees, tent-like shelters constructed from wooden poles that were covered with buffalo hides
Clothes: The Bannock Breechcloths, fringed buckskin tunics or shirts and leggings with warm buffalo robes to protect against the rain and the cold