Native American Daily Life

Everyday life of the Native American people comprised of many important tasks and responsibilities. The men usually went outdoors. The women stayed at home or in the village and performed different duties.

The children also participated in the everyday activities. The boys would accompany the men or do simpler outdoor tasks. The girls worked with the women at home and performed different household chores.

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Everyday Life of Native American Men

The Native American men went out for hunting. An important part of hunting was tracking the bison herd. To do this, some of the men would go out and confirm the position of the herd.

They would then return and report this to the chief of the tribe. The chief announced the hunt and the men would go out to hunt the bison. Some went out on foot while most were mounted on horses.

The hunt also prepared the men for the battles they may fight with other tribes. During battles, the men would go out to fight the enemies on horseback. In the tribes that practiced agriculture, men also played an important role in planting and irrigating the crops.

Native American Men and Vision Quest

When a Native American boy reached around the age of 14, he went on a vision quest. This was a way to find his guardian spirit and his purpose in life. The boy would leave the tribe and go into the wilderness for several days.

He abstained from eating, drinking or sleeping. This was to commune with the spirits through visions. Upon return from the vision quest, the boy was considered an adult and accepted among the warriors and hunters of the tribe.

Everyday Life of Native American Women

The everyday life of Native American women was very rigorous. They worked hard and performed many tasks, not just for their own household but also for the camp or village.

The women pitched up teepees whenever a tribe moved to a new place. They also skinned the bison that the men hunted and brought to the camp. The responsibilities of the women included tanning the animal hides and then cutting or sewing them into different shapes.

Native American Women and Agriculture

Although men were primarily responsible for planting the crops, the women took on the duties of harvesting them once they were ripe. So the women spent a lot of time in the fields. They would also weave threads from the various materials they gathered from the plants.

Everyday Life of Native American Children

Children spent a busy and fun everyday life. Their everyday life included education, games, storytelling and other kinds of fun. Education was given through hands-on and practical activities.

The boys worked alongside men and learned horse-riding, hunting and other skills. The girls were instructed by the women in cooking, weaving and other household chores.

Every day, the children would sit around an elder of the tribe. The elderly would tell stories about the history, traditions and culture of the tribe.