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The Blackfoot Indian is a Native American tribe in Montana, USA. There are also three Blackfoot tribes, termed as First Nations, in Canada and collectively, they form the Blackfoot Confederacy. They all have a common language and their culture is the same. Inter-marriage between group members is common.
The Blackfoot Indian tribe made their home in the Great Plains of mid-west North America and in the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Their name, Blackfoot, derived from the black soles of their moccasins and on occasions was believed to refer to the dark pigmentation of their skin. Their fierce independence and ability to adapt to the land their nomadic travels brought them to, earned them the name ‘Lord of the Plains’ when they settled in the Great Plains.
The Blackfoot Indian people’s livelihoods were closely tied to the land and to the animals that they hunted, which were mostly buffaloes. Thus they followed the herds of buffalo in its migratory trends. They lived for almost six months in winter camps close to wooded forests during long winter seasons in Canada where the buffalo would shelter from the snow storms. These animals were then easily caught by the Blackfoot who noted that the woods would prevent the quick movement of their prey.
In the Great Plains, the buffalo would be skillfully hunted by the Blackfoot Indian using several techniques including the buffalo jump. This is where the large mammals were gathered in a V shape and then driven over a cliff. They would then descend to the bottom of the cliff and cart off as many buffaloes as they could for meat and skin.
The Blackfoot Indian consumed the buffalo meat in one of several ways – by roasting, boiling or drying the meat. As the meat did not spoil for a long time, they could keep the buffalo meat as food during the harsh cold winters of the Great Plains when meat was scarce. Buffalo skins would be draped over a Blackfoot teepee and would also be used to make robes and moccasins.
Ancient Blackfoot Indian people were known as a nomadic tribe that hunted buffalo for meat and skin. Spread in the Great Plains of Montana, Blackfoot people derived their name from their moccasins. Their buffalo hunting techniques provided them with enough meat to last through the long cold winter months.