Cree Indians

The Cree are one of the largest native tribes in North America. There are eight major groups that make up the Cree: Attikamekw, James Bay Cree, Montagnais, Moose Cree, Naskapi, Plains Cree, Swampy Cree, and Woods Cree. In the 17th and 18th century, they lived in Canada and in the United States, from Minnesota to the west coast. Today, most of the Cree Indians are located in Canada and Montana .

The men of the Cree Indian tribe were skilled hunters and fishermen. They hunted buffalo and moose with bows and arrows, although sometimes the Plains Cree would use fire to trap a herd or force it over a cliff. The men wore breechcloths, leggings, and buckskin jackets, with moccasins on their feet. In earlier times, the men wore caps made of fur or leather and decorated with feathers. Later, they adopted the long headdress style of their Sioux neighbors. The women of the tribe would tend to the children and their homes, while also gathering plants and herbs to eat. They wore long dresses and moccasins on their feet.

The Cree are an artistic tribe, known for their quillwork (from porcupine quills), woodcarving, and beadwork. Beadwork was often used in trade, but it was also used to tell an individual family's history.

The Cree that lived in the woodlands lived in wigwams, birch bark buildings. Cree that lived in the plains regions lived in teepees, which were made out of buffalo hides. This allowed the Plains Cree, who were nomadic, to easily pick up and move their camps.

Today, the Cree Indians who live in Canada primarily reside in the Quebec and Saskatchewan provinces. They are the largest tribe (or First Nation) in Canada, with 135 registered bands and over 200,000 members. Many of those in Canada still speak the Cree language, which is an Algonquian language. In 1990, there were 8.000 registered Cree in the U.S.





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