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The culture of the Plains Indians was changed by _____?  

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The best answer to this question would have to be "the horse."  Introduced by Spaniards in the sixteenth century, the horse revolutionized Plains life.  Before the horse, Native Americans used dogs to drag their belongings.  The horse allowed greater mobility, thus allowing Plains tribes to follow the buffalo.  Horses were also considered symbols of wealth, especially among tribes such as the Lakota and Cheyenne.  It would not be uncommon for a chief to boast herds of over one hundred horses.  Horses were also the targets of raids.  Native Americans also used the horse in warfare as well.  The horse allowed tribes such as the Blackfoot and Crow to rule large swaths of territory.  Learning to ride a horse was a rite of passage in all young natives' lives, especially among boys who were needed as warriors and hunters for a tribe.  

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