Did the blackfeet tribe use boats?

Updated: 8/18/2023
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14y ago

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yes dugouts

Actually, no, they didn't use dugout canoes. To cross smaller streams, they would use fords. To cross larger rivers (e.g., Missouri and Yellowstone), they would build what is often called a bull-boat. This was made by creating a bowl-shaped structure of flexible branches (usually cottonwood) covered by the skin of a bison (buffalo). Since these were temporary craft, the hide was often raw (untanned, with the hair left on), with rawhide strapping to bind the hide to the rim of the "bowl". Paddles were make-shift. There are reports of some war-parties (usually horse-raiding groups) which would lash together small rafts of found logs and large branches with straps of rawhide. These rafts were used to keep their clothing, food, and weapons dry while the men would swim alongside, holding onto the raft and swimming -- pushing the raft across the river. There are no reports that I know of relating Blackfeet (Blackfoot) use of rivers for long-distance travel.

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13y ago
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14y ago

no they did not use boats to travel

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Q: Did the blackfeet tribe use boats?
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Did the blackfeet tribe use boats or make boats?

The Blackfeet were not traditionally very interested in watercraft. Like other plains tribes, they would make what are called "bull boats" to cross rivers. A bull-boat is a framework of green branches, lashed together to form a frame that looks like a bowl, about four or five feet across the rim. This frame would have been covered with an untanned buffalo (bison) hide. They were temporary, utilitarian and discarded after their purpose was served. There are also reports of war parties lashing together some found logs and large branches to cross rivers. The men would put their clothing, weapons and supplies on the raft and then swim alongside, holding onto the edge of the raft and kicking their way across the river. Again, utilitarian and temporary. Anytime you see a picture of a supposed Blackfeet dugout or birchbark canoe, you know it's complete fiction. Never happened.