Native Americans

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  • Created by: elseey
  • Created on: 10-04-14 08:15
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    • Community Spirits
      • The whole tribe had to join in with a  Buffalo hunt
      • Young Americans thought it was an honour to feed the elderly and weak
      • The elderly voluntarily committed exposure (wander off and die) because the tribes couldn't deal with hangers-on
      • The worst possible crime was to not look after parents, harming religion or the weak
      • Horse stealing from other tribes was admired
    • War
      • Was based on ambush and skill
      • No one was forced to go to war, individuals would volunteer to follow the chief
      • Aim was to capture horses and show bravery
      • Bravest Act of war was to Coup (touch the enemy with a stick and escape)
      • They scalped their enemy to stop them going to an after world (Happy Hunting Ground)
      • Priority was to stay alive and return to look after the family
    • Way of Life
      • They believed in a Nomadic life, meaning they'd move 6-8 times a year, to follow the Buffalo and because the sprits told them to
      • Gathered Maize, Squash, Beans and Turnips (and had to ask the spirits before pulling them up
      • Also hunted Deer, Rabbits, Ducks and Turkey, but the main one was Buffalo
      • Men were to go to war, Women were to stay at camp and gather food and care for the Children
      • Sports they were involved in were Horse Racing & Shooting Contests, to prepare them for War
      • Women's hobbies were to decorate clothes and Tipis with beads and quills, often with religious meaning
    • Tipis
      • Warm in the winter, cool in the summer
      • Cone shape meant it was protected against high winds
      • Easy to dissemble and move (fits the Nomadic Lifestyle)
      • Tipis were circular, and they thought the power of the world works in circles
      • Fixed homes were believed to be unhealthy, whereas Tipis were believed to be healthy
    • Use of the Buffalo
      • Source of food, e.g. Liver, brain, nose gristle, were all eaten raw
      • Meat called Pemmican, provided food throughout winter
      • Bone marrow was eaten, Bones were used to make knifes and could be boiled to make glue
      • Skin was used to make Tipis, clothes, moccasins, bedding, parflèches, saddle covers and water-bags.
      • Dung was used for fires, horns and hooves into cups, Sinews to make bowstring, fat to make soap
      • The rough tongue used as a hairbrush, and the tail was used a fly-swat
    • Religious Views
      • The great spirit, 'Wakan Tanka'
      • When a young man came of age, he would take part in a ceremony which involved fasting, self-harm, going into a trance and seeing an animal that was a spirit friend.
      • One of these ceremonies - the Sun Dance - featured a structure with a central pole signifying the sun, from which the young men hung themselves by their nipples.
      • Native Americans believed that spirits caused the harsh weather of the Plains, as well as illness. They thought that 'medicine men' could speak to these spirits, and ask for their help.
      • They performed the Mandan Buffalo Dance, which they thought would bring buffalo to them.
      • Land couldn't be sold, it belonged to all of nature, not mankind
      • Land was put there to support mankind, and was to admire as beautiful
      • Spirits lived in Earth and it was unwise to anger them


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