The American West

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  • Created by: kryssie
  • Created on: 18-05-13 11:50
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  • What problems did the Indians face on the Great Plains
    • Extreme weather
    • Lack of water
    • Desert land
      • described as a "useless desert"
    • The American West (Plains Indians)
      • Why did they move to the Great Plains?
        • Horses -Spanish Invaders brought horses to America.
          • In 1640, the Indian's revolted and stole their horses
            • Now the Indians had horses they were able to move out onto the Great Plains  to live and hunt the buffalo more efficiently
        • Disease - When the Europeans came to America brought diseases like cholera and smallpox.
          • The Indians had no immune system to these diseases and they nearly wiped out an entire nation.
            • They moved to the Great Plains to escape these diseases
        • Trade Goods - Traders bought goods such as guns. This changed the balance of power in Indian Warfare
          • This was a factor which pushed the Sioux onto the Great Plains
      • How did they solve the problems on the Great Plains?
        • The Tipi
          • The tipi was the home of each Indian Family
          • It is made from 10-20 buffalo skins sewn together and supported by a frame of wooden poles arranged in a circle
          • It was  the responsibility of the women, they made it, owned it, put it up and moved it.
          • It could be taken down and packed for transport for 10 minutes
            • They would use the buffalo skin and poles as a     travois to carry all of their belongings
          • It had two "ears" or "flaps" which could be opened to direct the wind so the smoke could escape
          • The bottom of the tipi could be rolled up during summer, or banked up with earth during the winter
          • The conical shape was strong enough to resist the strong winds
          • They were decorated by the men with geometric patterns and scenes recording their bravery in the hunt and battle.
          • A fire would always be burning at the center of the tipi for heat and for cooking
            • The floor was covered with furs
          • Everybodyin the tipi had their own place. Due to the small space there were strict rules about behaviour,for example it was rude to pass between another person and the fire.
            • A fire would always be burning at the center of the tipi for heat and for cooking
              • The floor was covered with furs
          • Scalps would be hung from the top of the tipi as trophies
          • Doorway facing East towards the rising sun
        • Family Life
          • The men were responsible for hunting, looking after the horses and protecting the band
            • They were judged by their skills as warriors, hunters and horsemen
            • Men would have to impress women with their bravery, and a gift of horses or buffalo skins would convince the parents they they were suitable
              • They had to prove they could support their wife, the exchange of horses did not mean the wife had been sold.
                • It was proof of the man's love for her
              • Arranged marriages were not uncommon, but many marriages were love matches
                • When they were married, the husband would move to live with the woman's family
                  • Indian descent was traced through the mothers family, not the fathers
              • Most men had one wife, but rich men could have several wives
                • Polygamy was common in tribes where there were more women than men.
                  • It ensured all the women in the band were cared for, and that the band has as many children as possible
                  • If a woman's husband was killed in warfare or during the hunt, she would marry again.
                    • Divorce was not uncommon, either partner could declare a marriage was over but the woman kept the tipi
          • The women were responsible for the tipi, for preparing food and fetching water, making clothes and other items
            • They were judged on their kill at crafts and as home-makers, women were highly valued as the bearers of children
          • Children
            • They were highly valued as they were the future of the band
            • They did not go to school, but they learned the skills they would need from their parents and relatives
              • The elderly would often teach the children as they were seen as wise
                • The elderly
                  • They gave advice to the council and passed on the history of the people.
                  • When they became too old and weak to travel, they would be left behind and left to die.
                    • The survival of the band was more important than the survival of one individual
                    • They believed they were giving themselves back to the land
            • The boys were taught how to hunt using bows and arrows
              • They had to learn how to survive on the Great Plains
            • The girls were taught how to maintain a home
              • They had to learn how to survive on the Great Plains
            • Early travelers described the children as wild, disrespectful and disobedient
        • Sioux Nation - never led by any individual
          • Consists of many tribes
            • Tribes -  led by chiefs of bands
              • Consists of many bands
                • Each band was led by a chief, is advised by a council of all man, and was influenced by a warrior society
      • The buffalo
        • The Indians had a great respect for the buffalo, they were essential to their survival
          • They would only kill enough buffalo that they needed
            • They would use every part of the buffalo (there was no waste)
              • BIT=ABC Bones= Arrow head Intestines= Buckets Tanned Hides= Clothes
              • Clothing= skin/fur Homes= skin/fur Religion= Skull Warfare= Bones Food=Meat Ceremonies=Poo Soap= Fat Hairbrush/comb= Tongue
                • The heart was cut from the body and left on the ground to give new life to herd. The heart was sometimes also eaten raw so the warrior could take the strength and power of the buffalo.
                • Hooves were used to make glue and also to make rattles and tools
                • A lot of the flesh was smoked, or dried in the sun to preserve it
            • They only hunted 3-4 times a year
        • Buffalo Dance
          • Before they set out to hunt, they would have a ceremonial Buffalo Dance which could last two days
          • They would dress as buffalo and copy their movements
          • The purpose was to call upon the spirit world for help in their hunting and to call the buffalo herd closer to them
            • They believed this would give them good luck and ensure a successful hunt
          • The buffalo dance was as important as sending the scouts to find the buffalo herd
        • How did they hunt the buffalo?
          • Before horses, they would creep up on the buffalo and shoot them with arrows
            • Buffalo would allow wolves to get close to them, so the Indians would disguise themselves as wolves (using wolf skins)
              • They would also stampede the buffalo into "buffalo jumps" so that the animals were trapped in narrow valleys or drive them over a cliff and killed
          • When they had horses, the Indians could kill greater numbers of buffalo.
            • The hunt was carefully organised by the warrior societies. The did this to make sure that the buffalo were not scared away and to ensure that not too many animals were killed in the excitement of the chase
          • Each warrior marked his arrows so that the buffalo he killed could be identified.
            • The warriors would gain honour and prestige from their skill in hunting, in order to get close enough to kill the animal, the hunter had to put himself and his horse in danger
      • How warlike were the Sioux
        • It was considered more brave to fight with a stick
          • They did not aim to kill but just to steal
          • It gained them honour
            • They may be invited to the warriors society
            • Their heroic acts in battle may gain them a wife
            • They may increase their wealth by stealing horses and weapons
          • Coup stick
        • It was not considered heroic to die in battle
          • It was more important to be able to hunt and protect
        • They put their victims scalps on show as trophies
          • They believed that if you lost your scalp you could not get into the after life
            • This is also why they mutilated a lot of their dead, so they would be disabled in the afterlife. Although mutilation was very uncommon
        • They fought 3-4 times a year
        • They fought to seek revenge, steal horses and to destroy traditional enemies
        • They would have carried a bow and arrow quiver
        • They would wear feather that showed previous acts of bravery. (killed enemy=blacktip and red spot; scalped enemy=notch in black tip
          • A lance is four to five metres in length with a blade of polished steel
        • Rifles were introduced to the Indians by travellers and settlers from the East. Bands got them by trading, and by fighting non-Indian's
        • War shirts would have been decorated with scenes showing previous actsof bravery, they were made from deerskin
        • Shields were made from steamed buffalo neck skin, it was also reinforced with hoof glue. They were often arrow proof and decorated with magical symbols of powerful animals
        • Horses will be marked with a handprint so  warriors could  recognise each other in battle
        • Warriors would wear amulets for it's strong medicine (spiritual power) protects them
        • Warriors would be decorated in magical colours to protect them in battle
      • The horses
        • Brought over to the Great Plains by the Spanish
        • Wealth was counted in hrorses
        • The horses improved the Indian way of life
          • It helped them hunt, helped them travel, helped them in in warfare and gave them prestige and honour
      • Religion
        • They believed in Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit
          • He created the world and al that lived
        • Every living thing had a spirit, including rocks, trees and streams
          • They believed these spirits could influence their lives
        • The Sioux believe they are descended from the Eagle
          • Story of creation
      • Medicine man
        • Religion
          • They believed in Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit
            • He created the world and al that lived
          • Every living thing had a spirit, including rocks, trees and streams
            • They believed these spirits could influence their lives
          • The Sioux believe they are descended from the Eagle
            • Story of creation
        • "medicine man" was the name given by non-Indians to an Indian "Shaman"
        • Indians believed that the medicine man could cure sickness by using the power of the spirits
          • if an indian man was ill, it was because he had been possessed by an evil spirit and the medicine man would try to drive out the spirit
        • They would also use practical remedies, such as ointments and potions made from herbs
          • Plains Indians knew the mecicinal remedies of over 2000 plants
        • They had high fees, usually paid in ponies, and would return their fees if the treatments didn't work
        • Women acted as midwives
          • They would keep the babies umbilical cord, they would make then like a turtle (for a girl) or a lizard (for a boy)
          • Indian's believed that the cord would have great protective power for the rest of their life
    • Lack of shelter

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