Attitudes to War

  • Created by: Taya
  • Created on: 01-10-18 19:15

Attitudes to War

Survival on the Plains was so difficult that it is not surprising that Plains Indian tribes raided each other for food, horses, weapons, and people (women to marry and children to bring up in their tribe). However, because young men were very valuable to the tribe as hunters and protectors, no tribe could afford to lose many warriors in fights. As a result, Plains Indians developed several ways to minimise the number of young men who were killed or maimed in raids:

  • The raid would only go ahead if it looked as if it would work, and the raiders would escape as quickly as they could if there was too much opposition. This was very unlike white American soldiers, who had been trained to believe a soldier should never run away.
  • Only selected brotherhoods would go on a raid. This reducued the tribes losses if the raid failed.
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Counting Coup

Coup means success. Counting coup was a special type of fighting in which a warrior would attempt to hit or touch (rather than kill) an enemy and get away without being injured or killed. It demanded huge levels of skill and bravery, and success gained the warrior a lot of respect and honour from the rest of the tribe.

The more successful a warrior was during this, the more feathers he would have on his head.

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Plains Indians Conflict with Whitemen

  • They would take the country and have to die trying
  • White settlers turned the land into reservations
  • Different societies/ways of life
  • Whitemen killed all the buffalo- stopped Plains Indians 'normal' way of life
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